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MSc Surgical Care Practice

Course Description

This innovative Masters degree is suitable for qualified practitioners who have been appointed to surgical care practice training posts within surgical directorates. Your role should encompass the provision of care and appropriate intervention within the perioperative environment, on wards and/or in clinics (usually within a specified surgical specialty).

The programme will provide you with a systematic and critical understanding of the breadth and depth of knowledge within specific areas of practice. You will develop core and specialist surgical skills and extend your knowledge and practice within the surgical care environment. This will include some operative procedures that will enable specialist practitioners to provide continuity of service and standards of care to patients in areas which do not necessarily need to be provided by medically qualified staff.


This MSc has been designed for those who:

- Exercise clinical reasoning and develop professional judgment in practice;
- Engage in the development of the professional group as a whole by sharing knowledge and understanding to influence and change practice;
- Respect and work in collaboration with colleagues;
- Lead where appropriate;
- Work with a degree of autonomy within the parameters of the surgical team.


Initially, you will be given a broad overview of surgical practice, covering areas such as clinical examination and diagnostic tests. You will also study and practice first assistant skills, basic surgical skills, and generic surgical care practice skills (including all of the pre, intra and post-operative patient phases). Research and leadership skills in relation to the role of a surgical care practitioner are also introduced and discussed.

In the second half of the programme, you will undertake a specialist negotiated module which will be tailored to your specific specialist practice requirements. For instance, if you work for an orthopaedic team then the module will be tailored to the specific requirements of that team, potentially considering themes such as understanding the pathophysiology of joint disease and strategies for their treatment, the use of implants in elective orthopaedic surgery and in relation to specific orthopaedic procedures, and knowledge of available options and surgical techniques.

A dissertation module focuses on a clinical project that will demonstrate leadership and innovation in a specific clinical issue.


The programme incorporates a blend of face-to-face study, independent learning and time spent working in practice.

For the time spent in university, the first half of the course will be delivered through block-weeks of face-to-face sessions. Eight block-weeks of face-to-face sessions will take place in the first year for full-time students studying five modules. Some reading time will be incorporated into these eight weeks to help you plan for the assessment and submission of work.

In the second half of the programme, there is a greater focus on independent learning. However, some face-to-face sessions will be planned and there will also be an attendance requirement for assessments.

Throughout the programme, you will undertake training in your place of employment, working alongside the multidisciplinary team to deliver safe and effective care to patients in the perioperative environment, on the wards and in the clinics both pre and post-operatively.

If you are studying on a full-time basis then a minimum of 33.5 hours per week, for approximately 37 weeks, will be spent working in practice.The national curriculum requires a minimum of 2,200 hours over the two years in combined clinical activities in and out of the theatre environment. A minimum of 1,100 hours has to be spent in the operating theatre environment.

In addition to the above, a half-day per week will be built into your annual timetable to facilitate self-directed learning and engagement with Edge Hill University’s virtual learning environment.


You will be taught by tutors from the Faculty of Health and Social Care who have the experience and expertise to deliver the applied elements of this MSc via lessons, seminars and discussions. In addition, teaching will be provided by associate lecturers who are either medically qualified, or employed as qualified surgical care practitioners.

You will require a mentor who must be a consultant surgeon for the practice elements of the programme, although it is expected that you will work with a variety of staff within the surgical team. This may include, for example, other consultant surgeons, registrars and junior medical staff, in addition to other surgical care practitioners (subject to availability). The mentor(s) must be willing and available to work alongside you in the clinical arena, with real patients, supervising and assessing your clinical activities.


In university, assessments will take the form of essays, written case studies, viva voce (oral) examinations, written examinations and observed structured clinical examinations (OSCEs).

In practice, you will be assessed using a variety of techniques, including:

- The Direct Observation of Procedural Skills (DOPS), where you will perform a specific practical procedure that is directly observed;
- Case-based Discussion (CbD), requiring the evaluation of your performance in the management of a patient. This will provide an indication of your competence in areas such as clinical reasoning, decision-making and the application of medical knowledge in relation to patient care;
- Clinical Evaluation Exercise (CEX), where a clinical encounter with a patient is evaluated to provide an indication of your competence in skills essential for outstanding clinical care.


On completion of this programme, you will gain a nationally recognised qualification that enables you to undertake the role of a surgical care practitioner.

You will also be able to demonstrate a number of core and specialist skills that will enable you to work effectively as part of the surgical team, work competently to practice within your field of speciality (e.g. cardiothoracic, colorectal, or trauma and orthopaedics) and to be able to function confidently, competently and autonomously.

Visit the MSc Surgical Care Practice page on the Edge Hill University website for more details!

Entry Requirements

You must be a registered practitioner employed in a suitable working environment. The minimum requirement is a lower second-class honours degree in a health or social care related subject, with evidence of at least 18 months post-registration experience.It is anticipated that all students joining this programme will have extensive subject knowledge or work experience in their chosen field as all of the assessments involve the relation of theory to practice. An interview will form part of the selection process.

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