Faculty of Health Sciences

BSc (Hons) Critical Care

Continuing Professional Development BSc

Full time Part time
BSc (Hons) 2 years 3 years

About the course 

Designed for qualified health care practitioners, this programme will enhance and develop the skills, knowledge and attitudes required for practice in critical care. You’ll gain the advanced theoretical understanding required to care for and manage patients with complex critical illnesses and, where appropriate, their significant others. The programme focuses on pathophysiological, ethical and psychosocial factors and the role these play in life threatening illness. The programme also places a key focus on evidence-based care for those with life threatening conditions.

This degree is open to any qualified health care practitioner and can be accessed part-time, starting in either October or February of each year.


Assessment information

Cognitive skills are assessed by a variety of methods including examinations, literature reviews and patient care studies.

Practical and professional skills are assessed summatively by a variety of methods including examinations, literature reviews and objective structured clinical examinations (OSCEs). Formatively they are assessed by debate and discussion, skills demonstrations with feedback and patient scenarios.

Attendance requirements

The majority of the critical care modules require 6 days attendance, generally every other week, although additional reading and written work is required above and beyond this time.

Students can access more than one critical care module per semester if they wish, although generally students find one module per semester easier to manage.

Modules on this degree carry the usual Faculty of Health and Social Care requirement of an 80% attendance. Before applying for this degree potential students should speak to their manager to ascertain whether they can be supported with study leave for the required period of time.


What you'll study 

You'll study six core modules focused on pathophysiological, ethical and psychological factors and the role these play in life threatening illness.

Core modules
  • Pathophysiology for Critical Care Practice

    Increase your knowledge and understanding of the pathophysiological processes of critical illness. This module will enable you to make well informed decisions when caring for critically ill patients.

  • Research and Evidence Applied to Practice

    Enquiry and research are important aspects of health care practice, regardless of specialty. During this module, you'll engage in critical thinking, enquiry and analysis, including research and critical appraisal skills.

  • Care and Management of the Critically Ill Patient

    This module covers the fundamental aspects of critical care, ARDS, Sepsis, ventilation, and haemodynamic monitoring.

  • Resuscitation: Theory and Practice

    Around 80% of cardiac arrests in hospital are predictable, with the patient showing clinical signs in the hours before the event. Gain the knowledge and skills to recognise and deal with patients at risk and patients having a cardiac arrest.

  • Electrocardiography: Analysis and Interpretation

    Electrocardiography is a key investigation for patients with suspected cardiac disorders. This module provides you with the knowledge and skills required to analyse and interpret ECGs, including rhythm strips and 12-lead ECGs, in clinical practice.

  • Recognition of and Response to Acute Illness in Adults in Hospital

    Aimed at health care professionals/paramedics working in acute care areas, wards, HDU's, and A and E departments, this module enables you to recognise and respond appropriately to the needs of acutely ill adults in hospital.


Benefit from the amazing facilities of our new £28-million Health Campus with its mock operating theatre, hospital ward and intensive care unit.

Find out more

Developed with our NHS partners, our programmes are constantly updated to reflect the very latest in health care thinking.

Clinical placements give our students the skills, experience and support to become confident and compassionate health practitioners.

Expert staff work with NHS clinicians to deliver programmes from ‘bite-size’ taster sessions to PhDs in some of the UK’s finest facilities.

Fees and funding 

£9,250 per year*

£18,300 per year

International applicants may need to pay a tuition fee deposit before the start of the course. Visit our tuition fee deposit page for more information.

Your tuition fees will cover most costs associated with your programme (including registration, tuition, supervision, assessment and examination).

There are some extra costs that you might have to pay, or choose to pay, depending on your programme of study and the decisions you make. The list below has some examples, and any extra costs will vary.

  • Books (you’ll have access to books from your module reading lists in the library, but you may want to buy your own copies)
  • Optional field trips
  • Study abroad (including travel costs, accommodation, visas, immunisation)
  • Placement costs (including travel costs and accommodation)
  • Student visas (international students)
  • Laptop (you’ll have access to laptops and PC’s on campus, but you may want to buy your own)
  • Printing and photocopying
  • Professional-body membership
  • Graduation (gown hire and photography)

Remember, you’ll still need to take into account your living costs. This could include accommodation, travel and food – to name just a few. 


Entry requirements 

To register on the degree, candidates must have completed a diploma in higher education, or have completed 120 credits at diploma level.


For non-graduate practitioners in a critical care environment, such as nurses, paramedics or operating department practitioners, this degree provides an excellent opportunity to acquire the graduate status required for progression on to a higher grade with an emphasis on the key skills and knowledge particular to critical care.