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Advances in Paediatric Critical Care I HEA4510


This module forms part one of a two-part PGCert in Paediatric Critical Care.

Module code:HEA4510
Module credits:30
Cost for new students:£1500 per module for 2024 / 2025 academic year

If your tuition fee is being paid by a sponsor or you are a sponsor paying a student’s fee, you are required to send a copy of a purchase order to

For further guidance please visit: Sponsored students – Edge Hill University

Who is this module for?

This module will provide students with a solid foundation for all the major elements of contemporary Level 3 Paediatric Critical Care (Paediatric Intensive Care – PIC) and is intended to advance the practice of those professionals working within this area of specialist practice.

All applicants will fulfil the following criteria:

BSc (Hons) in a nursing or health related subject (normally 2:2 minimum classification).
Registered Child Nurse, or equivalent, with the Nursing and Midwifery Council OR
Registered Adult Nurse with the Nursing and Midwifery Council AND a minimum of 2 years working in paediatrics.
Registered Allied Health Professional with an appropriate professional body, with a minimum of working 2 years in paediatrics
Current employment within a Paediatric Intensive Care Unit Level 2/3 care, with a minimum of 12 months experience (18 months for new graduate)
Successful completion of Paediatric Life Support (PLS) within the last 12 months.

Applicants without an honours degree but who otherwise fulfil the entry criteria above may be admitted to the programme if they can demonstrate their ability to succeed at Level 7 study by:

  • Being a practitioner, in an appropriate clinical area, who demonstrates extensive practice experience within a PCC setting (as captured in applicants revalidation portfolio or other similar professional portfolio).
  • Demonstrating, through their professional portfolio, a comprehensive knowledge of the discipline and an in-depth awareness of current issues, equivalent to that of degree level study, relating to either a health or social care setting.
  • Evidencing, at interview, (i) skills of critical analysis and evaluation through discussion or from previous academic study and (ii) their ability to learn in a flexible manner, utilising autonomy, and self-direction.

Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) requirements

Work-based learning in students’ place of work is a requirement of the course, therefore all applicants must have a reference from their employer which confirms a declaration of good character and evidence of a current enhanced DBS.

What are the key aims of the module?

Completion of this module will contribute to becoming a highly skilled and qualified member of the PIC workforce, enhancing the quality improvement in services of Paediatric Critical Care Level 3 and the patient experience and quality of care of those children and families that require Paediatric Intensive Care

The aligning the module’s learning outcomes and clinical competencies with the PCCS Standards for Nurse Education (2017), PCCS Quality Standards (2021) states 70% of staff working within PIC should have a formal specialist qualification in this field, thus ensures quality assurance and promotes patient safety within the specialist field.

In addition to this the module has also been aligned with the findings of the National Paediatric Critical Care and Surgery in Children review, NHS England, and NHS improvement (2019), key recommendations of this report state the importance of children being cared for within PIC by specialists in care for critically ill children.

The module will support staff within the Northwest Critical Care Network to be competent in supporting children receiving critical care. Finally, the module supports the newly published recommendations of the National Paediatric Critical Care GIRFT Programme National Speciality Report (2022).

The module curriculum is aligned with the Paediatric Critical care Society (PCCS) standards for education in Paediatric Critical Care Level 3 specialist Nursing (2017). In addition to meeting the PCCS Quality Standards for the Care of Critically Ill or Injured Children requiring PIC (2021).

How will I study?

A student-centred approach will be employed with students expected to take responsibility for their learning within a supportive and collaborative framework. Examples of what the student will experience include:

  • face to face and virtual teaching by experienced clinicians, expert in their field of practice, drawn from a wide variety of professional subject disciplines and sharing international perspective where appropriate.
  • student and tutor led presentation of case studies to explore Paediatric Critical Illness conditions in depth and breadth
  • student led debates on ethical issues arising from contemporary and complex paediatric intensive care cases
  • participation in Action Learning Sets
  • Simulation, hands on clinical experience of real life paediatric critical illness scenarios to enhance the students’ clinical skills and improve patient safety.
  • using technology to demonstrate key techniques and interventions relevant to contemporary paediatric intensive care practice.

During the module students will be exposed to the blended learning approach with face to face & virtual teaching, underpinned by effective tutor support. In addition to greater independence and self-directed approach to learning through timetabled action learning sets and student led seminars which integrates specialist knowledge with academic and practice application. This combination of approaches will promote a questioning and problem-solving ability commensurate with post graduate student attributes such as excellence in communication skills, an increasing expertise in their subject knowledge as informed by professional and academic debate and awareness of cultural differences and values.

What will I study?

Continuing assessment, monitoring and management of:

  • Clinical assessment of the critically ill child requiring L3 PCC
  • Advanced airway management and the difficult airway
  • Mechanical ventilation and advanced ventilation strategies
  • Pathophysiology of respiratory disease
  • Arterial blood gas and SVO2 analysis
  • CXR interpretation
  • Human factors and introduction to simulation
  • Haemodynamic monitoring
  • Congenital heart defects and post op care
  • Advanced ECG interpretation, paediatric arrhythmias and pacing
  • Mechanical support of the cardiovascular system
  • Heart failure and transplantation

How will I be assessed?

A two part assessment strategy has been devised, with two assessment points clearly identified during and at the end of the module. The assessment tasks reflect arrange of methods intending to reflect students’ differing strengths and capabilities, including viva in practice and supporting written assignment and clinical competencies portfolio.

Formative assessment

Formative assessment will be an integral component within this module and will be evident in both terms and feed directly into summative assessment tasks. For example, students will take part in various clinical simulations which will be integral in completion of their clinical competencies, inclusive of advanced airway support and mechanical ventilation, complications associated with post op paediatric cardiac surgery and emergency management.

Summative assessment

The assessment of this module, benchmarked against the PICS competencies, comprises the following:

Part one:

  • 30-minute student selected oral case presentation in practice
  • A supporting case-based report – 1500 words

Part two:

Completion of clinical portfolio competencies (Pass/Fail) designed to evidence the consolidation of core critical care skills.

Students must pass all assessment elements to pass the module.

On successful completion you will:

On successful completion of the module, you will be awarded 30 credits towards PGCert .

On completion of the module students will actively contribute to a specialist paediatric workforce with essential knowledge and skills that meet key clinical priorities both locally and nationally.

On completion of the PGCert and PCCS specialist qualification in Paediatric Critical Care Level 3 the practitioner will be able to progress on the PCCS professional career pathway (2017).

Study dates and venues

Venue: Alder Hey Childrens Hospital

Starts: Wednesday 6 September 2023

Session times:

  • Wednesday 6 September 2023 (Edge Hill induction)
  • Tuesday 12 September 2023
  • Tuesday 19 September 2023
  • Thursday 28 September 2023
  • Tuesday 3 October 2023
  • Thursday 12 October 2023
  • Thursday 19 October 2023
  • Thursday 26 October 2023
  • Tuesday 31 November 2023
  • Tuesday 7 November 2023
  • Tuesday 14 November 2023
  • Tuesday 21 November 2023
  • Tuesday 28 November 2023
  • How to apply

    For details of how to apply, please visit the apply page.

    Module availability varies from year to year and will be subject to minimum student numbers being achieved. Places will be allocated on a first come first served basis. Due to the popularity of some modules, it may be that the module is fully booked when your application is received. We will include your details on a waiting list and allocate you a place on the next available intake.

    If you have any other queries about studying with us, please see the FAQ page.

    Contact us

    For further module information, please contact Alex Knight: Module lead on, Sam Ellis: Alder Hey PICU Education/Programme Lead or Brenda Harris: Academic Partnership Liaison Tutor on

    For any other queries, you can contact the School of Nursing, Midwifery and Allied Health on


    HEA4511 Advances in Paediatric Critical Care II