distance learning online education dx logo
online education line home 
about us 
contact us 
online degree granting university by distance learning

 About the OU

 Course fees

 Course handbook

 Subject outlines

 University website

Enquire into this online degree now   Enquire Now 

Postgraduate Certificate in Advancing Healthcare Practice

This postgraduate certificate course equips you with the knowledge, skills, personal, professional and inter-professional insights and qualities needed to function as a successful change agent in the advancement of healthcare, whether that be through leadership, policy and practice innovation work, or through research, evidence utilisation and practice skill development.

Our suite of qualifications in advancing healthcare practice will introduce you to change as a recurring theme one that requires, leadership, innovation, research and skill enhancement. Leadership strategy, practice innovation, research, evidence utilisation and skill development are all part of strategic change, directing and supporting that which enhances the quality of healthcare. The staged qualifications - a certificate, diploma and MSc - are each qualifications in their own right. You can step off at any point, or study the whole programme.

Each qualification will increasingly improve your practice; develop your study and reasoning skills; advance your knowledge, understanding, personal, professional and inter-professional insights; and help you become a successful agent for change. You'll also be better placed to seize career opportunities associated with leadership, quality assurance and practice development roles in healthcare. Irrespective of whether you have a front line clinical practice role, or one associated with management, research, or healthcare education, these qualifications have much to offer the entrepreneurial professional.

Through the postgraduate certificate course you are assisted to investigate the ways in which an appreciation of contexts, and different forms of information, frameworks, work with colleagues and stakeholders and ethical best practice may be combined so as to pursue desirable healthcare objectives.

You conduct your studies using a mixture of electronic and print-based study materials and while continuing to work in your place of practice. You are supported by a tutor and invited to participate in a study group which works to help you to explore the world of healthcare and to sustain study.

Study Mode

Online Education, Distance Learning & External study modes available

Career relevance and employability

There is more information about how OU study can improve your employability in the OU's Employability Statement from our Careers Advisory Service. You can also read or download our publication OU study and your career and look at our subject pages to find out about career opportunities.


For this postgraduate certificate, you require:

60 credits from one of the following optional modules:

Postgraduate optional modules Credits Next start
Leading healthcare improvements (K827)

This course will help you develop leadership skills in relation to healthcare service improvements, innovation and policy.

See full description.

60 Oct
Researching and evaluating healthcare practice (K828)

This course assists you to play a leading role in service improvements through an appreciation of healthcare quality, research, evidence evaluation and skill analysis.

See full description.

60 Oct

Or, subject to the rules about excluded combinations, the discontinued modules K821, K822, K826

Educational aims

The aim of the Postgraduate Certificate in Advancing Healthcare Practice is to equip healthcare practitioners with the knowledge, skills, personal, professional, organisational insights and qualities necessary to advance healthcare practice on the basis of key concepts relating to healthcare change, skills, and practice development.

The qualification will focus on change, change agency and the issues that must be addressed if healthcare is to advance. Change is examined in the context of healthcare policy and agendas, change agency and inter-professional working, which is addressed in all three modules. Ways in which healthcare professionals might work with clients and consumers, as well as colleagues, are examined as part of innovation in healthcare.

Learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding


  • Strategic concepts in the design and implementation of healthcare projects (e.g. policy implementation, practice innovation, research design).
  • Complex ways in which context and healthcare change or project may interact, affecting the work of the practitioner who is advancing healthcare practice.

Cognitive skills

Be able to:

  • Synthesise different cues to action, options, drivers, agendas and expectations before electing an appropriate stance or course of action that advances healthcare practice.
  • Articulate the ways in which your own advancing healthcare practice ideas, plans and action work creatively, effectively and sympathetically with the concerns of others, team and organisational goals.

Practical and/or professional skills

Be able to:

  • Identify and collaborate strategically with key stakeholders in the analysis of current practice and ways in which health care might be changed.

Key skills

Be able to:

  • Articulate the ways in which theoretical concepts and frameworks taught within the qualification operate in practice, dealing successfully with the questions that then arise, either about the fit of theory to practice or the clarity and complexity of healthcare.
  • Using a variety of media and different discussion forums, conduct key enquiries necessary to formulate a clear understanding of current knowledge and philosophy of healthcare.

Copyright Open University UK

 Search for a course
 Related courses