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Advanced Professional Practice (Clinical Practitioner) - MSc/PGDip/PGCert

Course content

Are you a registered health or social care professional looking to develop your clinical career? This clinically-focused specialist pathway has been designed to prepare and support nurses, midwives and allied health professionals to develop understanding of the underpinning principles of clinical assessment and examination to inform safe and effective clinical decision making. You will also gain the knowledge and skills required to work in any sector of the health service.

Key features

  • Gain the knowledge and skills to work in any sector of the health service (e.g. pre-hospital, primary care and secondary care settings).
  • Develop your skills and knowledge in relation to assessment, clinical reasoning and formulation of appropriate differential diagnosis, diagnostic decision making and initiation or delivery of appropriate, timely care evidence-based care.
  • Embed independent and supplementary prescribing into your masters degree (subject to profession). 
  • Undertake assessments linked to your own practice to ensure that your learning needs are met within your specific practice area.
  • Opportunities to study in an inter-professional setting with inter-professional core and optional modules delivered by an academic team with extensive experience as well as a close relationship with clinicians contributing to teaching.
  • Research informed teaching is embedded throughout the curriculum and you will be given the chance to design and undertake your own research to enhance and develop patient care and/or service provision.
  • Be equipped to take on lead roles in management, clinical practice and/or education
  • Part time programme offering flexible delivery and exit points to support a learner centred approach.

Course details

Programme overview

  • Postgraduate certificate - to achieve a postgraduate certificate, you will need to earn 60 credits by undertaking two core and one pathway specific module.
  • Postgraduate diploma - to achieve a postgraduate diploma, you will need to earn 120 credits by undertaking up to six modules: two core, two pathway specific and up to two optional.
  • Master of Science - for a full masters degree, you will need to earn a total of 180 credits. You will study the same core modules as the postgraduate diploma, with two further core modules in the final year.

For further information on the modules that make up this programme please visit MSc Advanced Professional Practice modules for the School of Nursing and Midwifery page.

Please note: You will also need to complete two 0 credit rated modules over two years to gain this qualification – APP712 – Professional Practice 1 and APP713 – Professional Practice 2.

Core modules

  • APP701 Advancing Practice in Context
  • APP710 Advanced Assessment for Clinical Practice
  • APP712 Professional Portfolio 1
  • APP745 Research Methodology and Application

Year 2

You must gain 40 credits from optional modules in Year 2 to gain a postgraduate diploma.

Examples of the optional modules available

  • HEAD709 – Non-medical prescribing: Independent and supplementary prescribing for designated allied health professionals (physiotherapists and podiatrists)
  • NMP702 - Non-medical prescribing: Independent and supplementary prescribing for nurses and midwives
  • APP716 – Clinical skills in community and primary care
  • APP717 – The fundamentals of health assessment

Core modules

  • APP711 Managing Clinical Complexity
  • APP713 Professional Portfolio 2

Final year

Core modules

  • APP703 - Advancing research knowledge in practice 2
  • SPP701 – Substantive professional project

Every postgraduate taught course has a detailed programme specification document describing the programme aims, the programme structure, the teaching and learning methods, the learning outcomes and the rules of assessment.

The following programme specification represents the latest programme structure and may be subject to change:

MSc APP Clinical Practitioner pathway specification 6131

The modules shown for this course or programme are those being studied by current students, or expected new modules. Modules are subject to change depending on year of entry.


Visit the Advanced Professional Practice (Clinical Practitioner) - MSc/PGDip/PGCert page on the University of Plymouth website for more details!

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