Postgraduate Taught

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

As part of our Person-Centred Practice Framework this interdisciplinary PgDip in Advancing Care Home Practice - (Person-Centred Practice) course 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.

This course offers the opportunity to select modules which are of particular interest to you. It is delivered both full time and part time with start dates in both September and January each year.

Why QMU?

  • Contemporary, creative and interactive learning approaches: The learning environment will generate an ethos of engagement where students can explore and challenge theories, practices and different sources of knowledge creatively in an atmosphere of high challenge and high support.
  • Tailor your studies: You will be able to craft your own pathway on this course.
  • Staff expertise and support: You will be taught by a team of academic staff who have an expertise in care home practice, research and education. The academic team pride themselves on supporting learners throughout their course.
  • Our reputation and experience: We have a reputation at QMU for innovative curriculum design, being supportive and responsive to learners and extensive online resources. 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.
  • Relevance: Our conceptualization of person-centredness is consistent with the WHO Framework of ‘people-centred healthcare’.
  • Professional links: We are the Omega-Xi Chapter of Sigma Global, the only global nursing leadership organisation and with partnerships, collaborations and networks across more than 27 countries.

Advancing Care Home Practice (Person-Centred Practice) - PgDip: More information and what you will achieve

We aim 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.

The uniqueness of this course is that, you can craft your own pathway. This course recognises care home practice as a specialism in its own right. It supports experienced practitioners with clinical or management perspectives or roles to 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.

On this course you 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; and 
  • engage and facilitate personal and professional development of self and others through critical thinking, reflective practice and transformative, communicative spaces.

How will I be taught?

Structure and exit awards

You can exit with a PgCert (60 credits) or a PgDip (120 credits)

You can also register as an associate student to complete a single module for CPD. On completion of a single module, you may wish to complete further modules and progress your studies to a named award. Contact Dr Karen Rennie for more information on single module study.

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 utilise 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

Your attendance requirements at QMU will depend on the module you are studying and whether you are studying full-time or part-time.

Class sizes

We expect around 20 people to enrol on this course each year.

Teaching staff

You can read more about the teaching staff on this course at the bottom of this page. Please note that teaching staff is subject to change.



To obtain a PgCert, you must complete the following three core modules:

  • 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.


To then obtain a PgDip, you will chose to progress on a clinical or non-clinical route and complete 60 credits from a range of options.

Suggested clinical route:

  • 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 for Health Care Professionals* (40 credits): The module will cover content as indicated as requirement by professional bodies:
  1. Consultation, decision-making tools and therapy, including referral
  2. Clinical decision-making
  3. Influences on and psychology of prescribing
  4. Prescribing in a team context
  5. Clinical pharmacology, including the effectives of co-morbidity
  6. Evidence-based practice and clinical governance in relation to prescribing practice
  7. Legal, policy and ethical aspects of prescribing practice
  8. Prescribing governance and patient safety
  9. Professional accountability and responsibility including appropriate documentation
  10. Prescribing in the public health context including out of hours contexts
  11. Local prescribing formularies – development and utilisation
  12. Completion of drug profiles for individual learning and clinical context
  13. Person-centredness
  14. 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:

  • 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)

*Please check the course content and entry requirements for the Independent and Supplementary Prescribing for Health Care Professionals. It is a NMC approved qualification, requiring an up-to-date Criminal Records Check.

NB The modules listed are correct at time of posting (updated Feb 2024) but are subject to change. In the event that modules change, QMU will seek to use reasonable endeavours to ensure that there is no detrimental impact on students.

Career opportunities

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

Advancing Care Home Practice (Person-Centred Practice) - PgDip: Entry requirements and application information

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.


  • 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
  • Applicants requiring a student visa with not be eligible to study this course.

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

Disability/health conditions

If you have a disability, long-term physical or mental health condition, or learning disability, it should not stand in the way of your studying at QMU. However, if you are not sure whether your disability might be a barrier in your studies or in relation to the professional standards, please contact the disability service who will be able to have a conversation with you about reasonable adjustments and supports available to you.

Applying for this course

For more information on applying, or to apply for this course, please follow the links in the 'Start your application' box at the top right of this page.

Application deadline


Terms and Conditions

The delivery of this course is subject to the terms and conditions set out in our 2023/24 Entry - Terms and Conditions (Postgraduate).

More information and QMU contacts

Become your best you: study at QMU

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.
1-3 years full time OR 2-7 years part time
Start Date
September 2024
Start Date
January 2025
Fees & Funding
SCQF Level

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