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Course content

Our MSc Advanced Nursing Practice and Leadership course gives registered nurses the knowledge and skills they need to enhance their practice and prepare for leadership roles.

The course is aimed at nurses registered with a relevant professional, statutory or equivalent regulatory body. You will study content that reflects professional, UK-wide government and international benchmarks for advanced level practice in health and social care, enhancing your suitability for revalidation.

This includes contemporary knowledge and skills in clinical and direct care practice, leadership and collaborative practice, improving quality and developing practice, and developing self and others.

You will learn how to develop efficient and ethical ways of working that offer a better quality of life and care by placing service users and carers at the centre of decision-making and service redesign. 

Special features

Flexible learning

Study this course full-time over one year or part-time for a maximum of five years depending on your other commitments.

Tailor your course

Choose from a wide range of course units to suit your own interests, with nursing-specific units including Leadership and Managing Change.

Teaching and learning

We use a range of teaching and learning methods, including face-to-face, blended and online learning.

The course focuses on an active learning approach and is designed to prompt the discovery, processing and application of knowledge through collaboration and cooperation.

You will draw on your own experiences - both academic and work-based - when learning. The course will promote the construction of understanding through task-related activities and reflection.

We have extensive experience and good practice in online learning, with dedicated e-learning technologists to support you and our staff in making the most of the e-learning platform.

Find out more by visiting the postgraduate teaching and learning page.

Coursework and assessment

You can undertake standalone units as short courses for professional development purposes only, or build up a selection of optional and compulsory course units to complete a PGCert or PGDip academic award and, on completion of a dissertation unit, an MSc.

The dissertation unit enables you to consolidate your learning by completing a piece of work from a range of options:

  • research grant proposal;
  • full or adapted systematic review;
  • report-based dissertation including:
  • public health report/health needs assessment;
  • service development/organisational change audit;
  • evaluation of service delivery/policy.

We use a range of assessments throughout the course to assess your knowledge and understanding and to develop your intellectual and practical skills.

Course unit details

You can study individual units as standalone short courses or build up units of study towards a PGCert or PGDip award, and undertake a dissertation to complete the MSc award. See the  CPD Units  page for more information.

Postgraduate Certificate (PGCert) (60 credits)

You will initially develop your specialist knowledge and clinical practice relating to nursing, particularly in relation to leadership and management.

Recognising your key role in practice, these clinically-focused units of study will enable you to enhance practice and service delivery.

45 credits can be undertaken from a variety of optional course units to best suit your professional specialism.

15 credits will comprise one core unit on Developing Practice and Managing Change.

Postgraduate Diploma (PGDip) (120 credits)

You will further explore and develop advanced clinical practice in nursing by selecting further optional units from the portfolio of units available.

30 credits can be undertaken from a variety of optional course units to best suit your professional specialism.

30 credits comprising two compulsory course units - Research Design and Critical Appraisal and Evidence Synthesis - will also be taken.

Master of Science (MSc) (180 credits)

After successfully completing the 120 credits for the PGDip, you may be eligible to undertake a dissertation from a range of options:

  • research grant proposal;
  • full or adapted systematic review;
  • report-based dissertation.

Career opportunities

Our course is structured around the real challenges facing advanced level practitioners, and each unit will draw from, and build on, your own professional experience.

This will enable you to apply your new knowledge to nursing and mould the course to best suit your learning requirements.

Accrediting organisations

The Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) has validated the following units:

  • Multiprofessional Support of Learning and Assessment in Practice (Mentorship)
  • Preparation of Supervisors of Midwives (POSOM)

The General Pharmaceutical Council has also validated the Independent Prescribing unit, which is also available as a standalone short course .


Visit the Advanced Nursing Practice & Leadership (MSc) page on the University of Manchester website for more details!

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