Fast-track health care degrees launched at Derby to help combat national shortage

13 May 2016

A series of fast-track health care degrees have been launched by the University of Derby to help combat the UK-wide shortage of nurses, diagnostic radiographers and sonographers.

The University has developed three new masters degrees; MSc Diagnostic RadiographyMSc Adult Nursing and a Medical Ultrasound MSc, in partnership with Derby Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

Each programme is a full-time, two-year course and includes time on placements in the NHS and private and voluntary sector healthcare employers, which are arranged and overseen by the University of Derby.

The courses, which aim to accelerate students through their studies, will begin in September 2016 at the University’s Kedleston Road site.

Dr Bill Whitehead, Head of Department for Nursing, Radiography and Healthcare Practice at the University of Derby, said: “All three programmes have been validated by the University and approved by the relevant regulatory bodies.

“These courses have been launched because there is a local and national shortage of nurses, radiographers and sonographers. 

“All of these professions have good starting salaries in excess of £21,000 and have clinical career progression frameworks leading to potential earnings of over double that.

“We already have an MSc in Occupational Therapy which has been successfully recruiting for several years so these additional courses complement our existing strategy to support individuals to gain a masters qualification and a registration to practice within their chosen profession within two years.”

The Diagnostic Radiography Masters course, which is approved by the Health and Care Professions Council, is one of a very small number of MSc Pre-Registration courses in Diagnostic Radiography in the UK and currently the only one in the region.

In addition to developing the necessary technical and professional skills required for safe and effective clinical practice, students undertaking this course will develop a critical understanding of the profession, vital for shaping the future of radiography.

The MSc Nursing course is split into three stages and will enable students to develop all of the practical skills and knowledge required to become a registered nurse.

Nurse doing a procedure

The programme has been designed to meet the specific needs of Derby and Derbyshire and employers have worked with the University to make sure it meets their needs.

A significant amount of time in practice will be spent working alongside qualified mentors, applying theory to practice to develop key clinical skills and the ability to work as a professional in practice.

The MSc Medical Ultrasound course is only the second course in the country to offer a CASE accredited full-time direct entry route into sonography.

The course will maintain its existing part-time pathway, which is currently accessed by qualified healthcare professionals wishing to develop their sonography skills and practice.

Derby Teaching Hospitals Trust is funding 20 places on the Adult Nursing course as well as 10 places on the Diagnostic Radiography degree and four places on the Medical Ultrasound course.

Derbyshire Community Health Services is funding a further five places on the Adult Nursing MSc programme.

Dr Neil Pease, Executive Director of Workforce and Corporate Development at Derby Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We are really excited to partner with the University of Derby to offer the MSc Graduate programmes in Nursing, Diagnostic Radiography and Medical Ultrasound.

“We are committed to growing our workforce of the future and these innovative programmes offer a unique opportunity to students to gain academic and practical experience. We are pleased to be the first Trust to offer such an opportunity."

99.5% of University of Derby health graduates are in work or further study. The University’s pre-registration Nursing and Radiography undergraduate degrees and Postgraduate Medical Ultrasound course currently boast a 100% employability rate.

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