Postgraduate Certificate Acute and Critical Care
The Postgraduate Certificate in Acute and Critical Care addresses the complex care required by critically ill patients. Patients can become acutely or critically ill at any time and the more ill the patient becomes, the more likely they are to be vulnerable, physiologically unstable and require complex care.
Acutely or critically ill patients exist throughout many settings in hospitals and beyond and there is a need to ensure the quality of care is delivered by knowledgeable health care practitioners.
This one-year critical care course is suitable if you work in ICU, CCU, HDU, A&E, theatres, medical/surgical assessment units (MAU/SAU), pre-hospital care and general acute wards.
Applied Physiology of Acute and Critical Illness - 20 credits
This module looks at critically analysing the impact of pathophysiology on acute and critically ill adult patients and to understand altered physiology. You will explore the consequences of acute and critical illness on homeostasis using a wide knowledge base of normal and altered physiology to understand key treatments. The module will also focus on cardio-respiratory physiology, neurological control and acute medical conditions.
Care and Management of the Acute and Critically Ill - 20 credits
You will critically evaluate the complexity of care issues in relation to acutely and critically ill adult patients and analyse the context of that care. The effectiveness of care implementation across a range of patient presentations will be analysed with consideration given to the processes of assessment, monitoring and intervention.
Legal and Professional Issues in Caring for the Acute and Critically Ill - 20 credits
In this module you will undertake a critical evaluation of service delivery systems from legal and professional perspectives. This includes the right to health care; upholding human rights; duty and standards of care; professional negligence and the application of these to professional practice in acute and critical care contexts. Topics such as life and death, euthanasia, legal definitions of death, organ and tissue donation are also considered in terms of the implications on practitioners caring for acute and critically ill patients.
You will study through a mixture of lectures, group work, patient scenarios, interactive tutorials and seminar presentations.
You will need to attend University one day a week, currently our students are taught on Fridays at 9am-5pm.
Modules are assessed through multiple-choice questions, viva voce (oral examination), assignments, Objective Structured Clinical Examinations (OSCE) and written evidence of personal and professional development.
The OSCEs will take place in May each year and be completed as part of the Care and Management of the Acute and Critically Ill module and involve undertaking a comprehensive patient history, examining a particular bodily system, and identifying a management and treatment plan for the individual.and involve undertaking a comprehensive patient history, examining a particular bodily system, and identifying a management and treatment plan for the individual.
Applied physiology of the critically ill
One-hour MCQ (March)
Two-hour short answer paper (April)
Legal and professional issues in caring for the critically ill
Viva based on assignment (May)
OSCEs (Objective, Structured Clinical Examination)
10-minute primary assessment
25-minute clinical assessment specific to your role (May)
Plus, a 3,000 word assignment for each of the above modules (May)
Our state of the art Clinical Simulation Centre replicates an acute care NHS environment, providing realistic clinical facilities for our nursing and midwifery students and qualified healthcare professionals.
- Dr Cheryl Phillips, critical care course leader
- Bridie Jones
- Dr Ray Higginson
- Dr Sian Jones
- Owena Simpson
- Meirion Williams
- Dr Paul Burrows
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 need to be registered with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC), or the HCPC (Health Care Professions Council) and have a relevant Honours degree.
The course welcomes international applicants and requires an English level of IELTS 6.0 with a minimum of 5.5 in each component or equivalent.
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: £800 per 20 credits
August 2024 - July 2025 Fees
Part-time UK: TBC
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.
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.
Funding to help pay for (or cover) course tuition fees and living costs
Whilst you’re studying, you’ll have two main financial obligations – tuition fees and living costs. There’s lots of financial help available from the University of South Wales and external funding sources, that may provide loans (which have to be paid back) and grants, scholarships and bursaries (that don't).
To learn about course fees, funding options, and to see if you are eligible for financial support, visit our Fees and Funding pages.
You will develop personally and professionally within your specialist clinical area. The Postgraduate Certificate Acute and Critical Care course will also enable you to develop a high level of skill in transferring complex theoretical knowledge into comprehensive, patient-centred and focused clinical practice.