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Postgraduate Diploma in Advancing Healthcare Practice

This qualification is designed to equip you with the knowledge, understanding and skills which will enable you to contribute to the advancement of healthcare practice. To achieve this qualification, you will need to successfully complete the two 60-credit modules, Leading healthcare improvements (K827) and Researching and evaluating healthcare practice (K828).

In K827, you will investigate the theory and practice of healthcare improvement, exploring what healthcare improvement means and how it can be achieved through change agency, collaboration and partnership and the field of improvement science. You will develop leadership skills in relation to policy, innovation and service improvement.

In K828, you will develop your knowledge, skills and understanding of using research and evidence-based practice to support service improvements in relation to advancing healthcare practice. Research skills are considered an important part of advancing healthcare practice, so within K828 you will pay particular attention to the conception, design and conduct of research that has significance and benefit in the practice setting.

This diploma forms part of a programme of study in which you can continue studying to achieve the MSc in Advancing Healthcare Practice (F52).


Course code


  • Credits measure the student workload required for the successful completion of a module or qualification.
  • One credit represents about 10 hours of study over the duration of the course.
  • You are awarded credits after you have successfully completed a module.
  • For example, if you study a 60-credit module and successfully pass it, you will be awarded 60 credits.
How long it takes
2–6 years
Read more about how long it takes
Study method
Distance learning
Find out more in Why the OU?
Course cost
See Fees and funding
Entry requirements

Find out more about entry requirements.

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Course details


For this postgraduate diploma you require:

120 credits from the following modules:

Postgraduate compulsory modules Credits Next start
Leading healthcare improvements (K827)

This module will help you develop leadership skills in relation to healthcare improvements, innovation and policy.

See full description

60 03 Oct 2015
Researching and evaluating healthcare practice (K828)

This module assists you to play a leading role in healthcare improvements through an appreciation of healthcare quality, research, evidence evaluation and skill analysis.

See full description

60 03 Oct 2015

The modules quoted in this description are currently available for study. However, as we review the curriculum on a regular basis, the exact selection may change over time.

Learning outcomes, teaching and assessment

The learning outcomes of this qualification are described in four areas:

  • Knowledge and understanding
  • Cognitive skills
  • Practical and professional skills
  • Key skills
Read more detailed information about the learning outcomes, and how they are acquired through teaching, learning and assessment methods.

Credit transfer

If you have already completed some successful study at postgraduate level at another institution you may be able to transfer credit for this study and count it towards this Open University qualification. If you wish to apply to transfer credit you must do so as soon as possible as it may affect your choice of OU modules. If you are awarded credit for study completed elsewhere, you may find that you need to study fewer OU modules to complete your qualification with us.

Visit our Credit Transfer site for more information and details of how to apply for credit transfer.

On completion

On successful completion of the required modules, you can be awarded a Postgraduate Diploma in Advancing Healthcare Practice (E46), entitling you to use the letters PG Dip Adv HCP (Open) after your name.


As a student of The Open University, you should be aware of the content of the following regulations:

These regulations are also available on our Essential Documents website.

Entry requirements

It is a requirement that you have:

  • a degree (FHEQ Level 6 / SCQF Level 9), conferred by a UK university or other recognised degree-awarding body.
  • access to a setting related to healthcare
You must complete this qualification within six years.

Career relevance

This is a UK qualification with international relevance that will be of interest to professionals working in a wide range of areas related to healthcare and are seeking to improve practice. Whilst the qualification does not lead to a professional registration it is of relevance to a diverse range of employment roles and career options within or related to the field of healthcare improvement.

There is more information about how OU study can improve your employability in the OU’s Employability Statement from our Careers Advisory Service. You can also read or download our publication OU study and your career and look at our subject pages to find out about career opportunities.