Key Facts

Course Title: Critical Care Practice
Course type: Postgraduate Certificate
Mode of Study:Part Time
Contact Details:Course Administration Office
Website: Go to School homepage
Faculty: Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences
Subject Area: Nursing


The Critical Care environment is a constantly changing field with emerging technologies and therapies to aid patient recovery through often life-threatening illness. This course offers an exciting new opportunity for graduate nurses to achieve a nationally recognized transferable Award in Critical Care Practice at academic Level 7 and aligns with the National Standards for Critical Care Education and Competency Framework (CC3N, 2016).

You will be provided with the appropriate underpinning knowledge and understanding to inform your practice to align with 'Step 2 & 3' of the National Competency Framework for Adult Critical Care Nurses (CC3N, 2015) which will enable you to demonstrate competent performance in all the course content activities specified without direct supervision built upon relevant evidence based knowledge, intuition and established practice.

Aims of the Course

The aim of the Critical Care course is to develop a systematic understanding of knowledge and develop a critical awareness of current problems and/ or new insights in their area of specialist practice, whilst developing analytical skills in assessment, planning, implementation and evaluation of critical care practice for patients and their families.

This module has been aligned to the National Standards for Critical Care Nurse Education ' Steps of Competence' Step 2 & 3 (Critical Care Networks National Nurse Leads (CC3N, 2015). 

Entry Requirements

Normally hold a professional registration with an appropriate body and working within a care setting relevant to the module.

Course Content




Module 1

NUR-40045 Critical Care Practice

30 Credits

Module 2

NUR-30163 Clinical Practice 

15 Credits

Module 3

NUR-40039 Introduction of Clinical Effectiveness

15 credits



NUR- 40045 Critical Care Practice will include:

  • Systems based learning to include physiology & pathophysiology of the respiratory, cardiovascular, renal, immunology, and endocrine systems.
  • Nursing and medical management to include invasive and non-invasive support of the respiratory and cardiovascular system
  • Nursing and medical management of the common issues causing admission to critical care.
  • Critical review of pertinent literature and evidence including care bundles.
  • Management of acute situations including life support skills, human factors and simulation.
  • Assessment of health and diagnostic reasoning.
  • Psychological care of the critically ill patient and their families to include delirium, PTSD, sensory deprivation, overload and sleep disorder.
  • Interprofessional working to include communication with patients, families and multidisciplinary team.
  • Reflective practice, professional & contemporary issues in critical care.
  • Political, legal, ethical, sociological and moral dilemmas for the critical care nurse.

For further module information regarding NUR-30163 Clinical Practice and NUR-40039 Introduction to Clinical Effectiveness please click on the links in the table above. 

Teaching and Assessment

The principal learning and teaching methods used in the programme may include:

  • Lectures, seminars and workshops: The core of each module delivery mode is a series of face to face tutor-led or group-led seminars or workshops.
  • Web-based learning using the Keele Learning Environment (KLE), Blackboard.
  • Group work and peer support. All modules use focused group work and class discussions within face to face tutor time.
  • Directed independent study. Most of the study hours for each module comprise independent learning by expecting participants to add depth and breadth to their knowledge of topics, to practice skills and to reflect on critical incidents and their practice.

Additional Costs

Apart from additional costs for text books, inter-library loans and potential overdue library fines we do not anticipate any additional costs for this postgraduate programme.