Nursing Studies Adult Nursing

MSc Advanced Clinical Practice

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We are no longer accepting applications for Advanced Clinical Practice starting in September 2020

Students undertaking the programme will be qualified health care professionals working in a senior post clinically.

The MSc Advanced Clinical Practice Programme 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.

The Programme 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. The content is in line with the national view of advanced clinical practice. The aim of the programme is to develop an advanced clinical practitioner who can analyse and synthesise complex problems across a range of settings, managing complete clinical care episodes. As the practitioner 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.

It is also possible for you to complete an endorsed route for either clinical reporting or medical imaging. This would encompass you completing 60 credits in these areas.

You can also access the MSc ACP via an apprenticeship route. The integrated degree apprenticeship comprises 180 credits. 160 credits will be completed undertaking key modules and the final 20 credits will arise from the completion of an end point assessment (EPA). The apprenticeship standards for advanced clinical practice have been mapped to the MSc ACP programme. Before beginning the apprenticeship you will meet with the programme director and your learning needs will be discussed.  Your learning and support needs are an essential part of your learning cycle.

To enable your development as an advanced clinical practitioner, modules have been created that are considered core to this role. The detailed pathway you will follow will be dependent on your chosen target award and this may be due to funding for your programme for example if you are following an apprenticeship route.

If you plan to undertake clinical reporting modules or medical ultrasound modules you will need to look at the specific MSc Clinical Reporting and MSc Medical Imaging programmes for details of the modules available. Planning your modules will be undertaken in conjunction with the Programme Director for the MSc ACP in conjunction with the programme directors for the MSc Clinical Reporting and MSc Medical Imaging to ensure that the modules are suitable for your clinical development as an ACP.

Key modules you will undertake include 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.

Your studies throughout the programme will also include Pathophysiology, diagnostics and decision making for advanced practice module. 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.

The non–medical prescribing (NMP) programme is also required (please note that this is core for all those professions who currently are able to prescribe/ support NMP). Please see the NMP programme information for further details. If you are in a profession that does not support this programme then an alternative 40 credits will need to be undertaken. These modules will take the form of two 20 credit negotiated modules.

As part of the programme you will also need to complete the leadership: advancing innovation, transforming healthcare module (from MSc Health and Wellbeing provision).

The negotiated module for those on the non- apprenticeship route is included as core. This module allows you to consider the four pillars of advanced clinical practice and how you are meeting them.

You will complete your MSc programme with the Research Modules. The aim of the Research Modules within your programme 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.

At the end of these modules you will be able to produce clear aims and objectives for your study and be able to select and evaluate key research and other evidence.  You will be able to select and justify a study design or methodology and be able to analyse and interpret relevant data. You will be able to reflect on the processes undertaken in carrying out a dissertation or project and discuss findings in relation to theoretical perspectives and your professional practice.

You will undertake 2 research modules, the Research Approaches and Methods module (RAM) which develops knowledge and understanding of research methods, followed by a Dissertation or Project. You will experience a variety of learning and teaching methods including the use of online materials, taught sessions and individual and small group supervision. The assessment for these modules is the production of a research plan or proposal followed by a substantive dissertation/project in which the proposed research is carried out.

For students following an apprenticeship route, on completion of the dissertation  you will have successfully completed 160 credits. You are then required to undertake and end point assessment.

All modules on the programme are core. The only exception is if your profession is unable to prescribe at this time. If this is the case, you will be required to take two 20 credit negotiated modules.

Core modules

Advanced Practice Skills and Clinical Reasoning (20 credits)

The aim of the module is to facilitate the development of advanced practice assessment and to begin to consider clinical reasoning skills within a consultation framework. Enabling students to undertake and begin to manage complex service user presentations in their area of clinical practice.

Pathophysiology, diagnostics and decision making for advanced practice (20 credits)

The aim of the module is to develop an in-depth understanding of pathophysiological changes within the body and demonstrate knowledge of the evidence base for the use of related diagnostic tools.

Non-medical prescribing programme (40 credits)

Please see the programme details.

Leadership for organisations (20 credits)

The aim of the module is to enable students to understand the complexities of leadership processes within institutions that promote innovation and collaboration across complex organisations to transform Healthcare services and outcomes.

Neogtiated module (20 credits)

The aim is to choose an aspect of advanced practice and demonstrate your own learning/development.  

Enhancing care through research (20 credits)

The aims of this module are to develop students’ knowledge and understanding of research approaches and methods in relation to research questions and enable students to develop a plan/proposal for a dissertation/project which has professional relevance and appropriate academic rigor.

Dissertation (40 credits)

The aim of this module is to enable students to plan and manage a piece of work which demonstrates a critical understanding of the processes undertaken in order to produce a dissertation/project of professional relevance with appropriate academic rigor. The dissertation/project may be an empirical research study, a critical evaluation of practice/literature review or a systematic review. 

As a student attending the programme you will have been supported by your Trust/ Organisation and as such you are in a senior position, or working towards this, in the clinical setting. This programme will enable career progression. Working in partnership with the Trusts/Organisation to develop the curriculum has ensured that on successful completion of the programme the expectations of the Trust/ Organisations concept of the ACP role have been met.

It is anticipated that this will enable promotion within the Trust/Organisation. Using core recommendations for the ACP programme this will enable you, on completion to have transferable knowledge that could benefit trust/organisations outside of the local area. The programme will enable you to gain experience, skills and attributes that are essential in shaping your own future.

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 in order 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.

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 expected that your chosen clinical facilitator (please note your Trust/ Organisation will select your clinical facilitator) will require evidence of your development and therefore need to see your portfolio of evidence regularly to assess your progress with the designated competencies. This will also be part of your annual appraisal within the Trust/Organisation. In addition, the Programme Director/ PAT will meet with you to evaluate your progress as you develop the ACP role.

It is advisable that throughout your programme you choose a ‘buddy’ (critical friend). This person should be a qualified advanced clinical practitioner and be in a position 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.

As part of this programme you will have access to an ACP discussion forum to ensure that all those attending the programme can gain peer support and be able to share their experiences.

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. 

Throughout the programme 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.

The MSc Advanced Clinical Practice Programme’s Assessment Strategy conforms to the University’s Regulations and Credit Framework for the Conferment of Awards. 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.

Students should be working in the field of practice relevant to their proposed study or have sufficient access to it to support their studies.

In addition to the University entry requirements students must have support from clinical practice as they are required to have a clinical facilitator who will support your learning and development in the ACP role. Please note that the supporting Trusts/ Organisation have strict entry requirements for this programme that may take the form of an interview and/or OSCE format. It is anticipated that the student will be working in a post that is at a level suitable for undertaking the ACP programme. Please note that if the students are required to do the NMP programme they must meet the defined entry requirements for that programme. 

Fact file

UCAS institution code

  • C10


  • Part time over a period of 3 years or for some the time can be reduced to two years.

    The programme can be offered on a full time basis.


  • September 2020

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.




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Last edited: 26/08/2020 16:10:00