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Advanced Clinical Practice

MSc or PGDip or PGCert

Key facts

Start dates

January 2022 / September 2022 / January 2023 / September 2023

Course length

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

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


Our MSc/PGDip/PGCert Advanced Clinical Practice will prepare and support you in your clinical role 

Our courses are open to midwives and allied health professionals. They provide highly-flexible continuing professional development (CPD) study opportunities, with part and full-time options. 

We will challenge your understanding of, and beliefs in, healthcare. And prepare you to take greater responsibility for developing service provision. You will develop the following areas of responsibility to an advanced level:

  • practice
  • leadership
  • education
  • research.

You will engage in continuing professional and postgraduate academic development as a midwife nurse or allied health professional. As well as extend your knowledge and practice skills. There are excellent opportunities for shared learning. And we support multi and inter-professional learning and teaching.

Two female healthcare students talking

How to apply

Entry requirements

Specific 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.

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.

Please also see the University's general entry requirements.

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.

Pathways courses for EU students

We offer a range of courses to help you meet the entry requirements for your postgraduate course and also familiarise you with university life in the UK.

Take a Pre-Master's course to develop your subject knowledge, study skills and academic language level in preparation for your master's course.

If you need to improve your English language, we offer pre-sessional English language courses to help you meet the English language requirements of your chosen master’s course.

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.

Application process

You apply to this course directly to the Faculty of Health and Life Sciences via the online application portal.


Apply now

Tuition fees

Please see the fees note
Home (UK) distance learning
£1,060 per single module

Home (UK) distance learning
£1,080 per single module

Questions about fees?

Contact Student Finance on:

Tuition fees

2021 / 22
Home (UK) distance learning
£1,060 per single module

2022 / 23
Home (UK) distance learning
£1,080 per single module

Questions about fees?

Contact Student Finance on:

+44 (0)1865 483088

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.

Financial support and scholarships

For general sources of financial support, see our Fees and funding pages.

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, if any, are detailed below.

The published course and module descriptions were accurate when first published and remain the basis of the course, but the University has had to modify some course and module content in response to government restrictions and social distancing requirements. In the event of changes made to the government advice and social distancing rules by national or local government, the University may need to make further alterations to the published course content. Detailed information on the changes will be sent to every student on confirmation in August to ensure you have all the information before you come to Oxford Brookes.

Learning and assessment

You can work towards completing your study at any of the three offered academic award levels.

The award you receive depends on the number of modules you successfully complete. At any one time you can choose to study:

  • one module (20 level seven credits)
  • or two modules (40 level seven credits). 

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

Students taking notes in a lecture

Start this course in January

You have the option to start this course in January. You will study a range of modules between January and May. During the summer months of June, July and August you will study further modules and begin work on your dissertation. Between September and December you will complete your final modules and focus on your dissertation.

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.

The course is Advanced Clinical Practice MSc/PGd/PGc.


Taught modules

Compulsory modules

Advanced History Taking and Assessment (20 credits)

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

Note: If you only wish to take this 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. Contact the Programme Administrator on / 01865 48 8157 for further details and a link to the online application portal.

Diagnostic Reasoning in Practice (20 credits)

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' healthcare needs, and their management.

Advancing Professional Practice (20 credits)

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. You 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. You 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.

Applied Research Methods (10 credits)

This module primarily aims to prepare advanced health and social care practitioners for practice-based research. It 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.

Optional modules

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.

Final project

Compulsory modules

Dissertation in Advanced Practice (50 credits)

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 master's 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.

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

Learning and teaching

You will learn through the following activities: 

  • seminars
  • group discussions
  • action-learning circles.

Our course has a flexible modular structure. You will analyse real situations from practice as a basis for examining underlying theoretical issues.  

You will combine taught sessions with online learning and resources during the course. Some modules are designed in a distance learning mode using IT resources. 

You will:

  • experience a lively, challenging and supportive learning atmosphere
  • share your learning with peers and colleagues
  • consider how you can contribute to the development of others. 

You will use self-reflection, the integration of theory and practice and interprofessional collaboration as part of your studies.


Assessment methods used on this course

NURS7030 - Advanced history taking and assessment Formative assessment: Practice scenario assessment weeks 8, 9 and 10, and submission of two 'Evaluation of clinical skills practise' forms Summative assessment: submission of final 'Evaluation of clinical skills practise' form (pass / fail), and a Practice Scenario Assessment (100%)

NURS7076 - Advancing Professional Practice Formative assessment: 1,000 word outline of summative essay, week 7 Summative assessment: 3,500 word reflective essay (100%)

NURS7031 - Diagnostic Reasoning in Practice Formative assessment: 1,000 word draft essay, week 8
Summative assessment: 3,500 word essay and self-assessment of learning (100%)

NURS7061 - Applied Research Methods Formative assessment; 1,000 word outline of summative essay week 7 Summative assessment: 2,500 word essay (100%) NURS7062 - Dissertation in Advanced Practice Formative assessment: submission of a chapter within first 6 months Summative assessment 10,000 word thesis (100%)


We have a strong research profile. Our experienced researchers work in the following areas:

  • cancer care
  • children and families
  • drugs and alcohol
  • physical rehabilitation and enablement
  • interprofessional education and collaborative practice.

Our 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, amongst others. 

Student studying at desk

After you graduate

Career prospects

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.

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.