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MSc/PgDip/PgCert Prostate Cancer Care

Study a unique course supported by Prostate Cancer UK and designed for healthcare practitioners working in or towards a specialist role caring for those affected by prostate cancer. During your studies you gain an in-depth knowledge of the management of the disease, develop your advanced communication skills, reflect on your role as an ambassador for your patients, and develop ideas for service improvement within your practice and workplace.

Course description

If you are a healthcare professional, this course gives you the knowledge and expertise to develop as a specialist prostate cancer practitioner. Through online learning you learn how to provide, promote and develop high standards of care.

The postgraduate certificate stage focuses on developing your clinical knowledge and skills. The prostate cancer module gives you an in-depth understanding of managing the stages of the disease including • the physical and psychosocial impact • treatment • the needs of those affected • how these needs can be addressed.

As advanced communication is essential to your clinical role, you also undertake a module on this subject. This helps you develop your knowledge of the concepts underpinning advanced communication strategies used in practice and encourages you to reflect on your skills development in this area too.

During the postgraduate diploma stage you develop your understanding of the wider specialist and advanced practice role in areas such as • leadership • peer support • education • service development and improvement.

You also expand your knowledge of high risk or high priority areas in practice, which you identify as relevant to your own local practice, such as • care of African Caribbean men • needs relating to sexual function • survivorship • end of life care.

This stage of the course also prepares you for undertaking research by improving your understanding of research methods and helping you develop a research question for investigation.

In the final masters stage you research a specific area of interest relevant to your professional role and priorities in practice. This enables you to specialise in your chosen topic, develop expertise and hopefully influence practice or policy.

Throughout your studies you are encouraged to reflect on your role as
• an ambassador for your patients and their families
• a peer supporter for other healthcare professionals involved in caring for people affected by the disease
• an educator

You also evaluate your own practice and the practice of others to help you develop ideas for service improvement within your practice and workplace.

Course delivery
This is primarily a distance learning course using online learning. You must have internet access and be prepared to engage with technology. We supply you with a range of online learning and teaching resources, including access to library resources and information databases.

Each module provides clear guidance on how to approach your self-directed study. This learning is enhanced by online, tutor facilitated group discussions allowing you to share views and practice experiences with other students. These sessions are a popular and valuable learning resource, and are also used to support you in your final marked assessment.

Professional recognition

Prostate Cancer UK is a registered charity in England and Wales (1005541) and in Scotland (SC039332). Registered company number 2653887.

Entry requirements

2017 entry requirements

You need a degree or a higher diploma level professionally recognised qualification in a related healthcare subject such as nursing or radiotherapy and oncology. You may also be able to claim credit points which can reduce the amount of time it takes to complete your qualification at Sheffield Hallam. Find out more

A significant part of your current work should focus on the care of those affected by prostate cancer. The course is specifically designed for individuals working within or towards a specialist practice role in prostate cancer care.

If English is not your first language you will need an IELTS score of 6.5 with a minimum of 5.5 in all skills, or a recognised equivalent. If your level of English language is currently below IELTS 6.0 we recommend you consider an appropriate Sheffield Hallam University Pre-sessional English course which will enable you to achieve the required level of English.

International and European entry qualifications

If you are an International or non-UK European student, you can find out more about the country specific qualifications we accept on our international qualifications page.

Course structure

Distance learning – three years

Starts September and January

Typical modules may include

Course structure

The postgraduate certificate (PgCert) is achieved by successfully completing 60 credits.
The postgraduate diploma (PgDip) is achieved by successfully completing 120 credits.
The masters (MSc) award is achieved by successfully completing 180 credits.

Postgraduate certificate core modules

Prostate cancer (15 credits)
This module aims to enable an in-depth understanding of the current knowledge and evidence based findings on prostate cancer and its management. Content is very much patient centred, with specific reference to the patient journey and the physical and psychological impact of the disease and its management.

Contemporary issues and approaches related to patient management and care are discussed and critical reflection and evaluation of own and others clinical practice is encouraged. This will have a clear emphasis on identifying implications for the practitioner role and the delivery of service.

Advanced communication and information in supportive care (30 credits)

This module has been developed to enhance role development for health care professionals (HCPs) in the area of psychosocial support. Recent policy has advocated that staff working in cancer and palliative care settings should be committed to developing advanced communication skills and access specific accredited training – NHS Cancer Action Team (NHS 2006). Although this module does not assess practical competencies it is designed to aid the reflective practitioner who can develop a specific area of their practice – this may be in advanced communication or informational developments.

Postgraduate diploma core modules

Advancing practice in prostate cancer care (30 credits)
By studying this module you learn about high priority and high risk areas in the field of prostate cancer care practice and develop an in-depth understanding of the need to improve outcomes and experiences in these areas for those affected by the disease. You are encouraged to critically reflect on your own local practice and are required to identify an area for service improvement. You are then supported in the development of an evidence based business proposal for a change project or service development, specifically targeted at improving local care and provision, which you then receive feedback on as part of the module assessment and hopefully as a result, be able to take forward/implement in practice.

Research methods for practice (15 credits)
This module allows you to develop a critical understanding of a range of both qualitative and quantitative research methodologies and apply their use to specific health care scenarios. You are encouraged to critically appraise the appropriateness of a range of study designs and data collection and analysis methods in relation to a specific research question(s).


Dissertation (60 credits)
This module provides an opportunity to conduct a project that is of importance to your professional practice and of relevance to your own workplace or organisation, with the ultimate aim of influencing and impacting on the care provided to those using this service.

Optional modules

You choose a further 30 credits from the following modules:

Loss, grief and bereavement (15 credits)
This module aims to aid your professional development in loss, grief and bereavement and update your understanding and knowledge of current theories in this specialised area. The emphasis is on facilitating you to gain confidence and competence in working with people who are experiencing a loss or have been bereaved and the support of those experiencing loss and bereavement is a fundamental principle in palliative and end of life care

You are encouraged to routinely reflect on the work undertaken throughout the module and to apply this to practice to enhance compassion and competence, when working with bereaved clients, or people who are experiencing a loss.

Complexities in symptom management (15 credits)
The module facilitates you to further develop a holistic approach to the multi-disciplinary management of the complexities of managing symptoms when working with clients requiring palliative care. The philosophy of the module focuses on the patient’s narrative of individual needs, the quality of their life and the management of symptoms in a way that is appropriate to them at a specific time, so enhancing clinical practice. The module reflects the end of life care competency of symptom management – maintaining comfort and wellbeing at the end of life.

Collaborative working in supportive care (15 credits)
This module aims to develop a culture of collaborative working in supportive and palliative care. The philosophy of this module focuses on the critique of effective team working in supportive and palliative care with the patient and carer highlighted as key members of this team. You benefit from learning together and using a problem-based approach to assessment. This promotes sharing of expertise and good practice across professional groups and influences effective team working in practice.

Informed consent in healthcare practice (15 credits)
This module aims to facilitate and support the active participation of health care practitioners in the informed consent process. It enables you to work with, and respond to, current policies and legal and ethical frameworks in practice. It also enables you to develop an increased awareness of the patient/carer perspective regarding the process of informed consent. You are encourage to critically reflect on this, and the principles and practice of information consent in the context of your scope of practice, helping to improve the service you and others deliver and enhance the patient experience of informed consent as a result.

Evidencing your continuing professional development (15 credits)

This module enables you to gain academic credit following Continued Professional Development (CPD) activity by individually tailoring a learning plan for evidencing CPD that is specific to your own unique experience and personal and professional development.

This module aims to promote a proactive approach to professional development planning which will refine and enhance your approach to documenting, recording and evidencing CPD.

  • online activities and discussion
  • essays
  • project and research work
  • service improvement plans
  • reflections


If you are a specialist practitioner in prostate cancer care, this course enables you to continue your academic and professional development and validate your role. You can tailor your learning, allowing you to specialise in areas such as palliative and end of life care, survivorship and rehabilitation.

If working towards a specialist practitioner role, the course equips you with core knowledge and skills to help you perform at the necessary practice level.

The course provides academic and professional skills relevant to the role of an advanced/specialist practitioner, as defined by professional bodies such as the Royal College of Nursing and the College of Radiographers.

The course also provides opportunities to be involved in research and service development activities in a professional, clinical or academic setting. You are encouraged to share your learning and research through article publication or conference presentation, helping to raise your profile in this field.

As well as specialist clinical roles, you may also pursue academic teaching or research careers in the UK or internationally.


Home / EU student

Please note tuition fees may increase in each subsequent academic year of your course, subject to government regulations on fee increases and in line with inflation. More information can be found in the ‘Tuition Fee Increases’ section of our Fees Regulations (PDF, 2.10 MB)

2016/17 academic year

Distance learning - typically £6,300 for the course

£525 for a 15 credit module*£1,050 for a 30 credit module

For information about the Prostate Cancer UK bursary scheme see http://prostatecanceruk.org/for-health-professionals/funding/education-bursaries

Postgraduate loans of up to £10,000 are available across the majority of subject areas.

2017/18 academic year

Distance learning - typically £6,400 for the MSc, 15 credits £535 or 30 credits £1,070

For information about the Prostate Cancer UK bursary scheme see www.prostatecanceruk.org/health-professionals/education/bursary-schemes

International student

2016/17 academic year

Typically £7,650 for the course

2017/18 academic year

Distance Learning - Typically £7,950 for the course.

Additional course costs

This link allows you to view estimated costs associated with the main activities on specific courses. These are estimates and, as such, are only an indication of additional course costs. Actual costs can vary greatly depending on the choices you make during your course.

Additional costs information

How to apply

Complete the application form available at www.shu.ac.uk/study/form

Any offer of a place to study is subject to your acceptance of the University’s Terms and Conditions and student Regulations.

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