Acute Care (Professional Practice)

  • Level: Top-Up Pathways
  • Starting: September 2019, January 2020
  • Study mode: Part Time
  • Course cost: £680 per 20-credit module for UK/EU Part Time 2019 entry (view all fees)
  • Location: City South

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This award will help you develop your your skills in the management of acutely ill adults, prepare you to address the increasingly complex patient population and take your professional knowledge in the field of acute care one step further. You will gain enhanced skills in the recognition of acute health deterioration and develop your knowledge of contemporary evidence-based approaches that contribute to the effective management of acute deterioration. You'll also be able to access a range of optional modules in this area to help you get the learning experience you need.

This course will help you to gain confidence in both assessment and clinical decision making during acute episodes of physical illness.

There is a wide variety of appropriate clinical modules that you may choose to build your award with this pathway.

What's covered in the course?

You will learn more about the pathophysiology of common causes of acute health deterioration, and the homeostatic mechanisms that exist in to respond to them.

Through the use of contemporary case studies you will gain enhanced confidence in your assessment and interpretation of clinical observation related data, particularly in patients with complex health problems.

You will increase your knowledge and understanding of how to respond effectively to episodes of acute health deterioration. We will work with you to ensure that the rationales supporting your decision making, are clear and evidence based.

The core modules of this programme are delivered by a team of qualified nurses with extensive experience and expertise in both acute and critical care settings. The modules are also supported by colleagues from clinical practice.

The programme is delivered using a blended approach of innovate learning and teaching styles. All modules are based on the University’s City South Campus.

Why Choose Us?

  • Clinically focussed content that addresses the challenges of the increasingly older and more complex patient population.
  • An opportunity to develop your confidence and skills specifically in the recognition and management of acutely ill adults
  • A strong focus on current issues in acute care, and the practical application of knowledge
  • Each module has a bespoke Moodle virtual learning environment to support your continued learning off campus
  • A big choice of optional modules allows you to build a bespoke learning experience, most appropriate to your career plans.
  • Ongoing support from university staff to facilitate your development as a learner.

New £10,609 postgraduate loans

If you are completing the MSc Professional Practice, you may be able to take advantage of the government’s plans to make loans of up to £10,609 available for postgraduate study.

More about postgraduate loans

This course is not open to International students
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Course Accreditations

Post Registration Education Provider of the Year Winner

SNTA winner

UK or EU students

Award Start Mode Duration Fees
Sep 2019 PT
TBC
£680 per 20-credit module
Jan 2020 PT
TBC
£680 per 20-credit module

International Students

Award Start Mode Duration Fees
Sep 2019 PT
TBC
£680 per 20-credit module
Jan 2020 PT
TBC
£680 per 20-credit module

If you're unable to use the online form for any reason, you can complete our PDF application form and equal opportunities PDF form instead. The University reserves the right to increase fees in line with inflation based on the Retail Prices Index or to reflect changes in Government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament up to a maximum of five per cent.

Course structure

You can choose to study this programme as a complete pathway award (full or part-time) or as a standalone module, dependent on your individual need and the needs of your organisation. All programmes offer a convenient part-time format to fit around home and work commitments.

Pathway awards in Acute Care can lead to:

  • Module only Professional Practice Level 6
  • Module only Professional Practice Level 7
  • BSc Professional Practice
  • BSc (Hons) Professional Practice 
  • Grad Cert Professional Practice 
  • PG Cert Professional Practice
  • PG Dip Professional Practice
  • MSc Professional Practice

How to apply

Complete the online application form via the link above, including the name of the pathway or module you are enrolling onto. 

Financial sponsorship

If you will be receiving financial sponsorship, to settle the tuition fees for this course please download and complete the financial support form. Once completed please upload it to your applicant portal.

Professional practice routes

Have a look at all of our professional practice healthcare routes available.

Professional Practice Routes

Degree (Level 6)

In order to complete this route a student must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 80 credits):

Year 1 Pathway Award - Exit Award: Grad Cert / BSc Professional Practice (Acute Care)

Recognition, Assessment and Physiological Interpretation of Deterioration (RAPID)
20 credits

This module allows you, a registered healthcare practitioner with a minimum of 6 months experience caring for acutely ill adults, to enhance your ability to recognise, assess and interpret physiological indicators of acute deterioration. Acute episodes of health deterioration occur in a wide variety of healthcare settings. Wherever you work, this will enable you to confidently recognise early signs of physiological deterioration, and articulate your concerns to others.

This module is can also be taken as a standalone credit bearing course

Management of Acute Deterioration
20 credits

This module allows you, a registered healthcare practitioner with a minimum of 6 months experience caring for patients who experience episodes of acute health deterioration, to enhance your ability to quickly and effectively respond to adults who experience acute illness.. Acute episodes of health deterioration occur in a wide variety of healthcare settings. Wherever you work, this module aims to foster and develop your ability to prioritise and rationalise your clinical decisions in order to manage episodes of acute health deterioration confidently. It will also support you to develop your understanding of the current evidence base underpinning contemporary acute illness management.

This module is can also be taken as a standalone credit bearing course

Year 2 Pathway Award (BSc Only) – Exit Award: BSc (Hons) Professional Practice (Acute Care)

Using Research Evidence in Practice
20 credits

This module is for all healthcare practitioners if you want to enhance your understanding of evidence based practice to help improve your patient/client/service-user care. The aims of the module are to develop both your understanding of the importance of best evidence in practice, and your ability to locate, evaluate, and use best evidence in developing aspects of practice.

Good reasons to study Evidence-Based Practice: Clinical practice does not remain static but changes frequently. As a healthcare practitioner you must be able to justify and rationalise your practice to ensure quality care is provide and maintained. To ensure best practice is sustained you, as a practitioner, need to understand the concepts of evidence based practice and how to apply these concepts to your area of practice.

This module is can also be taken as a standalone credit bearing course

Negotiated Study
20 credits

This module is aimed at healthcare practitioners who wish to negotiate learning of a bespoke topic. Under the guidance of facilitators, you will be able to direct your learning and identify relevant learning opportunities that you feel enable you to learn more about a specific field of study.

The subject area within this module is student led with guidance and facilitation from designated academic and practice support. You will identify an area of study that you would like to critically review and evaluate and which promotes your clinical development. A significant proportion of the module is based around negotiation with academic and clinical facilitators to identify extended areas of study and opportunities that are possible to enhance your progression towards completion of the study.

This module is can also be taken as a standalone credit bearing course

In order to complete this route a student must successfully complete at least 20 credits from this list of additional optional modules* for Year 1 and an additional 20 credits for Year 2.

*Any appropriate module (relevant to Pathway / Speciality) from University / Faculty portfolio as agreed with the Pathway Leader.

Optional Modules x 2
20 credits

Postgraduate (Level 7)

In order to complete this route a student must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 80 credits):

Year 1 Pathway Award – Exit Award: PG Cert Professional Practice (Acute Care)

Recognition, Assessment and Physiological Interpretation of Deterioration (RAPID)
20 credits

This module allows you, typically a graduate health care professional with a minimum of 6 months experience caring for patients who experience episodes of acute health deterioration to enhance your ability to recognise, assess and interpret physiological indicators of acute deterioration in adults with a complex health history. Acute episodes of health deterioration occur in a wide variety of healthcare settings. Wherever you work, this will enable you to confidently recognise early signs of physiological deterioration, and articulate your concerns to others, in challenging clinical situations.

This module is can also be taken as a standalone credit bearing course

Management of Acute Deterioration
20 credits

This module allows you, typically a graduate health care professional with a minimum of 6 months experience caring for patients who experience episodes of acute health deterioration, to enhance your ability to quickly and effectively respond to adults who experience acute illness, who have a complex health history.

Acute episodes of health deterioration occur in a wide variety of healthcare settings. Wherever you work, this module aims to enhance your ability to prioritise and rationalise your clinical decisions in order to manage episodes of acute health deterioration confidently. It will also support you to further develop your understanding of the current evidence base underpinning contemporary acute illness management.

This module is can also be taken as a standalone credit bearing course

Year 2 Pathway Award - Exit Award: PG Dip Professional Practice (Acute Care)

Research: Methods of Enquiry
20 credits

This module specifically addresses the broader programme aims related to “pursuing excellence” and “practice-led, knowledge applied” through a flexible provision that encourages students to develop their research ideas, enabling those on various Health MSc programmes to satisfy their individual learning needs, whilst contributing to their area of study.

This module is can also be taken as a standalone credit bearing course

Leadership Skills and Project Management for Health
20 credits

This module explicitly addresses students’ personal and/or professional development with a view to enhancing competence for service improvement in a rapidly changing health and healthcare environment. Through a flexible provision, students are inspired to reflect critically upon their individual learning needs as well as their organisations’ practices, to appraise and apply concepts from the literature on leadership, to issues of relevance for their role, organisation and overall programme of study.

This module is can also be taken as a standalone credit bearing course

In order to complete this route a student must successfully complete at least 40 credits from ‘this list of additional optional modules* for Year 1 and Year 2.

*Any appropriate module (relevant to Pathway / Speciality) from University / Faculty portfolio as agreed with the Pathway Leader.

Optional Modules x 2
20 credits

MSc

Year 3 Pathway Award – Exit Award: MSc Professional Practice (Adult Critical Care)

Option 1

In order to complete this route a student must successfully complete the following CORE module (totalling 60 credits):

Research Dissertation
60 credits

This triple module forms the final bridge between the award of a Postgraduate Diploma and a Health MSc related to a named award. It provides the student with the opportunity to complete a piece of work around a chosen topic in order to demonstrate competence in the planning, execution, analysis and evaluation of a Research Project, a Systematic Review or Project Management. It involves 600 hours of study. The focus is on facilitating the student's independent, critical study in their academic discipline or area of professional practice. It will also serve those who wish to embark on Doctoral studies in the future.

Option 2

In order to complete this route a student must successfully complete the following CORE module (totalling 40 credits):

Research Dissertation
40 credits

This double module provides the student with the opportunity to complete a piece of work around a chosen topic in order to demonstrate competence in the planning, execution, analysis and evaluation of a Research Project, a Systematic Review or Project Management. It involves 400 hours of study. The focus is on facilitating the student's independent, critical study in their academic discipline or area of professional practice. It will also serve those who wish to embark on Doctoral studies in the future.

In order to complete this route a student must also successfully complete at least 20 credits from ‘this list of additional optional modules* for Year 1 and Year 2.

*Any appropriate module (relevant to Pathway / Speciality) from University / Faculty portfolio as agreed with the Pathway Leader.

Optional Module
20 credits

Degree (Level 6)

Pathway Level
Level 6 - Year 1
Modules completed 
Recognition, Assessment and Physiological Interpretation of Deterioration (RAPID) (LBR6258)
Management of Acute Deterioration (LBR6525)
Optional Module
Exit Awards
Grad Cert/BSc Professional Practice (Acute Care)

Level 6 - Year 2 (BSc (Hons only)
Using Research Evidence in Practice (LBR553)
Negotiated Study (LBR6547)
Optional Module
BSc (Hons) Professional Practice (Acute Care)

Postgraduate (Level 7)

Pathway Level
Level 7 - Year 1
Modules completed 
Recognition, Assessment and Physiological Interpretation of Deterioration (RAPID) (LBR7478)
Management of Acute Deterioration (LBR7481)
Optional Module
Exit Awards
PG Cert Professional Practice (Acute Care)

Level 7 - Year 2
Research: Methods of Enquiry (LBR7339)
Leadership Skills and Project Management for Health (LBR7399)
Optional Module
PG Dip Professional Practice (Acute Care)

Level 7 - Year 3
Research Dissertation
MSc Professional Practice (Acute Care)
SNTA winner
Student Nursing Times Award Winner

Post Registration Education Provider of the Year

Course dates

Please check the course dates to see when your chosen modules are available throughout the year.

Download the 2019/20 course dates

Assessment breakdown

  • RAPID will be assessed by oral examination (up to 30 minutes duration)
  • 'Management of Acute Deterioration' will be assessed by a written assignment (3,000 words)

Our Facilities

We are constantly investing in our estate and are currently in the process of spending £340 million on new learning facilities.

We boast up-to-date, innovative facilities that simulate the real situations that medical staff may come across.

These resources are essential in offering students a hands-on introduction to health and social care practice. Much of our teaching is carried out within our state-of-the-art, £30m Seacole Building, which houses cutting-edge facilities.

Take a virtual tour of our skills suites at Seacole

In a sector where new techniques are constantly being discovered, we work hard to ensure that students learn using the most up-to-date equipment available. These include the only mock operating theatre in an English university and a cutting-edge radiography virtual clinical training facility, virtual ward and virtual case creator.

Virtual Case Creator

For pre-registration midwives, Virtual Case Creator software contains a range of scenarios to let you experience birthing situations and decide on appropriate interventions in a safe environment.

Hospital Ward

Our mock wards enable you to get a feel of what a ward is really like before you head out for your first placement. They contain ‘Sim Men’, which are demonstration dummies that develop ailments, allowing you to treat them as you would a real patient and build your confidence in reacting to the changing needs of patients.

The Hospital Ward can be adapted from a low care to high dependency care environment with the necessary monitoring equipment.

Part of the package is our SIM baby, SIM man and Mega code kid. There are also nursing manikins for fundamental skills teaching and various equipment to support essential skills teaching, such as blood pressure monitoring venepuncture and cannulation equipment.

Skills Practice and Clinical Enhancement facility

The SPACE (Skills Practice And Clinical Enhancement) learning facility lets you further practice the skills taught in class, at your own pace and convenience.

It is fully stocked with the specialist items and equipment needed for procedures such as taking blood pressure, giving an injection, abdominal examination of a pregnant woman and caring for ill babies in an incubator.

Biomedical Laboratories

We have recently installed new laboratory facilities to help you explore understand the scientific principles underpinning many of our courses. The physiology laboratory is equipped to help you learn about the way the human body works by performing investigative experiments. The biomedical science laboratory is undergoing an upgrade over the summer and will allow you to learn about anatomy, cellular processes, immunology and enzymology in a hands-on way that links directly to day-to-day health care.

Simulation Mannequins

We have several Simulation men (SIM men) and Simulation babies (SIM babies) which are leading edge, anatomically correct mannequins used for teaching specific techniques such as advanced adult and paediatric life support skills, acute and high dependency clinical skills, first aid and communication skills.

The SIM men and SIM baby mannequins are complete with software, which is used to replicate real symptoms, and are enhanced by the manipulation of for example blood pressure, pulse and heart rate for extra realism. SIM Man can also “talk” to the students which adds another dimension to their use in teaching clinical skills and in simulation exercises.

Mary Seacole Library

The Seacole library, based at City South Campus, is one of the UK's largest specialist health education libraries. The state-of-the art facility offers an extensive range of range of information and reference materials set out in a relaxing environment, conducive to studying. There are comfortable seating areas, group study areas, a silent study area and private study rooms.

The Seacole building houses a large open access IT Suite which comprises of 96 PCs, full colour printers, photocopiers and scanners. Our PCs utilise the latest Intel i5 core technology, all with:

  • Fast (unrestricted) internet connectivity
  • Ability to save files to USB, DVD & CD
  • Microsoft Office software
  • Research and statistical software
  • Storage space which can be accessed from any PC across the University and from home

Our PCs are also designed to support students who may have difficulties with reading and writing, featuring specialised software with zooming/magnification and screen reading capabilities, which may also be customised for individual student needs.

The IT Suite offers extended opening hours and is supported by a specialist Open Access Assistant during term time. In addition to the open access PCs within the IT Suite, there are 12 networked student PCs available within Seacole library.

Claire Perkins profile

Claire Perkins

Senior Lecturer

Claire trained as an undergraduate registered nurse in multiple hospitals in London 1993-6. Subsequent clinical registered nursing roles in A & E and multiple HDU’s and ITU’s across the West Midlands, including a Senior Sister post in critical care at University Hospital Birmingham. During a post-registration intensive care course (ENB 100) in 1999, experience was gained in multiple specialist critical care units including the PICU at Birmingham Children’s Hospital. Specialist nursing knowledge was further developed through successful completion of an MSc in Nursing in 2006 and some international clinical and education visits. Clinical skills recently refreshed in a local private critical care unit.

Claire has a long standing interest in nurse education which began with employment as part of the link teaching initiative (at UCE 1998-2003), a role created to develop the application of physiology to clinical practice within the undergraduate nursing curriculum. Education skills were then further developed between 2001-2004 in both junior and senior professional development posts within the NHS. A lecturer role in higher education was commenced in 2004 and senior lecturer in 2005, following successful completion of a PG Cert in higher education. Multiple further courses have been studied since to ensure both education and clinical skills continue to evolve. Recognition of this via fellowship of the higher education academy has been achieved.

Claire's key area of interest remains the application of physiology and pharmacology to clinical nursing practice, with a particular emphasis on the recognition and management of acute physiological deterioration.

Steven Grant

Senior Teaching Fellow

Steve qualified as an RGN in 1999 and since then has worked in a variety of clinical environments such as Acute medicine, General surgery, ITU, Coronary care and HDU. Additionally he has worked in Practice Development and Training as a Clinical nurse specialist in Acute Care. He is also dual qualified in both adult and pediatric nursing.

Course Enquiries

For all course enquiries please contact the Acute Care Pathway Leader, Claire Perkins on:

International Enquiries

If you are an international student please contact the international office for more information on entry requirements:

Professional Navigator

The Professional Practice Programme consists of a selection of modules that can be studied on their own or as part of an award. For help in deciding which modules to study or your outcome award please contact our Professional Navigators on navigator@bcu.ac.uk 

Professional practice routes

Have a look at all of our professional practice healthcare routes available.

Professional Practice Routes