Postgraduate MSc

Advanced Practice (Neonates)

School of Health and Society




One year

Next enrolment

January 2025


In a nutshell

This practical course uses a work-based learning approach to develop the higher-level skills that will lead to advanced practitioner status.

If you are an experienced neonatal intensive care nurse, this challenging and rewarding programme will enable you to become a qualified advanced neonatal nurse practitioner.

You will:

  • Be supported in clinical practice by experienced neonatal nurse practitioners, consultant neonatologists, or specialist paediatric registrars.
  • Be taught by experts in the field including tertiary neonatologists, advanced neonatal nurse practitioners, midwifery lecturers, pharmacists, and radiographers.
  • Develop advanced clinical skills in our brand-new simulation suites with our award-winning human simulators.
  • Have access to a clinical placement opportunity.

options available

This is for you if...


You are working in a tertiary neonatal care unit with a minimum of five years clinical experience.


You want to develop advanced clinical skills.


You are hardworking and dedicated to developing your knowledge.

Course details

All about the course

This 12-month course requires a high level of commitment to succeed and you will move from nursing to a medical rota immediately upon qualification.

You will achieve a number of clinical competencies such as advanced resuscitation skills, insertion of percutaneous long lines, insertion of umbilical and venous catheters, airway management and intubation and chest drains. Upon completion, you will be eligible for a non-medical advanced practitioner in neonates to work within a junior medical rota. 

You are expected to be flexible during the programme to facilitate your learning and clinical practice/experience:

  • During the first three months, you will be introduced to new concepts, theories and medical management including physiology, and pathophysiology for neonates within the maternity department and Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.
  • For the rest of the programme, you will attend university and work in clinical practice.
  • You will self-roster your off duty, clinical practice/experience within your tertiary intensive neonatal care unit (learning on the job).
  • You will be given a named supervisor (consultant neonatologist).
  • You must accrue a minimum of 660 clinical hours during your twelve months of training.

Simulation teaching will be undertaken in the University’s simulation suite and clinical areas.

The Non-Medical Prescribing module is accredited by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC), Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) and General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) and upon successful completion, you will be able to add an annotation to your professional registration as an independent prescriber.

Year one

Neonatal Practice

This module will include an advanced understanding of respiratory and cardiovascular system pathophysiology and management. You will review the examination of the newborn and clinical reasoning.

Research Methods

This module will look at contemporary issues and debates in research and well as the design of research projects and developing research proposals.

Neonatal Practice

You will study pathophysiology, gaining a deeper understanding of the physiology of abnormalities and how to manage these. You will also get an insight into different clinical conundrums.

Non-Medical Prescribing

Learn to evaluate and challenge prescribing practice with reference to evidence based practice, equality and diversity and clinical governance in a neonatal context. 


You will also undertake a dissertation as the final component of the programme.

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?

You will be expected to undertake a series of assessments including a clinical portfolio, written assignments, OSCE, and supervised clinical practice by specialist registrars, advanced neonatal nurse practitioners and consultant neonatologists.

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 Clinical Practice Wards are located in the Mary Seacole Building on the second floor. There are four rooms designed to give the look and feel of a hospital environment. The rooms are furnished with patient beds, lockers, chairs, sinks and curtains as well as audio-visual equipment, internet and a teaching area.

We also have a number of clinical skills rooms that enhance student learning from taking blood pressure, to giving CPR and more complicated procedures. Along with nursing skills rooms where you can practice in a ward situation, there are basic skills rooms for sessions such as moving and handling.

Patient Simulators

Our Simulation Suites provide you with the opportunity to tackle real-life scenarios in a safe and supported environment. Set up like a hospital ward, 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, breathes, 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

All the simulation equipment can be linked up to some very hi-tech computer and audio-visual aids. Groups of students get to role-play a wide range of different scenarios, with a lab co-ordinator observing, running and intervening in the scenario remotely.

Sophisticated computer equipment can also provide detailed physiological information for each of the simulators under observation. The lab will help you develop the clinical skills you need but also the high-level communication skills that will make a real difference to your patients.

Teacher Profile

Sarah Fitchett

I am a full-time Neonatal Nursing Lecturer at the University of Salford and the Programme Leader for MSc Advanced Practice Neonates. I am the module lead for one of the ANNP modules, I am the NIPE and QIS Module leader for the Post Qualifying students. I am a registered nurse with 25 years of neonatal experience including neonatal enhanced skills and I have worked in all levels on Neonatal Units within the North West area and have held the role of Band 7 Co-ordinator and Practice Educator - including the upskilling process for a transition from Level 2 to a Level 3 unit. I have been involved in leading practice development for the North West Neonatal Network Educators and continue to link and work closely with The North West Neonatal ODN. 

If you would like any further information about the programme or admissions process, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Tess Alcroft

I started my neonatal nursing career in 2013 when I qualified as a registered nurse. I began my career in advanced practice in 2018 and now work part-time for the University of Salford and part-time in clinical practice, working across the Tier 1 and 2 medical rotas at a large cardiac and surgical tertiary neonatal unit. I am the module lead for two of the modules on the programme for MSc Advanced Practice (Neonates), supported by Sarah Fitchett. If you have any enquiries regarding the programme, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Employment and stats

What about after uni?

Upon completion of this course, students will become advanced neonatal nurse practitioners and will work on a medical rota. Some students may also wish to progress onto a PhD or work as a nurse consultant or in a leadership role in clinical practice.


What you need to know

Applicant profile

This course is suitable for those working in a tertiary neonatal care unit with a minimum of five years clinical experience.

A written agreement and clinical support from a nominated consultant neonatologist and nurse line manager will be required in order for you to be accepted onto this programme.

You will apply by using the university’s general online application form. You will have a joint interview with your line manager, a consultant neonatologist and a University lecturer. Funding arrangements will be agreed between your Local Trust and the University.

English language requirements 

International applicants will be required to show proficiency in English. An IELTS score of 7 is proof of this.

Standard entry requirements

Undergraduate degree

You will need to have a 2:1 degree in a relevant health-related area and work within a tertiary neonatal intensive care unit with a minimum of 5 years clinical experience. Anyone who doesn't have the required level of degree is advised to discuss their application with the Programme Leader.

You will also need to possess the ENB 405 / Quality in Specialty qualification and be live on the NMC register.

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
Full-time home 2024/25 £8,820.00per year
Full-time international 2024/25 £16,380.00per year
Full-time home 2025/26 £9,100.00per year
Full-time international 2025/26 £17,000.00per year

Additional costs

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

Scholarships for International Students

If you are a high-achieving international student, you may be eligible for one of our scholarships. Explore our international scholarships.

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

January 2025