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Advanced Practice (Health and Social Care)


School - School of Health and Society

Subject area - Nursing

Start Dates(s): September; January


MSc (two years part-time)
PgDip (one year six months part-time)
PgCert (one year part-time)


In Brief:

  • Strong clinical focus
  • Facilitated work-based learning driven by client need and service redesign
  • Protected learning time and support from practice-based mentors and assessors
  • A part-time only course

Course Summary

This course is aimed at health and social care practitioners who wish to develop the competencies of advanced practice and to facilitate change in patient and service outcomes. It uses a work-based learning approach to develop the higher level skills that will lead to advanced practitioner status and enhance your career prospects.

Course Details

This multi-professional course places work at the centre of learning. You'll have access to expertise and skills from a wide range of professionals including non-medical consultants, advanced practitioners, medical practitioners and guest lecturers at the cutting-edge of health and social care. You can also draw on the expertise of professorial and research staff across the University. This course has received recognition from the Faculty of Intensive Care Medicine (FICM) as Advanced Critical Care Practitioner trainees can meet the requirements of the FICM curriculum.

Course Structure

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

  • Postgraduate Certificate: two modules over one year
  • Postgraduate Diploma: four modules over one year six months
  • Masters: six modules over two years

This course is aligned with:

  • Department of health Position Statement: Advanced Nursing Practice (2010)
  • Royal College of Nursing Competencies for Advanced Nurse Practitioners (2008)
  • NHS North West Concordat for Advanced Practice (2009).

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

Year 1

This module provides the scientific underpinning for the academic and clinical development of experienced and competent practitioners to facilitate the appropriate assessment, diagnosis, prescription and therapeutic management of clients/service users by the application of life sciences.
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.
Using a work-based learning approach, this module provides a framework for you to explore and identify issues in your professional arena while critically reflecting on your development.
This module has been integrated into the programme to enable those 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.

Year 2

This module helps you develop the skills needed in developing practice and policy. This module will develop your skills in different project management methodolgies and methods of inquiry, enabling you to construct a business in relation to a service improvement.
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.
Knowledge and skills related to client management and advanced clinical reasoning will be developed alongside justification for differential diagnoses, investigations and treatments.

Entry Requirements

You will normally 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.

When undertaking the clinical modules there is a requirement for you 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, you must identify and have the agreement of a service manager and clinical expert mentor/assessor to facilitate access to the case load.

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 work-place.

We welcome applications from students with alternative qualifications and/or significant relevant experience, subject to approval through a process of Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL).

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).

Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL)

English Language Requirements

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

Suitable For

Professional health and social care practitioners who are supported by their employing organisation in an advanced practitioner training role. Required competencies are broadly determined by the NHS North West agreement and guidance on Advanced Practice from Department of Health and Royal College of Nursing.

Applicant profile

You will be a registered professional (nurses, midwives and allied health professionals) or from a regulated professional health or social care background.

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

You will be interviewed by your manager and a lecturer from the programme team. Your clinical assessor may also be present.

Most students registering for this course are appointed and supported by their employer to achieve North West NHS strategic workforce objectives and funded for the course by Health Education England (North West).

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 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 assure the quality of clinical and work-based learning/assessments.

This course has a strong clinical focus throughout all modules.

Fees 2017-18

Type of StudyFee

Scholarships and Bursaries

For more information please see our funding section.


The facilitation strategies within the course will prepare you for the development of generic and specific practice at advanced level. In essence this course embraces the concept of learning at work to develop new ways of working and will develop the 'advanced practitioner' as outlined by the NHS North West Concordat for Advanced Practice (2009).

You will engage in critical self-assessment of knowledge and skills against appropriate competency frameworks in order to identify, in negotiation with their employer and academic supervisor, an individual learning pathway within the course.

The facilitation strategies for the course are dependent on sound group dynamics, trust and cohesion. The course will commence with an orientation programme, which will explore your expectations, roles and responsibilities, work based mentors and assessors and learning facilitators, along with confidentiality and other issues.

Facilitation will be complemented by academic and professional supervision.


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
  • Critical reflective commentaries
  • Portfolio of evidence
  • Viva Voce
  • OSCA
  • Poster presentations
  • Service delivery and organisational assessment and redesign
  • Assessed essays
  • Client management plans
  • Written reports
  • Unseen examinations

Postgraduate Staff Profile

The programme team includes staff from different professional backgrounds that have both clinical and academic expertise in a wide range of specialist fields. All are members of the Association of Advanced Practitioner Nurse Educators (AANPE) and contribute to the National agenda for advanced practice. Staff regularly publish their work in journals and at conferences.

Where appropriate clinical experts contribute to the delivery and assessment of modules within the course.


Career Prospects

On completion of this course, you will be eligible for a non-medical advanced practitioner role in your own specialist field such as midwifery, accident and emergency, radiography, mental health and intensive care outreach.

Graduates of this course have undertaken a wide variety of advanced practice roles within their own field of practice. Many have made a significant contribution to improving services for their patient group and have demonstrated evidence of the impact of their role.

Whilst many advanced practitioners remain in post, some have chosen to become non-medical consultants.

Links with Industry

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 overall course philosophy and design and is in accordance with the University strategic objective of strengthening partnerships with partner organisations.

A learning facilitator will be employed with a particular remit to work with practice-based assessors and mentors in order to assure the quality of clinical and work based learning/assessments.

Further Study

As a graduate of this master's degree, you will be eligible to undertake a PhD or Professional Doctorate.

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