Primary Care Nursing MSc

Postgraduate (1-3 years full-time, part-time)

Chelmsford, Peterborough (Guild House), Cambridge

January 2017, September 2017

Intermediate awards: PG Cert, PG Dip


The future of a successful health service must lie with an extensive provision in primary care and the community. To enable this success higher numbers of nurses will be required to work and lead in this area as autonomous and confident practitioners. If you are a nurse working in, or about to work in General Practice and diverse Community and Primary Care settings, this course is specially tailored to your needs.

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Full description


Nurses wishing to start a career in general practice, primary or community care nursing will find this course tailored to their needs. Those nurses already working in these areas will find that this course is the partner learning experience to support their current and progressive practice.

There is a wide variety of settings existing in the community where you may wish to start or develop your career pathway. Minor injury units, General Practice, District nursing, Health visiting or Paediatric teams, working in nursing homes, Integrated Care, community hospitals, Sexual Health, Drug and Alcohol, dermatology, Cardiac and Respiratory clinics, ‘out of hours’ and outreach services to mention just a few.

Our programme will enable you to emerge as an autonomous practitioner able to lead and manage yourself, individuals and teams. You may decide to specialise further in practice and or undertake a higher level degree such as a Professional Doctorate. Your promotion prospects will be greatly enhanced as will your opportunities to apply for more senior roles. This course provides further steps on the ladder of your progressing career in primary and community nursing.

Modules & assessment

Core modules

  • 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.

You will choose one of the following modules. Both modules will require a community practice assessment element and will require a mentor in your practice environment.

  • Fundamentals of Practice Nursing
    This module provides a foundation for those nurses new to practice nursing in addition to a sound evidence base for those who currently work in this field. It explores a wide and relevant assortment of skills and topic areas in addition to the research that underpins these. The module incorporates the philosophy of the NHS Constitution and prepares practice nurses to work within a multi-professional healthcare system to enable them to offer safe, ethical, and evidence-based care of the whole person.
  • Fundamentals of Community and Primary Care Nursing
    This module provides qualified nurses with a foundation for delivering safe, ethical and evidence based care for service users. The sessions will cover a range of topics to aid transferability of existing skills and the development of new skills. Primary care and community settings include walk in centres, community teams, nursing homes, sexual health, diabetes, dermatology and other community led clinics, integrated care centres, substance misuse centres, occupational health providers and indeed any other area where nurses are delivering care and treatment from a setting other than acute care hospitals.

Optional modules

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 Clinical Assessment Skills
    This module will look at receiving patients with undiagnosed health needs and using advanced skills to offer them treatment or referral. You will improve your decision making and learn to deliver advanced services usually offered by advanced nursing practitioners and doctors. Topics will include: development of clinical assessment skills, using diagnostic equipment, assessing common conditions and injuries, understanding systems and patho-psysiology, legal and professional issues of advanced practice and communication and psycho-social aspects of healthcare.
  • Holistic Assessment Skills for Community Practitioners
    Comprehensive holistic assessment is key to the delivery of high quality, cost effective care to patients in the community. Assessing patients in the community requires the skills to examine, not just the patient but the environment in which they live and in which care will be delivered. You will develop systems-based assessment skills which are patient centred and will support accurate clinical decision making. This module will also support entry to the non-medical prescribing module.
  • Understanding Contraception and Sexual Health (School Nursing only)
    The module will develop your understanding of contraceptive and sexual health. You’ll explore all methods of contraception, gain an insight into sexually transmitted diseases and learn about the impact of sexuality on the individual, the family and wider society. You’ll consider contraception and sexual health care across the entire reproductive lifespan as well as thinking about access for those with disabilities. You’ll look at factors which influence human sexuality and the surrounding legal and ethical issues.
  • Significant Events in Childhood
    This module will enable you to choose an area of professional practice that is of personal interest, and to analyse and evaluate it in depth. You will be expected to bring a significant event from practice and be prepared to share this with the group in order to enable the development of critical evaluative skills. This will be facilitated by a formative presentation.
  • Safeguarding Children and Young People
    In this module you will study explanations of child abuse and safeguarding children and young people, and critically reflect upon the findings. An examination of personal reflections related to children and young people, and the relevant issues, will also offer professional insight into current policy and procedure. It will enable you to critically evaluate your own knowledge and the skills which underpin your current practice and to take a more proactive and innovative stance when promoting the safeguarding of children and young people.
  • 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.
  • Collaborative Mental Health Care
    The Major Project is central to the Masters award and enables you to demonstrate your ability to synthesise learning from previous modules. You will use this learning as the basis for planning, conducting and writing up a research or work-based project. This is the opportunity for you to demonstrate the ability to raise significant and meaningful questions in relation to your chosen topic and a critical understanding of research methods and their relationship to knowledge. You will also be in a position to develop solutions to ethical dilemmas likely to arise in your research or professional practice and to expand existing knowledge to contribute to the development of best practice
  • Contemporary Issues in Mental Health Care
    The module will address a number of issues related to mental health and society. You’ll explore the way in which mental illness is portrayed through the media and the impact this can have on interpretations of mental health and mental illness within a given society. This will include examining how mental health is represented in the news, on social media and within fictional sources including films and literature. The delivery of culturally appropriate health care will also be examined and you’ll reflect on how the knowledge gained can be applied to current or future practice.

You will study a total of 60 credits, chosen from the above optional module list. Understanding Contraception and Sexual Health and Holistic Assessment Skills for Community Practitioners are 15 credit modules, all other modules are 30 credits. Modules are subject to change.


The assessment strategies are designed to challenge your critical thinking and enable you to demonstrate your ability to advance theory and practice through the critique of existing and new knowledge. As part of the learning process the focus of the assignments is on the application of theoretical knowledge to practice issues. Assessments vary according to modules and include written essays, reports, case studies, presentations, patchwork assessment, a research proposal and dissertation.

Fundamentals of Practice Nursing and Fundamentals of Community and Primary Care Nursing are assessed with the completion of a Practice Assessment Document (pass/fail) and a summative assessed presentation of 20 minutes.

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

Course fees

UK & EU students, 2016/17 (per year)


UK & EU students, 2016/17 (per year part time)


UK & EU students, 2017/18 (per year)


UK & EU students, 2017/18 (per year part time)


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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