School of Health Sciences
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Degree apprenticeships

MSc Advanced Clinical Practitioner (ACP)


The development of the MSc Advanced Clinical Practitioner (ACP) apprenticeship meets the needs of employers and the wider healthcare sector by providing highly skilled practitioners who demonstrate competence across the four pillars of advanced practice namely, clinical practice, leadership and management, education and research.

Invaluable to your career progression this apprenticeship will enable you to demonstrate expertise within a scope of practice, combining expert clinical skills with research, education and clinical leadership.

  • Develop your skills in history taking, physical examination and clinical decision-making
  • Develop your skills as an autonomous practitioner to lead, educate and develop the research skills synonymous with working as an advanced clinical practitioner.
  • Benefit from being taught by expert bio-scientists, anatomists and clinicians.
  • Study a multiprofessional apprenticeship.

The Five Year Forward View (NHS England, 2014) and Next Steps on the NHS Five Year Forward View (NHS England 2017) identify new models of care, improving system leadership, modernising the workforce, accelerating innovation, improving the quality of care and promoting greater efficiency. Increasingly, Sustainability and Transformation Plans are identifying ACPs as critical to workforce development. The NHS Long Term Plan (2019) identifies advanced practice in relation to supporting existing staff, multiprofessional credentialing and aligned to workforce implementation. The MSc ACP fully supports this agenda by creating partnerships that will expand and strengthen the development of the future workforce.

Full course details

You will develop excellent knowledge and skills as an advanced clinical practice apprentice to equip you with the tools to become an autonomous practitioner. You will learn to lead, educate and develop the research skills synonymous with working as an advanced clinical practitioner and develop key skills to manage complex clinical problems.

Course structure

This masters degree is a three-year apprenticeship consisting of off the job learning that includes lectures, clinical skill teaching, seminars and a work-based learning portfolio project. Assessments consist of anatomy and physiology examinations, Objective Structured Clinical Examinations, assignments, presentations and a work-based learning portfolio project. 


Year One Modules

History Taking, Physical Examination and Clinical Decision Making 1 (40 credits)

This module considers:

  • Normal anatomy and physiology: cardiovascular, respiratory, gastrointestinal, renal and endocrine system.
  • Mental health assessment, identification and management.
  • Common diseases and their clinical presentations.
  • How to take and present a systematic clinical history.
  • How to conduct a comprehensive physical examination and present the findings.
  • The abnormal clinical signs following a comprehensive clinical assessment.
  • Epidemiological, demographic, social and political influences on health.
  • Health promotion, behavioural change and wellbeing.
  • Cognitive bias.
  • Scope of practice.
  • Four pillars of advanced practice: clinical, leadership and management, education and research.
History Taking, Physical Examination and Clinical Decision Making 2 (20 credits)

This module considers:

  • Normal anatomy and physiology: musculoskeletal and nervous systems.
  • Common diseases and their clinical presentations.
  • How to develop systematic clinical history taking.
  • How to conduct a comprehensive physical examination and present the findings.
  • The abnormal clinical signs following a comprehensive clinical assessment.


Year Two Modules

Non-Medical prescribing (for professionals who can prescribe)

Advanced Clinical Practice Portfolio Project (60 credits)

You are expected to engage in critical thinking and reflection to enable the integration of theory and practice to support competent, safe, high quality healthcare delivery at an advanced level. You will critically evaluate current evidence to demonstrate advancement in clinical skills and knowledge including data collection, assessment and therapeutic modalities; leadership and collaborative practice; improving quality and developing healthcare practice for the self and others, gaining experience in integration of theory, research and clinical knowledge related to the goals of interdisciplinary health services and systems.



Year Three Modules

The Gateway

All apprentices must undertake an End-point Assessment which is a synoptic assessment of the knowledge, skills and behaviours that have been learnt throughout the apprenticeship.  The purpose of the assessment is to make sure you meet the standard set by employers and that you are occupationally competent.

The ‘gateway’ is a tripartite meeting with your employer, the University and you to ensure everyone is satisfied that you have met the ‘gateway’ criteria to undertake the assessment. End-point-assessments are graded and an apprenticeship certificate and your masters award will only be awarded after the end-point assessment is successfully completed.


Transition to Advanced Clinical Practice (20 credits)

This module has the integrated End Point Assessment which is the final assessment in the ACP apprenticeship. It aims to support and debate your transition into advanced clinical practice. It recognises that there are regional, national and international variations in how advanced practitioner roles are articulated and enacted, as well as variations across the different healthcare professions. Associated with these variants are also differing levels of professional autonomy. The module will enable you to identify what advanced practice means within the context of your own professional practice role, and how your advanced clinical practitioner role can improve health outcomes of your specified client group.


The above is a sample of the typical modules that we offer but is not intended to be construed and/or relied upon as a definitive list of the modules that will be available in any given year. Due to the passage of time between commencement of the apprenticeship and subsequent years of the apprenticeship, modules may change due to developments in the occupational standard therefore, information is provided for indicative purposes only.



By combining real work with rigorous study, degree apprenticeships help you to develop a highly-skilled workforce. Designed with employers, our degree apprenticeships are a cost-effective way to attract, develop and retain talent. Apprentice apprentices don’t pay fees; funding comes from the apprenticeship levy or Government co-investment. Apprenticeship route information regarding funding can be found  here.

International apprentices

This course is not available for international apprentices.

Careers and professional development

"The MSc Advanced Clinical Practice is a multi-professional health care programme that will develop you as a skilled practitioner in order to lead service transformation through advanced clinical assessment, clinical reasoning and decision making. You are taught by experts in their field who are passionate about advanced practice. Apprentices find the course challenging but transformational and appreciate the opportunity to develop the clinical knowledge and understanding that leads to enhanced decision making skills, ensuring high quality, safe and effective patient centred care." Ruth Pearce, MSc ACP apprenticeship

"If you are a clinically focused clinician, as I am, other courses just don’t provide the weight of clinical practice and development seen on this one." Mark Grenville, graduate

“We have over 100 Advanced Clinical Practitioners working at Nottingham University Hospitals, all graduates from the MSc programme. The MSc programme has consistently given us graduates who are clinically competent and ready to work as advanced clinical practitioners.” James Pratt, Strategic Lead for ACP Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust 


School of Health Sciences

B236, Medical School
Queen's Medical Centre
Nottingham, NG7 2HA

telephone: +44 (0)115 95 15559