School of Nursing and Midwifery

MSc Contemporary Healthcare (Education)

Have you thought about your future as one of innovation, change, education and excellence? Are you keen to take your nursing knowledge and skills to postgraduate level and develop your educational role? MSc Contemporary Healthcare (Education) offers a recordable Nursing and Midwifery Council qualification that could be your route to a career teaching in academic or clinical settings.

In Higher Education Institutions you can become part of an academic community working to develop, impart and apply current knowledge using a range of teaching and learning approaches. In practice settings, postgraduate study prepares you to identify and meet the clinical team’s continuing professional development needs whilst also leading the development of practice.

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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

  • Raise the standard of nursing through educational expertise – MSc Contemporary Healthcare (Education) provides education at an advanced level, responsive to the changing health and social care environment and using the latest technological developments.
  • Become part of an academic community and develop close partnership working. You’ll work with other professionals and forge relationships in the academic arena, enabling you to influence the future of nursing.
  • Make the most of our blended learning, which includes various learning and teaching strategies such as e-learning and problem based learning. Research-informed teaching is embedded throughout the curriculum.
  • Benefit from a programme which meets the requirements of professional bodies such as the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) recordable teaching qualification as well as the award of Associate Fellow, Higher Education Academy (HEA). 
  • Select a route within the pathway to enhance your knowledge and skills in a specific area of your choice, undertaking a seamless journey from practitioner to educator.

  • Choose from three award pathways: postgraduate certificate (PgCert), 60 credits; postgraduate diploma (PgDip), 120 credits; and masters (MSc), 180 credits.

Course details

  • Programme overview
  • To achieve a postgraduate certificate (PgCert), you will need to earn 60 credits, made up of two core modules: PGCAP711 Introduction to Teaching and Learning (20 credits) and MCH513 Teaching for Practice (40 credits). Please note you will need to complete module PGCAP711 before commencing MCH513.

    To achieve a postgraduate diploma (PgDip), you will need to earn 120 credits, including the 60 credits achieved in Year 1. In your second year you will complete the core modules APP702 Advancing Research Knowledge in Practice 1 (20 credits) and APP703 Advancing Research Knowledge in Practice 2 (20 credits). The remaining 20 credits can be achieved from one of two optional modules: PGCAP712 Developing Professional Practice; or PGCAP714 Negotiated Study Module.

    For a full Master of Science (MSc), you’ll need to earn a total of 180 credits. You’ll study the same core modules as the postgraduate diploma, with the extra 60 credits coming from a research project in a related area of study.

    Year 1

    In your first year, you’ll prepare to make a contribution to education in practice and take a lead role in the development of educational practice within your practice setting, enabling you to apply contemporary issues in practice. 

    Core modules
    • MCH513 Teaching for Practice

      This module prepares the student to make a demonstrable contribution to education in practice and take a lead role in the development of educational practice within their practice setting, enabling them to apply contemporary issues in practice. This is a core module for those wishing to gain an NMC recordable qualification as Teacher.

    Optional modules
    • PGCAP711 Introduction to Teaching and Learning

      This is an introductory module designed for people new to teaching in Higher Education. In order to undertake the module participants will need to complete a minimum of 5 hours as a teaching and learning facilitator (of seminars, fieldwork, demonstrating etc), plus 10 hours in teaching and learning related activity e.g. responding to student queries, preparing learning materials, marking.

  • Year 2
  • In your second year, you’ll develop an understanding of research designs and methods as well as the knowledge and skills necessary for the development of your research proposal. Optional modules include developing professional practice or negotiated study.

    Core modules
    • 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.

    • APP703 Advancing Research Knowledge in Practice 2

      This module will develop the research knowledge and skills necessary for the development of the research or practice development proposal, focussing on the formulation of a research question or practice development goal in preparation for future enquiry.

    Optional modules
    • PGCAP712 Developing Professional Practice

      This module is designed for those with significant teaching, learning and assessment responsibilities. It builds on the pedagogies introduced in PGCAP711, adding a deeper level of enquiry and a focus on module design, assessment, research and leadership.

    • PGCAP714 Negotiated Study Module

      The negotiated study module (NSM) provides flexibility for candidates to focus on a specific area of study directly relevant to their professional/academic practice. NSMs will be led by an 'expert' in the chosen field, and supported by a core PGCAP tutor.

  • Final year
  • In your final year you’ll have the opportunity to apply your understanding and knowledge of research methodology with the dissertation.

    Core modules
    • MCH504 Dissertation

      This module is the dissertation associated with the MSc Contemporary Healthcare programme and enables students to design and undertake a systematic review, or an approved research project, under supervision. Undertaking the dissertation provides students with the opportunity to apply their understanding and knowledge of research methodology and methods to a subject relevant to their programme award; and to theory, policy and/or practice

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 Contemporary Healthcare Education Programme Specification 5533

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

To be eligible for the MSc Contemporary Healthcare (Education) you must:

  • be registered in the same part or sub-part of the register as the students you support
  • have completed three years post-registration experience
  • have extended your professional knowledge, skills and competency to at least first degree level
  • have access to HEI undergraduate and post-registration/ postgraduate learning opportunities
  • support inter-professional learning and working and support practice development
  • contribute to decisions about fitness for practice
  • have the ability to teach and assess in HEI and practice setting.

Fees, costs and funding


Home/EU (part time) International (part time)
£750 per 20 credits for Faculty of Health and Human Sciences modules (APP and MCH modules) N/A
£1000 per 20 credits for PGCAP modules N/A


Home/EU (part time) International (part time)
£820 per 20 credits for Faculty of Health and Human Sciences modules (APP and MCH modules) N/A
Price for PGCAP modules to be confirmed N/A

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

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.

What our students say...

  • @ “A great programme, full of shared knowledge and experiential learning. It really helped me to build my confidence and understand aspects of learning that I had not considered before.” Hayley Toms, 2017 student

What skills will I gain?

The education pathway prepares you for teaching in practice and provides you with the opportunity to develop a learning package relevant to the title of your masters award and your professional interests.

Career opportunities

Employment opportunities include hospital settings as clinical educators as well as Higher Education Institution teaching personnel. It is also possible to open a teaching consultancy.

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