School of Nursing and Midwifery

BSc (Hons) Professional Development in Advancing Practice

Our BSc (Hons) Professional Development in Advancing Practice has been designed to support and challenge you to understand and implement the values and principles of advancing your practice. You will study alongside healthcare professionals from different disciplines to encourage co-operation and an understanding of how patient experience is improved with integrated working.

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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.#firstchoiceforhealth
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Key features
  • Start your professional development journey by gaining an understanding of the complexities involved in advancing your role in practice and develop a deeper understanding on the positive impact this will have in your own clinical area.
  • Explore and understand the role of advancing practice in an ever changing health service and where that role fits in the strategic picture of the NHS in the 21st century.
  • Find opportunities to transform services in your own clinical area and gain knowledge and appreciation of other professions, specialities and organisations who contribute to patient/client care.
  • Be supported to develop relationships with other healthcare professionals and work more effectively across professional and organisational boundaries to enhance patient/client care.
  • Become a critical thinking practitioner with a range of transferable skills who can effectively contribute to service enhancement.
  • Use the best available evidence, contemporary knowledge and high-level clinical decision-making skills to underpin interventions.
  • Develop confidence, competence and emotional resilience to consistently exercise personal responsibility and professional accountability for decision making and the provision of high-quality safe care.
  • Undertake a programme that enables choice and values prior experiential learning and experience; targeted at the career development needs of a wide range of healthcare professionals.
  • Flexibly designed programme enabling you to ‘step on and step off’ over a five-year period in response to service need and professional circumstances.
Course details
  • Year 1

  • This programme offers the awards of BSc /BSc (Hons), Graduate Certificate and Graduate Diploma. 
    BSc– to achieve a BSc you will need to earn 80 credits by undertaking four 20 credit modules 
    BSc (Hons) – to achieve a BSc (Hons) you will need to earn 120 credits by undertaking five modules – four 20 credit modules and one 40 credit modules
    Students who have previously obtained a health related degree at 2:2 or above are eligible to access the programme via the Graduate Certificate or Graduate Diploma route – please see panel below for further details.
    The module ‘HEAD361 – Independent study’ is only a core module for students who wish to achieve the BSc (Hons) Professional Development in Advancing Practice.
    For further information on the modules that make up this programme please visit the BSc (Hons) / BSc Professional Development modules

    Core modules

    • Leadership and Innovation (HEAD355)

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

    • Integrated Advancing Practice in Context (HEAD366)

      This module will enable the student to develop their professional understanding of Advancing Practice within their working environment and explore the complexities of their practice. They will examine the legal & ethical boundaries and accountability of practice personally, professionally and strategically.

    • The Fundamentals of Health Assessment (HEAD367)

      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.

Every undergraduate taught course has a detailed programme specification document describing the course aims, the course structure, the teaching and learning methods, the learning outcomes and the rules of assessment.

The following programme specification represents the latest course structure and may be subject to change:

BSc (Hons) Professional Development in Advancing Practice pathway specification_6152

The modules shown for this course are those currently being studied by our students, or are proposed new modules. Please note that programme structures and individual modules are subject to amendment from time to time as part of the University’s curriculum enrichment programme and in line with changes in the University’s policies and requirements.
Entry requirements
To be eligible for the BSc or BSc (Hons) programme you will need to be either a registered health and social care professional or a health and social care worker in possession of previous study at level 5 (foundation degree /diploma of higher education). 
If you wish to undertake the graduate certificate and graduate diploma award pathways you must already hold an honours degree at 2:2 or above in a health or health related subject.
If you wish to undertake any clinical skills modules as part of your programme you will need to be working in an environment where you can meet the learning outcomes.
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 – minimum overall International English Language Testing System (IELTS) of 6.5 average with a minimum 5.5 in each category.
Claims for credit for prior learning, whether certificated or experiential are accepted and will be assessed following University regulations and faculty procedures.
Extended entry requirements
Fees, costs and funding
The fee for this programme is dependent on the modules undertaken. Please see the relevant module web pages for further information.
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
To apply for this programme please complete the application form and return via email to:
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 University of Plymouth, please visit our Disability Services website.
Support is also available from our International Office if you are an overseas student applying to the University.
Healthcare mechanism concept. Abstract background with connected gears and icons for medical, health, care, medicine, network, social media and global concepts. Vector infographic illustration. Copyright: Hilch, courtesy of Shutterstock.

Graduate Certificate and Graduate Diploma

If you have previously obtained a health related honours degree at 2:2 or above, you are eligible to access this programme via the graduate certificate/diploma route:
Graduate Certificate Professional Development in Advancing Practice – 60 credits at degree level
Graduate Diploma Professional Development in Advancing Practice – 120 credits at degree level
Students seeking to achieve either qualification will be required to achieve the specified number of credits by choosing from a range of pathway specific modules.
Please contact the Professional Development Unit at for further information.
Graduating students on Plymouth Hoe

Opportunities for postgraduate study in nursing

Be at the forefront of changes to the traditional ways of working and become a Clinical Practitioner (CP) with our MSc Advanced Professional Practice (Clinical Practitioner).

You’ll be equipped with the knowledge and skills to assess, diagnose, treat and manage patients who present with undifferentiated and undiagnosed conditions, across all sectors of healthcare.

Certain clinicians can also exit as a non-medical prescriber, i.e. nurses, pharmacists and optometrists can become independent and/or supplementary prescribers, whilst radiographers, physiotherapists and podiatrists can become supplementary prescribers.

Advanced Professional Practice (Clinical Practitioner)