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Online course details

Study options

Part-time: 1 year

UK/EU fee

£2,520 (2020/21)

International fee

£2,520 (2020/21)

Course level



University Advanced Diploma

Start date




Online course description

If applying for September 2020 intake:
Application deadline is 6 September and term starts 21 September, so apply now.

The Association of Anaesthetists of Great Britain & Ireland (AAGBI) require anaesthetists to have dedicated qualified assistance wherever anaesthesia is administered, whether in the operating department, the obstetric unit or any other area.

This University Advanced Diploma in Anaesthetic Practice is the first course in the UK to offer an online programme for nurses intending to train to become anaesthetic nurses. This innovative approach benefits both staff working in perioperative environments and employers managing acute care settings.

This part-time, online course enables you to gain relevant training in your own place of work. There is no need for off-site study, saving both staff time and travel costs. Mentored placements are an integral part of the course. Your placements will be undertaken in your place of work across key specialist areas to build up your competencies along with your clinical skills.

Gain the competence and confidence to work as an Anaesthetic Nurse

This course is for registered Nurses working in a perioperative setting within the UK who wish to gain the experience, competence and confidence to work as anaesthetic nurses. During this course, you will build on the knowledge gained from your initial training and post-basic experience by developing key clinical skills that are of particular value in the perioperative environment. The course is designed to produce safe, reflective and resilient Anaesthetic nurses.

26thout of 121 UK institutions**Guardian University Guide 2020
Goldstandard teaching**Teaching Excellence Framework

An online course grounded in clinical practice

Clinical practice is central to this course and is embedded throughout the course.

Students must be employed in a UK based perioperative environment for the duration of the course. To join the course, you will require your employer’s full support as you will need to be able to spend time on practice placements in a variety of clinical areas within your organisation, covering key surgical specialities to develop your core and specialist skills. In addition, your employer must allocate you with a suitably qualified and knowledgeable mentor to provide essential mentorship for your placements.

By undertaking clinical placements in different departments, you will gain insight into the complexity of service user experience and understand practice in alternative settings, such as Intensive Care/Therapy Units, High Dependency Units or Post Anaesthesia Care Units. You will have a set of competencies to achieve throughout your course and your placements in order to demonstrate competence and safe practice.

The competencies of the course mirror those contained within the College of Operating Department Practitioners (CODP) 2018 Curriculum and the Perioperative Care Collaboration’s (PCC) Core Curriculum for Perioperative Nursing 2017. Your employer will ultimately be responsible for ensuring you gain enough experience in the relevant clinical environments in order for you to meet the required course competencies. Support and advice regarding placements will be available from the Academic team.

What you will study

By completing this course, you will:

For the University Advanced Diploma you will study three core 20-credit, level 6 modules.


Code: 6OD504

Working and Learning in Operating Department Practice

This module utilises sound theoretical knowledge and current research to introduce you to the inner workings of the perioperative environment and enables you to reflect on your role as part of a multidisciplinary team.

The theme of this module is Refection and Resilience. Activities and exercises in this module are designed to encourage reflection on ways of working in what can be a high pressure environment within healthcare. You will explore the concept of resilience and reflect on how you can build and maintain your own resilience strategies while delivering safe effective and compassionate care to service users.

Module Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of the module, you will be able to:

  • Critically review the concept of perioperative care and the role and responsibilities of the perioperative nurse working as part of the multidisciplinary perioperative team.
  • Critically analyse and apply a variety of strategies to ensure a safe environment is maintained and a quality, compassionate outcome is achieved for service users.


More information
20 Credits

Code: 6OD505

Principles of Anaesthetic Practice

The module encourages nurses working in the perioperative environment to provide service user care, which is based on sound theoretical knowledge and current research.

It will encourage you, through reflection, to gain and build on knowledge and skills relating to the care of service users in the anaesthetic areas of the operating department.

This module is themed around Safety and Resilience.   A nurse working in this area is responsible, in conjunction with the anaesthetist and others, for the safe care of service users undergoing anaesthetic procedures. Nurses need to develop their knowledge and skills in this area in order to be able to recognise and respond to changes in clinical circumstances and in the perioperative environment.

Module Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of the module, you will be able to:

  • Critically evaluate service user care and the professional responsibilities of an anaesthetic nurse in the perioperative environment.
  • Critically analyse research evidence related to the management and delivery of care to service users undergoing local, regional and general anaesthetic.
  • Critically review management of changes in both clinical circumstances and the perioperative environment.
More information
20 Credits

Code: 6OD506

Developing Anaesthetic Practice

As a practitioner working in the perioperative environment, this module encourages you to provide service user care which is based on sound theoretical knowledge and current research. .

It will encourage you to build and reflect on previous knowledge and experience in relation to anaesthetic practice in order to deliver high quality care across a variety of specialities.

This module’s theme is Resilience and Safety.  Service users are coming to theatres with many complex needs today as the technology and skills have improved so that much more is possible in terms of both anaesthetic and surgical intervention. However the higher the degree of complexity, the higher the level of planning and safety measures required. You will become involved in cases of increasing complexity and you must ensure that you maintain a safe environment and that you remain resilient and compassionate when providing care.

Module Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of the module, you will be able to:

  1. Justify care delivered in order to meet the physiological, pathological, pharmacological and psychological needs of service users undergoing anaesthesia.
  2. Critically analyse procedures and strategies utilised within the anaesthetic environment in order to manage potential and actual clinical or environmental problems in this area.
More information
20 Credits

Please note that our modules are subject to change - we review the content of our courses regularly, making changes where necessary to improve your experience and graduate prospects.

How you will learn

We recognise the demanding nature of work in perioperative environments. With this in mind, we have designed this part-time, online course to enable you to fit your studies in and around your professional practice and personal commitments.

The taught elements of the course will be delivered entirely online. Live perioperative sessions delivered virtually, are designed, led and facilitated by the academic team who are expert practitioners in Operating Department Practice and in education and training. Our academic staff are engaged in research and scholarly activity and are at the forefront of their disciplines.

Interactive activities and case-studies will be available for you to work through. These have design input from actual service users and are contextualised within the ‘real-world’ of perioperative practice.

You will access your course materials through the virtual learning environment where you will also be able to engage in discussion and debate via the digital discussion board, which create a stimulating learning and teaching environment. The online student portal is your gateway to our cloud campus including your digital learning space and your tutors, student support services, the library, your student email account, course materials, important announcements and more.

You will also have access to tutorial support through scheduled ‘live’ sessions, however recordings will be available if you are unable to attend.

If it is a while since you last studied, an additional online study skills resource will be available to supplement your studies and help you build your ability to study at level 6.

During your studies, you will be directed to consider the application of theoretical knowledge to your own role and workplace and subsequently share this information with your peers. Within the workplace, you will be supported by a mentor, who will be identified by your employer. Your mentor will be a registered professional, with the appropriate qualifications and clinical expertise to effectively support you during your placements.

The course will enable you to gain analytical, problem solving, practical and clinical skills that will add real value within your role and your workplace.

Personal development planning

Personal development planning (PDP) is built into the course allowing you to capture, build and reflect upon your personal development throughout your studies.

Each online module contains a Personal Development Planning section. In particular, there is a resource entitled ‘Personal Development Planning in the Digital Age’ which will support you in your development and enable you to effectively communicate the evidence you have to your employers. The resource introduces a range of graduate skills which you can also develop throughout your studies in each module, as well as digital literacy skills which will be invaluable in any future studies and careers.

Pace of study

We recommend about 20 hours of study per week to complete one 20-credit module over a 10-week trimester.

Assessment method

This course is assessed through 100% coursework with a range of methods, such as essays, research reports, presentations, group work and practical reports.

All coursework assessments will be related to the perioperative environment whereby you will be expected to draw on your experience and knowledge of your practice environment to inform your academic work.

Formative assessment opportunities will take place early in each module such as feedback on draft course work or feedback on personal and group learning activities. 

Summative assessments such as essays and reflective journals, presentations and literature reviews will be used to demonstrate that you have met the learning outcomes of the course.

Your work placement experience will form a key part of your assessment with specific practice related competencies captured within an e-portfolio/Practical Assessment Document. Qualified registered mentors will assess you in the workplace, whilst additional support and review is provided by your academic tutor.

Student wearing headphones at a laptop participating in an online webinar

Discovering Online Learning Webinar

Monday, 17 August 2020 14.00 - 15.00

During this hour long webinar, we’ll take you through the basic principles of how online learning works and what you can expect as an online learner with the University of Derby Online Learning.

Book your webinarBook your webinar

Entry requirements

To successfully undertake this course, you will need to be a registered nurse employed in a UK based perioperative environment for the duration of the course. The amount of time that you spend in the anaesthetic environment will be decided by your employer and can be discussed with the Academic team. The time spent must be adequate to enable you to achieve both the academic and practical aspects of this course.

Potential applicants will be identified in the first instance by employers and will subsequently also need to apply to the university. As an employee, you will need permission, support and a written reference from your manager to apply for this course. You will be required to upload evidence to this effect when you are applying. Your employer is also responsible for ensuring that adequate DBS checks have been carried out.

To apply, you will need to meet the following criteria:

English language qualifications

If English is not your first language, or you have not successfully completed your highest level of qualification in English, you will need an English language qualification. For this course you will need at least one of the following:

Fees and funding

2020/21 Fees for new entrants

Starting between September 2020 and August 2021.

 Per 20 creditsModulesCost
UK/EU/International £840 3 £2,520

About your fees

This figure would be the total cost of this course in the current academic year. However, please note that fees normally increase in line with inflation and the University's strategic approach to fees, which is reviewed on an annual basis. The total fee you pay may therefore increase if your course lasts longer than one year.

However, please also note that you can receive a 5% discount if you either:

Flexible payment plans available

Choose from three payment plan options:

How to apply

Students should apply directly to the University.

Apply now

Documents to support your application

In support of your application, you'll need to provide:

*Documents not in English or Welsh must be accompanied by a certified translation by a professional translator/translation company. Each translation must contain: 

A list of approved translators can be found on the UK Government website.

Application deadlines

All of our online courses have set start dates throughout the year. We require time to review your application and get back to you with a response before your course starts. Take a look at information regarding applying for an online course to see full details of deadlines and term dates.


This University Advanced Diploma in Anaesthetic Practice qualification will enable registered nurses to gain the necessary qualification and competence to work as an anaesthetic nurse in an acute care setting.

During your studies, you will have the opportunity to participate in a wide range of activities, projects and assessments. Each of these are designed to contribute towards an enhancement of your employability, and you are able to use these to build a portfolio of work which could be demonstrated to any employer.

The extra knowledge and skills gained will make you more adaptable within your perioperative area and contribute to increased productivity for the team.

This course is ideal if you are looking for career progression, and to demonstrate a critical, evidence-based approach to anaesthetic perioperative practice.

Contact us

Contact the University of Derby Online Learning:

Contact usContact usFrequently asked questionsFrequently asked questions

Additional information about your studies

Download programme specification

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