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MSc Advanced Clinical Practice

Prepare for the role of Advanced Clinical Practitioner in primary or secondary care.

Year of entry: 2020
Show year of entry: 2019


3 years part-time

Start date

September 2020 (term dates)

Applications for 2020/21 entry open on Monday 30 September at 10am.

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This course will enable you to develop competency in advanced practice. 

This course will help you to build the knowledge and skills you need to safely assess, diagnose and treat or refer patients presenting with undifferentiated problems within the healthcare setting in which you are working. This will include the prescription or administration of medication according to the rules governing your particular profession.

You'll gain professional skills including risk management, resilience and leadership in order to progress your journey towards advanced practice. You will develop skills in managing patients presenting with complex problems, taking into account all the factors which contribute to the individual's problem.

You will also examine the wider context of healthcare and work towards improving health outcomes in collaboration with others, not merely for individuals but also for groups and populations.

This MSc level course is similar in content to the PGDip Advanced Clinical Practice. However, on the MSc course you will undertake an additional year (Year 3) which includes a service improvement project (dissertation).


Successful completion of the Non Medical Prescribing module will enable you to legally prescribe medicines and appliances.

Expert speakers

Expert speakers are a great feature of the course. We use them to bring in specialist knowledge to enhance your knowledge base and understanding.

Course content

Throughout the first two years of the programme you will need to be able to work with a mentor (a qualified Advanced Clinical Practitioner, GP, or doctor of registrar level or above) in the area of practice where you are currently employed.

You'll spend a full day each week with your mentor to work on skills and competencies learned in class and to develop your competency in your own area of practice.

This course is also available as a two-year postgraduate diploma which will give you all the competencies required to be an Advanced Clinical Practitioner but does not include the service improvement project.


Year 1

You will study the biological basis of illness and explore how pathology relates to signs and symptoms in the individual. You will learn how to assess these signs and symptoms through history taking and physical and mental health assessment and how to formulate this information into clinical diagnoses and a plan of care. You will also learn how laboratory investigations can help to inform your clinical decisions. 

You will undertake 60 credits of core modules.

Year 2

You will explore professional issues faced by Advanced Clinical Practitioners and look at how to manage risk and gain resilience. You will also examine the broad context of health, including public health, and how the Advanced Clinical Practitioner can influence outcomes in the healthcare context. You will also qualify as a non-medical prescriber (if you are not already one).

You will undertake 60 credits of core modules.

If you undertake the non-medical prescribing module, you will need to be working in the area in which you intend to prescribe and have access to a designated medical prescriber for a 12 day period during this module. The clinical practice hours count for both the non-medical prescribing days and the clinical practice days.

Year 3

You will complete a dissertation in the form of a service improvement project which you will implement in your own clinical area.

Please note, modules may change to reflect the latest academic thinking and expertise of our staff.


In your final year you will complete a dissertation in the form of a service improvement project, which will enable you to undertake and implement a project relevant to your own practice and place of work.

Fees and funding

Annual tuition fees for 2020/21

Study modeUK/EUInternational
Part-time (3 years)
This is the year 1 fee. Fees for future years are subject to confirmation.

Students on a Tier 4 Visa are not currently permitted to study part-time at York.

Additional costs

There are no specific additional fees for this course. You may choose to buy your own textbooks, which will cost around £150, however, these will also be available from the library. You may also want to print out some documents. We would anticipate the cost of printing would be up to £30.

Fees information

UK/EU or international fees? The level of fee that you will be asked to pay depends on whether you're classed as a UK/EU or international student.

Funding information

Discover your funding options to help with tuition fees and living costs.

If you've successfully completed an undergraduate degree at York you could be eligible for a 10% Masters fee discount.

Home/EU students

International students

Living costs

You can use our living costs guide to help plan your budget. It covers additional costs that are not included in your tuition fee such as expenses for accommodation and study materials.

Teaching and assessment

You’ll work with world‐leading academics who’ll challenge you to think independently and excel in all that you do. Our approach to teaching will provide you with the knowledge, opportunities, and support you need to grow and succeed in a global workplace.

Teaching format

In year 1, teaching will be on a Tuesday. This will change to a Thursday in the second year. You'll have significant face-to-face time with tutors.

You'll learn through theory sessions followed by discussions and a review of practice. During the patient assessment module, the afternoon session will consist mainly of clinical practice in the skills lab, working on the techniques of history taking and physical assessment.

Patient scenarios and case studies will be available through the Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) for you to continue learning outside of the classroom.

During your final year, taught sessions will prepare you to undertake your Service Improvement Project. You will be supported by an academic supervisor for the duration of your project.

During the course, you will develop an electronic portfolio which will allow you to document your hours, meetings with your mentor, and provide you with a space to add evidence which supports your increasing competency.


You will benefit from our state-of-the-art Clinical Simulation Unit which replicates a number of areas of healthcare in which you may work.

Teaching location

You will be based in the Department of Health Sciences which is on Campus West. The majority of your teaching will take place in Alcuin, or at other locations across Campus West. 

Students will work in their own area of clinical practice throughout the programmme. Students may choose to organise placements in other healthcare settings in order to enhance their clinical learning.

About our campus

Our beautiful green campus offers a student-friendly setting in which to live and study, within easy reach of the action in the city centre. It's easy to get around campus - everything is within walking or pedalling distance, or you can always use the fast and frequent bus service.

Assessment and feedback

Assessments will be through a variety of methods including exams, Observed Clinical Structured Examinations (OSCEs), reflective essays and a poster presentation. In each module you'll complete a formative assessment, which will help you achieve success in the summative assignment.

Careers and skills

The demand for qualified Advanced Clinical Practitioners (ACPs) is growing, and on completion of this course, you will be able to apply for and work as an ACP. As this is a generic course, you will be able to apply your skills in different clinical settings.

Career opportunities

  • Advanced Clinical Practitioner
  • Strategic leadership and management roles in healthcare

Transferable skills

Upon successful completion of the course you will be able to:

  • Manage risk and influence healthcare practices and policy to become a resilient professional
  • Work in collaboration with others to improve the health of the population
  • Lead on service development and implement change.

Entry requirements

Qualification Typical offer

You should hold an undergraduate degree (exception may be given if you have evidence of recent successfully completed modules at level six).

This course is open to healthcare professionals who have current registration with the Nursing and Midwifery Council, the Health Care Professions Council, or the General Pharmaceutical Council and have at least three years relevant clinical experience.

You need to be able to attend university one day per week during term time and should have the full support of your workplace management.

You may also be required to pass an interview in order to be offered a place on the course.

Extra requirements for students undertaking the non-medical prescribing module

You'll take this module as part of your course if you are eligible and you have not already completed it in the past.

To be eligible, you need to be a registered nurse, paramedic, pharmacist or physiotherapist with three years post-qualification experience and have been working in the clinical field of intended practice for the last year.

If you already have the independent prescribing qualification at level 6 or for fewer than 40 credits at level 7, you'll undertake an alternate module in advanced ECG interpretation.

If you hold the independent prescribing qualification at level 7, you will not need
to undertake an alternate module.

You will need to be able to spend a compulsory practice element of 12 days with a designated medical practitioner, and be working in an area where you will be able to prescribe on completion of the module.

You will need separate and specific support from your employing organisation and you must have an enhanced Disclosure and Barring Check which is under three years old at the time of enrolment.

Recognition of prior learning

Please see our recognition of prior learning policies.

English language

If English isn't your first language you may need to provide evidence of your English language ability. We accept the following qualification:

  • IELTS: Overall of 6.5 with a minimum of 6.5 in writing and no less than 6.0 in any other component

For more information see our postgraduate English language requirements

If you've not met our English language requirements

You may be eligible for one of our pre-sessional English language courses. These courses will provide you with the level of English needed to meet the conditions of your offer.

The length of course you need to take depends on your current IELTS scores and how much you need to improve to reach our English language requirements.

After you've accepted your offer to study at York, we'll confirm which pre-sessional course you should apply to via You@York.


You can apply and send all your documentation electronically through our online system. You don’t need to complete your application all at once: you can start it, save it and finish it later.

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