The details
Location: Online Mode of study: Part-time Qualification: PG Cert Indicative duration: 8 months
Start date: Awarding body: University of Essex Delivered by: Kaplan Open Learning For queries: Call +44 (0) 1206 489 358

Keen to step up within your role as a nurse? Interested in broadening your horizons or improving your ability to manage? Our 100% online and part-time short postgraduate nursing course is designed for practising nurses who are keen to continue their professional development and take on new challenges within their field.

You will have the ability to customise your studies by selecting from a range of modules in various healthcare and management topics alongside our compulsory offer, including:

  • the management of disease, including pathophysiology and pharmacology
  • the principles of pain management
  • the theoretical knowledge required to support the delivery and management of diabetes care both in primary and secondary healthcare settings
  • the role of nurses in meeting the needs of vulnerable individuals, groups and communities
  • the scientific concepts underpinning infection control and prevention
  • contemporary models and strategies to guide the design of effective health promotion activities
  • practical leadership skills underpinned by a critical appreciation of leadership theory

Upon completion of your PG Cert Nursing, we offer the opportunity for you to progress on to study for a PG Dip Nursing (120 credits) or an MSc Nursing (180 credits).

Why we’re great

  • You can achieve a respected qualification in just 8 months without any need to take a break from work.
  • This course contributes towards your required CPD and will allow you to further your skills and knowledge.
  • Our range of optional modules means that, whatever your clinical background or future career goals, you will find topics of relevance to you.

The PG Cert Nursing is made up of the following modules and, upon completion, is equal to a total of 60 credits.

Optional modules: choose one.

Evidence-based practice plays a key part in nursing. From critiquing research approaches to working with others to achieve evidence-based care, this in-depth module covers all aspects of critical thinking and research to help you improve healthcare outcomes within your own organisation.

Have you considered the principles and practices surrounding management and organisational behaviour in healthcare environments? This exciting module also introduces you to ethics and sustainability issues influencing managerial decisions – and upon completion, you’ll be able to connect your management thinking to wider themes within social science.  

Form a fundamental understanding of the key sciences linked to disease management with this informative module. You’ll study a wide range of topics – including physiology, pathology and pharmacology – and on completion, you’ll feel empowered to evidence clinical manifestations of disease and their management.   

Throughout this insightful module, you’ll discover how health promotion activities can drive positive health-related behaviours. Engage with case studies from peer-reviewed literature to further examine how health promotion can be applied using real-world scenarios. 

How do effective management and leadership skills drive healthcare organisations towards their objectives? In this innovative module, you’ll look at the theory behind leadership and ways to successfully judge performance using diagnostic tools. Then upon completion, you'll create your own personal development objectives based on assessments.  

This engrossing module provides you with the required knowledge to deliver the highest quality diabetes care. You’ll explore epidemiology, pathophysiology and clinical presentation in relation to the condition, as well as prevention methods and frameworks – so you can develop a strong understanding of therapeutic approaches for diabetes management. 

What part does pain management play in your current role? In this informative module, you’ll learn about the human perception of pain, pharmacological and non-pharmacological treatments, psychological support and future trends in pain management. Ultimately, you’ll gain a deeper understanding of pain management – allowing you to better support patients within your organisation.  

Supporting and protecting vulnerable individuals is a huge part of any nursing role. This thought-provoking module explores the concepts and theories of vulnerability, as well as mental health, alcohol and substance misuse, and hard-to-reach groups. By the end, you’ll have a strong understanding of empowerment in healthcare and the various approaches to helping the vulnerable. 

This innovative module provides an in-depth overview of infection control across healthcare and clinical settings. You'll consider a range of infection control interventions and quality improvement tools, giving you the ability to explain the importance of control for staff and patient protection, as well as the wider impacts on public health.  

Teaching methods 

Studying online gives you the freedom to study when and where it suits you – at home, during your lunch hour or anywhere else you have internet access.  

Our courses are delivered through a virtual learning environment (VLE) instead of a traditional campus. This means you’ll have access to your study materials 24/7, including:  

  • multimedia lecturecasts made up of written content, short videos, animation, audio recordings, infographics, short tests and mini-assignments 
  • discussion forums for you to chat about the course content with fellow students 
  • live seminars and Q&A sessions with your tutors 
  • a comprehensive eLibrary of textbooks and academic journals  
  • support from academic staff and your dedicated Student Support team 

 

Assessments 

You’ll be assessed through a series of assignments. This can be by engaging in discussion forums throughout your modules, completing reflective journal entries, delivering live presentations or by submitting longer written pieces. 

We’re committed to providing frequent and transparent feedback in the following ways: 

  • our assessment criteria are designed to be simple and transparent 
  • you’ll always be aware of your current provisional grade, right from the start of the programme 
  • you’ll be able to view your marks clearly in your gradebook whenever you log into the learning platform 
  • there’s a 7-day turnaround for marking and feedback of assessed work 
  • you’ll have regular contact with your Student Support team, with whom you can discuss any concerns as soon as they arise 

 

Online learning experience 

Your learning experience will be fully supported by high-quality learning materials and resources, delivered via our state-of-the-art virtual learning environment (VLE).  

On average, your learning experience will include the following: 

  • directed learning (40%) this includes participating in tutor-led discussions and seminars, completing interactive exercises on the VLE, and watching videos and lecturecasts. You’ll also be able to book appointments with your module tutor during their office hours, which can be found on the VLE 
  • self-directed learning (30%) – including undertaking wider reading and research in your area of study to develop your understanding of the subject area 
  • assessment (30%) time spent preparing ad completing assignments and activities that contribute towards your overall assessment. 

Typically, you’ll need to dedicate a minimum 15-20 hours of study per module, per week. 

 

Study duration 

Our PG Cert Nursing has an indicative study duration of 8 months, which is a guide to how long your course will take to complete. The actual duration may be longer or shorter depending on your speed of study, study options chosen and module availability.  

It’s possible to complete your studies faster than the indicative course duration by doubling up on modules at certain times; however, minimum study durations do apply.  

Our academic year is organised into modules, typically with a one or two-week break between modules and a structured three-week break for the Christmas period. Students will receive a course timetable during the application process.  

All our courses have regular start dates throughout the year.  

On successful completion of your degree, you’ll be invited to attend a graduation ceremony at the University of Essex’s Colchester campus. 

 

Academic staff 

A quality teaching experience is at the heart of everything we do.  

The dedicated tutors who teach our course modules are subject matter experts, experienced academics and leading industry thought leaders. They play a vital role in ensuring the latest theories and areas of study are covered in our courses, and are proud to provide a high level of academic support. 

You can find more information on our key academic staff and their experience here. 

 

Quality and assurance  

We’re proud to provide a first-class education to students anywhere in the world and adhere to the strictest quality standards 

The University of Essex Online has been evaluated by the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA) and we’re registered in the Approved (fee cap) category with the Office for Students (OfS) 

All our degrees are delivered by Kaplan Open Learning, a world-leading education provider with over 15 years’ experience. 

With our PG Cert Nursing, you’ll be confident to progress from wholly clinical roles to middle and senior management positions within nursing. These could include Ward Manager, Charge Nurse, Nurse Manager, Senior Staff Nurse or Nursing Officer.

Gaining a postgraduate qualification with the University of Essex Online also puts you in good stead for your career prospects. Results from our 2021 student survey showed:

  • 92% of students said their course helped develop their research skills
  • 89% of students say their studies fit with their future plans
  • Almost 60% said their studies had a positive effect on their career
  • 25% of students saw their salaries increase by up to 10%

We know that many people from non-traditional backgrounds would succeed on our courses! That’s why we offer two different entry routes, taking into account your prior work experience and relevant qualifications. You will also need to meet our English language requirements.

Additionally, you will need to pass your first assignment set within your two week induction period in order to continue with your studies.

Because of the work-based nature of the programme, all students must be working in clinical practice as a registered nurse or with a license to practice as a nurse with a nursing regulator or appropriate licensing board.

 

Academic entry route

In order to satisfy the academic entry route requirements for our MSc nursing programme students must meet the following criteria as a minimum:

  • an undergraduate degree or equivalent in a health or social care related subject from an approved institution
  • working in clinical practice as a registered nurse or licensed to practice as a nurse with a nursing regulator or appropriate licensing board.

 

 Work experience Entry Route

Students who do not have a degree may be eligible for entry and will be considered on an individual basis. In order to satisfy the work experience entry route requirements for our PG Cert Nursing, you must meet the following criteria:

  • at least three years’ post qualification work experience as a registered nurse or licensed to practice as a nurse with a nursing regulator or appropriate licensing board, supported by appropriate references

 

English language requirements

As our courses are delivered in English, a high proficiency with English is required. If English is not your first language, your English ability should be equivalent to an IELTS (Academic) score of 6.5. Don’t worry if you don’t hold an IELTS or equivalent qualification – we offer a free online English test to assess your proficiency.

You don’t need to prove your English ability if you are a national of, or have completed a qualification equivalent to a UK degree in, any of these countries.

Full tuition fee:  

£4,056 UK / £4,143 International (2023-24) Δ 

  • Simple monthly payment plan available, enabling you to spread the cost over the duration of your studies. 
  • Full payment discount of 5% if you pay upfront. 
  • Regional scholarship available for international students based overseas in eligible countries. 
  • Alumni discount of 10% of the tuition fee available if you are a previous graduate with the University of Essex or University of Essex Online. 
  • 10% corporate discount available when three or more of your employees study with us. 

Please note, a maximum of two discounts or scholarships can be applied. The corporate discount can only be used in combination with our upfront payment discount, but not in conjunction with any other discount or scholarship. Find out more information about our discounts and scholarships here. 

Our course fees are fully inclusive – all teaching materials and required reading are included, and there are no hidden charges for assessments or resits.  

Δ All tuition fees shown are net of any applicable sales tax payable by you in your country of residence. Where we are required to add sales tax at the local statutory rate, this will be added to the tuition fees shown and confirmed during the payment process. 

Subject specialists, industry authorities and experienced academics: the tutors who teach modules on our PG Cert Nursing are experts in the field of healthcare.

What our students say

testimonials

Obinna Orjingene - Master of Public Health (MPH)

I’ve used the modules I’m studying in my real-life work experiences, which is amazing!

I was working in the emergency room and intensive care unit, providing critical care for paediatric emergencies and looking after children who'd fled armed conflict and were living in slum dwellings with their parents or guardians. It was here I decided a Master of Public Health was the way to go to progress my career.  I’m currently working as a child survival and development consultant. I chose to study public health because the course is beneficial to my current career aspirations. With this course, I’ll gain a broader perception of health. It will allow me to address the primary...

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