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Advanced Clinical Practice MSc

Different course options

Study mode

Distance without attendance


3 years

Start date


Key information

Qualification type

MSc - Master of Science

Subject areas

Health Studies Nursing Paramedical Services / Supplementary Medicine Medical Sciences

Course type


Course Summary

The NHS Long term plan, published in January 2019, sets out a vision for the future based on new models of care. Health Education England (HEE) in the East Midlands is supporting this as are other institutional bodies across the region and nationally.


One of the major changes envisaged in the NHS's Five Year Forward View and further developed in the Long Term Plan is the changing roles of nurses, midwives and allied health professionals, essentially taking on roles that previously were the domain of medical staff. This has been happening for many years but numbers have increased significantly over recent times and with it a burgeoning desire to see standards set and the role clearly defined.

There is unfortunately still no clear definition of what ‘advanced practice’ is and therefore the education and roles that the practitioner might be required to perform or undertake is also open to question. There is however clear support from all parties involved (across the UK) that the educational provision should be at Masters level; and ideally a full MSc. The Department of Health (DoH) and HEE have published curriculum guidelines pertaining to the content of ACP courses in an attempt to introduce some standardisation. The full MSc enhances the practitioner’s ability to appraise research, think critically, and prepares them to develop further beyond simply the role of an expert clinician.

Our MSc Advanced Clinical Practice programme is designed to match the DoH and HEE guidelines, and future proof graduates in regards to possible credentialing or voluntary registration schemes in the future. This programme has also taken into account the needs of local stakeholders and the views of past and current students. We seek to develop:

“Registered practitioners with an expert knowledge base, complex decision-making skills and clinical competencies for expanded autonomous scope of practice, the characteristics of which are shaped by the context in which the individual practices. Demonstrable at Masters level and meets the education, training and CPD requirements for Advanced Clinical Practice” (HEEM, 2014)

The advanced practitioner is characterised by high levels of skill, competence and autonomous decision making, at a perhaps higher level than the specialist, though of course a practitioner may well specialise at an advanced level. A more simplistic explanation might be that the specialist operates at a high level in their specialism, but returns to novice when outside it; the advanced practitioner operates at a higher level in their speciality, but can also bring advanced practice to other areas as well. The department of Health (2010) suggested that it was a level of practice, rather than specific role.

Nationally, due to the extremely varied nature of ACP roles, it has proved impossible to define a set list of ‘competencies’, beyond very broad strictures such as the ability to physically examine a patient. There is however broad agreement

on some aspects that should be common to all. Those have been identified as the ‘four pillars’ of advanced practice:


The MSc ACP at De Montfort University draws these together and produces an able graduate who is highly employable. This course will not make you competent – no course will – but it will give you the educational grounding in order to develop competence and in turn become expert, with a strong clinical focus.

The curriculum has been designed with expert advice from clinicians, academics and local strategic partners to address both the academic and clinical demands of the role. Regular meetings are held between faculty and clinical staff to ensure good exchange of information. Student opinion and feedback is also incorporated.


This is the physical examination / history-taking module and will enable the student to critically appraise the underlying principles of consultation and physical examination. It is assessed with an assignment and OSCE’s. Runs in Semester 1. Allied issues such as requesting investigations, inter-professional team working, patient referral mechanisms and professional accountability in an advanced role are also addressed. It is aimed at those health care practitioners who will be professionally supported in this active interventionist role.  It is relevant to Registered Paramedics, Nurses and Allied Health Professionals working within a variety of primary and secondary care settings.

Tuition fees

UK fees
Course fees for UK students

To be confirmed

International fees
Course fees for EU and international students

International students who do not currently have employment rights in the UK are not eligible for this course.

Entry requirements

Holds a professional qualification as a health care practitioner and is currently registered with the relevant health care professional body. Is able to supply two references, one giving emphasis to academic and clinical ability. Has an honours degree (2:2 or above) awarded by a British University or other equivalent approved degree awarding college/body. In exceptional circumstances, consideration may be given to a student who: Holds a professional qualification as a health care practitioner and is currently registered with the relevant health care professional body. Is able to supply two references, giving emphasis to academic and clinical ability. Demonstrates expertise through publication, change management and/or leadership as well as successful study at third level or above through Professional Portfolio.

University information

De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) is a university with a rich heritage, providing students with high-class further education options for over 150 years. Situated in the centre of Leicester, a thriving midlands location, students benefit from excellent facilities not only on campus but also when seeking leisure time in the surrounding region. Students at DMU are able to choose from a wide range of postgraduate courses, all of which are...more