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Certificate of Advanced Studies in Preventive Cardiology- Cardiovascular Health & Disease Prevention

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25-30 days
physicians, nurses, dietitians, physiotherapists, physical activity specialists, sports scientists, pharmacists, psychologists, occupational therapists, health promotion and public health specialists
International Centre for Circulatory Health, Imperial College, St Mary's hospital, 59 North Wharf Road, London, W2 1LA, Greater London, United Kingdom

This course is aimed at healthcare professionals with a role in prevention of cardiovascular disease, such as physicians, nurses, dietitians, physiotherapists, physical activity specialists, sports scientists, pharmacists, psychologists, occupational therapists, health promotion and public health specialists. There is a strong emphasis on the interdisciplinary nature of the subject area that is needed to underpin successful evidence-based interventions.

The CAS is highly practical in nature. The course is based at the International Centre for Circulatory Health and runs in partnership with the clinical services at St Mary's and practitioner institutions. This provides clinical placement opportunities, allowing our students to be immersed in the practicalities of current service delivery, rather than learning about only the theory. Hence the course is vocational in flavour, but entails high-level academic attainment.

The course includes a taught programme, supported by an innovative web-based learning platform that provides structured distance-learning. Students are expected to fully participate in the taught componenet (podcasts of most lectures are also available) as well as our e-based course.

The CAS include 3 modules (October to July).

The programme begins the first week of October with a 5-day intensive course induction programme. The core module follows entitled ‘preventive cardiology: theory and practice’ and subsequently runs once weekly for 15 weeks, with every Wednesday being the ‘taught’ component. This core module develops a broad understanding of the evidence and clinical practice of preventive cardiology, with reference to the national and international cardiovascular disease prevention guidelines. The efficacy of lifestyle interventions (smoking, diet and physical activity), behavioural sciences, medical management of cardiovascular risk factors and the use of cardioprotective medications are explored. This foundation module is completed with examinations in January.

Students then participate in two out of six available optional specialist modules that run from February to July and allow the student to explore particular themes in greater depth.

1. Health (Vascular) checks – Vascular management
2. Smoking cessation interventions
3. Nutrition and weight management
4. Physical activity and exercise
5. Health behaviours and health psychology
6.Cardioprotective drug therapies and medical management of blood pressure, lipids and glucose

The optional modules build on the insights already gained in far greater detail and address real-life problems through a case-studies approach. The optional modules each involve 3 taught days, an assessment day (where applicable) plus a significant amount of independent study time.

In addition we run a once-monthly evening expert lecture series that is open to all our MSc, CAS and Short Course Students. This provides a unique opportunity to hear and interact with world renowned speakers interested in the prevention of cardiovascular disease, from all over the world.

The core preventive cardiology module, supplemented with the optional specialist modules and applied with refective clinical practice are unique in that there is a real emphasis on training practitioners to be equipped with the necessary knowledge, skills and competences required in preventive cardiology practice rather than being purely theory driven.

We believe our courses offer a truly unique and highly fulfilling student experience as:
1. We are interdisciplinary
2. We offer a truly comprehensive programme that includes all aspects of preventive cardiology and is not focused solely on isolated themes e.g. nutrition, exercise, psychology, pharmacology.
3. Our courses encompasses both theory and practical elements, incorporating clinical experience, thereby developing skills and competences in service delivery and not just developing theoretical knowledge.
4. Our teaching faculty include key national and European leaders in preventive cardiology, who have contributed substantially to the scientific literature in relation to preventive cardiology, including nationally the JBS2 Guidelines, the British Heart Study and the ASPIRE survey. Moreover, internationally the European CVD Prevention Guidelines, EUROASPIRE surveys and EUROACTION - the largest ever research programme in preventive cardiology. In addition the teaching faculty comprises national and international leads and clinical specialists from cardiology, nursing, nutrition, exercise and behavioural medicine.
5. Our course is based in the International Centre for Circulatory Health and as a result draws on considerable teaching expertise and provides high-quality research opportunities in a range of relevant subjects.
6. We are based on a hospital site (St Mary’s), allowing easier access to clinical visits and observations of clinical practice.
7. Our academic group coordinates a specialist family based prevention programme for vascular health called MyAction ( which runs in many community centres both locally and further afield allowing unique placement and research opportunities for our students.
Imperial College has a world renowned reputation as is one of the leading Universities in the world, with a 5* awarded in the RAE 2001.

Note: The programme also offers a Masters route in Preventive Cardiology. CAS students are able to extend their studies subsequently to register for the full Masters programme. In addition most modules are offered as stand alone short courses.

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