Critical Care (MSc)
- Duration: 2 years
- Mode: Part time distance learning
Why study this course
This is an interprofessional, e-Learning programme, intended for healthcare professionals wishing to specialise in acute care or critical care, and those who teach within such settings. It provides opportunities to explore critical care as a multidimensional phenomenon, through the teaching and module assignments.
Flexible e-learning programme
Distance-learning, online format enables flexible learning at your own pace.
Academic, evidence based approach
Evidence based approach to empower primary and secondary care professionals explore the complex needs of critically ill patients.
The MSc in Critical Care is a part-time, distance learning course, which aims to provide the opportunity to explore critical care as a multidimensional phenomenon through the module assignments and through taught components.
Critical care is the specialised and comprehensive care of patients whose conditions are life threatening, from pre-hospital assessment through to discharge from critical and acute care environments. The course explores the management of critically ill patients, and the final dissertation requires you to examine in-depth issues related to current practice of the critically ill patient. The course also aims to inform those who teach within the critical care setting at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels to further their knowledge and teach others more effectively.
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.
The taught component introduces you to the multifaceted nature of caring for a critically ill patient. The modular approach allows you to evaluate care of the acute or critically ill patient from an evidence-based perspective, at any point on the patient’s journey (pre-hospital to discharge), allowing consideration from a multi-professional approach. Professional issues, including interprofessional practice, law, ethics, quality and safety are covered, as well as the psychosocial aspects relevant to caring for critically ill patients. The assessments are structured to allow students to evaluate the topic in relation to their practice and professional base.
Approximately 50 places are offered per intake and the majority of students are self-funded; although some obtain awards from charities and trusts.
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.
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 MSc consists of three stages – stage T1 (first taught stage), stage T2 (second taught stage) and stage R (research dissertation stage):
- Stage T1 (first taught stage)
This stage lasts for nine months, and consists of three 20-credit modules totalling 60 credits, at Level 7.
- Stage T2 (second taught stage)
This stage lasts for a further nine months, and consists of a further three 20-credit modules totalling 60 credits, at Level 7, to achieve a total of 120 credits to complete the taught stages.
- Stage R (MSc research dissertation stage)
The dissertation stage of the programme lasts for a further six months, to a total for the MSc of two years, 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 course is delivered via Cardiff University’s virtual learning environment, Learning Central. Approaches to enhance your learning include:
- Recommended reading / links within modules
- Feedback on assignments
- On line tutorials
- Annual reports made available to students
- External examiners’ feedback.
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 project supervisor will be allocated to support and advise you on researching and writing up your specific dissertation topic.
How will I be assessed?
There are a variety of formative and summative assessment methods used, such as:
- Written modules
- Voiced over power point presentations
- Recommended reading / links within modules
- Feedback on assignments
- On line tutorials
- Discussion board forums
- Patient stories
How will I be supported?
All students are 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 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 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 this course, you should also be able to:
- Demonstrate an informed and structured critical approach to critical care.
- Evaluate and integrate knowledge into critical care from different disciplines such as the biological, psychological, sociological, pharmacological sciences.
- Challenge traditional approaches to managing patients pre and post critical care.
- Develop an interdisciplinary knowledge base to support patient care during the critical care period.
- Demonstrate research awareness and activity to both consolidate and extend current themes, concepts and frameworks for managing patients in the critical care period.
Tuition fees for 2021 entry
Students from the UK
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)
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 suitable for healthcare professionals who wish to increase their knowledge of acutely ill and critically ill patient care in order to help improve practice.
Successful completion of this programme will add value to your CV. 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.
HESA data: Copyright Higher Education Statistics Agency Limited 2020. The Higher Education Statistics Agency Limited cannot accept responsibility for any inferences or conclusions derived by third parties from its data. Data is from the latest Graduate Outcomes Survey 2017/18, published by HESA in June 2020.