Aberdeen Interprofessional Education Research


IPE Project Archive


View our July 2014 IPE Newsletter

View our July 2013 IPE Newsletter

View our July 2012 IPE Newsletter


IPE in Practice

IPE in practice is student and practice initative that led in Aberdeen providing opportunities for IPE on every placement location.

Read more


Learning about Phenylketonuria.

The project involves the development of learning around a key topic area of Phenylketonuria, by lecturers at the Pharmacy and Life sciences school, RGU. This topic is important for nutrition and dietetics students as well as pharmacy students, especially those on the Overseas Pharmacists Assessment Programme. A problem based learning approach is employed involving small group interprofessional working to solve a series of simulated case studies concerned with the management of phenylketonuria.

Read article.

Interprofessional teaching of basic life support skills

A project involving the teaching of basic life support skills by final year medical students from the University of Aberdeen and final year nursing students from RGU has been underway in the Clinical Skills Centre, Garthdee Campus.

The recipients of the teaching were students from the Faculty of Health and Social Care. The project has been received with great enthusiasm by all the students and staff involved.

The medical and nursing students were trained up together at the Suttie Centre, Foresterhill Site and worked in pairs to teach their skills to first and second year Pharmacy and Life Sciences; Health sciences and Applied Social Science students. The impact of this project has been to use the concept of peer teaching and an interprofessional approach to enable skill acquisition in emergency life skills.

Funding was received from the Scottish clinical skills network managed education network and used to purchase extra resusci-annes and resusci bags to support the training.

Download the final report of the IPE BLS project or visit http://www.csmen.scot.nhs.uk for details.

IPE within undergraduate courses

The foundations of IPE are embedded in the curricula of ten professional courses in years 1 and 2

These are: Applied Biomedical Scineces; Diagnostic radiography; dietetics; medicine; midwifery; nursing; occupational therapy; pharmacy; physiotherapy and social work.

From Year 3 onwards IPE has moved into practice placements (see below for more details).

Capturing serendipitous learning using interprofessional buddy groups - commenced Dec 2009

There is much written about the use of formal and informal learning in interprofessional education (IPE). There are benefits in trying to blend the use of formal and informal learning in an attempt to enhance the chances for behaviour and attitudinal changes and mutual respect towards the different professions.
(FREETH, D. et al 2005.Effective Interprofessional Education. Oxford: Blackwell Publishing Ltd.)`

In Aberdeen the strategy is to capture the ‘hidden’ or ‘serendipitous’ learning by the creation of IPE buddy groups. Students from Applied Biomedical Sciences; Diagnostic radiography; dietetics; medicine; midwifery; nursing; occupational therapy; pharmacy; physiotherapy and social work have been put into small mixed groups of 10-12.

They interact with each other on shared intranet space between the two universities (Robert Gordon University and University of Aberdeen). This gives opportunity for the development of relationships between the students. Exchanges have included sharing about courses and comments about IPE activities. In year 3 students enagage by posting synopses of ‘real’ patients/clients and discuss the complexities of roles and responsibilties. 2011-2012 has been the first roll out of the IPE Tool Kit for Practice and the forum discussions were a part of that. An evaluation is underway to inform the roll out to 2012-2013 students.

Students can potentially remain in their IPE buddy groups for the duration of their courses.

Face to face sessions for IPE buddy groups occur in December, Feb/Mar and Oct/Nov of Years 1 and 2.

Year 1 IPE sessions

The scene is set for why IPE is important to health and social care curricula.  Learning is achieved in small groups of 10-12 students with facilitators from the different professions represented. The aim of the workshop is to generate an appreciation of professional identities; interprofessional team working and communication. We do this by using interactive games and simulations.

View IPE sessions gallery

Year 2 IPE sessions

This focuses on patient centred activities, values and ethics, person centredness; shared decision making around a patient scenario and re-enforces the concept of IPE buddy groups on the virtual campus. It is deleivered face to face in small mixed groups with facilitators from all the represented disciplines.

Year 3 and above IPE in Practice Placements

IPE from Year 3 onwards is experienced in practice placements. The strategy is multi-faceted and multi-pronged enabling IPE to occur in any placement location and is student and practice led. The students are invited to post a synopsis of a ‘real case’ whilst on placement and enagage with other students in their online discussion forums (IPE buddy groups).

Students coming together on placements

Students from two or more professions are to come together in a quiet area of placement and discuss an IPE activity lasting 1-2hours duration. Locations and activities include:

Year 4 Interprofessional Education

The IPE programme for students comes to a close with a student led conference for students. The first one is planned for March 2013. A student organising committee will deliver this conference, deciding the theme and the concurrent sessions.

A broad title of ‘Celebrating health and well being in Scottish Health and Social Care’ has been decided.

Interdisciplinary Practice

This module runs each year for 4th year honours students from nursing, occupational therapy, physiotherapy, and social work.

The aim of the module is to enable students to analyse the processes which impede and facilitate interdisciplinary and inter-agency work and apply the understanding to enhance their contribution to interdisciplinary practice.

Aberdeen and Edinburgh collaborative tutorials and workshops
4th year pharmacy students (MPharm) from Robert Gordon University and 5th year medical students from Edinburgh University take part in a one day series of events hosted at Edinburgh University.

IPE E Team

An enthusiastic support team of e-Learning support staff and lecturers develop the online activities for students and manage the IPE buddy groups shared intranet space.

IPE Research team

A highly motivated team of academics with research expertise meet together regularly and take forward research ideas for IPE.

IPE Facilitators’ workshops

All facilitators for IPE are required to undertake a workshop exploring the skills required for mixed group facilitation and to familiarise themselves with the IPE materials used within the IPE programme in Aberdeen..