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Advanced Specialist Blood Transfusion Practice MSc/PGDip/PGCert

Course Description

Swansea University is the only UK university to offer a British Blood Transfusion Society approved degree in Advanced Specialist Blood Transfusion Practice.

This is a part-time postgraduate course in Specialist Blood Transfusion Practice that will be delivered via the Work-based Learning (WBL) route with students employed in a variety of heath care settings.

The Master's level course has been developed in collaboration with the British Blood Transfusion Society. Members of the British Blood Transfusion Society (BBTS) will work in partnership with colleagues from the College of Human and Health Sciences in providing appropriate support for these students.

The Advanced Specialist Blood Transfusion Practice programme team will provide academic support and facilitation of the WBL and the identified work-based mentor will provide guidance clinically.

Students can therefore be working in a setting distinct from the College and able to work at their own pace and react to learning opportunities in a real life setting.

The BBTS is a professional membership body which is committed to supporting transfusion professionals through the provision of career development and learning opportunities, thus assuring ongoing advancement of blood transfusion and its practitioners. It currently has in excess of 1600 members, representing transfusion professionals at all levels and locations.

Course Description

Whilst formal training and education has been available for doctors, clinical scientists and biomedical scientists specialising in transfusion medicine for some years, nurses and transfusion practitioners have had limited access to formal programmes of education in blood transfusion. The educational preparation of nurses and transfusion practitioners is critical to promoting safe and effective transfusion practice. The purpose of this degree in Advanced Specialist Blood Transfusion Practice is to prepare the practitioner to achieve the level of expertise that the BBTS has detailed in its curriculum framework for nurses and transfusion practitioners working in UK Blood Services and the wider NHS.

The programme of study reflects, in part, the content of the original framework for the BBTS Specialist Certificate in Blood Transfusion Science Practice (2008). The framework for the BBTS Specialist Certificate in Transfusion Science Practice for nurses and practitioners working in blood transfusion and associated specialties was compiled by representatives from the BBTS Professional Affairs and Education nursing sub-committee, the UK Blood Services and NHS hospital transfusion team representatives.

The format of work-based learning is well established within the College and concurs with modern learning philosophies, enabling students to learn in their working environment whilst being mentored by experts in their field of practice. This learning enables the employer to support students within their workplace. The student professionally develops whilst continuing to work in their workplace environment.

The CHHS will deliver the Advanced Specialist Blood Transfusion Practice programme in partnership with the BBTS, who will provide subject expertise and curriculum guidance.

This programme is offered on a part-time basis, and will normally take three years to complete.

The MSc programme in Advanced Specialist Blood Transfusion Practice comprises 6 modules (120 credits) and a dissertation (60 credits). The first year will comprise of three 20-credit core modules and the second year will comprise of two 30-credit composite modules. In the final year, students complete the dissertation module (60 credits).

PGDip students undertake the same first and second year modules, but do not undertake the dissertation.

PGCert students undertake the first year modules only.


Modules on the Advanced Specialist Blood Transfusion Practice programme typically include:

The Work Place Learning Journey
The History, Science and Practice of Blood Transfusion
Clinical Governance and its Impact on Managing Adverse Events in Blood Transfusion
Advanced Specialist Practice in Blood Transfusion
Advanced Clinical Governance and Contemporary Issues
Professional Practice in Advanced Specialist Blood Transfusion Practice

Who should take this programme?

Nurses and other allied health care professionals (e.g. ODPs) may be interested in studying for a Master's or postgraduate qualification in Advanced Specialist Blood Transfusion Practice.

Staff Expertise

The core team for the College of Human and Health Sciences have professional backgrounds in either haematology and/or work-based learning. The programme manager, Mrs Heulwen Morgan-Samuel, has extensive clinical experience in general medical nursing, and has developed expertise in the care of cancer patients, including palliative care, and teaches on many palliative care and oncology modules. She is also the designated lead for haematology nursing in the College. She has published a number of research studies in peer reviewed journals specifically on infection control for the immune-compromised patient and the role of the nurse lecturer in supporting students. Heulwen Morgan- Samuel’s research interests include factors that enhance learning within the clinical environment, student support, principles of care and education for oncology nurses. She has co-edited a revised edition of the Fundamentals of Nursing book which is aimed at the pre registration nursing curriculum designated.

Teaching and learning is based on the best research evidence available, and the programme manager will work in close collaboration with members of the British Blood Transfusion Society (BBTS). Their membership includes professionals from all levels across the transfusion community, maintaining clinical and academic currency, to support and enhance practice in this field. The aim of BBTS is to “play a leading role in safe and effective transfusion practice by delivering high quality education and training, setting standards and promoting research and development and innovation” (BBTS, 2015).

Employability Prospects

Healthcare professionals employed in the field of blood transfusion that require advanced level education in the speciality would benefit from this degree in Advanced Specialist Blood Transfusion Practice.

It is relevant to those wishing to build on their knowledge of blood transfusions within their existing career, but would also be beneficial to those currently working in an environment that manages blood transfusion who wish to focus and develop their career within this field of practice, as well as being a stepping stone for research study. The knowledge, understanding and skills developed would enhance students' expertise and would build on current practice within their own workplaces.

Visit the Advanced Specialist Blood Transfusion Practice MSc/PGDip/PGCert page on the Swansea University website for more details!

Entry Requirements

All applicants for the Advanced Specialist Blood Transfusion Practice programme should either have a first degree with a 2:2 classification or above. However, candidates with non-standard entry requirements are warmly welcomed and may be admitted on the basis of relevant work experience in their field of practice. or professional qualifications with requisite approval from the programme manager. For more information on entry requirements, please visit our website.

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