Click here to edit using the old editor
{"available": "entirely", "availability": {"status": {"Recruiting Status 24/25":"RP 24/25","Recruiting Status 25/26":"RP 25/26","Recruiting Status 23/24":"RP 23/24","Recruiting Status 22/23":"RP 22/23"}, "dates": [{"name":"January 2024","month":"January","year":2024},{"name":"January 2025","month":"January","year":2025},{"name":"January 2023","month":"January","year":2023},{"name":"September 2023","month":"September","year":2023},{"name":"September 2024","month":"September","year":2024},{"name":"September 2022","month":"September","year":2022}]}}

University Advanced Diploma - Critical and/or Acute Care: Practice Development

You are passionate about the deteriorating patient or the assessment and management of the critically ill adult. This course supports self-development whilst meeting the demands of the services in which you practice and national standards.

The health care team supporting deteriorating acutely or critically ill adult in either the pre or in-hospital environment study this course to develop their practice and improve the service they provide to these complex vulnerable patients/service users.

Apply Now

Critical and/or Acute Care: Practice Development cover image

Course Overview

On this course, you can choose between two distinct pathways: Adult Acute Care and Adult Critical Care. Your chosen pathway will enhance your ability to complete a detailed assessment of the deteriorating or critically ill adult and equip you with the appropriate knowledge base to anticipate problems, enhancing your ability to manage the patient accordingly. The UAD and PG Cert in Acute Care follow the same pathway and are co taught, the difference is reflected by the academic level and need for wider reading, mastery of subject and critical thinking at level 7.

As you develop within the course you will gain the skills and expertise to critically analyse situations and clinical presentations, approaching the patient holistically and meeting the needs of their family and significant others.

On this course you will...

  • Advance your academic and professional development through self-reflection and reflexivity.
  • Develop complex, specialised knowledge and a critical awareness of issues at the forefront of your field of practice.
  • Develop your knowledge and understanding of altered pathophysiology in the event of deterioration and/or critical illness to inform decisions and management plans.
  • Develop in line with workforce needs, which supports the progression of staff in accordance with the standards set by professional, statutory and regulatory bodies.
Apply Now

Course Structure

What you will learn

Within your chosen pathway, you will develop your knowledge and understanding to support competent practice in patient assessment, monitoring, and management. The course explores the initial effects of acute deterioration and critical illness on body systems, exploring altered pathophysiology, while providing a degree of flexibility for you to meet their own learning needs and interests. You will complete specialist competencies to meet the needs of the appropriate patient group.

The Critical Care Pathway aims to work within the National standards for Critical Care Nurse Education, which will underpin the content of the course appropriate for registered nurses working in a critical care environment as defined by the Intensive Care Society (2009) and completion of the Step 2&3 competencies. Each module will be underpinned by the relevant evidence base to inform your development and the legal, ethical, and professional issues related to this complex group of patients.


According to your work environment you will be advised to follow a specific pathway that will best suit your learning, experience and expected achievement. The pathways contain different modules to best suit the knowledge and understanding required according to your clinical environment.

Pathway modules

Acute Care Pathway

  • Foundations for Practice
    Develop your skills around patient assessment, monitoring, and management.
  • Acute Care Contemporary Issues
    The content of this module will be negotiated between you and the module leader. They will assist you in identifying key learning resources and strategies relating to the learning outcomes.
  • Optional module chosen from the CPD programme.
Pathway modules

Critical care Pathway

  • Core Assessment and Monitoring of the Critically Ill Adult
    Explore applied pathophysiology, assessment and monitoring of the critically ill adult and associated pharmacology, recovery from critical illness and support of patient and their families.
  • Critical Care: Contemporary Issues
    Develop your theoretical knowledge and skills, following on from the completion of your Step 2 to Step 3 competencies to assess, manage and care for the complex critically ill adult. There are a number of specialist learning pathways available.
  • Work based learning module
    The work based learning module supports the completion of your Step competencies in practice and underpinned by the theoretical content of the other two modules. This module runs for 2 semesters.

Attend an Open Day at Cumbria

An Open Day is your opportunity to explore one of 5 campuses, meet your lecturers, and find out how the University of Cumbria could become your new home.

Take the next step towards achieving your dreams.
A student stands in front of a wall splattered with paint.