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Nursing Studies (Leadership in Clinical Practice)

MSc / PGDip / PGCert

Oxford School of Nursing and Midwifery

Are you a registered nurse, looking to build upon your practice?

Do you want to build your skills and confidence to become a leader in your field?

Do you want a flexible course where you are able to learn as part of a collaborative community of nurses, midwives and AHPs?

The Nursing Studies course aims to raise your practice to an advanced level. It will enable you to progress as a senior practitioner, educator, researcher or manager.

You will develop your practice with confidence, knowing that it is based on the best available evidence to allow you to make effective nursing interventions.

The course is delivered to provide both flexibility and a quality education experience; a combination that is of huge benefit to our students. All compulsory modules are available as distance learning. Students can also choose to study some of the modules on campus if they wish.

Available start dates

January 2019 / January 2020

Teaching location

Distance learning

Course length

  • Part time: up to 5 years for all awards

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

  • One of our students said: "Every module encourages a direct relationship to the student's current / recent practice. The fact that students can choose their own scenarios for some assignments is a HUGE selling point - the knowledge students gain from this approach is fantastic."
  • You are given an opportunity to develop your academic research writing with the aim of peer-reviewed publication and we offer students the opportunity to become involved with the patient-centred research that the team undertake. This is particularly within the sphere of ehealth.
  • Our team of lecturers and researchers have a wealth of practice and research experience combined with a rich track record of research publications in areas of relevance to nursing.
  • Our lecturers are experienced in their specialist practice area and maintain excellent practice links with those areas locally or across the region as well as colleagues, organisations and institutions at national and international level.
  • We offer students opportunities such as the development of teaching skills and we have an established pathway for exceptional students to write for peer-reviewed publication.
  • In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF), the Oxford Brookes Department of Clinical Health Care had 98% of research internationally recognised, with 82% of research being world leading or internationally excellent. 90% of impact was rated world leading or internationally excellent, with 80% more 4* and over double the percentage of 3* research compared to 2008.

This MSc in Nursing Studies is designed to raise your practice to an advanced level, enabling you to progress as a senior practitioner, educator, researcher or manager. You will develop your practice with confidence, knowing that it is based on the best available evidence to allow you to make effective nursing interventions.

The course covers modules in each of the following:

  • Mastering Professional Nursing Practice (compulsory)
  • Evidence-based Practice (compulsory)
  • Leadership in Health and Social Care (compulsory)
  • Health Promotion (compulsory)
  • Advanced Research Design (compulsory)
  • Work-based Learning (optional)
  • Independent Study (optional)
  • Psychosocial Palliative Care (optional)
  • Creating Frameworks for Learning (optional)
  • Rehabilitation: Application of the ICF (optional)
  • Independent and Supplementary Prescribing (AHP) V300 (optional double)
  • Dissertation (compulsory for MSc, triple module)

One module can be chosen from the six optional modules to make up the 9-module MSc or 6-module PGDip. For the three module PGCert, you would take Mastering Professional Nursing Practice, Evidence-based Practice and Leadership. In addition, for the PGDip, you would do all of the compulsory modules (except the dissertation), plus one optional module.

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

Teaching and learning

This distance learning course provides exciting opportunities for learners who do not attend on-campus but want to study to an advanced level in a stimulating and dynamic online environment. In addition to accessing our virtual learning environment you will have the use of a range of technologies such as online real-time video and audio communication tools. This means that students can feel supported by a variety of staff including the librarians and learning technologists. Some of the modules for this programme are also available on campus if students wish to access them.

Approach to assessment

Coursework assessments are varied in style and include (but are not limited to) essays, critical reviews, case studies and virtual presentations. MSc students will also write a dissertation on a topic of their choice. Additional materials are provided to distance learning students to guide you during your studies; these include study guides and access to an interactive online learning environment and real-time classrooms.

Online global community of nurses

This course is an opportunity to become part of an online global and dynamic community of nurses who connect and learn together.You are encouraged to develop your digital literacy and are therefore introduced to a range of technologies such as Moodle, Skype, real time classrooms, social networking and electronic bibliographic software.

There are also extracurricular opportunities such as support to write for peer-reviewed publication.

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 - distance learning fee: 2019/20: £1,020 per single module 2020/21: £1,040 per single module

International - distance learning fee: 2019/20: £1,520 per single module 2020/21: £1,600 per single module

For information there are 9 single modules to pay for in a full masters programme.

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

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 that is negotiated with the course leader and which will be taken into account as part of your application.
  • Have reliable access to the internet, preferably through a broadband connection.
  • 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
  • Have good IT skills and be proficient in the use of the internet and online communication.

You can choose to enrol at either the PGCert, PGDip or MSc level. You can enter on the basis of your undergraduate degree and/or previous appropriate knowledge and experience. A framework is available for the Accreditation of Prior (Experience and) Learning (APEL and APCL), which awards credit appropriate to the individual’s background, qualifications and experience.

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 6.5-7.0 overall, or equivalent.

Please also see the university's standard English language requirements

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.

International applications

Note for international applicants: 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).

Preparation courses for International and 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

UK-based students apply to this course directly to the Faculty of Health and Life Sciences via the online application portal. 

The course is Nursing Studies (Leadership in Clinical Practice).

International students apply through the University Direct Application Portal for Distance Learning  (Below)

For distance learning, international applicants do not need a visa but will be asked to pay a deposit of £1,000 to secure a place on the course.

Applications are dealt with on a first come, first served basis, so please act early to avoid disappointment.

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.

How this course helps you develop

The critical engagement with the academic literature and contemporary debate in the modules that you take will enhance your ability to think analytically and solve problems at an advanced level in your area of work. 


This course is aimed at experienced nurses who may be working in any area of the world.  The skills and knowledge you will develop will enable you to develop your career further as a nurse leader, nurse researcher or nurse educator.

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 service for both distance learning and on-campus students, whether this involves queries about any aspect of student life, or academic and personal welfare.

Our 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.

EU/International students

As a new EU or international on-campus student you will join the Academic and Cultural Orientation Programme, which has been set up to enable you to make a smooth transition into study at the University. Within the sessions, you will explore the culture of the University, which will assist you in developing the appropriate academic skills required for your programme of study. The University also provides a comprehensive range of support networks and services to EU/international students. For more information, go to www.brookes.ac.uk/international/why-oxford-brookes/support/.

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

Current research activity within the programme team includes:

  • Leadership in health care
  • Health care professional education
  • Models of care delivery
  • Resilience and vulnerability in health care
  • Health workforce resilience and adversity
  • Health management
  • Patient safety and health care quality
  • Social and cultural diversity in health care
  • Diabetes and technology
  • Online learning
  • Academic research writing
  • Development of approaches to literature review

This course is run by a team of lecturers and researchers with a wealth of practice and research experience and a rich track record of research publications in areas of relevance to nursing.

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. 

For more details about our research portfolio, go to our website

Research areas and clusters

The programme sits within the Professional Practice Research Group (PPR), which is led by Professor Debra Jackson