School of Nursing and Midwifery

MSc Advanced Professional Practice (Nursing and Midwifery Professions)

Are you a registered health or social care professional looking to develop your advanced practitioner knowledge and skills? The MSc Advanced Professional Practice (Nursing and Midwifery Professions) has been developed to meet the needs of nurses, midwives and allied health professionals working across all healthcare sectors. You will develop your practice by building on your current experience and knowledge, leading to improved ways of working and a positive impact on patient care.

A full-time route suitable for international students is also available.

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Enhance your career in the healthcare professions

This programme is part of the largest range of healthcare study options in the South West.

Key features

  • This programme may be studied full time over one year (18 months for international students) or part time over up to five years, offering flexible delivery and exit points to support a learner centred approach.
  • A contemporary and dynamic programme responsive to the changing health and social care environment.
  • Build a qualification around your personal professional needs by picking and choosing optional modules with relevance to your area of practice and benefit from a student-centred approach providing flexibility in your choice of award.
  • Embed independent and supplementary prescribing into your masters degree (subject to profession).
  • Opportunities to study in an inter-professional setting with inter-professional core and optional modules delivered by an academic team with extensive experience as well as a close relationship with clinicians contributing to teaching.
  • Research informed teaching is embedded throughout the curriculum and you will be given the chance to design and undertake your own research to enhance and develop patient care and/or service provision.
  • Gain a deeper understanding of the advanced clinical practice role and how this is used to enhance the patient journey whilst ensuring the right care is delivered by the right clinician at the right time.
  • Be equipped to take on lead roles in management, clinical practice and/or education

Course details

  • Programme overview
  • Postgraduate certificate - to achieve a postgraduate certificate, you will need to earn 60 credits by undertaking three modules: two core and one optional.

    Postgraduate diploma - to achieve a postgraduate diploma, you will need to earn 120 credits by undertaking up to six modules: two core and up to four optional.

    Master of Science - for a full masters degree, you will need to earn a total of 180 credits. You will study the same core modules as the postgraduate diploma, with two further core modules in the final year.

    For further information on the modules that make up this programme please visit MSc Advanced Professional Practice modules for the School of Nursing and Midwifery page.

    One twenty credit optional modules to be chosen. Full time or international students will be supported to choose optional modules with non-clinical assignments.

    Examples of the optional modules available
    APP717 – The Fundamentals of Health Assessment
    APP718 – Ethical and Legal Issues in Healthcare Practice  
    APP729 – Enhancing End of Life and Palliative Care Practice

    Core 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.

    • APP702 Advancing Research Knowledge in Practice 1

      This module develops an understanding of research designs and methods, enables the critical appraisal of research and introduces the principles of data collection and analysis.

  • Year 2
  • You must gain 60 credits from optional modules in Year 2 to gain a postgraduate diploma.

    Examples of the optional modules available
    HEAD709 – Non-medical prescribing: Independent and supplementary prescribing for designated allied health professionals (physiotherapists and podiatrists)
    NMP702 – Non-medical prescribing: Independent and supplementary prescribing for nurses and midwives
    APP716 – Clinical Skills in Community and Primary Care
    APP719 – Advanced Newborn and Infant Examination
    APP733 – Global Health in Context 
    APP736 – Leadership and Innovation 

  • Final year
  • Core modules
    APP703 - Advancing Research Knowledge in Practice 2
    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 Professional Practice Nursing and Midwifery Professions Pathway Specification 6135

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

Part-time students commencing study in 2017-18

You will 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 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 the European first equivalent) but have appropriate practice-related experience relevant to the programme you may still be eligible to apply. In these cases, you would also be required to submit a short piece of writing as part of the admissions process.

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 category.

You will also need to be working in an environment that will enable you to meet the programme learning outcomes and have a clinical mentor in practice.

Full-time/international students commencing study in 2018-19

The entry requirements for full-time or international students who wish to enrol on this programme in 2018 will be the same as those for part-time students (please see above).

To enable you to meet the programme learning outcomes you will be supported to choose modules with non-clinical assignments.


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 (full time) International (full time)
£6,750* £13,250
Home/EU (part time) International (part time)
£750 per 20 credits N/A

*This fee is based on undertaking 180 credits at £750 per 20 credits. Please note that some of the optional modules for this programme are specialist modules and therefore may have different fees . Module fees can be found on the individual module webpages.

Full time fees shown are per annum. 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.

How to apply

When to apply

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 ten page DOC application form for postgraduate students to print, fill in and mail to the University

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

International student postgraduate application form DOC – Postgraduate taught programmes application form for international students

International student postgraduate application form PDF – Postgraduate taught programmes application form for international students

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.

Support is also available from our International Office, if you are an overseas student applying to the University.

Module choices within the School of Nursing and Midwifery

Choose from an extensive range of optional modules and three different exit awards to suit your professional development needs.
Find out more about our modules

MSc Advanced Professional Practice pathways

Both the School of Health Professions and the School of Nursing and Midwifery offer the MSc Advanced Professional Practice programme; together we offer a wide range of specialist and generic pathways to meet the educational needs of all health and socia
Discover more about the pathways we offer

Career opportunities

You’ll be able to apply for Band 7 and Band 8 roles and undertaken a wide range of advanced roles within your own field of scope.

You can also become a non-medical consultant or clinical specialist, and can move into managerial, academic or research posts.

Find out how this programme can help you achieve your goals

Automatic postgraduate bursaries for Plymouth graduates

A ten per cent alumni discretionary award is available in all faculties if you are:

  • a graduate of University of Plymouth
  • enrolled on a full-time or part-time taught postgraduate programme on which a postgraduate fee is charged and no student loan is available
  • self-funded
  • part funded/sponsored the discount will apply to the self-funded element of the tuition fee only.
Please note exceptions apply.
Find out more about the ten per cent discount for University graduates

The Faye Doris Bursary

Offering £750 and £1,500 for qualified midwives employed in Somerset, Devon or Cornwall wishing to undertake further study at Plymouth University.

The bursary is to help midwives wishing to undertake further study that can contribute to the maternity services through clinical practice, research, education, leadership, management or any other area. The study which it supports does not necessarily have to be midwifery specific.

Find out more about the bursary

Modules for full time and international students

If you are studying the MSc Advanced Professional Practice (Nursing and Midwifery Professions) programme full-time or are an international student you will be supported to choose optional modules with non-clinical assignments, such as:

APP718 - Ethical and legal issues in healthcare practice

APP721 - Perinatal mental health

APP733 - Global health in context

APP734 - Sociology of health and illness

APP735 - Contemporary approaches to public health

APP736 - Leadership and innovation

Support for international students

With students studying at Plymouth from over 100 countries, Plymouth University has a range of services and support for our international students.

We have an English Language Centre (ELC) that offers a range of courses to help you develop your academic English language skills. Continued support is available throughout your studies through workshops, drop-in sessions and our Writing Café.

We also have our International Student Advice team who will help you get the most from your studies and your time in the UK. There is an International Student Orientation programme and we can advise on immigration and visas through to living and studying in the UK.

For more details of support on offer, please visit