Advancing Practice MSc/Diploma/PG Certificate

This programme, aimed at allied health professionals and nurses, offers you the opportunity to advance your practice through selection of a profile of modules that meet your personal development needs and aspirations.

Modules are designed to facilitate your capability to undertake a range of roles, for example, specialist, extended scope or consultant roles. There is also the opportunity to undertake clinical placements overseas.

This programme offers you the opportunity to advance your practice through selection of a profile of modules that meet your personal development needs and aspirations. Modules are designed to facilitate your capability to undertake a range of roles, for example, specialist, extended scope or consultant roles. They will also appeal to those involved in service development or role redesign.

The programme has a clinical focus and offers flexible learning for allied health professionals and nurses. We have developed the programme further by including the opportunity to undertake clinical placements overseas, enabling us to meet the needs of international students. Opportunities will be available for participants to evaluate their current practice and undertake learning experiences that advance their capability as a practitioner.

Why study this course

The Advancing Practice Masters programme offers you:

  • The opportunity to work within a multidisciplinary student cohort 
  • The support of a personal tutor and dissertation supervisor 
  • The chance to tailor the programme to your own individual learning needs 
  • A research led environment with opportunities for diverse dissertation projects
  • Flexible study which can be organised around your other commitments

On completion of the programme you will have:

  • The ability to critically evaluate approaches and methodologies appropriate for researching theoretical and practical issues relating to clinical practice
  • The ability to critically evaluate previous professional development and plan future development within the framework of contemporary healthcare practice
  • Specialist clinical practice at an advanced level within a work based setting
  • The ability to promote, lead and develop best practice within their field
  • The ability to formulate a justifiable research design and conduct analytically an investigation to address a problem relevant to their clinical practice
  • The ability to produce a written report worthy of scrutiny in both academic and clinical settings  


You will take the following four mandatory modules:

In addition, you will choose three option modules to the value of 60 credits (subject to availability and viability). Through careful selection of modules you can create the course that will meet your individual development needs. 

Optional Modules within Nursing and Physiotherapy - please select 60 credits  

For this programme, it is also possible to take relevant M Level modules from within the School of Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation Sciences . These would form part of the optional modules you are to choose as part of the MSc Health Studies programme. Our optional modules are each worth 20 credits, therefore, if you wish to take modules on offer within the School, these will also need to equate to 20 credits. We advise applicants to discuss this with academic staff either as part of the application process or during interview.

The modules listed on our website may occasionally be subject to change. For example, as you will appreciate, key members of staff may leave the University and this might necessitate a review of the modules that are offered. Where a module is no longer available, we will let you know as soon as we can and help you make other choices.

Through careful selection of modules you can create the course that will meet your individual development needs. Below are some examples of how previous students from diverse backgrounds have designed their own course of study.

A neurophysiotherapist chose the following:

  • Specialist Neurological Rehabilitation 1: Cognitive Neuropsychological Basis of Practice
  • Specialist Neurological Rehabilitation 2: Evaluation of Practice
  • Facilitating Practice-Based Learning*

An occupational therapist combined:

  • Managing and negotiating Health Care Systems*
  • Qualitative Research Methods
  • Facilitating Practice-Based Learning*

A cardiac nurse specialist took:

  • Specialist Cardiorespiratory Care: Bioscience Basis of Practice
  • Managing and negotiating Health Care Systems*
  • Facilitating Practice-Based Learning*

* means a student took the equivalent module available at the time they begun the programme.

Fees and funding

Postgraduate Loans for Masters students

The new postgraduate loans system for Masters degrees in the UK will be introduced for students commencing in the 2016-17 academic year. The government-backed student loans will provide up to a maximum of £10,000 for taught and research Masters courses in all subject areas.

Detailed criteria and information regarding the application process is expected in early 2016. The key information to date is summarised here.

2015/16 programme fees

  Home/EU International
  Min Max Min Max
(MSc) Advancing Practice £7,780 £9,940 tbc £15,440 £17,950 tbc
(PGDip) Advancing Practice £5,620 £7,660 tbc £10,727 £13,000 tbc

Students choose three option modules as part of the MSc Advancing Practice programme and some of the modules available carry an extra cost of approximately £600. Therefore, the total fee for the MSc programme will be contingent on the option modules selected as part of your studies.

Self funding students can choose to pay in instalments by direct debit.

Learn more about fees and funding

Scholarships and studentships
Scholarships may be available. International students can often gain funding through overseas research scholarships, Commonwealth scholarships or their home government. Visit our website for information about scholarships for international students

For further information contact the School directly or email

Entry requirements

Admission to the programme is on the basis that you will normally have:

  • Current registration with the relevant professional/regulatory bodies appropriate to the location of the clinical placement component of the programme (to include professional indemnity)
  • A BSc/BA Honours degree or equivalent. (Evidence of equivalence of your qualification(s) to the UK educational system of awards can be found at The degree should normally be a first or upper second class Honours degree.
  • Supporting evidence of appropriate continuing professional development.

Additional criteria for clinical placement component in the UK (please note that if these criteria are not met within four months of starting the course, you may be required to transfer to a non-clinical programme or to undertake your placement overseas):

  • Evidence of satisfactory current Disclosure and Barring Service check
  • Evidence of satisfactory health declaration and immunisation record

You will also need to submit the following documentation in support of your application: 

  • Two academic/employer references in support of your application and professional and practical capabilities; 
  • Transcripts of your degrees so far (certified and translated in to English if appropriate). 
  • Evidence of your clinical placements and experiences to date; 
  • Evidence of appropriate professional registration. (Evidence of HPC and CSP registration (or NMC registration) if you wish to undertake your clinical placement in the UK)

Learn more about entry requirements including Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL)

International students:

If applying from overseas, you should also bear in mind that the process of applying for a visa can be a long and complicated one and you are therefore advised to submit your application for study as early as possible, enabling us to provide you with the offer letter that will be necessary for your visa application well ahead of the programme start date.  

Academic requirements

We accept a range of qualifications, our country pages show you what qualifications we accept from your country.

English language requirements

You can satisfy our English language requirements in two ways:

English to IELTS 6.5 (with a minimum of 6.0 in each component) or TOEFL Internet based 88 overall with no less than no less than 21 in Reading, 20 in Listening, 22 in Speaking, 21 in Writing.

How to apply

When clicking on the Apply Now button you will be directed to an application specifically designed for the programme you wish to apply for where you will create an account with the University application system and submit your application and supporting documents online. Further information regarding how to apply online can be found on the How to apply pages

Apply now

As a Birmingham student, you will be joining the academic elite and will have the privilege of learning from world-leading experts, as well as your peers. From the outset you will be encouraged to become an independent and self-motivated learner. We want you to be challenged and will encourage you to think for yourself.

The programme is delivered via week long or two/three day blocks of teaching. You will participate in a range of teaching styles such as lectures, small group tutorials, presentations, peer group learning, self-study etc.

You will have access to a comprehensive support system that will assist and encourage you, including personal tutors and welfare tutors who can help with both academic and welfare issues.

Assessment methods

You will be assessed in a variety of ways, and these may be different with each module that you take. See individual modules in the module section for more information.

Profession specific employability

The MSc Advancing Practice programme includes a 20 credit practice placement module (The Evidence Based Clinical Practice module). This enables students to develop their clinical skills and advance their practice directly enhancing their employability. Some students have used the module to introduce new service initiatives into their own workplace, bringing about service development and improvement.

Careers Support for Postgraduate Students

Careers Network – We can help you get ahead in the job market and develop your career

We recognise that as a postgraduate student you are likely to have specific requirements when it comes to planning for your next career step. Employers expect postgraduates to have a range of skills that exceed their subject knowledge. Careers Network offers a range of events and support services that are designed for all students, including postgraduates looking to find their niche in the job market.

Here are just a few ways in which we can help postgraduates to get ahead:

  • Careers Networking opportunities
  • Effective careers strategy toolkit
  • Year planner for all postgraduate students
  • Masters Career Coaching Workshops
  • One to one careers guidance

The Careers Network also have subject specific careers consultants and advisers for each College so you can be assured the information you receive will be relevant to your subject area. They also have a dedicated careers website for international students where you can find useful resources and information.


“We have hired some fantastic Birmingham graduates and postgraduates in the past, and believe that they have the experience and intelligence to understand the challenges of working with Procter and Gamble.”

In an independent survey, over 75% of employers regarded a postgraduate Masters-level qualification as ‘essential’ or ‘preferred’ when recruiting. ‘Talent Fishing: What Businesses want from Postgraduates’ A CIHE Report for Department of Business Innovation and Skills, March 2011.

For more information visit the Careers Network website.

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