University of Chester

Programme Specification
Cancer Care PGCert
2014 - 2015

Postgraduate Certificate

Cancer Care

Cancer Care

University of Chester

University of Chester

Clatterbridge Cancer Centre

Postgraduate (Taught)

Part-time

Classroom / Laboratory,

1 year (min) - 3 years (max).

3 Years

Triannual

B790

No

17a. Faculty

17b. Department

Health and Social Care Health and Social Care

  • HCPC - Standards for Education and Training (2014). Though the course is not a training course, the programme planning team is mindful of the relevant requirements and guidance of a professional training course.

  • The programme has been mapped against the European Oncology Nursing Society's Cancer Nursing Curriculum 2013 (4th edition) and RCN, UKONS, University of Surrey and Sheffield Teaching Hospitals' (2014) Competence Framework for Nurses: Caring for patients living with and beyond cancer. There are no similar benchmarks for AHPs.

None

Faculty of Health and Social Care, Postgraduate Programmes Assessment Board

Wednesday 1st October 2014

The programme aims:

  • To offer a coherent programme of study which supports health care professionals in delivering holistic evidence-based cancer care for people with diverse needs in a range of settings.
  • To promote a critical understanding of the multidimensional impact of cancer and its treatments on those affected by the disease.
  • To promote a deep understanding and critical application of therapeutic approaches and skills in order to improve the experience of those affected by cancer, from pre-diagnosis through to remission and/or palliative care.
  • To promote critical application of the knowledge and skills required to analyse information and research-based findings that enhance clinical practice, in order to develop the students' skills and confidence and advance practice in cancer care.
  • To promote health care professionals' awareness of the scope and boundaries of their own professional practice and to empower them to contribute to collaborative multi-professional team (MPT) working.


Knowledge and Understanding

On successful completion of thecourse, graduates will be able to:

  • Demonstrate a critical understanding of the diverse needs of people affected by cancer.
  • Demonstrate a critical awareness of the multi-dimensional impact of cancer and its treatments on those affected by the disease.
  • Demonstrate a deep understanding of therapeutic approaches which improve the experience of those affected by cancer from pre-diagnosis through to remission and/or palliative care.
  • Demonstrate a critical awareness of strategic organisation and management of cancer care.
  • Demonstrate a critical awareness of the scope and boundaries of their own professional practice in improving the experiences of people living with and beyond cancer.
  • Demonstrate critical understanding of collaborative team working in cancer care.



 

Thinking or Cognitive Skills

On successful completion of the course, graduates will be able to:

  • Solve problems in creative and innovative ways.
  • Make decisions in challenging situations.
  • Continue to learn independently and to develop professionally.
  • Critically evaluate research and evidence-based practice.
  • Creatively synthesise theory and practice.
  • Critically examine underlying principles.

Practical Skills

On successful completion of the course, graduates will be able to:

  • Demonstrate the ability to assimilate complex ideas.
  • Demonstrate the ability to communicate complex ideas effectively (through the use of a range of media).
  • Demonstrate a critical appraisal of therapeutic approaches to improving the experience of those affected by cancer.
  • Demonstrate application of theory to practice in supporting people affected by cancer from pre-diagnosis through to remission and/or palliative care.

Transferable Professional Skills

On successful completion of the course, graduates will be able to progress with their careers, either within the clinical field or within an academic field.

Key Skills

  • Communication
  • Application of number
  • Information literacy and technology
  • Improving own learning and performance
  • Working with others
  • Problem solving



Communication

  • All modules will involve critical reflection on the complexities of communication in practice.
  • The students will develop effective written communication skills.
  • The students will develop effective presentation skills.
  • The students will develop skills in communicating in different media.

Application of number

  • The students will develop the numeracy skills necessary to effectively evaluate research.

Information literacy and technology

  • Students will develop the skills necessary to support their studies through effective use of available information technology resources that will support them to study whilst not physically within the university.

Improving own learning and performance

  • Students will develop the skills to become self-directed learners.

Working with others

  • The students will develop their ability to work with others through their participation on the course, which will be supported by the assessment strategies used.
  • Students will explore interprofessional approaches to cancer care involving participation in theory and practice.

Problem solving

  • Students will develop their ability to identify strategies to effect quality cancer care.

Cancer is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality both nationally (Cancer Research UK, 2014) and globally (World Cancer Report, 2014). The impact of a cancer diagnosis on those affected by the disease cannot be over-estimated and, although there have been improvements in treatments and survival, cancer remains a feared disease which affects many dimensions of people's lives. The number of people living with and beyond cancer is expected to double by 2030 (Maddams et al., 2012) so it is more important than ever to ensure that health care professionals  have the relevant skills, knowledge  and expertise to support people affected by cancer through diagnosis, treatment and beyond.

The programme has been specifically designed for nurses and allied health and social care professionals who work in primary, secondary and tertiary settings, who provide direct care and support to people affected by cancer. This includes those who work in general hospitals or community settings as well as specialist cancer services. The interprofessional approach to learning reflects the drive for multi-professional team working in cancer care, and the recognition that each profession plays a valuable role in promoting the quality of the patient experience.

This programme provides students with the opportunity to critically examine and apply best practice in cancer care within the context of national drivers such as the cancer plans for England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales  (DH, 2011; The Scottish Government, 2008; Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety, 2008; Welsh Government, 2012).

The programme is modular in design and requires successful completion of three 20 credit modules at level 7. All modules have internal integrity and can be linked together to form a coherent programme of learning.

The programme consists of three core modules:

  • NM7121  Key concepts in cancer care
  • NM7122  Cancer treatments and supportive interventions
  • NM7123  Advancing palliative and end of life care

Key concepts in cancer care aims to develop the students' in-depth knowledge, understanding and critical application of key concepts in cancer care and includes: psychological impact of a cancer diagnosis; the biological basis of cancer; staging and classification; prevention and early detection; health promotion; diagnosis of disease and progression; context of cancer care; multi-professional team working; and effective communication skills in practice.

Cancer treatments and supportive interventions aims to promote students' critical appraisal of the principles and side effects of cancer treatments, in order to develop their skill and expertise in supporting people receiving treatments for cancer. It includes:  principles of  cancer treatments (e.g. surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy, biological therapies, gene therapy, immunotherapy, monoclonal antibodies); clinical trials; complications and side effects of therapies and their management; and site-specific cancers, treatment options, MPT roles in the management of site-specific cancers, therapeutic interventions, and roles and responsibilities of the multi-professional team in cancer care.

Advancing palliative and end of life care aims to promote critical evaluation of key concepts and principles in palliative and end of life care in order to inform and enhance the experience of people with life limiting disease. It will explore: historical and contemporary contexts and approaches to palliative care;  personal, professional and societal attitudes to death and dying;  psychosocial impact of a life limiting diagnosis;  concerns of dying people and their carers; grief, loss and bereavement; symptom management; ethical issues and  decision-making; communication strategies; advance care planning; and multi-professional team working in palliative care.

The programme adheres to the structure benchmarked by the QAA Master's Degree Characteristics (2010).

Modules have been designed and structured to meet benchmarks set out in the Framework for Higher Education Qualifications (2008), using the stated descriptors of level 7 study as the reference point.

Derogation from University Regulations permitting compensation between assessment components has been granted for all three modules.

Mod-Code Level Title Credit Single
NM7121 7 Key Concepts in Cancer Care 20 Comp
NM7122 7 Cancer treatments and supportive interventions 20 Comp
NM7123 7 Advancing Palliative and End of Life Care 20 Comp

Postgraduate Certificate: 60 credits (level 7)

The admission criteria for student entry to the PG Cert in Cancer Care will normally be:

  • An upper second or first class honours degree in a related subject, or a lower qualification supported by evidence of ability to study at level 7.
  • Health and social care professionals whose roles involve care and support for people affected by cancer.

Students will be assessed on an individual basis to determine if they meet the academic criteria and the relevance of their workplace experience.  

A minimum of 75 hours relevant clinical practice is an essential element of each module enabling course members to apply theoretical concepts in practice and to fulfil the appropriate assessments. Students will be responsible for ensuring that they fulfil the requirements for practice during each module in their own clinical areas or through negotiated placements.

 

The programme is mapped against the NHS Knowledge & Skills Framework (2004).

Though the course is not a training course, it is mindful of the Health and Care Professions Council's Standards of Education and Training (2014), and conforms to these benchmarks as they are appropriate for a programme leading to an academic qualification, for example:

  • The curriculum must be relevant to current practice.
  • The delivery of the programme must assist autonomous and reflective thinking, and evidence-based practice.
  • The range of learning and teaching approaches used must be appropriate to the subjects in the curriculum.

The programme has also been mapped against

  • The European Oncology Nursing Society Cancer Nursing Curriculum 2013 (4th edition). The EONS core curriculum is a framework for educational development in cancer nursing which guides best practice in cancer nursing education.
  • The RCN, UKONS, University of Surrey and Sheffield Teaching Hospitals (2014) Competence framework for Nurses: Caring for patients living with and beyond cancer.

There are no similar benchmarks for other health care professional groups.

References

Cancer Research UK (2014). Cancer incidence and mortality in the UK in 2011: Cancer statistics report. Available from http://publications.cancerresearchuk.org/downloads/Product/CS_REPORT_TOP10INCMORT.pdf

Department of Health. (2011). Improving outcomes: A strategy for cancer. London, United Kingdom: DH. Available from  http://www.dh.gov.uk/cancer

Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety (DHSSPS). (2008). Regional cancer framework. A cancer control programme for Northern Ireland. Available from: http://www.dhsspsni.gov.uk/eeu_cancer_control_programme_eqia.pdf

International Agency for Research on Cancer. (2014). World cancer report 2014. Geneva, Switzerland: WHO Press.

Maddams, J., Utley, M., & Møller, H. (2012). Projections of cancer prevalence in the United Kingdom, 2010-2040. British Journal of Cancer, 107(7), 1195-1202.

The Scottish Government. (2008). Better cancer care: An action plan. Edinburgh, United Kingdom: The Scottish Government.

Welsh Government. (2012). Together for health - Cancer delivery plan: A delivery plan up to 2016 for NHS Wales and its partners. Cardiff, United Kingdom: Welsh Government.

The students will experience a variety of teaching and learning methods designed to facilitate the achievement of all learning outcomes at level 7 within a student-centred approach, aimed at fostering personal, professional and academic development. 

The course is underpinned by adult education approaches to teaching and learning. The varieties of teaching and learning strategies aim to meet the different learning styles of students in addition to the programme learning outcomes.

Emphasis will be placed on experiential learning, role play, discussion, lectures, e-learning, blended learning, directed and self-directed learning, interactive demonstrations, seminar presentations and reflection.

Student support and direction will be provided by interactive discussion and individual feedback, which at level 7 will promote the development of the critical thinking skills required to analyse practice issues.



Students will be exposed to a variety of assessment methods designed to ensure that the content, outcomes and level of the modules are measured in a fair and transparent manner.

Examples include written assignments, recorded patient assessments, reflective analysis and clinical learning profiles. Formative assessments will include a recorded patient assessment and tutorial-based discussions.

Assessment methods for each module are:

Key concepts in cancer care

  • Recorded patient assessment (1000 word equivalent, 40% weighting).
  • Critical analysis of personal communication skills (3000 words, 60% weighting).
  • Clinical learning profile showing a critical evaluation of module outcomes in practice (1000 word equivalent, pass/fail).

Cancer treatments and supportive interventions

  • Critical reflection of patient case study (4000 words, 100% weighting).
  • Clinical learning profile showing a critical evaluation of module outcomes in practice (1000 word equivalent, pass/fail).

Advancing palliative and end of life care

  • Critical evaluation of a palliative care issue (3000 words, 75% weighting).
  • Poster presentation suitable for a conference (1000 word equivalent, 25% weighting).
  • Clinical learning profile showing a critical evaluation of module outcomes in practice (1000 word equivalent, pass/fail).

The PG Cert in Cancer Care will support the professional development of graduates who work with people affected by cancer. The exploration of patient-focused cancer care will be of relevance to anyone providing direct support to people with cancer in primary, secondary and tertiary settings, the NHS, the independent sector, voluntary organisations, social care and education.

The course will support students to take up key positions in cancer services in general or specialist cancer settings.

The course will enable students to progress with a career in academia.

The University of Chester is committed to the active promotion of equality and opportunity, both as an employer and as an educational institution, and has an equality and diversity policy to support this commitment.

The PG Cert in Cancer Care is explicitly supportive of equality and valuing diversity, and explores these issues, particularly as they relate to equity and inclusivity in cancer care.

The course takes an inter-professional stance, not seeking to be exclusively oriented to one professional group.

The students will be actively encouraged to make use of the excellent facilities and support that are available through Learning Support Services.

The programme is  designed to promote inclusive practice and equality in relation to students with different protected characteristics as identified in the QAA's UK Quality Code for Higher Education (2013), chapters B1 Programme design, development and approval and B6 Assessment of students and the recognition of prior learning:

'An inclusive environment for learning anticipates the varied requirements of learners.... Equality of opportunity involves enabling access for people who have differing individual requirements as well as eliminating arbitrary and unnecessary barriers to learning.'  (QAA B1)

'Indicator 10: Through inclusive design wherever possible, and through individual reasonable adjustments wherever required, assessment tasks provide every student with an equal opportunity to demonstrate their achievement.' (QAA B6)

Anyone with disabilities, mental health needs or specific learning difficulties can request support and guidance, which is readily available and would be tailored to meet their individual requirements.

The programme addresses a specialised field and is designed to cater for health and social care professionals who support people with cancer as part or all of their role.

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