Advanced and Specialist Healthcare - PCert, PDip, MSc

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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, physiotherapists and therapists working in primary, secondary or community care, who wish to develop their academic skills alongside their professional role.


This part-time, flexible, multi-professional Master's-level qualification is suitable for all healthcare professionals and offers opportunities for Accreditation of Prior Experiential and /or Certificated Learning or Credit Transfer.

Who is the programme for?

  • Healthcare professionals who wish to develop their academic skills alongside their professional role.
  • 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 Postgraduate Diploma.
  • Professionals who have successfully completed WL600 Woundcare Module with Kent Community Health NHS Foundation Trust. You can convert a percentage of your credits via APECL (Accreditation of Prior Experiential and/or Certificated Learning) as direct entry to the programme.
  • 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.

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

Requests for APECL (Accreditation of Prior Experiential and/or Certificated Learning) or Credit Transfer

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 level and relevant to the programme's learning outcomes. For further information, visit:

Study structure

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. The programme is delivered through a variety of teaching methods, including taught sessions and work-based learning, self-study, case-study analysis, individual and group tutorials, projects and presentations. Online learning recourses are available on our virtual learning environment.

Teaching is structured around a series of extended taught weekends (on average four weekends a year at our Medway campus), Friday - Sunday, 9.00-17.00.

Alternative exit awards

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

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

Global and Lifelong Learning 

The programme is delivered by the University of Kent's Global and Lifelong Learning provision, based in Medway. Global and Lifelong Learning 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.

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 PCert or PDip in a health related subject area, for example the PCert or PDip 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 relevant experience may also be taken into account when considering applications. 

International students

Please see our International Student website for entry requirements by country and other relevant information. Due to visa restrictions, students who require a student visa to study cannot study part-time unless undertaking a distance or blended-learning programme with no on-campus provision.

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.


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Course structure

Duration: 3 years part-time

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 (30 credits)

Plus a module equalling 30 credits from across the CPP or University catalogue (subject to availability and student numbers). 

Optional modules may include: 

WL825 - Special Area of Study (30 credits)

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

Stage 2 (PDip), 60 credits  

You take the following core modules:

WL882 - Research Skills (30 credits)

Plus a module equalling 30 credits from across the CPP or University catalogue (subject to availability and student numbers). 

Optional modules may include:

WL825 - Special Area of Study (30 credits)

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

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 four weekends a year at Medway campus). In some cases modules that include practical skills may require practical demonstration of skills and knowledge.


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. 


The 2023/24 annual tuition fees for this course are:

Advanced and Specialist Healthcare - MSc at Medway

  • Home part-time £3200
  • EU part-time TBC
  • International part-time TBC

Advanced and Specialist Healthcare - PCert at Medway

  • Home part-time £3200
  • EU part-time TBC
  • International part-time TBC

For details of when and how to pay fees and charges, please see our Student Finance Guide.

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

Your fee status

The University will assess your fee status as part of the application process. If you are uncertain about your fee status you may wish to seek advice from UKCISA before applying.

Additional costs

General additional costs

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


Search our scholarships finder for possible funding opportunities. You may find it helpful to look at both:

We have a range of subject-specific awards and scholarships for academic, sporting and musical achievement.

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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, we are able to ensure that its programmes are contemporary.

We are also responsible for developing and accrediting postgraduate training courses delivered by Health Education England (Kent, Surrey and Sussex), 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 Care; Dental Nursing; British Dental Journal and publications produced by the dental council.

Study support

We recognise and understand 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, Programme 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 by checking our Short courses page. 

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.

Apply now

Learn more about the application process or begin your application by clicking on a link below.

You will be able to choose your preferred year of entry once you have started your application. You can also save and return to your application at any time.

Apply for entry to:

Contact us


United Kingdom/EU enquiries

MSc at Medway

PCert at Medway

PDip at Medway

Admissions enquiries

T: +44 (0)1227 768896


Subject enquiries

Please contact the Programme Coordinator: T: +44 (0)1634 888929


International student enquiries

Enquire online

T: +44 (0)1227 823254