2021/22 Part-time Postgraduate course
Postgraduate Certificate/Postgraduate Diploma/Master of Science
Faculty of Life and Health Sciences
School of Health Sciences
This course is taught online so you can study where you want, when you want.
Raising the standard of Lower Limb Preservation in Diabetes through consensus of evidence based "best practice" in patient care at all stages.
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Several landmark studies have demonstrated that, through a comprehensive package of treatment and support, the complications of both type 1 and type 2 diabetes can be prevented or significantly delayed, enabling people with diabetes to live longer and healthier lives (Global Diabetes Plan 2011-2021). The sheer complexity of diabetic disease presents a need for integrated care provision at all stages of the patients journey; in particular for those who are elderly and infirm, those who have had a longer duration of diabetes and those with multiple morbidities and medications. Integrated care is pivotal as it is provided by multiple groups of professionals, often with conflicting priorities which can lead to fragmentation of care, poorer outcomes and complications, were not working as part of a multidisciplinary care team.
Integrated diabetes care is described as
“An approach that seeks to improve the quality of care for individual patients, service users and carers by ensuring that services are well co-ordinated around their needs”
The Post Graduate Certificate/ Diploma/ MSc in Lower Limb Preservation in Diabetes aims to meet, in part, the key strategy of the Global Diabetes Plan by the provision of an international educational programme that takes an integrated approach to the management of diabetic disease and its effects in the lower limb.
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Nationally/ internationally there are a number of courses/residency programmes offering advanced learning in the field of patients with at risk lower limbs predominantly suffering from diabetes. All of these have merit but lack academic foundation or approval in the realms of infection, revascularisation, surgical management and optimisation of outcome for those patients at risk and who may ultimately face amputation.
The Post Graduate Certificate/ Diploma/ MSc programme in Lower Limb Preservation in Diabetes is open to all those who practise or wish to progress their knowledge in Diabetes, Limb Preservation and related areas. The course is designed for, but not limited to: specialist podiatrists, nurses, medical, surgical and healthcare professionals. is targeted at those currently working in or with aspirations to gain education and/or employment in the field of diabetes and limb preservation and is rooted in regional, national and international drivers towards integrated Diabetes care. The programme is multidisciplinary and multi-professional, with rich and challenging content and sound educational process. Delivery of the programme is offered entirely online, maximising a learning approach that fully embraces the opportunity for international practitioner engagement.
The educational programme aims to offer the student the opportunity to develop evidence based theoretical concepts of limb preservation transferable to professional practice, informed by a critical knowledge and understanding of integrative care requirements for those patients “at-risk” due to diabetes; who are in danger of primary amputation (patients with diabetes, end-stage renal disease and/ or peripheral sensorimotor neuropathy and peripheral vascular disease), and for those who have already suffered an amputation and are at risk of moving toward a second amputation, or have unacceptable dysfunction.
Students are expected to engage with all online classes/ sessions associated with the programme.
For distance learning students, communication with e-mentors and course directors should be frequent and will be monitored through the record of student logins to the course website. If a student fails to log on to Blackboard or to contact staff for a maximum period of one week, the module coordinator will note the student’s absence and direct contact will then be made with the student either by e-mail or by telephone. The student should notify the Course Director of any reasons as to their absence and if the reason for absence is medical, should provide appropriate medical certification in accordance with the General Regulations for Students
Group and team work is, on the whole, a key feature of the learning and teaching in this programme, reflecting on finding solutions and working as agents of change for better service and patient experience.
Tutorial work has a central place within the Lower Limb Preservation in Diabetes programme which is organized around four main themes; limb preservation, ongoing evaluation, surgical management (where necessitated) and rehabilitation (post-surgical and continuing). These themes cohere around maintenance of long-term health and well-being in diabetes, the theory-practice nexus and its differential application in Limb Preservation. Extending the discussion of lecture and work related topics at group level acts as a heuristic tool, enabling students to develop and underpin critical thinking and enhancing the student’s ability to produce and present lucid exposition and argument. Discussion forums and on line interactive tools will therefore be utilized to maximum advantage.
Teaching and learning is underpinned by current discipline specific and pedagogic research and scholarship. This is evidenced by involvement of members of the Institute of Nursing and Health Research Institute, Centre for Health and Rehabilitation Technologies (CHaRT) and Centre for Higher Education Practice in planning and delivery of modules e.g. Research Evidence in Health Sciences and Research Project Preparation. Engagement of staff with the Centre for Higher Education Practice and the Postgraduate Certificate in Higher Education Practice ensures informed implementation of pedagogic research and scholarship. There is on-going engagement with clinical specialists who are experts in their field, special interest groups (e.g. The Vascular Society, British Association of MR Radiographers) and the Department of Health and Social Services and Public Safety (DHSSPS) to ensure that teaching addresses current and developing discipline specific requirements.
All modules in the Postgraduate Certificate/Postgraduate Diploma/ Masters in Lower Limb Preservation in Diabetes programme are assessed by 100% coursework. As a reflection of the University’s Learning and Teaching Strategy (2013/14 – 2017/18) and the focus on Graduate Qualities, the programme team believe that the learning outcomes of postgraduate study are best met through a range of appropriate coursework and not traditional exams, especially given the emphasis on the application of theory to professional contexts. The range of coursework also highlights the applied nature of the work. The School of Health Sciences adheres to the university generic level 7 assessment criteria.
The content for each course is summarised on the relevant course page, along with an overview of the modules that make up the course.
Each course is approved by the University and meets the expectations of:
As part of your course induction, you will be provided with details of the organisation and management of the course, including attendance and assessment requirements - usually in the form of a timetable. For full-time courses, the precise timetable for each semester is not confirmed until close to the start date and may be subject to some change in the early weeks as all courses settle into their planned patterns. For part-time courses which require attendance on particular days and times, an expectation of the days and periods of attendance will be included in the letter of offer. A course handbook is also made available.
Courses comprise modules for which the notional effort involved is indicated by its credit rating. Each credit point represents 10 hours of student effort. Undergraduate courses typically contain 10- or 20-credit modules (more usually 20) and postgraduate course typically 15- or 30-credit modules.
The normal study load expectation for an undergraduate full-time course of study in the standard academic year is 120 credit points. This amounts to around 36-42 hours of expected teaching and learning per week, inclusive of attendance requirements for lectures, seminars, tutorials, practical work, fieldwork or other scheduled classes, private study, and assessment. Part-time study load is the same as full-time pro-rata, with each credit point representing 10 hours of student effort.
Postgraduate Master’s courses typically comprise 180 credits, taken in three semesters when studied full-time. A Postgraduate Certificate (PGCert) comprises 60 credits and can usually be completed on a part-time basis in one year. A 120-credit Postgraduate Diploma (PGDip) can usually be completed on a part-time basis in two years.
Class contact times vary by course and type of module. Typically, for a module predominantly delivered through lectures you can expect at least 3 contact hours per week (lectures/seminars/tutorials). Laboratory classes often require a greater intensity of attendance in blocks. Some modules may combine lecture and laboratory. The precise model will depend on the course you apply for and may be subject to change from year to year for quality or enhancement reasons. Prospective students will be consulted about any significant changes.
Assessment methods vary and are defined explicitly in each module. Assessment can be a combination of examination and coursework but may also be only one of these methods. Assessment is designed to assess your achievement of the module’s stated learning outcomes. You can expect to receive timely feedback on all coursework assessment. The precise assessment will depend on the module and may be subject to change from year to year for quality or enhancement reasons. You will be consulted about any significant changes.
Coursework can take many forms, for example: essay, report, seminar paper, test, presentation, dissertation, design, artefacts, portfolio, journal, group work. The precise form and combination of assessment will depend on the course you apply for and the module. Details will be made available in advance through induction, the course handbook, the module specification and the assessment timetable. The details are subject to change from year to year for quality or enhancement reasons. You will be consulted about any significant changes.
Normally, a module will have 4 learning outcomes, and no more than 2 items of assessment. An item of assessment can comprise more than one task. The notional workload and the equivalence across types of assessment is standardised.
Calculation of the Final Award
The class of Honours awarded in Bachelor’s degrees is usually determined by calculation of an aggregate mark based on performance across the modules at Levels 5 and 6, (which correspond to the second and third year of full-time attendance).
Level 6 modules contribute 70% of the aggregate mark and Level 5 contributes 30% to the calculation of the class of the award. Classification of integrated Master’s degrees with Honours include a Level 7 component. The calculation in this case is: 50% Level 7, 30% Level 6, 20% Level 5. At least half the Level 5 modules must be studied at the University for Level 5 to be included in the calculation of the class.
All other qualifications have an overall grade determined by results in modules from the final level of study. In Master’s degrees of more than 200 credit points the final 120 points usually determine the overall grading.
The University employs over 1,000 suitably qualified and experienced academic staff - 59% have PhDs in their subject field and many have professional body recognition.
Courses are taught by staff who are Professors (25%), Readers, Senior Lecturers (18%) or Lecturers (57%).
We require most academic staff to be qualified to teach in higher education: 82% hold either Postgraduate Certificates in Higher Education Practice or higher. Most academic staff (81%) are accredited fellows of the Higher Education Academy (HEA) - the university sector professional body for teaching and learning. Many academic and technical staff hold other professional body designations related to their subject or scholarly practice.
The profiles of many academic staff can be found on the University’s departmental websites and give a detailed insight into the range of staffing and expertise. The precise staffing for a course will depend on the department(s) involved and the availability and management of staff. This is subject to change annually and is confirmed in the timetable issued at the start of the course.
Occasionally, teaching may be supplemented by suitably qualified part-time staff (usually qualified researchers) and specialist guest lecturers. In these cases, all staff are inducted, mostly through our staff development programme ‘First Steps to Teaching’. In some cases, usually for provision in one of our out-centres, Recognised University Teachers are involved, supported by the University in suitable professional development for teaching.
Figures correct for academic year 2019-2020.
Here is a guide to the subjects studied on this course.
Courses are continually reviewed to take advantage of new teaching approaches and developments in research, industry and the professions. Please be aware that modules may change for your year of entry. The exact modules available and their order may vary depending on course updates, staff availability, timetabling and student demand. Please contact the course team for the most up to date module list.
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This module provides an examination of current evidence for the management and prevention of diabetic foot complications in the light of a growing body of literature of National and International Guidelines. Students' knowledge and skills in the assessment of the diabetic foot and lower limb will be developed and the relationships between the triad of diabetic foot disease (ischaemia, neuropathy and infection) will be examined in detail and the current evidence relating to management discussed.
This module is optional
This 15 credit point, online module runs twice per academic year and offers health professionals an opportunity to develop their understanding of a range of research methodologies commonly used within healthcare. They will use this understanding of clinical research methods to develop skills in critically appraising and synthesising literature in order to inform and advance the quality of care and service delivery. For those students proceeding to the Masters award, the module will complement the 'Preparation for Project' module and provide a foundation for the Masters project.
This module is optional
A working knowledge of infection is essential in management of diabetic foot disease. This module will provide clinicians with the information required to make an informed timely diagnosis of diabetic foot infections and the principals involved in managing them as part of a multidisciplinary team.
The aim of the module is to develop research design skills to enable students to produce a working research proposal for the Masters project.
In order to provide optimal care to the patient with diabetes and concomitant lower limb disease it is essential that professionals working in the field are proficient in a wide range of assessment and monitoring skills. This module will provide participants with the advanced theoretical knowledge necessary to assess on-going pathophysiological disease processes (radiological, neurological, vascular, microbiological and haematological) in the person with diabetes admitted to hospital with concomitant lower limb pathology.
This module will provide participants with the advanced theoretical knowledge about surgical strategies that are applied in limb preservation. Consideration of infection management, revascularisation, amputation, emotional support, nutritional support, and pain management is emphasised. Maximisation of psychological, physical and functional status, the use of prosthetics, timeline for progression towards independent function, maintenance of residual and contralateral limbs and the components of successful lifelong rehabilitation in limb preservation are also discussed.
The aim of this project module is to engage the student in an independent piece of research activity under the guidance of a supervisor from the School of Health Sciences. It is expected that this research will add to the student's knowledge and perhaps inform future teaching, clinical practice or further research. The research activity will be allied to that carried out in the Centre for Health and Rehabilitation Technologies (CHaRT) within the Institute for Nursing and Health Research (INHR).
We recognise a range of qualifications for admission to our courses. In addition to the specific entry conditions for this course you must also meet the University’s General Entrance Requirements.
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a) have gained
i) an Honours or non-Honours degree in a relevant medical, nursing or allied health profession from a University of the United Kingdom or the Republic of Ireland, or from a recognised national awarding body, or from an institution of another country which is recognised as being of an equivalent standard; or
ii) an equivalent standard in a Postgraduate Certificate, Graduate Diploma, Graduate Certificate or an approved alternative qualification; and
(iii) where applicable be eligible for registration with the Health and Care Professions Council or other relevant professional governing body; and
iv) have a minimum of one year’s post-qualification experience (excluding course attendance); and
v) be working in an area of practice relevant to the programme that enables clinical interaction with colleagues working in the field of lower limb preservation and ongoing access to clients.
English language requirements for international applicants
The minimum requirement for this course is Academic IELTS 7.0 with no band score less than 6.5.
Ulster recognises a number of other English language tests and comparable IELTS equivalent scores.
Studies pursued and examinations passed in respect of other qualifications awarded by the University or by another university or other educational institution, or evidence from the accreditation of prior experiential learning, may be accepted as exempting candidates from part of the programme provided that
(a) they shall register as students of the University for modules amounting to at least the final third of the credit value of the award at the highest level in respect of a Master’s award and at least 50% of the credit value of the award in respect of a Postgraduate Diploma or Certificate award
(b) no exemption shall be permitted from the dissertation
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The Post Graduate Certificate/ Diploma/ MSc programme in Lower Limb Preservation is designed for, but not limited to: specialist podiatrists, nurses, medical, surgical and healthcare professionals and is targeted at those currently working in or with aspirations to gain further education and / or employment in the field of diabetes and limb preservation.
There is no formalised placement associated with the programme, however, it is expected that there will be requirement to undertake some practice experience in the workplace. Students are likely to be in full time employment within a health, social or educational setting, for some or all of the period of the programme.
Admissions contact regarding application process:
Course Director for advice regarding course content:
Dr Jill Cundell