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Advanced and Specialist Healthcare - PCert, MSc


The PCert and MSc in Advanced and Specialist Healthcare is a flexible, part-time, multi-professional programme. It has been designed specifically for qualified, registered healthcare professionals including doctors, nurses, GP Fellows, dentists, dental care professionals, physiotherapists and therapists working in primary, secondary or community care, who wish to develop their academic skills alongside their professional role.



Taught by expert academics and clinicians, you broaden your expertise, deepen your knowledge and hone your research skills while gaining a recognised qualification to help progress your career.

Teaching is structured around a series of extended taught weekends (on average six weekends a year at our Medway campus), consisting of formal lectures, seminars, guest speakers and action learning sessions.

During the sessions, you explore your existing work practice, with modules designed to help you review and analyse current debates and professional challenges relevant to the specific area and healthcare context in which you work. You also have the opportunity to develop the academic and professional skills necessary to meet evolving needs of patient care in healthcare services.  

GP trainers who have successfully achieved PCert or PDip in Strategic Leadership and Multi-professional Education in Healthcare, can continue to study for a full MSc award by direct access into the PG Diploma.

Dentists and dental care professionals who have successfully completed the HEE PG Cert and Dip in Primary Dental Care, can continue to study for a full MSc award by direct access into the PG Diploma.

Health Education England (Kent, Surrey, Sussex) Post-CCT Fellowships for GPs

HEE offer fellowships for early career GPs. The PCert in Advanced and Specialist Healthcare provides the academic component for the Education and Leadership Fellowship, with students gaining the research and evaluation skills required to undertake a project negotiated with the sponsoring CCG. More information on the Fellowship scheme can be found at

One to one academic support is also provided by the Kent Academic Primary Care Unit who work alongside the Centre for Professional Practice to deliver the teaching for GP Fellows.  

Requests for APECL (Accreditation of Prior Experiential and Certificated Learning ) are welcome.

You are encouraged to convert prior learning achievements into University of Kent academic credit via Accreditation of Prior Experiential and / or Certificated Learning. To be eligible for accreditation, prior learning must be at the appropriate and relevant to the programme's learning outcomes. For further information, visit: 

The programme has the following alternative exit awards, subject to credit numbers:

  • PG Certificate in Advanced and Specialist Healthcare (60 credits)
  • PG Diploma in Advanced and Specialist Healthcare (60 credits - 120 credits in total) 

The Centre’s programmes are designed to enhance career progression and foster intellectual and professional development and practice. Debbie Reed, the Head of the Centre and Programme Lecturers Tania Hopper and Dr Claire Parkin discuss the importance of multi-professional, part-time, work-relates studies.

The Centre for Professional Practice (CPP)

The programme is delivered by the University of Kent's Centre for Professional Practice (CPP), based in Medway. The Centre offers multi-professional, flexible, part-time, work-related studies and is founded on the belief that employers can benefit from the University of Kent’s academic and research excellence, quality teaching, design and development activities to create positive change and to forge new knowledge within their organisation.

We work with a wide range of external partners and employers to create distinct and original work-based and work-related developmental and educational solutions, which respond to the unique workforce challenges experienced by employees and organisations across the region and beyond.

National ratings

Kent was awarded Gold, the highest rating, in the UK Government’s Teaching Excellence Framework*

*The University of Kent's Statement of Findings can be found here

Course structure

This work-based programme provides the context for the critical appraisal and on-going development of professional practice where practitioners are able to engage creatively with the issues and concerns of their organisation in a conversant and research-minded way.


The following modules are indicative of those offered on this programme. This list is based on the current curriculum and may change year to year.

Stage 1 (PCert), 60 credits

You take the following core modules:

WL830 - Evidence-Based Practice (Health) (15 credits)

WL814 - Inter-professional Working (15 credits)

Plus a module or modules equaling 30 credits from across the CPP or University catalogue (subject to availability), at least 15 credits of which must be a Level 7 to be eligible for a PG Cert award.

Optional modules may include: 

WL912 - Introduction to Evaluation within Professional Context (15 credits)

WL825 - Special Area of Study (30 credits)

WL838 - Professional Standard Setting for Professional Practice (30 credits) (Audit and Quality Improvement)

WL874 - Special Area of Study (15 credits) 

Stage 2 (PDip), 60 credits  

You study one Research Skills module: 

WL817 - Research Skills (15 credits)

WL882 - Research Skills (30 credits)

Plus a module or modules equalling 30 or 45 credits from across the CPP or University catalogue (subject to availability and depending on the Research Skills module selected),  at least 30 credits of which must be a Level 7 to be eligible for a PG Diploma award.

Stage 3 (MSc), 60 credits

WL816 - Work-related Project and Dissertation (60 credits)

Taught sessions are delivered in a welcoming, supportive and flexible academic environment, by an academic team with extensive professional practitioner experience. They are experienced in delivering work-related programmes and understand the constraints of balancing a career with the demands of higher education.


The programme is designed to be studied on a part-time basis over three academic years (on average six weekends a year at Medway campus). In some cases modules that include practical skills may require practical demonstration of skills and knowledge.

The programme will require you to study a combination of compulsory and optional modules. You may also have the option to take modules from other programmes so that you may customise your programme and explore other subject areas that interest you.

No modules information available for this delivery.

Teaching and Assessment

Assessments will be made in the following ways: written assignments; project plan submission; oral presentations; coursework assignments; seminar contribution; dissertation; contribution to online activity i.e. via Moodle; student forums. In addition, in Stage 3 you complete a dissertation of 10,000-12,000 words.

Programme aims

This programme aims to:

  • Foster the intellectual and professional development of experienced healthcare practitioners to extend and deepen the analytical and critical reasoning powers which underpin practice (e.g. in organisational leadership and change, health and welfare systems, organisations and services and advanced technical procedures and practices).
  • Enhance the skills of experienced practitioners in multidisciplinary decision-making as well as leadership in teams and deepen understanding of the dynamics of multidisciplinary working.
  • Provide supervision for advanced practitioner centred research that builds a culture of evaluation and enquiry into the practice environment.
  • Equip experienced practitioners for their role in challenging, questioning and realigning strategies for specialist practice.
  • Develop confident senior practitioners who are able to participate in the development of practice, work effectively with organisational interests, evidence-based processes, and within complex multidisciplinary teams.
  • Enable practitioners to critically evaluate their own area of practice informed by evidence-based research and grounded in self-reflection.
  • Provide a culture of lifelong learning that values and respects practice as the context for building and testing theory to enhance services for patients/clients/consumers/customers and their families.
  • Enable experienced practitioners from a diverse range of educational backgrounds to access and participate in a multidisciplinary working environment.
  • Support a programme of personal development that underpins practice development and personal planning.

Learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding

You gain knowledge and understanding of:

  • Theories of reflective practice which will equip the learner in delivering quality services in health and social care settings.
  • Leadership styles to develop theory and skills appropriate to specialist areas of practice.
  • Strategic decision-making in healthcare services and other health and social care and organisational settings.
  • A specialist area of practice with emphasis on developing both the clinical skills and skills to evaluate quality and assess clinical or general practice.
  • Critical analysis of models of care of patients, clients, service users, customers and consumers through evidence-based practice.
  • The learning process of collaborative working in an area of specialist practice.
  •  Practice-based research and enquiry underpinned by concepts of patient/client assessment, such as critical analysis of medical, health and social care factors.
  • Theory-building and theory-testing in professional practice including holistic factors such as health or disease, treatment and sociologic economic factors.
  • Data Management and the main statistical principles and methods used in area of practice.
  • The key ethical and legal principles governing area of practice. 

Intellectual skills

You develop intellectual skills to:

  • Demonstrate critical and analytical reasoning to review and analyse contemporary practice.
  • Prepare and present clearly reasoned and justified argument in securing practice change and development.
  • Apply work-based learning to demonstrably enhance services.
  • Develop a comprehensive professional portfolio that identifies the utility of intellectual skills in practice.
  • Design and implement a programme of practice-based enquiry.
  • Collect and analyse data from practice to inform evidence-based enquiry including the statistical analysis of data.
  • Undertake and report ethical analysis of practice research project-plans.
  • Understand the importance to professionalism of positive critique, response to feedback and reflective practice. 

Subject-specific skills

You gain subject-specific skills to:

  • Demonstrate effective engagement in team working appropriate to workplace.
  • Demonstrate an in-depth understanding of change management in healthcare services/
  • Develop new roles that support the interface between the strategic aims of service and practice.
  • Present and argue an evidence based case for service change and development.

Transferable skills

You gain transferable skills to:

  • Enable acquisition of skills of evaluation and enquiry that support the practitioner in making a contribution to professional knowledge in their subject field.
  • Ability to design and implementation of a research programme with a clear analysis of the outcomes and recommendations for future action.
  • Clear and detailed reporting and accounting for the implementation and outcomes of an applied development project.
  • Skilled utilisation of action learning set approaches to solve problems and identify solutions.
  • Effective use of work-based learning to establish a future personal plan within the context of lifelong professional development.
  • Use of supervision to inform and enhance learning approaches in the workplace.
  • To communicate with clarity in academic settings and in professional / work place settings.     
  • Show evidence of critical self-reflection and the ability to enhance professional competence on the basis of feedback. 


Our staff have a wealth of experience and knowledge working in public, private, health and third sectors, providing valuable contributions to the design, development and delivery of current professional practice programmes. With strong links to local and national employers, the Centre is able to ensure that its programmes are contemporary.

The Centre is also responsible for developing and accrediting postgraduate training courses delivered by NHS Health Education Kent, Surrey and Sussex (Postgraduate Dental Deanery), Kent Community Health NHS Trust and the New Horizons Teaching School Alliance, with whom the University of Kent has close working relationships.

Dynamic publishing culture

Staff publish regularly and widely in journals, conference proceedings and books, both nationally and internationally. Among others, they have recently contributed to: Journal of Public Health, Advanced Journal of Professional Practice, Primary Dental CareDental Nursing; British Dental Journal and publications produced by the dental council.

Study support

The Centre recognises and understands the individual needs of working professionals, who participate as non-traditional part-time learners, and the balance required between study and the specific areas within which they operate. Our flexible programmes of study provide inclusive and coherent educational and work-related opportunities, which provide you with the opportunity to study either individual modules or to work towards a Postgraduate Certificate, Diploma or Master’s degree. Taught sessions are delivered in a welcoming, supportive and flexible academic environment, by an academic team with extensive professional practitioner experience.

Students will receive normal tutorial support in order to allow them to complete the programme, in addition, Pathway Directors will be expected to ensure that support is in place for student’s work place managers where applicable; in order to help them understand the needs of the programme and the way in which the programme is able to enhance their employees everyday practice. Where required, students should ensure from the outset that they identify a work or practice-based co-supervisor or mentor for their dissertation project work. 

Disability Statement: Where disabled students are due to undertake a work placement as part of this programme of study, a representative of the University will meet with the work placement provider in advance to ensure the provision of anticipatory and reasonable adjustments in line with legal requirements

Continuing professional development (CPD) courses

We offer a number of CPD courses in evidence-based practice, research skills, collaborative and interprofessional working. You can obtain further information about these programmes from the Centre.

Global Skills Award

All students registered for a taught Master's programme are eligible to apply for a place on our Global Skills Award Programme. The programme is designed to broaden your understanding of global issues and current affairs as well as to develop personal skills which will enhance your employability.  

Entry requirements

Entry onto the programme is via professional qualification in a relevant field (healthcare or medical profession) with a minimum of two years post qualification experience within the relevant area of practice.


The successful completion of a University of Kent PG Certificate or PG Diploma in a health related subject area, for example the PG Certificate in Strategic Leadership and Multi-professional Education in Healthcare or the PG Diploma in Strategic Leadership and Multi-professional Education in Healthcare. Subject to successful credit transfer or Accreditation of Prior Certificated Learning Application, in accordance with Code of Practice Annex R.


  • You must be able to demonstrate personal suitability and be within a suitable workplace setting.
  • Be successful at an interview which is designed to assess your suitability for undertaking the programme.
  • Supply supporting references indicating your academic and personal suitability for the programme of study.
  • Have registered healthcare professional qualification and registration with the relevant Professional, Statutory and Regulatory Bodies (as appropriate).

All applicants are considered on an individual basis, their professional qualifications and related work experience.

All applicants are considered on an individual basis and additional qualifications, professional qualifications and experience will also be taken into account. 

International students

Please see our International Student website for entry requirements by country and other relevant information for your country.  Please note that international fee-paying students cannot undertake a part-time programme due to visa restrictions.

English language entry requirements

The University requires all non-native speakers of English to reach a minimum standard of proficiency in written and spoken English before beginning a postgraduate degree. Certain subjects require a higher level.

For detailed information see our English language requirements web pages. 

Need help with English?

Please note that if you are required to meet an English language condition, we offer a number of pre-sessional courses in English for Academic Purposes through Kent International Pathways.

Staff research interests

Full details of staff research interests can be found on the School's website.


The 2019/20 annual tuition fees for this programme are:

Advanced and Specialist Healthcare - MSc at Medway:
UK/EU Overseas
Advanced and Specialist Healthcare - PCert at Medway:
UK/EU Overseas

For students continuing on this programme fees will increase year on year by no more than RPI + 3% in each academic year of study except where regulated.* If you are uncertain about your fee status please contact

General additional costs

Find out more about general additional costs that you may pay when studying at Kent. 


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