Acute Medicine MSc
Our MSc in critical care has been designed to improve the knowledge of healthcare professionals who assist in the delivery of care to acutely ill patients. Many registered healthcare professionals are exposed to acute medicine within their daily work routines, there is an increasing demand for tailored emergency medicine education.
Our MSc acute medicine course caters for this demand, enabling you to develop a systematic understanding of evidence-based, protocol-delivered practice that is pivotal in optimising acute care.
The online critical care course gives you the opportunity to develop your skills, knowledge and clinical practice in a rapidly evolving specialty that functions as the bedrock of hospital-based and emergency medicine.
Next intake: 2022 MarchKey Facts
In 1998, the Royal College of Physicians published a joint report emphasising the importance of appropriate care for patients with acute medical problems. This is a rapidly evolving specialty and with many generalist healthcare professionals undertaking acute medicine as part of their daily routines, our Acute Medicine MSc answers the demand for further tailored postgraduate training.
The primary aims of this Acute Medicine MSc are to equip students with a systematic understanding of acute medicine, skills in critical appraisal and application of knowledge for direct patient benefit. In addition to this, students will benefit from being taught life-long learning and advanced problem-solving skills that they can apply to clinical practice in acute and emergency medicine.
University of South Wales
The University of South Wales (USW) is a modern, industry focused University located in Cardiff, Newport and Pontypridd in South Wales, UK. It was rated best in the UK for the Health Professions in the Guardian University Guide 2020 and, in the latest Complete University Guide 2022, is in the top 10 in the UK for Health Studies. USW is one of Britain’s largest and most exciting new universities attracting a cosmopolitan mix of students from across the globe.
Prof Steve Davies
Current Role: Consultant Endocrinologist at the University Hospital Wales.
Prof Steve Davies has an established reputation in medical education particularly in online learning, having been the founder...
Accreditors and Endorsers
UEMS - European Union of Medical Specialists
This postgraduate diploma has also been accredited by the European Union of Medical Specialists (UEMS)
Next intake: 2022 March Key Facts
Why Study with Learna
We have over 10 years’ experience delivering online courses, giving you access to flexible, affordable distance learning in partnership with world-leading educators.
Value for money
Distance learning allows us to work with the worldwide industry-leading professionals.
Get a PgDip from £3,900 or an MSc from £7,500 - the most affordable courses of their kind in the UK.
Pay in instalments.
Boost your career
Get a postgraduate qualification in just 1 calendar year instead of 2 academic years.
40% of our alumni reported an increase in salary 2 years after studying with us.
Learn online. No fixed study times mean you can log in and learn whenever and wherever.
Multidisciplinary - study in a group of doctors, nurses, pharmacists and other healthcare professionals.
15:1 student tutor ratio. We have a 92% student satisfaction rate.
Who is this course for?
Applicants will typically be registered healthcare professionals who have a day to day exposure to acutely ill patients who are looking for a MSc in critical care or similar discipline. This may include doctors, nurses, and physiotherapists.
How Will I Learn?
You will be supported throughout your studies by a committed team of internationally recognised educational experts.
Our courses are conducted entirely online through self-directed distance learning. You’ll receive guidance throughout your course with tutor-stimulated academic discussions, which are based on clinically-rich case scenarios.
These usually occur within groups of 10-20 students, allowing you to clearly communicate with both your tutor and fellow students.
CurriculumThe Acute Medicine MSc is a two year course, consisting of eight modules (180 credits) with the first 120 credits deriving from the postgraduate diploma. The second year of the Acute Medicine MSc course starts with an initial 10 week online module that will develop skills in critical appraisal and knowledge of research methodologies. Students then complete the professional project module, which consists of a 1,500 word proposal and 10,500 word professional project (dissertation).
Use relevant understanding, methodologies and approaches to address complex cases and apply guideline and evidence-based care in the management of acutely ill patients presenting with cardio-respiratory conditions.
Guideline directed approach to the management of patients with acute cardio-respiratory diseases including:
- Severe Hypertension
- Acute Heart Failure
- Acute Coronary Syndrome
- Thromboembolic Disease
- Acute Exacerbations of Chronic Respiratory Disease
- Pleural Effusions
- Acute Asthma
- Respiratory Failure
- Cardiac Arrest
- Use relevant understanding, methodologies and approaches for the diagnosis and management of patients presenting with acute respiratory and cardiovascular conditions.
- Demonstrate an ability to apply evidence-based learning in acute cardiovascular and respiratory scenarios.
- Appraise, reflect upon and create ways forward in the management of patients presenting with acute cardio-respiratory conditions within the multidisciplinary team.
Enhance the management of complex cases presenting with a variety of acute diabetic and endocrine conditions, and apply guideline and evidence-based care in the management of acutely ill patients.
The management of patients presenting with acute diabetic and endocrine diseases, including:
- Diabetic Ketoacidosis
- Hyperosmolar Non-Ketosis
- Acute Hypercalcaemia
- Adrenal Crisis
- Use relevant understanding, methodologies and approaches for the diagnosis, treatment and management of patients presenting with acute endocrine conditions.
- Critically analyse, interpret and evaluate evidence and guidance-based strategies in the management of acutely unwell patients with diabetic-related conditions.
Reformulate and use relevant understanding, methodologies and approaches to assess and manage complex cases, and apply guideline and evidence-based care in the management of acutely ill patients presenting with gastrointestinal conditions.
The management of patients presenting with Acute Gastrointestinal (GI) Illnesses, including:
- Upper GI Haemorrhage
- Acute Abdominal Pain
- Intractable Vomiting
- Inflammatory Bowel Disease
- Acute Liver Disease
- Hepatic Encephalopathy
- GI Infections (such as Dysentery and Gastroenteritis)
- GI Malignancy
- Use relevant understanding, methodologies and approaches for the diagnostic synthesis and management strategy employed in the treatment of patients presenting with acute GI conditions.
- Demonstrate an ability to apply evidence-based learning and guideline-based treatment in acute GI disorders.
Apply guideline and evidence-based care in the management of acutely ill patients, facilitating the critical evaluation of actions, methods and results used in the management of acute infections.
The management of patients presenting with acute bacterial, viral and fungal infection relating to all organ systems; the management, investigation and diagnosis of sepsis and bacteraemia; and the management of the immune-compromised individual in relation to infection.
- Use relevant understanding, methodologies and approaches for the diagnosis and management of patients presenting with acute infections.
- Critically analyse, interpret and evaluate the presentation, cause and management of the immune-compromised patients in the acute medical setting.
- Demonstrate an ability to apply evidence-based practice and guideline-based treatment with acute infections and sepsis.
Develop a critical understanding of the assessment and management of acute neurological disorders and strokes, applying guideline and evidence-based care in the management of acute neurological disorders and strokes.
The diagnosis and management of patients presenting with acute neurological disorders, including:
- Acute Stroke
- Cerebral Infections
- Cerebral Haemorrhage and Haematomas
- Venous Sinus Thrombosis
- Acute Cerebral Malignancy
- Acute Neuronopathies
- Raised Intracranial Pressure
- Use relevant understanding, methodologies and approaches for the diagnosis and management strategy employed in the investigation and treatment of patients presenting with acute neurological disorders.
- Demonstrate a critical understanding of evidence-based practice and guideline-based treatment in neurological disorders, including stroke medicine.
Develop a critical understanding of the assessment of acute kidney, metabolic and toxicological disorders and apply guideline and evidence-based care in the management of these disorders.
The management of toxicological emergencies, such as overdoses (both accidental and non-accidental), acute drug reactions and anaphylaxis; the presentation of patients with metabolic and renal issues, including acute kidney injury, acid-base disorders, hyperkalemia and acute hyponatraemia; and the implementation of renal replacement therapy including dialysis.
- Use relevant understanding, methodologies and approaches for the diagnostic synthesis and management strategy employed in the investigation and treatment of patients presenting with acute kidney disorders.
- Demonstrate a critical understanding of the assessment and management of overdose and acute metabolic disturbance.
- Apply evidence-based practice and guideline-based treatment in renal, metabolic and toxicological disorders.
This module is designed to help you recognise, understand, interpret and apply methods used in healthcare research and critically appraise the various methodologies specific to acute medicine research.
- Analysis and evaluation of the choice of research tools and/or other methods of enquiry to address research problems.
- Terminology used in epidemiology and research studies such as prevalence, incidence, sensitivity, specificity, false positive and false negatives.
- Interpretation of graphical representation of epidemiological and statistical data such as Kaplan-Meier curves, forest plots and meta-analyses.
- Calculations used in the assessment of research data such as relative risk, absolute risk and number needed to treat.
- Statistical tests and their applications including T-Tests, ANOVA, chi-square.
- Qualitative research methods.
- Fundamentals of evidence-based practice and its application into the clinical setting.
- Principles of health economics, audit and quality improvement/assurance systems.
- Establishing patient registers and the value of disease specific registers.
- Research into educational principles for both healthcare practitioner and patient.
- Understanding what may work for the patient as well as the educator.
- Select and apply different methodological perspectives and tools to answer research questions in acute medicine
- Critically analyse and interpret research in acute medicine
The module aims to develop your ability to critically appraise specific areas of clinical, research and/or organisational practice and develop skills in independent research, study and writing for publication.
The module will depend on the creation of a piece of work based upon a specific clinically related project relevant to your practice. You will select a specific project and submit a project summary/proposal (1,200 words). Once your proposal has been approved, the professional project (10,800 words) is then completed through online guidance and supervision from your tutor.
The project may comprise:
- Literature review and appraisal of the evidence.
- Audit of practice including organisational or clinical.
- Review and implementation of evidence-based practice.
- Qualitative or quantitative research (formal research involving human subjects is not anticipated).
- Case-based and quality of service review with critical appraisal.
- Case report, review of literature and organisational assessment.
- Learning Outcomes
- Design and undertake a research/development project related to acute medicine.
- Critically evaluate practice and suggest improvements for change.
- Incorporate knowledge of the research process in developing services appropriately.
The Acute Medicine MSc course places assessments at the heart of the learning process through the employment of clinical scenarios to enhance problem-solving, critical analysis and evidence-based care. Since the scenarios act as a focus for learning and assessment, the two are intrinsically linked.
The first seven modules on the course have the same assessment format and for all modules, you will be assigned a dedicated expert tutor. Your tutor will then facilitate case discussions with the group, whilst monitoring, assessing and marking your work throughout. You will also participate in a combination of module activities that may be group and/or individual based, dependent on the module.
These innovative teaching methods enable you to envisage the translation of your studies into your every day work and practice.
For the final module of the course you will be required to produce a piece of work based upon a clinically-related project that is relevant to your practice. Once you have selected a specific project, you will submit a project summary/proposal of approximately 1,500 words. Following the approval of your proposal you will then complete a 10,500 word professional project.
To produce the professional project you will continue to study online. Much of the work is self-directed, however you will receive guidance from your tutor throughout the module.
Due to the online nature of the course, you will be expected to regularly login and participate in the course - ideally on a daily basis. Students are recommended to spend around two hours per day on their studies. Our dedicated Student Support Team are also available to help with any problems you may face. From navigating our online platform to advising you on deadlines, our team can assist with any questions or challenges you may have along the way.
- Every week students are presented with two/three clinical case-based scenarios that are reflective of every day clinical practice and research.
- Your tutor will post a number of questions and prompts to aid students in a formal discussion of each case.
- These discussions are facilitated throughout by your tutor and are then assessed at the end of every module.
For this assessment, students will work on a group assignment and/or an individual assignment.
- Group assignments are designed to hone skills in the multidisciplinary, holistic approach to modern treatments and patient management by requiring group participation in a single piece of work.
- Individual assignments are designed to hone skills in academic career progression through such tasks as reviewing papers, developing scientific posters or abstracts, peer-reviewing, social media activities, patient information leaflets, and essays.
The reflective journal is used by students throughout each module to monitor personal progress. This is guided by weekly feedback from your tutor and is graded at the end of every module. The journal typically includes the following:
- Initial expectations and reasons for taking the course.
- Module and/or personal learning objectives.
- Description of events, issues and learning points within current personal practice.
- Change in every day practice due to knowledge gained on each module.
- A description of what has been learned during the module.
- Students are provided with case-based problems in the form of a one-hour timed examination.
- The exam consists of 30 'Single Best Answer' questions.
- Students are required to complete the exam online within the set time.
This module runs over a 8 week period and is designed to develop skills in critical appraisal and knowledge of research methodologies. The module consists of mandatory formative assessment activities to support your learning and development prior to the Professional Project module.
Students will work with their supervisor to submit a professional project proposal for their chosen topic.
Students will deliver an abstract (1000 words) outlining their proposal and, if deemed necessary, develop and submit documentation for the University’s ethical committee approval.
- Students will create a dissertation, the theme of which has been developed in discussion with their tutor.
- Supervision will normally involve direct online support involving planned progress, supporting research activity and reading student work.
- Supervisors and students will agree on a communications plan, which may involve emails or online chats. Some students may employ the use of freely available chat or audio conferencing facilities for live discussion with supervisors.
- Students will have access to online forums where they can develop their research capabilities together.
- All communications with tutors will be logged on the Professional Project forum by the student, and consists of brief summaries of discussion.
Since our courses are conducted entirely online, they are accessible to both UK and international registered healthcare professionals.
Applicants will typically hold a first degree or equivalent (including international qualifications) in a relevant professional healthcare field, such as a medical or nursing degree.
Registered healthcare professionals without these recognised qualifications will be considered on an individual basis and a wide range of prior experience may be taken into account. In some cases, applicants may be asked to submit a piece of work for assessment in order to confirm that they are able to work comfortably at postgraduate level, and demonstrate the requisite clinical and professional knowledge.
- A copy of your updated CV including your address and date of birth.
- A copy of your undergraduate degree certificate.
- The name and email address of someone who is able to provide a reference, this can be a work colleague, employer or former tutor.
- A detailed personal statement explaining why you would like to undertake the course.
- A copy of your proof of English competency (see below).
English Language Requirements
Proficiency in the English language is also essential to completing our courses. If English is NOT your first language, we ask for proof of competency during the application process. We are able to accept an IELTS overall score of 6.0 (with a minimum of 5.5 for each band) or an equivalent qualification.
If you do not meet these requirements, please don’t worry. The University of South Wales run a number of English Language Programmes at the Centre for International English to prepare you for your academic studies. You can also contact our admissions team on [email protected] for more information on the qualifications we accept.
Should you have already successfully completed the 1 year Postgraduate Diploma and wish to convert to the MSc and complete only the second year of the programme this is possible. Please contact our admissions department [email protected] to find out more.
Fee payments may be made via the following options:
|Deposit payable on acceptance†||£830||£830|
|1st May 2022||£830||£8,050|
|1st July 2022||£830|
|1st September 2022||£830|
|1st November 2022||£830|
|1st January 2023||£830|
|1st March 2023||£650|
|1st May 2023||£650|
|1st July 2023||£650|
|1st September 2023||£650|
|1st November 2023||£650|
|1st January 2024||£650|
† Deposits are non-refundable