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Postgraduate Diploma in Advancing Healthcare Practice

This postgraduate diploma 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.

Throughout your study you will explore module themes with regard to your own practice situation, conducting a series of investigations where you work, with regard to current literature and debate within the web and in association with discourse shared with other students, either within your tutor group or else the module-wide forum. You will explore the ways in which enquiry, knowledge, evidence, strategy and skill can be combined to develop your own work as an agent advancing healthcare and as someone who works with others to do the same.

As well as representing an important qualification in its own right, the postgraduate diploma course represents an introductory step for those wishing to proceed to the MSc in Advancing Professional Practice.

Study Mode

Online Education, Distance Learning & External study modes available

Career relevance and employability

This qualification equips you to seize career opportunities associated with a wide variety of leadership and practice development roles in healthcare. Students studying for this qualification have typically been interested in project working, learning research design skills and exploring ways of working with colleagues to best effect while contributing to quality assurance initiatives. It provides a well balanced knowledge and skills base for practitioners who play a pivotal role in healthcare organisations and their work meeting targets or addressing other agenda requirements.

At a personal level the qualification is professionally satisfying, assisting you to examine the basis of your expertise, the ways in which skills help to achieve desirable outcomes and to understand the part that evidence can and should play in today's healthcare. A significant part of our teaching is associated with increasing personal satisfaction in practice, as well as enhancing competence in higher levels of work.

Research skills are considered an important part of advancing healthcare practice, so within this qualification you will pay particular attention to the conception, design and conduct of research that has significance and benefit in the practice setting. You will also give close attention to the sourcing and evaluation of evidence, from wherever it may come. Combining evidence and a deeper understanding of practice skills will enable you to work in more entrepreneurial ways.

The postgraduate diploma is in tune with the Department of Health's agenda on modernising healthcare professionals' careers. The qualification is suitable for healthcare professionals from medical, nursing, midwifery, health visiting and allied health backgrounds in public and private healthcare systems, and within the community and the voluntary sector.

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.

Modules

For this postgraduate diploma you require:

120 credits from the following modules:

Postgraduate compulsory 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

If you began your studies in February 2010 or earlier

120 credits from the following compulsory modules:

Postgraduate compulsory modules Credits Next start
Conducting healthcare research (K825)

Transform a preliminary research proposal into a comprehensive research project plan, in this second of two courses preparing you for ethical and effective healthcare research.

See full description.

20 Sep FINAL

and the discontinued modules K821, K822, K823, K824, K826

Or if you have already completed, or are working towards completing, the postgraduate certificate under the previous structure, you may complete your postgraduate diploma as follows:

The discontinued module K822 and 60 credits from the following compulsory module

Postgraduate compulsory module Credits Next start
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

and the discontinued modules K821, K826

Educational aims

The aim of the Postgraduate Diploma in Advancing Healthcare Practice is to equip healthcare practitioners with the knowledge, skills, personal, professional and inter-professional insights and qualities necessary to function as a successful change agent, skills analyst and researcher in the advancement of healthcare.

Learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding

Of:

  • 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.
  • Available, relevant and best fit approaches and techniques that might be chosen to further a desirable healthcare change.
  • Complex ways in which ideology, values, beliefs, paradigms or norms contribute to or interfere with healthcare initiatives.

Cognitive skills

Be able to:

  • Critically evaluate current personal progress relating to entrepreneurial healthcare leadership, practice innovation and practice skills achievements, identifying challenges that remain and appropriate improvement strategies.
  • 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 the students own advancing healthcare practice ideas, plans and action work creatively, effectively and sympathetically with the concerns of others, team and organisational goals.
  • Articulate the ways in which critical thinking, reflection and collaboration contribute to the success of complex, vision-guided and goal-orientated strategic healthcare initiatives.

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 healthcare might be changed.
  • In association with activities or investigations planned or conducted, demonstrate a sophisticated appreciation of client or patient concerns and needs, proceeding in ways that promote respect and dignity.
  • Conduct observations, discussions and reflections in practice, interrogating these as different expressions of experience and determining what this contributes, alongside theory and evidence towards the advancement of healthcare practice.

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 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.
  • Through working with colleagues in practice, accessing relevant literature and related resources, and a questioning approach to the status quo, develop alternative ways of conceptualising healthcare that are relevant and visionary.

Copyright Open University UK

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