Advanced Certificate in Higher Education in Critical Care

The course will provide opportunity for healthcare professionals to be forward thinking practitioners who are armed with ability to utilise current evidence-based practice and to problem solve in a more autonomous manner. When healthcare practitioners are more knowledgeable, they can challenge practice in order to advance patient care. The course will allow students to grow and develop as questioning and autonomous practitioners. This course is designed to develop your knowledge and understanding and ability to demonstrate application and clinical competence which will be evidenced through Critical Care Steps 2 competencies and Critical Care Steps 3 competencies.

Study Mode
Duration Start Date Campus Campus Code
Part-time 9 Months March Glyntaff A
Part-time 9 Months September Glyntaff A
Study Mode
Duration Start Date Campus Campus Code
Part-time 9 Months March Glyntaff A

Course content will include the application of a range of real examples (scenarios) that the student would likely meet whilst working in critical care. These will range from simple to complex in order to reflect the type of scenarios the students will meet in practice. These will include moral, legal, ethical and professional issues, as well as the debating the differing ranges of therapeutic interventions that may be needed for particular condition/disease processes. Additionally, relationships with patients and relatives, physical assessment, managing the complexity of physiological changes, leadership and evaluating and facilitating change in service delivery will also be considered.

Analysis and problem-solving are integrated throughout the 3 modules as a result of the dynamic nature of critical care. Module assessments will enable students to select topics relevant to their own personal area of interest to help them develop their knowledge and understanding and ability to demonstrate application and clinical competence is evidenced through Critical Care Steps 2 competencies and Critical Care Steps 3 competencies, which are embedded within Module 1 and 2. A range of formative assessments, simulation, and portfolio development. Students will critically explore their own practice to aid personal and professional development through module 3. Students will learn collaboratively with staff from the course, practice educators and with each other.

Applied science to the assessment of the critically ill patient

The aim of this module is to enable students to explore the impact disease has on the critically ill patient by exploring and critically analysing the pathophysiology of ill health.  This module will take a system-based approach to explore the physiology and pathophysiology related to disease processes.

Advancing Assessment and Management of the Critically Ill

The aim of this module is to enable students, to develop advanced health assessment knowledge and skills to underpin current practice roles. This module is patient focused and explores the underpinning evidence base for assessment and monitoring techniques utilised to prioritise patient care delivery.

Contemporary Issues in Critical Care 

The aim of the module is for the student to acquire the theoretical understanding of a range of themes to inform contemporary critical care. The aim is to explore effective coordination of care with a focus on rehabilitation, ethics as well as psychosocial aspects relevant to caring for critically ill patients.


A range of teaching, assessment and learning activities will be used as a means of offering appropriately real life challenging learning opportunities, allowing flexibility and a range of resources that encourage engagement. Learning will be scaffolded week on week to build on and develop knowledge which can then be demonstrated in clinical practice. The course modules will be delivered in a flexible manner through a mixture of on campus and online virtual learning environment settings.


Modules will be sequential to avoid assessment bunching and a range of different assessment types will be adopted as requested by clinicians and to meet Steps 2 and Steps 3 competencies.


We have a fully equipped Emergency Department, ambulance and ITU room. The use of much of this equipment will require specific digital skills and the ability to trouble- shoot and problem solve. The equipment used by our students is very advanced and we will enhance their experiences and knowledge in a safe environment including using their digital fluency within their roles as healthcare professionals.


We regularly revalidate courses for quality assurance and enhancement

At USW, we regularly review our courses in response to changing patterns of employment and skills demand to ensure we offer learning designed to reflect today’s student needs and tomorrow’s employer demands.

If during a review process course content is significantly changed, we’ll write to inform you and talk you through the changes for the coming year. But whatever the outcome, we aim to equip our students with the skillset and the mindset to succeed whatever tomorrow may bring. Your future, future-proofed.

Applicants must be currently employed within a critical care environment and remain in that employment throughout the duration of the course. The Course Leader will use discretion to accept applications based on previous experience aligned to Step 1 and Step 2 competencies confirmed by line manager or education lead from the named Health Board.

Applicants can only study this course with the permission and support of their employers.

Applicants must hold professional registration with the NMC or HCPC and be active on that said register.  Applicants must have completed Step 1 competencies and will normally have 18 months critical care experience. Applicants with a minimum of 12 months experience will be considered if appropriate evidence of professional development is provided (e.g. completion of Step 1 competencies).

Applicants whose first language is not English are normally required to have IELTS 6.5 (preferably with a high mark in the written component).

Additional Requirements
Applicants must be currently employed within a critical care environment and remain in that employment throughout the duration of the course. Their employment must nominate them and support them for the duration of the course.

Full-time fees are per year. Part-time fees are per 20 credits. Once enrolled, the fee will remain at the same rate throughout the duration of your study on this course.

August 2023 - July 2024 Fees

  • Part-time UK: TBC

August 2024 - July 2025 Fees

  • Part-time UK:  £1140 per 20 credits

Student Perks

At the University of South Wales, you’re investing in so much more than a degree. We strive to provide our students with the best possible experience, no matter what you chose to study. Whether it’s access to top of the range mac books and PCs, state-of-the-art facilities packed with industry-leading equipment and software, masterclasses and events led by industry experts, or a wide range of clubs and societies to meet likeminded people, better tomorrows start with extra perks.

Each course also has their own unique student benefits to prepare you for the real word, and details of these can be found on our course pages. From global field trips, integrated work experience and free course-related resources, to funded initiatives, projects working with real employers, and opportunities for extra qualifications and accreditations - at USW your future, is future-proofed.

Click here to learn more about student perks at USW.

Additional Costs

As a student of USW, you’ll have access to lots of free resources to support your study and learning, such as textbooks, publications, online journals, laptops, and plenty of remote-access resources. Whilst in most cases these resources are more than sufficient in supporting you with completing your course, additional costs, both obligatory and optional, may be required or requested for the likes of travel, memberships, experience days, stationery, printing, or equipment.