MSc Advanced Professional Practice

Full Time
Degree of Master of Science



The Advanced Professional Practice programme welcomes applications from all healthcare professionals including nurses, midwives, pharmacists, paramedics and allied health professionals who are keen to progress their career to an advanced level of practice.

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Key facts

(REF, 2014)

The health and care sectors are forever adapting to new challenges and new forms of treatment. Reflecting UK and international benchmarks, our Advanced Professional Practice programme has been designed to help experienced professionals meet these changes head-on, with improved ways of working and a positive impact of patient health.

Our programme is based on the four pillars of advanced practice: clinical, research, education, and management. You’ll develop your expertise in leadership, innovation, and change management. You will also further your skills in research appraisal, evidence-based practice, and decision-making, enabling you to deliver the best possible care.

Designed to offer flexibility to working professionals and through blended learning, you can tailor the course to your requirements by choosing to follow either the Leadership or Clinical pathway at PG Certificate, PG Diploma or Master’s level. If you are a UK student you will have the option of studying part-time.


The overarching philosophy of our programme is that advanced practice is all about a level of practice, rather than a specific professional role. Suitable for all experienced health and care professionals and open to both national and international applicants, it reflects professional, UK-wide government and international benchmarks for advanced level practice for the health and social care workforces.

You will gain the contemporary knowledge, and skills for advanced level practice. Our aim is to help you to develop an academic preparedness for an advanced professional practice role. All of which is based on the four pillars of advanced practice – clinical, research, education and management/leadership – and the five key principles: autonomous practice, critical thinking, values-based care, improving practice, and high levels of decision-making and problem-solving.

By selecting the optional modules that are relevant to your area of advanced practice, you can tailor the course around your professional practice needs and across the pillars and principles. The emphasis of learning within each of the four pillars will be dependent on the pathway you have chosen, the level of study you’ve opted for and the modules you have selected. So you can build a qualification specific to your individual requirements.

Course Structure

You will have the choice of two pathways, Clinical or Leadership, each of which provides a range of core and optional modules. Depending on the modules you choose to complete, you could exit with a PG certificate (60 credits required), PG Diploma (120 credits required) or MSc Advanced Professional Practice (180 credits required). 

Some of the optional modules are subject to entry requirements, and in some cases, professional, statutory or regulatory body requirements apply.

If you would like to study any of the above as stand-alone modules - visit our CPD section

Teaching and Learning


You will be taught at the highest level by experienced academics with a programme drawn from the latest research, theories, practice and clinical skills. In addition, our state-of-the-art, purpose built facilities will provide you with an excellent learning environment.

The ongoingquality development of the programme will include change of provision to some modules from a face to face provision to a fully online provision. All of the modules will be delivered via a variety of teaching and learning approaches, student interaction activities and module organiser support. This will enable you to build your knowledge and confidence associated with the module content.  

You will be given additional academic support by your individual Personal Adviser. Interdisciplinary student groups will also provide you with enriched learning experiences and perspectives. So you can be sure that you will be supported through your studies by a community of like-minded professionals, academics and researchers – all of whom are dedicated to providing the best education to develop your advanced professional practice.

Independent study

Throughout the course you will be fully supported as you complete both directed and independent study. This will not only enhance your learning experience, but will also help develop a sound evidence base to support your academic preparedness for an advanced professional practice role.


You will experience a range of assessment methods throughout the course, which have been carefully considered to demonstrate learning across all the pillars and principles of advanced practice.

Formative and summative assessment strategies across the programme include written assignments, unseen examinations, case studies, practical examinations, group presentations and portfolio.

After the course

Whether you’re looking for promotion or to improve your knowledge and abilities, complete our programme and you will walk away armed with the skills you require to support your individual advanced practice needs.

You’ll be able to demonstrate learning across all of the pillars and principles of advanced practice. The emphasis of learning within each of the four pillars will be dependent on the pathway you have chosen and the modules you have selected. Dependent on your role within practice and the modules selected there is also potential for application for credentialing with external bodies

Career destinations

Dependent on practical experience and  modules selected, academic qualification can be used to support application for accreditation for the following :

Advanced nurse practitioner  - Royal College of Nursing
Emergency care practitioner – Royal College of Emergency Medicine

Course Modules 2019/0

Students must study the following modules for 80 - 120 credits:

Name Code Credits


The module aims to enable leaders to manage the business and resources (including people) to meet external targets and drivers by enhancing their understanding of the political, policy and business drivers impacting on the strategic operational management and leadership of their organisation and of healthcare per se. By the end of the module the practitioner will demonstrate: #Critical appraisal of the political, social, technical, economic, organisational and professional environment and its impact on service delivery; #Evaluation of current legislation, policy and evidence; #Utilisation of creative ways to influence the wider organisation/sector; #Expert application of assertiveness skills; #Expertise in identifying, developing and influencing networks to influence best practice in service delivery; #Critical appraisal of a diverse range of evidence and datasets to inform the development of a systematic and well-argued business case; #Evidence of effective decision-making with well-argued rationale; #Developing strategic awareness. These feed into the CLF competencies: 5.1Identifying the contexts for change #Demonstrate awareness of the political, social, technical, economic, organisational and professional environment; #Understand and interpret relevant legislation and accountability frameworks; #Anticipate and prepare for the future by scanning for ideas, best practice and emerging trends that will have an impact on health outcomes; # Develop and communicate aspirations. 5.3Making decisions #Participate in and contribute to organisational decision-making processes; #Act in a manner consistent with the values and priorities of their organisation and profession; #Educate and inform key people who influence and make decisions; #Contribute their unique perspective to team, department, system and organisational decisions.




The aim of this module it to support you in developing a critical understanding of efficient and effective leadership, in order to manage yourself and lead others. You will be empowered to lead innovative change and organisational development through the fostering of a shared sense of leadership and responsibility for the success of the organisation and the development of quality services You will learn about theories of leadership and skills needed for an advanced level of practice.




This module will equip you to negotiate and design a small-scale service improvement project appropriate to your scope of advanced practice. The service improvement project will be outlined in detail within a written project proposal and approved by the module lead and your manager within practice.




This module will equip you to negotiate and design a service improvement project appropriate to your scope of advanced practice. The service improvement project will be outlined in detail within a written project proposal and approved by the module lead and your manager within practice.




This module will introduce the concepts and skills of evidence-based practice. In doing so, it will explore and critically analyse core theories, policies and models that support and underpin evidence-based practice. You will be facilitated to turn clinical and leadership queries into advanced practice focused questions, from which you can search the evidence. You will be supported to identify effective strategies for identifying and communicating the need for change associated with national and international quality standards and findings from research. You will also be introduced to a range of quantitative and qualitative research data collection and data analysis methods. These can be used to measure the impact of change in terms of quality improvement and transformation at the point of care within your area and scope of advanced practice.



Students will select 100 - 160 credits from the following modules:

LEADERSHIP PATHWAY FOR UK STUDENTS must choose: Professional Recognition Portfolio (20 credits) OR Enhancing Teaching Learning and Assessment in Clinical Practice (20 credits) plus one further 20 credit module. CLINICAL PATHWAY FOR UK STUDENTS must choose: Professional Recognition Portfolio (20 credits) OR Enchancing Teaching Learning and Assessment in Clinical Practice (20 credits) OR Diagnostic Interpretation (20 credits) plus 90 credits from the option range. LEADERSHIP PATHWAY FOR INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS must choose: 60 credits from the option range. CLINICAL PATHWAY FOR INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS must choose: 120 credits from the option range. PLEASE NOTE SOME MODULES HAVE PRE-REQUISTIES, SO ENSURE YOU CHECK THE MODULE DESCRIPTIONS BEFORE MAKING YOUR CHOICE.

Name Code Credits


Acute and critical illness are increasingly prevalent in healthcare, requiring effective identification, management and care. This module provides you, as an experienced registered health care professional, working in an area of acute or critical care, with the in-depth theoretical knowledge and clinical skills to competently assess, plan, implement and evaluate the care of those in critical illness. You will develop a greater understanding of the importance of patient assessment, enhancing your ability to practice as competent and informed practitioners in acute and critical care. This module provides the essential content for the completion of the critical care competencies steps 1 and 2. Pre-requisite: must work in an area of acute or critical care Co-requisite: registered health care professionals with access to a medical mentor



Advanced Communication

It is widely acknowledged that effective communication skills are central to the delivery of high quality health and social care and a decisive factor in determining patient satisfaction, concordance, resilience and recovery. This module aims to explore and describe the theoretical background and frameworks underpinning this essential area of practice, whilst at the same time providing you with an opportunity to evaluate and develop your own communication skills further. Utilising a number of different teaching methods such as role-play, video examples, case studies and discussion, this module will enable you to consider in-depth some of the common communication challenges found in the work environment whilst at the same time developing strategies to manage these. This module underpins the four pillars of advanced practice: management and leadership, education, research and advanced clinical practice. It reinforces the core principle that advanced practice is a level of practice rather than a particular role.




Advanced critical care practitioners require specialist knowledge and clinical skills to competently care for Level 2 (High Dependency) and 3 (Ventilated) critically ill patients (Intensive Care Society 2009 and CC3N 2015). Throughout this module you will develop advanced, evidence-based clinical and leadership skills in communication, assessment techniques, interpretation of patient data, responding to rapid changes in patient status, and working effectively with other members of the multi-disciplinary team. Specific advanced skills include: renal replacement therapy, invasive haemodynamic monitoring and ventilation techniques. You'll learn through a series of lectures and work-based clinical experiences. Learning is assessed via achievement of the Step 3 National Critical Care Competencies in clinical practice and an end of module written examination. This module promotes the delivery of high quality, compassionate, person-centred care to patients and their loved ones.




This module aims to enable stoma care specialist nurses to build in-depth and extensive knowledge, understanding and skills applied to all aspects of their role through critical evaluation of and reflection on their own professional responsibilities, the context in which they practice and the diverse and complex needs of the patient population they serve. Varied and innovative teaching and learning methods aim to develop critical thinking, communication skills, problem-solving and decision-making appropriate, and directly applied to, an advanced level of stoma care nursing practice. The module will aim to advance students' specialist stoma care practice across the four pillars of advanced practice (Clinical, Research, Education, Management/leadership) and to develop and apply the underpinning principles of advanced practice within their specialist role, namely autonomous practice, critical thinking, high levels of decision-making and problem-solving, values-based care, improving practice (NHS Education for Scotland, 2007).




You will develop your skills and knowledge of working with people living with dementia across a wide range of community and inpatient settings. You will focus on improving your knowledge about and advancing practice in dementia, person-centred care and care interactions.




This module aims to prepare you to be able to manage complex clinical conditions using scientific and contemporary clinical knowledge to underpin action, reflection and evaluation. You will learn how to practice safely and effectively, incorporating a systems approach to clinical examination skills. You will understand the principles of assessment, the process of diagnosis, differential diagnosis, red flags and appropriate planning of care. It will support you to develop your practice as an advanced clinical practitioner to enable you to manage complex clinical conditions using scientific and contemporary clinical knowledge that is evidence based.



Diagnostic Interpretation

This module is designed for health professionals who use diagnostic tests in their current role, including diagnostic and therapeutic radiographers, physiotherapists, nurses, and advanced nurse practitioners. The module allows you to develop and apply skills to recognise normal and abnormal appearances of diagnostic imaging, have the ability to interpret laboratory investigations. By the end you will be able to synthesise clinical information commonly seen in health care settings with radiographic appearances, enabling you to describe the radiographic appearances in a structured format. Enabling you to make sound clinical judgements. Students must have completed Ionising radiation (Medical Exposure) Regulations (IR(ME)R) training. This module is suitable for those students who are currently working towards an Advanced Clinical Practitioner (ACP) role for credentialing or in an advanced practitioner role that requires this from their employer. Students must be registered with either the NMC or HCPC and currently working in a health care setting.




The diversification of traditional care provision has seen the opening of GP led Walk-In Centres, the new 111 service, Minor Injury Units and Urgent Care Centres staffed by a range of qualified healthcare professionals. Practitioners are increasingly expected to help reduce hospital admissions and therefore need to develop enhanced skills in clinical assessment and examination. To be in a position to deliver safe, high quality care to those who need it, you will need to have robust clinical, theoretical and experiential preparation. Helping you learn the clinical assessment and examination skills required to develop a deeper understanding of clinical situations and practice as an advanced practitioner, this module fosters effective skills in decision-making and critical analysis of rapidly changing situation. It promotes analysis of clinical judgements through reflective processes such as clinical supervision, and supports the philosophy of caring for patients as unique individuals.




This module will introduce you to the underpinning educational theory and practice required to enhance your clinical education role, particularly as a clinical supervisor, mentor, or practice educator. It recognises the uniqueness of learning in clinical and practice settings and the importance of the role of the educator in facilitating learning which occurs in the context of client care.You will develop skills and experience professional socialisation which cannot readily be acquired elsewhere. The overall aim of the module is to provide you with a body of knowledge and principles to facilitate teaching, learning and assessment in practice-based settings. This will enable you to work effectively with learners who will become the workforce of the future and ultimately to improve services. This module is relevant to all health and social care professionals who supervise/mentor students, other clinicians who teach in higher education, whether they are new to these roles or new to studying at masters level. Nursing and midwifery professionals who are taking this module as a route to mentorship must have access to a pre-registration student on a recognised NMC (Nursing and Midwifery Council) program in order to teach, supervise and assess the learner.




Nurse independent prescribing is a widely integrated part of healthcare delivery in the UK. Nurses are prescribing for a range of conditions both acute and long term which has been evaluated as clinically safe and appropriate and is well received by patients (DH 2010). This module is based on the Standards for proficiency for nurse and midwife prescribers and leads to the V300: Independent and Supplementary Prescribing Qualification which is recordable qualification with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC 2006). You will learn to utilise enhanced consultation skills to support your decision making based on sound history taking, consideration of complex differential diagnosis and development of an evidence based and holistic management plan agreed with your patient to support adherence. During this module you will gain a robust understanding of clinical pharmacology and application to prescribing practice to ensure patient safety and public protection. We will also consider budgetary influences and your responsibilities as a prescriber in relation to cost-effectiveness. Other influences on prescribing of medicines will include the legal and ethical considerations as well as local and national policy. On successful completion of this module you will be able to provide safe, effective and timely access to medicines in your field of practice.




This module supports practitioners in promoting person-centred care for the patient and their families/carers with a long-term condition. It will enable practitioners to understand the challenges and complexities of living with a long-term condition and the strategies and interventions used to support people to self-manage their illness. It will explore emerging models of service provision for the patient and provide opportunities for enhanced collaboration between services in the health and social care sectors, including primary, secondary and tertiary care. Central to this module is the significance of using evidence-based approaches to manage long-term conditions and to understand this in the context of contemporary health and social care practice. You'll be encouraged to reflect on your practice and continuously be an advocate for driving and improving service provision within your own area of practice.




The aim of this module is to enable you to develop a holistic approach to the assessment and treatment of patients with minor health problems. You will build on current knowledge in order to provide enhanced evidence-based care in primary care, urgent care and first contact settings. This module will enable you to develop a range of skills that reflect an individualised, empowering and holistic approach to patient health assessment, care management and treatment in a more advanced and autonomous clinical role. This will include providing evidence based anticipatory guidance and educating patients in self-care.




Healthcare professionals in primary and secondary care may be expected to manage patients presenting with a minor injury. It is essential to be equipped with the appropriate skills to formulate a diagnosis and ensure evidence based care. You will learn the importance of good history taking including the mechanism of injury to support sound clinical reasoning relevant to the injury and recognise 'red flags'. You will learn to employ a range of assessment and examination strategies in a wide range of presenting conditions and negotiate evidence based management with your patient. The module will enable you to provide safe, effective and timely management of minor injuries in primary and secondary care settings.




You'll be prepared as a midwife or neonatal nurse to undertake the physical examination of the newborn within 72 hours of birth. The newborn examination complies with UK National Screening Committee Standards and Competencies (UK National Screening Committee 2016) and is overseen by Public Health England. This module has been developed in conjunction with Neonatologists, Paediatricians, Heads of Midwifery, Practice Development Midwives and current and previous students who have undertaken Newborn Infant Physical Examination (NIPE) modules. The module satisfies the need of local NHS Trusts to train staff in examination of the newborn, in keeping with the criteria set in the NIPESC (2016) and the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence Routine post-natal care of women and their babies guideline (NICE 2006). You'll be able to demonstrate a systematic understanding of the maternal health and family history, antenatal, birth and the perinatal influences which may impact on the health of the newborn. You could critically appraise research and other literature in the evidence base of this specialist area of midwifery/neonatal nursing practice. You'll demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of care which applies specialist knowledge, skills and expertise of inspection, palpation and auscultation in relationship to the assessment of the newborn. You'll be able to critically evaluate all aspects related to the assessment of the newborn including detection of abnormalities. You could critically evaluate effective communication skills with parents within a multi-cultural society, health care professionals and other agencies involved with the care of the newborn. You'll be able to identify and demonstrate critical awareness of the legal and ethical issues associated with Newborn Infant Physical Examination (NIPE). You will evaluate critically the midwife's/neonatal nurse's changing role in relationship to the holistic assessment of the newborn.




You will gain the necessary skills and knowledge to assess children presenting to you who are acutely unwell and this module will enable you to recognise those with potentially serious and life threatening illness. 'Spotting the Sick Child' offers a useful framework for guiding principles and will offer you a useful platform by which to consolidate your learning. The use of the Paediatric Early Warning Score (PEWS) will be applied to detect changes in the child's physiological status in the context of their vital signs e.g. pulse, respiratory rate and distress and conscious level. You will explore the use of PEWS in order to identify if a child's clinical condition is deteriorating and recognise this as an early indication that intervention may be required.




This module utilises the scientific knowledge base of the human genomic and proteonomic projects to understand the basis of clinical knowledge. It provides a nature-nurture template to the understanding of a person's position on the health/illness continuum. The template is used to deepen the practitioner's understanding of the principles of the healthcare process. The module aims to facilitate the development of a practitioner who: is critically aware of the limitations in providing 'holistic' care based upon contemporary scientific and clinical knowledge base; can articulate and provide written evidence which demonstrates the ability to appraise, critically, academic material/literature in an intelligent and original way; can synthesise ideas and demonstrate knowledge base, which explores the boundaries of current thinking; can hypothesise future advances in healthcare.




The aim of this module is to provide the students the means to develop a professional recognition portfolio that demonstrates their learning through a series of self - assessment, reflections and case studies. The portfolio will be personal to the students own Advanced Professional Practice Development .The work included within the portfolio should demonstrate student learning and development across the four pillars of advanced practice #Clinical #Research #Education #Management/leadership and the underpinning principles of advanced practice #Autonomous practice #Critical thinking #High levels of decision-making and problem-solving #Values-based care




You will develop a professional recognition portfolio that demonstrates your learning through a series of self - assessment, reflections and case studies. The portfolio will be personal to your own Advanced Professional Practice Development. The work included within the portfolio should demonstrate your learning and development across the four pillars of advanced practice: #Clinical #Research #Education #Management/leadership Together with the underpinning principles of advanced practice: #Autonomous practice #Critical thinking #High levels of decision-making and problem-solving #Values-based care This can be a stand-alone module or part of the MSc Advanced Professional Practice programme (L7).




This module is about developing your skills and knowledge for working with older people across a wide range of community and inpatient settings. The focus is on improving knowledge about, and advancing practice in, working with older people from biological, psychological and social perspectives.




Whilst the University will make every effort to offer the modules listed, changes may sometimes be made arising from the annual monitoring, review and update of modules and regular (five-yearly) review of course programmes. Where this activity leads to significant (but not minor) changes to programmes and their constituent modules, there will normally be prior consultation of students and others. It is also possible that the University may not be able to offer a module for reasons outside of its control, such as the illness of a member of staff or sabbatical leave. In some cases optional modules can have limited places available and so you may be asked to make additional module choices in the event you do not gain a place on your first choice. Where this is the case, the University will endeavour to inform students.

Further Reading

Entry Requirements

  • Degree Subject Related Health Care subject
  • Degree Classification Bachelors (Hons) degree - 2.2 or equivalent
  • Special Entry Requirements Successful applicants will have recent experience of working in a professional role in a health, education or care setting. Students will typically hold a professional registration with a recognised health or care professional body.

Students for whom English is a Foreign language

We welcome applications from students whose first language is not English or those whose degree was not taught in English. To ensure such students benefit fully from postgraduate study, we require evidence of proficiency in English. We also will require a certain standard to be achieved on the written element of the test. Our usual entry requirements are as follows:

  • IELTS: 6.5 (minimum 6.5 in all component)
  • PTE: 58 (minimum 58 in all components)

All scores must be less than two years old.

Other tests, including Cambridge English exams and the Trinity Integrated Skills in English are also accepted by the university. The full list of accepted tests can be found here: Accepted English Language Tests.

INTO UEA also run pre-sessional courses which can be taken prior to the start of your course. For further information and to see if you qualify please contact

Special Entry Requirements

You must submit a Memorandum of Understanding at the time of application. Your manager will need to confirm that you will be given the time and resources required for the programme.

Fees and Funding

Fees for the full course for the academic year 2019/20 are:

  • UK/EU Students: £7,700
  • International Students: £16,100

International applicants from outside the EU may need to pay a deposit

We estimate living expenses at £1,015 per month.

For those applying under the Health Education England contract, contract prices will apply.

How to Apply

Applications for Postgraduate Taught programmes at the University of East Anglia should be made directly to the University.

You can apply online.

Further Information

To request further information & to be kept up to date with news & events please use our online enquiry form.

If you would like to discuss your individual circumstances prior to applying please do contact us:

Postgraduate Admissions Office
Tel: +44 (0)1603 591515

    Next Steps

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