MSc Advanced Practice


Course Length:3-4.5 Years Part-Time
Start Dates:September 2019, February 2020, September 2020, February 2021
Department:Faculty of Health and Social Care
Location:Edge Hill University
  • Extend your knowledge and skills to advanced levels within your specialist area of practice, developing high levels of autonomy and advanced decision making skills;
  • Develop as an imaginative practitioner and transformational leader who champions the ongoing monitoring and quality enhancement of patient/client care;
  • Gain a critical understanding of research methodologies and equip yourself with the ability to evaluate, synthesise, generate and disseminate the findings of research;
  • Contribute to evidence-based, reflective health and social care practice.

This programme is designed to enable health and social care professionals to extend their knowledge to an advanced level within their specialist field of practice. It is suitable both for individuals who wish to become advanced practitioners, or for those individuals who wish to promote the advance of practice within their field of work.

The course consists of a wide range of highly flexible taught and work-based learning modules that will enable busy practitioners to access patient-care enhancing education.

You can choose to study the generic pathway or specialise in Mental Health or Primary Care. On successful completion of the programme, your final award will reflect your choice of pathway.

  • MSc Advanced Practice
  • MSc Advanced Practice (Mental Health)
  • MSc Advanced Practice (Primary Care)

Student and Alumni Profiles

  • Madeline Murdoch

    MSc Advanced Practice
    Edge Hill University has been a great place to study with the high level of support and the experience of the tutors particularly standing out to me.

In Depth

What will I study?

The course will allow you to develop a systematic and critical understanding of the breadth and depth of knowledge within your specialist area of practice whilst also learning:

  • How to deal with complex issues both systematically and creatively and make sound judgements in the absence of complete data;
  • How to elicit and record an accurate clinical history, perform a clinical examination, successfully interpret clinical diagnostic results and devise a clinical management plan;
  • How to operate ethically in complex and unpredictable specialist situations with a critical understanding of the issues governing effective practice;
  • High levels of autonomy and advanced decision making skills that can be applied to your specialist area of practice;
  • A critical understanding of research methodologies and the ability to evaluate, synthesise, generate and disseminate the findings of research.

In addition to the taught course, past and present students of the programme are invited to join the informal Edge Hill Advanced Practice Forum which typically meets twice a year.

How will I 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.

How will I 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 me?

The programme team comprises of expert staff with many years experience in clinical practice in areas such as intensive care, coronary care, forensic mental health, primary care and medical practice.

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

A Great Study Environment

The Faculty of Health and Social Care is one of the leading providers of education and training for health and social care professionals in the North West of England.

Offering some of the best facilities for health and social care students in the country, the innovative £14m Faculty of Health and Social Care building provides outstanding teaching and learning resources, including leading edge clinical skills facilities, ten teaching rooms, an 860-seat lecture theatre and a number of social learning spaces.

The faculty is home to a thriving research culture which includes a series of staff and student conference programmes, guest lectures and seminars, as well as active research groups.


Expand All

HEA4025Clinical Assessment and Diagnostics (20 credits)

Clinical Assessment and Diagnostics equips you with the knowledge and skills required to elicit and record an accurate clinical history, perform a clinical examination focusing upon the major body systems and successfully interpret clinical diagnostic results, for patients aged 16 years or over so as to inform a clinical management plan.

Assessment: Written Exam(s): 100%, Practical(s): Pass/Fail Element.

HEA4045Research: The Development of a Research Proposal (20 credits)

Research: The Development of a Research Proposal introduces you to the research process. The module will cover the philosophical fundamentals of both quantitative and qualitative traditions and a range of research methodologies. You will develop a proposal that will demonstrate your ability to plan a small-scale empirical project in your chosen area of interest and demonstrate awareness of the theoretical and practical implications of undertaking such a study. Alternatively, you can conduct an in-depth critique of quantitative and qualitative research articles.

Assessment: Coursework: 100%.

HEA4196Advancing Practice Project - Clinical Practice (60 credits)

Advancing Practice Project – Clinical Practice is designed to consolidate and develop your  skills and knowledge. The module enables you to synthesise learning as you apply your specialist advanced clinical knowledge to identify, lead, plan, implement and evaluate the impact of a clinically based service improvement project. You will then disseminate the findings to potentially promote service/treatment/practice development within your area of practice.

Assessment: Coursework: 100%.

HEA9055Context of Advanced Practice (20 credits)

Context of Advanced Practice is designed to provide a strong foundation to prepare you to operate safely and purposely at an advanced and increasingly autonomous level within your area of practice. Therefore, professional, legal and ethical accountabilities will be explored as will the necessary approaches to governance, risk management, and practice development. These themes will subsequently be incorporated into a critical examination of the constituents of undertaking therapeutic interventions with individuals families and carers.

Assessment: Coursework: 100%.

You will select 60 credits of additional modules, negotiated with the programme leader, chosen from the Faculty of Health and Social Care CPD portfolio.

If you are studying the Mental Health pathway of the programme, the additional 60 credits will include the following module:

HEA9085Mental Health Law and Defensible Practice (20 credits)

Mental Health Law and Defensible Practice recognises that essentially the statutory roles of staff in practice have changed significantly with the amendments to the Mental Health Act. Traditional roles undertaken by social workers and doctors have now been broadened to other registered professions such as nurses, occupational therapists and psychologists. Therefore, a gap exists in the skill development of staff in practice to work with the new legislation and gain a robust evidence base to support clinical decision making. With this in mind, the module will advance your mental health practice.

Assessment: Coursework: 100%.

If you are studying the Primary Care pathway of the programme, the additional 60 credits will include the following modules:

HEA4178Management of Frailty (20 credits)

Management of Frailty will help you to develop the expert skills and knowledge required to identify and manage the frail population within the primary care setting. The module will encourage you to explore the anatomy and physiology of ageing and perform a critical appraisal of the assessment strategies used in practice. An evaluation of the impact of intervention measures within practice and the wider health economy will be developed.

Assessment: Coursework: 100%.

HEA4179Primary Care Work Based Learning (20 credits)

Primary Care Work Based Learning enables you to critically examine your practice. You will complete a clinical audit of a discreet number of cases from your own practice to highlight assurances of compliance in relation to clinical standards, identify risk, inefficiencies and improving the quality of care and patient outcomes.

Assessment: Coursework: 75%, Practical(s): 25%.

You may wish to consider the following module as an elective choice for any of the above pathways.

HEA4220Promoting Professionalism and Ethics in Multidisciplinary Practice (20 credits)

Promoting Professionalism and Ethics in Multidisciplinary Practice enables you to explore and critically appraise the notion of professionalism. You will critically examine ethical aspects associated with professionalism in healthcare, for example public expectations versus personal expression, to assist in reflective practice. The aim is to encourage you to critically reflect on your practices and values when working in a multi-disciplinary team. You will explore ways in which an individual can validate and support the development of professionalism, creating a professional environment in healthcare settings and role-modelling professional values and behaviours to enhance both the patient experience and the sharing of best practice.

Assessment: Coursework: 100%.

Optional modules provide an element of choice within the programme curriculum. The availability of optional modules may vary from year to year and will be subject to minimum student numbers being achieved. This means that the availability of specific optional modules cannot be guaranteed. Optional module selection may also be affected by timetabling requirements.

For more information about each module, including the dates and times of module sessions, please visit


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.


Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of our published course information, however our programmes 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 accrediting 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.

Entry Criteria

Entry Requirements

The normal minimum requirement is a lower second-class honours degree in a health or social care related subject.

Applicants without an honours degree must demonstrate the following knowledge and skills at a level equivalent to that of degree study, prior to commencing the programme: a comprehensive knowledge of the discipline and an in-depth awareness of current issues relating to either a health or social care setting; critical analysis skills and an ability to evaluate evidence drawn from the area of work or from previous academic study; ability to learn in a flexible manner, utilising autonomy and self direction.

Students without formal qualifications such as an honours degree can register for a standalone module prior to joining the programme to demonstrate an ability to study at postgraduate level. You must have a minimum of three years post registration experience, and a reference from your clinical line manager.

It is anticipated you will have extensive subject knowledge / work experience in your chosen field as all of the assessments expect you to be able to relate theory to your practice.

Recognition of Prior Learning

Edge Hill University recognises learning gained elsewhere, whether through academic credit and qualifications acquired from other relevant courses of study or through recognition of an individual’s professional and employment experience (also referred to as ‘experiential learning’).

Previous learning that is recognised in this way may be used towards meeting the entry requirements for a programme and/or for exemption from part of a programme. It is your responsibility to make a claim for recognition of prior learning. For guidance, please consult the University’s Recognition of Prior Learning Policy and contact the faculty in which you are interested in studying.

Career Prospects

What are my career prospects?

This programme will enhance your ability to gain employment in more senior roles as an advanced practitioner, within your chosen field of healthcare.

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.


Tuition Fees

Tuition fees for part-time study on this MSc are:

  • £34 per credit for UK and EU students enrolling on the programme in academic year 2019/20, i.e. £680 per 20 credit module;
  • £34 per credit for UK and EU students enrolling on the programme in academic year 2020/21, i.e. £680 per 20 credit module (pending confirmation of arrangements for EU students).

180 credits are required to complete a Masters degree.

The University may administer a small inflationary rise in part-time postgraduate tuition fees in subsequent academic years as you progress through the course.

Financial Support

For comprehensive information about the financial support available to eligible UK and EU students joining postgraduate courses at Edge Hill University in academic year 2019/20, together with details of how to apply for potential funding, please view our Money Matters 2019/20 guide at

Financial support arrangements for eligible UK and EU students joining postgraduate courses in academic year 2020/21 are still to be announced. You are advised to check this page regularly and once the position has been confirmed we will update this information.


How to Apply

Apply directly to Edge Hill University.

Download the Health and Social Care Professional Development pathway application form and notes for guidance (pdf).

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

Get in Touch

If you have any questions about this programme, please contact:

  • Faculty of Health and Social Care Student Recruitment and Marketing Support Team
  • Tel: 01695 657249
  • Email:

If you would like to talk to the programme leader about the course in more detail, please contact:

Course Changes

Expand All This page outlines any material changes to course content, programme structure, assessment methods, entry criteria, and modes of study or delivery, implemented in the past two years.

15th August 2018 - New Module Added

HEA4220 Promoting Professionalism and Ethics in Multidisciplinary Practice (20 credits) added as an optional module on all pathways.