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Why choose this course?

This course aims to facilitate the registered adult nurse in developing a critical, holistic, and systematic understanding of and approach to adult critical care, which describes when patients need 24-hour care. This is also sometimes called intensive care unit nursing, or ICU nursing.

This course covers care of the individual critically ill adult; the wider implications of care interventions for the critical care unit; their own professional development within adult critical care; and principles of service improvement and advanced research within the context of the provision adult critical care services.

You will develop your applied knowledge and understanding of a range of topics relevant to caring for the critically ill adult patient. This will include consideration of the relevant anatomy and physiology, pathophysiology, aetiology, assessment, therapeutic interventions, psychological implications and nursing care.

The course will support you in developing your ability to find and critically evaluate the evidence base for interventions in practice and identify the implications for your practice. You will reflect on your own knowledge and practice and demonstrate the ability to learn from this process. You will demonstrate your ability to provide safe practice through the achievement of practice-related outcomes and from your ability to articulate the rationale for actions in the clinical setting. Throughout the course you will also develop your ability to synthesise information on differing aspects of care, which will help you to identify the implications for the wider critical care unit in terms of dissemination and leadership activities and propose actions / developments related to these.

In Year One you will study modules addressing the standards for post-registration critical care nurse education previously discussed. Year Two of the course builds on this to develop students’ ability to systematically synthesise and apply principles of personal professional development, service improvement, and research, to the adult critical care environment. It is expected that assignments completed in Year Two modules will be focused on topics of relevance to adult critical care.

What happens on the course?

The course is attended by staff working in a number of critical care units, which vary in size, speciality, and local environment. This enables students, through classroom discussions and group activity, to be exposed to differing experiences and practice of critical care nursing, broadening their understanding of the specialism.

Critical care courses are taught together in the same classroom, maximising this opportunity. The course meets the National Standards for Critical Care Nurse Education published by the Critical Care Network National Nurse leads (CC3N, 2015) and incorporates the relevant steps of the National Competency Framework for Adult Critical Care Nurses (CC3N, 2015). In this manner, the course meets the recommendations for critical care nurse education set out in the Guidelines for the Provision of Intensive Care Services version two (GPICS2), published by the UK Faculty of Intensive Care Medicine and the Intensive Care Society (FICM & ICS 2019).

The content of the course will continue to be updated as required in the future to ensure it continues to meet national standards, ensuring that the award achieved remains one which is professionally recognised and transferable.

Course Modules

Potential Career Paths

Successful completion of the MSc Adult Critical Care Nursing will lead to the right to apply for registration with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC)

This course will build and develop upon your knowledge and skills as a nursing practitioner working in a variety of settings. The management and organisation of service provision is constantly changing and developing in line with health and social care policy, and you are working with and being involved with such changes. Hence you need to develop the knowledge and skills to enhance your employability and to accept the greater responsibilities that these changes will bring and to be prepared for such changes.

Throughout your time here at the University of Wolverhampton, this course will enable you to develop the skills to enhance your employment prospects. Developing specialist subject and academic knowledge is important for employers but they also want to employ individuals who are able to:
  • communicate effectively
  • work in a team and have good interpersonal skills.
  • solve problems
  • work on their own using their own initiative and are able to adapt to changing situations
  • be self-confident
  • demonstrate flexible and transferable skills whilst working in a variety of settings
This course will also assist you in developing your skills to analyse practice by using appropriate evidence to improve service delivery.

Registered nurses continue to study after they have qualified, often in a specialist area, as they develop their career path within the UK or working abroad. 

Additional Information

Everything you need to know about this course!

As a registered nurse you will:

  • meet the NMC Standards of proficiency for pre-registration nursing education.
  • provide nursing care that is safe, effective, and ethical and assume full responsibility and accountability for your own practice as a nurse registered on the NMC register within the legal framework of the country in which you are employed.
  • reflect upon and critically evaluate evidence to reach sound nursing judgements and exercise effective decision-making in complex situations 
  • critically examine the impact of political, professional and social contexts on your provision of person-centred nursing care within the context of a multidisciplinary team.
  • effectively apply your learning to identify, manage, and lead enterprising innovations and service improvements in nursing practice.
  • demonstrate competence in the use of advanced technologies to quality-assure and enhance your nursing practice and maintain your life-long learning.

Location Mode Fee Year
Home Part-time £3998 per year 2022-23
Home Part-time £4198 per year 2023-24

These fees relate to new entrants only for the academic year indicated for entry onto the course, any subsequent years study may be subject to an annual increase, usually in line with inflation.

 Entry Requirements:

    • You must be working in a Critical Care unit and have a minimum of 12-months experience in Critical Care at the start of the course. .
  • You must have completed Step 1 of the National Competency Framework for Critical Care Nursing (CC3N, 2015), by the start of the course.
  • You must have previously completed a degree in nursing or related topic. This may be an honours or non-honours degree.
  • Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) for year 1 (up to 60 credits) may be claimed for applicants who have existing level 7 credits from a postgraduate critical care course based on the National Competency Framework for Adult Critical Care Nurses (CC3N, 2015).
  • Postgraduate Loyalty Discount:

    You can get 20% discount on a taught postgraduate course if you’re a University of Wolverhampton Graduate.

    The University offers a generous 20% Loyalty Discount to students progressing from an undergraduate programme to a taught postgraduate on-site programme, where both courses are University of Wolverhampton Awards.

    There is no time limit on how long ago you completed your degree as long as this is your first Masters level qualification.

    The discount applies to the first year of enrolment only. Students who receive a loyalty discount are not entitled to any further tuition discount or bursary. For full terms and conditions click here.


    If you are paying for the fees yourself then the fees can be paid in 3 instalments: November, January and April. More information can be found by clicking here.

    Sponsored - Your employer, embassy or organisation can pay for your Tuition fees:

    Your employer, embassy or organisation agrees to pay all or part of your tuition fees; the University will refer to them as your sponsor and will invoice them for the appropriate amount.

    We must receive notification of sponsorship in writing as soon as possible, and before enrolment, confirming that the sponsor will pay your tuition fees.

    Financial Hardship:

    Students can apply to the Dennis Turner Opportunity Fund for help with course related costs however this cannot be used for fees or to cover general living costs.

    Charitable Funding:

    You might also want to explore the possibility of funding from charitable trusts; please see the following websites Association of Charitable Foundations, Directory of Social Change or Family Action. Most charities and trust funds offer limited bursaries targeted to specific groups of students so you will need to research whether any of them are relevant to your situation.

    You can find more information on the University’s Funding, cost, fee and support pages.


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