Surgical Care Practice MSc

Postgraduate (2 years part-time)



Intermediate awards: PG Cert, PG Dip

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If you're currently a trainee surgical care practitioner, working as part of a surgical team in a hospital and would like to develop your knowledge and skills, our part-time course accredited by the Royal College of Surgeons of England is for you.

Find out more about teaching options and studying during COVID-19 in the Entry requirements section, below.

Full description


By completing this course you'll achieve an MSc Surgical Care Practice, which leads to the title of Surgical Care Practitioner (SCP). SCPs work in surgical teams in a number of specialities, including urology, trauma and orthopaedics, cardiothoracic, plastic and reconstructive surgery, neurosurgery, paediatrics, general, vascular, maxillofacial, otorhinolaryngology and gynaecology.

Modules & assessment

Core modules

  • Introduction to the Surgical Care Practitioner Role
    The aim of this module is to develop registered nurses, operating department practitioners, allied health professionals and perioperative practitioners with the relevant knowledge and skills to take on the role of assisting the surgeon during an operation. This will be a structured and recognised programme based on the national curriculum developed by the Royal College of Surgeons of England (RCSEng) to ensure that Surgical Care Practitioners (SCP) are competent and safe practitioners. It’ll provide the underpinning knowledge at the appropriate level to which they are practising. The SCP would be expected to have the same level of knowledge, skills and expertise as that of a medical practitioner, and would be judged with regard to the legal aspects of expanded practice, this module will therefore equip you to practise at this level. The module is delivered over two semesters allowing the SCP sufficient practice hours to gain the relevant knowledge and skills required. It’s a theory/practice module in which you’ll learn both in the classroom and in the practice area. Learning and teaching methods in the classroom will include a variety of methods such as lectures, seminars, group work, scenarios, skills workshops, simulation, etc. Learning and teaching in clinical practice will be under the supervision of a Consultant Surgeon or senior surgeon within your own area of surgery.
  • Clinical Consultation and Assessment Skills
    The General Medical Council (2013) Nursing and Midwifery Council (2015) Health & Care Professions Council (2016) require professionals to ensure that their knowledge and skills are up to date and that they regularly take part in activities that maintain and develop competence and performance. This module aims to help students achieve this by forming part of a structured programme to ensure competence and performance around advanced clinical consultation and assessment skills. The module will focus on the presentation of surgical conditions and the complications that may arise as the consequence of surgical complications.
  • Surgical Care Practitioner Skills
    Build on the competencies gained whilst undertaking the ‘Introduction to the Surgical Care Practitioner Role’. It’ll facilitate your progress in meeting minimum requirements to practise as a Surgical Care Practitioner, by covering clinical development as recommended by the Royal College of Surgeons of England (RCSEng) (2014): ‘The Curriculum Framework for the Surgical Care Practitioner’. For the purpose of this module, the Surgical Care Practitioner will practise both in and out of the operating room and will undertake specified surgical interventions, either under direct, indirect or proximal supervision (RCSEng 2014). In addition, the Surgical Care Practitioner will have a role in the pre and post-operative stages of the patient journey and will undertake or request others to undertake diagnostic procedures, with the aim of arriving at a definitive diagnosis. There will be two major themes for this module. Firstly, the content will address the knowledge and skills required for the safe care of a patient who is undergoing a surgical intervention as well as the techniques/ procedures involved (incision making, etc) in a surgical procedure. The other theme is the issues related to role expansion and multi-skilling. Within this theme, you’ll explore clinical governance and risk management and the influence that role expansion has on this.
  • Postgraduate research design
    Designed to give you the tools you need in order to identify and plan research to address a real world problem within your practice, or address a gap in the existing knowledge within your field. It’s designed for participants from across the Faculty which is reflected in the diverse content including: evaluating literature, designing research questions, systematic review procedures, qualitative and quantitative research methods and data analysis, issues of rigour and ethical considerations in research. We’ll provide a framework for you to propose and justify a research question and design appropriate to your professional practice.
  • Major Project
    The major project is at the centre of the Masters award and allows you to demonstrate your creativity and apply the skills and concepts you have learned in the previous modules. It is the opportunity for you to carry out an in depth study in a specific area and to expand or redefine existing knowledge. In practical terms, you’ll be provided with a list of available research projects prior to the major project but will also have the opportunity to suggest your own projects. It is hoped that many of these projects will be carried out with either an industrial partner or a clinician. In the course of the project you may generate intellectual property, defined as an idea, invention or creation which can be protected by law from being copied by someone else


We'll asses your progress in a number of ways including essays, Objective Structured Clinical Examinations (OSCE), viva voce, case studies, a research proposal, research papers or extended literature review and practice competencies.

Please note that you will need to complete all of the above core modules. This course does not have any optional modules. Modules are subject to change and availability.

Where you'll study

Your faculty

The Faculty of Health, Education, Medicine and Social Care is the largest in ARU, with over 7,000 students. Our Faculty is teeming with expertise and primed to meet the demand for creating health professionals, teachers, doctors, scientists and educators for the three districts we serve: Chelmsford, Cambridge and Peterborough.

We have been training undergraduates for professional roles for over 25 years, with a reputation for quality, dedication and ambition balanced with student satisfaction.

We know that to give our students the very best experiential learning, prior to getting into the workplace, simulation is second to none, for safe, realistic, learning environments. We have invested heavily in purpose built simulated wards, science labs and skills space, to support our students through their learning.

Where can I study?

Tindal Building on our Chelmsford campus

Our striking, modern campus sits by the riverside in Chelmsford's University and Innovation Quarter.

Explore our Chelmsford campus

Fees & funding

Course fees

UK students starting 2021/22 (part-time, per year)


Additional costs

Basic Surgical Skills Course

ISCP registration
£250 (Year 1 only)

How do I pay my fees?

UK students

You can pay your fees upfront, in full or in instalments – though you won't need to pay until you've accepted an offer to study with us.

How to pay your fees directly

Funding for postgraduate students

It’s important to decide how to fund your course before applying. Use our finance guide for postgraduate students to learn more about postgraduate loans and other funding options.

We offer a fantastic range of ARU scholarships and bursaries, which provide extra financial support while you're at university.

Entry requirements

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Teaching options

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, many of our students can choose to study face to face on campus or online only. They're also able to change their mode of delivery on given dates in each trimester.

For on-campus teaching, we offer at least four hours face-to-face teaching related contact time per week for our undergraduate full-time courses, supported by online learning using our established online learning systems. The number of contact hours varies course by course, and you can contact us for further information. The provision offered is subject to change due to the possibility of further Government restrictions, however we remain committed to delivering face-to-face teaching and ensuring a COVID-19 secure environment.

In the event that there are further changes to the current restrictions that are in place due to the pandemic, we may need to move some courses online only at short notice to remain in line with Government guidelines and ensure the continued safety of our students and staff.

View the impact of the current restrictions.

Important additional notes

Whether you're studying entirely online or through a blend of on-campus and online learning from September 2020, you'll need a computer and reliable internet access to successfully engage with your course. A small number of our courses require additional technical specifications or specialist materials. Before starting the course, we recommend that you check our technical requirements for online learning. Our website also has general information for new students about starting university in 2020-21.

Our published entry requirements are a guide only and our decision will be based on your overall suitability for the course as well as whether you meet the minimum entry requirements. Other equivalent qualifications may be accepted for entry to this course, please email for further information.

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Get more information

UK & EU applicants

01245 68 68 68

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