Advanced clinical practice apprenticeship programme


Our Advanced Clinical Practitioner apprenticeship provides registered nurses, midwives and allied health professionals with the opportunity to study for a fully-funded masters degree, MSc Advanced Clinical Practice, whilst in paid employment. 
This programme has been designed to meet the needs of health professionals across all healthcare sectors, giving you the opportunity to lead and transform service delivery through research-informed clinical practice. As an Advanced Clinical Practitioner, you will drive service improvements, provide professional leadership and supervision in complex situations and manage defined episodes of clinical care and treatment independently from beginning to end. 
This contemporary, flexible programme will develop your practice by building on your current expertise and knowledge and equip you with the skill set required for an advanced clinical role.

Programme overview

  • A three-year full-time programme with a blended approach to learning with face to face study days at the University and highly directed study.
  • You will have seven and a half hours of protected study time a week 
  • You will be employed as an Advanced Clinical Practitioner trainee throughout the duration of the programme, receiving a full wage whilst studying.
  • This is a Level 7 programme – you will graduate with an MSc in Advanced Clinical Practice.

Key benefits

Advanced Clinical Practice

Who is this programme for?

This is an exciting opportunity for registered nurses, midwives and allied health professionals. This programme is aimed at multi-professionals from a variety of clinical settings who wish to develop their research and leadership skills and clinical expertise at masters level.

This programme will be of interest to those wishing to work at advanced levels of practice or those who are currently working as specialist practitioners in bespoke clinical areas.

Module details

Year one

You will study three core modules in your first year:

  • 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.
  • Advanced assessment for clinical practice: This module will enable experienced healthcare practitioners to develop cognitive and clinical skills with regard to the consultation process, clinical examination of major body systems and interpretation of diagnostic data to inform their clinical decision making in practice. 
  • Research, methodologies and application: This module develops an understanding of research designs and methods, enabling the critical appraisal of research and introducing the principles of data collection and analysis.

Year two

In your second year, you will study one core module:

  • Managing clinical complexity: This module will enable the student to develop competence, autonomy and professional accountability in the development of managing clinical complexity when seeing patients with complex co-morbidities, polypharmacy, undifferentiated and undiagnosed conditions across healthcare settings. 

You will also choose two of the following optional modules:

  • Non-medical prescribing: Independent and supplementary prescribing for nurses and midwives
  • Advanced newborn and infant examination
  • Global health in context
  • Advanced psychosocial assessment and formulation
  • Ethical and legal issues in healthcare practice
  • Advanced newborn and infant examination (APL) 
  • Perinatal mental health 
  • Developing expertise in clinical practice 
  • Mental health assessment in urgent, emergency and acute care
  • Sociology of health and illness
  • Contemporary approaches to public health
  • Leadership and innovation
  • Management of children/ young people requiring urgent or emergency care
  • Advocacy and education for quality improvement in practice
  • Minor illness and injuries - the principles and practice of management for unscheduled care
  • Substance misuse and dual diagnosis

Final year

In your final year, you will work towards:

  • Substantive professional project
  • End point assessment

How will you be assessed?

As an ACP trainee you will be assessed utilising a diverse range of assessment methods from written reports and research proposals, to Objective Structured Clinical Examinations (OSCEs). Your academic tutor will provide you with formative feedback to help guide you and shape your assessments. 

In addition to this, you will also be required to maintain an electronic portfolio of evidence of learning, which on successful completion of the programme will become a lifelong source to evidence your professional practice.

What support will you receive?

Our experienced clinicians will be there to support you every step of the way. You will receive 12 weekly tripartite meetings with your mentor and a member of our apprenticeship team to discuss your progress, as well as receiving visits from your academic tutor once every semester. 

Advanced Clinical Practice
Jo Amy Brancher, Lecturer in Adult Nursing

“We are happy and proud to offer the first Advanced Clinical Practice Apprenticeship in the South West. This exciting programme is firmly embedded in the workplace and offers registered nurses, midwives and allied health professionals the opportunity to study and work in a trainee ACP role in their clinical area, supported by the academic team here at the University of Plymouth and clinical mentors in practice. 

On successful completion of the 3 year Master’s degree you will have the knowledge and skills to be an independent clinical practitioner and will be able to manage defined episodes of clinical care whilst working as part of the wider health and social care team, putting excellent patient care at the heart of their practice. 

We look forward to welcoming you onto our programme and supporting you on your learning journey.”

Jo Amy Brancher, Lecturer in Adult Nursing

Your lecturers

One to one session. Image courtesy of Shutterstock