Programme specification - Critical Care Science (2017)

Programme Title Cardiac, Critical Care, Vascular, Respiratory & Sleep Sciences (CCVRS) - Scientist training programme
Division Physiological Sciences
Normal length of programme 3 years
Outcome awards and professional eligibility

Successful candidates will be awarded:

  • MSc in Clinical Science (awarded by the relevant HEI).
  • Certificate of Completion of the Scientist Training Programme (CCSTP). Awarded by the National School of Healthcare Science,

Which provides eligibility to:

  • Apply to the Academy of Healthcare Science for a Certificate of Attainment/Equivalence

Which provides eligibility to:

  • Apply for registration with the Health and Care Professions Council as a Clinical Scientist.
Total credits 180
Mode(s) of Study Work-based with integrated part time MSc
Programme accredited by The Health and Care Professions Council

Programme Aim

To provide clinical scientist trainees with strong science-based, patient-centred clinical training in Cardiac, Critical Care, Vascular, Respiratory & Sleep Sciences (CCVRS).

Programme Level Learning Outcomes

Professional Practice

1. Professional practice that meets the professional standards of conduct, performance and ethics defined by Good Scientific Practice and the regulator (HCPC), and is safe, lawful and effective, within the scope of practice for the role undertaken, while maintaining fitness to practice

2. Personal qualities that encompass communication skills, self-management, self-awareness, acting with integrity and the ability to take responsibility for self-directed learning, maintaining their own health and wellbeing, critical reflection and action planning to maintain and improve performance

3. The ability to be an independent self-directed learner acting autonomously in a non-discriminatory manner when planning and implementing tasks at a professional level. Contributing to the education and training of colleagues; providing mentoring, supervision and support as appropriate and understanding the importance of participation in training, supervision and mentoring

4. The ability to work, where appropriate, in partnership with other professionals, often as part of a multidisciplinary team. Supporting staff, service users and their relatives and carers while maintaining confidentiality

5. The ability to work with the public, service users, patients and their carers as partners in their care, embracing and valuing diversity, as well as being aware of the impact of culture, equality and diversity on practice

6. The ability to treat patients and their carers with respect, dignity and compassion in line with the NHS constitution

7. An understanding of the limits of the concept of confidentiality; the principles of information governance and safe and effective use of health and social  care information and the ability to recognise and respond appropriately to situations where it is necessary to share information to safeguard service users or the wider public

 Scientific and Clinical Practice 

8. A systematic understanding of relevant knowledge and a critical awareness of current problems, future developments and innovation in health and healthcare science practice, much of which is at, or informed by, the forefront of their professional practice in a healthcare environment

9. High-quality clinical and scientific practice that applies basic, core scientific knowledge, skills and experience in a healthcare setting, places the patient and the public at the centre of care, prioritising patient safety and dignity and reflecting NHS/health service values and the NHS Constitution

10. The ability to perform quality assured appropriate diagnostic or monitoring procedures, treatment, therapy or other actions safely and skillfully, adhering to applicable legislation and in compliance with local, national and international guidelines

11. The ability to maintain records appropriately, recognising the need to manage records and all other information in accordance with applicable legislation, protocols and guidelines

12. The ability to deal with complex scientific and clinical issues both systematically and creatively, make sound judgments in the absence of complete data and communicate conclusions clearly to specialist and non- specialist audiences, including patients and the public

13. The ability to define and choose investigative and scientific and/or clinical options and make key judgments about complex facts in a range of situation.

14. Originality in the application of knowledge, together with a practical understanding of how established techniques of research and enquiry are used to create and interpret knowledge in healthcare, healthcare science and their specialism 

Research, Development and Innovation 

15. A comprehensive understanding of the strengths, weaknesses and opportunities for further development of healthcare and HCS as applicable to their own clinical practice, research, audit, innovation and service development, which either directly or indirectly leads to improvements in patient care, the patient experience, clinical outcomes and scientific practice

16. Conceptual understanding and advanced scholarship in their specialism, enabling them to critically evaluate and critique current research and innovation methodologies and, where appropriate, propose new research questions and hypotheses 

Clinical Leadership 

17. Scientific and clinical leadership based on the continual advancement of their knowledge, skills and understanding through the independent learning required for continuing professional development

18. The ability to critique, analyse and solve problems, define and choose investigative and scientific and/or clinical options and make key judgements about complex facts in a range of situations

19. An understanding of the structure and function of health and social care services in the UK, the concept of leadership and its application to practice

Learning and Teaching Methods

  1. Clinical Experiential Learning
  2. Continuous assessment/feedback on progress and achievement throughout the work-based learning period.
  3. Academic Study

Assessment Methods

Completion of electronic portfolio with evidence from Clinical Experiential Learning:

  1. Critical reflection
  2. Competency log
  3. Direct Observation of Practical Skills (DOPS)
  4. Observed Clinical Event (OCE)
  5. Case-Based Discussion (CBD)
  6. Multisource Feedback (MSF)
  7. Objective Structured Final Assessment (OSFA)
Academic Assessment as set by the HEI

Programme structure

Year Modules Credits

Introduction to Healthcare Science

Rotation modules




Research Methods

Research Project

Specialist module(s)





Research Project

Specialist module(s)



Total Credits 180

Certain programmes include options at rotation and specialist stages. In these cases module choices will be determined by the needs of the training centre.

Programme Structures and Requirements: Levels, Modules and Credits

ID Module title Type Credit Pre-requisites
Core modules
SCC110 Introduction to Healthcare Science, Professional Practice and Clinical Leadership Compulsory 20
SCC121 Elective Module Compulsory 0
SCC120 Research Methods Compulsory 10
SCC123 Research Project Compulsory 60
Rotation modules
SPS104 Introduction to Cardiac Science Compulsory 10
SPS101 Introduction to Critical Care Science Compulsory 10
SPS102 Introduction to Respiratory and Sleep Science Compulsory 10
SPS105 Introduction to Device Risk Management and Governance Compulsory 10
Specialist modules
SPS123 Life Support and Emergency Resuscitation Compulsory 10
SPS124 Monitoring and Supporting Critically Ill Patients Compulsory 15
SPS125 Diagnostic and Therapeutic Techniques In Critical Care Compulsory 5
SPS135 Respiratory and Sleep Science 2 Critical Care Compulsory 20

Entry routes

In England there are two routes into the programme

  • Direct entry - Trainees are competitively appointed into a training post funded through the local Health Education England training board
  • In-service entry - Trainees enter the programme with the support of their employers.
Entry requirements

For both entry routes, STP applicants must participate in the national recruitment/assessment process and meet the minimum entry requirements for the academic and work-based programme.

Programme regulations

Attendance requirements:

Trainees are required to attend all sessions as specified.

This specification provides a concise summary of the main features of the programme and the threshold learning outcomes that a trainee is expected to achieve. The individual modules included in the programme may differ from those included in this programme specification as programmes are subject to continuous review. More detailed information on module-specific learning outcomes, learning and assessment methods is available in the relevant module specifications.