University of Chester

Programme Specification
Advanced Practice - Clinical Practice Pathway MSc
2017 - 2018

Master of Science

Advanced Practice - Clinical Practice Pathway

Advanced Practice - Clinical Practice Pathway

University of Chester

University of Chester

Sites as determined by the Faculty of Health and Social Care.

Professional/ Specialist/ Community/ Advanced Practice (Nursing & Midwifery)


Classroom / Laboratory,

2 years

6 Years

Biannual - January - September




17a. Faculty

17b. Department

Health and Social Care Health and Social Care

  • Framework for Higher Education Qualifications in England, Wales and Northern Ireland
  • NHS Knowledge and Skills Framework
  • Nursing and Midwifery Council Standards
  • Health and Care Professions Council.

Faculty of Health and Social Care, Postgraduate Module Assessment Board

Monday 2nd June 2014

The programme aims to:

  • Facilitate the development of a range of multi-professional Advanced Practitioners, who will be fit for practice, fit for purpose and fit for award.
  • Offer a dynamic and quality postgraduate educational experience relevant to Advanced Practitioners, which includes a research element.
  • Facilitate postgraduates to utilise higher level critical, analytical and reflective skills within academic and practice environments.
  • Enable students to be cognisant of the holistic nature of advanced practice, and to gain comprehensive higher level knowledge, expertise and the individual qualities necessary to work as autonomous, competent practitioners within unpredictable professional environments.
  • Enable postgraduates to be innovative and enterprising, and to apply contributions to the evidence base of practice, communicating conclusions clearly.
  • Continue to develop the students’ skills in collaborative practice and the partnership delivery of care, and to consider the impact of their professional role within the organisation and wider context.
  • Develop originality and sound judgement in leadership and facilitation skills, which will enable postgraduates to implement best practice in service delivery.
  • Fulfil the dynamic nature of healthcare, and enable practitioners to influence the strategic planning and delivery of government agendas.

Successful students will be able to;

  • Apply key concepts principles, theories and policies in students’ area of practice related to developing advanced clinical skills, health assessment and diagnostic skills in relation to the area of the treatment options for individuals groups and communities (NM7201, NM7017, NM7202).
  • Recognize the uniqueness of students’ own professional practice knowledge and understanding of the role of the practitioner within the context of the wider health agenda (NM7201, NM7017, NM7069, NM7202).
  • Demonstrate evidence-based approaches to the ongoing development of the students practice and professional role, and the dissemination of information (NM7069).
  • Apply and facilitate the research process and relevance to students’ own scholarship (NM7201, NM7017, NM7069, NM7202).
  • Demonstrate the ability to respond appropriately in challenging and unpredictable situations (NM7017).
  • Develop personal practice in light of forefront developments within the fields (NM7069).

Successful students will be able to;

  • Deal with complex issues and problems as they arise and making informed judgements (NM7201, NM7017, NM7069, NM7202).
  • Demonstrate the ability to think logically and critically in the interpretation of physiological and clinical data to determine a differential diagnosis and suitable management plan (All modules)
  • Using problem-solving skills; identify and reflect on areas of practice, which need development (NM7201, NM7017, NM7069, NM7202).
  • Develop original and creative responses to problems and help develop strategies to promote health and well-being in individuals, groups and communities (NM7069).
  • Assisting policy development in light of new research and/or/evidence (NM7069).

Successful students will be able to;

  • Exercise autonomy and initiative at a professional level; identifying strategies to ensure safe and effective person centered care (NM7201, NM7017, NM7202).
  • Ethically and effectively practice in ways that show awareness of own and others' roles and responsibilities (NM7201, NM7017, NM7069, NM7202).
  • Facilitate effective multidisciplinary/multi agency team working within the workplace setting (NM7201, NM7017, NM7202).
  • Influence others by using professional skills to effect change when necessary (NM7201, NM7017, NM7069, NM7202).
  • Act as an advocate by utilizing innovation and compassion to focus on putting the patient central to their own health care choices (NM7201, NM7202, NM7017).

Successful students will be able to;

  • Use effective communication skills to communicate a range of audiences with different levels of knowledge and expertise using appropriate methods (NM7201, NM7017, NM7069, NM7202).
  • Critically evaluate a range of data to improve health (NM7201, NM7017, NM7069, NM7202).
  • Utilize the therapeutic relationship as a basis for effective practice (NM7201, NM7017, NM7202).
  • Demonstrate the ability to use a range of ICT applications required for practice (NM7201, NM7017, NM7069, NM7202).
  • Demonstrate higher-level literacy and numeracy skills (NM7017, NM7069).
  • Undertake critical reflection and development of personal and professional practice (NM7201, NM7017, NM7069, NM7202).

This programme is part time, leading to a Master of Science degree in Advanced Practice. Health Education North West has led the strategic planning of Advanced Practice programmes throughout the Merseyside and Cheshire zone, and has identified the need to develop a tripartite collaborative approach which is multi-professional. The programme is offered on a modular basis, and is designed to meet the criteria set by professional organisations and the Quality Assurance Agency subject benchmarks. The programme is divided between theoretical study and practice.

The programme contains six taught modules (20 credits per module). Students may exit with a postgraduate certificate following completion of three modules (60 credits) within a specialist pathway, a postgraduate diploma with the completion of six modules (120 credits) within the chosen pathway, and have an option to achieve a further 60 credits through a dissertation module to complete the Master's degree. Modules are designed and delivered in accordance with the Framework for Higher Education Qualifications, using their stated credit level descriptors as a reference point.

All students will complete the following compulsory modules to exit with a Master of Science in Advanced Practice. 

  • Advanced Practice in Health Care (20 credits).
  • Diagnostics and Health Assessment (20 credits).
  • Clinical Examination Skills (20 credits).
  • Research (20 credits).
  • Dissertation (60 credits) - students can choose from NM7059 or NM7038 but one must be completed.

All students will also need to complete two further (20 credit) option modules chosen from the Faculty of Health and Social Care's academic suite of Master's level modules. Examples of these are included in Section 24b.

All students will complete the following compulsory modules to exit with a Postgraduate Diploma in Advanced Practice. 

  • Advanced Practice in Health Care (20 credits).
  • Diagnostics and Health Assessment (20 credits).
  • Clinical Examination Skills (20 credits).
  • Research (20 credits).
  • Two further option Modules option modules chosen from the Faculty of Health and Social Care's academic suite of Master's level modules. Examples of these are included in Section 24b (40 Credits).

All students will complete the following compulsory modules to exit with a Postgraduate Certificate in Advanced Practice. 

  • Advanced Practice in Health Care (20 credits).
  • Diagnostics and Health Assessment (20 credits).
  • Clinical Examination Skills (20 credits).

NM7038, NM7045, NM7046 & NM7061 - Optional modules for Chester students ONLY

NM7036, NM7081, NM7084, NM7194 & NM7218 - Optional modules for Jersey students ONLY

NM7012, NM7017, NM7059, NM7069, NM7201, NM7202 & NM7203 - modules available for both Chester & Jersey students.

Mod-Code Level Title Credit Single
NM7012 7 Leadership Development and Change 20 Optional
NM7017 7 Advanced Practice in Health Care 20 Comp
NM7036 7 Learning and Assessment in Professional Education 20 Optional
NM7038 7 Work Based Learning Project (Dissertation) 60 Optional
NM7045 7 Non Medical Prescribing in Context 20 Optional
NM7046 7 Therapeutic Aspects of Prescribing 20 Optional
NM7059 7 Dissertation 60 Optional
NM7069 7 Research 20 Comp
NM7081 7 Engaging with Masters study 20 Optional
NM7084 7 Independent Study 20 Optional
NM7194 7 Clinical Supervision 20 Optional
NM7201 7 Diagnostics and Health Assessment 20 Comp
NM7202 7 Clinical Examination Skills 20 Comp
NM7203 7 Inter-professional practice 20 Optional
NM7218 7 Case Management of People with Long Term Conditions 20 Optional

60 credits at Level 7 will achieve a Postgraduate Certificate (with a named pathway).
120 credits at Level 7 will achieve a Postgraduate Diploma (with a named pathway).
Completion of the 60 credit dissertation module, plus the above, will achieve a Master of Science award in Advanced Practice.

Students must pass every component and module, with a minimum mark of 40%.

The admission criteria for student entry to the MSc Advanced Practice programme will normally be:

  • Registration on the appropriate part of a professional register for their chosen pathway.
  • Normally a minimum of 2 years* post-registration experience.
  • Successful completion of a degree in nursing or a health-related field, or equivalent.
  • Support from the employer. 

* Candidates who do not possess the full two years of experience in the specialist area may exceptionally be admitted to the programme using the following criteria, both of which must be met:

  • Support from sponsoring organisation/employer.
  • Evidence of practice in a closely related area of specialism.

Non-standard applicants may seek further advice from the Programme Leader regarding entry criteria.

The Framework for Higher Education Qualifications in England, Wales and Northern Ireland as identified by the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (2008), Nursing and Midwifery Council Standards of Proficiency (2010) and the Health and Care Professions (HCPC) Standards of Proficiency. The programme enables practitioners to work at the higher levels outlined in the NHS Knowledge & Skills Framework Guidance (2010).

Methods of learning and teaching emphasise student-centred techniques. This facilitates students to become increasingly autonomous learners, able to identify their own learning needs and goals within the parameters of the programme aims and outcomes. Learning in practice as part of the assessment process involves the students in developing learning plans – this will require them to actively identify and negotiate specific learning outcomes pertinent to their area of clinical practice, within the parameters of the module learning outcomes. In all methods of learning and teaching, student engagement is considered, reflecting the emphasis on this throughout the UK Quality Code to assure and enhance academic quality.

Inter-professional learning is a key feature within the programme. Visiting lecturers and professional experts facilitate this process, and ensure that examples and scenarios are drawn from the range of clinical and practice areas.

Within the programme there are a range of assessment strategies that reflect the individual module content. For example, in NM7202 (Clinical Examination Skills), the student has to undertake an Objective Structured Clinical Examination. Similarly, in NM7017 (Advanced Practice in Health Care), the student has to critically analyse the impact of competency frameworks that have implications for their autonomous practice. The focus is on recognising that the students will be expected to lead change in the workplace, therefore the assessments are aimed at facilitating this process.

Formative feedback will be available in accordance with Faculty policy.

It is envisaged that students who successfully complete the programme will become leaders and innovators in their chosen pathway. They will possess the skills and knowledge which is essential for the assurance of standards within their area of practice.

No student will be disadvantaged on the basis of age, sexual orientation, disability, faith or race.

Diversity is valued and will be demonstrated by:

  • Valuing people.
  • Recognising them for their skills, experience and talents.
  • Treating everyone fairly irrespective of race, disability, age, sexual orientation, religion or belief, and gender.
  • Including in module content consideration of race, disability, age, sexual orientation, religion, belief and gender in the context of eating disorders.

The course is designed to include intergration of theory and practice to emphasise the practical aspect of the programme and reinforce the notion of Advanced Practice. The Faculty has adopted a collaborative approach to the admission of students to the MSc Advanced Practice programme. As most students are required to have the full support of their sponsoring organisation/employer to undertake the programme, close liaison between academic and service staff is essential. For the proposed two year Health Education North West commissioned students, each organisation / employer identifies and interviews candidates in conjunction with staff from the Faculty of Health and Social Care, using the criteria for entry to the programme.

Students undertaking the programme will receive support and guidance through a number of service and support mechanisms within the Faculty and the wider University;

  • Tutorial group support throughout the programme.
  • Academic support and assessment guidance from the module leader.
  • Support throughout from the programme leader and team.
  • Support from the University's Student Futures Department.
  • The programme handbook, available on the University intranet.
  • The module handbook (providing more details than programme handbooks including specific details in relation to updated content, timetable and reading list).
  • Module descriptors, timetables and other associated learning materials such as e-tutorials, e-discussions and electronic access to library resources.
  • APL/AP(E)L guidance available from the AP(E)L team.
  • Induction programme.
  • Where relevant, support from the University's International Office.

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