Advanced Clinical Practice (ACP) Qualification

What is Advanced Clinical Practice?

  • Advanced practice is a level of practice, rather than a type of practice.

  • Advanced Nurse Practitioners are educated at Masters Level in clinical practice and have been assessed as competent in practice using their expert clinical knowledge and skills.

  • Advanced Nurse Practitioners have the freedom and authority to act, making autonomous decisions in the assessment, diagnosis and treatment of patients.

Health Education England (HEE), in association with its multi-disciplinary partners, has developed a definition of Advanced Clinical Practice:-
“Advanced clinical practice is delivered by experienced, registered health and care practitioners. It is a level of practice characterised by a high degree of autonomy and complex decision making. This is underpinned by a master’s level award or equivalent that encompasses the four pillars of clinical practice, leadership and management, education and research, with demonstration of core capabilities and area specific clinical competence.
Advanced clinical practice embodies the ability to manage clinical care in partnership with individuals, families and carers. It includes the analysis and synthesis of complex problems across a range of settings, enabling innovative solutions to enhance people’s experience and improve outcomes.”

An Advanced Nurse Practitioner's Experience;

"Training to become an ANP was challenging but rewarding. The opportunity to work closely with a GP colleague resulted in a huge increase in medical knowledge whilst feeling supported and clinically safe. The combination of academic study alongside the clinical experience meant that I was able to put into practice my new and advanced skills of clinical assessment and complex decision making. As a result of the ACP course I now work as an ANP in general practice - being able to assess and treat patients to a more advanced level but still using my core nursing skills has resulted in patients receiving the investigations and treatment that they need in a more timely manner as they don't need another appointment to see a GP and has also reinvigorated my career."

Sisterr Mary Morris, Advanced Nurse Practitioner, Tenbury Surgery

Why Advanced Clinical Practice? 

To drive up the standards of practice and skills of nursing profession.
Advanced clinical practitioners come from a range of professional backgrounds such as nursing, pharmacy, paramedics and occupational therapy. They are healthcare professionals educated to Masters level in and have developed the skills and knowledge to allow them to take on expanded roles and scope of practice caring for patients.

What’s in it for me?

  • Formal external recognition of ability to practice at an advanced level
  • Kudos – public recognition of ability to practice at advanced level
  • Career development, ongoing CPD and support from RCN
  • Portable kite mark of quality
Patients & Public
  • Assurance in quality of care being delivered
Nursing profession
  • Beginning of regulation of advanced practice
  • Kite mark for services led by Credentialed ALNs
  • Cost – credentialed nurse  working in advanced role

Who is this programme aimed at?

This programme is aimed at allied healthcare professionals, nurses and midwives who want 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.  It offers you the opportunity to advance your practice through selection of modules designed to enhance your ability to take on roles in advanced practice. Invaluable to your career progression this programme will enable you to lead and transform service delivery through research-informed clinical practice

What will this programme lead to?

There are 3 accreditation routes:

  1. Postgraduate Certificate in Advanced Clinical Practice (60 credits)
  2. Postgraduate Diploma in Advanced Clinical Practice (120 credits)
  3. Full MSc in Advanced Clinical Practice (180 credits)

Entry requirements

  • A current professional healthcare registration with a relevant UK professional/statutory body, with a minimum of 3 years' post registration experience
  • A Bachelor's degree with a minimum 2:2 honours classification (or equivalent*)
  • Secured funding
  • Support from employer
  • Applicants whose first language is not English should have an IELTS of 6.5 overall, with no component lower than 5.5
* Where applicants do not hold a first degree, applications will be considered on an individual basis. However you will be required to submit evidence of relevant experience and continued professional development

Please note: Individual modules within the programme may have additional entry criteria due to the aims and learning outcomes of the module and/or due to professional body regulations

Accreditation of Prior Leaning & Experience


Challenging and Enhancing Service Delivery

MSAP4001 (20 credits) 2018/19

Research Methods in Healthcare

MSAP4002 - 2018/19 (20 credits)

Advanced Adult Health Assessment - Semester 1

MSAP4020 - 2018/19 (40 credits)

Advanced Adult Health Assessment - Semester 2

MSAP4020 - 2018/19 (40 credits)


Advanced Paediatric Health Assessment - Semester 2

MSAP4160 (40 credits) 2018/19


Newborn Physical Examination

MSAP4031 2018/19  (40 credits)


Dissertation One and Two

MSAP4005 - Semester 1 2018/19 (40 credits) plus 60 credits from the optional modules
MSAP4006 - Semester 1 (60 credits) plus 40 credits from the optional modules


Dissertation One and Two

MSAP4005 - Semester 2 2018/19 (40 credits) plus 60 credits from the optional modules
MSAP4006 - Semester 2 (60 credits) plus 40 credits from the optional module


Non Medical Prescribing

MSAP4021 (40 credits) 2018/19

Practice certificate in Independent Prescribing/Negotiated Learning

MSAP4022 (40 credits) 2018/19 - this module will hopefully run in Semester 2, for further information, please contact Emma Innes
Guidance on applying for Non-Medical Prescribing courses

Leading and Managing People

MSAP4071 (20 credits) 2018/19

Law and Ethics for Health and Social Care

MSAP4051 (20 credits) 2018/19

Negotiated Learning

MSAP4085 (20 credits each) 2018/19

Negotiated Learning Double

MSAP4085-86 2018/19 (40 Credits each)

Contact time

In a typical week as a part time student, you will have around 6 contact hours of teaching. The precise contact hours will depend on the modules you have selected and the credit value they have attached to them. In the final year, you will normally have slightly less contact time in order to do more study that is independent for your Dissertation.

Typically, for a 20-credit module, contact time will be structured around:

6 x 6 hour taught days over a 14 week semester made up of seminars, lectures and workshops

Independent self study

In addition to the contact time, you are expected to undertake personal self-study per week. Again, this will depend on the module and its credit value, but this could be around 10-15 hours per week whilst studying a 20-credit module. Typically, this will involve completing online activities, reading journal articles and books, working on individual and group projects, undertaking research in the library and online, preparing coursework assignments and presentations, and preparing for examinations.

Independent learning is supported by a range of excellent learning facilities, including the Hive and library resources, the virtual learning environment, and extensive electronic learning resources.


The course provides opportunities to test understanding and learning informally through the completion of practice or 'formative' assignments. Each module has one or more formal or 'summative' assessments, which are graded and count towards the overall module grade.

Assessment methods for a 20 credit Level 7 module include 1 essay of 4000 words; for a 40 credit advanced health assessment module the assessment includes a 15 minute Objective Structured Clinical Examination; and a 4000 word Portfolio of evidence with competency document.

The precise assessment requirements for an individual student in an academic year will vary according to the mandatory and optional modules taken, but a typical formal summative assessment pattern for each year of the course is:

Year 1 (Postgraduate Certificate in Advanced Clinical Practice)

  • 20 credit Level 7 module include 1 essay of 4000 words
  • 40 credit Level 7 advanced health assessment module the assessment includes an Objective Structured Clinical Examination; and a 4000 word Portfolio of evidence with competency document.

Year 2 (Postgraduate Diploma in Advanced Clinical Practice)

  • 20 credit Level 7 module include 1 essay of 4000 words
  • 40 credit Level 7 non-medical prescribing module including an Objective Structured Clinical Examination; an Examination; a Seminar and Portfolio of evidence with competency document.

Year 3 (Full MSc in Advanced Clinical Practice)

  • 60 credit Dissertation Module 15,000 words



Tuition Fees

For students enrolling in the academic year 2019/20 the fee is £766 per 20 credits (with the exception of Non Medical Prescribing - please contact for further details).

Postgraduate loans

The Government will provide a loan of up to £10,609 per student for postgraduate Masters study. It will be at your own discretion whether the loan is used towards fees, maintenance or other costs.

For full details visit our postgraduate loans page.

Additional costs

Every course has day-to-day costs for basic books, stationery, printing and photocopying. The amounts vary between courses.

If your course offers a placement opportunity, you may need to pay for a Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS) check.