Course FAQs

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Do I need to be a medical expert to undertake a course?

Although the courses are primarily aimed at nurses, and therefore contain medical terminology, if you have an interest in cancer and the care of cancer sufferers then you will undoubtedly still find a great deal of useful information in the courses. A glossary is also provided, to help explain key medical terms.

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What do the online courses cover?

To some extent, this will depend on the actual subject of the course. As an example, the Cancer of the Oesophagus (Esophagus) course comprises modules on:

  • An introduction to Cancer of the Oesophagus
  • Diagnosing Oesophageal Cancer
  • Oesophageal Cancer treatments
  • Effective nursing for Oesophageal Cancer.

The aim of all of our courses is to provide practical information and guidance on cancer care from experts in the field, drawing upon current academic, medical and nursing theory and research.

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What do I have to do on a e-learning course?

The first stage is to register (for free) for the course and read the Introductory pages. This will provide you with a background to the course development team, the structure of the course, and the content covered. The course will typically be composed of three key types of resource:

  1. Informational web pages that provide text, pictures and diagrams related to the course subject. This content ranges from factual pieces of text to case studies and scenarios.
  2. Self-assessment exercises to test your knowledge and understanding of each topic of the course.
  3. Further resources, covering books, journal articles and websites that have been selected by the course development team as being particularly relevant to those interested in the field. Each highlighted resource also contains a description that will enable you to decide whether you obtain the book or journal article, or visit the website.

You navigate through the course at your own pace, choosing your own route, and you can re-read any of the text and undertake any of the self-assessment exercise as often as you want.

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Do I have to undertake the entire course?

No. All of the courses are divided into Modules and Units. You can take these independently of each other, or you can take them in sequences. For some Modules and Units you may decide to take the "Test your Knowledge" sections first, and depending on the results you obtain, you may wish to move on to the next part. Really, the choice is yours as to how much or how little of each course you undertake.

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Is there a time limit in which I must complete the course?

There are no time restrictions on e-learning courses. You decide when, where and how you undertake the course; this could be during your lunch break at work for a number of days in a month, or at home on weekends - the choice really is yours.

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How long does it take to complete each course?

There is no single answer here; it all depends on your prior experience of the course subject matter, and how much additional work you do. So, for example, if you have worked in the area of cancer care for a number of years, then there may be some sections of the courses that you feel you can miss out, or for which you may only need to take the self-assessment exercises without reading the course text for that Unit or Module.

Each course also includes references to selected books, journal articles and websites. If you follow up these references then the course will take longer to 'complete', but your understanding of the subject will similarly be enhanced.

As a very rough estimate, a nurse with some experience of cancer care and who does some further reading (including obtaining recommended journal articles and visiting recommended websites), could expect to spend 4 to 6 hours on a e-learning course.

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Do I need an email address?

No. You can register and undertake a course without having an email address, but the Course Expert will not be able to contact you if you need help with the course content, and you will not receive notification of new courses and developments.

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What happens if I get stuck?

Should you have difficulties with any of the course content, there are two support methods that can help you:

a) Check that particular course's Frequently-asked Questions (FAQs) to see whether your issue has been raised before. If the issue has been raised, you will be able to obtain a clear answer to it.

b) Contact the Course Expert via a form on the course website. The Expert will respond to you within 48 hours advising you on the issue raised.

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Do I need to have a fast connection to the Internet?

One of's key aims is to provide e-learning courses that are accessible to any person in the world who has an Internet connection. For this reason, every effort is made to ensure that each course requires minimum computing power. We are confident that if you have a computer built since 1996 you should quite easily be able to undertake a course. Remember also, the courses are free, so you can always give one a try to see if it works for you.

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Do I have to install software on my computer to take a course?

No. If you are reading this page on your computer, then you have everything you need to complete a course. One of the central aims of this website is that it is accessible to anyone, anywhere in the world. Real effort is made to ensure that course content can be viewed regardless of the platform or browser that participants use.

At the moment, there are no audio or video files used within any of the courses, so software additional to the web browser, is not required. If, in the future, audio or video files are used, then alternatives for computers which may have difficulty in playing these files will be offered. More importantly, our commitment to accessibility means that we will always provide textual alternatives to multimedia elements which users with particular needs may not be able access. So, for example, if an audio file of an interview with a cancer sufferer is included as part of a course, then there will also be a written transcript of that interview as well.

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I have an Apple computer, can I still take a course?

Yes. All of the courses have been tested on Apple Macs and PCs. As long as you have a web browser (and if you are viewing this page on the Internet then you will be using a web browser) then you have all the hardware and software needed to take the course.

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Can I print off material from the course?

Downloading and printing of material for personal/non-commercial use is permitted - full attribution to should be given where appropriate. Requests for non-commercial use of material from this site should be made through our Contact us page.

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