MSc Advanced Practice (Clinical)

Accredited by the Royal College of Nursing (RCN)

Course details

Online application

September or March - Distance Learning

Apply now

If you're a nurse, paramedic or other health care professional looking to enhance your professional development, then our course provides a flexible programme in which to develop your knowledge and skills. We focus on five specific areas: health assessment/ diagnostic reasoning/ clinical decision making, leadership and the adoption/ evaluation of evidence based practice. You'll gain an Advanced Practice MSc that can open career opportunities in Advanced Practice in the healthcare arena.

We have been delivering this MSc by distance learning for over 10 years and are leaders in this field of delivery. You'll study part-time through distance and work-based learning, as well as two residential workshops (a 3 day induction and a two day pre OSCE workshop). This allows you to continue earning and balance your studies around your busy schedule. As our course is accredited by the Royal College of Nursing, you can be confident that the skills you acquire are relevant and will lead to big changes in your career. So get on the right track to professional development by taking our Advanced Practice course!

Induction dates

March 2017

The induction days for our March intake will be held on the following dates at our Lancaster campus;

  • Monday 20 March 2017
  • Tuesday 21 March 2017
  • Wednesday 22 March 2017

September 2017

The induction days for our September intakes will be held on the following dates at our Lancaster and London sites;

  • Wednesday 30 August 2017
  • Thursday 31 August 2017
  • Friday 1 September 2017

If you would like any more information about the course please contact Kay Donnellon on 

You will develop qualities needed for senior healthcare roles, including in circumstances requiring the assessment, diagnosis, problem solving, clinical decision making and treatment of patients with undifferentiated undiagnosed conditions. We will enhance your knowledge and skills in leadership and caring for clients with complex needs. Healthcare is a complex and unpredictable environment, which requires personal responsibility and initiative, skills we will help you build throughout the course.


Year One

Compulsory Modules

  • Clinical Decision Making in Advanced Practice (20 credits)
  • Leading, Developing and Improving Advanced Clinical Practice (20 credits)
  • Evidence for Advanced Practice (20 credits)
  • Qualificatory Practice Unit (QPU): Learning in Advanced Practice (non-credit bearing)
  • Research


Optional Modules

You must study the equivalent of 40 credits from the modules below or claim credit for Prior Learning (APL).

  • Evidence Based Practice (20 credits)
  • Leadership (20 credits)
  • Management: Managing within a Strategic and Organisational Context (20 credits)
  • Acute Care: Assessment and Management of the Acutely Ill Adult (20 credits)
  • Advanced Pathophysiology and Disease in Practice (20 credits)
  • Case Management of Long Term Conditions (20 credits)
  • Long Term Conditions: Care and Management (20 credits)
  • Advanced Assessment and Management of Acutely Ill Children(20 credits)
  • Advanced Assessment and Management of Common Childhood Illness (20 credits)
  • Facilitating Health Behaviour Change (20 credits)
  • Negotiated Learning (Independent Study) (20 credits)
  • Work Based Learning (20 credits)
  • Medicines: Therapeutics and Pharmacology (20 credits)
  • Principles of Prescribing Practice in the Context of Allied Health Professionals (Supplementary prescribing)(20 credits)
  • Principles of Prescribing Practice in the Context of Nursing, Midwifery and Specialist Community Public Health Nursing (20 credits)
  • Pharmacology for Prescribing (20 credits)
  • Developing Clinical Skills for Non Medical Prescribing Through Work Based Learning (10 credits)
  • Consultation Skills for Pharmacists (10 credits)
  • Pharmacology for Prescribing (10 credits)

Programme specification

For a detailed summary of all course content please read our programme specification for this course.

Download the programme specification (PDF)

1st or 2nd class honours degree.

Students with other qualifications may be admitted to the course via Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL) procedures.

Selection criteria

  • Applicants must be on the NMC Nursing Register /Health Professionals Council Register or its equivalent, and have regular access to an advanced practice environment.
  • Graduate Nurse Practitioner Applicants must have completed their programme of study at a Royal College of Nursing approved site.
  • Nurse Practitioner (RCN approved courses only) graduates will be exempt from the Objective Structured Clinical Examinations (OSCE). This will be dealt with via the University APL procedures.
  • Applicants will have 5 years (pro rata) experience in their clinical field.
  • Applicants are required to have a clinical practice facilitator to support their clinical learning and undertake their practice assessments.
  • Placements are subject to an educational audit of the learning environment.
  • Normally applicants must hold an Honours degree classification 2ii or above in a cognisant subject.
  • Applicants who do not hold a 2ii Honours degree will be considered as a non-standard entrant. Standard University practice will be followed with respect to applicants without traditional entry requirements. Non-standard entrants are required to demonstrate ability to benefit from and successfully complete the course. All non-standard entrants are interviewed.
  • Applicants will need to provide evidence of successful study at Level 6 (or equivalent) within the last 5 years.
  • Students for whom English is a second language may be required to provide evidence of passing an International Language Testing System (IELTS) with a score of 7.0 with a mean score of 6.5 in all elements.
  • Applicants will be interviewed by a member of the Advanced Practice team; this interview will be conducted by telephone.
  • The application must be supported by two references one of which must make reference to the applicant's professional competence. One referee must be the applicant's current employer.
  • It is expected that students will have in place a satisfactory enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS check). If an additional DBS check is required, it is the responsibility of the student or employer, to arrange for and fund this.
  • Where a student undertakes a placement outside a contract of employment with the placement provider, there is an expectation that adequate arrangements for indemnity insurance will be in place and this is the student's responsibility.

Making your application

Applications should be made online directly to the university - visit our website or contact for details and guidance. There is no official closing date but we would encourage you to apply as early as possible, as many courses are competitive.

What makes a good application?

We consider all aspects of your application, not simply your qualifications and grades. We look at your academic background and performance, relevant experience (particularly for professional courses where some voluntary or paid experience is required) and your reference. Above all, we look for motivation, commitment and potential - evidence that you can benefit from study at higher education level.

Make sure you include:

  • Relevant qualifications/evidence of ability: check our website for the specific entry requirements required for each course. Tell us your previous academic results and your projected grades.
  • A supportive reference, from an employer or your school or college.
  • A good personal statement.

Explain clearly what attracts you to the course and tell us about your wider interests and experience. If you are applying for a course that incorporates professional training and placements, you should include any relevant experience or visits you have made in the workplace. Highlight your individual strengths and qualities, personal skills, capacity for teamwork, contribution to the community and your enterprise, originality and determination. Select some activities which bring out these qualities.

What next?

When we receive your application, we will send you an acknowledgement and if you are successful at this stage you will get either - an offer (with an invitation to visit the campus to which you have applied), or - an invitation to interview on a particular date. If we are not able to offer you a place on your chosen course we will usually try to offer you a place on a similar course and will contact you to discuss this. Alternatively, if we think you are suitable, but cannot offer you a place on your preferred campus because of the level of competition, we will offer you a place at another campus if one is available.

And if I accept?

The admissions team will contact you and send further information from February onwards about accommodation, and from May/June onwards about preparing to join the university. If you have any other queries, please telephone the admissions offices for information and advice on 0845 6061144.

Deferred entry

We welcome applications for deferred entry on some courses. If you have specific plans during your year out, indicate these on your personal statement as they may be relevant to your course and could enhance your application.

International students

Please see the international pages of our website for full details of our entry requirements (including English-language skills) as well as contacts for advice and support.

From 2009 the UK Border Agency introduced a Points-Based Immigration System (PBS) for students coming to the UK from outside the European Economic Area (EEA).

Students entering higher education will need to obtain a Confirmation of Acceptance (CAS) plus finance confirmation to obtain a Tier 4 student visa.

UK education providers are licensed by the UK Border Agency. When students apply for their visa (or entry clearance) they will need a valid Certificate of Acceptance of Studies from the university. Please note that a CAS is not a guarantee that a visa will be issued.

See the following websites for further details:

You'll have enhanced employment opportunities as an advanced practitioner, including senior roles in your chosen field of healthcare. Your qualification will also help towards studying at Mphil/PhD level to continue your professional development.

As one of the UK's leading health departments, we can offer a high level of student support and a wide range of fantastic facilities to enhance your learning. Our expert academic and clinical practice staff are here to help you get the skills you need to advance your employment.