Key Facts

Course Title: Medical Science (Clinical Audit)
Course type: PG Certificate, PG Diploma, MMedSci
Mode of Study:Part Time
Contact Details:Sophie Gibbons - 01782 734933
Website: Go to School homepage
Faculty: Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences
Subject Area: Medicine


The one year, part time Postgraduate Certificate offers an exciting opportunity for those working within clinical audit to pursue a taught postgraduate qualification. The overall aims of the course is to improve the quality and effectiveness of clinical audit projects and programmes; enhance the value of clinical audit at individual, team and organisation level and to support the professional development of those working in clinical audit – whether at clinical or non-clinical level.

Aims of the Course

The programme will:

  • explore clinical audit within wider health policy and regulatory contexts
  • promote greater understanding of governance, quality, assurance and the management of risk within and between healthcare organisations
  • equip students with an appreciation of system design, thereby enabling the critical review and further development of clinical audit frameworks
  • develop practical skills in clinical audit
  • enable participants to effectively engage and motivate others so as to bring about change and quality improvement
  • actively support the development of clinical audit within the NHS (or other, health-related) organisations

The PG Certificate will normally be available part time, over one year. However, it may be possible for students to take the PG Certificate over two years, by agreement. A variety of teaching methods will be used in both the face-to-face and online elements of the course. In addition to lectures, presentations and tutor-led discussion, there will be opportunities for students to undertake group exercises as well as complete an extended project relevant to their own role.

Entry Requirements

The programme is designed for graduate (or equivalent) professionals currently engaged in clinical audit. A clinical qualification is not necessary for entry to this course and it is expected that students will be drawn from a range of different roles. Entry routes will be flexible and have been designed to recognise appropriate prior experience. Please contact the School for detailed information and to check whether your own experience and professional development is appropriate for entry.

Course Content

Course Structure and Content

The PG Certificate requires successful completion of four, 15 credit modules. The modules are:

  • Governance and Assurance in Healthcare
  • Clinical Audit
  • Managing Change and Quality Improvement
  • Realising the Potential of Clinical Audit 


Course Content

Induction Session (including Study Skills and an Introduction to the University e-learning system)

Module One: Governance and Assurance in Healthcare

This module will enable participants to critically consider the governance requirements and regulatory frameworks which apply to healthcare organisations and within this the role and value of clinical audit as a source of assurance. The key focus will be on governance and healthcare in the UK, although the module will draw on governance developments in other sectors and countries as these have influenced the requirements placed on healthcare organisations in the UK.

Core topics include:

  • Understanding the NHS: Roles, Responsibilities and Relationships
  • What is Governance and Why Does It Matter?
  • Governance, Risk, & Assurance within the NHS
  • Assuring the Quality of Care: The Pivotal Role of Clinical Audit

Module Two: Clinical Audit

This module considers what constitutes robust clinical audit (at both strategy, programme and project level) and explores the value of clinical audit at all levels of an organisation - locating this within the wider quality framework for an organisation or team. The module also provides an opportunity for students to critically review the key stages within the clinical audit cycle, develop their skills in planning and undertaking audits and identify the key challenges involved in managing clinical audit projects and programmes.

Module Three: Managing Change and Quality Improvement

All healthcare organisations are dependent on their staff, so how do you get the best from them? This module explores the core concepts associated with change so as to enable students to effectively manage the behavioural and organisational issues associated with audit and quality improvement programmes. The aim is for students to (i) develop strategies and actions and (ii) be able to apply a range of different tools and techniques which together enable them to contribute to the successful delivery of sustainable change across professional, functional and hierarchical boundaries.

Module Four: Realising the Potential of Clinical Audit

This module requires students to bring together the knowledge and skills from earlier in their programme of study and to purposefully apply these in a well researched, extended project. Students will be required to critically examine a self-chosen empirical issue or, preferably, a specific work-related problem and develop a related action plan.


Course content is for guidance purposes only and may be subject to change.

Teaching and Assessment

The Postgraduate Certificate is assessed through coursework. This will involve completion of individual and group exercises together with submission of a formal assignment at the end of each module.

There will be a choice of assignment subjects for each module and assignment titles, submission deadlines and reading lists will be supplied at the start of the course.

Further Study

The PG Certificate in Medical Science (Clinical Audit) provides a bespoke introduction to clinical audit at postgraduate level and is a qualification in its own right.  However, should students wish to continue their studies, the course has been designed to act as a precursor to further academic study at Keele University and other institutions.  Students who successfully complete the PGCert can, for example, progress onto the Diploma or Masters in Medical Science within the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences at Keele.

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.