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Advanced Clinical Practice (Learning Disability and/or Autism) MSc

Devise evidence-based strategies which underpin practice. Become a highly effective leader with the skills and knowledge to provide enhanced support for those with learning disabilities and/or autism.


Course length: 2-4.5 years part-time
Start dates: September 2024
September 2025
Location: Edge Hill University
Subject(s): Health and Social Care
Faculty: Health, Social Care and Medicine
Department: Medical School

This MSc provides a progression route for those who have successfully completed the PGCert Learning Disability and/or Autism at Edge Hill University. It is also available to those who have completed similar postgraduate courses elsewhere which align to the Health Education England (HEE) multi-professional credential in learning disabilities and autism in advanced practice.

Enabling health and social care professionals to extend their knowledge to an advanced level within their specialist field of practice, the course is suitable for individuals who wish to become advanced practitioners, as well as those who wish to promote the advance of practice within their field of work.

The course consists of a range of taught and work-based learning modules that will enable busy practitioners to access patient-care enhancing education and become a leader who can demonstrate a high level of autonomy in their specialist area of practice.

What you'll study

The programme will support you in becoming a competent and capable advanced clinical practitioner. You will be equipped with the skills, knowledge and understanding to deliver, sustain and enhance safe, professional, ethical and excellent quality of care across health and care services in your specific area or scope of practice.

Specialising in learning disabilities and/or autism will empower you in actively preventing health inequalities through your practice. It will enable you to provide enhanced support for people with learning disabilities and/or autism.

Successful completion of the course will:

  • Equip you with a critical understanding of the role that an advanced clinical practitioner plays in the delivery of safe, effective, high quality patient care as a member of the wider multidisciplinary team.
  • Support you in the development of the capabilities to practice with autonomy, accountability and critical insight in decision making in complex and uncertain environments within your defined scope of advanced clinical practice.
  • Help you to develop as an advanced clinical practitioner who is a resilient, effective team leader. To enable you to challenge and act as a change agent supported by a critical understanding of evidence-based practice while managing risk and upholding patient safety.
  • Enable you to critically assess your own learning and training needs required to work safely and effectively as an advanced clinical practitioner while advocating for the development of others.
  • Equip you with the skills required to critically engage in research activity/quality improvement projects and apply the outcomes to enhance the quality and safety of person-centred care.

For more information about each module, including the dates and times of module sessions, please see our Continuing Professional Development Modules for Health and Social Care Practitioners pages.

Compulsory modules:

Expand all
Context of Advanced Practice
Developing Clinical Skills and Capabilities in Advanced Practice (Adult)
Developing Research Capabilities for Advanced Clinical Practice
E-Portfolio for Advanced Clinical Practice
Improving Service Delivery within Learning Disability and/or Autism
Leading Advanced Person-Centred Care within Learning Disability and/or Autism
Research Inquiry for Advanced Practice

How you'll study

Diverse teaching and learning strategies will be used, ranging from individual personal teacher contact to supported online learning, small group work to teacher-led lectures.

While the majority of classes will take place at Edge Hill University, some modules may involve studying at sites other than Ormskirk in which case you will be responsible for travel and parking costs.

You can expect to receive your timetable at enrolment. Please note that while we make every effort to ensure that timetables are as student-friendly as possible, scheduled teaching can take place on any day or evening of the week.

How you'll be assessed

Assessment methods vary according to the demands of the module but can be through assignments, Objective Structured Clinical Examinations, portfolios, seminar presentations and work-based learning projects.

Who will be teaching you

The programme team comprises of expert staff with many years of experience in clinical practice. This is in areas such as emergency care, paramedic practice, respiratory care, mental health, primary care and medical practice.

You will also be taught by associate tutors from primary and secondary care, neurology, biological sciences and areas of senior healthcare management.

Entry criteria

Entry requirements

To join this course, you must be a practitioner who is a member of a UK-recognised Professional Statutory Regulatory Body (PSRB).

You must have completed the PGCert Learning Disability and/or Autism course at Edge Hill University, or an equivalent 60-credits of postgraduate study that align to the Health Education England (HEE) multi-professional credential in learning disabilities and autism in advanced practice.

You will need to have access to the appropriate workplace environment to gain relevant clinical experience throughout the programme. This will include appropriate clinical supervision by a designated Coordinating Workplace Supervisor and Associate Workplace Supervisors to meet Health Education England (HEE) requirements.

Applications must be supported by a reference from your current employer.

An interview forms part of the selection process.

English language requirements

While international students who are not resident and working in the UK cannot currently join this course, if you are working and resident in the UK but your first language is not English, you will need IELTS 6.5 overall, with a score no lower than 6.0 in each individual component, or an equivalent English language qualification.

How to apply

There is an online application process for this course.

Please choose the application form for your preferred intake date.

Please note that this course requires you to download a document from the webpage to complete additional information to support your application.  The document will then be uploaded to your online application submission.

Should you accept an offer of a place to study with us and formally enrol as a student, you will be subject to the provisions of the regulations, rules, codes, conditions and policies which apply to our students. These are available at

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Faculty of Health, Social Care and Medicine

The Faculty of Health, Social Care and Medicine offers outstanding facilities for the education and training of health and social care professionals.

The contemporary teaching and learning resources include leading edge clinical skills facilities, an 860-seat lecture theatre, and a variety of teaching rooms and social learning spaces.

Where you'll study

Faculty of Health, Social Care and Medicine


Tuition fees

UK Part-Time

£50 per credit

for 60 credits

EU/EEA and Swiss students who have settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme, as well as Irish nationals, may be eligible for the UK tuition fee rate.

Financial support

Please view the relevant Money Matters guide for comprehensive information about the financial support available to eligible UK students joining postgraduate courses at Edge Hill University.

EU/EEA and Swiss students who have settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme may be eligible to apply for financial support. Irish nationals can ordinarily apply to Student Universal Support Ireland (SUSI). Please see our EU student finance page for further details.

Your future career

This programme will enhance your ability to progress to employment in more senior roles as an advanced clinical practitioner within your chosen field of healthcare, with specialist skills and knowledge in learning disabilities and/or autism.

Successful completion of this MSc enables you to meet Health Education North West’s requirements to practice at an advanced level across the health professions spectrum, including roles such as paramedics, operating department practitioners, nurses, dietitians, occupational therapists and physiotherapists.

Course changes

Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this information, however our courses are subject to ongoing review and development. Changing circumstances may necessitate alteration to, or the cancellation of, courses.

Changes may be necessary to comply with the requirements of professional bodies, revisions to subject benchmarks statements, to keep courses updated and contemporary, or as a result of student feedback. We reserve the right to make variations if we consider such action to be necessary or in the best interests of students.

Track changes to this course

Download our course leaflet