University of Chester

Programme Specification
Oncology for Health and Social Care Practitioners PGCert
2015 - 2016

Postgraduate Certificate

Oncology for Health and Social Care Practitioners

Oncology for Health and Social Care Practitioners

University of Chester

University of Chester

Site as determined by Faculty of Health and Social Care

Postgraduate (Taught)

Part-time

Classroom / Laboratory,

1-2 Years

3 Years

Triannual - January - May - September

B990

No

17a. Faculty

17b. Department

Health and Social Care Health and Social Care

  • HPC Standards of Proficiency (2007); Standards for Education and Training (2009). Though the course is not a training course, the programme planning team is mindful of the relevant requirements and guidance for professional standards and training.
  • NMC (2008) The code: Standards of conduct, performance and ethics for nurses and midwives; NMC (2008) The PREP handbook.
    The NMC is the regulatory body for nurses and midwives and its purpose is to establish and improve standards of care and to set standards and guidelines for education, conduct, performance and ethics. Though the course is not a training course, the programme planning team is mindful of the relevant requirements and guidance for professional standards and continuing professional development.
  • NHS Knowledge and Skills Framework (2004):
    Core Dimensions 1 (Communication), 2 (Personal and people development), 4 (Service improvement), 5 (Quality), and 6 (Equality and diversity).
  • DH (2007, 2011). The Advanced communication skills in cancer and palliative care module incorporates the two day Advanced Communication Skills Training (ACST) programme, a national programme for senior healthcare professionals working in cancer and palliative care which was originally accredited by the National Cancer Action Team.

Postgraduate Module Assessment Board

Friday 1st April 2011

The aims of the programme are:·

  • To offer a coherent programme of study directly relevant to the work environment of practitioners working in health and social care.
  • To promote a deep understanding of issues which affect the quality of cancer care, and through this to enable health and social care practitioners to positively influence the health and wellbeing of those affected by cancer.
  • To provide a critical awareness of how the context of organisational provision impacts on the quality of cancer services.
  • To promote a critical understanding of the impact of cancer on those affected by the disease.
  • To help practitioners to develop strategies to effect quality cancer care at individual and organisational levels.
  • To promote recognition of the crucial role of effective communication in cancer and palliative care, and its application within the work environment.
  • To continue to develop the practitioners' skills in collaborative practice and the partnership delivery of cancer care, and to consider the impact of their professional role within the organisation and wider context.

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

  • Demonstrate a critical understanding of factors which affect the health and wellbeing of those affected by cancer.
  • Demonstrate a critical awareness of how the context of organisational provision impacts on the quality of cancer services.
  • Demonstrate a critical understanding of the impact of cancer on those affected by the disease.
  • Demonstrate a critical awareness of strategies to effect quality cancer care at individual and organisational levels.
  • Demonstrate a critical understanding of the crucial role of effective communication in cancer and palliative care, and its application within the work environment.
  • Demonstrate a critical awareness of collaborative practice and partnership delivery in cancer care.
  • Demonstrate skills of critical reflection.
  • Demonstrate a critical awareness of the complexities of multi-professional collaboration in cancer care.


 

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

  • Demonstrate originality when exercising innovative and creative thinking strategies.
  • Demonstrate self-direction, independence of thought, and the ability to think logically and critically.
  • Access, analyse and process information applicable to advanced scholarship.
  • Critically evaluate research and evidence-based practice.
  • Demonstrate independent learning ability and professional development.
  • Creatively synthesise theory and practice.

On completion of the course, practitioners will be able to:

  • Demonstrate the ability to assimilate complex ideas.
  • Demonstrate a critical appraisal of the impact of their professional role within the organisation and wider context.
  • Demonstrate innovation in the application of evidence-based practice.
  • Demonstrate numeracy skills necessary to effectively evaluate research.
  • Demonstrate effective information literacy and technology skills
  • Demonstrate competence in the use of IT.
  • Demonstrate self-direction in both formal and informal learning environments.
  • Demonstrate  their ability to work autonomously and collaboratively
  • Demonstrate their ability to problem solve
  • Identify strategies to effect quality cancer care.
  • Implement evidence-based practice.
  • Demonstrate self-direction in both formal and informal learning environments.
  • Work with and learn from colleagues.
  • Develop personal and professional practice.

On completion of the course, practitioners will be able to

  • Communicate effectively using oral and  written communication skills.
  • Communicate effectively at both individual and organisational levels.
  • Demonstrate the ability to communicate effectively in challenging situations.

As cancer is a leading cause of death in economically developed countries and developing countries, practitioners working in both specialist and non-specialist health and social care settings, both nationally and internationally, are likely to encounter people with cancer as part or all of their role.

This programme provides students with the opportunity to critically examine both the wider cancer agenda and the impact of cancer care on those affected by the disease, in order to effect quality cancer care. It has been specifically designed for senior health and social care practitioners working in primary, secondary and tertiary settings in a variety of roles, which include direct care provision, support, research, management and education. The programme supports interprofessional learning between a range of practitioners including specialist nurses, allied health professionals, researchers and managers, who have responsibility for cancer care and/or cancer services in cancer and non-cancer specific settings. The teaching and learning approaches include e-learning and blended learning, which enhance access to the programme in addition to facilitating different learning styles.

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 has two core modules:

  • NM7100 Enhancing quality in cancer care
  • NM7101 Improving the experiences of people living with and beyond cancer

The third module focuses on communication in cancer and palliative care and must be selected from one of two options:

  • NM7102 Advanced communication skills in cancer and palliative care; or
  • NM7212 Communication and collaboration in palliative care. (This is an existing module within the MSc Advanced Practice programme.)

The rationale for including a choice of one or two communication modules is based on the premise that psychosocial aspects of care and effective communication are fundamental to effecting quality in cancer care. As the programme is aimed at a wide variety of health and social care practitioners, NM7102 and NM7212 offer different foci to meet different student needs. NM7102 incorporates the two-day Advanced Communication Skills Training programme, a national programme originally accredited by the National Cancer Action Team, which focuses on the experiential learning of advanced communication skills. This module is suitable for senior healthcare professionals who have face-to-face contact with clients and carers, and who wish to enhance their communication skills in practice.

This contrasts to NM7212, which explores wider communication issues and is suitable for students who have less direct patient contact or who wish to focus on analysis of communication and collaboration in palliative care (which form an important aspect of cancer care).

This choice will enable students to select the module most relevant to their practice.

The postgraduate certificate can normally be completed within one year.

Mod-Code Level Title Credit Single
NM7100 7 Enhancing Quality in Cancer Care 20 Comp
NM7101 7 Improving the Experiences of People Living with and Beyond Cancer 20 Comp
NM7102 7 Advanced Communication Skills in Cancer and Palliative Care 20 Optional
NM7212 7 Communication and Collaboration in Palliative Care 20 N/A

Postgraduate Certificate: 60 credits (level 7)

This programme supports widening access and applications from interested practitioners are encouraged. Applicants must be health and social care professionals or practitioners whose role involves promoting quality services and interventions for people affected by cancer. Students will be assessed on an individual basis to determine evidence of ability to study at level 7 and the relevance of their workplace experience.

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.

The programme is also mapped against NHS Knowledge and Skills Framework (2004) with particular attention to core dimensions 1, 2, 4, 5 and 6.

Holders of the PG Cert in Oncology will be able to effect quality cancer care within their organisation by critically examining the complexities of providing support which best suits the changing needs of people affected by the disease.

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, and to foster personal and professional 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, blended learning, directed and self directed learning, interactive demonstrations, seminar presentations and reflection.  Students will be encouraged to access electronic learning materials and resources within module spaces on the University's Virtual Learning Environment. 

Self-directed, interprofessional and peer-learning will be encouraged throughout and, consistent with the philosophy of the programme, peer and self-assessment will be used in the formative assessment process to complement lecturer assessment.  

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, seminar presentations, report writing, online discussions, OSCEs and reflective analysis.  

Knowledge and understanding will be tested through written assignments, a seminar presentation, and online discussions. Intellectual skills will be assessed normally through course work, and students will be asked to demonstrate thinking and cognitive ability through written assignments, a presentation and reflective accounts. Application of skills will be tested through an OSCE. All aspects of the assessment strategy will be used to evaluate transferable/key skills and, where relevant, mapped against national standards. Formative feedback will be provided during each module.

Assessment methods for each module are:

Enhancing quality in cancer care

Contribution to online discussion with emphasis on quality aspects in relation to cancer care (1000 word equivalent, 20% weighting). 

A proposal written in essay or report format which proposes a strategy for overcoming one challenge to quality in the practitioner’s area of practice (4000 words, 80% weighting).

Improving the experiences of people living with and beyond cancer

Seminar presentation focusing on an issue from practice which impacts on those living with and beyond cancer (1500 word equivalent, 30% weighting). 

A proposed strategy to improve the experiences of people living with and beyond cancer in relation to the chosen issue (3500 words, 70% weighting).

Advanced communication skills in cancer and palliative care

OSCE competence-based assessment of communication skills (2500 word equivalent, 50% weighting). 

Written critique and analytical reflection of the recorded assessment interview supported by research-based literature (2500 words, 50% weighting).

Communication and collaboration in palliative care

Written assignment which critically analyses the management of one communication issue in palliative care within the student’s own work place (4000 words, 80% weighting).

Learning profile showing a critical evaluation of practice in relation to learning outcomes 2, 3, 4 and 5 (1000 words, 20% weighting).

The PG Cert in Oncology will promote the professional development of practitioners (nurses, allied health professionals, managers, educationalists etc.) who support people affected by cancer at individual or organisational levels in the NHS, independent sector, voluntary organisations, social care and education.

It will support students to effect quality cancer care within their organisation by critically examining the complexities of providing support which best suits the changing needs of people affected by the disease.

The University is committed to the promotion of diversity, equality and inclusion in all its forms; through different ideas and perspectives, age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation. We are, in particular, committed to widening access to higher education. Within an ethically aware and professional environment, we acknowledge our responsibilities to promote freedom of enquiry and scholarly expression.

The programme addresses a specialised field that is designed to cater for health and social care practitioners who have a responsibility for cancer care and/or services as all or part of their role.

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