School of Nursing and Midwifery

MSc Advanced Neonatal Nurse Practitioner

Do you want to enhance your career opportunities and learning within the specialist field of neonatal nursing? Our innovative new MSc Advanced Neonatal Nurse Practitioner programme has been developed through close collaboration with key stakeholders, including University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust, to empower you to develop as an advanced practitioner. The contemporary focus inspires efficiency, effectiveness and quality of practice to positively impact on neonatal care.

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Delivered by professional experts, our programmes are tailored to you and your career. Together, we address today's most challenging healthcare issues, through research-informed teaching and active, real-world learning.


Key features

  • Seize opportunities to study in an inter-professional setting with inter-professional core modules delivered by an academic team with extensive experience, as well as programme specific modules delivered by specialist neonatal practitioners.
  • Gain a deeper understanding of the advanced clinical practice role and learn how this level of practice is used to enhance the patient journey.
  • Develop a critical understanding of the contemporary issues that impact on neonatal practice and how the advancing level of practice influences the provision of high quality, patient centred care.
  • Critically review trends in theory, practice and management relating to neonatal practice.
  • Develop a contemporary approach to health and social care through advancing and utilising knowledge and skills in professional practice, underpinned by a focus on excellence and sustainability by developing a critical, analytical and creative approach.
  • Promote an understanding of the philosophy and procedures involved in research and use of evidence, with the opportunity to design and undertake research that will enhance and develop patient care and/or service provision within the neonatal arena.
  • Be equipped to take on lead roles in management, clinical practice and/or education.
  • Part time programme offering flexible delivery and exit points to support a learner centred approach.

Please note that when you enrol on this programme, you always enrol to study the master degree but we offer three exit awards: PgCert, PgDip and MSc.

Course details

  • Year 1
  • Award postgraduate certificate – to achieve a postgraduate certificate, you will need to earn 60 credits. This must include the core modules: ‘Research Methodology and Application’ (20 credits), ‘Holistic Neonatal Assessment and Clinical Management’ (20 credits), and ‘Advancing Practice in Context’ (20 credits). Please refer to the below programme specification for further information on modules to be studied.

    Please note: the named exit award at postgraduate certificate level is Postgraduate Certificate (PgCert) Neonatal Nurse Practitioner.

    Core modules
    • ANNP701 Holistic Neonatal Assessment and Clinical Management

      This module will enable neonatal nurses to develop existing professional skills. Performing comprehensive health assessments through history taking, clinical examination, diagnosis and documentation, to develop initial treatment and management strategies. The practitioner develops competence through experience in clinical practice, utilising pathophysiological knowledge to facilitate the clinical decision making process.

    Optional modules
    • APP701 Advancing Practice in Context

      This module will enable the student to develop their professional understanding within Advancing Practice, allowing them to consider the legal and ethical boundaries, the working environment and the complexities of their practice.

    • APP745 Research Methodology and Application

      This module develops an understanding of research designs and methods, enables the critically appraisal of evidence and research and introduces the principles of data collection and analysis. This module is delivered via a distance learning approach.

  • Year 2
  • Award postgraduate diploma – to achieve a postgraduate diploma, you will have first completed the PgCert and need to earn an additional 60 credits (to give 120 credits in total). Please refer to the below programme specification for further information on modules to be studied.

    Core modules
    • ANNP702 Advanced Neonatal Nursing Practice

      The module will enhance the professional role, knowledge and skills of nurses to an advanced level. Advanced practitioner competence will be achieved through critical analysis of complex pathophysiology within clinical practice. This module develops upon existing diagnostic and reasoning skills to enable practitioners to contribute to the delivery of multidisciplinary treatment and management strategies for neonates.

    • NMP702 Non-Medical Prescribing: Independent and Supplementary Prescribing for Nurses and Midwives

      This short course consists of 39 days over a six month period. It is delivered via a blended learning pathway consisting of 10 face-to-face taught days, one day of examination and 16 self-directed days using a distance learning package. There are an additional 90 hours in practice supported by an Independent Prescriber (doctor). Successful completion will lead to the NMC recordable qualification of Nurse independent and supplementary prescriber.

  • Final year
  • Award master of science – for a full master degree, you will have first completed the PgDip and need to earn an additional 60 credits (to give 180 credits in total). Please refer to the below programme specification for further information on modules to be studied.

    Core modules:

    SPP701 – Substantive professional project

Every postgraduate taught course has a detailed programme specification document describing the programme aims, the programme structure, the teaching and learning methods, the learning outcomes and the rules of assessment.

The following programme specification represents the latest programme structure and may be subject to change:

MSc Advanced Neonatal Nurse Practitioner programme specification 6136

The modules shown for this course or programme are those being studied by current students, or expected new modules. Modules are subject to change depending on year of entry.

Entry requirements

You’ll normally have a first degree (BSc (Hons) at 2:2 or above or European first cycle equivalent plus a professional qualification in health or social care.

You will also need to be working in an environment where you can meet the module learning outcomes. Specific criteria includes:

  • attainment of a recognised QIS qualification
  • neonatal clinical experience of at least two years post QIS qualification (excluding maternity leave)
  • management experience within neonatal clinical practice
  • supernumerary practice of at least 7.5 hours per week (exclusive of taught contact time)
  • current NMC registration
  • access to an appropriate clinical mentor.

If you do not have a degree but have appropriate practice-related experience relevant to the programme you may be eligible to apply.

Applicants whose first language is not English must also provide evidence of competence in written and spoken English in accordance with the University’s Admissions Code of Practice - IELTS of 6.5 overall with a minimum of 5.5 in each part.

You will be assessed individually for your ability to study at this level and therefore an interview may be necessary. If you do not have a first degree at 2.2 or above (or European first equivalent) you must have completed an evidence based practice module at degree level and will normally be required to submit a short piece of writing as part of the admissions process.


Claims for credit for prior learning, whether certificated or experiential are accepted and will be assessed following University regulations and Faculty procedures.

European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS):

This programme is equivalent to 90 ECTS credits (second cycle) with 30 ECTS credits at postgraduate certificate, 60 credits at postgraduate diploma and 90 credits at masters degree. Each 20 credit module has the equivalent of 10 ECTS credits and assumes a notional student effort of between 200-300 hours.

Fees, costs and funding


Home/EU (part time) International (part time)
£820 per 20 credits N/A

*Please note that some of the modules for this programme are Health and Social Care Partnership modules and therefore may have different fees. Please contact the Professional Development Unit for further information. 

Part time fees shown are per a number of credits. Fees are correct at the time of publication and may be subject to change. 

Information about loans and funding for postgraduate study.

Please be aware that there may be additional costs to undertaking your studies relating to printing of course materials, and requirement for an initial outlay for travel and accommodation in respect of practice placement. If you have any questions regarding these costs please contact

If you are studying on a programme where placements are integral to your study there are costs associated with travel and accommodation. Please speak with the programme admissions tutor to find out more.

How to apply

When to apply

Please note that the next intake of first-year students would be in academic year 2019/2020.

Applications for this programme can usually be made throughout the year. Please check the closing date and apply as early as possible as our programmes are popular.

Apply for this programme

Applications should be made by using the relevant PDF or Word application form.

Postgraduate application form DOC – A DOC application form for postgraduate students to print, fill in and mail to the University

Postgraduate application form PDF – A PDF application form for postgraduate students to print, fill in and mail to the University

Printed application forms are also available and can be obtained from the Professional Development Unit. Please send your completed application form to the address or email listed below:

Professional Development Unit
4th floor, Rolle Building
Plymouth University
Drake Circus
Plymouth PL4 8AA


Tel: +44 1752 586951

What happens after I apply?

You will normally receive a decision on your application within four weeks of us receiving your application. You may be asked to provide additional information, to take part in an interview (which in the case if you are an overseas student may be by telephone or video conference) or you will be sent a decision by letter or email.

If you have a disability and would like further information about the support provided by Plymouth University, please visit our Disability Services website.

Please note that when you enrol on this programme, you always enrol to study the master degree but we offer three exit awards: PgCert, PgDip and MSc.

MSc Advanced Neonatal Nurse Practitioner modules

Find out more about the modules that make up the MSc Advanced Neonatal Nurse Practitioner programme

Year 1

ANNP701 - Holistic neonatal assessment and clinical management

APP701 - Advancing practice in context

APP745 - Research methodology and application

Year 2

ANNP702 - Advanced neonatal nursing practice*

NMP702 -  Non-medical prescribing: Independent and supplementary prescribing for nurses and midwives

Year 3

One 20 credit optional module, to be agreed with Programme Lead

SPP701 - Substantive professional project

*Please note that there is no webpage for module ANNP702 as it cannot be taken as a standalone professional development module. Please contact the Professional Development Unit for further information.

Career opportunities

Our MSc Advanced Neonatal Nurse Practitioner programme will equip you to perform as an advanced practitioner and independent prescriber.

You'll support the provision of neonatal care within all levels of designated service, keeping high standards of care for infants and their families.

Find out how this programme can help you achieve your goals