PGCert Advanced Cardiothoracic Care


Course Length:1-3 Years Part-Time
Start Dates:September 2020, January 2021
Department:Faculty of Health, Social Care and Medicine
Location:Edge Hill University
Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital

Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital logo

Please note, the first intake to this programme is for September 2020 entry.

  • Join a programme delivered by a partnership of academic staff at Edge Hill University and clinicians at Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital;
  • Gain an advanced understanding of cardiothoracic care underpinned by expertise in clinical nursing leadership;
  • Work towards the role of advanced practitioner and gain the skills, knowledge and experience required to address patient needs in the clinical contexts of cardiothoracic care.

This Postgraduate Certificate prepares practitioners for the innovative, specialist and advanced roles in cardiothoracic practice which are emerging in line with the NHS vision of delivering high quality, effective and compassionate care in the 21st century. It has been designed for qualified staff from a variety of professional backgrounds, including nurses and operating department practitioners, as well as allied health professionals such as cardiac catheterisation laboratory technicians, respiratory physiologists, physiotherapists and bioscience physiologists. Demonstrating an agile and responsive approach to learning, the programme will develop and embed additional skills and knowledge and enable you to provide expert cardiothoracic care, deliver effective supervision and work towards advanced practice.

In Depth

What will I study?

You will have a choice of routes within this programme, enabling you to focus on either the journey of patients who have ongoing cardiothoracic disease requiring long-term care, or patients who present in need of care in cardiac catheterisation laboratories and theatres.

As such, you will focus on patient safety and the prevention of harm or specialise in interventions and surgery of a cardiothoracic nature.

An additional core module sets the context of advanced practice, while a further elective choice is drawn from the faculty’s professional development portfolio.

How will I study?

The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, seminars, group discussion and case study examination.

Each module requires attendance of between 5-10 days, with additional support available via a virtual learning environment.

How will I be assessed?

You will be assessed through a combination written assessments, presentations and portfolios.

Who will be teaching me?

The programme team comprises frontline clinicians from Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital and academic experts from Edge Hill University. The research activities and educational roles of the programme team are varied and link to both theory and practice. A range of nationally and internationally recognised clinical experts will also be drawn upon to inform and enhance the learning experience.

A Great Study Environment

Edge Hill University

The Faculty of Health, Social Care and Medicine is one of the leading providers of education and training for health and social care professionals in the North West of England.

Offering some of the best facilities for health, social care and medicine students in the country, the outstanding teaching and learning resources include leading edge clinical skills facilities, an 860-seat lecture theatre, and a variety of teaching rooms and social learning spaces.

The faculty is home to a thriving research culture which includes a series of staff and student conference programmes, guest lectures and seminars, as well as active research groups.

Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital

Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital is a leading national cardiothoracic care provider of integrated healthcare services for patients and their families across community and acute care settings. It was rated outstanding in its community health services for adults in the Care Quality Commission’s inspection report published in September 2016.

The Education Centre at Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital comprises seminar, classroom and lecture theatre spaces, in addition to clinically equipped skill rooms (app supported) with simulation devices, mannequins and mock bed spaces.


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HEA9055Context of Advanced Practice (20 credits)

Context of Advanced Practice is designed to provide a strong foundation to prepare you to operate safely and purposely at an advanced and increasingly autonomous level within your area of practice. Therefore, professional, legal and ethical accountabilities will be explored as will the necessary approaches to governance, risk management, and practice development. These themes will subsequently be incorporated into a critical examination of the constituents of undertaking therapeutic interventions with individuals’ families and carers.

Assessment: Coursework: 100%.

You will select one of the following modules:

HEA4501Safe from Harm (20 credits)

Safe from Harm will support you in the development of knowledge relating to patient safety and the prevention from harm. The module aims to equip staff, as part of the wider multidisciplinary workforce, with a deeper appreciation of national drivers in patient safety and local ‘safe from harm’ initiatives. These include governance and quality, which both have the potential to impact upon care. Attention will also be paid to common risks in practice, with consideration given to planning their avoidance and managing risk to avoid complication through appropriate action planning.

Assessment: Coursework: 50%, Practical(s): 50%.

HEA4502Surgical Interventions in Cardiothoracic Theatre and Cardiac Catheterisation Laboratory Settings (20 credits)

Surgical Interventions in Cardiothoracic Theatre and Cardiac Catheterisation Laboratory Settings has been developed in recognition of how surgically based interventions of an innovative nature continue to be developed and practised in specialised cardiothoracic centres. The module will support you in the development of knowledge pertaining to specific interventions and innovations in cardiothoracic peri and intra operative care. The module equips you with a deeper appreciation of the emergent knowledge associated with advancements in cardiothoracic surgical care, with the intention of applying knowledge and understanding to practice and enhancing outcomes for patients.

Assessment: Coursework: 100%.

You will study a further 20 credits chosen from either HEA4034 Negotiated Learning Shell or an alternative module from the Faculty of Health, Social Care and Medicine’s CPD portfolio (subject to agreement with the programme leader).

HEA4034Negotiated Learning Shell (20 credits)

Negotiated Learning Shell provides an opportunity for you to study a topic or work-related issue at Masters level. It involves you identifying the chosen area for study before developing and negotiating a learning contract, which will outline the what, how, when, where and why of the study period as well as the means of assessment to showcase the acquired learning.

Assessment: Coursework: 100%.


You can expect to receive your timetable at enrolment. Please note that while we make every effort to ensure that timetables are as student-friendly as possible, scheduled teaching can take place on any day or evening of the week.


Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of our published course information, however our programmes are subject to ongoing review and development. Changing circumstances may necessitate alteration to, or the cancellation of, courses.

Changes may be necessary to comply with the requirements of accrediting bodies, revisions to subject benchmarks statements, to keep courses updated and contemporary, or as a result of student feedback. We reserve the right to make variations if we consider such action to be necessary or in the best interests of students.

Entry Criteria

Entry Requirements

To join this Postgraduate Certificate, you should have a degree equivalent to UK second class honours (2:2 or above) in a health or social care related subject.

You should also be registered with a UK Professional Body, hold a health-related professional qualification and be an experienced practitioner, typically with at least two years in practice (or equivalent).

To join this programme, you should have access to an appropriate practice environment in a suitable clinical area. For further advice on this, please contact either the Clinical Programme Lead or the Academic Programme Lead.

An interview will form part of the selection process.

Recognition of Prior Learning

Edge Hill University recognises learning gained elsewhere, whether through academic credit and qualifications acquired from other relevant courses of study or through recognition of an individual’s professional and employment experience (also referred to as ‘experiential learning’).

Previous learning that is recognised in this way may be used towards meeting the entry requirements for a programme and/or for exemption from part of a programme. It is your responsibility to make a claim for recognition of prior learning. For guidance, please consult the University’s Recognition of Prior Learning Policy and contact the faculty in which you are interested in studying.

Career Prospects

What are my career prospects?

The programme is designed to support practitioners in working towards the role of advanced practitioner to address patient needs in the clinical contexts of critical care.

Successful completion of the course will enhance your ability to provide expert care, clinical nursing leadership and effective supervision.

The programme is mapped to the Faculty of Medical Leadership and Management Standards as well as to the General Medical Council’s Standards for Leadership and Management. The evidence collected within your reflective portfolio can therefore be used to support you through the appraisal process and future re-validation.


Tuition Fees

Tuition fees for studying on this Postgraduate Certificate are £36 per credit for UK and EU students enrolling on the programme in academic year 2020/21, i.e. £720 per 20 credit module.

A total of 60 credits must be studied in order to complete this Postgraduate Certificate.

The University may administer a small inflationary rise in tuition fees in subsequent academic years as you progress through the course.

Financial Support

For comprehensive information about the financial support available to eligible UK and EU students joining postgraduate courses at Edge Hill University, together with details of how to apply for potential funding, please view our Money Matters 2020/21 guide at


How to Apply

Apply directly to Edge Hill University.

Download the Health and Social Care Professional Development pathway application form and notes for guidance (pdf).

Should you accept an offer of a place to study with us and formally enrol as a student, you will be subject to the provisions of the regulations, rules, codes, conditions and policies which apply to our students. These are available at

Get in Touch

If you have any questions about this programme, please contact:

  • Faculty of Health, Social Care and Medicine Student Recruitment and Marketing Support Team
  • Tel: 01695 657249
  • Email:

If you would like to talk to the programme leaders about the course in more detail, please contact:


Course Changes

Expand All This page outlines any material changes to course content, programme structure, assessment methods, entry criteria, and modes of study or delivery, implemented in the past two years.

20th June 2019 - Related Courses