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Advanced Clinical Practice (MSc)

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

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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.

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.

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).

Distinctive features

Join a School that puts an emphasis on independent learning in a research-led environment. Here are some of the key features of why we think our MSc programme will make you the best advanced clinical practitioner you can be:

  • 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 Framework for Advanced Nursing, Midwifery and Allied Health Professional Practice in Wales (NLIAH 2020) and the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) Standards for Advanced Level Nursing (2018).  
  • Nurses who successfully compete the programme will potentially be eligible to apply for credentialing with the RCN:         

Credentialing | Professional Development | Royal College of Nursing (rcn.org.uk)

The programme can also be mapped to the Faculty of Intensive Care Medicine curriculum for Advanced Critical Care practitioners (2015), the Royal College of Emergency Medicine Advanced Clinical Practitioner curriculum (2017), and the Health Education England (HEE) (2020) multi-professional framework for Advanced Clinical Practice.


We're committed to delivering programmes that are innovative and relevant, providing the best learning outcomes and career prospects for our students. In light of this, we're currently reviewing some elements of this programme. As such, the details shown are subject to change and indicative only. You can still apply now. We'll update this page and contact all offer holders when the review is complete to confirm any changes.

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.

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

Admissions criteria

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.

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 2022/23 academic year. The final modules will be published by September 2022.

Year one

In Year One you will complete 3 core modules and 1 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)

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 2022 entry

Students from the UK

Fees for entry 2022/23 are not yet available.

Students from the EU, EEA and Switzerland

We are currently awaiting confirmation on tuition fees for the 2022/23 academic year.

Students from the rest of the world (international)

We are currently awaiting confirmation on tuition fees for the 2022/23 academic year.

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.

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.

Placements

Funding

Master's Excellence Scholarships

An award open to students with a home fee status intending to study one of our taught master’s degrees.

UK Government master’s funding

If you are starting your master’s degree in September 2021 or later, you may be able to apply for UK Government postgraduate funding to support your study at Cardiff University.

Next steps

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HESA data: Copyright Higher Education Statistics Agency Limited 2020. 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 2017/18, published by HESA in June 2020.