Skip to main content

Advanced Healthcare Practice (MSc)

  • Duration: 18 months
  • Mode: Full time

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

Our MSc Advanced Healthcare Practice programme aims to develop your knowledge, understanding and critical appreciation of the four pillars of advanced level practice.

It offers you the opportunity to apply learning to advance your leadership and management, facilitation of learning and teaching, and clinical practice skills, all of which are underpinned by evidence, research and service improvement. 

Our programme is suitable for those progressing towards a level of autonomous advanced practice as well as experienced registered health care professionals, already working as advanced practitioners.

Aimed at both home and international students, our unique programme has an optional choice of modules, allowing you to tailor your learning to suit your varying clinical and professional needs and to complement workforce requirements. You will become actively involved in practice development and leadership and the compulsory research and leadership and management components of the programme will equip you with the tools to analyse, evaluate and monitor ever evolving healthcare scenarios and apply learning to your work. 

We promote interdisciplinary learning for the benefit of our students. Our postgraduate course will enable you to work alongside other home and international students from a range of healthcare professions. You will gain wider perspectives, share knowledge and develop approaches and systems to improve healthcare practice. 

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 healthcare practitioner you can be:

  • A programme built to suit your needs: You can tailor your module choices in a way that best fits your professional development and career prospects.
  • Programme mapped: to standards for Framework for Advanced Nursing, Midwifery and Allied Health Professional Practice in Wales (NLIAH 2010), Standards for Advanced Level Nursing (RCN 2018) and multi-professional framework for Advanced Healthcare Practice (HEE 2018). The programme is also mapped against 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:
  • You will become actively involved in practice development: which will influence the quality of care delivered.  It is recognised that leadership in health and quality improvement are central to the delivery of a high standard of patient care, and you will develop these skills across the course of the programme.
  • Make a difference to your education: We offer you the opportunity to become a student representative and shape future educational provision and advise on key elements of your learning. 
  • Wales Centre for Evidence-Based Care: You’ll learn in a School which is an accredited Joanna Briggs Centre; improving the quality and outcomes of healthcare globally.

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

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 a 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 evidence that you have a minimum of two years’ post-registration experience and currently work in an area relevant to the programme. References should be signed, dated and less than six months old at the time you submit your application.
  4. 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.

If you wish to undertake the Professional, Statutory and Regulatory Bodies (PSRB)-related module: HCT353 Advanced Clinical Practice Portfolio you must be currently registered with a UK Professional, Statutory and Regulatory Bodies (PSRBs) and must secure a relevant clinical placement. You will also be required to submit a supplementary application form to complete this module. Please confirm in your personal statement your wish to complete this module so the school admissions team can send you the supplementary form.

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:

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:

  • HCT353 Advanced Clinical Practice Portfolio

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 Full Time MSc Advanced Healthcare Practice programme is 18 months in length.

In the first year you must complete 1 core module and 1 optional module in the Autumn semester (30 credits each) and then 1 core module and 1 optional module in the Spring semester (30 credits each).

On achieving a total of 120 credits from the taught component of the course, you can then commence a 60 credit dissertation module. The MSc Advanced Healthcare Practice is 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 four modules equating to 120 credits.

Year two

Dissertation – (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 in person.

The different methods that we will use as part of the MSc Advanced Healthcare Practice programme range from tutorials to seminars led by you as students, dialogue, discussion and debate, modules based on problem- based learning, appreciative enquiry, workshops and drop-in sessions to resolve module specific concerns, self-directed study, and expert led lectures. As our programme will draw on a wide range of professions, the differing methods will enable the facilitation of inter-professional learning and the sharing of differing professional perspectives and expertise.

As students, you will enter the programme from a wide varied range of professions, and with a wide range of skills; some of you may hold senior positions as healthcare professionals. These experiences will be used to enhance the learning process in terms of independent and shared learning.

The notion of adult learning will inform the learning and teaching process, as postgraduate degree level study involves you as students taking responsibility for your own learning which will be encouraged throughout the programme.

How will I be assessed?

Each module offers you an opportunity to demonstrate application to practice within your clinical speciality/ profession. The modules offer an opportunity to measure professional and academic development.

The different methods of assessment across all modules include research proposal development, critical reflections and reflective case studies, critically focused assignments, development and evaluation of (practice based) interventions, oral presentations, teaching/facilitated learning sessions, production of a report of a systematic review, implementation and/ or evaluation of a (quality improvement) work-based project, and completion of a portfolio of evidence of advanced level practice.

How will I be supported?

  • We will support you: You will have academic support and be assigned a designated personal tutor throughout your studies.
  • 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. Normally, lectures are recorded via a variety of electronic platforms, 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.
  • Our student app 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).
  • Links to recommended apps such as next bike to help make the most of your student experience.

What skills will I practise and develop?

The Learning Outcomes for this Programme describe what you will be able to do as a result of your study at Cardiff University. They will help you to understand what is expected of you. 

The Learning Outcomes for this Programme can be found below:

On successful completion of the MSc Advanced Healthcare Practice Programme, you will be able to: 

Knowledge & Understanding:

  • Critically appraise and evaluate evidence and practice-based literature and theory, applying new knowledge and skills to your specialist areas of practice.
  • Critically appraise and apply advanced and extended practice theory to the development of leadership, education, health policy, patient safety and risk assessment, service improvements and developments relating to your specific area of practice.


Intellectual Skills:

  • Demonstrate a critical and systematic approach to search for current evidence, research, and service/ quality improvement developments.
  • Develop and demonstrate a critical, analytical and focused questioning approach based on the current evidence and apply this to professional and autonomous decision making to develop a coherent and sustained argument.
  • Articulate a critical understanding of the complex problems associated with advanced and extended practice.
  • Demonstrate the ability to problem solve and develop solutions based on evidence and sound professional and clinical judgement, enabling service development and improvement within the field.
  • Demonstrate a critical and independent reflective approach to your own and other individual’s and teams’ practice, analysing situations to develop innovative approaches to advanced and extended practice.


Professional Practical Skills:

  • Identify contextualised solutions to problems, enabling development of safe and effective, high quality patient focused care.
  • Demonstrate the ability to critically appraise communication strategies used to convey and disseminate knowledge to the patient, client groups, families and inter-professional team.
  • Critically appraise current practice to advance personal and professional development in line with professional, statutory and regulatory body requirements (where applicable).


Transferable/Key Skills:

  • Critically appraise advanced and extended practice sources of evidence.
  • Apply and synthesise advanced and extended theory to professional practice.
  • Demonstrate problem solving on an individual level and/ or influence decision making as part of a team.
  • Respect other views, taking responsibility and accountability for your own personal and professional learning and development, and recognise the developmental needs of your team.
  • Demonstrate effective time management.
  • Work independently and within and across teams.
  • Meet programme assessment deadlines.
  • Convey and disseminate information clearly and in an articulate manner.
  • Display competence in 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

Year Tuition fee Deposit
Year one £27,450 £2,500

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

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 registered health care professionals you can utilise the expertise and skills developed on the MSc Advanced Healthcare Practice to enhance the evidence-based care, leadership, teaching and support that you deliver.  The knowledge, understanding and intellectual, practical and transferable skills you will develop, will enable you to diversify, expand and enhance your performance. This will offer you opportunities to develop your practice in your current role and offer you a sound position to apply for promotion or new roles and challenges with enhanced confidence and expertise.

Alumni of the previous MSc Advanced Practice programme have reported that the programme has helped them apply for new challenges and roles, and to develop existing roles. 

Alumni of the current programme have gone on to:

  • Become a Bevan Commission fellow
  • Publish systematic reviews
  • Secure lecturing roles in Higher Education
  • Secure senior management roles within NHS Services
  • Become a Nursing Officer, Welsh Government
  • Become an Associate Lecturer
  • Become a Research Associate.


You will need to be working in a healthcare environment to undertake the dissertation module HCT353 Advanced Healthcare Practice Portfolio.

If you are an international student, you would need to have a current registration with UK Professional, Statutory and Regulatory Bodies (PSRBs), and have secured a relevant clinical placement to support your learning for this module.

Next steps


Open Day visits

Register for information about our 2023 dates.

Make an enquiry

Contact us for more information about this course.


Learn more about our truly global university.

Discover more

Related searches: Healthcare, Healthcare sciences

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.