Postgraduate study
This course has been specially created for practitioners, developing the in-depth knowledge, skills and confidence to manage complex cases within specific areas of practice.
MSc Advanced Clinical Practice
2–4 years part-time
Entry requirements
Applicants for the MSc/PGDip Advanced Clinical Practice will usually hold a bachelor's degree (2.2 or above)
Other requirements
All applicants must be qualified health care professionals, typically with five years of experience in professional practice or longer; MSc and PGDip applicants join the course with the written agreement of their employer; in negotiation with the course director, applicants must identify an appropriately qualified clinical supervisor before commencing the course
6.5 (no less than 6.0 in any element)

If these grades are not met, English preparatory courses may be available
Start date
UK/EU fees
MSc: £11,475; PGDip: £9,754 - Terms apply
International fees
Not applicable - Terms apply
Queen's Medical Centre



The challenges faced by the NHS include an ageing workforce, rise in chronic conditions and complex comorbidities, recruitment difficulties, financial pressures, all combined with a rise in patient expectations. These challenges require new models of healthcare provision and a flexible workforce. As well as building capacity in the workforce, this includes the development of new and advanced roles and innovative attitudes toward the mix of skills in teams. Increasingly nurses and other registered practitioners take on roles that have traditionally been the domain of doctors. 

The MSc Advanced Clinical Practice has been specially created for such practitioners and provides the opportunity to develop in-depth knowledge, skills and confidence to autonomously manage complex cases within specific areas of practice.

Focusing on high-quality teaching with plenty of opportunity to develop clinical skills in a practical setting, the course provides an educational structure that links to relevant competency frameworks and supports the NHS Career Framework. 

One of the key benefits of the course is that you will work alongside students from a variety of backgrounds and specialist fields, giving you the chance to share experiences and best practice. 

Applications for September entry are usually considered between February and June of the same year. Please contact the course director before you apply. 

If, for whatever reason, you do not wish to take the final clinical project/dissertation module, you can complete the course with a PG Diploma Advanced Clinical Practice.

For more information download the Advanced Clinical Practice flyer (PDF).

Key facts

  • Rated 5th in the UK for physiotherapy in the Complete University Guide 2019
  • Ranked 4th in the UK and 28th in the world for nursing by the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2018
  • We are a leading environment for world class research according to the Research Excellence Framework 2014; 86% of our research activity is rated as world leading and internationally excellent with significant impact on people's health and wellbeing. We have also seen a 35% improvement in the quality of research undertaken in the past five years
  • Ranked 5th best in terms of research power in our unit of assessment, a measure which includes the quality of research and number of research active staff according to the Research Excellence Framework 2014
  • 98% of students from nursing, midwifery and physiotherapy who participated in the 2013 Postgraduate Research Experience Survey were satisfied with the experience of their research degree programme
  • Our teaching team includes a number of Senior Fellows and Fellows of the Higher Education Academy
  • Awarded Nursing Times Nurse Education Provider of the Year (post-registration) 2016

Full course details

MSc Advanced Clinical Practice is taken part-time over three years. Modules equating to 60 credits are taken each year giving the total of 180 credits required for the award of MSc. 

Applicants may elect not to complete a final clinical project/dissertation and exit after two years with the award of PG Dip Advanced Clinical Practice (120 credits). 

For details of the compulsory and optional modules click on the 'Modules' tab.

When making an application it is important to select the right modules for your situation. It is therefore advisable to contact the course director before making an online application.



Module NumberTitleCreditsTaught
1 History Taking Clinical Examination and Decision Making 1 30 Autumn
2 History Taking Clinical Examination and Decision Making 2 30 Spring
3 Non-Medical Prescribing 40 Autumn

Developing Advanced Clinical Skills Through Work Based Learning
1) Models of advanced practice 
2) Reflection and advanced practice 
3) Development of portfolio competencies and their achievement

20 Full year
5 Developing Advanced Clinical Skills Through Work Based Learning
Same content as the module above.
30 Full year
6 Evidence for Health and Social Care

This module will commence with a critical review of the forms of evidence that underpin professional practice in health and social care. The ideology of evidence-based practice will be analysed and its impact on practice evaluated, including an examination of the barriers to using evidence in practice. The module will then move on to examine the following areas:
  • the principles of critical and systematic literature review;
  • issues in the application of clinical guidelines and protocols;
  • techniques for auditing/evaluating services and policies;
  • the process of generating evidence through empirical research;
  • qualitative and quantitative research paradigms and methods.
30 Autumn
7 Leadership in Health and Social Care

This module considers:
Concepts of leadership from perspectives of the individual, the employing organisation, the professions on a national / international level;
  • Entrepreneurial Leadership;
  • Innovation / Service improvement;
  • Leadership and management of change;
  • Communication for effective leadership in the workplace;
  • Strategic planning and policy making in the health and social care context.
30 Spring
8 Advancing Practice Clinical Project/Dissertation
The module requires students to work on a project within their specialist area. The project can take a number of forms including:
  • Empirical research
  • Modified Systematic Review
  • Audit or service evaluation
  • Critical review of literature
  • Clinical Project
Whichever option is chosen, the focus is an issue related to advancing practice and in the completed dissertation the student must demonstrate how knowledge gained could be used to advance practice.
60 Full year


Year one

Compulsory modules

Modules one and two are taken by all students. These two modules equate to 60 credits with exit award of postgraduate certificate.

Year two

Alternative modules – route 1

Modules three and four are taken. Taken following successful completion of year one these four modules equate to 120 credits with exit award of postgraduate diploma.

Alternative modules – route 2

Module five is taken along with module six or module seven. Taken following successful completion of year one these four modules equate to 120 credits with exit award of postgraduate diploma.

Year two/three

Module eight is taken following in years two and three and successful completion of five modules equates to 60 credits with exit award of the MSc.

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 course and subsequent years of the course, modules may change due to developments in the curriculum and information is provided for indicative purposes only.


Fees and funding

Home/EU students

Funded places are available to health and social care professionals working in the East Midlands (under certain conditions). These places are funded through Health Education East Midlands contract with the University of Nottingham. The only exception to this is the dissertation which may require self-funding or funding from another source. Once you have approval from your manager to apply for the course, complete the online application.

You can find out more detailed information about course fees, scholarships and funding on the school website. If you have a question about funding please call +44 (0)115 823 1213.

In addition, the Graduate School website at the University of Nottingham provides more information on internal and external sources of postgraduate funding. 

International students

This course is not suitable for international students.


Careers and professional development

Typically applicants are experienced clinical staff – you may already have the title 'practitioner' or be in a developmental position. Either way this course is a real investment in your career, giving you the opportunity to advance your practice and widen your career opportunities.

"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. Students 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, Course Director

“The Advanced Clinical Practice MSc provided me with the clinical knowledge and skills to undertake a role in advanced clinical practice in emergency medicine. Learning through simulation coupled with the expertise of the educators allowed me to gain competence in the clinical skills needed to work as an ACP.” James Pratt, graduate

"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 a team of 21 Advanced Clinical Practitioners in the Emergency Department 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, Lead for ACP in an Emergency Department

Average starting salary and career progression

In 2017, 100% of postgraduates from the School of Health Sciences who were available for employment had secured work or further study within six months of graduation. The median starting salary was £32,000*

* Based on known destinations of full-time, UK, postgraduates from 2016/17 who were available for work or study. Salaries are calculated based on the median of those in full-time paid employment within the UK.

Recent graduates have gone on to work for NHS trusts (eg. clinical specialists, advanced practitioners, modern matrons), universities (eg. lecturers and senior academics, lecturer practitioners, researchers) and in private practice.

Career prospects and employability

The University of Nottingham is consistently named as one of the most targeted universities by Britain’s leading graduate employers* and can offer you a head-start when it comes to your career.  

Those who take up a postgraduate research opportunity with us will not only receive support in terms of close contact with supervisors and specific training related to your area of research, you will also benefit from dedicated careers advice from our Careers and Employability Service.

Our Careers and Employability Service offers a range of services including advice sessions, employer events, recruitment fairs and skills workshops – and once you have graduated, you will have access to the service for life.

* The Graduate Market 2013-2016, High Fliers Research.


Related courses and downloads


This online prospectus has been drafted in advance of the academic year to which it applies. Every effort has been made to ensure that the information is accurate at the time of publishing, but changes (for example to course content) are likely to occur given the interval between publishing and commencement of the course. It is therefore very important to check this website for any updates before you apply for the course where there has been an interval between you reading this website and applying.

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