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Neurosurgery MSc

Our online MSc in Neurosurgery will help healthcare professionals who want to specialise in Neurosurgery. This course is subject to validation.

Course Information

The online Neurosurgery MSc is designed for healthcare professionals in the UK and overseas who want to specialise in Neurosurgery and develop both theoretical knowledge and research skills.

Neurosurgery is a competitive and demanding speciality, requiring a broad knowledge of anatomy, neurology and physiology, in addition to critical appraisal and research skills. Neurosurgical trainees and specialist CNS nurses require specialist qualifications to progress their careers in neurosurgery.

This unique online Neurosurgery course is specially developed for busy health professionals and is practical and clinically focused. It will provide a better understanding of the role of neurosurgery within healthcare settings, allowing graduates to apply knowledge of neurosurgery to their clinical practice.

The online MSc in Neurosurgery course aims to:

  • Equip graduates with a systematic approach to common neurosurgical conditions.
  • Enable graduates to demonstrate the ability to provide sound clinical and situational judgement in the clinical environment.
  • Equip students with life-long learning and advanced problem-solving skills that they can apply within the field of neurosurgery.
  • Equip graduates with critical appraisal skills to apply evidence-based medicine in their practice.
  • Enable graduates to build leadership to teams in multi-agency, multi-cultural and/or international contexts.
  • Equip practitioners to become leaders in the field of neurosurgery.
  • Produce graduates who can utilise a variety of research methodologies to analyse, interpret and evaluate data pertinent to neurosurgery.
  • Produce graduates who can independently carry out research-based investigations, collate data, analyse and synthesise findings and present the data to the neurosurgical professional discipline/wider community.

Successful completion of this course will add value to graduates' CVs, enabling them to rise to the challenge of delivering high quality care to their patients within a complex primary and secondary care environment.

Course Structure

Our online Neurosurgery MSc a part-time, distance-learning course. The course comprises eight moduels. The first six modules are each worth 20 credits and run over a period of six weeks.

The seventh module lasts 10 weeks and will develop skills in critical appraisal and knowledge of research methodologies. Students then complete the final module - the professional project - which consists of a 1,500 word proposal and 10,500 word professional project (dissertation).


Module Aims
  • The module aims to address the investigation, diagnosis and management of brain and spine trauma, including critical appraisal of the evidence-base and neurosurgical approaches appropriate for CNS trauma.
Module Content

A systematic approach to the assessment and management of trauma patients.

  • Assessment of head injury
  • Primary and secondary brain injury
  • Management of intracranial pressure
  • Natural history of severe head injury
  • Principles of spinal injury
  • Principles of neurorehabilitation
Learning Outcomes
  1. Demonstrate an in-depth knowledge of the assessment and investigation of patients with head and spine trauma.
  2. Critically interpret the evidence base to demonstrate application of knowledge to the management of traumatic brain and spine injury.
  3. Exercise initiative, personal responsibility and ethical decision-making in brain and spine trauma.
  4. Demonstrate an in-depth understanding of the evidence relating to the management of patients presenting with head and spine trauma.
Module Aims
  • To provide healthcare professionals with the skills and knowledge to assess and manage patients with suspected brain and spine tumours.
Module Content

Applying a systematic approach to the assessment of patients with suspected mass lesions and gain an understanding of the spectrum of central nervous system neoplasia; the presentation and outcome.

  • Basics and investigations
  • Tumour presentations
  • High grade glioma
  • Low grade glioma
  • Extrinsic lesions
  • Pituitary tumours
Learning Outcomes
  1. Critically interpret and apply the evidence base in the assessment and management of patients with central nervous systems tumours.
  2. Demonstrate skills to appraise and reflect upon the differing needs of patients with central nervous system tumours.
  3. Critically apply combined professional knowledge of neuro-oncology to improve delivery in complex situations.
  4. Demonstrate an in-depth understanding of the evidence relating to the diagnosis, investigation and management of patients presenting with neuro-oncological disorders.
  5. Demonstrate leadership skills in coordinating academic activities, engaging and responding to colleagues' academic interrogation.
Module Aims
  • To provide students with the skills and knowledge to assess and manage patients presenting with cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) disorders and paediatric patients.
Module Content

This module applies a systematic approach to the understanding of CSF physiology and pathological processes causing raised intracranial pressure in both adults and children. The module also develops understanding of core conditions in paediatric neurosurgery, including the assessment of the acutely unwell child and imaging.

  • CSF physiology and raised intracranial pressure
  • Adult hydrocephalus
  • CNS embryology and developmental disorders
  • Paediatric tumours of CNS
  • CNS infection
  • Assessment and considerations of the paediatric surgical patient
Learning Outcomes
  1. Critically interpret and apply the evidence base in the assessment and management of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) disorders in children.
  2. Demonstrate skills to appraise, reflect upon, and adapt treatments to a range of cerebrospinal fluid disorders in children and adults.
  3. Critically apply combined professional knowledge of cerebrospinal fluid disorders and paediatrics to improve delivery in complex situations.
  4. Demonstrate an in-depth understanding of the evidence base relating to the diagnosis, investigation and management of CSF disorders/paediatric neurosurgery.
Module Aims
  • To provide healthcare professionals with the skills and knowledge to assess and manage patients with vascular disorders of the central nervous system.
Module Content

Using a systematic approach to the assessment and management of patients with vascular disorders of the CNS, this module covers the core conditions in vascular neurosurgery, including aneurysmal brain haemorrhage, ischaemic and haemorrhagic stroke and explores the evidence base for interventions.

  • Neurosurgical vascular anatomy, imaging and clinical correlation
  • Cerebral blood flow and subarachnoid haemorrhage
  • Cerebral aneurysms
  • Vascular anomalies
  • Assessment and management of spontaneous Ich
  • Assessment and neurosurgical management of cerebral ischaemia
Learning Outcomes
  1. Critically interpret and apply the evidence base in the assessment and management of vascular disorders of the central nervous system.
  2. Critically appraise, reflect upon, and adapt treatment depending on the evidence-base for vascular pathology of the central nervous system.
  3. Critically apply combined professional knowledge of neuro-vascular disorders to improve delivery in complex situations.
  4. Demonstrate an in-depth understanding of the evidence base relating to the diagnosis, investigation and management of neuro-vascular disorders.
Module Aims
  • To provide students with the skills and knowledge to assess and manage patients with conditions affecting the spine.
Module Content

This module covers the range of spinal degenerative conditions, how they present and appropriate investigations.

  • Spinal anatomy and imaging
  • Spinal trauma and instability
  • Spinal tumours
  • Degenerative Lumbar spine
  • Degenerative spine – cervical and thoracic
  • Spinal infection and vascular abnormalities
Learning Outcomes
  1. Critically analyse the evidence base and available treatments to plan and manage common spinal conditions.
  2. Critically appraise common spinal conditions including appropriate examination, assessment and management.
  3. Evaluate and apply evidence based practice to the delivery of spinal services and outcome assessment.
  4. Demonstrate an in-depth understanding of spinal anatomy and its relation to pathology.
  5. Critically appraise and evaluate the evidence relating to the diagnosis, investigation and management of spinal disorders.
Module Aims
  • To provide students with the skills and knowledge to assess and manage the acutely unwell neurosurgical inpatient..
Module Content

This module covers the range of medical emergencies associated with neurosurgical diseases. Students will review common neurosurgical emergencies and review the evidence base for interventions.

  • Assessment of postoperative deterioration
  • Seizures and epilepsy
  • Electrolyte disorders
  • Endocrine emergencies
  • Post-operative CNS infection
  • Systemic post-operative complications
Learning Outcomes
  1. Critically interpret and apply the evidence base in acute medical neurosurgical emergencies.
  2. Demonstrate an advanced knowledge of safe intervention and care in an acute neurosurgical setting.
  3. Reflect on learning from prior experience and challenge preconceptions in order to holistically integrate new knowledge in neurosurgical complications.
  4. Demonstrate an in-depth understanding of the diagnosis, investigation and management of common complications of neurosurgical interventions.
  5. Implementation of evidence into practice.
  6. Coordinate, engage and evaluate clinical debate with colleagues.

Aims of the module:

To prepare students for an independent research-based project by developing skills in selecting, appraising, discriminating, using evidence and appropriate research/investigative methods to address relevant topics for investigation. The professional project module provides students with an opportunity to complete an important, substantial and potentially publishable study of their own choosing.

Synopsis of the module content:

This module will start by focussing on research methods using the Academic Forum. Students will learn about research methodologies and critical appraisal over a period of 8-weeks. Indicative content:

  • Quantitative Studies
  • Statistical Analysis Interpretation
  • Interpreting the Evidence
  • Meta-analysis and Systematic Reviews
  • Qualitative Studies
  • Evidence Appraisal: Interpreting, Weighing and Synthesizing the Evidence
  • Audit, Governance and Quality Improvement, Health Economics
  • Preparing a Research Proposal: Research Committees, Consent, Ethics, Probity and Literature Review

Following the research methods, students will submit a professional project proposal for their chosen topic, this includes a proposal form and ethics application. Students are given a 4-week period after the research methods to complete this.

Students will then create a piece of work based upon a specific subject-related project relevant to the student’s practice. The students will have a further 24-weeks to complete this. This project may comprise:

  • Systematic literature review and appraisal of the evidence
  • Audit of non-patient data/organisational audit
  • Review and implementation of evidence-based practice
  • Literature review and qualitative or quantitative research proposal
  • Case(s)-based and quality of service review with critical appraisal
  • Case report, review of literature and organisational assessment
  • Secondary data analysis

Learning outcomes:

  • Critically analyse and interpret research to assess its application to delivery/service development.
  • Critically appraise different methodological approaches and tools used to answer research questions in your field of practice.
  • Design and undertake a professional project related to your field of practice in order to produce an extensive piece of literature which may be suitable for peer-reviewed publication.
  • Create evidence-based recommendations to add to the knowledge base of your subject area.
  • Develop a critical understanding of the interrogation of academic literature.
  • Demonstrate an in-depth knowledge of ethical considerations in the performance of research.
  • Demonstrate an in-depth understanding of research methodologies in quantitative and qualitative research.
  • Demonstrate critical evaluation skills enabling an in-depth critique of the academic literature.
  • Demonstrate the ability to create academic work of a publishable standard.
  • Evaluate ethical considerations in research and the process of engagement with ethical committees.

Assessments

Year 1 (Postgraduate Diploma)

The 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 six 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.

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.

  • 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.

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.

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.
  • 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.

Year 2 (MSc)

The second year of study focuses on a professional project. You will submit a 1000 word proposal and then work on a 10,000 word project. It runs over 36 weeks total.

  • Research 20% 8 weeks
  • Proposal 10% 4 weeks
  • Project 70% 24 weeks

Teaching Methods

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 in year 1 and 5-10 in year 2, with a one to one supervisor for your professional project', allowing you to clearly communicate with both your tutor and fellow students.

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.

Module 7

Research Methodologies and Critical Appraisal: This module runs over a 12 week period and is designed to develop skills in critical appraisal and knowledge of research methodologies used in Women's Health. The module consists of mandatory formative assessment activities to support your learning and development prior to the professional project module.

Professional Project: 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 words. Following the approval of your proposal you will then complete a 10,000 word professional project.

Our dedicated Student Services 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.


Entry Requirements

Applicants will be assessed on an individual basis, but typically, applicants for the programme will:

  • Possess a good first degree (i.e. a minimum of a 2.2) in a relevant subject awarded by a UK university or overseas equivalent.
  • Be a registered healthcare professional.
  • Provide evidence in the personal statement as to how they can apply learning to a practical setting and reflect on practice. Basic IT skills (e.g., word-processing, email and internet).
  • If English is not the student’s first language they must hold an English language qualification (IELTS 6.0 or equivalent).

Applicants without the above academic criteria but with relevant/suitable experience can apply. Applications will be judged on the individual specifics of background and qualifications including ability to work at postgraduate level (applicants may be asked to submit a piece of work for assessment to confirm that they are able to work comfortably at postgraduate level and demonstrate requisite clinical/professional knowledge).

Applicants should submit copies of the following with their application:

  • Qualification certificates
  • One written reference
  • English language qualification (IELTS 6.5 or equivalent)


Course Fees

Total Course Fees for UK & International Students for September 2021: £8,400
Total Course Fees for UK & International
Students for September 2021:
£8,400

Please Note: These are the fees for the whole two year course.

Application deadline - August 15th 2021

Fee payments may be made via the following options:

Date Instalments Up-Front Payments
Deposit payable
on acceptance
£750 £750
1st Nov 2021 £750 £7,650
1st Jan 2022 £750
1st March 2022 £750
1st May 2022 £750
1st July 2022 £750
1st Sept 2022 £650
1st Nov 2022 £650
1st Jan 2023 £650
1st March 2023 £650
1st May 2023 £650
1st July 2023 £650

Deposits are non-refundable


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