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Postgraduate Taught

PgCert/PgDip Person-Centred Practice (Advancing Care Home Practice)

This new interdisciplinary programme will be attractive to experienced practitioners, clinical and non-clinical, working in the care home sector who are committed to advancing practice, leading the creation of person-centred cultures where people living and working in care homes can flourish. It is available full or part-time.

This course is part of our Person-Centred Practice Framework.


This interdisciplinary programme is attractive to practitioners in clinical, management, education or development roles in the care home sector. The aim is for learners to be person-centred practitioners/managers/ leaders with expertise to advance practice through the development of clinical and/or management skills. Being inspirational leaders they will promote autonomy and experiment with a range of methodologies, including quality improvement and practice development, to create person-centred cultures that improve the experiences of residents, families and teams in care homes.

Why QMU?

  • We have long-standing experience in preparing practitioners to work in communities; at master’s level; through work-based and inter-disciplinary learning, supported by robust online learning platforms.
  • We have a reputation at QMU for innovative curriculum design, being supportive and responsive to learners and extensive online resources.
  • Our conceptualization of person-centredness is consistent with the WHO Framework of ‘people-centred healthcare’.

Course overview

The uniqueness of this programme is that, learners can craft their own pathway on a programme that has an underpinning philosophy of personhood and personcentredness. This programme recognises care home practice as a specialism in its own right. It supports experienced practitioners with clinical or management perspectives or roles engage in transformative learning practices. The aim is to advance care home practice through the utilisation of research, other sources of knowledge and a range of practice development and quality improvement methodologies.

  • Learners on this programme will:
    Develop a critical understanding of the connection between theories, concepts and principles underpinning person-centredness and their application to care home practice.
  • Critically analyse, evaluate and synthesise different sources of evidence and knowledge contributing to the advancement of safe and effective person-centred care home practice.
  • Demonstrate leadership in making an identifiable contribution to change and the development of person-centred cultures providing quality of care for people, families and communities within care home contexts.
  • Critically explore value judgments and complex decisions within the current health and social care landscape in conjunction with professional, ethical and legal frameworks underpinning autonomous and collaborative practice. 
  • Influence and enable the transformative processes of personal and professional development through engagement, facilitation and evaluation of person-centred teaching and learning approaches.
  • Develop responses to complex health and social care challenges experienced by people, families and communities by integrating creative approaches to promoting health and wellbeing. 
  • Engage and facilitate personal and professional development of self and others through critical thinking, reflective practice and transformative, communicative spaces.

Exit awards

PgDip (120 credits at SCQF Level 11)/ PgCert (60 credits at SCQF Level 11).


Learners will be encouraged to create their own pathway through this programme. It is available either part-time or full time, with January and September intakes. All learners will undertake three core modules. Some learners may choose to exit at this point with a PgCert. To achieve a PgDip, learners will make their choices from a range of optional modules, a route with a clinical or management emphasis. Learners will be supported to make their choices with the help of Programme Leaders and Personal Academic Tutors.

Teaching, learning and assessment

This is a work-based learning programme of study, with a blended approach to teaching and learning. We believe we have an integrated learning culture at QMU that adopts inclusive, participative and ultimately collaborative ways of engaging, valuing individual strengths and talents, within a mutually respectful environment.

Core modules are online. There are opportunities for learners to choose optional modules with the delivery pattern that most meets their needs and their learning style. Our teaching practice includes online learning, lectures in-class and pre-recorded. We also have learning sessions that utilize a broad range of international experts from both the academic and business world.

There are a range of assessment strategies that encourage learners to consider themselves as persons, practitioners and leaders, developing and advancing care home practice, through acquisition of specialist knowledge and practices. These outcomes are informed by team members’ ongoing research and scholarly activity into person-centred cultures.

Teaching hours and attendance

Links with industry/ professional bodies

We are the Omega-Xi Chapter of Sigma Global, the only global nursing leadership organization and with partnerships, collaborations and networks across more than 27 countries.


For a PgCert, you must complete the following three core modules (60 credits):

Theory and Practice of Person-centred Health and Wellbeing (20 credits): 
This module facilitates learners’ explorations of some of the concepts, principles and theories underpinning person-centred practice in a variety of care settings and from a variety of perspectives: the prevention of ill-health, anticipatory care, and the promotion of health and wellbeing. By undertaking this module, learners will develop expertise in understanding and responding to the needs of person, families and communities in a way that is consistent with the theoretical underpinnings and the values of person-centredness throughout the lifespan.
Leading Person-centred Practice for Health and Wellbeing (20 credits):
The learner will gain a wider understanding of how different sources of evidence and knowledge contribute to the development, delivery and evaluation of innovative health and wellbeing practice when working with the person, families and communities, and of contemporary research consistent with the values of person-centredness. There will be a focus on leadership and collaborative ways of working, evidence generation and implementation of health and wellbeing approaches for healthful cultures.
Advancing Care Home Practice (20 credits): 
This module will appeal to clinicians and non-clinicians alike and will encourage learners to consider themselves as leaders of care home practice where residents, families and staff experience a person-centred culture where their human rights are upheld. Learners will consider the strategic context of care home practice and relevant ethical, professional and legal frameworks within which they practice. Embedding a sound knowledge of gerontology and frailty, they will critically evaluate their role in developing systems and processes that embed safe and effective holistic practices. They will focus their practice on promoting health and well-being for people with a range of physical and cognitive impairments through person-centred approaches.

Choice of clinical and non-clinical route options to progress to PgDip (60 credits):
Suggested clinical route – 60 credits from the following options:
Advancing Practice in Clinical Assessment (20 credits):
The content of the module will focus on the evidence base of practice, developing the clinical competency of the learner to provide a systematic physical assessment. This will incorporate patient history taking, assessment and management relating to the cardiovascular, respiratory, gastro-intestinal, renal and neurological systems as well as pain assessment and management. Proactive care, supported self-management, professional accountability, care management, case management, inter professional working, problem solving and clinical decision making, long term conditions management will also be integrated into the learning within the module.
Independent and Supplementary Prescribing (40 credits): 
The module will cover content as indicated as requirement by professional bodies:
Consultation, decision-making tools and therapy, including referral
Clinical decision-making
Influences on and psychology of prescribing
Prescribing in a team context
Clinical pharmacology, including the effectives of co-morbidity
Evidence-based practice and clinical governance in relation to prescribing practice
Legal, policy and ethical aspects of prescribing practice
Prescribing governance and patient safety
Professional accountability and responsibility including appropriate documentation
Prescribing in the public health context including out of hours contexts
Local prescribing formularies – development and utilisation
Completion of drug profiles for individual learning and clinical context

Critical reflection

Making Judgments and Decisions in Practice (20 credits):
The focus of this module is on examining and evaluating judgements and decisions in practice, drawing on relevant sources of robust evidence, contemporary ethics and grounded in the real world of practice.

A person-centred approach to working with people with complex pain and symptoms (20 credits):
This module facilitates learners’ to engage in the critical exploration of the evidence base surrounding complex pain and symptoms; their definition; impact on quality of life and how to holistically approach the assessment and management of these symptoms. By undertaking this module, learners will develop expertise in adopting a person centred approach to understanding and responding to patients’ complex pain and symptoms.

Building a therapeutic relationship with people who have palliative care needs (20 credits):
This module facilitates learners’ to develop advanced communication skills in palliative and end of life care whilst examining the evidence base behind it. Learners will gain knowledge of psychological, social and spiritual models and theories and how they can influence approaches to the assessment and management of patients and their families in a palliative care context. By undertaking this module, learners will develop expertise in adopting a person centred approach to communicating with and understanding and responding to patients’ psychological, social and spiritual needs.
Suggested non-clinical route – 60 credits from the following options:
Strategy and Leadership (20 credits)
To provide the concepts, frameworks and techniques of strategic management and leadership decision-making that enables students to critically evaluate and synthesise competitive conditions, appraise corporate capabilities and lead businesses towards a sustainable and competitive advantage in industry

Strategic Human Resource Management (20 credits):
To enable students to:
• Develop knowledge and critical understanding of the core theories and concepts in the area of human resource management (HRM)
• Understand relevant theory and develop analytical skills which can be applied to managing people and leading change in their workplace and organisations.
• Develop a critical awareness and understanding of the employment relationship and reflect critically on the realities of contemporary human resource management.
Accounting for Managers (20 credits):
This module develops critical understanding of essential management accounting and finance topics within a business environment, to develop critical understanding of the importance of managing customer value parameters (cost, quality, and time) through management accounting practices for value creation
Independent study (20 credits)



Single modules for CPD

You may wish to enrol on a single module as a start-point (eg the specialist module: Advancing Care Home Practice). You can enrol for the three core modules in Year One which together lead to the award of PgCert. The PgDip consisting of three core modules, then optional modules along a clinical or non-clinical route.

Class sizes

We expect around 20 to how enrol.


Learners on this programme will have a substantive clinical or management post in a care home organization.

Entry requirements

Candidates will normally be graduates with evidence of relevant recent academic study. Non-standard entry routes can also be considered, and would be assessed by the academic programme team on a case by case basis. Employment in a care home practice area.
Employment in a care home practice area.

International: Where your honours degree has not been studied in English, you will be required to provide evidence of English language competence at no less than IELTS 6.5 with no individual component score less than 6.0

Interview: No interview but a letter of support from their manager.

Application deadline

31 December for Jan 2020 entry. 

More information and contacts

Contact Dr Caroline Dickson (, Programme Leader or admissions (

Opportunities to meet us

Fees and transitionary scholarships for postgraduate EU students in 21/22 and 22/23

As part of our management of the Brexit transition, for many of our courses, including this one, we have introduced an EU transitional scholarship for EU full-time postgraduate students commencing their studies on campus in academic years 2021/22 and 2022/23. This provides a 40% discount on international tuition fees. The scholarship is available to EU students for whom the international fee rate applies and covers the courses marked with a # in the Postgraduate Fees – Full-Time Study section of our Fees page. This transitional scholarship is not applicable to students from the Republic of Ireland, who will continue to be eligible for the home fee rate.

Course Overview

It is a work-based programme, supported by blended teaching, learning and assessment approaches, offering flexibility for different learning styles and preferences. The core modules are delivered through virtual online learning.
1 year full-time or 2-5 years part-time
Start Date
September 2021
January 2022
Study Abroad
Fees & Funding