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By OH Today Articles

Published 23 May 2023

Expanding horizons with an MSc in Workplace Health and Wellbeing

By Janet O’Neill & Samantha Langford

I was a stage in my Occupational Health career where I felt I was no longer growing or improving. I started to look at alternate roles and jobs which came to the attention of my boss at time. She introduced me to the idea of undertaking further education with a view to being promoted. I shall forever be grateful for this conversation and strongly advise those who are feeling a little lost or at a crossroads in their career to have a discussion with their senior or leader. It can make all the difference. I had already completed 2 qualifications in OH, a certificate and a diploma (a very good diploma with Cynthia Atwell OBE) and therefore did not want to cover similar ground by going for the obvious choice, a SCPHN-OH degree course. I chose the Nottingham University MSc course in Workplace Health and wellbeing because I did not have a degree (quite a few diplomas though) and a MSc sounded really challenging, if this didn’t stretch me, what would? But also because of the distance learning aspect. I was a single parent and working full time meant attendance would be more difficult. This MSc seemed to be a happy medium.

At our first get together (the first 3 days were face-to-face), I could tell this was going to be exciting. A mixed class from a number of different professions but all focusing on Health and Wellbeing (about a handful of OH professionals) and a number from overseas added an extra layer of awareness to conversations. I loved the topics but also the way we were able to align them with what we wanted to learn and develop.

I can safely say that undertaking this MSc course was not a walk in the path, but it absolutely allowed me to grow as a person and a clinician. I gained the confidence to grow my career and I firmly believe I would not be where I am today without this course. The subjects are transferable, but it also taught us how to question, the value of research and the value of the multidisciplinary team within workplace health.

Janet is Clinical Director of PAM Academy and Deputy Head of the National School of Occupational Health. LinkedIn profile


While working in Learning and Development in a Civil Service department, I developed a passion for understanding, and improving, workplace health and wellbeing. Having worked as a Crime Scene Investigator, where I was exposed to potentially traumatic events daily, and in roles where the negative effects of psychosocial stressors were evident in colleagues, I wanted to dedicate my career to ensuring workplaces and working practices are not making people unwell, emotionally, physically, or mentally.

I found out about the Masters in Workplace Health and Wellbeing through a Police Learning event. The MSc Course Director, Jonathan’s Houdmont’s, research was discussed which led to me wanting to know more. Following a conversation with Jonathan I became convinced that this was exactly the course I needed to build on the passion I had. Ultimately, it was the prospect of learning the theory that underpins great workplace wellbeing that drew me in. Supplementing my passion with theory and research to apply in my own workplace. Jonathan’s enthusiasm definitely helped!

It is not an easy course, and you certainly need to have more than a passing interest in health and wellbeing, to be able to immerse yourself in your studies. But with it being a part-time distance learning course, it’s quite easy to study alongside work and other commitments. Covering key topics such as work-related stress, absence, rehabilitation and retention, contemporary issues in workplace health and the management and promotion of workplace health and wellbeing, it’s designed for learners to develop a deeper understanding of the theory and evidence that informs the management of workplace health and wellbeing, as well as skills for evidence-based practice. I found it to be fantastic, and career changing experience; there wasn’t anything I disliked. You come away with a much broader comprehension of why workplace health and wellbeing is so important. You develop the ability to rationalise approaches within a work environment, with sound theoretical arguments. Of course, you also have an opportunity to pull all of your learning together to undertake your own research, which not only provides you with evidence of your understanding, but also of the application of that knowledge; and, quite possibly, the opportunity to have your research published.

Samantha Langford MSc. BSc.

Director, Gaia Workplace Wellbeing Ltd.

Samantha has twenty years’ experience in public service, a NEBOSH national certificate in the Management of Workplace Health and Wellbeing and founded Gaia Workplace Wellbeing Ltd in November 2022, to bring my expertise to small businesses and charities. She is also a member of the Leadership Team of the Let’s Improve Workplace Wellbeing CIC. LinkedIn profile 


Exciting New Online PG Cert Leading Interprofessional Practice Education

By Neil Loach

The Queen’s Nursing Institute has published new Standards of Education and Practice for Community Practice Teaching. The new Standards were developed over 2021-22 involving numerous stakeholders from a wide range of key organisations, including occupational health (OH) nurses.

The new standards comprise a set of benchmarks and guidance outlining the transition from a Practice Supervisor and Practice Assessor role to that of a Community Practice Teacher, the attributes required for practice teaching, and the support and educational framework needed for learners undertaking the SCPHN (Specialist Community Public Health Nurse) or indeed any type of course that requires robust learning support within the practice setting. The Standards align with the four pillars (domains) of advanced practice of the Health Education England Advanced Practice Toolkit Framework (2017).

In recent years it has been increasingly difficult to get the support of a Practice Teacher within the field of Occupational Health and therefore Universities have had to rely upon the services of SCPHN Part 3 registered nurses without the Practice Teacher qualification as either Practice Supervisor or separate Assessor. Whilst the support to attain suitable skills is there from the University and the Nursing & Midwifery Council it does not equal the quality of teaching and learning offered by a suitably qualified Practice Teacher and Educator.

As the focus is now on ‘Growing Occupational Health’ it seems fitting that there is a suitable offering that will assist the quality of teaching and learning within an Occupational Health setting. OH, Learners need high levels of support within their learning and this course is designed to ensure that you are ready and equipped to provide a quality learning environment.

The University of Derby has responded to this with its latest offering. PG Cert Leading Interprofessional Practice Education (LIPPE).

The online programme is accredited by Advance HE. The online programme is designed to help you, as a health, social care or allied health, professionally registered practitioner, to support higher education learning, teaching, and assessment across the occupational health service provision, as well as other community settings effectively and confidently.

The programme will be available as an apprenticeship or non-apprenticeship but only the non-apprenticeship application is currently open for application. (Please look out for updates on the apprenticeship route.)

PG Cert Leading Interprofessional Practice Education (which is the Non-Apprenticeship route)

PG Cert Leading Interprofessional Practice Education-Academic Professional Apprenticeship (Specialist Role in Teaching)

Both programmes are 60 credits with two modules.  

The first module will carry Associate Fellowship with Advance HE a national and international quality teaching kitemark organisation. 7NU617 Innovating learning, teaching, and assessment toward enhanced professional practice (20 credits) (– It is possible to step off at this point and resume studies within 2 years to complete the programme. A certificate of completion will be awarded only.)

And the second module will give Fellowship Accreditation with Advance HE. 7NU618 Leading and Evaluating the Curriculum (40 Credits). 

There is a minimum of hours that will need to be demonstrated for Hours of Teaching and Associated Teaching Activity for both modules so there must be a requirement to teach within your role to complete the programme.

The highlights

This unique online course is accredited by Advance HE, formerly the Higher Education Academy (HEA), as meeting the UK Professional Standards Framework (PSF) for teaching and supporting learning, meaning you will be eligible to apply for Associate Fellowship or Fellowship of Advance HE when you graduate from the course.

A postgraduate qualification that enables you to develop your skills and knowledge in education within your practice setting, putting you at the forefront of professional practice education.

The course can be completed in one or two years of part-time online study, making it ideal for your professional development and career advancement.

You will benefit from learning alongside a range of health, social care, and allied health professionals to help you to develop the interprofessional academic and personal skills needed in future-focused educational practice.

This course provides the opportunity to develop leadership skills and specialise in the teaching and support of undergraduate and postgraduate learners towards, during and following assessment, through constructive feedback.

You will develop the ability to support diverse groups of learners with an ‘anti-exclusionary’ approach underpinned by a sound understanding of equality and accessibility.

Increase your digital capabilities through online study, while demonstrating digital technologies in the facilitation of learning, the promotion of independent learning skills and other teaching techniques.

The University has 20 years of experience in successfully delivering this programme under a variety of iterations, to meet the needs of the evolutionary Health and Social Care landscape.

Alongside your online studies, you will also engage in learning through your current workplace. To join this course, you will need to be able to facilitate learning in your practice environment and have full support from your employer. You will also need the support of a Practice Education Facilitator (PEF) within your working environment, who will sign off your evidence and hours accrued towards meeting the programme requirements. The University of Derby may be able to help with this. Your PEF must hold the same accreditation you will be applying for with Advance HE.

What you will study

The Postgraduate Certificate Leading Interprofessional Practice Education can be obtained upon passing two core level 7 modules totalling 60 credits (one 20-credit and one 40-credit module).

The first module (20 credits) introduces you to teaching, learning and assessment theories while exploring your value base and role toward supporting Higher Education students across the broad range of Health and Social Care learning environments. Assessment plays an important role in the caring professions and is specifically explored, as protecting service users is imperative.

The second module (40 credits) investigates the concept of curriculum, the design and quality mechanisms toward the maintenance of currency and credibility.

A focus on interprofessional education toward improving service user outcomes and the application of learning to practice is integral to this programme.

Entry Requirements

You should normally have:

a degree qualification in a health or social care-related subject demonstrating successful previous study.

A teaching aspect to your role and be a registered professional working within the health or social care setting.

a written statement from your employer / sponsor committing to financial support and protected practice-based study time. If you are self-funding, this will need to be clear in the application, but you will still need to secure protected practice-based study time.

the availability of a suitably qualified, annotated mentor/practice teacher/practice educator to support you during the programme and formally ‘sign off’ your practice on completion.

We will also consider your application if you have evidence of level 6 study (minimum 20 credits) plus at least 6-12 months experience of working in a relevant field.

Who will Teach you?

Suzanne Le Blond:

Suzanne is a Senior Lecturer in the Discipline area of Midwifery, Children and Professional Practice within the School of Nursing and College of Health, Psychology and Social Care. As an experienced educator, in higher education and a Senior Fellow of Advance HE, Suzanne is passionate about facilitating student progression. 

Neil Loach:

Neil is an experienced Occupational Health Nurse who moved into the academic setting 5 years ago. He is a Senior Lecturer on the Specialist Community Public Health Programme and is Occupational Health Pathway Lead. He is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and a Fellow of the Royal Society for Public Health. He will lead the 2nd 40-credit module Leading and Evaluating the Curriculum.

For further information please email or

PG Cert Leading Interprofessional Practice Education (LIPPE).

Neil Loach

Senior Lecturer
University of Derby
SCPHN OH Pathway Lead.


OH Today Spring 2023
OH Today front cover
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