Clinical Nursing MSc

Postgraduate (12 months full-time)


January, September

Please note: International students will be limited to the following optional modules due to restrictions imposed by the UK National Health Service (NHS): Advancing Decision Making for Health Care Professionals, Applied Ethics in Medical and Healthcare Context, Contemporary UK Healthcare Practice and Enhancing Care for the Adult Patient.


Our Masters course is ideal for registered nurses who wish to develop their careers. It explores the challenges facing nursing today as it builds on its essence as a caring profession, while incorporating new technologies, ideas and approaches to healthcare.

Full description


In order to study on our course, you will either be international or employed within local health care trusts. You will gain the knowledge and skills required to 
confront the challenges of healthcare and shape the future of your practice within your locality. Gaining a Masters degree will give you the potential to take your career in alternative directions such as healthcare leadership, research or education.

Modules & assessment

Please note: International students will be limited to the following optional modules due to restrictions imposed by the UK National Health Service (NHS): Advancing Decision Making for Health Care Professionals, Applied Ethics in Medical and Healthcare Context, Contemporary UK Healthcare Practice and Enhancing Care for the Adult Patient.

Core modules

  • Applied Leadership & Management
    This module provides an innovative exploration of leadership and management in healthcare, and examines their impact on organisations including wider considerations in the external environment. This module will enable students to assess and analyse the roles that leaders and managers play in a range of organizational contexts; and to apply the principles and techniques of leadership and management in a range of contexts.
  • 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 Innovation and Development Office 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 Intervene' (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 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 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 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 Principles of Respiratory and Thoracic Care
    Approximately 1 in 5 people in the United Kingdom have been diagnosed with lung disease. Lung disease is responsible for nearly 700,000 hospital admissions and over 6 million bed-days in the UK each year. (British Lung Foundation, 2015). These figures highlight the huge health and economic burden of respiratory illness, confirming what respiratory specialists have been aware of for some time, that diseases of the lungs are a growing and a real issue that cannot be ignored. Diseases and illness affecting the respiratory system are often complex thus requiring varied prevention, management and treatment interventions, involving patients, carers and multidisciplinary team members. To meet the challenges and demands of caring for the respiratory and/or thoracic patient across the acute and chronic spectrum, nurses need to be equipped with an advanced knowledge base and specialist skills to deliver high quality evidence based care. This module’s aims are to support the theoretical learning and thus application of this advancing knowledge and skill set within the respiratory and thoracic field. This module is primarily intended for registered healthcare professionals working in areas such as respiratory wards, thoracic surgery and critical care areas. This level 7 theory practice module provides the student with opportunities to learn both in the classroom and in the practice area. Learning and teaching strategies include lectures, group discussion, online learning resources and skills. The module will be assessed theoretically by a fine graded poster presentation and a practice competency document. The practice assessment will be undertaken by an experienced clinical mentor who will need to be identified in conjunction with the clinical manager and module leader prior to commencing the module.
  • Advancing Decision-Making for Healthcare Professionals
    The aim of this module is to advance your decision-making skills through critical reflection particularly in the area of advanced organisational practice. The demands of modern healthcare systems require the development of roles for confident, autonomous organisational practitioners, who possess the knowledge and skills to implement complex decisions in a rapidly changing health sector environment. Such practitioners are likely to play key roles in service development. This is particularly important in advanced organisational practice where you will be encouraged to focus on new or advanced areas of service developments and consider issues such as ethics, legislation and quality assurance. You will need to be able to utilise both strategic and operational decision making skills within an area of advanced organisational development and/or practice strategies which lead to professional or organisational outcomes. You will contextualise these skills to your own area of service and expertise.
  • 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.
  • Cardiac Care
    Coronary heart disease remains the predominant cause of death in the United Kingdom. About 300,000 people sustain myocardial infarction every year (UK) and more than 110,000 die from Coronary Heart Disease in England every year. In addition Coronary Heart Disease has a major impact on the lives of the patients and their relatives and on the economy of the United Kingdom. Preventing Coronary Heart Disease and reducing its mortality rate remains a major aim of the NHS and the Government. This module provides the opportunity to explore and develop the knowledge and skills required to meet the diverse acute and chronic needs of cardiac patients, their families/or carers. It will focus on the assessment, monitoring, medical and surgical management of cardiac disorders. This module is suitable for graduate nurses working in areas such as coronary care units, cardiac (medical and surgical) wards, investigational units and critical care areas. In order to receive care that is effective and of high quality the patient with a cardiac disorder is dependent upon practitioners being skilled in arrhythmia recognition and 12 lead ECG analysis. There is a strong emphasis on the development of this skill and the knowledge of how to interpret and respond to potential and actual deterioration in the patient's condition. This will involve focusing on the haemodynamic effects of cardiac arrhythmias, their clinical presentations, and the various strategies of the management for cardiac arrhythmias to enhance cardiac output. 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, etc. Learning and teaching in clinical practice will be under the supervision of an experienced practitioner and qualified mentor within the students own clinical area. The module is assessed from both a theory and practice perspective. The theory is assessed through a Viva. The students' practice is assessed through achievement of clinical competencies at expert level (stage 5).
  • Critical Care
    This module provides a partnership between theoretical knowledge and practical competence as supported by the National Standards for Critical Care Nurse Education (Critical Care National Nurse Network Leads 2012). You will be required to provide safe, high quality care for the critically ill. Through this module you will learn strategies to support improvements in critical care practice. Thus such safety and quality of care becomes embedded within your clinical practice through the ability to continually re-evaluate and enhance care. It is recognised that the critical care environment is constantly changing especially with the emergence of new technologies and therapies to facilitate patient recovery from an often life threatening illness. To be able to care for the critically ill patient expertly, critical care nurses need to ensure they develop and maintain their own competence in practice. The importance of competence within nursing is recognised as one of the six 'Cs' fundamental to the vision of developing a culture of compassion and care (Department of Health 2012). As a theory/practice you 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, scenario based group work and simulation.
  • 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 your own clinical area. The module is assessed from both a theory and practice perspective.
  • Contemporary UK Healthcare Practice
    As a non-UK healthcare practitioner, you will gain an overview of contemporary healthcare practice in the UK. You will be given an overview of the National Health Service, understanding of the role of medical, nursing and allied health professions in the UK and the professional bodies that regulate them. You will explore legal and ethical concepts such as confidentiality, autonomy and advocacy that underpin UK healthcare practice. You will undertake 100 hours of observational practice visits. No direct or indirect patient care will be undertaken on these visits. These visits will be dependent on your areas of interest and negotiated with the course leader. The assessment for this module is a 15-minute seminar presentation and a 3,000-word written critical reflection.
  • Minor Illness Assessment and Management
    This module will provide health care professionals with an approach to the assessment and management of patients with minor illnesses that is symptom-based and patient safety-focused. The first part of the module looks at the importance of performing a systematic clinical assessment and learning the patterns of illness and red flags for the serious conditions that may present with the symptoms of minor illness. The limitations of clinical assessment in early illness and the dynamic nature of illness are also discussed, along with the principles and practices of safety-netting. The assessment of babies, children and older patients is discussed, along with telephone consulting. Specific clinical examination skills that relate to minor illness will also be taught. In the second part of the module, the common symptoms that patients present with will be covered, each time taking a symptom-based, patient safety-focused approach to the assessment and management of these patients. The sessions will conform to the relevant NICE guidelines and include the latest information on the use of antibiotics and analgesics in minor illness from organisations such as Public Health England and the European Medicines Agency. Students will either attend all 8 days of face-to-face teaching and assessment, or 4.5 days in the classroom and 3.5 days of on-line learning, spread over 4 months. The face-to-face teaching will run on alternate weeks to enable students to work with their mentors between the days at the university. Students will complete a reflective practice form for each session, where they will record what they have learned from each session and how this might lead to a change in their practice, along with the evidence-base for any changes to their practice. A logbook of clinical assessment skills and conditions encountered will also be required. At the end of the module, summative OSCE’s will enable the health care professional to demonstrate their clinical competence and a safe approach to the assessment and management of the patient with a minor illness. The OSCE will take the form of a 15-minute, simulated consultation taking place in the student’s workplace, during which the student will be required to assess the patient, exclude any serious conditions and propose an appropriate management plan, or referral pathway, related to their workplace.
  • 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.
  • Pain Management
    This module will consider the nature of pain, and will focus on the physical, social and psychological theories and issues that underpin the management. The module will introduce key concepts and issues to develop the student’s awareness, knowledge and skills to promote up to date pain management. The role of the individual healthcare practitioner in the management of pain will be explored however there will be emphasis on interprofessional team work. The focus of the module is upon contemporary theory and the main approaches to pain assessment and management including; the medical approach, behaviour change approach, educational approach, client-centred approach. The module will empower students to develop the necessary communication skills. The students will be given the opportunity to use their own experiential understanding within their own local context which will include the choice of speciality in assignment topics. On completion of this module the knowledge and skills acquired are transferable to a number of areas enabling the development of skills, which will promote care of patients with both acute and chronic pain experiences.
  • Cardiac Illness: Advanced Assessment and Management
    With the development of nurse-led services and pathways in cardiac care it is increasingly becoming necessary for nurses to enhance their knowledge and skills with regards to assessing the person with a cardiac condition in order to propose and initiate appropriate interventions or referral. Nurses are now taking on roles in which they are consenting patients for cardiac interventions, interpreting tests such as bloods and ECHO’s, leading clinics and making decisions to aid diagnosis, treatment and discharge. This module is suitable for nurses working in acute settings such as chest pain specialist nurses, heart failure, cardiac rehabilitation and senior ward nurses and community care. The purpose of this module is to consolidate the knowledge, skills and attitudes already gained in order to demonstrate competence with the aim of developing skills for the mastery of assessment and management of patients with cardiac dysfunction and illness. This module will also explore new ways of working for their future career as an advanced nurse practitioner in cardiac care.
  • Applied Ethics in the Medical and Healthcare Context
    On this introductory module, you will look at a number of different moral theories and ethical concepts and gain a range of analytical tools with which to assess different ethical claims. You will consider how we as professionals understand concepts of values, and look at the relationship between law and morality and the nature of moral and legal rights. You will also undertake critical analyses of theories of ethics, gaining a critical awareness of the theories and principles in health care ethics that you will apply in a systematic and creative way to various contemporary issues facing the health and medical professions. You will be assessed through an essay that critically explores moral theory and ethical concepts in relation to a health care practice.
  • Wound Management
    To use ever changing wound healing technologies correctly and cost effectively, you need to be able to make informed decisions about products and care strategies. This module will give you the necessary knowledge to manage wounds on a day to day basis in both primary and secondary care settings. You will explore current wound care issues and develop a sound knowledge of aetiology, physiology & care and management of the individual with tissue viability needs. Assessment is a 30-questions MCQ test and a 4000 word critical analysis of a chosen wound management treatment.
  • Enhancing Care for the Adult Patient
    The needs of an individual will change on admission to hospital. In order to assess and interpret the patient’s needs and to provide high quality nursing care, nurses require particular skills and knowledge. This module will enable the student to enhance the skills necessary to assess and plan holistic care in a hospital setting, taking into account the biological disorders, multi-cultural needs and the diverse patient population that the students will be used to caring for in their own areas of clinical practice.


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.

Assessments are your chance to show your achievement of learning outcomes, we make sure that we use different methods to adapt to different learning styles. Assessments vary from module to module and will include: essays, online activities, portfolios of evidence of work-based learning, OSCEs, competency frameworks for practice learning, viva voce, unseen examinations and posters. The assessment have been designed to give you freedom to explore your own areas of interest and develop specialist knowledge and skills in your practice. The appointment of a mentor in practice will ensure that you are assessed suitably throughout the whole course.

Where you'll study

Your faculty

The Faculty of Health, Education, Medicine and Social Care is the largest in ARU, with over 7,000 students. Our Faculty is teeming with expertise and primed to meet the demand for creating health professionals, teachers, doctors, scientists and educators for the three districts we serve: Chelmsford, Cambridge and Peterborough.

We have been training undergraduates for professional roles for over 25 years, with a reputation for quality, dedication and ambition balanced with student satisfaction.

We know that to give our students the very best experiential learning, prior to getting into the workplace, simulation is second to none, for safe, realistic, learning environments. We have invested heavily in purpose built simulated wards, science labs and skills space, to support or students through their learning.

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

Fees & funding

Course fees

UK & EU students, 2018/19 (per year)


UK & EU students, 2018/19 (per year, part-time)


International students, 2018/19 (per year)


International students, 2018/19 (per year, part-time)


UK & EU students, 2019/20 (per year)


UK & EU students, 2019/20 (part-time, per year)


International students starting 2019/20 (per year)


International students starting 2019/20 (part-time, per year)


How do I pay my fees?

Paying upfront

You won't need to pay fees until you've accepted an offer to attend, but you must pay your fees up-front, in full or in instalments.

How to pay your fees directly

International students

You must pay your fees up-front, in full or in instalments. You will also be asked for a deposit or sponsorship letter/financial guarantee. Details will be in your offer letter.

Paying your fees

Funding for UK & EU students

It’s important to decide how to fund your course before applying. Use our finance guide for postgraduate students to learn more about postgraduate loans and other funding options.

We offer a fantastic range of ARU scholarships, which provide extra financial support while you're at university. Find out more about eligibility and how to apply.

Entry requirements

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