Decontamination Sciences (top-up) BSc (Hons)

Undergraduate Degree (2 years)


January & September

Intermediate awards: FdSc

This course will enable staff working within decontamination environments to undertake career progression, managerial roles and lead teams of multi-professional staff.

Application Deadline:
Mon, Nov 30th, 2015


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This course aims to critically evaluate the relationships between evidence-based-practice, leadership, quality management and risk management, and professional development necessary for lifelong learning. Critical enquiry will be built on inter-professional learning platforms to enable students to actively contribute to the emerging body of underpinning evidence within professional practice.

The course is aimed at supporting all decontamination staff who wish to develop personally and professionally within the UK, European and international decontamination settings. The course promotes examination of local, national and international factors which shape and influence best practice and contemporary challenges faced within this ever evolving and changing arena. This distance learning approach enables students to share existing knowledge and to acquire new knowledge and skills utilising its interactive virtual learning environment.

Full Description

Additional course information

The overall aims of this pathway are:

  • To meet the needs of the NHS and Independent sector within the UK and equivalents worldwide regarding up-skilling employees in the workplace using close collaboration between employers and academic programme providers as befits the generic aim of a foundation degree (QAA Benchmark, 2004).
  • To enable students to develop the ability to analyse and synthesise knowledge of the decontamination environments within which students are employed and apply managerial and leadership principles to solve practical problems and situations. 
  • To enable students to understand the role of the multi-professional team and function in a collaborative way as a member of the team (Common FHSCE FdSc Framework aim). 
  • To foster skills relating to academic and personal continuing development (Common FHSCE FdSc Framework aim).

Additional assessment information 

Assessments are designed to allow not only academic development, but also to reflect the work based nature of the student' employment. Essay writing and evaluating gathered data are skills required by this student group in their working practice. The assessments are designed to assimilate the progression of these skills within the pathway.

Assessment is multifaceted. It encourages students throughout the pathway towards a transition from paper based reports and reflective essays towards e-portfolios as the students' IT skills extend. Students contextualise assignments to their specific area of practice within decontamination environments as befitting their roles. Reasoning, analysis and evaluation within the second year of study is reflected within level 2 criteria essay writing.

Course Details

Core modules

Research Methodology Design & Process
With the increased emphasis on research based practice over the last decade, it is essential that established practitioners who wish to undertake further educational programmes are conversant with research methodology and the application of theory to practice in their field. The ability to be analytical and insightful regarding research reports is an invaluable skill for anyone who wishes to provide effective and appropriate care in their individual sphere of practice. In addition, today's practitioner is required to work in an expanding field of multi professional, multi-agency collaboration, and thus requires the skills and insight into the efficacy of research within these disciplines also. This module will revisit existing knowledge of the research process and assist the student in further developing skills of critical analysis. In addition, students will have the opportunity to appraise the ethical dimensions of research studies.

Quality Management Systems
Decontamination practice is increasingly technical in nature. This places great demand on the skills and technical knowledge of all those involved in the practice, support and management of decontamination. Decontamination of re-usable medical devices is a key element of infection prevention and control and requires managers and senior staff to have a working knowledge of this role. Also, the devices being processed are potentially infective and managers need to understand the controls necessary to protect staff and others. This therefore highlights the need for education and training to ensure that post-holders in a particular role have the knowledge, skills and competencies necessary to discharge their duties effectively and requires conformance with standards such as the Quality Management System standard BS EN ISO 13485 (British Standards Institute, 2003). Safety in the workplace is also a key responsibility of management. Decontamination practice has a number of specific hazards which need to be addressed by the use of appropriate working practice, staff training and the use of personal protective equipment. This also requires managers and senior staff to have an overview of the technical and regulatory aspects of managing a Decontamination Unit.This module is therefore designed to educate senior staff, unit managers and decontamination leads employed within the decontamination services focusing on the areas of quality management, regulatory and technical aspects and risk management processes with the Decontamination Unit.

Strategic Management in Health & Social Care
Organising and delivering world class health and social care requires a set of strategic management skills which are predicated on sound management theories, techniques and competencies. Using this as the underpinning concept, this module will assist students in advancing their contribution by increasing their understanding of the process of strategy formulation and alongside this, the process of strategic implementation. Module content is informed by the health and social care context. This environment is constantly changing, the need to redefine service provision and delivery patterns call for a new engagement with public sector business models which are evolving out of the need to address 3 interrelated factors dominating public sector services;

1. Service personalisation,

2. Value for money and

3. Integrated governance.

The module uses the student experience as an essential feature of the teaching and learning methods such that students will be expected to play an active role in considering the value, benefits and appropriateness of strategic planning methods in use, in comparison to the espoused theoretical propositions. The skills of strategic planning and management are now seen as essential base skills for those employed to lead and or manage public or independent sector services. This module is therefore suitable for a wide variety of practitioners occupied by these responsibilities and who have a professional desire to learn more about strategic planning, intention, formulation and application. The assessment task requires students to analyse the concept of strategy formulation through an analysis of the factors which have informed their area of service (situational analysis). This will be achieved through a presentation to colleagues undertaking the module. Students must also provide supporting commentary (synoptic paper) of the presentation.

Undergraduate Major project
The individual Final Project module allows students to engage in a substantial piece of individual research and/or product development work, focussed on a topic relevant to their specific discipline. The topic may be drawn from a variety of sources including: Anglia Ruskin research groups, previous/current work experience, the company in which they are currently employed, an Anglia Ruskin lecturer suggested topic or a professional subject of their specific interest (if suitable supervision is available). The project topic will be assessed for suitability to ensure sufficient academic challenge and satisfactory supervision by an academic member of staff. The chosen topic will require the student to identify/formulate problems and issues, conduct literature reviews, evaluate information, investigate and adopt suitable development methodologies, determine solutions, develop hardware, software and/or media artefacts as appropriate, process data, critically appraise and present their finding using a variety of media. Regular meetings/contact with the project supervisor should take place, so that the project is closely monitored and steered in the right direction.

Optional Modules

In order to successfully complete the course students must also successfully complete one of the following compulsory modules:

Decontamination of REUSABLE INVASIVE Flexible Endoscopes (15 CREDITS)
This module is designed to educate all levels of staff employed within the decontamination services from technicians to decontamination leads. The module is specifically for health care professionals who prefer a practice based approach to life-long learning in order to explore and apply the principles of medical device decontamination. The module will cover individual preparation for the environment, the decontamination process for the reusable invasive flexible endoscopes, to include packing storage and traceability.

Decontamination of REUSABLE INVASIVE Dental Instrumentation (15 CREDITS)
This module is designed to educate all levels of staff employed within the decontamination services from technicians to decontamination leads. This online module aims to educate and inform evidence based practice that encompasses specific decontamination roles surrounding reusable invasive dental instrumentation. The module will cover individual preparation for the environment, the decontamination process for reusable invasive dental instrumentation, to include packing, storage and traceability in line with Health Technical Memorandum 01-05. In addition, it will explore both local and national policies and regulations regarding essential quality requirements, Health and Safety, Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) and Reporting of Injuries, Disease and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations (RIDDOR) in the workplace.


A range of assessment methods are used on this course, including:

  • Poster presentations
  • Written assignments
  • Patch-work testing
  • Practice based work books

This course is taught via distance learning and will utilise virtual classrooms and resources. These are virtual classrooms at delivered by experienced academic staff and consist of a series of interactive activities utilising vodcasts, podcasts, You Tube links and direct links to our virtual learning environment.


Research Interests

Current research interest surround the importance of standardised education and training for flexible endoscope decontamination, and to ascertain if this will empower staff, improve staff retention and job satisfaction, and ultimately improve infection prevention and control for patients.

The aims of this study would be too research attitudes and experiences of decontamination technicians surrounding education and training, and identify any perceived barriers for technicians and staff employed within the endoscope decontamination departments.

Meet your Tutors

Angela Cobbold, Course Leader

Angela CobboldAngela qualified as an Operating Department Practitioner (ODP) in 1993, whilst serving in the armed forces. Her specialist areas include anaesthetics, surgery, laparoscopic surgery, surgical endoscopy, post anaesthetic care unit and with additional qualifications in the Advanced Scrub role.

Her current role at Anglia Ruskin University includes teaching on a variety of modules, primarily pre-registration Operating Department Practitioners (ODP), Associate Practitioners and Post Registration perioperative CPD modules.

One additional role surrounds the development and design of new modules for decontamination of medical devices technicians and undertaking the Pathway Leadership for the new and innovative MSc Minimally Invasive Surgery and Robotics Surgery.

Prior to joining the Faculty of Health, Social Care & Education in 2009, Angela's career involved undertaking the role of Associate lecturer in Allied Health, University Campus Suffolk; Team Leader Surgery and Anaesthetics / Operating Department Practitioner, and Clinical Practice Educator Nuffield Health Ipswich, Heath Road Hospital, Royal Hospital Haslar, Portsmouth, with additional postings whilst serving in the forces, such as Gibraltar, Catterick, Aldershot, Woolwich and Germany.

In 2010, Angela was awarded the Ethicon Nurse and Practitioner Educational Trust Fund award for further professional development and enhancing the standard of expertise.


Associated careers

This course will allow decontamination technicians and staff will be trained to UK/NI, and European local and national standards which will ensure best practice and high standards are maintained to ensure an efficient and effective decontamination of flexible endoscope service.

Links with industry/Professional recognition

This course is fully accredited by the Institute of Decontamination Sciences (IDSc) the professional body for this group of technicians, and is suitable for anyone involved in achieving best practice nationally or internationally.

Work placements
This is a work-based distance learning course.

Career Advice

Our Employability Service is here to help give you the best chance of landing the job you want. We’ll help you improve your skills and bulk up your CV to improve your career prospects.

As a distance learning student, you’ll still benefit from help and advice on CV writing, interview techniques, job hunting, and general careers advice. 

To find out more please visit our careers advice page.

Entry Requirements

Entry Requirements:
These modules are designed to educate and inform all levels of staff employed within the decontamination services from technicians to decontamination leads. All applicants must however be working within a decontamination environment.

Students must demonstrate 240 credits through an academic qualification e.g. Dip HE, Foundation Degree or stand alone modules.

In all cases applicants must:

  • Work within decontamination services or related area.
  • Give evidence of personal and educational experience so that they may meet the academic and, where appropriate, practice demands of the programme.
  • Have access to a computer and the internet and have basic IT skills.

Applicants whose first language is not English are required to demonstrate proficiency in the English language at a level of IELTS 6.0, or equivalent.


  • Students who can provide evidence of prior and experiential learning may be admitted with credit to a point no more than 2/3rds of the way through the pathway or staged award. This will not exceed 240 credits.
  • A maximum of 240 specific credits at Level 1/2 will normally be allowed against a relevant Diploma in Higher Education or Foundation degree e.g. Decontamination Sciences.
  • Anglia Ruskin has a well established Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL) process. In accordance with university regulations, candidates can map their Accreditation of Prior Certified Learning (APCL) and Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning (APEL) claims using a vehicle such as a portfolio against existent 'new learning' modules, providing the content are relevant to their learning. Students with accredited prior learning may be able to use the process of APL in order to gain advanced standing within the programme. All claims will be processed on an individual basis with an APL Adviser.
Fees & Funding

Funding your studies

Student loans are now available to cover the cost of studying this course. Subject to eligibility, terms and conditions. Also, ask us about payment by instalments.

For employers considering this course for a group of employees, please call our Degrees at Work team on 01245 686 707 or email to discuss your specific requirements.

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