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Postgraduate study

Course overview

Advanced clinical practice is a rapidly expanding role across all areas in healthcare. This multi-professional course is developed around a national framework and the four capabilities of advanced clinical practice – clinical, research, education and leadership.

This course is also available as a degree apprenticeship. This course enables you to develop your personal and professional autonomy, providing you with a comprehensive and critical understanding of professional practice, ensuring that you are fit for future challenges within health and social care.

The course is flexible for multi-professional individuals from all areas of advanced practice within acute and primary care sectors – you access the same core modules. The negotiated competencies within the first-year portfolio module allow you the flexibility to ensure maximum relevance and application to your clinical area. You have the opportunity to develop advanced and core transferable skills relevant to your area of practice – you develop your advanced clinical decision-making skills, using evidence-based approaches to care, lead innovation and practice, and develop high levels of autonomy. The course is developed in partnership with key stakeholders from practice and delivered by an experienced team with knowledge and academic credibility both within and outside of the University. This multi-professional team has a wealth of experience in developing and delivering modules of this nature for healthcare professions at all academic levels. You study this course on a part-time basis over three years. You are supported through your studies by an academic supervisor and you also need to identify a practice supervisor. To access the apprenticeship route you must be working in a healthcare setting with relevant registration and be sponsored by your organisation.

Supporting information for applicants

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Course details

Course structure

Year 1 core modules

Competencies for Advanced Practitioner

You develop your knowledge and skills within the four pillars of advanced clinical practice – research, education, leadership and clinical. You are supported to develop and apply advanced knowledge and skills to your practice through work-based learning.


and one optional module

Advanced Physical Assessment and Disease Management Skills

To meet the workforce requirements set out in the NHS Plan to maintain and increase capacity in healthcare, many of the professions allied to medicine are now required to develop and extend their role in the care of patients to support the medical team.
This module prepares you as a practitioner for those role developments requiring advanced clinical competence.

We prepare you to meet the national professional requirements for the education and practice of a broadly based advanced healthcare professional who is able to contribute autonomously to the holistic management of acute and chronic disease states in both primary and generalist secondary care sectors.

The module is competency based and equips you with the knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary to be operational in the physical assessment, diagnostic and patient management components of the role of advanced practitioner for the professions allied to medicine. We focus on advanced competence in physical assessment, symptom and sign analysis, evidenced-based therapeutics, patient-centred care, communication and ethics.

We assess the module via a clinical examination and a written examination with equal weighting; you are required to be successful in both assessment components to complete the module.

Holistic Assessment and Clinical Management for Advanced Practice

This module prepares you to undertake a structured, person-centred, holistic assessment. You apply your person-centred consultation skills and develop an understanding of a systematic assessment process as applied to clinical practice.

You develop the fundamental skills of holistic assessment. Our systematic approach recognises the symbiotic relationship between the physical and psychological self, and their interconnectedness. Holistic assessment skills are delivered in a classroom/lab setting. You further develop your practical skills guided by a practice facilitator.


Year 2 core modules

Developing Research Projects

You gain the knowledge and skills you need to design and manage a primary or secondary research audit or evaluation project that’s relevant to your practice. You also cover research governance and ethics, and prepare for applying for ethical approval or release. And we prepare you for your dissertation if you choose to progress to the master’s course.


and one optional module

Advancing non-medical prescribing

Independent and supplementary prescribing is an integrated feature of health service delivery – some health-specific professionals are qualified to prescribe across a range of healthcare settings. Advancing roles within both nursing and allied health professions have provided a greater access to medicines. This award provides nurses and allied health professionals (physiotherapists, radiographers, podiatrists, dietitians and paramedics who are working in advanced practice roles) with the knowledge and skills to prescribe safely and effectively. You must work within your own scope of practice and area of competence, and be in a position to complete the care cycle in a holistic manner for clients within your care. You must meet the individual entry criteria for this course.

Negotiated Learning in advanced Clinical Practice

You explore a specific area of advanced professional practice or academic study in depth, critically evaluating relevant theory and research, and linking this theory to advanced professional practice. Your chosen topic should demonstrate development in your area of specialist practice.

You are encouraged and facilitated in an independent approach to learning with tutor support. The module leader introduces you to the module and assessment process at the beginning of the semester. You are allocated a supervisor who provides tutorial support. Alternatively you can study this module online through the virtual learning environment and email.

Assessment is negotiated within the learning contract and can take a variety of forms such as a 4,000-word written assignment, viva, defended poster or a report. The assessment must include a critical evaluation of the impact of the module on your personal learning and professional practice.


Final-year core modules (non-apprenticeship)

Advanced Practitioner Independent Dissertation Portfolio

This innovative approach to developing a portfolio dissertation enables you to demonstrate how acquiring mastery impacts on clinical practice. You evidence how you have developed as an independent, autonomous advanced practitioner within your specialist area of expertise.

This is a negotiated independent learning portfolio, demonstrating you have achieved the four pillars of advanced practice – research, leadership, education and clinical practice. You do this through a negotiated practice competency and an autonomous independent 3,000-word piece of work in the format of an appropriate academic journal article. This can take the form of a research project, service evaluation, audit or systematic review with approval from ethics committees if required. A viva explores and justifies the approach and methodologies used for your project. You also explore your findings and recommendations. And you examine areas for developing practice and disseminating findings to instigate change.

Using a blended approach, you must attend three, three-hour seminars in semester 1. The sessions are designed to establish, maintain and support you throughout the dissertation module. You are allocated an academic supervisor in Year 2 of the course. The academic supervisor guides and supports you throughout the ethics submission and development of your portfolio. Support from an appropriately qualified clinical supervisor in practice is an essential prerequisite for the module. 


Final-year core modules (apprenticeship students)

End-point Assessment for Higher Apprenticeship Advanced Practitioners

This module supports the end-point assessment if you are studying this course as part of the integrated degree apprenticeship. The end-point assessment demonstrates that you have achieved the four pillars of advanced practice – research, leadership, education and clinical practice. You need to achieve 160 credits.

You draw on a combination of practice experience, clinical supervision and blended approaches to teaching. For the practice aspect of the module your allocated clinical supervisor provides guidance on the clinical aspects of your case study and the suitability of your topic for a clinical practice change report. You have three contact sessions, each lasting six hours within semester 2, to establish, develop and maintain your ability to address the criteria for the module and related assignments.

Independent Project for Apprenticeship Advanced Practitioners

This innovative approach to developing your dissertation enables you to demonstrate how acquiring mastery impacts on your clinical practice. Your negotiated independent project demonstrates how you are achieving the four pillars of advanced practice – research, leadership, education and clinical practice.

Using a blended approach, you must attend for three, three-hour seminars in semester 1. The sessions establish, maintain and provide support throughout the dissertation module. You are allocated an academic supervisor in Year 2 of the course to guide and support you throughout the project.

This module is assessed by a 3,000-word journal article, demonstrating advanced practice within your area of interest. This can take the form of a research project, service evaluation, audit or systematic review. This informs your development of the specialist area of practice identified within your role. You are expected to write the research paper in a format appropriate for publication, although the paper does not need to be published as part of this module.


Modules offered may vary.


How you learn

We use a range of teaching and learning methods throughout the course. These include key lectures, seminars, laboratory-based learning, structured resource-based learning, electronic discussion, action-learning sets, masterclasses, formative processes, tutorials, small-group work, research tutorials, practical skills-based sessions, reflective practice, independent working and work-based learning.

Initially you attend University one day a week in the first semester. We offer an increasing amount of distance-learning, promoting independent learning within the course – with the exception of the Advancing Non-medical Prescribing module which is regulated. This culminates in the third year when you develop your independent dissertation portfolio.

How you are assessed

Modules within this course have summative assessments to assess the module learning outcomes.
The modules use a variety of assessment methods to help develop advanced knowledge and skills for clinical practice. You are assessed on the four pillars of advanced practice throughout the course. Assessment methods include a written assignment, work-based learning through advanced clinical practitioner competencies, consultation clinics, reflective accounts, portfolio development, critical appraisal and evaluation of the evidence base, modified objective structured clinical examination record, viva (oral exam), patient case studies to develop and exhibit high levels of clinical reasoning and practical exams to demonstrate advanced decision-making skills.

Summative assessment within the core modules require you to critically evaluate key areas in relation to your area of work.

Group discussions and student-led seminars enable both peer and tutor feedback in relation to learning.


Entry requirements

To apply, you must:

  • have current registration with relevant professional healthcare body such as the Nursing and Midwifery Council or Health and Care Professions Council
  • have an honour’s degree in a health-related subject – or, if you don’t hold a relevant degree, previous experience and evidence of study at Level 6 may be considered (you are invited to discuss your individual needs with the course leader to determine your suitability for study at master’s level)
  • work in a healthcare organisation, normally at equivalent of band 6 (or above) within an area of advanced practice. If you are below a band 6 you may be considered following discussion with the course leader if you have significant experience in an autonomous role
  • work in a role which requires diagnostic and therapeutic responsibility for a patient caseload for a minimum of 20 hours a week
  • have a minimum of three years’, full-time or equivalent in part-time hours, post-registration clinical experience – if you have less than three years’ experience you may be considered following discussion with the course leader providing you have your manager’s support
  • be able to organise for a suitable practitioner (for example, a medical doctor or an active advanced practitioner) to act as a practice supervisor.

To apply for an apprenticeship you also:

  • need to show that you have achieve English and maths qualification at a minimum of Level 2 as within the general apprenticeship requirements
  • are interviewed, and have a separate induction and a three-way progress review meeting at regular intervals between the employer, apprentice and University.

For general information please see our overview of entry requirements



  • Not available full-time


2022/23 entry

Fee for UK applicants
£680 for each 20 credits

Apprenticeship fee: £12,000

More details about our fees

  • Length: 3 years
  • Attendance: One day a week, Wednesday 9.00am - 4.30pm
  • Start date: September and April
  • Semester dates

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