School of Nursing and Midwifery

MSc Surgical Care Practitioner (Abdominal, Pelvic and General Surgery)

Advance your professional expertise and specialist knowledge with MSc Surgical Care Practitioner (Abdominal, Pelvic and General Surgery). Consider approaches to care delivery, investigate the surgical patient experience and conduct a research investigation into a topic tailored to your own needs, enabling you to practice at an advanced level in this emerging specialist role. PLEASE NOTE: You must have completed the corresponding PgDip Surgical Care Practitioner programme to enrol for this award.

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Key features

  • Advance your professional expertise and specialist knowledge through learning tailored to your specialty. 
  • Consider research approaches to care delivery and investigate the surgical patient experience. 
  • Expand your research knowledge and skills to design and conduct your own study.
  • Benefit from professorial academic, and theoretical teaching. Visiting lecturers include current practising qualified Surgical Care Practitioners and Consultant Surgeons.
  • Further your career progression through the Knowledge and Skills Framework on completion of the MSc - national examples include practitioners achieving Band 8a and 8b, who manage their own operation lists, or organise and deliver screening and follow-up programmes.
  • Royal College of Surgeons accredited programme.
This programme is also available as an Apprenticeship MSc Advanced Clinical Practice in Surgical Care. For further information on the apprenticeship route and details of how your employer can apply for you please visit our apprenticeship webpage.

Course details

  • Programme overview

  • Conduct a research investigation into a topic tailored to your own speciality and workplace.Please note: you must have completed the PgDip Surgical Care Practitioner (Abdominal, Pelvic and General Surgery) or equivalent to enrol for this award.

    Core modules

    • Substantive Professional Project (SPP702)

      The substantive project enables the student to demonstrate their ability to manage practice development. The project provides an opportunity to apply knowledge and understanding of methodology and methods to develop an area of practice, evaluating the impact or potential impact upon the practice area. Students may undertake this project in their actual workplace, or the workplace may be a defined sphere of practice.

    Optional modules

    • Ethical and Legal Issues in Healthcare Practice (APP718)

      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.

    • Leadership and Innovation (APP736)

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

    • Advancing Knowledge of Learning and Teaching for Practice (APP759)

      This module prepares the student to make a demonstrable contribution to education and take a lead role in the development of education in practice. Participants are enabled to apply contemporary educational knowledge, skills, and behaviour to address emerging issues in educational practice. The module is designed to be delivered face-to-face, by blended learning and/or via distance learning approaches.

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 ACP in Surgical Care programme specification 5832

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 apply for this programme, you'll need:
  • a named consultant surgeon who will be your clinical supervisor
  • a current and live registration with either the Nursing and Midwifery Council (Part 1 or 2) or the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC)
  • successful completion of PgDip Surgical Care Practitioner (Abdominal, Pelvic and General Surgery) or equivalent
  • a satisfactory Disclosure and Barring Service check (previously CRB)
  • a satisfactory occupational health clearance.
UK/EUA relevant degree with honours or an equivalent professional qualification. Other qualifications accompanied by substantial experience in an appropriate field may also be considered. Non-standard applications will be considered on a case by case basis.
You must be employed full-time in an appropriate role within a suitable hospital able to provide training with a UK setting, and you must have support of the clinical manager to undertake this programme of study whilst employed.
We are unable to take international students on this programme as they have to be in an employed position as a trainee surgical care practitioner.
Scholarships are available for postgraduate taught programmes. Tell me more about scholarships and bursaries.
We welcome applicants with international qualifications. To view other accepted qualifications please refer to our tariff glossary.

Fees, costs and funding

Please see the module webpage SPP701for further information.
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

Applying for this programme

Applications need to be completed via the PG apply online form.

Any questions please contact: 


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

Tel: +44 (0)1752 586951

What happens after I apply?

After your application is received, it will be processed and sent to the Programme Lead for a decision to be made on your suitability to study. You may be asked to provide additional information or to take part in an interview (for overseas students this may be by telephone or video conference). Once this decision has been made, you will be sent an email either confirming your place on the programme, or rejecting your application and giving the reasons for this decision (you may request further feedback in order to improve your chances of selection at a later date).

Please note that you will be enrolled on the full MSc programme. You may choose to exit with the qualification of PgCert upon completion of an appropriate 60 credits, or a PgDip upon completion of an appropriate 120 credits. More information is contained within the programme specification.

For applicants with disabilities

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

PgDip Surgical Care Practitioner (Cardiothoracics)

MSc Surgical Care Practitioner pathways

We offer three specialist Surgical Care Practitioner programme pathways at postgraduate diploma and masters level.

Tips for applying to the MSc Surgical Care Practitioner course

Anna Valente, PgDip Surgical Care Practitioner (Trauma and Orthopaedic Surgery) and James Cartwright, PgDip Surgical Care Practitioner (Cardiothoracic Surgery) talk about the programme.

Student insights

I felt I had reached the top of my game and I didn’t see anywhere else that I could develop. This course has put me into a position where I can do something different with the skills that I’ve acquired.
Wayne Johnson, PgDip Surgical Care Practitioner (Trauma and Orthopaedic Surgery)

Career opportunities

Our MSc Surgical Care Practitioner will equip you to perform as an advanced practitioner that provides surgical and clinical care across the entire patient journey from the pre-admission clinic to the operating theatre to post-surgery ward care.
You’ll both work autonomously and collaboratively as part of the multi-disciplinary team.
Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust