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Advanced Surgical Practice (MSc/PgDip/PgCert)

n/a (full-time) / n/a (part-time) / via e-Learning: for PgDip/PgCert, 18 months part-time; for MSc, 2 years part-time (distance / e-Learning)

Course Aims

To offer knowledge and expertise to enhance evidence-based practice and to be able to teach others, especially from an interprofessional perspective. The course does not attempt to incorporate all surgical specialities but draws together a collection of fundamental information in an e-Learning format. The course provides a transition in knowledge between theory and the students own clinical practice. Emphasis is placed on the general principles of surgical practice rather than on the management of specific conditions.

Special Features

Course Description

An e-Learning, inter-professional course for Registered Nurses, Doctors, Operating Department Practitioners and all other healthcare professionals. The taught component introduces the student to the multifaceted nature of caring for surgical patients, from admission through to discharge. The modular approach allows students to evaluate care from an evidence-based perspective, starting with admission and preoperative preparation through to postoperative care and discharge. Professional issues, including clinical governance and inter-professional practice, will be covered. Some of the modules are core; others allow student choice. The e-Learning assessments are structured to allow students to evaluate the topic in relation to their practice areas of interest and professional base.

There are approximately forty places are offered each year and the majority of students are self-funded; however some students obtain awards from charities and trusts. The course takes two years to complete inclusive of the dissertation component (9 months for the Postgraduate Certificate level; 9 months for the Postgraduate Diploma level and a further six months for the dissertation stage) spanning just over two academic years.

Assessment: Students are assessed through six modular assignments (three leading to a Certificate and six leading to the Diploma). In addition to successfully completing these assessments, MSc students must complete a dissertation.

Course Structure

Students will access the modules through the medium of Learning Central which is Cardiff University’s Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) which delivers the course materials. This is accessible via all forms of computer (desk top / lap top / tablet).

Approximately 10-15 hours per week required on independent learning and assessment. As the programme is purely e-Learning there are no direct contact hours with the programme team but to support students in their learning, the course team are available via discussion board,email, video calls & telephone.

Available Modules

 Skills Acquired

Enhanced understanding of evidence based medicine through academic appraisal of the relevant resources.

Career Prospects

Valued added to CV with many students reporting that attainment and / or current participation on the MSc lead directly to promotion. Many students were also stimulated to pursue academic careers via further study up to PhD.

Student Views

'The flexibility of study and the distance learning nature, the very supportive tutors as well as the interaction with other participants helped to relieve any stress related to assignment submissions and promote more understanding of the subjects studied.'

2011 Graduate

Read the full testimonial

'The course offered by Cardiff University in comparison to other similar courses in the UK allowed me to pursue the same aims in a part time nature in conjunction with my day job as a trainee surgeon. The flexibility of study and the distance learning nature, the very supportive tutors as well as the interaction with other participants helped to relieve any stress related to assignment submissions and promote more understanding of the subjects studied.

'The material taught through the course has been very well constructed to promote “learning how to learn” attitude, highlight concepts and encourage evidence based medicine. I would say that these are the very important skills that I have gained through the course rather than a bulk of memorised facts and I find myself using them in my everyday surgical practice. '

Entry Requirements

Suitable applicants should:

PLEASE NOTE that all students enrolling for this programme must be in relevant paid employment, i.e. in a relevant clinical area. If you are unsure of the required detail of this specification please contact the programme team for advice.

 Applicants whose first language is not English must satisfy the Cardiff University General Entrance Requirements including the English Language requirements*. Please see our English language requirements webpages for further information.

*Applicants who do not meet the qualification criteria listed under the English language requirements in the above link should contact the course team to discuss whether alternative evidence of English language competence may be sufficient (e.g. evidence of successful completion of a first or subsequent degree entirely in the medium of English, for a minimum of one year).

Students should have taken the IETLS no more than TWO years BEFORE the proposed date of entry to the University.

There is no formal deadline for this course. However, it is advised that applications are submitted before the 31 July 2015.

Available Funding

There are limited scholarships available for international/overseas students through the International Office. Please refer to the information on this page for further detail.

Next intake: September each year

School Contact

Name: Mr Billy McWilliams  

Telephone: +44 (0)29 2074 3216 



School Website:

More information