Advanced Nursing Practice MSc

Postgraduate (Up to 5 years part-time)

Chelmsford, Peterborough (Guild House), Cambridge

January 2017, September 2017

Intermediate award: PG Dip


Take a journey through the four pillars of advanced nursing practice. Through the exploration of clinical practice, education, research and leadership, you’ll learn how to apply these to a higher level of contemporary and autonomous clinical nursing practice in your speciality.

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Full description


Our course will provide you with the knowledge and skills to work at this higher level of nursing practice within the regional locality.

Upon successful completion of our course, you'll have the opportunity to remain in clinical practice within your chosen speciality, whether it's acute, emergency, critical or primary care. You'll also have the potential to take your career in alternative directions such as healthcare leadership, research or education.

Accreditation with the RCN also makes our course attractive to employers. It provides effective governance to assure that you have their fitness to practice as this higher level verified as purposeful, planned and supported by measurable and safe education. Such accreditation will empower employers to plan service redesign whilst developing new advanced nursing roles in a meaningful and targeted manner.

Modules & assessment

Core modules

  • Advanced Skills in Clinical Assessment
    Advance your theoretical knowledge and practical skills to develop and integrate your existing experience with the concept of autonomous decision making and practice and ideas of health care in the 21st Century. Research has indicated that nurses and allied health professionals, with the appropriate education, support and development can deliver services in practice traditionally delivered by a doctor. In order to provide a service that meets the needs of patients, it is crucial that professionals have the advanced skills and knowledge required in delivering a service and leading and developing practice. To facilitate the development of these clinical skills, to receive patients with undiagnosed health needs and offer treatment or referral, the programme includes supervised practice by medical staff and/or by experienced, advanced practitioners. You’ll assess, manage and discharge/refer to a specialist team, patients, including children, with a range of undiagnosed minor and long term illnesses/diseases. Whilst many of the clinical skills of assessment and diagnosis are common to the assessment of both injuries and minor illness, the diagnostic processes will be very different. Minor illness is any condition which is self-limiting and does not prevent the patient from carrying out their normal functions for more than a short period of time. Clinical skills will therefore concentrate on an understanding of systems and patho-physiology
  • Advanced Non-Medical Prescribing
    This module will prepare nurses, midwives, specialist community public health nurses and pharmacists to prescribe safely and cost effectively as independent and supplementary prescribers. Alongside the holistic assessment skills module, this educational programme will provide the practitioner with key skills to deliver community agendas, providing care close to home. Supervision and assessment from a designated GP or Nurse Practitioner is essential within this module in order to meet the 78 hours clinical practice requirement. It also aims to prepare allied health professionals to prescribe safely, appropriately and cost effectively as supplementary prescribers and provide an opportunity for interprofessional students to debate, analyse and synthesise key issues within safe prescribing practice and its contribution to health care.
  • Advanced Nursing Practice in Context
    CAMBRIDGE Study Days: 1 June 2016; 6 & 27 July 2016 CHELMSFORD Study Days: 2 June 2016; 7 & 28 July 2016 This module will centre on the application of learning in the workplace, and on evidence-based assessment of practice and achievement. You will develop ways of learning and working for your future career as an advanced nurse practitioner. The module recognises that there are multitude of different definitions and conceptualisations of the term ‘advanced nursing practice,’ ranging from those focused on very specific practitioner roles through to those that are much broader articulations of practice at a senior or expert level. There are also marked regional, national and international variations in how advanced nursing practice roles are articulated and enacted, as well as variations across the different healthcare professions. You will explore and identify what advanced nursing practice means within the context of your own professional practice role
  • Research Proposal
    This module provides a critical overview of research philosophy and the major methodological and design approaches to research in order to equip you to appreciate the strengths and weaknesses of published research, whether in your specialist area or in the health, welfare and social care field.
  • Major Project
    The Major Project, which is central to the Masters award, enables students to demonstrate their ability to synthesise learning from previous modules and use this learning as the basis for planning, conducting and writing up a research or work-based project. This project provides the opportunity for students to demonstrate: the ability to raise significant and meaningful questions in relation to their specialism; depth of knowledge which may involve working at current limits of theoretical and/or research understanding; critical understanding of research methods and its relationship to knowledge; awareness of and ability to develop solutions to ethical dilemmas likely to arise in their research or professional practice; the ability to draw meaningful and justifiable conclusions from information which may be complex or contradictory; the capability to expand or redefine existing knowledge to develop new approaches to changing situations and contribute to the development to best practice; the ability to communicate these processes in a clear and sophisticated fashion; the capability to evaluate their work from the perspective of an autonomous reflective learner. In the course of your studies with us you may generate intellectual property which is defined as an idea, invention or creation which can be protected by law from being copied by someone else. By registering with us on your course you automatically assign any such intellectual property to us unless we agree with the organisation covering the cost of your course that this is retained by them. In consideration of you making this assignment you will be entitled to benefit from a share in any income generated in accordance with our Revenue Sharing Policy in operation at that time. Details of our Intellectual Property Policy and Guidelines can be found on My.Anglia under Research, Development and Commercial Services or by contacting this Office for a hard copy.

Optional modules

  • Adult Acute Care
    This module explores all aspects of adult acute care and the support required for family or carers. It builds on the concept of Quality Critical Care (2005), recognising that individuals have the right to specialist care, regardless of location or speciality. Patient safety is an absolute priority and lessons learnt from the NPSA reports (2007,2008) and the initiative of 'Reducing Harm from Deterioration' (Patient Safety First 2008) is incorporated as an outcome measure. Maintaining adequate tissue perfusion and oxygenation is essential for life. Compromise from any cause will lead to organ dysfunction, failure or even death. Through skilled assessment and interventions, practitioners can be proactive in detecting and supporting the highly dependent and acutely ill patient. This module provides the practitioner with the knowledge necessary to care for the highly dependent and acutely ill patient and maps directly against National Institute for health & Clinical Excellence Clinical Guideline 50, Acutely ill Patients in Hospital (2007). It is also guided by the Department of Health (2009) competencies for the acutely ill adult. In this post Francis (2013) era, the focus on patient experience and the NHS Constitution (2012) are embedded in the module. National reports such as 'Time to Interven' (National Confidential Enquiry into Patient Outcome & Death 2012) and 'Time to Act' (Parliamentary Ombudsmen 2013) continue to record failings in the provision of acute health care provision. This module helps to address how these failings may be remedied from the perspective of the practitioners and of the organisation. Opportunities to simulate practice and identify the human factors that influence patient safety together with increasing situational awareness will assist in this goal. Learning and teaching strategies include lectures, skills workshops, and a scenario based workshops. Opportunities to apply new knowledge and skills within your specialist practice will be facilitated.
  • Advanced Management of Chronic Cardiac and Respiratory Symptoms
    This module will focus on the pathophysiological and psychological perspectives to manage patients with a long term cardiac and/or respiratory condition. You will develop the knowledge required to meet the diverse chronic needs of patients in primary and secondary care settings. There is a strong emphasis on applying your knowledge of disordered physiology in order to support symptom management and the formation of care planning strategies that reflect patient and carer preferences. You will debate psychological, pharmacological interventions and therapeutic approaches to symptom management to optimise patient’s well-being. You will also evaluate the role of primary prevention and rehabilitation.
  • Advanced Management of Minor Injuries
    The module recognises that there are multitude of different definitions and conceptualisations of the term ‘advanced nursing practice,’ ranging from those focused on very specific practitioner roles through to those that are much broader articulations of practice at a senior or expert level. You will concentrate on the application of learning in the work-place and relate your study to your role as a practitioner. You will develop new ways of learning and working for your future career as an advanced nurse practitioner.
  • Advanced Practice in Diabetes Care
    This module is aimed at all practitioners, especially those with an interest in the management of adults and children with diabetes. It will help you enhance your existing knowledge and skills for delivering evidence-based diabetes care and exercise your higher levels of judgment, discretion and decision making. Key aspects of diabetes care will be explored including the epidemiology, pathophysiology, novel biomarkers and diagnosis criteria of diabetes; main types of diabetes and short-term and long-term complications. You will analyse key standards required to improve diabetes care either in a primary or secondary care setting.
  • Emergency Care
    Injury or illness may occur suddenly or may arise as a consequence of an underlying condition. It may have life threatening implications. The purpose of this module is to consider and explore the common illnesses and injuries of clients attending the emergency department. The accepted initial and subsequent management of these illnesses and injuries are critically evaluated. The use of effective teamwork and interdisciplinary collaboration are related to current key policies in the practice situation. This module is a theory/practice module in which the student will learn both in the classroom and in the practice area. Learning and teaching methods in the classroom will include a variety of methods such as lectures, seminars, group work, simulation, etc. Learning and teaching in clinical practice will be under the supervision of an experienced practitioner within the your own clinical area. The module is assessed from both a theory and practice perspective.
  • Facing Death: Patients, Families and Professionals
    In this module we shall explore some of the psychosocial and spiritual dimensions of patients' encounters with death, contemplating the potential for multiple losses and grief and also the possibility of growth and transcendence at this time. Here the demand is for truly holistic practice from a multi-disciplinary team. The module will consider the needs for support and care for all the parties involved: patients who face their own death, family/friends who face the death of loved ones, and care staff who expend their energies and emotions caring for patient and families. The module deals with theory related to death, loss and bereavement, explores counselling skills, and considers the importance of the caring relationship to patients and lay and professional carers. It considers the patient's network of relationships and their dynamics. The module also invites further attention to palliative care ethics and discusses contemporary issues in palliative care practice.
  • Specialist Mental Health Care
    This module aims to allow you to develop specialist knowledge on certain mental health conditions. You will be able to understand and comprehend various specialised aspects of the ‘craft of caring’ for people with a serious mental illness. You will also get the opportunity to develop a deep understanding of more complex individualised care, helping to improve the quality of care the patient receives. The module will explore varied specialisms for example, forensics, older people, learning disabilities, carers, child and adolescence mental health care needs, and will also consider an international perspective.
  • Minor Illness Assessment and Management
    This module will prepare you to assess and manage patients who have minor illnesses, incorporating a symptom-based, patient safety-focused approach.
  • Pain and symptom management in palliative care
    You will learn about pain and symptom management in the context of palliative and end of life care and enhance your skills in the management of pain and the relief of symptoms. You will also gain a better understanding of pharmacological intervention. Last but not least, you will help patients and their families to achieve a better quality of life, through the analysis and effective management of pain and the relief of symptoms.

Please note that you will choose one of the above optional modules. Modules are subject to change.


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From traditional case study essays to an oral examination, we use a variety of assessment strategies with our course to get the most of your learning. You'll also have the exciting opportunity to be assessed through a work-based portfolio, which will demonstrate your transition from first level registrant to that of advanced nurse practitioner.

To find out more details about the modules including teaching dates and locations please take a look at our Continuing Professional Development course listings page

Where you'll study

Your faculty

The Faculty of Health, Social Care & Education is the largest provider of health, social care and education courses in the East of England, with over 6,000 students from more than 20 countries.

With 95% of our students finding full-time employment within six months of graduating, you can be sure that our courses have been designed with your career in mind. We’ve been educating nurses, midwives and social workers for over 25 years.

At the cutting edge of research, we offer a range of internationally recognised undergraduate and postgraduate degree courses taught by friendly, supportive and experienced staff.With over 150 research students across our three doctoral programmes (PhD; DProf and EdD), we provide the multi-disciplinary perspective and potential for academic debate that reflects our position as a leader in practitioner-focused and practice-led research studies.

Designed to enhance your learning experience, our facilities include state-of-the-art simulated skills laboratories that mirror real-life clinical situations and UK hospital wards. Our students also benefit from our Early Childhood Research and Resource Centre; a space in which they can experiment with equipment and play activities.

You’ll study in an exciting, modern faculty which has strong links with regional, national and international organisations, including healthcare trusts, social services, local and regional authorities, schools and academic institutions.

Your enthusiasm. Our passion. Your best foot forward.

Where can I study?

Tindal Building on our Chelmsford campus

Our striking, modern campus sits by the riverside in Chelmsford's University and Innovation Quarter.

Explore our Chelmsford campus

Peterborough (Guild House)
Guild House

Guild House is our dedicated healthcare campus in the historic city of Peterborough.

Explore our Guild House campus

Lord Ashcroft Building on our Cambridge campus

Our campus is close to the centre of Cambridge, often described as the perfect student city.

Explore our Cambridge campus

Fees & funding

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Important fee notes

For more information about fees, please enquire with our CPD Admissions Team. Call 01245 686868 or email

If you require NHS contract funding, please speak to your manager before applying.

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Funding for UK & EU students

It’s important to decide how to fund your course before applying. Use our funding guide for postgraduate students to learn more about the following:

  • The Government’s new £10k Masters loan
  • Applying for our scholarships
  • Additional funding options and support

Entry requirements

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Important additional notes

Our published entry requirements are a guide only and our decision will be based on your overall suitability for the course as well as whether you meet the minimum entry requirements. Other equivalent qualifications may be accepted for entry to this course, please email for further information.

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