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Advanced Clinical Practice

MSc / PGDip / PGCert

Oxford School of Nursing and Midwifery

The Advanced Clinical Practice course aims to prepare, support and develop professionals in health and social care. Specifically those who are employed in clinical roles with advanced practice, leadership, education and research responsibilities.

Continuing developments in health and social care have resulted in the need for some professionals to have greater responsibility and accountability for developing service provision. This course offers opportunities for midwives and allied health professionals to engage in continuing professional and postgraduate academic development. 

The course will extend your skills, knowledge and practice, and challenge your attitudes to health and social care.

This course is not available to students classed as International for fees purposes.

Available start dates

September 2019 / September 2020

Teaching location

Headington Campus, Marston Road site

Course length

  • Part time: MSc: 3-5 years, PGDip: 2-4 years, PGCert: 1-2 years

For full application details, please see the 'How to apply / Entry requirements' section.

  • We have state-of-the-art classroom and clinical skills simulation suites and resources.
  • Our courses are open to midwives and allied health professionals providing highly-flexible continuing professional development (CPD) study opportunities with part-time, full-time and mixed-mode options (including opportunities for e-learning, blended and distance learning).
  • We support multi and interprofessional learning and teaching, and many of our courses are either fully multiprofessional or offer excellent opportunities for shared learning.
  • Our lecturers are experienced in their specialist practice areas -  many have reputations for excellence and have established links with colleagues, organisations and institutions at national and international levels.
  • We have a strong research profile, with experienced researchers working in established areas of cancer care, children and families, drug and alcohol, physical rehabilitation and enablement, and interprofessional education and collaborative practice. In the Research Excellence Framework  (REF) 2014, 98% of our research in Allied Health Professions, Dentistry, Nursing and Pharmacy was rated as internationally recognised, with 82% being world leading or internationally excellent. 
  • Oxford Brookes is a student-centred institution that is fully committed to each individual achieving their potential. To support this, we offer a broad range of student support schemes to facilitate learning and development. We have an excellent track record of high levels of student satisfaction and high employability.

Your final award will depend on the number of modules you successfully complete. There is the option to study one module (20 level 7 credits) or two modules (40 level 7 credits) at any one time, working towards the completion of study at any of the three offered academic award levels:

  • PGCert (3 modules worth 60 level 7 credits)
  • PGDip (6 modules worth 120 level 7 credits)
  • MSc (9 modules worth 180 level 7 credits).

For students completing the MSc or PGDip, there will also be an opportunity to undertake three modules from an approved list from our healthcare portfolio.

P44011 Advanced History Taking and Assessment (compulsory for all award levels) - 20 credits at level 7; Mondays or Tuesdays.

This practice-based module enables you to develop the skills and knowledge to take a comprehensive patient history and a thorough physical and psychosocial assessment. This module will significantly enhance your assessment skills and ability to accurately describe the patient/client's history and examination findings using appropriate terminology, reporting deviations from normal in a succinct manner to colleagues within the multidisciplinary team.

Note: If you only wish to take module P44011 Advanced History Taking and Assessment as a standalone module (rather than as part of a long award such as an MSc), then you can apply to be a postgraduate associate student. You do not apply via UKPASS for this, but instead contact the Programme Administrator on aphls@brookes.ac.uk / 01865 48 2590 for further details and an application form.

P44012 Diagnostic Reasoning in Practice (compulsory for all award levels) - 20 credits at level 7; Semester 2; Wednesdays.

This module enables you to critically appraise knowledge and evidence related to the physiology underpinning diagnostic tools and interventions used within practice. Developing this knowledge helps you build a theoretical base from which to make efficient and effective decisions in relation to patients'/clients' health care needs, and their management.

P44041 Advancing Professional Practice (compulsory for all award levels) - 20 credits at level 7; Semester 1; Wednesdays.

In this practice-related module students will have the opportunity to study the development of advanced clinical practice through an understanding of its history and influences on contemporary care contexts. We will explore definitions of advanced clinical practice, the four pillars, philosophy and ethics in relation to advanced practice and the concepts that surround the role. The nature of knowledge in advanced clinical practice and decision making in relationship to patient experience and outcomes will be explored. We will examine the political and legal aspects of advanced clinical practice and reflect on issues such as gender, power and control. Advanced practice as art/science, professional identity, collaborative practice and major theories will be explored and critical thinking will be applied to how these develop.

P44061 Applied Research Methods (compulsory for MSc) - 10 credits at level 7; Semester 2; Tuesdays.

The module primarily aims to prepare advanced health and social care practitioners for practice-based research. This module therefore enables you to explore the variety of research methods that are used in health service and practice research. We will examine both primary and secondary research approaches including qualitative and quantitative methods, clinical audit and service evaluation. You will be expected to identify a practice or professional dilemma consistent with your programme of study that may be investigated using one of these means and take this forward should you continue to the dissertation module. The module aims to equip you with the understanding and skills to take forward a realistic, small-scale research project of your own using one of the methods studied.

P44062 Dissertation in Advanced Practice (compulsory for MSc) - 50 credits at level 7; Semesters 1 or 2.

This module enables you to design and conduct a small research project that is relevant to your professional practice and central to the learning outcomes of the Masters programme. It is an opportunity to explore the professional practice dilemma identified in Applied Research Methods and to seek a viable solution. To complete the module, you will collect primary data, undertake secondary data analysis, and conduct a clinical audit or service evaluation. Students are allocated a supervisor for the duration of the module and receive individual research supervision.

For PG Diploma and MSc awards you will have the opportunity to complete three further modules from a list of options from our healthcare portfolio.

Please note: as our courses are reviewed regularly as part of our quality assurance framework, the list of modules you choose from may vary from that shown here.

Teaching and learning

This course has a flexible modular structure. Learning activities include seminars, group discussion and action-learning circles. There is an emphasis on analysing real situations from practice as a basis for examining underlying theoretical issues. We take a student-centred approach to teaching and learning and are strongly focused on encouraging you to attain your full potential as a lifelong learner. In a lively, challenging and supportive atmosphere, you will be encouraged to share your learning with peers and colleagues and to consider how you can contribute to the development of others. Our teaching strategies encourage self-reflection, the integration of theory and practice, and interprofessional collaboration.

Some modules are designed in a distance learning mode using IT resources, including the Brookes Virtual Learning Environment (an online repository of lectures, handouts, information and learning exercises). Most are delivered in a ‘blended learning’ framework combining attended taught sessions with online learning and resources.

Approach to assessment

Assessment strategies are varied although largely based on coursework. You will have opportunities to negotiate the specific content and nature of most module assessments with your tutors to ensure that your work combines academic study with challenges in current practice. Assessed work and additional evidence are assembled in a portfolio to demonstrate your progression and achievement in relation to a set of advanced practice outcomes.

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.

Tuition fees

Home/EU - part time fee: 2019/20: £1,020 per single module 2020/21: £1,040 per single module

Please be aware that some courses will involve some additional costs that are not covered by your fees. Specific additional costs for this course, if any, are detailed in the 'This course in detail' window above.

Questions about fees?
Contact Student Finance on:
+44 (0)1865 483088

Funding and scholarships

For general sources of financial support, see funding for Postgraduate students from the UK and EU

Entry requirements

You must:

  • have a first degree, or prior learning at the equivalent, appropriate level
  • have a minimum of three years' post-registration experience in clinical practice
  • be employed in a suitable clinical role in the UK for the achievement of clinical learning outcomes
  • have evidence of current professional registration with the NMC (Nursing Midwifery Council) or HCPC (Health and Care Professions Council) in the UK
  • have access to an appropriate clinical supervisor within your area of practice
  • have explicit written support from your line manager.

International applicants and medical doctors are not eligible for this course.

Note: The university offers a pre-master's programme which has been designed to fully prepare you for your future master's course if:

  • your undergraduate qualifications do not meet the level required for postgraduate study
  • you wish to take a master's in a subject that is different from your undergraduate degree
  • you need to improve your study skills and use of academic English.

Note: If you only wish to take module P44011 Advanced History Taking and Assessment as a standalone module (rather than as part of a long award such as an MSc), then you can apply to be a postgraduate associate student here.

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 with an IELTS overall score of 7.0 or equivalent. This is necessary to satisfy the requirements of the prescribing element in the course.

Please also see the university's standard English language requirements

This course is not available to students classed as International for fees purposes.

Preparation courses for EU students

We offer a range of courses to help you to meet the entry requirements for this course and also familiarise you with university life. You may also be able to apply for one student visa to cover both courses.

  • Take our Pre-Master's course to help you to meet both the English language and academic entry requirements for your master's course.
  • If you need to improve your English language, we have pre-sessional English language courses available to help you to meet the English language requirements of your chosen master’s.

If you are studying outside the UK, for more details about your specific country entry requirements, translated information, local contacts and programmes within your country, please have a look at our country pages.

How to apply

You apply to this course directly to the Faculty of Health and Life Sciences via the online application portal. The course is HL81 Advanced Clinical Practice.

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.


Students on the course are employed in senior clinical roles in healthcare; the majority are promoted to consultant or senior clinical management positions as a direct result of completing the course.

How Brookes supports postgraduate students

All our courses adopt a student-centred approach to teaching and learning and are strongly focused on encouraging you to attain your full potential as lifelong learners.

There is a range of support mechanisms for students, such as academic advisers, who will facilitate your academic development, and student support co-ordinators, who provide a drop-in service for queries about any aspect of student life, covering both academic and personal welfare.

The university’s support services include Upgrade, which provides advice on study skills such as planning and writing essays, assignments and dissertations, research, or preparing for an exam. They also give advice on statistics and maths. There is a dedicated Student Disability and Dyslexia Service, which provides support for students with disabilities including sensory and mobility impairments, dyslexia and other specific learning difficulties, mental health problems and medical conditions. Here, staff offer advice and support on a range of issues, including physical access, funding, alternative assessment arrangements and liaison with teaching staff to ensure that they are aware of your requirements.

Supporting your learning

From academic advisers and support co-ordinators to specialist subject librarians and other learning support staff, we want to ensure that you get the best out of your studies.

Research highlights

In the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014, 98% of our research in Allied Health Professions, Dentistry, Nursing and Pharmacy was rated as internationally recognised, with 82% being world leading or internationally excellent.

We have a number of both promising and senior, experienced researchers working in established areas including cancer care, children and families, drugs and alcohol, physical rehabilitation and enablement, and interprofessional education and collaborative practice. Over the past few years, these researchers have won external research and consultancy contracts including grants, fellowships and studentships for NHS staff. Our research staff collaborate with researchers from across Oxford Brookes University and from the Institute of Health Sciences at the University of Oxford, along with research teams from many other UK and international centres.

For more details about our research portfolio, go to our research pages.