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PG Dip/MSc

Advanced Clinical Practice

This Master's course embraces the International and National advanced clinical practice picture supporting the development of your knowledge and skills at an advanced level, to prepare you for your Advanced Clinical Practice or Advanced Nurse Practitioner role. You'll extend your analytical and reflective skills, as well as integrating new and existing clinical skills within your practice setting to provide high-quality healthcare within the multi-disciplinary healthcare team.    

There are two pathways available, if you are a nurse then the MSc Advanced Clinical Practice (Advanced Nurse Practitioner) qualification will be most suitable; for midwives, allied health professionals and other non-medical healthcare professionals, the MSc Advanced Clinical Practice route is appropriate. The final year of the course concentrates on a service improvement project enabling you to combine the clinical elements of your advanced clinical role with leadership/management and service development and improvement.

Whilst all the intakes are open for all NMC registrants and registered allied health professionals and other non-medical healthcare professionals, the February 2018 intake has the additional focus on mental health for mental health nurses advancing their mental health practice, as opposed to physical health.  This intake is also more appropriate for midwives advancing their midwifery practice. 

Key information

Next start date:

January 2018, February 2018

Location:

Bournemouth University, Lansdowne Campus

Duration:

3 years part-time

Required subjects:

Three years experience as a qualified nurse or allied health professional

Entry requirements:

Relevant first degree or equivalent. If English is not your first language you'll need IELTS 7.0 (Academic) or above. For more information check out our full entry requirements

Course details

On this course you will usually be taught by a range of staff with relevant expertise and knowledge appropriate to the content of the units. This will include senior academic staff, lecturer practitioners who work at the university and who work in clinical practice and other qualified healthcare professionals.

The course will facilitate the development of your critical appraisal, analytical and reflective skills, and enable you to integrate new advanced clinical skills and knowledge with your existing experience within your practice setting, in order to support the provision of high quality care and service delivery in an Advanced Clinical Practice or Advanced Nurse Practitioner role within a multi-disciplinary healthcare team.

 You can download a flyer with a flow chart of the various pathways for different professionals. 

PGDip Advanced Clinical Practice (Advanced Nurse Practitioner) - for NMC- registered nurses 

  • Unit 1- Advanced Nursing Practice: Contextual Issues and Professional Development: You'll explore the contextual issues surrounding the development of your advanced nurse practitioner role and discuss, analyse and debate key areas relevant to your advancing nursing practice, within a multi-professional setting.
  • ​Unit 2- History Taking and Physical Examination for Advancing Practice: In this unit you will develop knowledge and skills to enable you to proficiently elicit comprehensive patient histories through a structured consultation process. You will learn to critically apply knowledge and skills to patient assessment and develop competence in the physical examination of body systems, distinguishing normal from abnormal findings.
  • Unit 3- ​Assessment, Clinical Reasoning and Decision-making for Advancing Clinical Practice: This unit enables you to develop knowledge and skills for identifying problems, formulating differential diagnoses and developing action plans for patients in their own clinical practice settings. It develops critical thinking, clinical and diagnostic reasoning and decision-making skills, aimed at meeting patients’ needs and managing complex presentations and conditions. The unit builds on History Taking and Physical Examination for Advancing Practice unit, whereby you will draw on and apply systems-based knowledge and skills to your own clinical practice.
  • OR Unit 3- Assessment, Critical Reasoning and Decision-making for Advancing Clinical Practice (mental health): This unit focuses on advancing mental health practice as opposed to the systems-based, physical health, within the core unit.  This unit is available as an alternative to unit 3, for mental health nurses wishing to advance their mental health as opposed to the physical health option.

Option 1

  • Unit 4 - Independent and Supplementary Prescribing for Nurses and Midwives: Nurses and Midwives undertake this unit to prepare you to prescribe safely, appropriately, competently and cost effectively as an independent and supplementary prescriber, in line with obtaining the requisite NMC-recordable qualification. 

OR option 2

  • Unit 4a- Pathophysiology and Therapeutic Interventions for Advancing Practice: This unit is available as an alternative to the independent and supplementary prescribing unit.  It enables you to enhance and develop knowledge and understanding of pathophysiology and pharmacology. It supports development of clinical and diagnostic skills, in relation to determining, implementing and evaluating evidence-based pharmacological and non-pharmacological therapeutic interventions, for patients in your own clinical practice setting within the context of your advancing clinical practice role.

AND

  • Unit 5a- Evidencing Professional Learning: Having attended a structured learning event appropriate to your own advancing clinical role and applies learning outcomes from the event into practice. This unit facilitates the critical evaluation of advanced scholarship and development of reflective skills in relation to your learning and professional development. You'll demonstrate application of the learning outcomes in complex and unpredictable professional contexts and reflection and evaluation of change in practice, related to the specific learning event. 
  • Unit 6 - Advanced Nurse Practitioner Portfolio: This final unit of the Post Graduate Diploma element of the programme runs alongside all other units of learning, and integrates learning from throughout the programme and relevant aspects related to the development of advanced practice knowledge and skills from within the student’s own area of practice. This unit represents a culmination of student’s learning and professional practice development, through critical exploration, reflection and demonstration of knowledge, understanding and skills for the Advanced Nurse Practitioner role.  Students begin to enhance and develop clinical leadership, management and service development expertise, including business and entrepreneurial awareness. Self-direction and personal responsibility for continuing professional development is facilitated and is aimed at attainment of the required advanced level of competence expected of an Advanced Nurse practitioner role, as well as being tailored towards the student’s own area of practice. It culminates in production of a personal portfolio of evidence of academic and professional development relevant to advanced level practice. 

PGDip Advanced Clinical Practice - for Midwifery and registered allied health professionals and other non medical practitioners 

  • Unit 1- Advanced Practice: Contextual Issues and Professional Development: You'll explore the contextual issues surrounding the development of your advanced practice role and discuss, analyse and debate developments relevant to practice, within a multi-professional setting.
  • ​Unit 2- History Taking and Physical Examination for Advancing Practice: In this unit you will develop knowledge and skills to enable you to proficiently elicit comprehensive patient histories through a structured consultation process. You will learn to critically apply knowledge and skills to patient assessment and develop competence in the physical examination of body systems, distinguishing normal from abnormal findings.
  • Unit 3- ​Assessment, Clinical Reasoning and Decision-making for Advancing Clinical Practice: This unit enables you to develop knowledge and skills for identifying problems, formulating differential diagnoses and developing action plans for patients in their own clinical practice setting. It develops critical thinking, clinical and diagnostic reasoning and decision-making skills, aimed at meeting patients’ needs and managing complex presentations and conditions. The unit builds on History Taking and Physical Examination for Advancing Practice unit, whereby you will draw on and apply systems-based knowledge and skills to their own clinical practice.
  • OR

    Unit 3- Assessment, Clinical Reasoning and Decision-making for Advancing Clinical Practice (Midwifery): This unit focuses on advancing midwifery practice as opposed to the systems-based, generic physical health option, within the core unit.  This unit is available as an alternative to unit 3, for Midwives.

Option 1

  • Unit 4 - Supplementary and Independent Prescribing for Physiotherapists and Chiropodists/Podiatrists: Allied Health Professionals follow a very similar curriculum alongside the nurse and midwife non-medical prescriber students, with completion of the unit leading to the HCPC-recordable qualification.    

OR option 2

  • Unit 4a- Pathophysiology and Therapeutic Interventions for Advancing Practice:is for healthcare professionals who do not wish to have a recordable prescribing qualification, but enables you to enhance and develop knowledge and understanding of pathophysiology and pharmacology. It supports development of clinical and diagnostic skills, in relation to determining, implementing and evaluating evidence-based pharmacological and non-pharmacological therapeutic interventions, for patients in your own clinical practice settings within the context of your advancing clinical practice role.

AND

  • Unit 5a- Evidencing Professional Learning: Having attended a structured learning event appropriate to your own advancing clinical role and applies learning outcomes from the event into practice. This unit facilitates the critical evaluation of advanced scholarship and development of reflective skills in relation to your learning and professional development. You'll demonstrate application of the learning outcomes in complex and unpredictable professional contexts and reflection and evaluation of change in practice, related to the specific learning event. 
  • Unit 6 - Advanced Practice Portfolio: This final unit of the Post Graduate Diploma element of the programme runs alongside all other units of learning, and integrates learning from throughout the programme and relevant aspects related to the development of advanced practice knowledge and skills from within the student’s own area of practice.  This unit represents a culmination of student’s learning and professional practice development, through critical exploration, reflection and demonstration of knowledge, understanding and skills for the Advanced clinical practice role.  Students begin to enhance and develop clinical leadership, management and service development expertise, including business and entrepreneurial awareness.  Self-direction and personal responsibility for continuing professional development is facilitated and is aimed at attainment of the required advanced level of competence expected of an Advanced Clinical Practice role, as well as being tailored towards the student’s own area of practice. It culminates in production of a personal portfolio of evidence of academic and professional development relevant to advanced level practice

MSc Advanced Clinical Practice and MSc Advanced Clinical Practice (Advanced Nurse Practitioner) 

You can either opt to exit the course at this point with a PGDip Advanced Clinical Practice or PGDiP Advanced Clinical Practice (Advanced nurse Practitioner) or to continue onto the Master's stage. This final stage of the course comprises of the following two units:

  • Preparing for Service Improvement Project (PSIP): This unit provides an opportunity for students to develop a service improvement project (SIP) proposal for their own organisation.  PSIP enables the student to gain knowledge regarding an appropriate, systematic and justified methodology in a complex professional area; to acquire problem identification, critical literature review, evaluation, change management, research, practice and/or service development skills; to devise an original, intellectually challenging and in-depth SIP action plan relevant to their professional context.
  • Service Improvement Project (SIP): This unit aims to bring about a measurable benefit to a service or services against a stated aim within your own organisation. The project embraces both traditional and non-traditional forms of intellectual inquiry and relevant and effective practical management. It demonstrates your autonomous and independent ability, within a complex professional context, to create knowledge which expands or redefines existing knowledge and/or develops new approaches to service improvement. Thus the SIP provides an opportunity to implement the PSIP action plan/strategy and undertake an in-depth SIP and evaluate any subsequent change or improvement, critically reflect on and evaluating the impact of the SIP activity.

Programme specification 

Programme specifications provide definitive records of the University's taught degrees in line with Quality Assurance Agency requirements. Every taught course leading to a BU Award has a programme specification which describes its aims, structure, content and learning outcomes, plus the teaching, learning and assessment methods used.

Download the programme specification for MSc Advanced Clinical Practice.

Download the programme specification for MSc Advanced Clinical Practice (Advanced Nurse Practitioner).

Whilst every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of the programme specification, the information is liable to change to take advantage of exciting new approaches to teaching and learning as well as developments in industry. If you have been unable to locate the programme specification for the course you are interested in, it will be available as soon as the latest version is ready. Alternatively please contact us for assistance.

Selection criteria

Background & experience

For Advanced Clinical Practice and Advanced Clinical practice (Advanced Nurse practitioner) we are looking for applicants who:

  • Possess clinical competence beyond that of a newly qualified nurse, midwife, registered non-medical health care professional or allied health professional (minimum of three years).
  • Display enthusiasm and motivation to develop their roles as advanced clinical practitioners / advanced nurse practitioners.
  • Have an understanding of advanced practice.
  • Have the ability to plan and pursue their own professional development in order to meet the requirements of the programme.
  • Are able to maintain a high level of clinical practice within their health care roles.

Full entry requirements

The normal requirements for embarking upon this course are:

  • Possession of a degree, diploma or equivalent
  • A minimum of three years' experience working as a qualified nurse, midwife, registered non-medical healthcare professional or allied health professional 
  • Currently working in clinical practice for a minimum of 20 hours per week.

International entry requirements

International students are welcome on this course if they are currently working in practice in the UK. Unfortunately we can not accept applications from international students unless you meet this criteria, this is due to the high level of interaction with clinical practice throughout the course. If international applicants would like to study this course you would need to do a conversion course which we do not offer at Bournemouth University, you would also need three years experience as a nurse, midwife or allied health professional in the UK.  

If English is not your first language, you will need to provide evidence that you can understand English to a satisfactory level. English language requirements for this course are normally:

  • IELTS (academic) 7.0 or above with minimum 7.0 in each component.

View further information about our English language requirements.

A number of pre-sessional English and preparatory programmes are offered through our partner institution, Bournemouth University International College, and will get you ready for study at BU at the appropriate level.

You can also find further details of the international qualifications we accept, and what level of study they apply to, on our international entry requirements page.

How to apply

How you apply for this course, depends how the course will be funded:

  • Funded places (NHS Contract): If you are being paid for by the Strategic Health Authority (SHA) NHS Contract - applications for these contract places are dealt with through your Line Manager and they will arrange for you to complete the relevant paperwork/application form.
  • Self-funded or Direct Purchase and Employer funded/sponsored (outside of NHS Contract Agreement) - you can apply directly to the university for this course by clicking the 'apply now' icon above and downloading the application form.

Careers

After completing this course you will have met the nationally recognised advanced practice criteria and will be in a position to practice as an advanced nurse practitioner / advanced clinical practitioner.

Career progression may lead to you becoming an:

  • Advanced Nurse Practitioner / Advanced Clinical Practitioner
  • Clinical Academic.

Industries you could work in:

  • NHS (hospital and community)
  • Private and independent healthcare sector (nursing homes and private hospitals)
  • Education
  • Academic research.

No hidden extras

As a student at BU we will provide many things to support you and there will also be additional costs you may encounter whilst studying at BU. The information below will help you understand our provision and what you need to budget for.

What you can expect from us

  • All of your teaching and assessments are included in your tuition fees, including, lectures/guest lectures and tutorials, seminars, laboratory sessions & specialist teaching facilities.
  • One set of study-related consumables such as a hard copy/memory stick/ DVD
  • A range of student services – advisors, help desks, counsellors, placement support and careers service;
  • The Library – access to a wide range of electronic resources (databases, e-journals and e-books), print and multimedia collections, Faculty Librarians and study spaces
  • IT labs (some open 24/7), wireless network, AV equipment to borrow
  • Disability and additional learning support
  • The BU Language Centre to help you develop/ improve foreign or English language skills
  • 24 hours a day, 365 days a year security team.

Costs of living and other expenses you need to consider

  • Text books: remember that our award-winning library is stocked with a large range of text books for all courses, as well as online resources such as industry journals, free of charge
  • General stationery and other supplies such as print and presentation materials: the Students’ Union shops stock a wide range of stationery supplies on both campuses
  • Travel to, from and between BU campuses: our unilinx bus service operates in the local areas, offering a subsided travel rate. We also have a large number of bike storage facilities.
  • SportBU membership: check out our student membership packages, sports events, varsity teams, information about our new facilities and more on the SportBU webpages
  • Fieldwork travel, outdoor wear and footwear (where applicable)
  • Travel to placement is your responsibility; you may be able to reclaim costs from NHS Student Bursaries
  • Supplementary uniform supplies
  • Telephone and travel costs incurred when undertaking interviews for coursework/ securing placements
  • Professional Body membership/registration post qualification
  • Internet access at discretion of your accommodation provider
  • A fee will be payable towards the cost of an Educational Psychology Assessment if this is required in connection with additional learning support. BU pays for approximately two-thirds of the cost of this assessment for UK students. For more details and current pricing please visit the Students section of the website.

Other possible costs to consider

  • Replacement Student ID card- £10.00 (per replacement)
  • Cost of resit examination- No charge if examined at Bournemouth University, if examined elsewhere costs may be incurred at the Exam Centre
  • Cost of additional transcript results- £10.00 (per year of study)
  • Replacement certificate (Postgraduate and Diploma level students only)- £30.00 (per replacement)

Additional information

Simon Phelps

Career development

Read about career and development opportunities and discover how gaining industry experience could help you.

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International students

We have a strong international student community. Find all the practical advice and information you need here.