Student charter

This charter was written by Trust staff and student representatives with the aim of helping you to understand our vision and the ethos of the education and training we provide.

Students in discussion

It aims to set out our core principles and to introduce key information about our structures and services. It summarises the way we wish to work in partnership with our student community in a learning environment which strongly encourages the mutually beneficial exchange of ideas, observations and experience. The Charter provides a guide to what students and the Trust can reasonably expect of each other.

We will review it regularly to make sure that it continues to reflect our intentions and expectations.

  • To make a significant and distinctive contribution to the training and professional development of people who can make a profound difference in the fields of health, mental health, adult and children’s social care, education and criminal justice;
  • To provide transformational training programmes at pre-qualification, qualification and post-qualification levels that will equip people to be able to meet the large, complex challenges they will face within these sectors in the 21st century;
  • To help people develop an exceptional set of aptitudes, skills and intellectual and emotional capacity to enable them to make a powerful contribution to meeting the multiple emotional and psychological needs of a changing population. The new landscape of health and social care will increasingly look for people with just these capacities;
  • To achieve a consistent culture of excellence, innovation and relevance across all facets of learning and teaching at the Trust;
  • To create and maintain a truly excellent learning environment whereby all of our staff involved in this endeavour, tutors and administrative support staff alike, are driven by shared values and an institutional and individual commitment to this ambition.

The Trust is a unique institution which values its long standing reputation for providing training of outstanding relevance and quality. We aim to promote sophisticated capacities for professional, critical self-reflection through provision of opportunities for learning from experience, intensive observation of the professional self at work and in organisational context, and collaborative peer group learning. This can be best achieved if students acknowledge the importance of freedom of thought and expression in a context of collegiate spirit and respect for the rights and dignity of others.

The overarching aim of our training programmes is to develop more confident, competent but also resilient practitioners. Studying on our programmes is challenging, but our experience (and supporting evidence) is that students find the experience intensely professionally and personally fulfilling. Underpinning this approach is a culture embedded in respect for the cultures, opinions and backgrounds of others.

We are committed to promoting equality of opportunity for students and staff from all social, cultural and economic backgrounds and thus to pursuing a genuine engagement with the principles of equal opportunities. To this end, we aim to sustain an environment which is free from discrimination on the basis of race, disability, class, gender, age, religion, belief, sexual orientation, gender reassignment and pregnancy and maternity.

As a student, you are encouraged to participate in the activities we host, such as open events and meetings and take part in other relevant activities as is possible.

More generally, we will publicise and make readily accessible all student-related policies and procedures. This will be the case throughout every stage of your studies.

Our approach to learning and teaching:

  • Requires students to acquire a depth of understanding of the body of knowledge and theory that underpins their discipline as well as to develop an enthusiasm and capacity for continual enquiry, thinking and learning as an essential part of their professional development;
  • Puts an emphasis on the experiential, observational and reflexive study of the self in professional relationships, sometimes supported by requirements for personal psychotherapy;
  • Regards theoretical learning as inextricably linked to personal and professional development and employment. Work discussion modules are a prominent feature of many programmes and learning is designed to help students make sense of the emotional experience they bring to their studies.

We are committed to high academic standards and to reviewing these on an annual basis and place great value on the views and judgment of our external examiners appointed to our courses by our awarding bodies.

Assessment at postgraduate taught degree level and at Level 6 (Graduate Certificate/Graduate Diploma) of the Framework for Higher Education Qualifications is normally by course work presented at agreed points during the academic year.  Most of our validated postgraduate taught courses and at Level 6 enable progression from a postgraduate certificate to a postgraduate diploma to Masters award or from a Graduate Certificate to a Graduate Diploma.  At postgraduate research degree level students submit course work and a thesis for examination.

The Learning and Teaching Committee also includes student representatives. If you're interested in becoming a student rep for this committee, please email the Secretary here.

To ensure that we deliver first-class training and you have the best possible learning experience you can expect:

  • Training programmes that have a contemporary relevance and enable you to make an important and sustained contribution to the new landscape of health and social care.
  • A high quality and stimulating learning environment in which our staff, teachers and those who support learning, share a common set of values and commitment to deliver training programmes of the highest standard.
  • Accurate and consistent information about your course of study, assessment and feedback arrangements and regulations and procedures provided online and in print as appropriate.
  • A system of support to guide and assist your programme of study including personal tutors, academic tutors and research supervisors with confidentiality ensured at all times.
  • Assessment of your work carried out fairly, impartially and in accordance with the highest academic standards.
  • Access to library* and information technology including our virtual learning environment to support your studies (*Our Library has its own User Charter).
  • The opportunity to provide regular and detailed feedback on your experience as a student.
  • To take full advantage of tutorials and meetings with supervisors and other forms of support that are made available.
  • That you will attend and participate in seminars, small group meetings and lectures in accordance with our attendance requirements.
  • That you will inform the appropriate course officer of any essential absences during your course of study.
  • The Trust has set out standards of conduct *which it is expected students will observe and adhere to at all times including ethical issues and patient confidentiality. The Trust supports the informal resolution of concerns and students are welcome to contact staff at any time to discuss concerns relating to their course programme. In this context, the Trust has regulations on appeals, complaints and conduct to protect both students and the community as a whole.  (*All students of the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust  are expected to conduct themselves at all times in a manner that is not harmful to themselves or fellow students, to maintain a professional and courteous approach to their dealings with others and to comply with the law, both on site and on placement).
  • That you will manage your learning including private study in a responsible way and in accordance with the standards of conduct we have set out.
  • That you will submit course work by the deadline provided to you in advance.
  • That you will seek guidance and advice from teaching and other staff at appropriate times.

The core of the Trust’s approach to learning and teaching is to facilitate the personal and professional development of students on a range of academically geared training programmes. We provide a range of services to support teaching and supervision by our teaching staff. These include a specific induction event for our clinical training programmes; a course level induction and, where appropriate, generic induction events for all new students; a Trust Student Disability link; a professional Student Advice and Consultation Service; a Trust Research Week; cross-doctoral teaching seminars; Study Skills Events; an internationally renowned Library; a series of Policy Seminars and Scientific Meetings allied to contemporary issues and debate in the mental health and social care fields.

The Trust places a great deal of importance on the whole of the student journey from initial interest and enquiry in a course to post-qualifying events. We view students as partners and collaborators in their period of study with the Trust.

Integral to our approach are the opportunities we provide to contribute to course review and development and to provide feedback on academic provision and support services.

Student participation and representation on committees helps to ensure that your voice is heard across the Trust and within your course and discipline. The Trust expects that you will support course student representatives and encourages you to take part in the Dean’s Student Forum and in the Trust Student Experience Committee.

The Trust will ask for your opinion on teaching and other aspects of the learner experience. This feedback is vital in enabling the Trust to improve its services for students.

The Trust will do all that it can to make your relationship with us as interesting and fruitful as it can be. We also hope that it will continue after you have graduated through our Alumni Association and through involvement in continuing professional development programmes delivered by the Trust.

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