MSc Advanced Leadership for Professional Practice (Nursing)

Year of entry: 2024

Course unit details:
Principles and Practice of Breast Care Nursing

Course unit fact file
Unit code NURS60035
Credit rating 30
Unit level FHEQ level 7 – master's degree or fourth year of an integrated master's degree
Teaching period(s) Variable teaching patterns
Available as a free choice unit? No


The course unit has been running for a number of years and is constantly evolving in order to keep abreast
of the changing nature of practice. This is undertaken through close collaboration between the University
of Manchester School of Nursing staff and the practitioners involved in the care of the breast cancer
patients and their families. This team approach aims to integrate theory into practice and is seen as an
essential component of the course unit.
As breast cancer affects 1 in 9 women in the United Kingdom (Cancer Research U.K.2009) the course unit
is seen as an important component of the cancer pathway. Approximately45, 822 new cases are reported
each year and 12,100 women die from the disease making it a leading cause of cancer deaths in women
(Cancer Research U.K. 2009) It recognized that the disease evokes feelings of fear and dread and the
diagnosis creates a range of psychological and psychosocial problems (Maguire 1994, Corner & Bailey
There is a growing recognition that this group of women will need support in adjusting to the diagnosis of
breast cancer and subsequent treatments, which may include surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy and
endocrine therapy. It is now widely accepted that breast cancer nurses with appropriate training and
expertise should be integral members of the health care team.
During the course unit you will be given the opportunity to develop, extend and integrate your existing
knowledge and skills in relation to delivery of care to this client group. Current treatment options will be
discussed alongside broader concepts such as rehabilitation, health promotion and quality of life issues.
An important component within the course unit involves personal and professional development and
through the use of interactive workshops we aim to develop your interpersonal competence.


  • Develop the skills of reflection, critical analysis and enquiry relating to current issues in the context and treatment of breast cancer.
  • Develop competence in interpersonal skills relevant to detecting the psychological sequelae of breast disease and enabling students to provide support to patients and their families

Knowledge and understanding

  • Critically evaluate how and why a diagnosis of breast cancer may cause significant challenges for patients and their families.
  • Demonstrate an in-depth and critical understanding of the common problems associated with breast cancer and the complexities of its treatment.
  • Critically appraise a range of evidence based strategies and interventions to provide high quality care and explore the evidence relating to their management.
  • Critically appraise different models of care delivery that can be used to support patients with cancer and their family.

Intellectual skills

  • Critically analyse and reflect upon the psychosocial consequences that can arise following a breast cancer diagnosis.
  • Critically examine the ethical, legal, political and professional issues relating to the management of patients with breast disease.
  • Critically appraise the concepts of rehabilitation, support and palliation and consider their relevance in the context of breast disease and advanced breast care practice.
  • Critically analyse different models for assessing patient concerns and evaluate their utility within the context of a breast care setting.

Practical skills

  • Critically reflect upon their own level of interpersonal skills competence and identify key areas for further personal development.
  • Develop interpersonal skills to enable the assessment identification and exploration of key patient concerns in the context of a breast cancer diagnosis.
  • Critically consider the value and purpose of the therapeutic relationship and evaluate strategies for the development of therapeutic patient relationships in the context of their professional role.
  • Reflect on their professional role and sphere of influence to identify and critically evaluate appropriate strategies to promote developments in breast cancer care.

Transferable skills and personal qualities

  • Critically reflect on their own academic performance and utilise a range of strategies to improve these and overcome any particular difficulties.
  • Further develop and enhance skills in effective communication to a range of audiences in a variety of settings.
  • Demonstrate skills in working collegiately and effectively with others as a member of a team.
  • Effectively utilise a range of information sources including information technology / health informatics.
  • Utilise skills in systematic and creative approaches to problem-solving and decision-making in relation to complex issues.

Assessment methods

Method Weight
Written assignment (inc essay) 100%

Feedback methods

Students will normally have the opportunity to receive feedback on formative work submitted prior to the summative assessment. Other feedback opportunities will also be available in class and online discussion boards. Online feedback is provided in Grademark. Provisional feedback based on internal marking will be made available prior to the Exam Board on the basis that these marks are yet to be ratified at the Exam Board and therefore may be subject to change. A standard feedback mechanism in Grademark is utilised across all postgraduate programmes within the School which provides detailed and constructive feedback on each component and aspect of assessment and identifies areas of strength and those aspects which could be enhanced.

Student feedback is obtained through open discussion forums on blackboard, in class discussions, via formal University unit evaluation forms and also qualitative, in house evaluations at the end of the unit. 

Recommended reading

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Lectures 84
Tutorials 4
Independent study hours
Independent study 212

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Joanne Timpson Unit coordinator

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