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.

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First choice for health

Delivered by professional experts, our programmes are tailored to you and your career. Together, we address today's most challenging healthcare issues, through research-informed teaching and active, real-world learning.#firstchoiceforhealth

Nursing students to receive £5,000 payment a year

The government is issuing nursing and midwifery students on courses from 2020 a payment of at least £5,000 a year, which they will not have to pay back. A further £3,000 of funding a year is available for eligible students. 

Find out more about the bursary

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.

Course details
  • Your Intercalated Year

  • This programme has a modular design and a flexible ‘blended learning’ approach to delivery. Successful completion of the third or 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 (UEC607, UEC608 and UEC609) represent the 60 credits you are required to study to achieve the BSc (Hons) in Critical Care. APEL will be applied in recognition of experience and skills you have already gained as part of your medical degree for core module HEAD360P.

    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

    • Understanding Evidence to Inform Clinical Decision Making (HEAD360P)

      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.

    • Integrated Advancing Practice in Context (HEAD366)

      This module will enable the student to develop their professional understanding of Advancing Practice within their working environment and explore the complexities of their practice. They will examine the legal & ethical boundaries and accountability of practice personally, professionally and strategically.

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

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

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

      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).

    • Developing Professional Practice in Critical Care (UEC609)

      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.

    • The Fundamentals of Health Assessment (HEAD367IC)

      This module is designed to enable healthcare professionals to critically examine and develop in an area of professional clinical practice, in a range of settings. Taught workshops will guide the student, building on their pre-existing body of knowledge to further develop their skills in health assessment, clinical examination and clinical reasoning.

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 2022 23 5865

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.

In light of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the changeable nature of the situation and any updates to government guidance, we may need to make further, last minute adjustments to how we deliver our teaching and learning on some or all of our programmes, at any time during the academic year. We want to reassure you that even if we do have to adjust the way in which we teach our programmes, we will be working to maintain the quality of the student learning experience and learning outcomes at all times.
Entry requirements

Given the nature of the placement element in a critical care environment, and the point of academic entry into the programme, we only consider medical students who have successfully completed (or anticipate successful completion) of the third or 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.

Please refer to our person specification.

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

Extended entry requirements

Fees, costs and funding
Student 2022-2023 2023-2024
Home £9,250 £9,250
International £14,600 £16,300
Part time (Home) N/A N/A
Full time fees shown are per annum. Part time fees shown are per a number of credits. Please note that fees are reviewed on an annual basis. Fees and the conditions that apply to them shown in the prospectus are correct at the time of going to print. Fees shown on the web are the most up to date but are still subject to change in exceptional circumstances. More information about fees and funding.

Additional costs

This course is delivered by the Faculty of Health and more details of any additional costs associated with the faculty's courses are listed on the following page:  Faculty of Health additional costs.

Please contact the Professional Development Unit for further information.

Tel: +44 (0) 1752 586951 


How to apply

Applications for 2023 are now closed.

If you have any questions regarding the programme please contact

UK Foundation Programme Office (UKFPO) removal of educational achievements for 2023 entry

We are aware that the UKFPO has released a statement to inform medical schools that they will be removing certain educational achievements – including intercalated degree awards – from the UKFPO application score for 2023 entry.

The value of our intercalated programmes in Urgent and Emergency Care and Critical Care extends far beyond creating a 'points-based advantage' for foundation year one applicants. As one of our clinical intercalated students, you will experience one academic year embedded in clinical practice, actively contributing to patient care with the support of a consultant mentor. 

In addition to this, you will receive specialist instruction and inter-professional learning in topics such as quality improvement, leadership and non-technical skills. We firmly believe that graduates from our programmes are well-prepared to care for patients and function as effective doctors during their foundation years and beyond. 

Please find more details in this letter to our potential students.

Placement information

 In 2021, we expect to offer a range of student placements across the UK, including some of the biggest and most dynamic NHS Trusts. 

Explore opportunities to set up placements within your locality helping you with the cost of living and development of important relationships in settings where you may like to work in the future.

Experience working in genuinely challenging clinical environments; real-life experiences mean meaningful education.

Candidates are given the opportunity to select their placement preferences following interview.

<p>ical - map</p>

Please note that available placements may change, and the map is for illustrative purposes only.

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."


<p>Sam Waddy</p>

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


You will be required to undertake the following core modules as part of the intercalated programme:

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

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

UEC609 - Developing professional practice in critical care 

To make up the remaining 60 credits of the course, APEL will be applied in recognition of experience and skills you have already gained as part of your medical degree. Please contact the Professional Development Unit for further information.

<p>Paediatric Critical Care 1: Essentials of care and interventions hero image<br></p>
<p>Medical/health equipment in ICU - Image courtesy of Shutterstock (210538477)</p>

University of Plymouth intercalation

It’s a unique course – there’s isn't anything like it anywhere else in the UK. You’re in the clinical environment most of the time, normally five days a week.
Lauren Sleep, BSc (Hons) Urgent and Emergency Care (Intercalated) student

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."

<p>Joshua Masheder – BSc (Hons) Critical Care (Intercalated) graduate<br></p>
<p>Contact the Graduation Team</p>

Alumnus loyalty reward for postgraduate study

Automatically awarded – no need to apply
The University applies a discretionary alumnus reward where alumni meet certain criteria on particular postgraduate taught courses.
  • A 20% discount on home tuition fees (10% for MSc Research Methods in Psychology, MSc/PgCert/PgDip Clinical Psychology, MSc/PgDip Psychology and MSc Occupational Therapy Pre-Registration, MSc Physiotherapy Pre-Registration).
  • Or a £2,000 discount on international tuition fees.
If you have previously studied at the University of Plymouth or at one of our partner colleges, you may be entitled to our Alumnus discount to help towards the tuition fees of your Postgraduate Taught course. For further details, programme exclusions and contact information, please see our fees policy.