Advanced Clinical Practice - MSc / PgCert / PgDip

Full Time, Part Time
September 2016
£800 per 20-credit module for UK/EU Full Time 2016 entry (view all fees)

The Advanced Clinical Practice multi-professional programme is designed for senior health practitioners - nurses, allied health professionals and midwives involved with hands on care who are aiming to design and deliver more effective patient services and advance their careers.

With over 20 years' experience of delivering the programme, members of the team have a range of clinical experience including Critical Care, Emergency and Urgent Care, and Primary Care, and some of the team involved in regional and national developments in Advanced Practice. Other members of the team are experts within their speciality, for example in relation to clinical research and business/leadership studies.

For more information, please contact Sharon Bishop. You can email or call +44 (0)121 202 4548.

We ensure the course remains cutting-edge and contemporary as our lecturing staff are members of committees,  and by consulting with the Department of Health (DoH) and healthcare colleagues.

If you are dyslexic, have a specific learning difference or a disability, we have a Disability Tutor who can help and support you.

What's covered in the course?

On our Advanced Clinical Practice course you need to relate the content of each module to your own speciality, whether you are a nurse, midwife or AHP. In addition provision for practitioners from some specialities is built into the programme, for example primary care, palliative care and children and neonates.

This Master’s course is split into two parts – the first part will see you study and undertake the skills practice aspects of our allied Postgraduate Certificate in Advanced Health Assessment and Clinical Decision Making. The second part requires study for the Postgraduate Diploma in Advancing Practice.

You will be supported in identifying practice learning skills that are required for your own speciality throughout the course. Student and practice facilitator(s) will discuss and write your own action plan so that learning is directly focused on the needs of your patients and the service being provided.

Why Choose Us?

  • We are one of the largest and most diverse providers of health and social care education in the country.
  •  By joining us, you’ll be enrolling in the region’s largest provider of qualified health and social care professionals to the NHS.
  • You’ll benefit from our partnerships across health and social care providers both within the UK and internationally.
  • You’ll learn in state-of-the-art environments, with access to our cutting-edge virtual technologies and one of the UK’s largest specialist health education libraries.
  • The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) has cited the support provided for the students on our courses as demonstrating good levels of practice.
  • You’ll be based at our City South Campus, which is set for major expansion, including newly built laboratories and equipment that’ll continue to give you a leading edge in employment.
Visit our open day

Postgraduate Open Day

Our next Postgraduate Open Day will be on Wednesday 23 November, between 2pm and 7pm. Come along to find out more about our courses and see our facilities.

Register now
This course is not open to International students
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New £10,000 postgraduate loans

You may be able to take advantage of the government’s plans to make loans of up to £10,000 available for postgraduate study.

More about postgraduate loans

Entry Requirements

These courses are suitable for senior professionals employed in primary or secondary care. You will need to:

UK students

Be a registered practitioner, currently in practice.

A minimum of three years in your area of clinical practice and a first degree or evidence of recent professionally related study at diploma or degree level.

Have studied Research Methods at level 6 (degree level) and Physiology at level 6 (degree level). If you have completed the Non-Medical Prescribing (level 6 or 7) this contributes towards the study of physiology. Alternatively, you may need to complete some pre-course written work to satisfy these criteria.

 You must have a medical mentor (GP or Consultant) within your own area of practice who is willing to supervise and support you.

For students who do not meet this criterion, or for students who would like some preparative study, please contact the Personal Development Department for more information on 0121 331 7011.

UK or EU students

Award Start Mode Duration Fees
MSc Sep 2016 FT 1 year £800 per 20-credit module
PT 3 years £800 per 20-credit module
PgCert Sep 2016 PT 1 year £800 per 20-credit module
PgDip Sep 2016 FT 1 year £800 per 20-credit module
PT 2 Years £800 per 20- credit module

International Students

Sorry, this course is not available to international students.

The University reserves the right to increase fees broadly in line with increases in inflation, or to reflect changes in government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament.

If you are applying to undertake a post-registration / continuing professional development course you will fall in to one of three funding categories:

i) You are being funded either fully or partially for your course or module by your NHS Health Trust.

ii)  You are being funded for you course or module by an employer other than an NHS Health Trust .

Forms for this option can be found here:

University application form

Finance support form

iii) You are paying for the course or module yourself.

Click on the correct link above for guidance on the process you should follow (depending on how you are being funded) and access to our application form.
The guidance also contains the appropriate return address for completed application forms.
If you have any problems completing our application form, you may need to update your version of Adobe Reader.

Please note: All communication from the University is sent via email. Please ensure that you supply an email address on your application form that you check regularly.

Additional costs

We offer a wide range of professionally accredited and vocational courses that require the purchase of, among other things, uniforms, equipment, subscriptions, professional body memberships and DBS checks, and may require you to pay to attend conferences or participate in placements.

The link below provides our estimate of the possible costs associated with key activities on specific courses. Please bear in mind that these are only estimates of costs based on past student experience and feedback. The actual costs to you could vary considerably (either greater or lower than these estimates) depending on your choices as you progress through the course. We set out where we can, based on experience, where these indicative costs are for activities that are optional or compulsory.

All our students are provided with 100 free pages of printing each year to a maximum total value of £15.

Find additional costs for your course

Your personal statement

Your personal statement is a highly important part of your application. It gives you a crucial opportunity to say why you’re applying and why the institution should accept you.

Here are the key areas you’ll need to address:

Course choice

Why does this course appeal? What areas are of particular interest?

Career plans

If you have a specific career in mind, say how your chosen course will help you pursue this goal.

Work experience

Mention any work that is relevant to your subject, highlighting the skills and experience gained.

School or college experience

Highlight skills gained at school/college, eg summer schools or mentoring activities.

Non-accredited skills or achievement

eg Duke of Edinburgh Award, Young Enterprise scheme.

You should also mention your future plans – if you’re planning to take a year out, don't forget to give your reasons. Talk about any subjects you’re studying that don’t have a formal assessment and any sponsorships or placements you’ve applied for. And don't be scared to add in details about your social, sports or leisure interests.

Get more information on writing personal statements.

This course is available part-time

Got any questions?

Search our Frequently Asked Questions for a range of information about our courses and studying here.

Postgraduate Certificate stage

PgCert: You will gain 60 credits at MSc level by completing three modules.

You will study the following core modules:

Advanced Health Assessment
20 credits

This module will help you to learn the skills required to undertake structured history taking utilising effective communication and interpersonal skills, with consideration of range of potential impacting factors that can influence ongoing decision making and care planning.

Additionally, using a systematic approach, the module will enable you to develop practical advanced clinical assessment skills which are an essential element of the advanced clinical practice role.

Clinical Decision Making and Differential Diagnosis
20 credits

Advanced practioners are required to assess, diagnose and implement care in a variety of practice settings. Building on the Health Assessment module, this modules aims to enable the development of clinical reasoning and problem solving skills which are essential for safe advanced practice. You will study theories of decision making, and will be provided the opportunity to formulate differential diagnoses through the consideration of complex information including tests, investigators and other evidence from sources appropriate to the clinical situation.

Population and epidemiology
20 credits

It is intended that by studying this module you will increase knowledge and understanding of populations to make appropriate decisions for an advanced practice level based upon the best evidence available. This includes understanding physiological processes in greater depth and detail, as well as critically evaluate evidence from relevant health policy and public health sources.

Postgraduate Diploma stage

PgDip: You will gain 120 credits at MSc level by completing eight modules.

You will study the core module, plus two optional modules.

Research, Theory and Practice - core module
20 credits

You will be provided with quantitative and qualitative research methods that will satisfy your learning needs. You will identify a population and sample, consider methods of data collection and analysis, strengthen credibility and apply ethical principles, providing a sound foundation for your final Masters project.

Leadership for Advanced Practice
20 credits

This module enables you to synthesis theoretical ideas with knowledge gained from your own experience to understand leadership in health care.

Non-medical Prescribing for Health (V300) (double module)
30 credits
A range of other level 7 modules are available for practitioners who cannot undertake non-medical prescribing.

Masters stage

You will gain 180 credits at MSc level by completing six modules for the Postgraduate Diploma plus a dissertation. The substantial piece of work undertaken for your dissertation will have a strong focus on practice.


60 credits

This triple module form the final bridge between the award of a Postgraduate Diploma and a Health MSc related to a named award. It provides the student with the opportunity to complete a piece of work around a chosed topic in order to demonstrate competence in the planning, execution, analysis and evaluation of a Research Project, a Systematic Review or Project Management.

The focus is on facilitating the student's independent, critical studyin their academic discipline or area of professional practice.

Course structure

The programme is flexible in delivery, so if you’re studying the Postgraduate Diploma you can complete up to six modules between September of one year and August of the following year, including the compulsory Research Methods and Leadership modules in either year one or two.

You’ll be supported throughout the course by an experienced practice and medical teaching team, who will assess your progress and provide support and guidance.

Your first year involves a systems approach to health assessment learning, with detailed theoretical teaching and practice-based work. Group practice is a central feature, with support from medical and advanced practitioner teachers, as well as a strong shared approach to learning. You’ll be provided with appropriate case studies so you can practice your analysis and decision-making.

For your final year, you will work on your Master’s Project, a substantial piece of up to 15,000 words. Throughout this, you’ll be supported by an academic supervisor, as well as attending workshops so you can engage in shared learning with other students and supervisors.

The course can be studied either full-time or part-time, with full-time students attending University on Tuesdays and Wednesdays/Thursdays, and part-time students attending on Tuesday in the first year, and Wednesday in their second year.

Assessment methods

We use a wide range of continuous assessments, including essays, reports, practice documents, OSCEs and presentations. A substantive part of your assessment will be practice based, with the supervision of a medical mentor. The university team will also be involved with elements of this assessment. The prescring module has several assessments required b the NMC including OSCEs and an examination. For the MSc part of the programme you will need to carry out substantive research or project management for your Master's dissertation.

Student stories - Mark Radford

With a solid background in the NHS, Mark Radford now heads up nursing at a large teaching hospital trust that manages two major hospitals.

Having first achieved a BSc (Hons) and qualifying as a nurse in 1994, Mark has continued to undertake study alongside his clinical roles, going on to complete an MSc Advanced Practice and PhD, and is now a visiting professor at Birmingham City University, as well as Chief Nursing Officer at University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire (UHCW) NHS Trust. His career has seen him work his way up from a registered general nurse to a consultant nurse and eventually moving to UHCW to work as Associate Director of Nursing and later Deputy Director of Nursing, before taking up his current post in June 2012 - a position which involves taking responsibility for all nursing, midwifery, infection control and safeguarding.

Further study

You could continue your study by enrolling on a PhD course at the University. This route may be of particular relevance if you plan to build a career as a non-medical consultant, senior professional in the health service, or aim to be a researcher or lecturer.

Postgraduate Study

A supportive culture of learning is provided that underpins the clinical skill development needed for Advanced Clinical Practice. The supportive learning culture also helps to foster the growth of practice skills and the cognitive development and understanding that is suitable for professionals working at advanced levels.

Professionals require learning support in the postgraduate programme for complex information and benefits of utilising a variety of group teaching methods as well as didactic teaching methods to facilitate the development of expert skills. The importance of face-to-face interaction and physical proximity is also considered to be essential. In addition, self-direction provides flexibility in learning which is crucial for professionals.

A group culture of students with shared beliefs, values and ideals enhances a supportive environment that nurtures and helps to support your development. This group culture, while allowing for self-direction, helps to avoid professional isolation that may arise when practitioners are advancing practice within a sub-speciality using reflective critical thinking and practice.

Module dates

The following spreadsheet gives 2016/17 dates for all Health-related modules:

Post graduate modules 2016/17

Trips and visits

We have strong links with several universities in the Netherlands, recruiting Dutch students each year. Our programme team staff have been involved in a number of collaborative research and conference presentations in the Netherlands.

Because of our Advanced Clinical Practice links in the Netherlands, it may be possible to arrange visits to Dutch graduates clinical areas in that country.

Enhancing Employability skills

Advanced clinical practitioners can move into a range of different fields within the health care sector, specialising in a number of areas. The assessment, clinical decision-making and differential diagnostic skills you’ll hone here will enable you to progress into roles as health care professionals, practising holistically in partnership with patients and their families.


Practice development takes place in your normal practice setting. Practice learning facilitators are identified to support you. These are normally a consultant or GP and a senior professional from your own discipline. They will work with you to assist you in achieving the required clinical competencies.

More about our placement opportunities...


OpportUNIty Student Ambassador

OpportUNIty: Student Jobs on Campus ensures that our students are given a first opportunity to fill many part-time temporary positions within the University. This allows you to work while you study with us, fitting the job around your course commitments. By taking part in the scheme, you will gain valuable experiences and employability skills, enhancing your prospects in the job market.

It will also allow you to become more involved in University life by delivering, leading and supporting many aspects of the learning experience, from administration to research and mentoring roles.

Graduate jobs

Graduates from this programme are employed in a variety of settings as non-medical consultants, advanced practitioners and nurse practitioners. Some have then continued to be promoted into a variety of senior management and education roles.

Our Facilities

We are constantly investing in our estate and are currently in the process of spending £260 million on new learning facilities.

We boast up-to-date, innovative facilities that simulate the real situations that medical staff may come across.

These resources are essential in offering students a hands-on introduction to health and social care practice. Much of our teaching is carried out within our state-of-the-art, £30m Seacole Building, which houses some of the best learning facilities in the UK.

Take a virtual tour of our skills suites at Seacole

In a sector where new techniques are constantly being discovered, we work hard to ensure that students learn using the most up-to-date equipment available. These include the only mock operating theatre in an English university and a cutting-edge radiography virtual clinical training facility, virtual ward and virtual case creator.

Virtual Case Creator

For pre-registration midwives, Virtual Case Creator software contains a range of scenarios to let you experience birthing situations and decide on appropriate interventions in a safe environment.

Hospital Ward

Our mock wards enable you to get a feel of what a ward is really like before you head out for your first placement. They contain ‘Sim Men’, which are demonstration dummies that develop ailments, allowing you to treat them as you would a real patient and build your confidence in reacting to the changing needs of patients.

The Hospital Ward can be adapted from a low care to high dependency care environment with the necessary monitoring equipment.

Part of the package is our SIM baby, SIM man and Mega code kid. There are also nursing manikins for fundamental skills teaching and various equipment to support essential skills teaching, such as blood pressure monitoring venepuncture and cannulation equipment.

Skills Practice and Clinical Enhancement facility

The SPACE (Skills Practice And Clinical Enhancement) learning facility lets you further practice the skills taught in class, at your own pace and convenience.

It is fully stocked with the specialist items and equipment needed for procedures such as taking blood pressure, giving an injection, abdominal examination of a pregnant woman and caring for ill babies in an incubator.

Biomedical Laboratories

We have recently installed new laboratory facilities to help you explore understand the scientific principles underpinning many of our courses. The physiology laboratory is equipped to help you learn about the way the human body works by performing investigative experiments. The biomedical science laboratory is undergoing an upgrade over the summer and will allow you to learn about anatomy, cellular processes, immunology and enzymology in a hands-on way that links directly to day-to-day health care.

Simulation Mannequins

We have several Simulation men (SIM men) and Simulation babies (SIM babies) which are leading edge, anatomically correct mannequins used for teaching specific techniques such as advanced adult and paediatric life support skills, acute and high dependency clinical skills, first aid and communication skills.

The SIM men and SIM baby mannequins are complete with software, which is used to replicate real symptoms, and are enhanced by the manipulation of for example blood pressure, pulse and heart rate for extra realism. SIM Man can also “talk” to the students which adds another dimension to their use in teaching clinical skills and in simulation exercises.

Mary Seacole Library

The Seacole library, based at City South Campus, is one of the UK's largest specialist health education libraries. The state-of-the art facility offers an extensive range of range of information and reference materials set out in a relaxing environment, conducive to studying. There are comfortable seating areas, group study areas, a silent study area and private study rooms.

You will have access to all of the University’s libraries, including the main Kenrick Library on the City North Campus, which is open for almost 90 hours a week and holds more than 320,000 books, 2,000 print journals and carries more than 4,000 electronic journals online.

Computer Facilities

The Seacole building houses a large open access IT Suite which comprises of 96 PCs, full colour printers, photocopiers and scanners. Our PCs utilise the latest Intel i5 core technology, all with:

  • Fast (unrestricted) internet connectivity
  • Ability to save files to USB, DVD & CD
  • Microsoft Office software
  • Research and statistical software
  • Storage space which can be accessed from any PC across the University and from home

Our PCs are also designed to support students who may have difficulties with reading and writing, featuring specialised software with zooming/magnification and screen reading capabilities, which may also be customised for individual student needs.

The IT Suite offers extended opening hours and is supported by a specialist Open Access Assistant during term time. In addition to the open access PCs within the IT Suite, there are 12 networked student PCs available within Seacole library.

Sharon Bishop

Senior Lecturer/ Programme Director ,MSc Advanced Clinical Practice

With an extensive clinical career in critical/intensive care, Sharon joined the team in 2016. As a clinical educator she has been involved in many practice development initiatives within the service and wider organisation. She continues to maintain clinical activity and is an Advanced Life Support Instructor.

Dr Chris Inman

Senior Lecturer

Chris is a registered nurse with about 15 years' post-qualifying experience prior to employment in education at the University of Hull and then as Head of Nursing Development at the Open University in Milton Keynes. At Birmingham City University she has many years of experience directing the MSc Advanced Practice/MSc Health Care programmes and supervise student research at Master’s and PhD level.

Sue Shortland

Senior Lecturer

Course leader Sue Shortland has over 20 years’ experience working in general practice as a General Practice Nurse and Advanced Practitioner. She is the RCGP Midlands Faculty Nurse representative and a member of the Regional General Practice Nurse Network.

UK prospective students:

UK enquiry form

+44 (0)121 331 5595

EU / International prospective students:

International enquiry form

+44 (0)121 331 5389

Already applied?

Email the applications team

+44 (0)121 331 6295