2024/25 entry

CPD Advancing the Critical Care Practitioner

Level 7 (postgraduate), 30 Credits

Start dates
Course length
City campus

Course cost

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Course aim

Following a successful bid, LJMU is able to offer funding from Health Education England (HEE) to students and/or the Trusts they work for in order to complete the course. The funding covers the course fee.

This module, in conjunction with the Level 7 Research module, is ideal for those working in critical care who wish to complete a critical care programme which is recognised as meeting the National Standards for Adult Critical Care Nurse Education (2016) for post-qualification critical care nurses.

Course content

Course under review

A team of research active, clinically credible, nurse lecturers and professors teach on this programme. The content of the module is aligned to the Critical Care Educational Standards. In addition to this, research underpins the curricula.

By studying at LJMU, you will receive an excellent educational experience at postgraduate level. The module is continually evolving in line with current clinical practice and educational practices, yet is a well-established programme. Despite being 80% online this module still offers a significant amount of support for students who may find it a challenge to study whilst working, but wish to attain this qualification and reach their potential.

You will be assisted in developing your academic skills and broadening your knowledge base to support your professional practice. This will help to ensure that you can make a real difference to your patients.

In addition, you may wish to use this as a return to academic study, or as a way to move onto Masters level study on a postgraduate degree such as MSc Advanced Healthcare Practice or MA Nursing. This module is designed to advance the knowledge and skills of the critical care nurse working in practice.

At LJMU, we offer a wealth of personalised support, in particular for those who are working alongside studying which can often be a challenge.

You will explore the following themes:

  • Anatomy, physiology and pathophysiology of the major systems
  • Pharmacology and pharmacokinetics
  • Critical Care treatments and interventions
  • Research and audit
  • Law and ethics
  • Leadership and management

Teaching and learning

This module is taught using a blended learning approach, utilising an 80/20 split of online/face-to-face lectures. Scenario based learning is central to the module and students will be taken on a patient journeys in order to understand and explore the deteriorating patient whilst also discussing and determining the different options available in the management and treatment of patients.

The Critical Care module of the MSc pathway has opened doors to even more opportunities. I have enjoyed the lectures and tutorials, learning about other specialties within Critical Care in Cheshire & Merseyside from my peers. Completing the portfolio and academic work hasn't been a chore as it's so relative to our everyday practice.

This is a really exciting time in the education of critical care staff. Through funding support from HEE and adaptations to the teaching approach for our Critical Care Modules we can reach out to more critical care nurses than ever before. You could study with us from as far afield as Stranraer or Southampton - the blended learning approach means geographical location is not an issue. Furthermore, by bring critical care nurses from all over the country together we hope to learn from each others experiences in order to enhance discussion and your learning experience. Dan Cooper, Module Leader

Entry requirements

Qualification requirements

  • Alternative qualifications considered

    In order to be considered for this course, you must:

    • be able to demonstrate evidence of, at least, Level 6 study
    • hold a professional registration in nursing and be active on the NMC register
    • successfully complete a period of preceptorship which includes completion of Step 1 competency attainment prior to commencing a critical care programme (ideally two years critical care experience)
    • complete a minimum of 18 clinical hours per week in a critical care area during the course of the programme
    • have a letter from your employer confirming support of your studies (if required)

    Upon application a short personal statement is required which will demonstrate that all of the above entry requirements have been met.

How to apply

To apply for this programme, you are required to complete an LJMU CPD application form. You will need to provide details of your qualifications and curent employment.

Click on the Apply Direct button at the top of the page and complete the LJMU CPD online application form.


You will be assessed via:

  • A three hour online examination

  • A professional reflective portfolio (1,500-2,000 words)

  • A clinical audit/audit proposal (around 2,000 words)

  • A practice based competency assessment (in line with the Critical Care Step Competencies)

CPD award

This Continuing Professional Development course can be studied within the BSc (Hons) Health and Social Care Development award framework or as a single CPD.

The University may make changes to a programme of study or module where such changes are deemed to be beneficial to students, are minor in nature and unlikely to impact negatively upon students or become necessary due to circumstances beyond the control of the University.

Further guidance on programme changes.