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Advanced Practice - MSc

  • Level: Postgraduate Taught
  • Starting: TBC
  • Study mode: Part Time
  • Location: City South

For delivery of this course, applicants need to come from organisations who have a formal agreement with Birmingham City University to deliver this programme, which would require a minimum of 10 students.

This multi-professional, clinically focused course provides an internationally recognised Postgraduate Certificate, Diploma and Master’s award. The course is suitable and relevant to all nurses, midwives and members of allied health professions, in or outside of the UK, who want to retain an influence on clinical care but may also like to have more involvement with strategic development of services design and reconfiguration.

During this course you will develop your knowledge and skills to improve the design and delivery of services, expand your educational and leadership roles and meet the rising expectation of health care in local populations.

You cannot apply online for this course - please contact Sharon Bishop at for more information.

What's covered in the course?

This course is renowned for providing excellent tutorial support to ensure that nurses, midwives and allied health professionals relate to the practice and senior roles.

As an existing health professional, you will be able to use the course to develop your knowledge and skills in healthcare and expand on educational roles. You will develop analytical skills through interactive classes and lectures, so that you are able to critically examine practices within the context of legislative and professional frameworks of your own country.

You will learn from professional lecturers who maintain ‘cutting edge’ knowledge of policy developments related to Advanced Practice, as members of national committees and international consultations with healthcare colleagues. Our lecturers are actively involved in research and publications related to advanced practice and other senior roles.

The modules will allow you to explore your employment situation, recognise the potential for career progression, and identify ways in which you can improve practice and services or pioneer new developments.

In addition, you will have the opportunity to pursue particular profession specific topics of your choice in greater depth. The modules incorporate ethical practice and the role of the advanced practice professional in creating and maintaining an ethical working environment; legal dimensions of practice will also be addressed.

Why Choose Us?

  • Winners of the Nurse Education Provider of the Year Award 2017 for post-registration courses
  • Internationally recognised Masters Award for all nurses, midwives and members of allied health professions based in health related settings in or outside of the UK.
  • Develop your knowledge and understanding of health policy to promote your confidence and involvement in wider debates within the practice area
  • Become engaged in influencing changes in practice delivery, leading to more effective and efficient services
  • Assist in combating disease and disability in diverse populations
  • Opportunities for exchange visit and collaboration with English MSc students are available
  • Support for all students. If you are dyslexic, have a specific learning difference or a disability, we have a Disability Tutor who can help and support you.
  • Study at our £41 million City South Campus based in the heart of Birmingham, with access to state-of-the-art facilities to aid your learning and development 

This course is open to International students

Speak to an expert

Do you have a question about this course? If so, we’d love to hear from you. Send your question to the Course Director and they’ll get back to you shortly.

Contact Course Director

Alternatively, you can register for our next postgraduate open day.

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

Entry Requirements

International students

This course is suitable for experienced professionals employed in health related settings

A minimum of 3 years in your area of clinical practice and a first degree or evidence of recent professionally related study at diploma or degree level

Accredited degree level study within the last 5 years or the Birmingham city University module Essential Academic Skills can be completed prior to staring the programme

Evidence of study at degree level including in research methods

International Students

Entry requirements here

International Students

Don't meet our entry requirements? You could apply for courses at our International College.

Apply now

  • UK/EU students
  • International students

Sorry, this course is not available to UK students.

Award: MSc



  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees
  • Part Time
  • 1 year
  • £12,800 per year

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.

For delivery of this course, applicants need to come from organisations who have a formal agreement with Birmingham City University to deliver this programme, which would require a minimum of 10 students.

The course is suitable and relevant to all nurses, midwives and members of allied health professions, in or outside of the UK, who want to retain an influence on clinical care but may also like to have more involvement with strategic development of services design and reconfiguration.

You cannot apply online for this course - please contact Sharon Bishop at for more information.

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 160 credits):

Health Assessment for Advanced Clinical Practice
20 credits

This core module is designed to support you in a way which takes account of the fact that you come from a variety of practice settings, to develop knowledge and skills which are central to the concept of Advanced Clinical Practice, as identified through national frameworks and standards (Health Education England West Midlands, 2015; NHS Scotland, 2016), and more recently the ‘Multi-professional framework for advanced clinical practice in England (Health Education England, 2017)

In direct alignment to the Programme philosophy, completion of this module will enhance your ability as an autonomous advanced practitioner through the development of clinical competence.

Download the full module specification

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.

Download the full module specification

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.

Download the full module specification

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.

Download the full module specification

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.

Download the full module specification

MSc Dissertation
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. It will also serve those who wish to embark on Doctoral studies in the future.

Download the full module specification

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

Optional Module
20 credits

Course structure

Our programmes are as flexible as possible to help you find the option that best suits your personal and professional commitments. You can choose to study for a Postgraduate Certificate (PgCert) or a Postgraduate Diploma (PgDip) and then continue your studies with the Master’s Degree (MSc) with part-time or modular study.

Postgraduate Certificate (60 credits):

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. 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.

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

The pathway will also enable you to enrol for individual modules if you wish to update your skills and knowledge (in a specific area) but do not wish to go on to gain an academic award. You can simply gain CATS (Credit Accumulation and Transfer Points) to put towards further study if desired

Employment opportunities

MSc graduates from the Advanced Practice programmes careers have progressed into senior positions, for example in infection control, education, research and clinical practice.


Practice development takes place in your normal practice setting. Practice learning facilitators are identified to support you. These are normally a senior medical professional. 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.

Birmingham City University is a vibrant and multicultural university in the heart of a modern and diverse city. We welcome many international students every year – there are currently students from more than 80 countries among our student community.

The University is conveniently placed, with Birmingham International Airport nearby and first-rate transport connections to London and the rest of the UK.

Our international pages contain a wealth of information for international students who are considering applying to study here, including:

Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC)

International students who have a serious interest in studying with us but who perhaps cannot meet the direct entry requirements, academic or English, or who have been out of education for some time, can enter Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC) and begin their degree studies.


BCUIC is part of the global Navitas Group, an internationally recognised education provider, and the partnership allows students to access the University’s facilities and services and move seamlessly through to achieving a Bachelor’s degree from Birmingham City University.

Learn more about BCUIC

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.

Dr Debra Evans

Senior Lecturer and PG Research Education Lead for Health MScs

Debra has taught at BCU for over 20 years. The principal subjects she teaches are topics related to research and evidence-based practice mainly at Master’s and Degree level. Debra is extremely interested in equipping health students with research skills to evaluate the effectiveness of health care interventions – basically getting students to question anything they do to influence someone’s state of health and finding out what evidence, if any, underpins it.

Debra tries to do this by teaching them about things like hierarchies of evidence, randomised controlled trials and systematic reviews and measures of clinical effectiveness. Removing the “fear factor” often associated with quantitative primary and secondary research is often the main hurdle and over the years she has tried to devise activities on her modules to tackle this.

Debra is RGN trained and her PhD and Degree were in Physiology. These, along with various courses, such as a Systematic Review course at Sheffield University, a Clinical Trials course at Edinburgh University, a Cochrane Workshop at Oxford University, and a Statistics Module undertaken with the Open University, have all helped underpin her teaching with content validity.

They have also helped with the undertaking and publishing of Systematic Reviews for Cochrane and a funded clinical Randomised Controlled Trial. These research experiences plus her Cert Ed have hopefully contributed to Debra's credibility as a research teacher and supervisor/mentor for her level 7 and level 6 students. They themselves have to learn about Research methods and Evidence based practice and undertake primary and secondary research plans and projects.

In June 2016 Debra rewrote the module templates for the core 20 credit level 7 Research methods module and the 60 credit level 7 Dissertation module and created a module template for a 40 credit level 7 Dissertation module. She also created the associated Moodle sites and with colleagues updated the guidance documents for these modules and associated MSc workshops.