Advanced Clinical Practice MSc

The full MSc Advanced Clinical Practice programme at DMU develops the practitioner’s ability to appraise research, think critically, and prepares you to work further beyond the role of an expert clinician.

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Advanced Clinical Practice Education at DMU is underpinned by the multi-professional framework for Advanced Clinical Practice for England. The curriculum that we deliver is mapped across the four pillars of Advanced Practice to ensure the Advanced Clinical Practitioners of tomorrow have the breadth of knowledge and the confidence practise to a recognised standard. 

The four pillars of advanced practice are:

1. Clinical Practice

2. Leadership and Management

3. Education

4. Research

The programme is taught at level 7. The programme supports students to develop the necessary skills to face these challenges and have the confidence to demonstrate strengths across all four pillars of practice. 

Within the ACP programme there is ongoing assessment of the student’s development which occurs collaboratively through focused teaching and workplace learning. The MSc Advanced Clinical Practice programme at De Montfort University seeks to enhance the practitioner’s ability to appraise research, think critically, and encourages the practitioner to develop beyond the role of an expert clinician.

The curriculum has been designed with expert advice from clinicians, academics and local strategic partners.

Key features

  • The curriculum has been designed with expert advice from clinicians, academics and local strategic partners to address both the academic and clinical demands of the role.
  • The opportunity to learn and develop research and leadership skills to an advanced level.
  • The opportunity to learn from key leaders in the field of Advanced Clinical Practice.
  • Core modules include Physical examination and consultation skills, Diagnostic reasoning, Research, Prescribing, and a Service Improvement Plan 

For further information contact

The ACP programme team: 


Learning Beyond Registration Admissions team:


T: +44 (0)0116 201 3892 

More courses like this:

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DMU has been shortlisted for the Postgraduate Award in the 2024 Whatuni Student Choice Awards (WUSCAs), as voted for by students.

  • UK
  • EU/International

MSc Advanced Clinical Practice
PG Dip Advanced Clinical Practice
PG Cert Clinical Practice

Course code: B90081

Duration: Students are able to complete the programme part time in three to six years. There is no full time option.

Attendance: The university requires a minimum of 80% attendance at taught sessions. Students should also be aware that if they are seconded from an employing organisation, or funded by same, then details of their attendance will be passed to that organisation.

Location of study:

Learning takes place at DMU in Leicester, usually in either the Edith Murphy building or the Hawthorn Building. Locations will be given at the start of each module, and any changes communicated using Blackboard (DMU virtual Learning Environment).

International students who do not currently have employment rights in the UK are not eligible for this course.

Entry criteria

Standard entry requirements:

  • A professional qualification as a health care practitioner and currently registered with the relevant health care professional body.
  • Has an honours degree (2:2 or above) awarded by a British university or other equivalent approved degree awarding college/body.
  • At least 5 years post registration experience.
  • You must be employed in a role that directly links to the Multi-Professional Framework for Advanced Clinical Practitioner (ACP) (i.e. trainee Advanced Clinical Practitioner).
  • You must have the full support of your employing organisation to undertake this qualification.
  • You must demonstrate that you have a designated supervisor that has expert knowledge of the area of practice they are supervising and the appropriate level of experience to support the learning, development, assessment and verification of competence and capability.

Some organisations may wish to impose other criteria/restrictions upon students. For example, UHL interview staff members who they wish to develop as ACP and as a result of this process either selects or rejects them for the programme. The prospective student must still satisfy DMU entry requirements. These processes fall outside of the DMU admissions process and are not subject to DMU control. The students are then seconded by the employing organisation to enable them to undertake the course.

If you have any questions, please contact the programme team to discuss

English language requirements:

If English is not your first language an IELTS score of 7 or equivalent when you start the course is essential. English language tuition, delivered by our British Council accredited Centre for English Language Learning (CELL), is available both before and during the course.

International students who do not currently have employment rights in the UK are not eligible for this course.

Structure and assessment


Course modules

Learning and assessment

Teaching contact hours


Students must complete a total of 180 credits.

Year one

MPHE 5801 – Advanced Consultation and physical examination skills

This is the physical examination / history-taking module and will enable the student to critically appraise the underlying principles of consultation and physical examination. It is assessed with an assignment and OSCE’s. Runs in Semester 1. Allied issues such as requesting investigations, inter-professional team working, patient referral mechanisms and professional accountability in an advanced role are also addressed. It is aimed at those health care practitioners who will be professionally supported in this active interventionist role.  It is relevant to Registered Paramedics, Nurses and Allied Health Professionals working within a variety of primary and secondary care settings.

If you do not work in an environment where you will have the opportunity to see / examine all systems, then you will need to be able to take time to access such an environment.

MPHE 5804 – Diagnostic Reasoning for Advanced Clinical Practice

The module will enable the student to make informed judgements, problem solve and identify complex health needs and issues specific to an advanced clinical role. It covers pathophysiology, diagnostic reasoning and the application of specialist knowledge (e.g. rheumatology, haematology, hepatology) to general ACP practice. It runs in Semester 2 and is assessed with a portfolio and case study.

MPHE 5204 – Independent Study – Advanced Practice

This Semester 1 module allows you to develop and explore in depth an area of developing and/or developed health and professional practice. In negotiation with your manager or module leader, an area of new or continuing developed study will be identified.

Building on prior achievements concerning your knowledge and experience you will take forward an area of developing health and professional practice using the framework of independent contracted learning

This is an independent study module and you will be required to negotiate individual tutorials with the relevant supervisor/s to discuss the learning outcomes of the module. The content for this module will be influenced by your choice of topic to study. You will be required to critically examine a topic independently.

It is anticipated that the module will provide the opportunity to critically examine an issue which is relevant to your current practice. Critical analysis of professional practice is also encouraged using a national and international perspective.

Year two

SPEC 5610 – Research methods for health professionals

Taken in Semester 1 of year 2, this module introduces the student to research methodologies and is critical for developing understanding building towards the service improvement plan and the prescribing course.


PRES5005 – Applied Prescribing (NMC & HCPC Registrants)

PRES5006 – Pharmacology for prescribers (NMC & HCPC Registrants)


PHAR5557 – Practice certificate in independent prescribing (GPhC Registrants)

If the student is from a profession that is legislatively able to prescribe, then they MUST undertake the non-medical prescribing course as part of this programme. Please see the non-medical prescribing course web page for further information. This is a 45 credit course.

If the student is not legislatively able to prescribe currently (e.g. ODP) then they must make up the 45 credits from the wider DMU M level portfolio, using modules with a clinical / advanced practice focus.

Year three

MPHE 5806 – Service Improvement Project

All students must complete the Service improvement project, a 12.000 word piece of work which focuses on the education and leadership aspects of advanced practice. This replaces a traditional dissertation. This module runs over two semesters, (1 and 2)

It is possible to exit the course without doing the dissertation (if the other modules are completed) and gain the award of PG Dip in Advanced clinical practice. A PG cert is also available if a student completes a physical examination module and a research module, but please note; this is NOT a PG cert Advanced Clinical Practice.

For more information, or to discuss your potential suitability for the course, please contact the programme team by email: 



Teaching and assessment

Teaching is a mix of lectures, tutorials, practical sessions and self-directed learning. As this is a postgraduate level programme, it is expected that you will take responsibility for devising your own learning plan, and accessing support where you require it.

Assessments are designed to test the module and programme learning outcomes and are a combination of assignments, case studies, exams, OSCEs and a final project. Some modules will also have a practice portfolio element.

The knowledge and skills you learn across the ACP programme are the foundations of your development in this role and as such they represent the beginning. Focused learning occurs in practice and as such you should be able to access time away from your clinical role in order that you can consolidate and expand your learning and importantly address all aspects of your learning. Experiential learning from working with and observing experienced colleagues will help in your development and growth as an ACP. It is important to access areas of practice that sits out of your day to day encounters as this enables you to understand from first-hand experience how other services were developed. Learning and evolving from what has gone and others are important features of your being an ACP future leader of services or when delivering clinical care.

Staff teaching on the course are either highly experienced ACP or senior medical clinicians. Those without a clinical focus are research active, mostly doctoral level academics, with an interest in advanced practice.

Most modules run over a full day for the taught elements, usually one day per week though not necessarily sequential weeks. Please see details of individual modules for more information.


There is a one day programme induction event, usually held in mid-September. Details of this are available once enrolled on the programme.

Teaching contact hours

Contact hours in a typical week will depend to some extent on the optional modules you choose to study. However, typically you will have up to seven contact hours of teaching.

Personal tutorial/small group teaching: Three hours of tutorials (or later, project supervision) over the course of a module (one hour as a group, up to two hours individually)

Medium group teaching: Seven hours of practical classes, workshops or seminars each week


Personal study: Eight hours studying and revising in your own time each week, including some guided study using hand-outs, online activities, etc.

Facilities and features

Health and Life Sciences facilities

Substantial investment in Health and Life Sciences has developed our teaching and learning facilities to help you develop your practical experience and theoretical knowledge beyond the classroom.

The 19th century Hawthorn Building has facilities designed to replicate current practice in health and life sciences, including contemporary analytical chemistry and formulation laboratories, audiology booths and nursing and midwifery clinical skills suites.

Purpose-built clinical skills areas allow you to apply theory to practice in a safe environment. You will receive guidance and support from staff, to ensure that your practical ability in the clinical skills suites is accurate.

Library services

On campus, the main Kimberlin Library offers a space where you can work, study and access a vast range of print materials, with computer stations, laptops, plasma screens and assistive technology also available. 

As well as providing a physical space in which to work, we offer online tools to support your studies, and our extensive online collection of resources accessible from our Library website, e-books, specialised databases and electronic journals and films which can be remotely accessed from anywhere you choose. 

We will support you to confidently use a huge range of learning technologies, including Learning Zone, Collaborate Ultra, DMU Replay, MS Teams, Turnitin and more. Alongside this, you can access LinkedIn Learning and learn how to use Microsoft 365, and study support software such as mind mapping and note-taking through our new Digital Student Skills Hub. 

The library staff offer additional support to students, including help with academic writing, research strategies, literature searching, reference management and assistive technology. There is also a ‘Just Ask’ service for help and advice, live LibChat, online workshops, tutorials and drop-ins available from our Learning Services, and weekly library live chat sessions that give you the chance to ask the library teams for help.

Learning zones

Our Learning Zones and The Greenhouse also provide space for group or individual work and study.

There are 1,600 study places across all library locations, more than 700 computer stations, laptops to borrow, free wi-fi and desktop power outlets.

You can also book rooms with plasma screens, laptops and DVD facilities for group work and presentations, secure an individual study room with adjustable lighting or make use of our assistive technology.

Opportunities and careers

Find the people who will open doors for you

DMU's award-winning careers service provides guaranteed work experience opportunities DMU Careers Team

Graduate careers

On completion of this course, students will fulfil the academic requirements in order to practice as an Advanced Clinical Practitioner. This anticipates possible future NMC regulation, and complies with standards across all the different nations of the UK.


It is anticipated that the De Montfort University ACP course will begin HEE accreditation in Spring 2023.

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