Neonatal Critical Care (Professional Practice)

  • Level: Top-Up Pathways
  • Starting: September 2019
  • Study mode: Part Time (30 Weeks)
  • Course cost: £680 per 20-credit module for UK/EU Part Time 2019 entry (view all fees)
  • Location: City South

Once you have you have completed your Foundation Course in neonates, the Critical Care pathway will develop your career in neonatal nursing with confidence and skill. The course aims to broaden your knowledge in clinical practice and physiology. This enables confidence to work as a competent practitioner within the speciality and become key to getting the best outcome for neonates and their families.

What's covered in the course?

During the programme you are given the clinical based knowledge which will be reinforced by some sessions being delivered by experts within the area. The broader issues associated with such an emotional area of work are often overlooked. The course will attempt to introduce you to key aspects of this to enable you to consider how you will manage these issues in the future. This will also enable you to assist others who need your support. 

This clinical based knowledge will be underpinned by supporting physiology that will be delivered by an experienced physiologist and expert in the field. This depth of expertise will reinforce the appreciation of the families’ situation and increase your satisfaction.

Learning and assessing is carried out with the overview of delivering skills that you will benefit from being able to use throughout your career; such as being able to make a poster to display at a conference.

Sessions are delivered at Birmingham City University's City South Campus, to encourage the use of the facilities available to support your learning. Support for all types of learning are provided on campus and online to enable you to maximise the experience of being a student on this campus.

Why Choose Us?

  • The programme is devised to give you the 360 degree experience and as such is a course to complement the beginning of your career in neonatal nursing.
  • Neonatal programmes are used to map career progression with the clinical area. By offering the course at level six and level seven, we can also aid with your academic progression, as you feel is appropriate for your planned career pathway.
  • The wide range of clinical experts that provide their breath of know-how enable you to be really aware of how this knowledge can impact on your clinical practice. This ultimately helps develop your relationships with the families and improves their experience too.
  • The detailed physiology that is taught on the course enables you to be able to truly understand what is happening and gives you the confidence to deal with each situation confidently and with a high level of competence.
  • As the role of the neonatal practitioner develops, completing this programme will enable you realise where you are most comfortable within the clinical area and facilitate the best outcome for the neonate and their family.

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 30 Weeks £680 per 20-credit module

International Students

Sorry, this course is not available to international students.

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 Neonatal Critical 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.

Additional costs

The assessment in the module 'Reflective Applications of Neonatal Critical Care' is a poster, which will require printing to be paid for.

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 100 credits):

Year 1 Pathway Award – Exit Award: Grad Cert / BSc Professional Practice (Neonatal Critical Care)

Neonatal Critical Care in Practice
20 credits

This module has been developed to prepare knowledgeable, critical thinking, proactive, professional practitioners who are fit to meet the challenging demands of modern health care in the global area. Neonatal practitioners provide care for an extremely vulnerable population. Working with these babies, Nurses need to undertake accredited training appropriate to a Qualification in Speciality level (DH 2009) in a neonatal setting. This has to be done with an eye on the future as ‘Well organised, effective and sensitive care can make a lifelong difference to premature and sick newborn babies and their families’ (DH 2009 pge 9) This care needs to be provided by practitioners who are encouraged to refresh their skills and keep updated. A partnership approach is taken with practice areas in helping you achieve all learning outcomes.

Reflective Applications of Neonatal Critical Care
20 credits

This module aims to provide you with the ability to construct and evaluate key clinical issues that are essential on your educational neonatal journey. By doing this you will be able to prepare, manage and assess aspects of critical care by having an in depth knowledge of physiology and have the ability to apply this to the care that you give the babies in your care and their families. The ability of being able to construct a poster and cope with answering questions will give you the future confidence to prepare and present a poster at local and national conferences. This process will be supported by your time in university and your continuing independent study.

Broader Principles of Neonatal Critical Care
20 credits

This module aims to provide you with the ability to construct and evaluate key clinical issues that are essential on your educational neonatal journey. By doing this you will be able to prepare, manage and assess aspects of critical care by having an in depth knowledge of physiology and have the ability to apply this to the care that you give the babies in your care and their families. You will need to identify a suitable practice mentor for the duration of the module to assess the clinical skills element of the module.

Year 2 Pathway Award (BSc (Hons) Only) – Exit Award: BSc (Hons) Professional Practice (Neonatal Critical 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 the List of Additional Optional Modules* for Year 2.

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

Optional Module
20 credits

Postgraduate (Level 7)

In order to complete this route a student must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 100 credits):

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

Neonatal Critical Care in Practice
20 credits

This module has been developed to prepare knowledgeable, critical thinking, proactive, professional practitioners who are fit to meet the challenging demands of modern health care in the global area. Neonatal practitioners provide care for an extremely vulnerable population. Working with these babies, Nurses need to undertake accredited training appropriate to a Qualification in Speciality level (DH 2009) in a neonatal setting. This has to be done with an eye on the future as ‘Well organised, effective and sensitive care can make a lifelong difference to premature and sick newborn babies and their families’ (DH 2009 page 9). This care needs to be provided by practitioners who are encouraged to refresh their skills and keep updated. A partnership approach is taken with practice areas in helping you achieve all learning outcomes.

Reflective Applications of Neonatal Critical Care
20 credits

This module aims to provide you with the ability to construct and evaluate key clinical issues that are essential on your educational neonatal journey. By doing this you will be able to prepare, manage and assess aspects of critical care by having an in depth knowledge of physiology and have the ability to apply this to the care that you give the babies in your care and their families. The ability of being able to construct a poster and cope with answering questions will give you the future confidence to prepare and present a poster at local and national conferences with deeper understandings provided by the reading and critically evaluating education texts and literature. This process will be supported by your time in university and your continuing independent study.

Broader Principles of Neonatal Critical Care
20 credits

Nursing is now a graduate profession and the need for post graduate study is a necessity for those of you who wish to continue with their studies at a higher level, requiring a clear career pathway structure. Therefore this module provides you with the opportunity to gain your specialist qualification at level 7, with an award structure that will encourage study up to a full Master’s degree. This will also provide evidence for your NMC updates. Your career progression is supported while enabling networking and liaison with your peers at level 6. This is very important as interaction between colleagues from different neonatal units and alternative networks is essential for the extending of good practice.

This module aims to provide you with the ability to construct and evaluate key clinical issues that are essential on your educational neonatal journey. By doing this you will be able to prepare, manage and assess aspects of critical care by having an in depth knowledge of physiology and have the ability to apply this to the care that you give the babies in your care and their families. You will need to identify a suitable practice mentor for the duration of the module to assess the clinical skills element of the module.

Year 2 Pathway Award - Exit Award: PG Dip Professional Practice (Neonatal Critical 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 and Healthcare
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 20 credits from the List of Additional Optional Modules* for Year 2.

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

Optional Module
20 credits

MSc

Year 3 Pathway Award – Exit Award: MSc Professional Practice (Neonatal 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 
Neonatal Critical Care in Practice (LBR6566)
Reflective Applications of Neonatal Critical Care (LBR6568)
Broader Principles of Neonatal Critical Care (LBR6560)
Exit Awards
Grad Cert/BSc Professional Practice (Neonatal Critical Care)

Level 6 - Year 2 (BSc (Hons only)
Using Research Evidence in Practice (LBR6533)
Negotiated Study (LBR6547)
Optional Module
BSc (Hons) Professional Practice (Neonatal Critical Care)

Postgraduate (Level 7)

Pathway Level
Level 7 - Year 1
Modules completed 
Neonatal Critical Care in Practice (LBR7516)
Reflective Applications of Neonatal Critical Care (LBR7518)
Broader Principles of Neonatal Critical Care (LBR7513)
Exit Awards
PG Cert Professional Practice (Neonatal Critical Care)

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

Level 7 - Year 3
Research Dissertation
MSc Professional Practice (Neonatal Critical 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 2018/19 course dates

Download the 2019/20 course dates

Teaching and assessment breakdown

  • One study day per week with three two-hour sessions
  • Neonatal OSCE
  • Defended poster
  • Portfolio with patchwork text

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.

Susan Ward-Smith

Senior Lecturer in Neonatal Nursing

Sue Ward-Smith is a Senior Lecturer in Neonatal Nursing.

Her career in neonatal care began in the 1980s, shortly after Sue qualified as an adult nurse. Accepting a placement on a neonatal unit, Sue began to specialise in the subject and completed a City & Guilds teaching course at the turn of the 1990s. She was then offered the opportunity to run the neonatal award at Birmingham City University, which led to a permanent offer of employment. Sue has also gained experience as a child field admissions tutor, expanding her experiences and broadening her skills.

The Dimensions in Health Care Neonatal Award has recruited staff from neonatal units across a wide geographical area, and continues to receive positive feedback from managers and students alike.  

Enquiries

For all course enquiries please contact the Neonatal Critical Care Pathway Leader, Sue Ward-Smith on:

Any applicant must be in a job that enables them to care for sick and premature newborn and must have a qualification that enables them to work within a neonatal unit setting as a qualified member of the team. A minimum of six months.

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