Commissioning (Health and Social Care)

Postgraduate Certificate
Course Postgraduate Certificate
Length 3 Years Part-time
Start dates January 2014
September 2014
  • To offer a flexible and lively programme that prepares students to develop the qualities necessary to become effective leaders within their own professional area relevant to health and social care commissioning.
  • To provide opportunities for students to work in partnership with others through inter-professional education, and to increase the provision and quality of care delivered within health and social care commissioning.
  • To enable students to consider the impact of the professional role on their organisation, and in the wider context of health and social care commissioning.
  • To facilitate the development of a range of students from diverse backgrounds and occupations through provision of contemporary theoretical underpinning, including key areas of competency in health and social care commissioning.
  • To enable students to be proactive in recognising the need for change in the working environment, and to contribute, innovate and apply best evidence to promote research-based change and communicate conclusions clearly.
  • To enable students to be cognisant of the depth and breadth of health and social care commissioning, and to gain comprehensive higher level knowledge, expertise, judgement and problem-solving skills.
  • To develop and promote skills of synthesis, together with critical, analytical and reflective thinking within academic and health and social care environments, to encourage development in others, and to promote an ethos of lifelong learning.


Why study this programme?

The Postgraduate Certificate in Health and Social Care Commissioning has been specifically designed to take account of the changes that are taking place in the way services are commissioned and provided. It will appeal to practising health and social care professionals who wish to influence patient choice and provide world class quality care.

The programme recognises the increasing importance of leadership roles for both practitioners and commissioners of the future and will therefore be valuable to health and social care professionals in either practice or commissioning roles and across a range of care settings. Students have rated individual modules as valuable and have appreciated how lecturers, who are at the forefront of commissioning, have shown them the practical aspects of commissioning.



The underlying philosophy of the programme is that of lifelong learning and increasing inter-professional learning and working. It is expected that students studying the programme will become leaders in health and social care commissioning, and will be able to exercise higher levels of judgement and discretion.

This programme is delivered at the Riverside Campus in Chester.

Programme Structure

The programme will be offered on a modular basis, one third of which will be delivered via e-learning. It is designed to meet the NHS Knowledge & Skills Framework (DH 2004) where applicable to the health and social care sector.

The postgraduate certificate contains three credited modules and can normally be completed within one year.

All modules are worth 20 credits at Level 7. All modules have internal integrity and can be linked together to form a coherent programme of learning, but they may also be undertaken as stand-alone modules or as options within other programmes.

Code Level Module Name Credits Single Honours
NM7008 7 Health and Social Care Commissioning 20 Compulsory
NM7012 7 Leadership Development and Change 20 Compulsory
NM7062 7 Creativity and Innovation in Health and Social Care 20 Compulsory

The overall assessment strategy is to employ a variety of methods to fully assess students' knowledge, understanding and intellectual skills.

The Postgraduate Certificate in Health and Social Care Commissioning uses the following methods of assessment:

  • knowledge, understanding and intellectual skills including thinking and cognitive ability are assessed through written assignments
  • seminar presentation
  • contribution to online discussion
  • analysis and evaluation of a commissioning proposal
  • self-analysis, action planning, and reflective evaluation

All aspects of the assessment strategy will be used to evaluate transferable/key skills and, where relevant, mapped against national standards. Assessment methods are outlined within the module descriptors.

Further details are available in the programme management document and module handbooks.

This programme will appeal to students from a variety of backgrounds and workplaces, such as:

  • ambulance service, general practice
  • allied health professional services,
  • child health and social care services
  • primary care services
  • police and prison services
  • public health services
  • occupational health services
  • social services, elderly care services
  • special needs services, mental health services
  • and services for vulnerable groups

Students undertaking this programme may increase their employability where additional knowledge in health and social care commissioning is a desirable or an essential requirement. This may be applicable to many areas of potential employment within health, social, independent and voluntary sector organisations.

  • Applicants will normally hold a first degree (second class honours or above) or equivalent qualification.
  • Applicants without a first degree will be considered based on their potential to undertake academic study at master's degree level.
  • All applicants must have a current and relevant workplace, or access to a relevant workplace during the period of study.
  • All students should provide evidence of recent study or writing at an appropriate level.
  • All applicants will be invited to attend an interview and induction day, where they will be provided with information regarding study at master's degree level and further programme details.
  • The postgraduate certificate is aimed at a range of professionals who have an interest in health and social care commissioning.