Cookies and Privacy

The University uses cookies on this website to provide the best experience possible including delivering personalised content on this website, other websites and social media. By continuing to use the site you agree to this, or your can go to our cookie policy to learn more and manage your settings.

Advanced Clinical Practice - MSc / PgCert / PgDip *

  • Level: Postgraduate Taught
  • Starting: September 2020
  • Study mode: MSc - Part Time
    PgCert - Part Time
    PgDip - Part Time
  • Location: City South

The MSc Advanced Clinical Practice course is subject to re-approval for delivery from January 2021 in order to align fully with both the ‘Multi-professional framework for Advanced Clinical Practice’ (Health Education England, 2017) and the Advanced Clinical Practitioner Master’s Degree Apprenticeship standards. Please note we will only accept applications for the full MSc for this course.

Therefore the details shown are from the current course, are indicative only and are subject to change. The updated course specifications will be available on our website no later than the 31 July 2020.

This Advanced Clinical Practice MSc course is approved by Health Education England and designed for experienced senior health practitioners (at least three years) who want to develop their clinical skills and advance their careers. We've trained advanced practitioners for over 20 years and will support you to develop extensive understanding of the clinical skills you need to lead evidence-based service developments in your practice area.

If you have any questions or queries about the course, please contact Sharon Bishop before applying. You can email or call 0121 202 4548.

What's covered in the course?

MSc in Advanced Clinical Practice is approved and supported through Health Education England working across the West Midlands and the West Midlands Universities Advanced Practice Group. 

You will be provided with an introduction to all aspects of Advanced Clinical Practice, in relation to your current field of work so that you are able to work at an advanced level of practice.   It is essential therefore that you have the full support of your organisation to be able to practice at an advanced level both during (including supervised / supernumerary clinical learning time) and following completion of the programme.

Our Master’s course is split into three years – the first year 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 year requires study for the Postgraduate Diploma in Advancing Clinical Practice and in the third year, you will undertake a dissertation for the MSc Advanced Clinical Practice award.

Registered professionals, whose Professional / Statutory regulatory bodies approve prescribing awards, will be expected to complete the independent and supplementary prescribing qualification as part of the MSc, if not previously completed. Throughout the course you will relate the content of each module to your own speciality, whether you are a nurse, midwife or AHP.

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.

You will study in our brand new £41 million City South Campus, complete with access to state-of-the-art simulation technology and learning facilities that will be vital in developing your skills further.

See what our students say...

“I've been educated, trained and supported throughout my entire career by Birmingham City University. I've been very impressed right from my first days as an undergraduate, and they seem to be very focused on what nursing requires in terms of skills, knowledge and a critical ability out there in the clinical practice ”
Mark Radford

Why Choose Us?

  • Winners of the Student Nursing Times Post-Registration Education Provider of the Year Award 2017
  • This course is approved by Health Education England – we follow the Health Education England framework and receive support from them too, working across the West Midlands and the West Midlands Universities Advanced Practice Group
  • Reputation for excellence – we have over 20 years’ experience of training advanced practitioners and are one of the largest and most diverse providers of health and social care education in the country
  • Enhance your professional credibility - we will enrol you in the region’s largest provider of qualified health and social care professionals to the NHS
  • Our tutors have a range of clinical experience including Critical Care, Emergency and Urgent Care, and Primary Care, across regional and national developments in Advanced Practice.
  • Benefit from our strong partnerships across health and social care providers both within the UK and internationally
  • Learn in our £41 million campus with state-of-the-art environments and access to our cutting-edge virtual technologies and one of the UK’s largest specialist health education libraries
  • Recognised by The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC). The NMC has cited the support provided for the students on our courses as demonstrating good levels of practice
  • Suitably qualified candidates with APEL for particular area of the course may be permitted to commence study in January.
This course is not open to International students

New £10,906 postgraduate loans

You may be able to take advantage of the government’s plans to make loans of up to £10,906 available for postgraduate study.

More about postgraduate loans

Subject to approval

This course is in the final stages of approval to ensure it meets the very highest standards of quality, creativity and applied learning.

Entry Requirements

UK students

Must hold current professional registration with a UK regulatory body (NMC, HCPC).


Students will normally have studied to BSc or equivalent, ideally to include Research Methods and physiology.


Minimum of 3 years relevant experience in the speciality they practice in.


 Must have full support from employer in regard to role development and protected learning time (1 day a week in University, plus one day a week for supported clinical practice)



Appropriately named clinical supervisor (GP or consultant) to support the trainee during the programme.


  • UK/EU students
  • International students

Award: MSc

Starting: Sep 2020

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees
  • Part Time
  • 3 years
  • TBC

Award: PgCert

Starting: Sep 2020

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees

Award: PgDip

Starting: Sep 2020

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees

Sorry, this course is not available to International students.

If you're unable to use the online form for any reason, you can complete our PDF application form and equal opportunities PDF form instead. The University reserves the right to increase fees in line with inflation based on the Retail Prices Index or to reflect changes in Government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament up to a maximum of five per cent.

In your second year, you will need to complete Non-Medical Prescribing for Health (V300) for 30/40 credits, if this is appropriate for your role and allowed by your professional regulatory body. Find out more here. 
Where this is not appropriate, you will be able to select an optional module from a range of level 7 20 credit modules within the Faculty. If you have any queries then please contact Sharon Bishop on or call 0121 202 4548.

Personal statement

Students are required to submit a personal statement as part of their application for this course.

Your postgraduate personal statement is going to shine a light on your personal experience, academic success, personal skills and any other factors that will support your application for further study.

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

Your passion and motivations

Studying a postgraduate course usually means you want to specialise in something. So what’s driving you?

Why this course?

Show that you’ve researched the course offering. What is it about this particular course that appeals to you? Is it the lecturers? The modules? Etc.

What makes you a good postgraduate candidate?

Tutors want to know that you can handle postgraduate study, so show them how your undergraduate experiences or work life has equipped you for a more advanced level of study. Key areas to address are research and group work but this can vary depending on your chosen course.

Relevant academic or work experience

Add anything relevant that relates back to your chosen course and shows how your skills will contribute towards your learning. What extra-curricular activities have you taken part in? What awards have you won? What employment or voluntary experience do you have that has helped you develop transferable skills? How do these specifically relate to the course you are applying for?

You should also mention your future plans and how a postgraduate qualification fits in. Try to look beyond your postgraduate study – do you plan to jump straight into a specific career or follow your studies with a research degree? Lastly, use plain, professional English and, where possible, utilise the language of your chosen industry.

Get more information on writing personal statements.

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

Accommodation and living costs

The cost of accommodation and other living costs are not included within your course fees. More information on the cost of accommodation can be found in our accommodation pages.

Level 7

In order to complete this course a student must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 100 credits):

Health Assessment for Advanced Clinical Practice
20 credits

This level of practice requires an expert knowledge base as well as the development of specific clinical skills. Learning and development will be underpinned by a mix of clinical skills and simulation, lectures, case study analysis and other strategies allowing the development of confidence and competence in a supportive environment.

Through proactive engagement with the module team and student peers, you will develop structured history taking skills 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 practice role. Learning will be supported by an experienced teaching team, including clinicians from practice.

Clinical Decision Making for Differential Diagnosis
20 credits

Advanced practitioners are required to assess, diagnose and implement care in a variety of practice settings. Building on the Health Assessment for Advanced Clinical Practice module, this module 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, investigations and other evidence from sources appropriate to the clinical situation. With consideration and application of decision-making theories you will be expected to develop and demonstrate problem-solving and critical analysis skills. The module also contributes to your understanding of the role of the advanced practitioner within the wider clinical team, through collaboration and negotiation to attain high quality care outcomes.

Pathophysiology to Public Health: Influences on People’s Health
20 credits

This module will build upon the study skills that you developed in previous post graduate modules. 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 involves being able to:

  • Recognise challenges encountered in your advanced practice that can be resolved by understanding physiological processes in greater depth and detail
  • Appraise and interpret results of investigations using logical, structured evidence based approaches
  • Critically evaluate evidence from relevant health policy and public health sources.
  • Utilise specific health promotion and education approaches in collaboration with patients, family and health professional justifying decisions
Leadership Skills and Project Management for Health and Healthcare
20 credits

This module explicitly addresses students’ personal and/or professional development with a view to enhancing competence for service improvement in a rapidly changing health and healthcare environment. Through a flexible provision, students are inspired to reflect critically upon their individual learning needs as well as their organisations’ practices, to appraise and apply concepts from the literature on leadership, to issues of relevance for their role, organisation and overall programme of study.

Research: Methods of Enquiry
20 credits

This module specifically addresses the broader programme aims related to “pursuing excellence” and “practice-led, knowledge applied” through a flexible provision that encourages students to develop their research ideas, enabling those on various Health MSc programmes to satisfy their individual learning needs, whilst contributing to their area of study.

Additionally a student must successfully complete one of the following CORE dissertation modules. The choice of this will be dependent on the Optional module taken (see below) and will therefore be selected to ensure 180 credits is gained in total.

60 credits

This triple module forms 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 chosen topic in order to demonstrate competence in the planning, execution, analysis and evaluation of a Research Project, a Systematic Review or Project Management. It involves 600 hours of study. The focus is on facilitating the student's independent, critical study in their academic discipline or area of professional practice.

40 credits

This double module provides the student with the opportunity to complete a piece of work around a chosen topic in order to demonstrate competence in the planning, execution, analysis and evaluation of a Research Project, a Systematic Review or Project Management. It involves 400 hours of study. The focus is on facilitating the student's independent, critical study in their academic discipline or area of professional practice.

In order to complete this course a student must successfully complete at least 20 or 40 credits from the following indicative list of OPTIONAL modules.

*If one of these modules is studied during 2019/20, then the credit value will be 30 and the student will be required to undertake LBR7337 (60 credits).

Independent and Supplementary Prescribing for Nurses and Midwives
40 credits

This module will prepare the student to safely, competently and compassionately undertake the role of an independent and supplementary prescriber to meet the needs of clients/patients and carers with whom they work. It is seen as the vehicle by which professional knowledge, skills, understanding, analysis and theoretical frameworks of prescribing can be examined, synthesised and re-considered. The fundamental assumption of the course is that becoming skilled in prescribing is as much about process as product. It is not just about adding new tasks but also about building upon previous knowledge, understanding and intellectual skills and re-defining and reviewing work processes.

Independent and Supplementary Prescribing for Allied Health Professionals
40 credits

This module will prepare the student to safely, competently and compassionately undertake the role of a non-medical prescriber to meet the needs of clients/patients and carers with whom you work having met HCPC standards. It is seen as the vehicle by which professional knowledge, skills, understanding, analysis and theoretical frameworks of prescribing can be examined, synthesised and re-considered. The fundamental assumption of the course is that becoming skilled in prescribing is as much about process as product. It is not just about adding new tasks but also about building upon previous knowledge, understanding and intellectual skills and re-defining and reviewing work processes.

Supplementary Prescribing for Allied Health Professionals
40 credits

The goal of non-medical prescribing is to enable swifter and speedier access to medicines for patients/clients and carers. It is an activity that requires the health care professional to expand their understanding, skills and knowledge in developing their prescribing role whilst adhering to relevant Professional Code of Conduct/Ethics.

Students may choose to undertake a Level 7 from another course such as Professional Practice. 

20 credits

Course structure

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.

In the second year, you will undertake a core research methods module as well as a leadership module. In addition, you can choose to complete Non-Medical Prescribing for Health (V300) if this is appropriate for your role and allowed by your professional regulatory body. Where this is not appropriate, you will be able to select an optional module from a range of level 7 modules within the Faculty.

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 who has the knowledge and skills to provide appropriate support for the methodology and subject area you have chosen. In addition attendance at workshops so you can engage in shared learning with other students and supervisors is strongly encouraged.

Assessment methods

A wide range of summative assessments include essays, presentations, and practice based clinical assessment are completed as part of the Post Graduate Diploma. Clinical competencies including reflective practice is an essential part of the assessment for advanced clinical practitioners.  Students are expected to demonstrate at least 100 hours in clinical advanced practice related activity.

Ultimately for the MSc a 15,000 word Master’s project is compiled.

Further study

Students may want to continue reading and research by registering for a PhD and continuing study into the subject selected for their Master’s Project or some prefer to explore a different topic.

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 £340 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 cutting-edge learning facilities.

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.

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

After qualifying, Sharon developed experience across a range of clinical environments before gaining a staff nurse post in Intensive Care. During this time she undertook the ENB 100 (Adult Critical Care course) as well as ENB 998 (mentorship qualification). She progressed in this speciality, ultimately attaining a senior role. Sharon has always had a keen interest in teaching and learning, and following completion of a PG Certificate in Education and then a Masters degree, she enjoyed a number of years as a Practice Development Nurse. During this time she successfully helped to introduce a range of clinical education strategies in order to meet local, organisational and national strategies and standards. Additionally, a secondment into a Senior Nurse Manager role allowed her to further demonstrate excellent leadership and organisation skills, including risk management, quality initiatives and change management.

On joining the Adult Nursing department at BCU in the Spring of 2014, she was fortunate to co-lead a pre-registration nursing module, as well as actively contributing to a range of other pre and post-registration nursing modules. The development of sound strategies to support learning activities in this role contributed to the decision to apply for a new role, and in early 2016, she joined the Advanced Practice team and took the Programme Lead role on from September 2016. Continuing development of her skills and knowledge in Higher Education has led to the achievement of Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy.

Sharon retains an Honorary Contract at her previous NHS Trust, where she is able to do clinical shifts. She holds Advanced Life Support instructor status and regularly supports the Trust teams to deliver this programme.  

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

Associate Professor

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.