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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First choice for health

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

  • 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

  • Year 1
  • Exit award postgraduate certificate – to achieve a postgraduate certificate, you will need to earn 60 credits. This must include the core modules: ‘Advancing Practice in Context’ (20 credits) and ‘Research Methodology and Application’ (20 credits), with the remaining 20 credits coming from an optional module of your choice. Please refer to the below programme specification for further information on modules to be studied.

    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.

    • APP705 Advanced Psychosocial Assessment and Formulation

      This module will enable students to develop an in depth understanding of the use of `common factors¿ competencies in effective communication skills and collaborative working in the biopsychosocial assessment and formulation of mental health problems, leading to evidenced-based treatment choices. There will be a focus on reflective practice and workplace-based cases to ensure clinical relevance.

    • APP707 CBT Interventions for Mental Health Professionals (Psychosis)

      This module will focus on the development of in depth knowledge and skills in the use of CBT with a focus on supporting people experiencing psychosis. This includes effective assessment, formulation and the development of therapeutic relationships and skills required for the effective and adaptable use of CBT in psychosis. There will be a focus on reflective practice and workplace-based cases to ensure clinical relevance.

    • APP717 The Fundamentals of Health Assessment

      This module is designed to enable healthcare professionals to critically examine and develop in an area of professional clinical practice, in a range of settings. Taught workshops will guide the student, building on their pre-existing body of knowledge to further develop their skills in health assessment, clinical examination and clinical reasoning.

    • APP718 Ethical and Legal Issues in Healthcare Practice

      Students will analyse, explore and debate ethical and legal concepts, issues and theories relating to health and social care. This module gives students the tools necessary to undertake critical decisions within their professional practice enabling them to reflect on their knowledge, their practice, and the conduct and performance of healthcare organisations.

    • APP720 Advanced Newborn and Infant Examination (APL)

      This module enables practitioners who have undertaken a programme of learning to demonstrate mastery in the examination of the newborn/infant, applying complex and creative synthesis of the evidence base to this autonomous professional role.

    • APP721 Perinatal Mental Health

      This module will prepare students to show mastery of knowledge and the development and management of the care of childbearing women with perinatal mental health needs. It is research informed and prepares students to interrogate the available evidence to inform decision making. The needs of mothers and babies; before, during and after birth, will be at the centre of care with a strong emphasis on respect and dignity.

    • APP730 Developing Expertise in Clinical Practice

      This module is designed to enable healthcare professionals to critically examine and develop in an area of professional clinical practice, in a range of settings. Taught workshops will guide the student, building on their pre-existing body of knowledge to critically develop their skills in health assessment, clinical examination and clinical reasoning.

    • APP731 Mental Health Assessment in Urgent, Emergency and Acute Care

      This module aims to increase knowledge and skills of practitioners working in urgent, emergency and acute care settings and who work with individuals experiencing mental health problems. It explores the principles and process of mental health assessment and the practice of determining appropriate intervention alongside prioritisation of client need based on the current guidance.

    • APP733 Global Health in Context

      The module provides a wide ranging introduction to the study of global health in order to consider some of the key challenges and debates within the contemporary field. It encompasses the themes of global health and its impact on national and international health policy development.

    • APP734 Sociology of Health and Illness

      This module critically considers the extent to which health and illness are affected by social factors. Social processes and structures impacting on individuals and social groups are explored and contemporary healthcare practices, within political and cultural contexts including power relationships and systems of knowledge are examined.

    • APP735 Contemporary Approaches to Public Health

      Historical and theoretical perspectives relating to public health are explored in order to provide a framework for thinking about promoting and protecting public health at individual, community, national and international levels.

    • APP736 Leadership and Innovation

      This module will enhance the students¿ confidence and competence to lead and manage quality improvement and innovation.

    • APP738 Management of Children/ Young People Requiring Urgent or Emergency Care

      This module will enhance practitioners¿ existing knowledge and skills in the holistic care of children/young people within the context of the family. It will facilitate the recognition, assessment and management of children/young people requiring urgent or emergency care for illness/injury in a range of settings.

    • APP741 Advocacy and Education for Quality Improvement in Practice (A-EQUIP) Full module

      This module will ensure that A-EQUIP is able to be delivered in practice. It will prepare registrants in the supervision which will be determined locally based on operational guidance that has been developed by NHS England.

    • APP743 Minor illness and Injuries - the principles and practice of management for unscheduled care

      This module will enable the student to develop the underpinning knowledge and professional understanding of the practical and theoretical management of patients presenting with common minor illness and injuries across healthcare settings. They will consider the clinical, legal and ethical boundaries and recognise the limitations within their scope of practice and working environment.

    • APP744 Substance Misuse and Dual Diagnosis

      This module focuses on the services and interventions for people who misuse a range of substances or have 'dual diagnosis' implying co-existing mental health problems. Participants will develop their skills for working with this group, consider the influence of various models and approaches as well as the issues for them as individuals and for society.

    • 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
  • Exit award postgraduate diploma – to achieve a postgraduate diploma, you will have first completed the PgCert and will need to earn 120 credits. Please refer to the below programme specification for further information on modules to be studied.

    Examples of the optional modules available
    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
    SPP701 – Substantive professional project

    Please note that this programme can also be studied full time in one year.

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

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 APP 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

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 in undertaking a clinical module.

Full-time/international students

The entry requirements for full-time or international students who wish to enrol on this programme are generally 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)
£7,380* £14,000
Home/EU (part time) International (part time)
£820 per 20 credits N/A

*This fee is based on undertaking 180 credits at £820 per 20 credits. Please note that some of the optional modules for this programme are specialist or Health and Social Care Partnerships 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.

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

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

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.

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.

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

Alumni loyalty reward for postgraduate study

From September 2018, the University applies a discretionary alumni reward where alumni meet certain criteria on particular postgraduate taught courses.

  • a 20 per cent discount on home/EU tuition fees
  • or a £2,000 discount on international tuition fees.

PGCE programmes, Master of Architecture, MChem, MEng, MGeol, MPsych, MSci, ResM and postgraduate research degrees are not included in this reward.

For further details, and contact information, please review our alumni discount policy.


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

Scholarship for international applicants

A £3000 fee waiver will be awarded to international applicants, who exceed the entry requirements for this programme, for the first year of their studies. You need to have a BSc (Hons) degree at 2:1 (or equivalent) OR an International English Language Testing System (IELTS) of at least 7.0 (6.5 minimum in each element).