Nursing Studies (Leadership in Clinical practice)

MSc or PGDip or PGCert

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Key facts

Course code


Start dates

January 2024 / September 2024 / January 2025 / September 2025

Application deadline

1 August (for a September start) 1 December (for a January start)

Course length

Full time: 12 months

Part time: up to 5 years for all awards

Academic level


Academic credits

60, 120, 180


If you are a registered nurse you can build on your practice with our MSc / PGDip / PGCert Nursing Studies. This is a flexible course where you learn as part of a collaborative community of nurses, midwives and Allied Health Practitioners (AHP)s. 

We will develop your confidence as you build on your skills so you can become a leader in your field. You will develop your practice with confidence. This allows you to make effective nursing interventions knowing they are based on the best available evidence. 

We have an established pathway for exceptional students to write for peer-reviewed publications. You also have the opportunity to develop your teaching skills.

Our lecturers are experienced in their specialist practice areas and maintain excellent practice links locally or across the region. They also have strong links with colleagues, organisations and institutions at national and international level.

Healthcare professional explaining to Nursing Studies (MSc, PGDip, PGCert) student on campus at Oxford Brookes University

How to apply

Entry requirements

You must:

  • be a qualified nurse (equivalent to UK registered nurse) with up-to-date and current registration within your country of origin and be employed within current clinical nursing practice. You must have a minimum of one year's post-registration experience either in the UK or in your home country
  • normally hold a UK first degree or equivalent overseas degree from a reputable institution. If you do not hold a first degree or equivalent, you will be required to submit an assignment which will be taken into account as part of your application
  • be able to supply an academic reference that supports your potential to study at the postgraduate level. This cannot be supplied by an employer unless you work within an educational institution.

International applications

Apply using the University application portal for distance learning.

This course does not:

  • lead to registration with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) in the UK
  • have a practice-based component
  • lead to employment within the UK while you are studying or after you have completed. (We are able to supply you with contact details of local NHS trusts when you start the course if you wish to explore these possibilities).

Terms and Conditions of Enrolment

When you accept our offer, you agree to the Terms and Conditions of Enrolment. You should therefore read those conditions before accepting the offer.

English language requirements

If your first language is not English, you must demonstrate that your level of English is appropriate for study at postgraduate level. We require an IELTS score of 6.5 overall, or equivalent.

English requirements for visas

If you need a student visa to enter the UK you will need to meet the UK Visas and Immigration minimum language requirements as well as the University's requirements. Find out more about English language requirements.

Application process

International students should apply using the University application portal for distance learning.

UK-based students should apply direct.

Tuition fees

Please see the fees note
Home (UK) distance learning full time
Masters £10,400; Diploma £9,400; Certificate £5,200

Home (UK) distance learning part time
£1,155 per single module

International distance learning full time
Masters £16,600; Diploma £15,600; Certificate £8,300

International distance learning part time
£1,850 per single module

Home (UK) distance learning full time
Masters £10,900; Diploma £9,900; Certificate £5,450

Home (UK) distance learning part time
£1,210 per single module

International distance learning full time
Masters £17,450; Diploma £16,450; Certificate £8,725

International distance learning part time
£1,940 per single module

Questions about fees?

Contact Student Finance on:

Tuition fees

2024 / 25
Home (UK) distance learning full time
Masters £10,400; Diploma £9,400; Certificate £5,200

Home (UK) distance learning part time
£1,155 per single module

International distance learning full time
Masters £16,600; Diploma £15,600; Certificate £8,300

International distance learning part time
£1,850 per single module

2025 / 26
Home (UK) distance learning full time
Masters £10,900; Diploma £9,900; Certificate £5,450

Home (UK) distance learning part time
£1,210 per single module

International distance learning full time
Masters £17,450; Diploma £16,450; Certificate £8,725

International distance learning part time
£1,940 per single module

Questions about fees?

Contact Student Finance on:

+44 (0)1865 534400

Fees quoted are for the first year only. If you are studying a course that lasts longer than one year your fees will increase each year.

How and when to pay

Tuition fee instalments for the semester are due by the Monday of week 1 of each semester. Students are not liable for full fees for that semester if they leave before week 4. If the leaving date is after week 4, full fees for the semester are payable.

  • For information on payment methods, please see our Make a Payment page.
  • For information about refunds, please visit our Refund policy page

Additional costs

Please be aware that some courses will involve some additional costs that are not covered by your fees. Specific additional costs for this course are detailed below.

Funding your studies

Financial support and scholarships

Featured funding opportunities available for this course.

All financial support and scholarships

View all funding opportunities for this course

Learning and assessment

We have designed the course to raise your practice to an advanced level. This will enable you to progress as a senior practitioner, educator, researcher or manager. 

For the MSc you will take:

  • five compulsory modules
  • dissertation (triple module)
  • 3 optional modules to make up the 9-module total.

For the PGDip you will take five compulsory modules (not including the dissertation) plus one optional module. 

For the three module PGCert you will take the following modules:

  • Mastering Professional Nursing Practice
  • Evidence-based Practice
  • Leadership in Health and Social Care.
students discussing

Study modules

The modules listed below are for the master's award. For the PGDip and PGCert awards your module choices may be different. Please contact us for more details.

Taught modules

Compulsory modules

  • Advanced Research Design (20 credits)

    This module aims to equip you with the skills needed to find, appraise and utilise research, as well as plan and design a piece of research work. It will prepare you to define a suitable research question and to use this as a basis for identifying appropriate research methodologies for a small-scale research project or dissertation.

    It will enable you to plan and outline a rationale for a piece of primary research, secondary analysis, literature review or audit. It focuses on research as part of a body of evidence used for health and social care practice, and provides an overview of methodologies and methods commonly used in health and social care policies and working environments.

  • Advanced Health Promotion (20 credits)

    This module will explore theoretical and practical aspects of health promotion, including how to develop action plans for health promotion. Students will be introduced to behavioural theory as it relates to changes in health behaviour and lifestyle, as well as looking at the larger social dimensions related to lifestyle.
    The module will also provide tools for assessing community health needs, planning health promotion activities, considering the advantages and disadvantages of engaging communities in developing their own healthy lifestyles.

  • Evidence-based Practice (20 credits)

    This module aims to explore and critique theories, models and strategies for evidence-based practice, with application to the health and social care setting. Examination of the purposes, uses and limitations of various approaches to evidence-based practice, with consideration of political and economic dimensions.
    Consideration of the concepts of decision-making from the practitioner, purchaser, provider and consumer perspectives. Exploration of some available tools for critical-appraisal and the transfer of evidence to professional knowledge. Sharing of the work of experts, researchers and the student group for discussion and critique.

  • Leadership in Health and Social Care (20 credits)

    This module provides an opportunity for inter-professional learning on a topic fundamental to health and social care development and delivery. It is of value not just to people with an interest in management but also to practitioners, researchers and developers from a variety of backgrounds and areas of study. This module complements other modules on operational, financial and human resource management as the knowledge and skills developed here are of generic value in terms of working alongside and through other people.

  • Mastering Professional Nursing Practice (20 credits)

    This module extends student's understanding of professional practice beyond that of competence to one of mastery. Through examining the nature of professional practice, including the concepts and theoretical perspectives of their own profession, students will be able to blend this knowledge with their own experiences to arrive at a new way of knowing and enacting their professional role, enabling postgraduate students who are registered health care professionals to analyse and debate key theories and issues in the advancement of their professional practice.
    They will be supported through the use of strategies that include reflective practice and critical thinking, using student-centred learning approaches such as online action learning and online group discussion.
    Profession specific materials and resources will be developed for each professional group accessing the module. This module is compulsory for the awards of PG Cert/PG Dip/MSc in Nursing Studies. 

  • Dissertation (60 credits)

    This module enables students to design and conduct a small research project relevant to their specific masters programme. It is permissible to collect primary data, or undertake secondary data analysis. Students are allocated a supervisor for the duration of the module and receive individual research supervision.

    Compulsory module for MSc programme.

Optional modules

Communicable Diseases (20 credits)

This module will enable students to develop a sound knowledge and understanding of the complexity of communicable Diseases in the context of Public Health. It is applicable for students working in all healthcare settings. This practice-focused module will examine the history, causes and epidemiology of communicable diseases from a broad public health perspective.
Associated morbidity and mortality, nationally, internationally and globally will be considered together with trends in established and emerging infections. Methods to prevent and control infection will be explored including outbreak management, using surveillance, screening and vaccination strategies. Practitioners will have the opportunity to increase their knowledge and understanding of the legal and ethical aspects of public health practice.

Planning and managing clinical trials (20 credits)

This module is aimed at healthcare professionals whose work directly involves them in clinical trials or those who wish to become involved in such work. This will include principal investigators, clinical research nurses, clinical trial managers and clinical trial administrators.
It will facilitate demonstration of training required by the European Directive 2001/20/EC and the Medicines for Human Use (Clinical Trials) Regulations 2004. The module will offer students an opportunity to understand the principles of how to plan and manage clinical trials on human volunteers in accordance with current good clinical practice, how to explore and critically analyse applying the knowledge and skills in their own working environment.
The module will use a blended learning approach:

- workbook supported by electronic learning materials

- participative work within groups in an electronic discussion or bulletin board format 

Independent study (20 credits)

If you choose this module, the aim is to enable you to build on your existing professional knowledge and experience and to study in-depth an aspect related to your chosen programme of study. You can choose your own area of interest, negotiate a study and assessment plan with an appointed supervisor. Most students work on their own project, though it may be possible to work on a group project depending on the nature of the topic and the availability and area of interest of other students.

Please note: As our courses are reviewed regularly as part of our quality assurance framework, the modules you can choose from may vary from those shown here. The structure of the course may also mean some modules are not available to you.

Learning and teaching

You can study all of the compulsory course modules by distance learning. Some of the modules for this course are also available on campus.

You will have access to a range of technologies such as online real-time video and audio communication tools. You will have support from a variety of staff including our librarians and learning technologists.


Assessment methods used on this course

You will be assessed through varied methods including:

  • essays
  • critical reviews
  • case studies
  • virtual presentations.

As an MSc student you will write a dissertation on a topic of your choice.

If you choose distance learning you will receive additional materials to guide you during your studies. These include study guides and access to an interactive online learning environment and real-time classrooms.

Programme changes:
On rare occasions we may need to make changes to our course programmes after they have been published on the website. For more information, please visit our changes to programmes page.