MSc in Wound Healing and Tissue Repair

Programme Aim

The aim of the course is to enable individuals to explore and analyse existing and developing theories and concepts that underpin wound healing and tissue repair facilitating professional and personal growth, building upon the individual's wide range of educational and vocational experience and developing their ability to become life-long learners.

At the completion of the programme, students will have increased their theoretical knowledge and developed critical independence, contributing through research and scholarship to the development of knowledge and evidence-base of their individual profession.


These programme specifications are a reflection of learning outcomes that include both the knowledge of the subject area and intellectual and personal qualities developed as a result of in-depth study of subject.

Knowledge and Understanding of:

  • Expand and explore in detail one phase of wound healing.

  • Expand and develop your understanding of the changes in body image experienced by patients following amputation, mastectomy, etc.

  • Discriminate between psychiatric conditions that are associated with wounds and their effect on individuals with problems of healing.

  • Evaluate local factors affecting healing. Explore and evaluate the concept of moist wound healing and its influence on modern day practice.

  • Evaluate the principles of psychometric and nutritional assessments as diagnostic indicators.

  • Discriminate between the use of contact and non-contact measurements in evaluating wound progress.

  • Discriminate between existing and new approaches to the management of an acute wound.

  • Differentiate between existing theories of chronic wound aetiologies.

  • Assimilate and synthesise newly acquired knowledge into existing knowledge base.

  • Evaluate the effect of treatment directives governing manufacture and application of wound treatment modalities.


Intellectual (Thinking Skills) - Able to:

  • Evaluate the current knowledge base of the stages of normal healing patterns.

  • Evaluate the research basis and methodologies of principle research studies in wound healing.

  • Explore the psycho/social indicators of adaptation to chronic illness.

  • Explore the existing literature on the effects psycho/social factors have on healing.

  • Discriminate between the range of research methods used in wound healing and tissue repair.

  • Critically review and evaluate the literature on the effect metabolic and pathological disease processes have on the healing process.

  • Critically appraise the effect the type of wound dressing materials may have on the healing process.

  • Critically evaluate methods used to measure oxygen and blood flow to wounds.

  • Critically review a wound management issue in relation to the potential benefits or harm it may have on patient outcomes.

  • Debate contradictions in existing management of acute wounds.

  • Critically analyse and evaluate controversial issues surrounding chronic wound aetiologies or management.

  • Redefine and evaluate the research evidence supporting the management of patients with chronic wounds.

  • Discriminate between existing, proven management options and newer, less validated therapies.

  • Explore and discuss the possible complications occurring in the delivery of wound care.

  • Review and evaluate the benefits of conducting cost-effective studies of wound management materials.


Discipline Specific Skills:

  • Relate the stages of normal healing to the clinical presentation of a wound.

  • Integrate psycho/social factors into your clinical assessment of patients

  • Develop diagnostic skills of recognition of pathogenic infection and other complications.

  • Develop new approaches in order to reduce the effects intrinsic and extrinsic factors have on the patients’ outcome.

  • Formulate protocols for the assessment and diagnosis of particular wound types.

  • Integrate knowledge of assessment and diagnostic techniques in the clinical situation.

  • Justify a framework for clinical care for patients with a surgically created wound, thermal and traumatic injury using appropriate research based treatments.

  • Critically appraise the effect resource allocation may have within the individual’s own area of practice.


Transferable Skills:

  • Develop new approaches in helping patients cope with chronic debilitating illness or acute traumatic injury.

  • Perform a critical review of the literature.

  • Develop and formulate research questions.

  • Critically evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of different methodologies.

  • Demonstrate a basic understanding of statistical concepts.

  • Perform an in-depth critique of a research paper.

  • Critically analyse the advantages and disadvantages of using assessment tools in predicting patients’ outcome.

  • Develop new approaches to the management of patients with a variety of wound types.

  • Critically examine the relationship between good clinical practice and the conduct of clinical trials in practice

  • Explore the ethical issues surrounding the conduct of clinical trials in wound healing.

  • Evaluate the types of ‘evidence’ that influence clinical practice.

Programme Structure

The MSc programme is an inter-disciplinary, part-time, distance learning course that is designed within a modular format. In order to ensure the establishment of a sound academic and theoretical base, all modules will be compulsory.

The scheme of study is divided into Parts 1 and 2.

Part 1 - Assessment of taught modules
Part 2 - Dissertation

The taught component (Part 1) comprises of 8 modules, the associated coursework and two 5-day study blocks. Each module consists of an 8-10 week period and is divided into hours of taught learning directed by the module, and hours of self-directed/additional study to enhance knowledge and to enable completion of summative coursework. Online course material will cover all theoretical content required to increase the knowledge base of the student. The timed period of self-study will facilitate independent learning.

Modules will contain the following features:

  • interaction centred and structured according to students' needs;

  • self assessment questions and responses throughout;

  • summaries for student reflection;

  • discussion forums linked to further reading;

  • information on requirements for study of particular modules, eg recommended and further reading;

  • introductions that provide the overall learning outcomes for the module and key areas that will be covered.



Title Submission Date Level Credits Year


Biology of Wound Healing 21 Nov 2011 HE6 10 1


Behavioural (Psychosocial) Aspects of Wound Healing

23 Jan 2012 HE6 10 1


Research Design and Methods 19 Mar 2011 M 10 1


Intrinsic and Extrinsic Factors Influencing Wound Healing 14 May 2012 M 10 1


Assessment and Diagnosis 23 Jul 2012 M 20 1


Management of Acute Wounds 19 Nov 2012 M 20 2


Management of Chronic Wounds 4 Feb 2013 M 20 2


Values and Priorities in Wound Care 15 Apr 2013 M 20 2


Dissertation (MSc Project) Target Date
1 April 2015
M 60 3-5


Total: 180


Course Overview

Biology of Wound Healing

To ensure survival, one of the priorities of our body, following tissue injury, is the cessation of haemorrhage, prevention of infection and restoration of tissue integrity and function. The process by which tissue repair takes place is termed "wound healing" and comprises of a continuous sequence of inflammation and repair in which epithelial and endothelial, inflammatory cells, platelets, and fibroblasts briefly come together outside their normal domains, interacting to restore a semblance of their normal discipline, and resume their normal function. These cells adopt a number of complicated biological changes in order to achieve haemostasis, combat infection, migrate into the wound space, deposit a matrix, and form new vessels to achieve wound closure.

As a health professional with a specialist interest in wound healing and tissue repair, the student will already have a broad understanding of the pathophysiology of wound healing. This module invites them to explore, in greater depth, some, or all areas of this highly complex process.

Behavioural (Psychosocial) Aspects of Wound Healing

This module is designed to introduce the student to the area of psychosocial aspects of health, in particular, the application of some psychological and sociological concepts to the process of wound healing. This is a very substantial area of study; books have been written on many of the concepts, which can only be discussed briefly within this course. However, references and further reading are provided to highlight sources of information for those who wish to pursue particular areas of interest.

Research Design and Methods

The ability to evaluate and practice research is seen as a necessary component of an MSc programme. This module will allow students to examine a range of theoretical and practical aspects of research which are particularly applicable to the subject of wound healing.

Module 4: Intrinsic and Extrinsic Factors Influencing Wound Healing

This module is designed to introduce the student to factors that may influence or delay the healing process. Many wounds will heal normally without delay or complication. However, the majority of chronic, and many acute wounds are affected by a variety of intrinsic and extrinsic factors. Many of these factors can be eliminated or reduced by recognition of good practice and changes in bad.

The student will be aware of the effect many disease processes, such as diabetes, uraemia and jaundice have on a patient's sate of health; blood supply and surgical technique will also exert their influence.

Infection can present problems, but it is important that the student can differentiate between colonisation and sepsis in order to make appropriate clinical decisions. Also reviewed is the development of wound dressing materials during the 60s and 70s which has made a large impact on the type of management now offered to patients.

Assessment and Diagnosis

This module introduces the practitioner to a variety of assessment and diagnostic techniques which can provide a structured approach to management. Diagnosis and assessment of the patients' problems are essential to ensure that correct treatment and management plans are instigated. Methods of measurement that are objective and relevant that evaluate the chosen management plan are crucial elements in providing optimal, cost effective care. A key factor in achieving a structured approach is standardisation of the terminology used in the assessment process. This will increase the level of communication amongst team members and ensure a collective effort towards wound healing research. Nutritional requirements, psychological status, oxygen tension, blood flow and wound infection, previously discussed in the Behavioural (Psychosocial) Aspects of Wound Healing and Intrinsic and Extrinsic Factors Influencing Wound Healing will also be examined in relation to assessment and diagnosis.

Management of Acute Wounds

Acute wounds can usually be defined as wounds that will heal within an expected time frame without complication. Although this definition may not always clarify when a wound becomes chronic this module reviews the management of wounds caused by surgery, trauma or thermal injury and are expected to heal within weeks rather than months or years. This module will reinforce material covered in the Intrinsic and Extrinsic Factors Influencing Wound Healing and Assessment and Diagnosis Modules. Students have the option of studying one of the three wound types.

Management of Chronic Wounds

The largest percentage of money and resources are spent on treatment and management of chronic wounds. Much of this expenditure is due to inappropriate and/or reactive treatment.

This module will emphasise preventative and pro-active care of chronic wounds such as pressure ulcers, leg ulcers and diabetic foot ulcers which will reinforce material covered in the Behavioural (Psychosocial) Aspects of Wound Healing and Intrinsic and Extrinsic Factors Influencing Wound Healing. Students have the option of studying one of the three wound types.

Values and Priorities in Wound Care

This introduces the student to values and priorities in wound care, and particularly to consider areas of resource allocation, legal, ethical and moral issues surrounding wound care delivery. Cost-effectiveness is a key word in Health Service management in today's climate, but within current financial constraints resources allocated for wound care may be scarce. Developing countries have even less resources from which they can organise effective care. Constraints such as these can present practitioners with ethical and moral dilemmas which may affect their professional role. This module explores theoretical and practical concepts of those wider political and economic issues of health service delivery incorporating reference to equitable and effective health resource allocation. Readers are encouraged to review resource allocation locally within their own or other organisations and to discover how demonstrably clinically effective wound care might contribute to more appropriate resource allocation.

Dissertation (MSc Project)

The dissertation is intended to provide students with the opportunity to work independently in an area of specific interest and which may contribute to the quality of service provision. The work undertaken will be an empirical research study. The student will be required to design the study and collect, analyse and present data relevant to the stated aims of their investigation.


Requirements for Exit Points

The Programme of study has three points at which students may exit.

Postgraduate Certificate

To obtain this award the student will have completed modules to the value of 60 credits of which no greater than 20 credits shall be at HE6 This will normally be the first 5 modules within Year 1 of part 1. Students who successfully complete and pass all modules in Year 1 of part 1 but do not wish to proceed to Year 2 of Part 1 may exit with the Postgraduate Certificate.

Postgraduate Diploma

To obtain this award the student will have completed modules to the value of 120 credits of which no greater than 30 credits shall be at HE6. This will normally be all 8 modules within Years 1 and 2 of Part 1.

Successful completion of the taught element entitles a student to progress to Part 2 of the programme. Students who successfully complete and pass all modules in Part 1 but do not wish to proceed to Part 2 may exit with the Postgraduate Diploma.

Master of Science

To obtain an MSc in Wound Healing and Tissue Repair, a total of 180 credits (of which a maximum of 30 credits are at HE6) must be obtained.

Re-entering the Course

Students who leave the course with, or without, an exit point qualification, i.e. Postgraduate Certificate, Postgraduate Diploma or MSc, may, at the discretion of Cardiff University re-enter the course at the appropriate point provided they have not previously attempted and failed the Postgraduate Certificate/Diploma or MSc after exhausting all rights of retrieval and subject to the time limits for the completion of the scheme of study which for Part-time candidates will be no more than 3 years.

Criteria for Admission

Applications will be accepted from health professionals working in the field of wound care involved in direct patient contact or in professions related to research into wound healing, eg scientist employed in pharmaceutical industry.

Cardiff University regulations state that a candidate for a PGCert/PGDip/MSc by dissertation must:

  • satisfy the institution that he or she is of the required academic standard to complete the scheme of study proposed.

It is also desirable that the student hold one of the following:

  • An initial degree of Cardiff University;

  • an initial degree awarded by another approved University or by other, approved, degree awarding bodies;

  • a non-graduate qualification which the University has deemed to be of a satisfactory standard for the purpose of postgraduate admission.

All prospective students at Cardiff University must demonstrate that their English language competence is at a level which allows them to cope with the demands of higher education and derive full benefit from their chosen programme of study. Therefore students whose language is not English are required to provide proof of their proficiency in the English language.

  • A non-graduate whose relative lack of formal qualification is compensated for by his/her age and relevant work experience may also be admitted provided:

  • the candidate has held, for a minimum period of two years, a position of responsibility of relevance to the scheme of study to be pursued.

Applications are therefore considered from doctors, nurses, pharmacists, podiatrists and other professionals who meet the above criteria.

Assessment Regulations

Candidates will be examined in two parts:
by assessment of taught modules
by dissertation

Both parts of the examination must be passed in order to qualify for the Masters' Degree.

In order to pass each of the modules students must submit a summative assignment of 2,500 words and a Moderated Discussion of 500 words. The requirement for the Research and Design is a 2,000 word assignment. Students will be required to pass both pieces of coursework to be eligible to continue with the course.

Students are required to illustrate, through their work, that knowledge has been gained and there is evidence of problem synthesis. Coursework is used to assess learning outcomes and allow students to express Masters level concepts of understanding., analysis, evaluation and presentation. There should be clear demonstration of relevance to individual clinical/professional practice and original thought whilst incorporating elements of the module under study.

The student will be required to pass all coursework in the taught element with a minimum pass mark of 50%. Normally students must complete each element of coursework before commencing the next module and submit according to the coursework submission schedule.

To obtain the Masters qualification, the dissertation has to be passed at a minimum pass mark of 50%.

A student who submits a project for which a mark of less than 50 is awarded may re-submit on one further occasion. Re-submitted assignments will receive a maximum mark of 50. Failure to achieve a pass on re-submission will result in failure of the module and subsequently failure to proceed with the course. Normally students will be allowed to be referred in up to two modules only (for the whole course).

Learning and Teaching Methods

Teaching strategies will be employed to reflect the diverse educational and cultural backgrounds of the students that affect their educational orientation and approach to studying. Emphasis will be on the process of learning as well as outcome, ie how one learns in addition to what is learned. Students will be encouraged to identify and define their individual objectives by developing a questioning and self-analytical attitude to studying. This is particularly important in the distance learner who is required to keep a high level of motivation in the absence of face to face contact with course lecturers.

During the study blocks, a context for learning will be created with lectures being the most prevalent teaching method of introduce module material and to highlight contentious and complex points. The focus is not just toward formal lectures but also interactive teaching strategies, such as group sessions, debate and tutorials. Students will be encouraged to use these sessions for problem exploration, discussion and the enhancement of inter-professional understanding and teamwork.

The programme aims to give students the opportunity to take part in a research-led, high-quality postgraduate programme where an evidence-based approach to learning and teaching is employed. The Wound Healing Research Unit has a worldwide reputation in the field of wound healing, and is fortunate that students have access to Unit members and associates who have conducted leading research in the field.


Methods for Improving and Evaluation Quality and
Standards of Teaching

  • Anonymous student feedback questionnaire

  • Internal and external blinded marking of course assignments

  • Annual scheme review

  • Departmental peer review

  • External examiners reports

  • Periodic review and revalidation

Committees with responsibility for monitoring standards:

Graduate Committee
Postgraduate Taught Board of Studies
Boards of Medical Studies
Examination Board
Course Committee

Support for Students and their Learning

Study blocks at the beginning of each academic year provide the students with an introduction to study skills and information retrieval through the library and information services. Induction is given to familiarise the student in accessing their home page, online course material, joining in chat room sessions, contributing to discussion threads and communicating with the course team.

During the periods between study blocks, students are supported by the following means:

  • Dedicated Virtual Learning Environment containing resources to complete the module

  • Access to recorded lectures / video conferences from the study block

  • Online personal and group tutorials in chat room sessions, personal tutorials by email or telephone.

  • Close liaison with the distance learning library staff to ensure students are able to access necessary databases and full-text journals.

  • Links to on-line reading material

  • Review of outlines and/or draft coursework to provide feedback and direction.

  • Encouraging students to engage in discussion topics focused toward particular course material subjects.

  • Constant updating of latest relevant references and information on resources home page for students to access.


Making an Application

For further information, including guidance notes and an application form, please use the following link:

How to Apply

Intake Dates

The closing date for applications is 2 July 2012

Study Block Weeks
Study Block 1: 10 September 2012
Study Block 2: 2 September 2013

The study blocks are compulsory; therefore students must be available to attend these. If students are not able to attend then they will be required to defer their place until the next intake

Course Fees

    UK/EU Students
2012/13 Academic Session
International Students
2012/13 Academic Session
PART 1 Year 1 £2500 £3000
Year 2 To be advised To be advised
PART 2 Dissertation £1500 (payable on entry into Part 2)

This fee may be subject to an annual increase

A £650 deposit will be required to secure your place on the course. Please note this is not required at the time of application but will be requested when you receive your official offer letter which will confirm the course fees.

If you would like further information on how your status is decided please go to the website at:

You are advised to submit your application as early as possible even if you have not as yet secured funding. If you need any further information please do not hesitate to contact us.

Contact Details

Mrs Jane Hopkins, Course Administrator
Cardiff University
Upper Ground Floor, Room 25/Wound Healing
Institute for Translation, Innovation, Methodology and Engagement (TIME)
Cardiff University School of Medicine
Heath Park
Cardiff CF14 4XN