Postgraduate Diploma in Advancing Healthcare Practice
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Made up of
This postgraduate diploma course equips you with a broad range of knowledge, skills, insights and qualities needed to function as a successful change agent both in healthcare leadership and in evidence based healthcare practice. You will develop the sorts of change insights and practice development understanding that will enable you to make a strategic difference to the work of your employer, team and service as well as a thoughtful contribution to best practice within your profession. Key insights into change, and, what you can do to manage it, equip you with the confidence to make an identifiable difference in practice.
The modules you study for this postgraduate diploma, Leading healthcare improvements (K827) and Researching and evaluating healthcare practice (K828), will provide you with critically important insights into how healthcare changes, what constitutes improvement and quality and how different sorts of work can materially improve the lot of stakeholders within your practice, be they patients, relatives, students, research subjects, subordinates or superiors.
You also study the mechanisms of change and discover how the management of these can help position your team, organisation or yourself to deliver better healthcare. You achieve this by pursuing a series of investigations, some in practice, some online, some in close association with work colleagues and others in consultation with the study group to develop your effectiveness as a healthcare practitioner. Our study guides lead you through the enquiries that you should make, assisting you to develop confidence as an independent enquirer, someone comfortably able to make sense of the sometimes confusing and conflicting nature of healthcare information.
As well as representing an important qualification in its own right, the postgraduate diploma course also provides a route to enable you to gain the MSc in Advancing Healthcare Practice (F52).
Planning your studies
You are expected to be a registered healthcare professional and to have:
- a bachelors degree in a relevant subject
- access to a practice environment that can be clinical or based in education, management or research. Access may be on the basis of part-time work, we do not assume that you are a full time professional. This qualification is not suitable though for those currently taking a career break or on extended period of leave
- current professional registration with the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy, the General Dental Council, the General Medical Council, the Health and Care Professions Council, or the Nursing and Midwifery Council.
If you do not hold a bachelors degree but have a track record of professional achievement (e.g. innovative practice, clinical leadership, research or publications, work in a healthcare charity but without professional registration), you may still be considered for non-standard entry. You will be required to provide documentary evidence of professional achievements and may be asked to complete an exploratory assignment answer in order to ascertain your ability to deal with masters level study and assessment. Exploratory assignments are used for admission assessment purposes, no fee is levied for their assessment but we cannot undertake to provide written feedback on these assignments.
You can gain this qualification by successfully completing two 60-credit modules, each of which runs over twelve months.
Please note that you will need to spend approximately 11 hours per week studying for each of the modules in this qualification, and therefore you are strongly advised to study no more than one 60-credit module in each year.
If you began your studies in February 2010 or earlier you can transfer over to the current structure as described below.
You must complete this qualification within six years.
You should note that the University’s unique study rule applies to this qualification. This means that you must include at least 40 credits from OU modules that have not been counted in any other OU qualification that has previously been awarded to you.
Students resident in Scotland who study for this qualification may be eligible for a postgraduate tuition fee loan, to a maximum of £1700 per 60 credits, through the Student Awards Agency for Scotland. For more information contact: www.saas.gov.uk or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Career relevance and employability
This qualification equips you to seize career opportunities associated with a wide variety of leadership and practice development roles in healthcare. Students studying for this qualification have typically been interested in project working, learning research design skills, contributing to quality assurance initiatives and acting as consultants and advisers to others. It provides a well balanced knowledge and skills base for practitioners who play a pivotal role in healthcare organisations and their work meeting targets or addressing other agenda requirements.
At a personal level the qualification is professionally satisfying, assisting you to examine the basis of your expertise, the ways in which skills help to achieve desirable outcomes and to understand the part that evidence can and should play in today’s healthcare. A significant part of our teaching is associated with increasing personal satisfaction in practice, as well as enhancing competence in higher levels of work.
Research skills are considered an important part of advancing healthcare practice, so within this qualification you will pay particular attention to the conception, design and conduct of research that has significance and benefit in the practice setting. You will also give close attention to the sourcing and evaluation of evidence, from wherever it may come. Combining evidence and a deeper understanding of practice skills will enable you to work in more entrepreneurial ways.
The postgraduate diploma supports the Department of Health’s agenda on modernising healthcare professionals’ careers. The qualification is suitable for healthcare professionals from medical, nursing, midwifery, health visiting and allied health backgrounds in public and private healthcare systems, and within the community and the voluntary sector.
There is more information about how OU study can improve your employability in the OU’s Employability Statement from our Careers Advisory Service. You can also read or download our publication OU study and your career and look at our subject pages to find out about career opportunities.
For this postgraduate diploma you require:
120 credits from the following modules:
If you began your studies in February 2010 or earlier
120 credits from the following discontinued compulsory modules:
K821, K822, K823, K824, K825, K826
Or if you have already completed the postgraduate certificate under the previous structure, you can count 60 credits from the discontinued modules K821, K822 and K826 and complete your postgraduate diploma by gaining 60 credits as follows:
The learning outcomes of this qualification are described in four areas:
- Knowledge and understanding
- Cognitive skills
- Practical and professional skills
- Key skills
Read more detailed information about the learning outcomes, and how they are acquired through teaching, learning and assessment methods.
Credit for previous study elsewhere
If you have already completed some successful study at postgraduate level at another institution you may be able to transfer credit for this study and count it towards this Open University qualification. If you wish to apply to transfer credit you must do so as soon as possible as it may affect your choice of OU modules. If you are awarded credit for study completed elsewhere, you may find that you need to study fewer OU modules to complete your qualification with us.
Please note that your study for the MSc Advancing Healthcare Practice will assume familiarity with practice skill analysis and evidence evaluation, subjects which are taught within K828. If you make a successful claim for credit transfer instead of studying K828 you may need to do additional reading to enable you to complete the MSc module Transforming professional practice (K829) successfully.
Visit our Credit Transfer site for more information and details of how to apply for credit transfer.
On successful completion of the required modules, you can be awarded a Postgraduate Diploma in Advancing Healthcare Practice (E46), entitling you to use the letters PG Dip Adv HCP (Open) after your name.
You may continue your studies to gain the MSc in Advancing Healthcare Practice (F52).
As a student of The Open University, you should be aware of the content of the following regulations:
These regulations are also available on our Essential Documents website.
How to register
If you want to study for this qualification, read the description and check you meet any specific requirements (for example, some of our qualifications, require you to be working in a particular environment, or be sponsored by your employer). Then select the module you wish to study first and ensure it is suitable for you before following the registration procedure for that module. During the registration procedure you will be asked to declare which qualification you are studying towards.
See a full list of modules available for this qualification