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Advanced Clinical Practice (MSc)

  • Duration: 18 months
  • Mode: Full time blended learning

This course is open to UK applicants only.
Course options See other modes of study
Start date

Open day

Find out more about studying here as a postgraduate at our next Open Day.

Why study this course

This programme is aimed at registered Nurses, Midwives and other healthcare practitioners, within the UK, who aspire to develop and work at an advanced level of clinical practice, particularly where there is a requirement for advanced clinical assessment and Independent/ Supplementary Prescribing skills.


A programme built to suit your needs

A choice of optional clinical assessment modules within the first year will allow you to tailor your clinical skills based on service requirements and career pathway.


Become an independent/ supplementary prescriber

You can qualify as an independent/ supplementary prescriber by undertaking the independent/ supplementary prescribing modules furthering your personal development.


Programme mapped

to the HEIW - Enhanced, Advanced and Consultant (EAC) Framework (2023) and the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) Standards for Advanced Level Nursing (2018). Nurses who successfully complete the programme will potentially be eligible to apply for credentialing with the RCN.

We are committed to supporting the improvement of the quality of care delivered to the population. Our programme will prepare you for advanced-level clinical practice roles by increasing your critical understanding and complex decision-making skills across the four pillars of advanced clinical practice; management and leadership, education, research, and clinical practice. This will enable you to take on greater responsibilities when managing complex patient care. 

At the heart of our innovative MSc in Advanced Clinical Practice are the core Independent and Supplementary Prescribing modules. Upon successful completion of these modules, you will qualify as an independent/ supplementary prescriber, allowing you to offer a more holistic level of advanced care to your patients. The other core module: Research Methods and Data Analysis in Healthcare will provide you with the opportunity to critically explore the evidence and research that underpins advanced clinical practice. Furthermore, an optional clinical assessment module presents an opportunity to develop your patient assessment and clinical skills, and either a clinical competency-based portfolio or a work-based project dissertation module, will showcase your clinical development.

Further your career beyond traditional professional boundaries and extend the scope of your clinical practice by studying the MSc Advanced Clinical Practice.

Successful completion of  and Independent/ Supplementary Prescribing results in a registerable qualification with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) and the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC).

Please note, this programme accepts home students only. If you are an international student you may wish to consider Advanced Healthcare Practice (MSc).

Where you'll study

School of Healthcare Sciences

Our courses are designed to provide you with the knowledge and experience you need to embark on a professional healthcare career.

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  • Telephone+44(0) 29 2068 7538
  • MarkerUniversity Hospital of Wales, Heath Park, Cardiff, CF14 4XN

Admissions criteria

In order to be considered for an offer for this programme you will need to meet all of the entry requirements. Your application will not be progressed if the information and evidence listed is not provided.

With your online application you will need to provide:

  1. A copy of your qualification certificate and transcripts which show you have achieved an honours degree or diploma in healthcare, or an equivalent international qualification.
  2. A copy of your IELTS certificate with an overall score of 6.5 with 5.5 in all subskills, or evidence of an accepted equivalent. Please include the date of your expected test if this qualification is pending. If you have alternative acceptable evidence, such as an undergraduate degree studied in the UK, please supply this in place of an IELTS.
  3. A reference from your employer to confirm you are a qualified healthcare practitioner with a minimum of two years' full-time equivalent post-registration experience and work in a practice role which involves regular patient/client contact.
  4. Your professional body registration number which shows that you are currently registered with the appropriate statutory regulatory body (PSRB) for your profession (such as the HCPC or NMC).
  5. A personal statement which must address the following points:
  • Why have you selected this programme?
  • What interests you about this programme?
  • Any relevant experience related to the programme or module content.
  • How you plan to use the qualification in your career.
  • How you and your profession will benefit from your studies.
  • Why you feel you should be given a place on the programme.
  • Confirmation that you have secured relevant clinical placements for specific modules.

Application Deadline

We allocate places on a first-come, first-served basis, so we recommend you apply as early as possible. Applications normally close at the end of July but may close sooner if all places are filled. 

Selection process

We will review your application and if you meet all of the entry requirements, including an assessment of suitability through the personal statement, we will make you an offer.

Additional information

You may apply for Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) at level 6 or level 7 of up to 60 credits NR3177A/B, of which only 30 credits can be at level 6. RPL is considered through mapping of learning outcomes of comparable modules.

RPL is considered through mapping of learning outcomes of comparable modules. You will only be able to RPL a level 6 module if it maps to module NR3177b.

If you intend to apply for recognition for prior learning, please supply copies of your credit transcripts with your application and provide further details in your personal statement.

Please contact the PGCert Independent Prescribing/ Supplementary Prescribing Programme Manager prior to applying to discuss RPL queries: Neil Thomas

Find out more about English language requirements.

Applicants who require a Student visa to study in the UK must present an acceptable English language qualification in order to meet UKVI (UK Visas and Immigration) requirements.

Criminal convictions

A DBS (Disclosure Barring Service) certificate is required to undertake the following modules:

  • HCT 356 Independent/Supplementary Prescribing (core)
  • HCT 357 Independent/Supplementary Prescribing (core)
  • HCT 353 Advanced Clinical Practice Portfolio (optional)

If you are currently subject to any licence condition or monitoring restriction that could affect your ability to successfully complete your studies, you will be required to disclose your criminal record. Conditions include, but are not limited to:

  • access to computers or devices that can store images
  • use of internet and communication tools/devices
  • curfews
  • freedom of movement
  • contact with people related to Cardiff University.

Course structure

The MSc Advanced Clinical Practice programme has 3 core modules and 1 optional module (30 credits each) in the taught component of the programme, plus a 60-credit dissertation module equating to 180 credits in total. 

The modules shown are an example of the typical curriculum and will be reviewed prior to the 2024/25 academic year. The final modules will be published by September 2024.

Year one

In Year One you will complete three core modules and one optional clinical assessment module

Year 1, Semester 1 (Autumn)

  • Research Methods and Data Analysis in Healthcare (30 credits) (Core) 
  • Independent/ Supplementary Prescribing (30 credits) (Core).

Semester 2 (Spring)

  • Independent/ Supplementary Prescribing (30 credits) (Core)

Plus an optional module (a choice of one module from the following list)

  • Advanced Clinical Assessment for Healthcare Professionals (Spring Semester) (30 credits)
  • Advanced Practice in the Management of Minor Illness (Spring Semester) (30 credits)
  • Musculoskeletal First Contact Practitioner in Primary Care (Spring Semester) (30 credits)
  • Clinical Patient Assessment (Spring Semester) (30 credits – Level 6)
  • Advanced Assessment of the Child and Young Person (30 credits)

Year two

Dissertation- a choice of one module:

  • Advanced Clinical Practice Portfolio (optional) (60 credits)
  • Work Based Project (optional) (60 credits)

The University is committed to providing a wide range of module options where possible, but please be aware that whilst every effort is made to offer choice this may be limited in certain circumstances. This is due to the fact that some modules have limited numbers of places available, which are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis, while others have minimum student numbers required before they will run, to ensure that an appropriate quality of education can be delivered; some modules require students to have already taken particular subjects, and others are core or required on the programme you are taking. Modules may also be limited due to timetable clashes, and although the University works to minimise disruption to choice, we advise you to seek advice from the relevant School on the module choices available.

Learning and assessment

How will I be taught?

The programme will be delivered using a blended learning approach, in line with the Digital Learning Strategy employed by the University. Blended learning aims to provide a rich and engaging online experience, including a blend of synchronous and asynchronous learning activities alongside traditional face to face teaching and learning.

The learning and teaching approaches employed will range from group and individual tutorials to student led seminars, dialogue, appreciative enquiry and problem- based learning, skills workshops, self-directed study, critical discussion /debate and expert led lectures.

Our programme and modules will facilitate effective inter-professional learning and the sharing of differing professional perspectives and expertise. As students you will enter the programme with a wide range of skills, and some of you may hold advanced practitioner roles. Your clinical and experiential experiences are valued and will be used to enhance the learning process in terms of independent and shared learning.

Learning at postgraduate degree level involves you taking responsibility for your own learning and we will encourage this throughout the programme. 

How will I be assessed?

The ways in which you are assessed relate to the measurement of your professional, academic and clinical development. You will be assessed in the following ways:

  • Professional and statutory regulatory body examinations
  • Assignments
  • Evidence-based research protocol development
  • OSCE’s
  • Case study analysis
  • Practical assessments
  • Oral presentations
  • Work based project and
  • Clinical portfolios.

How will I be supported?

This programme gives you the opportunity to share ideas with health professionals. As well as developing your own intellectual abilities, this sharing of ideas enables you to learn and benefit from the experiences of others. Opportunity is given for discussion and exchange of ideas through seminars and tutorials.

You will have academic support and be assigned a designated personal tutor throughout your studies.

We offer you the opportunity to become a student representative and shape future educational provision and advise on key elements of your learning.

All modules within the programme make extensive use of Cardiff University’s Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) Learning Central, on which you will find course materials, links to related materials and assessment exemplars. All lectures are recorded via Panopto and are available for you to view throughout your programme.

The University offers a wide range of services and activities designed to support you. These include a student counselling service, a student advisory service, day care facilities, sport and exercise facilities, as well as campus information, library and IT services.

Further information about what the University can offer you ca be found in the following link:

Student life - Study - Cardiff University

Our student app also allows you to access Cardiff University services and personalised information in one place in a simple and convenient way from a smartphone via the app store. 

Features include:

  • Campus maps
  • Student library renewals, payments and available items
  • Student timetable
  • Find an available PC
  • Access to help and student support
  • Student news
  • Receive important notifications

Links to launch other University apps such as Outlook (for email) and Blackboard (for Learning Central).

What skills will I practise and develop?

On successful completion of the MSc Advanced Clinical Practice programme, you will be able to:

Knowledge & Understanding:

  • Critically appraise and synthesise advanced clinical practice theory within your specific area of practice.
  • Critically evaluate approaches to the systematic and holistic assessment of patient needs and the interpretation of diagnostic indicators to achieve a differential diagnosis.
  • Critically explore current available clinical pharmacological and pharmaceutical knowledge relevant to your own area of practice.
  • Critically evaluate the dimensions of quality improvement theory and practice and be able to critically apply your advanced knowledge and skills to your area of practice.

Intellectual Skills:

  • Demonstrate a critical and systematic approach to the appraisal of evidence and routes of enquiry.
  • Critically appraise and apply evidence of new techniques to professional judgment and decision making within the field of advanced clinical practice.
  • Demonstrate critical understanding of the complexities associated with advanced clinical practice and problem-solving skills.
  • Demonstrate the appropriate application of critical knowledge of drug actions in prescribing practice and the effective use of evidence-based decision support tools.
  • Demonstrate a critical and independent reflective approach to practice, analysing situations resulting in a coherent and sustained argument to enable service and practice improvement and professional development.

Professional Practical Skills:

  • Demonstrate a critical response to health and social care needs, and initiate, lead and manage service/ quality improvements, ensuring the safe and effective organization and provision of quality patient focused care.
  • Demonstrate critical application of knowledge of the pathophysiological, ethical and cultural factors that underpin accurate assessment, examination, investigation, diagnosis and management of care of a range of patients within your own speciality.
  • In line with professional and statutory regulatory body requirements you will demonstrate reflective critical appraisal of advanced clinical practice to advance personal and professional development.
  • Effectively employ appropriate communication/ education strategies to communicate and disseminate knowledge to the patient, families and client groups.
  • Demonstrate the effective use of appropriate educational strategies to support inter-professional team development as part of your advanced practice role.

Transferable/Key Skills:

  • Integrate theory with professional practice.
  • Synthesise information/ data from a variety of sources.
  • Critical appraisal of research.
  • Take responsibility for personal and professional learning and development.
  • Independent project and time management skills.
  • Work independently.
  • Analysis, interpretation, synthesis and evaluation of data.
  • Problem solve and reach realistic conclusions/ recommendations.
  • Communicate ideas in a clear concise manner.
  • Demonstrate digital literacy.

Tuition fees for 2024 entry

Your tuition fees and how you pay them will depend on your fee status. Your fee status could be home, island or overseas.

Learn how we decide your fee status

Fees for home status

Year Tuition fee Deposit
Year one £9,450 None

Students from the EU, EEA and Switzerland

If you are an EU, EEA or Swiss national, your tuition fees for 2024/25 be in line with the overseas fees for international students, unless you qualify for home fee status. UKCISA have provided information about Brexit and tuition fees.

Fees for island status

Learn more about the postgraduate fees for students from the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man.

Fees for overseas status

An NHS placement is a required part of this course. The NHS only makes placements available to students who are eligible to pay UK fees. Therefore, this course is not available for international students.

More information about tuition fees and deposits, including for part-time and continuing students.

Financial support

Financial support may be available to individuals who meet certain criteria. For more information visit our funding section. Please note that these sources of financial support are limited and therefore not everyone who meets the criteria are guaranteed to receive the support.

Additional costs

Independent/ Supplementary Prescribing and Advanced Clinical Practice Portfolio modules - cost of Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS). 

Living costs

We’re based in one of the UK’s most affordable cities. Find out more about living costs in Cardiff.


Master's Scholarships

An award open to UK students intending to study one of our taught master’s degrees.

Postgraduate loans

If you are starting your master’s degree in September 2024 or later, you may be able to apply for a postgraduate loan to support your study at Cardiff University.

Alumni Discount

The alumni discount is available for Cardiff University graduates who are planning to start an eligible master's in 2024/25.

Careers and placements

As health care professionals you can utilise the expertise and skills developed on the programme to develop and provide evidence- based practice within your clinical area of practice. Our programme will enable you to diversify, expand and develop yourself personally and professionally and will also place you in a better position to apply for promotion with enhanced confidence and expertise.

Some of the roles our graduates and alumni from the  previous MSc Advanced Practice programme have gone on to obtain include:

  • Advanced Nurse Practitioner
  • Advanced Paramedic
  • Associate Lecturer/Lecturer
  • Nurse Consultant
  • Research Associate
  • Develop services that have improved patient safety and patient satisfaction
  • Affiliate as Advanced Critical Care Practitioners of the Faculty of Intensive Care Medicine.


You will need to be employed and practising within a clinical environment within the United Kingdom to undertake this programme. You will be required to evidence clinical hours within your own clinical environment for the following :

  • Advanced Clinical Assessment for Healthcare Professionals requires a minimum of 45 hours supervised practice in your assessment area (optional).
  • Musculoskeletal (MSK) First Contact Practitioner (FCP) in Primary Care requires you to practice under the direct guidance of your Designated Supervising Practitioner for a minimum of 30 hours over the course of the module (optional).
  • Independent/ Supplementary Prescribing module requires 78 hours associated practice within your prescribing area (core).
  • Advanced Clinical Practice Portfolio module requires that you have ongoing clinical assessment utilising your clinical competencies.  This will include formative OSCE’s and case-based discussions (optional).

Next steps


Open Day visits

Register for information about our 2023 dates.

Make an enquiry

Contact us for more information about this course.


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HESA Data: Copyright Higher Education Statistics Agency Limited 2021. The Higher Education Statistics Agency Limited cannot accept responsibility for any inferences or conclusions derived by third parties from its data. Data is from the latest Graduate Outcomes Survey 2019/20, published by HESA in June 2022.