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Adult Critical Care BSc (Hons) / Postgraduate Certificate in; MSc; Professional Certificate

  • Level(s) of Study: Professional
  • Start Date(s): Certificate March/May each year / BSc/ MSc September/October each year
  • Duration: Certificate 1 year part time: BSc and MSc 2-5 years part-time
  • Study Mode(s): Part-time
  • Campus: Clifton Campus
  • Entry Requirements:
    More information


The Adult Critical Care (Post Registration) Courses have been developed with Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust (NUH) Critical Care Leads and NTU School of Social Sciences staff. The principle aims for this course is to provide post-qualification continuing professional development pertinent to the students’ area of work and enhance the knowledge skills and values of staff within critical care. These are core attributes required to develop and deliver a workforce, with the capabilities to deliver a safe and world-class service to Adult Critical Care patients.

What you’ll study

The curriculum is directly based on the National Standards for Adult Critical Care Nurse Education (2016), the National Critical Care Competencies (CC3N 2015) together with other relevant elements from National guidelines, such as Obstetric and National Trauma Competencies (2017).

The content will include theory on the physiology and treatment techniques of various critical care practices based on a system based approach. The taught elements of the course will be via a variety of facilitative teaching techniques in order to address the differing learning styles of the students. These include, evidence based lecture style, scenario based learning and the inclusion of clinical skills simulation. The evidence base for the Critical Care practices and research will be critically analysed by the student and incorporated into the taught elements together with the assessment process and as a self -directed process in order to complete elements of the National Competencies. The learning environment and level of teaching will be the same for each level of study (post registration certificate, (level 6) or post graduate (level 7) The level of study and therefore attainment will be differentiated at assessment only, students will be assessed at either Level 6 or 7.

All adult critical care courses contain the 2 core modules listed below


Critical Care Module 1 – 30 credits

This module focuses on the assessment, management and care of the critically ill patient with underlying respiratory pathophysiology, cardiac compromise, acute kidney injury and care of the patient in special circumstances

Critical Care Module 2– 30 credits

After studying this module you should have a critical understanding of knowledge and demonstrate in practice the assessment, management and care of the critically ill adult patient with underlying gastrointestinal, liver, biliary and neurological pathophysiology


The course comprises of 2 taught modules of 30 credits each

  • Critical Care 1
  • Critical Care 2


The course comprises of 4 taught modules of 30 credits each

  • Evidence in clinical practice
  • This module recognises the importance of clinical expertise as key to interpreting and applying research and professional evidence into practice. During this module students will learn how to find evidence and critically analyse theoretical, scientific, and ethical aspects of their chosen sources. Students will consider how evidence can inform proactive and make credible recommendations for change.

  • Critical Care 1
  • Critical Care 2
  • Independent study
  • This module provides you with the opportunity for originality and intellectual independence into specific area of your practice. Students will be able to choose between an impact study (e.g. service evaluation or audit), a clinical change project, or critical review of practice.


The course comprises of 5 taught modules

  • Research in nursing, health, and social care
  • This module explores contemporary issues and debates in health research. The module will prepare students with the knowledge and skills required to undertake research in their chosen field of professional practice.

  • Adult Critical Care 1
  • Adult Critical Care 2
  • Option Module
  • This is student choice pertinent to their area of practice. Please see module specification document for the chose module.

  • Independent study
  • This module provides you with the opportunity for originality and intellectual independence into specific area of your practice. Students will be able to choose between an impact study (e.g. service evaluation or audit), a clinical change project, or critical review of practice.

How you’re taught

Delivery Mode

The teaching strategy is multi-modal and  adopts a blended approach, with a clear commitment to face-to-face teaching and learning supported by online learning materials, small group discussions, presentations and practical exercises. Lectures will develop students’ subject knowledge and understanding and will aim to build on previous learning.

Throughout the course, each module will encourage students to not only examine the knowledge and skills requirements for advanced and competent practice, it will also explore specific themes, based upon experiences in practice. In this way students will be able to integrate learning across the “theory and practice” divide and to emphasise the importance of the practice component. Where appropriate, learning on the course will be led and enhanced by the contributions of external professional staff with specialist expertise. This co-delivery of education will enable learners to benefit from both clinical and academic expertise to augment their learning and provides a symbiotic approach to professional development.

Clinical Area

Working in an Adult Critical Care areas is a compulsory component of the course to enable you to develop the necessary competencies required for the course. You will spend time in your clinical areas working with your dedicated Clinical supervisor who will guide and develop your skills and knowledge and assess you in practice alongside other competent critical care staff .

You will continue to work your standard shift patterns this will include unsociable hours including days, nights, weekends and bank holidays.

How you’re assessed

  • Critical evaluation
  • Critical reflection
  • Case study analysis
  • Skills stations
  • Observations of practice - observations may be carried out by mentors, managers or peers depending on the level and context of the module
  • Multi Choice Questions (MCQ)
  • Clinical Competency assessed against the step 2/3 National Competencies for Adult Critical Care – via portfolio.
  • Observed structured clinical examination (OSCE)
  • Viva  - an academic oral assessment which looks for an understanding of caring for the critically ill.

Campus and facilities

The purpose-built Health & Allied Professions (HAP) Centre is home to our world-class teaching, practice, research and scholarship in the Institute of Health and Allied Professions (IHAP).

Entry requirements

  • Applicants will be registered nurses or healthcare professionals currently working in a Adult critical care healthcare environment ( if any doubt exists as to whether the clinical area will meet the clinical competency requirements a discussion should be held with the course lead regarding the possibility of a clinical placement )
  • Applicants for the Professional certificate or BSc must have a level 5 qualification, applicants for the Post graduate certificate or MSc must have a level 6 qualification or evidence of the ability to study at Level 6
  • Applicants should have at least 1 years critical care experience
  • Applicants must be supported by the managers and have an appropriate clinical supervisor to assess their competencies

Fees and funding

Level of studyCourse cost

*Please note that if you are considering a course that runs over more than one year, the tuition fee stated is for the first year of study. The course fee for the second year may be subject to annual review.

Getting in touch

For more advice and guidance, you can contact our Student Financial Support Service.

Tel: +44 (0)115 848 2494

How to apply

Ready to join us? Then apply as soon as you can. Please contact the inbox for your registration form. Make sure you check the entry requirements above carefully before you do.

This course is not open to international students.

Keeping up to date

After you've applied, we’ll be sending you important emails throughout the application process - so check your emails regularly, including your junk mail folder. You can get more information and advice about applying to NTU in our postgraduates’ guide.

Good luck with your application!

Open days

The School of Social Sciences holds open events throughout the year. Come along and learn more about our courses, speak to programme leaders and find out about studying with the School. To find out more about these events visit the School of Social Sciences website.

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