Widening participation the development of a collaborative undergraduate programme
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Widening Participation The development of a collaborative undergraduate programme. Liz Travers Senior Lecturer Marie Curie Education Service. Introduction.

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Widening participation the development of a collaborative undergraduate programme

Widening Participation The development of a collaborative undergraduate programme

Liz Travers

Senior Lecturer

Marie Curie Education Service


  • A key strategic objective of the MCES is to deliver high quality cancer and palliative care education to health professionals within and out-with the charity

    • Discuss the development of our collaborative undergraduate programme

    • Share its successes

    • Offer case examples

    • Consider the future

Programme development
Programme Development

  • 1998 – MCES (Scotland) identified need for undergraduate opportunities in cancer and palliative care and approached Napier University

  • Programme launched in 1999

  • Current programme re-validated in 2002

    • Multi-professional approach

    • Incorporated work based learning and PBL modules

    • Improved content and assessment strategy

    • Introduced double modules

Programme aims
Programme Aims

  • To develop practitioners with graduate level skills in reflection, critical analysis, research, problem solving and decision making to meet the challenges of cancer and palliative care practice

  • To deepen students’ knowledge, understanding and analysis of issues in cancer and palliative care

  • To encourage an holistic evidence based approach which recognises the diverse and complex needs of patients with cancer and other life threatening conditions

  • To offer a platform for future academic and professional development

Current programme 2002 2007
Current Programme – 2002:2007

  • Offers 2 exit points

    • Diploma of Higher Education in Cancer and Palliative Care

    • BSc Cancer and Palliative Care

  • Most modules involve attendance at 4 study days

  • The study days are supported by Guided Open Learning Materials

  • The programme was designed to be accessible to practitioners and acknowledges the needs of adult learners



Content relevant to practice

Open learning materials are a good resource

Meets their professional needs

Do not have to use annual leave – easier to get managers on board


Less time away from clinical area

Relevant content – encourages reflection on practice and transferable skills

Meets clinical standards

Meets organisational development needs


Case study 1
Case Study (1)

  • RN – qualified pre 1992 scheme

  • Working in palliative care since 1994

  • No accredited education since qualification

  • Commenced Diploma programme:1999

  • Moved onto Degree programme:2001

  • Graduated 2005 with University medal

  • Article being published in a peer reviewed journal: November 2005

Case study 2
Case Study (2)

  • Nurse working in oncology unit

  • Qualified in 2003

  • MC option chosen to ‘top up’ to degree

  • 60 credits required = 4 modules

  • Awarded BSc in Cancer and Palliative Care 2005

Case study 3
Case Study (3)

  • Qualified Occupational Therapist with OT diploma awarded in 1986

  • Now working in Palliative care

  • Commenced Degree programme in Oct 03

  • 120 credits required – still on programme

Future developments
Future Developments

  • How do we make our programme even more accessible and flexible to practitioners?

    • Online component

    • Clinically relevant content (multidisciplinary)

    • Reduction in face to face days

    • Use of videoconferencing

    • Addition of new delivery sites

    • Novel assessment strategies

    • Recognition of prior learning


  • Health professionals need access to programmes of study that take into account

    • Their work commitment

    • Their family commitment

    • Their professional needs

    • The needs of their organisation

    • Principles of life long learning

Widening participation through flexible provision
Widening Participation through Flexible Provision

Thank you for your time and attention – additional information on MCCC programmes of study can be accessed from: