Continuing Professional Development

Specialist Bowel Cancer Screening Practitioner Programme

Level 7, 20 Credits

Course aim

This unique programme will equip you with advanced level skills and insights on the latest developments in bowel cancer screening, treatments and support. 

About one in 20 people in the UK will develop bowel cancer during their lifetime, making it the third most common cancer in the UK. It is the second leading cause of cancer deaths with over 16,000 people dying from it each year. 

LJMU’s Specialist Bowel Cancer Screening Practitioner Programme was developed in partnership with the Mersey School of Endoscopy at the Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen NHS Trust in response to the National Bowel Cancer Screening initiative announced in 2005. It provides practitioners with a means to ensure earlier diagnosis of the disease amongst patients; regular bowel cancer screening has been shown to reduce the risk of death from the disease by 16 percent. 

The programme is the only one of its type in England and, since it was launched in 2007, SSPs from across England have successfully worked through the course.

Course length

The programme is delivered over 10 months, with a total of 400 hours of learning. 

You will spend 10 days at LJMU, completing: 

  • an introductory 5 day block of formal education 
  • plus a further 5 day block of formal education in the middle of the programme

This programme is offered twice a year, with intakes in September and March.

Course cost

The cost for this CPD module is currently unavailable.


A minimum of 80% attendance is required for successful completion of this programme.

Course content

This course has been recently revised and updated to accurately reflect the latest developments within this specialised field. 

During the programme, you will examine: 

  • bowel cancer and polyps: epidemiology, aetiology, pathology, investigations, diagnosis, treatments and outcomes 
  • the NHS Cancer Plan 
  • the National Bowel Cancer Screening Programme: its development, implementation management and evaluation strategies 
  • NICE / BSG guidelines
  • other gastrointestinal disorders that may influence presentation and endoscopy findings 
  • medical, psychological and social problems that may influence the diagnostic and treatment pathway
  • total case management of patients, including history taking, assessment, decision-making and evaluation
  • patient preparation for diagnostic investigations, including bowel preparation, consent for colonoscopy or alternative diagnostic investigations and fitness for sedation
  • understanding colonoscopy reports 
  • decision-making following colonoscopy, including advanced communication, interpersonal skills, barriers to effective communication, breaking bad news, patient empowerment and patient advocacy

You will be assessed via a competency-based portfolio, consisting of: 

  • 2 x 3000 word essays (80% of the mark) 
  • An unseen written exam (20% of the mark)
Entry requirements

In order to be considered for this course, you must be in post as a Bowel Cancer Screening Practitioner.

You are also expected to:

  • have achieved a pass grade in a Diploma level programme, or can satisfy the programme team of their ability to study at this level
  • have full written support from their employer to undertake the programme, including protected time        
  • have a named designated facilitator and a deputy to provide supervision and support
CPD award

This Continuing Professional Development can be studied within the MSc Advanced Healthcare Practice (Clinical) award framework or as a single CPD.

How to apply

Please apply using the online application form selecting Postgraduate Taught from the Level of Entry drop down.

Further information

Further information is available in our CPD for healthcare professionals brochure.

Faculty Admissions Team
Faculty of Health
Liverpool John Moores University
79 Tithebarn Street
Liverpool L2 2ER

T: 0151 231 5829

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

Important info about this course