The skills, critical thinking, broadening thought processes and confidence in differential diagnosis that we are learning have been humbling and incredibly useful in the primary care setting.

Paul, trainee ACP

    How do you want to study?


    2 years




    Gain the knowledge and skills needed to become a qualified health care professional working in a clinically senior post.

    The MSc Advanced Clinical Practice course has been developed to provide you with knowledge and skills to allow you to develop and progress your advanced clinical practice role. You will develop an in-depth and advanced knowledge of your role (ACP). The knowledge is informed by current practice and research. You will develop a critical awareness of the subject matter and be able to demonstrate critical skills, knowledge of your profession demonstrating strategic leadership and education in practice, you will also reflect on your progress as a learner.

    Why study MSc in Advanced Clinical Practice?

    The course has been designed to enable your development as an advanced clinical practitioner, and covers areas core to this role. The detailed pathway you will follow will be dependent on your chosen target award.

    The course has been developed with the needs of the service providers to ensure that content and delivery of material is fit for the development of the advanced clinical practitioner and is in line with the national view of advanced clinical practice. The aim of the course is to develop you as advanced clinical practitioner who can analyse and synthesise complex problems across a range of settings, managing complete clinical care episodes.

    You will be able to demonstrate core and specific clinical competence that encompasses the four pillars of advanced clinical practice which are clinical practice, management/ leadership, education and research.

    You can also choose to complete an endorsed route for either clinical reporting or medical imaging, which would encompass you completing 60 credits in these areas.

      All about the course

      During the course you will complete key modules including an advanced practice skills and clinical reasoning module. Using a structured systematic approach to assessing a system this module will allow you to enhance your assessment skills and develop your ability to make clinical decisions. Throughout, key cases will be used and you will be expected to use these skills in clinical practice with supervision from your clinical facilitator.

      Modules will also include Pathophysiology, diagnostics and decision making for advanced practice. This will enable you to develop the ability to interpret diagnostics. Pathophysiology components ensure you link this to the investigations that you have requested and undertaken.

      You will complete your MSc with the research modules. The aims of the research modules are to enable you to develop sound knowledge and understanding of different research approaches and methods which will enable you to plan and undertake a substantive dissertation or project in a topic relevant to your profession. As part of this MSc you are required to undertake a practice development project. Your clinical facilitator, supporting Trust / organisation, Programme Director and/ or Personal Academic Tutor (PAT) will direct you to the most suitable area to research.

      Entry requirements

      Entry requirements for this programme are in line with University policies on widening participation and equality of opportunity. Applicants should normally possess:

      • A relevant first degree in health/ social sciences, 2:2 or above.
      • You should have been a qualified health care professional for a minimum of 3 years.
      • You should be working clinically as a registered health care professional in the UK.
      • It is also essential that you have professional registration to practice in health and/or social care.

      If English is not your first language you require an IELTS overall score of 6.0 with no element below 5.5 for most standard undergraduate and postgraduate courses. There are some exceptions and if the IELTS requirement differs it will be specified on the course page.

      Honours Degree

      Module information

      You can apply for stand alone modules here.

      Core/optional modules

      *Modules subject to validation

      How you’ll learn

      Learning and teaching strategies will involve you as an active participant; you will be encouraged to use self-evaluation and reflection on your own experience to deepen and consolidate your understanding as well as plan for your future learning.  Modules are organised using a range of teaching and learning methods to facilitate your academic and professional development. These will involve working both collaboratively, with other students, as well as independently. These methods include a blend of classroom based, online and work-based learning activities.

      Teaching and learning methods are supported by technologies e.g. our Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) accessed via Blackboard. As the programme uses a blended learning approach it is essential that you access the modules sites on the VLE and actively participate in the learning activities. You will also have access to an ACP discussion forum to ensure that all those attending the course can gain peer support and be able to share their experiences.

      To ensure your development as an ACP you will need to develop and maintain a portfolio of evidence that reflects the four pillars of advanced clinical practice: clinical practice, management/leadership, education and research. This details your development in the role as an ACP and reflects on your assessment, diagnostic, prescribing and clinical management of cases. Your trusts/ organisations will have developed competencies bespoke to the clinical setting which they will require you to complete. Although the portfolio and competencies are not an assessed component of this programme to ensure links between theory and practice several modules will have a practice component as part of their assessment (which must be passed). This will take the form of, for example, a clinical case poster presentation, practice assessment of key skills and practice development project. You will then use these practice assessments to inform your portfolio of evidence.

      It is advisable that throughout your programme you choose a ‘buddy’ (critical friend). This person should be a qualified advanced clinical practitioner and be able to support your learning in practice. They are not an assessor or teacher but a suitably qualified practitioner who can offer you support and guidance as appropriate. When you attend the NMP programme there is an expectation that you will select a buddy, please see NMP programme information for further details.

      The successful completion of the MSc Advanced clinical practice does not mean that you are able to work as an ACP, you must meet your employer’s requirements through completion of their bespoke competencies to be able to become an ACP. Your Trust/organisation are therefore responsible for ensuring that you have successfully completed the bespoke competencies.

      Check out our Continuing Professional Development Timetables for more information. Information about MSc Advanced Clinical Practice can be found on pages 15-20.

      Students on the course have embraced the challenges of the modules and it is evident that this learning is transferred into the clinical setting. The students have created their own support networks and it is a pleasure to see the students grow within their roles.

      Alison GallagherAdvanced Clinical Practice, Programme Director

      How you’ll be assessed

      Throughout the course your knowledge and skills will be informally assessed through a variety of learning activities. You will be encouraged to engage in self-assessment and may be actively involved in peer assessment. Formative assessment (during the module but not part of the final assessment) opportunities will be offered within each module as a part of your on-going learning. For example this may take the form of a case discussion, an essay plan or presentation where you will been given formative feedback by the module leader.

      For each 20 credit module, the assessments are weighted at 4000 words or equivalent. Formal or summative assessment will take place throughout the programme and may include essays/ reports, reflective writing such as a critical reflection, case studies, written exams, and practical skills assessment for example an OSCE (Observed, Structured, and Clinical Examinations) and oral individual presentations. Assessments are designed to measure your knowledge, understanding and skills, and are based on the postgraduate criteria for assessment. All assessments focus on your ability to progress and integrate theory and practice enabling you to demonstrate the fulfilment of the module learning outcomes.

      Your future career

      This course will enable career progression in a clinical setting. Working in partnership with Trusts and organisations to develop the curriculum has ensured that on successful completion of the course the expectations of the ACP role have been met.

      On completion you will have transferable knowledge, experience, skills and attributes that are essential in shaping your own future.

      The location was perfect, in the shadow of Canterbury Cathedral and St Augustine’s Abbey, with archaeological investigations in progress on campus as I was studying.

      AndrewACP alumni


      2022/23 tuition fees for this course

        UK* Overseas
      Full-time N/A N/A
      Part-time  £915 or £1,580 per 20 credit module £1,610 per 20 credit module

      *UK costs are split between Unique Advanced Clinical Practice modules, charged at £1,580 per 20 credit module and Shared modules charged at £915 per 20 credits (subject to annual rise).

      Specialist Advanced Clinical Practice modules
      Advanced Practice Skills and Clinical Reasoning 20 £1,580
      Pathophysiology, Diagnostics and Decision Making for Advanced Practice 20 £1,580
      Pharmacology and the Principles of Prescribing (Non-medical prescribing module) 20 £1,580
      Prescribing in Advanced Practice (Non-medical prescribing module) 20 £1,580
      Shared modules
      Leadership for Organisations 20 £915
      Negotiated Learning (Professional Development) 20 £915
      Enhancing Care Through Research 20 £915
      Dissertation (40 Credits) 40 £1,830
      Advanced Clinical Practice course fee 180 £10,895

      20% Alumni Discount

      We offer alumni discounts on CCCU Postgraduate Taught, PGCE Primary and Secondary, and Masters by Research courses for eligible students.

      Find out if you're eligible for the discount.


      Important Information on Tuition Fees

      Tuition fees for all courses which last more than one academic year are payable on an annual basis, except where stated.

      There will be an annual inflationary increase in tuition fees for this course where the course lasts more than one academic year. For further information read the 2022/23 Tuition fee statements and continuing fee information.


      Please note that the list of optional modules and their availability may be subject to change. We continually review and where appropriate, revise the range of modules on offer to reflect changes in the subject and ensure the best student experience. Modules will vary when studied in combination with another subject.

      Apply now


      2 years