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PGDip Advanced Clinical Practice

This course will prepare you for the role of Advanced Clinical Practitioner in primary or secondary care.

Year of entry: 2019


2 years part-time

Start date

September 2019 (term dates)

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

You will develop the knowledge and skills 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 will develop your 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 problems.

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 postgraduate diploma level course is similar in content to the MSc Advanced Clinical Practice. However, on the PGDip course you will not undertake Year 3 which includes the service improvement project (dissertation).


Successfully completing the Non Medical Prescribing module will enable you to legally prescribe medicines and appliances.


We have excellent facilities in our Clinical Skills Unit with access to simulated patient settings, simulated patients and 'live' actors to enhance the practical components of our course.

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

Clinical practice

Throughout 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 will 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 three-year MSc in Advanced Clinical Practice which will give you all the competencies required to be an advanced clinical practitioner as well as giving you the opportunity to undertake a service improvement project (dissertation) in the third year.


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 the relevance of laboratory investigations and how to use them to enhance your clinical decision making skills.

You will take 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).

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.

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

Fees and funding

Additional costs

There are no specific additional fees for this course. You may choose to buy your own textbooks, which will cost around £150 for a full set, however, these will also be available from the library so there is no requirement to do this. 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 your first year, teaching will be on a Tuesday. This will change to a Thursday in the second year. You will have significant face-to-face time with tutors.

Teaching will consist of 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 via the Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) for you to continue learning outside of the classroom.

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 case studies. In each module you will have the opportunity to practice the assessment informally prior to taking the actual summative assessment.

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

You must be registered with the Nursing and Midwifery Council, the Health Care Professions Council, or the General Pharmaceutical Council in order to apply.

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

If you intend to undertake this module you need to be a registered nurse, pharmacist or physiotherapist with three years' post-qualification experience and have been working in the clinical field of intended practice for the last year.

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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