Advanced Surgical Practice (MSc)
- Duration: 2 years
- Mode: Part time distance learning
Why study this course
This is an interprofessional, distance learning course, intended for healthcare professionals who want to specialise in the field of surgical and perioperative care.
Flexible e-learning programme
Distance-learning, online format enables flexible learning at your own pace.
Student focused assessment
Flexible assessment tailored to students' own practice requirements means you can focus on subject areas relevant to your work.
Evidence based content
The philosophy of the programme is to promote critical analysis of the evidence to support or refute current practice.
This part-time programme is aimed at registered nurses, doctors, operating department practitioners and other healthcare professionals.
The programme aims to offer knowledge and expertise to provide a transition between theory and your own clinical practice. It draws together a collection of fundamental information in an e-learning format, with an emphasis on the general principles of surgical practice rather than on the management of specific conditions.
The multifaceted nature of caring for surgical patients is evaluated from an evidence-based perspective. Teaching considers the full journey of the surgical patient, starting with admission and preoperative preparation through to postoperative care and discharge.
Professional issues, including clinical governance and inter-professional practice, are also covered. Assessments are structured to enable you to evaluate the topic in relation to your practice areas of interest and professional base.
In addition to satisfying the University’s general entrance requirement, including English language requirements, applicants must:
Hold a higher education qualification, minimum of a BSc (Hons) grade 2:2 or equivalent, from a recognised institution.
Be able to demonstrate, to the satisfaction of the Head of School or nominee, that they have held for a minimum of two years a position of responsibility of relevance to the proposed programme.
Be working in a clinical area that is relevant to the programme they are undertaking for the full duration of their studies. (During their studies, if the student's relevant clinical employment ceases or where they are unable to attend work in the necessary clinical setting for any period of time (exceeding 3 months), then they are required to notify the programme team immediately in order that appropriate arrangements can be made. In the case of temporary absence but continued relevant clinical employment, leave of absence (Interruption of Studies) and/or extensions shall be considered. In the event that a student's relevant clinical employment ceases then the University reserves the right to withdraw the student from the programme. Please refer to the University regulations on 'Fitness to Practise’ for further information.)
You will also need to provide:
- evidence that you are currently registered with the professional body relevant to your profession
- a personal statement which does not exceed 500 words. In your personal statement you will need to confirm that you are currently working in a relevant clinical area and will be for the full duration of your studies.
Find out more about English language requirements.
Find out more about English language requirements.
Applicants who require a Student visa to study in the UK must present an acceptable English language qualification in order to meet UKVI (UK Visas and Immigration) requirements.
You are not required to complete a DBS (Disclosure Barring Service) check or provide a Certificate of Good Conduct to study this course.
If you are currently subject to any licence condition or monitoring restriction that could affect your ability to successfully complete your studies, you will be required to disclose your criminal record. Conditions include, but are not limited to:
- access to computers or devices that can store images
- use of internet and communication tools/devices
- freedom of movement
- contact with people related to Cardiff University.
The full MSc course takes two years to complete, although you can choose to exit with a Postgraduate Certificate after nine months or a Postgraduate Diploma after 18 months, if you have fulfilled all the criteria for those awards. All of our students balance their time as healthcare professionals with Masters level study.
Each module spans 10 weeks with assessment tasks at various stages. E-learning offers flexibility in terms of when and where to study and each student has different learning styles so it is difficult to state a specific time commitment but you should expect to commit a few hours per week.
The MSc consists of three stages – stage T1 (first taught stage), stage T2 (second taught stage) and stage R (research dissertation stage):
- Stage T1
This stage lasts for nine months, and consists of three 20-credit modules at Level 7.
- Stage T2
This stage lasts for a further nine months, and consists of a further three 20-credit modules.. This gives you the total of 120 credits needed to complete the taught stages.
- Stage R
The dissertation stage of the programme lasts for a further six months and will include a dissertation of 60 credits at Level 7, to achieve a combined total of 180 credits at Level 7 to complete the MSc course.
You may leave the course after successfully completing stage T1 with a Postgraduate Certificate, or after successfully completing stage T2 with a Postgraduate Diploma.
The modules shown are an example of the typical curriculum and will be reviewed prior to the 2021/22 academic year. The final modules will be published by September 2021.
The University is committed to providing a wide range of module options where possible, but please be aware that whilst every effort is made to offer choice this may be limited in certain circumstances. This is due to the fact that some modules have limited numbers of places available, which are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis, while others have minimum student numbers required before they will run, to ensure that an appropriate quality of education can be delivered; some modules require students to have already taken particular subjects, and others are core or required on the programme you are taking. Modules may also be limited due to timetable clashes, and although the University works to minimise disruption to choice, we advise you to seek advice from the relevant School on the module choices available.
Learning and assessment
How will I be taught?
The programme is delivered via our virtual learning environment, Learning Central.
Content is in the form of online audio visual presentations supplemented with text, discussion boards, blogs and wikis. You will also have access to academic staff via email, phone and video conference software.
Approximately 10-15 hours per week will be required for independent learning and assessment.
Studies at MSc dissertation level will largely consist of guided independent study and research, making use of the extensive learning and research facilities available. A formative module on Research Methods will be delivered online.
How will I be assessed?
There are a variety of formative and summative assessment methods used, such as:
- Wiki development
- Multiple choice questions
- Group work
- Development of guidelines / powerpoint presentations.
The MSc dissertation stage will be assessed based on the final dissertation.
How will I be supported?
You will be allocated a personal tutor, for help and support with academic and pastoral needs, who will be in regular contact to discuss progress and to provide advice and guidance as needed. Extensive written feedback is given on all assessments.
You will also be allocated a personal supervisor during the dissertation period. They will be able to give written feedback on dissertation drafts and provide you with the opportunity to discuss any queries you may have.
Formative feedback will be communicated through electronic and written means in a timely manner. Summative feedback on assessment will be delivered within the timeframe set by the University.
What skills will I practise and develop?
By fully engaging in this Master's level course, you will have the opportunity to gain a wealth of skills and abilities which you can apply to any professional setting. In addition to greater conceptual understanding of current knowledge, issues and methods, you will have the opportunity to practise and develop abilities in critical analysis, the application of evidence based medicine and in dealing with complex issues systematically and creatively. Your studies should also help you develop your problem-solving and decision-making abilities by enabling you to utilise evidence effectively and communicate important concepts to colleagues and others. Through the research focused elements you will have the opportunity to develop and enhance skills in literature review, critical evaluation, research design, research methodologies, data collection, data analysis and research principles.
By fully engaging in the course, you should also be able to:
- Demonstrate an informed and structured critical approach to surgical care.
- Evaluate and integrate knowledge into surgical care from different disciplines such as the biological, psychological, sociological, pharmacological sciences.
- Challenge traditional approaches to managing patients pre-, intra- and postoperatively.
- Develop an interdisciplinary knowledge base to support and enhance patient care.
- Demonstrate research awareness and activity to both consolidate and extend current themes, concepts and frameworks for managing patients in their surgical practice.
- Demonstrate enhanced understanding of evidence-based medicine through academic appraisal of the relevant resources.
Students from the UK
|Tuition fee (2021/22)||Deposit|
Students from the EU, EEA and Switzerland
EU, EEA and Swiss nationals starting in 2020/21 will pay the same tuition fee as UK students for the duration of their course.
If you are an EU/EEA/Swiss national, unless you qualify for UK fee status, tuition fees for 2021/22 will be in line with the fees charged for international students. UKCISA have provided information about Brexit and tuition fees.
Students from the rest of the world (international)
|Tuition fee (2021/22)||Deposit|
More information about tuition fees and deposits, including for part-time and continuing students.
Financial support may be available to individuals who meet certain criteria. For more information visit our funding section. Please note that these sources of financial support are limited and therefore not everyone who meets the criteria are guaranteed to receive the support.
Will I need any specific equipment to study this course/programme?
You will need a reliable computer with high speed internet access (and up-to-date virus and malware protection) and appropriate software.
We’re based in one of the UK’s most affordable cities. Find out more about living costs in Cardiff.
This programme is particularly suitable for those who wish to increase their knowledge of surgical practice in order to help improve patient care. Graduates have reported that it led directly to promotion, and many were also stimulated to pursue academic careers via further study up to PhD.
This Masters programme enables you to demonstrate you are taking the opportunity to develop your abilities in critical analysis, problem-solving, decision-making, finding and using evidence and in dealing with complex issues. Whilst we do not formally assess clinical skills or competencies in a face-to-face context (so the programme is not a substitute for a formal specialty training programme), studying at this level should help successful students demonstrate numerous academic skills that should be highly regarded in relation to their career development and progression.
In particular, the programme offers opportunities to demonstrate the development of knowledge and skills in relation to the application of evidence-based medicine and the potential enhancement of services and governance frameworks. As such, it should provide evidence of commitment and potential that may assist you in relation to taking on greater responsibilities or perhaps seeking management, research, scholarship, or leadership roles.
Here’s what some of our alumni say about their time on the programme:
“I undertook this degree to further my understanding in critical appraisal and analysis of information to improve my skills as a clinician and also to interpret and relay this information to my patients. I benefited most from the appraisal tasks and, of course, the dissertation where I was able to have an in-depth focus on an area of interest. Completing the programme has helped me to secure a radiology training post of my top choice.”
Hannah Lewis, Medical Doctor
“I decided to apply for the Masters at Cardiff University as it was based on critical appraisal and research which would help my career. I think what I benefited from most was the initial module on research methods, which were then applied throughout the whole degree, as well as the discussions with the faculty and fellow course members about various topics. The programme has affected my practice as I am more able to judge how good evidence is so I can base my practise on string evidence. It has also allowed me to be more involved in research as my colleagues ask for help. It has also improved my career prospects.”
Alexia Farrugia, Clinical Research Fellow in HPB Surgery