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Course content

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.

Structure

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. 

Core modules:

Research Governance and Evidence Based Practice
Advanced Management - Cardiovascular System
Quality and Safety
Advanced Management - Respiratory System
Professional Practice and Management Issues
Clinical Management of Specialities
Dissertation - Critical Care

Teaching

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.

Assessment

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 

Career Prospects

Successful completion of this course will add value to your CV. Graduates of the course have reported that it led directly to promotion, and many students were also stimulated to pursue academic careers via further study up to PhD.

Visit the Critical Care MSc page on the Cardiff University website for more details!

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