Postgraduate MSc/PgDip/PgCert

Advanced Clinical Practice

School of Health and Society




Two year

Next enrolment

September 2024


In a nutshell

The Advanced Clinical Practice MSc (Higher Apprenticeship) is accredited with Health Education England (HEE). It is a programme designed for experienced, dynamic clinical practitioners from across the following specialities and professions: nurses, physiotherapists, dietitians, and paramedics, who are registered with a professional body. Working across traditional healthcare and social boundaries, Advanced Clinical Practitioners combine expert clinical skills with research, leadership, and education to facilitate change and improvement in service delivery.

The modules within this course are structured around the four pillars of Advanced Clinical Practice: Clinical, Education, Research, and Leadership.

The knowledge, skills, and behaviours related to the MSc Advanced Clinical Practice Apprentice Framework are adhered to throughout the program. It is a work-based program, where learning occurs both in the classroom and in your clinical placement, supported by appropriate Clinical Assessors.

The first year of this program offers 'generic' modules to develop your clinical skills and underlying knowledge of physiology and pathophysiology. The second year focuses on your own practice and speciality. The pathways we currently offer are:

  • Generic
  • Critical Care
  • Mental Health
  • Primary Care

You will:

  • Study on a multi-professional course which places work at the centre of learning
  • Have access to expertise and skills from a wide range of professionals including non-medical consultants, advanced clinical practitioners, medical practitioners, and guest lecturers at the cutting edge of health and social care
  • Be supported in clinical practice by advanced clinical practitioners, consultants, specialist registrars, or general practitioners

Course accreditations

Health Education England logo

This is for you if...


You are from a regulated professional health or social care background.


You are a registered health professional (nurse, midwife or allied health professional).


You have been working in the appropriate clinical context for a minimum of two years.


You must have a minimum of four years post qualification experience on application.

Course details

All about the course

The full course runs part-time over two years giving you the chance to exit with the following awards:

  • Postgraduate Certificate in Clinical assessment (60 credits) 
  • Postgraduate Diploma in Clinical Practice (120 credits)
  • Master's in Advanced Clinical Practice (180 credits)

This course comprises a number of core and optional modules depending on which pathway you choose. 

Year one

Clinical Examination

This module introduces the concepts and context of advanced practice and enhances students' current knowledge and skills to enable the development of core and bespoke advanced practice competencies.

Biological Sciences in Advanced Practice

The aim of this module is to provide the theoretical underpinning and practice base to enable healthcare professionals to undertake an advanced clinical examination. Leading to diagnosis from undifferentiated presenting complaints, both core and bespoke skills of advanced practice competencies are developed.

Contextualising Advanced Practice (Optional)

This module provides a framework enabling you to consolidate generic competencies of advanced clinical practice, critically reflect upon your development in the context of your professional role, develop leadership skills to identify and manage risk appropriately, use research and audit skills to lead service improvement in your clinical practice. You will critically examine your personal job description in conjunction with the national multi-professional framework for Advanced Clinical Practice, which incorporates the fours pillars of Advanced Clinical Practice: Clinical Practice, Leadership and Management, Education, and Research.

Non-medical Prescribing (Optional)

This module has been integrated into the programme to enable registered health professionals who will be able to prescribe as part of their Advanced Practice role. The module prepares the practitioner to prescribe safely, appropriately and cost-effectively. In order to undertake the module, it is essential there is additional learning time in practice in order to meet the required practice hours.

This is split into two 15 credit modules: Theory and Practice. 

Please refer to the NMP requirements to see whether your professional body is eligible for this module.

Year two

Project Management and Methods of Inquiry

This module helps you develop the skills needed in developing practice and policy. This module will develop your skills in different project management methodologies and methods of inquiry, enabling you to construct a business in relation to service improvement.

Practitioner Competence

The skills required to complete a portfolio of high-quality evidence of achievement of the elements of advanced practice will be developed throughout this module.

Clinical Reasoning

Pathways within this module: Mental health, Primary Care and Critical Care

Knowledge and skills related to client management and advanced clinical reasoning will be developed alongside justification for differential diagnoses, investigations and treatments.

Please note that it may not be possible to deliver the full list of options every year as this will depend on factors such as how many students choose a particular option. Exact modules may also vary in order to keep content current. When accepting your offer of a place to study on this programme, you should be aware that not all optional modules will be running each year. Your tutor will be able to advise you as to the available options on or before the start of the programme. Whilst the University tries to ensure that you are able to undertake your preferred options, it cannot guarantee this.

What will I be doing?


The emphasis on work-based learning rather than classroom teaching distinguishes this course from more traditional taught courses. The co-creation and collaboration between the workplace and academic facilitators is innovative and embraces the ethos of the overall course philosophy and design. A learning facilitator will be employed with a particular remit to work with practice-based assessors and mentors in order to ensure the quality of clinical and work-based learning/assessments.

This course has a strong clinical focus throughout all modules with specialist pathways being offered in: Mental Health, Primary Care, and Critical Care, in addition to the Generic Adult pathway.

The programme is taught using face-to-face teaching in lectures and seminars, action learning sets, online teaching, and practical sessions using plinth rooms and the high-fidelity simulation suite.

You will be taught by an expert multi-professional team, many of whom work in clinical practice as Advanced Clinical Practitioners alongside their academic commitments.


Assessment strategies have been developed to reflect the ethos and learning aims and objectives of individual modules and may include:

  • Self-assessment
  • Peer assessment
  • Practice-based assessments including: case-based discussions, integrated systematic health assessment records, DOPs, core and bespoke skills
  • Critical reflective commentaries
  • Portfolio of evidence
  • Viva Voce
  • Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE)
  • Poster presentations
  • Service delivery, and organisational assessment and redesign
  • Assessed essays
  • Client management plans
  • Written reports
  • Unseen examinations

The School of Health and Society

The School of Health and Society is a forward-thinking, dynamic school with a commitment to lifelong learning and real-world impact.

We live in a rapidly changing world, and we’re keen to leave a productive legacy of helping people at all stages of their lives, improving their physical, psychological and social wellbeing.


Our Plinth rooms and Clinical Practice Wards are located in the Mary Seacole Building on the first and second floor. The rooms are furnished with patients' beds, lockers, chairs, sinks and curtains as well as audio-visual equipment, internet and a teaching area.

Patient Simulators

The Patient Simulation Laboratory provides you with the opportunity to tackle real-life scenarios in a safe and supported environment. Set up like a hospital ward or community-based environment, the lab contains hi-tech patient simulators that can mimic everything from the common cold to a major heart condition.

The equipment includes:

  • Emergency Care Patient Simulators: anatomically correct, feature-rich mannequins, which can be used for the physical demonstration of various clinical signs including bleeding, breathing, blinking eyes and convulsions.
  • iStan Patient Simulators: a step up from the ECS, the iStan adds an essential human element to patient simulation. It moves, breaths, can cry out or moan with pain, providing a realistic patient for you to practice on
  • Pedia Patient Simulator: a complete reproduction of a six-year-old child enabling you to practice paediatric scenarios
  • Baby simulator: this mannequin makes it possible to interact with our most vulnerable patients,in a safe, realistic learning environment

Teacher Profiles

All of the Advanced Clinical Practice faculty hold a master’s qualification, and over 50% of the teaching team are practicing Advanced Clinical Practitioners from a range of clinical backgrounds, from Oncology to Mental Health and Critical Care.

Programme Lead: Nicky Parkin

Nicky Parkin qualified as a nurse in 1996 from St. Marys Hospital (now part of Imperial College, London), where she worked for 3 years on the National Vascular High Dependency Unit. She moved to Manchester in 1999 and worked in Intensive Care for 8 years. She then moved to The Christie and was part of the team developing the Oncology Critical Care Unit, and it was there that she completed her MSc Nursing at the University of Salford. She joined the Advanced Clinical Practice faculty in 2017 and has recently become the Lead of this programme, motivated by a strong belief in education and development of nurses and AHCP’s.

Employment and stats

What about after uni?

On qualifying as an Advanced Clinical Practitioner, you can access the ‘digital badge’ from HEE to demonstrate your advanced role and qualification.

As an Advanced Clinical Practitioner, you can direct and influence positive service changes within your local clinical area and directly improve patient care in all areas.

Many of our alumni have gone on to shape and influence practice both regionally and nationally. Our Mental Health ACPs have had a prominent voice in influencing the development of Advanced Practice within the NHS, beyond the North West. Our Critical Care ACPs have presented nationally.

There is also the opportunity to develop both research and education to doctorate level.

A taste of what you could become

Advanced Clinical Practitioner

Career Links

The emphasis on work-based learning rather than classroom teaching distinguishes this course from more traditional taught courses. The collaboration between the workplace and academic facilitators is innovative and embraces the ethos of the overall course philosophy and design. This approach is in accordance with the University's strategic objective of strengthening partnerships with partner organisations.


What you need to know


When undertaking the clinical modules, there is a requirement for applicants to have access to a relevant and sufficient clinical patient/client case load for the duration of the course.

As part of the requirements for admission to clinical modules, applicants must identify and obtain the agreement of a service manager and clinical expert mentor/assessor to facilitate access to the case load. The clinical assessor MUST hold a General Medical Council (GMC) registration and be a Consultant or GP.

The mentor/assessor will provide practical training, supervision, and ongoing formative assessment via a log of clinical cases. All students on this course are registered or regulated health and social care professionals who are accessing the clinical training within their own workplace.

English language requirements 

International applicants will be required to show proficiency in English. An IELTS score of 6.0 (with no element below 5.5) is proof of this.

Standard entry requirements

Undergraduate degree

You will be a graduate in health and/or social care and be working in an area that will support and facilitate the development of advanced practice and have a written agreement with your employer for minimum learning and financial support.

Information for all applicants

Applicants must meet the following criteria for eligibility:

  • Must be registered with a professional regulatory body (e.g., Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC), General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC), Social Work England (or Scotish, Welsh or NI equivalent), or Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) only).
  • Must be employed by the NHS or another recognized healthcare provider.
  • Must be employed for a minimum of 30 hours per week in a clinical/patient-facing role.
  • Must be guaranteed 45 days per year of study leave for 24 months.
  • Must provide evidence of available funding.
  • Degrees from overseas universities must be verified by NARIC.

Overseas applicants who are not employed by the NHS and/or are not registered with a UK regulatory body are not eligible to apply.

Additionally, applicants must have a Physician Medical Assessor at GP/Consultant level available to them. This individual will ensure clinical competency and access to clinical placements, both essential for meeting placement requirements. The assessor will be the main assessor for clinical practice, assessing skills and enabling completion of a clinical portfolio developed throughout the program. Applicants will be supervised by this individual in clinical practice for at least two hours each week. Further discussion on this matter can be conducted during the HEI interview.

Alternative entry requirements

Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL)

We welcome applications from students who may not have formal/traditional entry criteria but who have relevant experience or the ability to pursue the course successfully.

The Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL) process could help you to make your work and life experience count. The APL process can be used for entry onto courses or to give you exemptions from parts of your course.

Two forms of APL may be used for entry: the Accreditation of Prior Certificated Learning (APCL) or the Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning (APEL).

How much?

Type of study Year Fees
Part-time 2024/25 £1,470 per 30 credit module

Additional costs

You should consider additional costs which may include books, stationery, printing, binding and general subsistence on trips and visits.

Apply now

All Set? Let's Apply

Still have some questions? Register for one of our Open Days or contact us:

By email:
By phone: +44 (0)161 295 4545

Enrolment dates

September 2024

September 2025