School of Nursing and Midwifery

BSc (Hons) Critical Care (Intercalated)

Experience nine months working in critical care and gain a degree at the same time, studying our Intercalated BSc (Hons) in Critical Care. Develop your clinical skills and specialist competencies specific to the care of critically ill, with placements in intensive and high dependency care. Our placement provision is varied and, where possible negotiated to assist you with the additional living costs incurred, such as accommodation and travel.

During your intercalation you will engage in quality improvement and develop your confidence and competence as a leader and member of the healthcare team. The unique mentoring, usually provided by a consultant in intensive care, will support your progression developing relationships and the wider networks, that are so valuable as you complete your medical degree and commence your early years as a doctor.

Key features

  • Study with the only university to offer an intercalated degree in critical care in the UK
  • Explore opportunities to set up placements within your preferred locality which helps with the cost of living and, the development of relationships and networks where you may wish to work when you complete your primary medical degree. 
  • Experience a long practice placement working in challenging critical care environment that reflects the continuum of critical care provision. 
  • Receive mentoring and supervision from an experienced clinician; for example, a Consultant in Intensive Care Medicine.
  • Learn with and from others who represent the multi-professional team caring for the critically ill.
  • Prepare to be a follower and leader exploring and applying key concepts, professional theories and evidence to practice. 
  • Develop and hone your interpersonal, professional and clinical skills aligned to reputable competency frameworks and standards; for example, from the Faculty of Intensive Care Medicine.
  • Develop your ability to lead and manage quality improvement (QI) and audit and your opportunity to disseminate widely via poster and conference presentation and publication.
  • Join our growing and active ‘socially connected’ community of intercalated students and graduates/alumni engaging in mentoring, programme development, recruitment and educational activities. 
  • The anticipated start date of this programme for the academic year 2017/18 is the week beginning 4 September 2017 (induction week) with the anticipated end date being the week commencing 25 June 2018 (final placement week). Please note that these dates are provisional and may be subject to change - always check with the programme lead or Professional Development Unit.

Course details

  • Your Intercalated Year
  • This programme has a modular design and a flexible ‘blended learning’ approach to delivery. Successful completion of the fourth year of your primary medical degree normally means you are eligible to accredit prior learning up to 60 credits via Accreditation of Prior (Experiential) Learning - please see the AP(E)L section of our website for further information on this process. The core modules (below) represent the 60 credits you are required to study to achieve the BSc (Hons) in Critical Care.

    Every undergraduate taught course has a detailed programme specification document describing the course aims, the course structure, the teaching and learning methods, the learning outcomes and the rules of assessment. The following programme specification represents the latest course structure and the modules associated with this intercalated degree (may be subject to change):

    Core modules
    • HEAD360P Understanding Evidence to Inform Clinical Decision Making

      The module is designed to extend students' knowledge around evidence-informed decision making. This will be achieved through students identifying and evaluating a body of research-based evidence relevant to clinical practice.

    • UEC607 Urgent, Emergency and Critical Care: Leadership and Innovation

      This module will enhance the students' confidence and competence to lead and manage quality improvement and innovation in urgent, emergency and critical care.

    • UEC608 Evidencing Professional Development in Urgent, Emergency and Critical Care via (e)-Portfolio

      This module will enable the student to develop their professional practice in the provision of urgent, emergency and critical care. Evidence supporting the students' development will be collated in an electronic portfolio (e-portfolio).

    • UEC609 Developing Professional Practice in Critical Care

      This module will enable the student to develop their professional practice with regard to history taking, clinical examination, diagnostics, decision making and clinical management planning in critical care.

Every undergraduate taught course has a detailed programme specification document describing the course aims, the course structure, the teaching and learning methods, the learning outcomes and the rules of assessment.

The following programme specification represents the latest course structure and may be subject to change:

BSc Hons Critical Care Programme Specification

The modules shown for this course are those currently being studied by our students, or are proposed new modules. Please note that programme structures and individual modules are subject to amendment from time to time as part of the University’s curriculum enrichment programme and in line with changes in the University’s policies and requirements.

Entry requirements

Given the nature of the placement element in a critical care environment, and the point of academic entry into the programme, we ‘normally’ only consider medical students who have successfully completed (or anticipate successful completion) the fourth year of their primary medical degree.

All applicants will be required to provide written permission to intercalate from their medical school and evidence (via transcript) confirming completion of relevant clinical skills and research, to the level normally expected of a fourth year undergraduate medical student. We appreciate some of this evidence may not be available when a student initially applies; however, it will be required to secure a provisional offer if successful through the recruitment process.

If you want to find out more about the opportunity to pursue an Intercalated BSc (Hons) in Critical Care with Plymouth University, please email the Professional Development Unit at

Fees, costs and funding

Please contact the Professional Development Unit for further information on fees and funding for this programme -

Tel: +44 (0) 1752 585493


How to apply

Applications for a September 2018 start are now open. Please download a copy of the application form.

Applications will be accepted until 12 noon on 8 January 2018, with all applicants informed of the outcome of their application by 22 January 2018.

If your application is successful you will be invited to a recruitment event and interview at the main Plymouth University campus the week commencing 5 February 2018, and you will be informed of the outcome of your interview by 23 February 2018.

For any other queries relating to this course or our recruitment cycle please contact the Professional Development Unit:

Professional Development Unit
4th floor, Rolle Building
Plymouth University
Drake Circus


Tel: +44 1752 586951

Intercalation with Plymouth University

It’s a really unique course – there’s not anything like it anywhere else in the UK. You’re in the clinical environment most of the time, normally five days a week.

Joshua Masheder - BSc (Hons) Urgent and Emergency Care (Intercalated) graduate

"Emergency care and critical care are both fields which can be the difference between life and death, but as students we have little exposure whilst at medical school. The opportunity this course and the BSc (Hons) Critical Care (Intercalated) course gives you to become integrated alongside some of the best medical teams in some of the busiest hospitals in the UK provides opportunities you will not gain elsewhere. Alongside the clinical placements I have been able to work in my field of interest, explore pre-hospital care and be involved in cutting edge research to mould out future NHS. Plymouth and its intercalation courses offer a unique starting block for anyone interested in emergency care, pre-hospital care and anaesthetics, not forgetting paediatrics and psychiatry all of which stand you above colleagues in experience, knowledge and exposure."

Dr Sam Waddy, Clinical Director Intensive Care, Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust and Lead Mentor for the BSc (Hons) Critical Care (Intercalated) programme

"Intensive care lies at the heart of the modern hospital. The care, skills and knowledge provided by critical care clinical staff both within the intensive care unit and across the wider hospital, enable the sickest patients to survive and recover. The BSc (Hons) Critical Care (Intercalated) programme provides the opportunity to be immersed in this vibrant and demanding environment, to gain a broad knowledge of the diagnosis and management of critical illness and to explore a research topic in depth."



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Find out more about the modules that make up this course:

Core modules

HEAD360 - Understanding evidence to inform clinical decision making

UEC608 - Evidencing professional development in urgent, emergency and critical care via (e)-portfolio

UEC607 - Urgent, emergency and critical care: leadership and innovation

UEC609 - Developing professional practice in critical care

Optional modules

Any other module, partnership module, mentorship or learning achieved via professional development modules from Plymouth University or with another HEI in the relevant subject of Critical Care – if you are unsure on whether a module you have passed is relevant, please contact the Programme Lead. 

BSc (Hons) Critical Care – professional development pathway

We also offer registered healthcare professionals working in a critical care setting the chance to study this programme on a full or part-time basis.

Find out more

Automatic postgraduate bursaries for Plymouth graduates

A ten per cent alumni discretionary award is available in all faculties if you are:

  • a graduate of University of Plymouth
  • enrolled on a full-time or part-time taught postgraduate programme on which a postgraduate fee is charged and no student loan is available
  • self-funded
  • part funded/sponsored the discount will apply to the self-funded element of the tuition fee only.
Please note exceptions apply.
Find out more about the ten per cent discount for University graduates