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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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

  • 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.

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, made up of two 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.

    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
  • 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). In your second year, you will complete the core modules APP745 ‘Research Methodology and Application’ (20 credits) and ADV715 ‘Project Design for Research’ (20 credits). The remaining 20 credits can be achieved from one of two optional modules: PGCAP712 ‘Developing Professional Practice’ or PGCAP714 ‘Negotiated Study Module’.

    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.

    Core modules
    • 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.

    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
  • 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). You’ll study the same modules as the PgDip, with the extra 60 credits coming from a research project in a related area of study.

    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

You will normally have a first degree (BSc (Hons) at 2:1 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.

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

  • 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.

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 i.e. IELTS minimum of 7 in each part.

We welcome applicants with international qualifications. To view other accepted qualifications please refer to our tariff glossary.

Fees, costs and funding

EU applicants should refer to our dedicated Brexit webpage for details of the implications of the UK’s plans to leave the European Union.


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

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

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
University of Plymouth
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 the University of Plymouth, 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.

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.

Alumnus loyalty reward for postgraduate study

The University applies a discretionary alumnus 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.
  • A 10 per cent alumni discount is available on the following programmes: MSc Advanced Psychology, MSc Clinical Psychology, MSc/PgDip Psychology and MSc Occupational Therapy.

PGCE programmes, Master of Architecture, MChem, MEng, MGeol, MPsych, MSci, ResM, MSc Environmental Consultancy, MSc Sustainable Aquaculture, MSc Environmental Geochemistry and postgraduate research degrees are not included in this reward. 

Please note that students must have applied directly to be eligible. 

For further details, and contact information, please see our alumnus discount policy.