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Our MSc in Advancing Practice (Nursing) is a flexible course that is open to healthcare professionals seeking a qualification that is contemporary and relevant to practice. In order to develop your professional role and transform practice our course will assist you in developing your:

  • knowledge
  • skills
  • confidence
  • attitudes

The flexibility of our course and wide range of modules available means that it can be tailored to your own individual development needs. The programme also helps you develop the knowledge, skills, confidence and attitudes necessary to enhance your professional role and transform practice.

In recent years a key focus within the NHS has been patient safety and with reports such as The Francis Enquiry (Francis, 2013) fuelling this issue, practice improvement has become a major theme in clinical practice. This theme is central to the course, which focuses on the development of skills in practice improvement methodology, enabling you to make a significant contribution to improving practice and providing quality care. 

Entry Requirements

What qualifications do you need?

We welcome Scottish, UK and international students and consider all applicants on an individual basis.

Don’t worry if your qualifications are not listed here, we take a range of factors into account when assessing your application and are happy to consider other alternative combinations of qualifications and experience

If you are applying with an EU or non-EU qualification, please check our Postgraduate & Post-experience Entry Requirements page which gives more information about country-specific entry requirements.

Academic Requirements

You should normally possess a relevant health or social care degree.

If you have substantial experience and can show professional development then you may also be considered.

Additional criteria are required for some modules such as the advanced practice modules. A nursing qualification is required for the nursing pathway. Relevant previous academic credit and/or prior learning will be considered. Skills in information communication technology are also required.

English Language Requirements

English language requirements for most courses

For applicants whose first language is not English, the University sets a minimum English Language proficiency level. The qualifications below must have been gained within two years of the start of your course.

General English language requirements at UWS: International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Academic module (not General Training)

  • overall score 6.0
  • no sub-test less than 5.5

Common equivalent English language qualifications

All stated English tests are acceptable for admission for both home/EU and international students for this programme:

  • CAE (Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English): 176 overall; no sub-test less than 169
  • CPE (Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English): 176 overall; no sub-test less than 169
  • Trinity College London Integrated Skills in English: ISEII with the minimum of a Pass in all sub-tests


IELTS Score Exceptions (DBA, Certificate of Higher Education, PhD, etc.)

For our research degrees (MRes, MPhil, PhD, DBA, DProf), applicants are required to have an IELTS score as follows:

  • overall score of 6.5
  • no sub-test less than 6.0

For Health, Nursing & Midwifery courses that lead to professional registration with the Nursing & Midwifery Council, applicants are required to have an IELTS score as follows:

  • overall score of 7.0
  • no sub-test less than 7.0

For our Certificate of Higher Education courses, applicants are required to have an IELTS score as follows:

  • overall score of 5.0
  • no sub-test less than 4.5


Pre-sessional courses

Applicants who do not meet the minimum English language requirements have the option to study one of our preparatory and pre-sessional English courses. The UWS courses available are:

  • 10 week pre-sessional - entry criteria UKVI IELTS 5.0 with no element below 4.5.
  • 5 week pre-sessional - entry criteria UKVI IELTS 5.5 with no element below 5.5.
  • English Language for University Study - entry criteria UKVI IELTS with score of 4.0 in all elements (10 month course), or 4.5 with no score below 4.0 (7 month course).

Course details

Within our course you also have the option to focus on undertaking modules relating to a specific practice area in order to meet your needs and add a named pathway to the MSc Advancing Practice. The specialist pathways available are:

  • MSc Advancing Practice (Advanced Clinical Practice)
  • MSc Advancing Practice (Nursing)
  • MSc Advancing Practice (Cancer and Palliative Care)
  • MSc Advancing Practice (Care and Practice Improvement)

* a range of flexible, part-time delivery routes are available for this course. Please contact us for more information.



Your core modules for the Nursing pathway will be:

  • Postgraduate Certificate: Quality Improvement in Healthcare & Role Development in Nursing & one option module.
  • Postgraduate Diploma: Leadership for Effectiveness & either Knowledge into Action or Research Methods for Health and Social Care & one option module
  • MSc: Care or Practice Improvement project dissertation or Research and Enquiry dissertation

Option modules:

  • Delivering Compassionate Care
  • Clinical Teaching
  • Dementia Care Principles
  • Contemporary Cancer and Palliative Care
  • Independent Study HSC
  • Prescribing in Advanced Practice
  • Issues and Trends in Nursing

Overall our course will assist you in achieving a qualification that is contemporary, relevant to practice and equips you with the knowledge and skills to transform practice.

Learn a Language (optional)

This course also gives you the option of taking a language module, which can count towards your degree. These modules cover ten languages and range from absolute beginner to near-native speaker level.

Teaching & Assessment

Our assessment strategy ensures there are multiple points to access feedback to enable you to learn from this and improve your academic skills as the module and course progresses. Our course is delivered fully online via the University platform Moodle and employs a variety of digital resources to enhance the learning, teaching and assessment experience within the modules, such as:

  • interactive video presentations
  • podcasts
  • online presentations from guest lecturers

Course Structure

Find out more about the structure, learning outcomes, compulsory and optional modules in this course.

Course Structure (17/18)

Career Prospects


Gaining a qualification at Master's level supports your career advancement and advanced practitioner roles. You will develop high-level transferable skills which will enhance employability including:

  • critical thinking
  • problem-solving
  • conceptual skills
  • enhanced critical reflection
  • communication of complex ideas
  • leadership
  • decision-making skills

Further Study

On completion of the course, you will be equipped for further study in a variety of academic pathways. The University of the West of Scotland, School of Health, Nursing and Midwifery offers academic and professional courses which include the following examples of further study/progression routes:

  • Master of Philosophy (MPhil)
  • Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
  • Master of Science by Research (MRes)

Postgraduate Tuition Fees

London Campus 2017/18

Scottish & EU

£9,250 per year of study

English, Northern Irish, Welsh

£9,250 per year of study

Channel Islands & Isle of Man

£9,250 per year of study

International (Non-EU)

£12,300 per year of study

More on current & future tuition fees

Additional Costs & Sources of Funding

The cost of attending university is an investment in your future career.

In addition to tuition fees and living expenses, some courses involve extra costs like study materials, field trips, equipment and uniforms.

Fortunately, there is a great deal of financial support available to help students meet the cost of their study. This ranges from:

  • statutory government loans to pay for tuition fees
  • scholarships for Scottish, EU and International (non-EU) students
  • bursaries to help towards living expenses

The sections below provide details of additional costs that your course may involve along with any financial support that may be available.

You can also find additional information in our Postgraduate Money, Fees & Funding section.

Additional Costs

Students on certain degrees will incur some additional costs not covered by their tuition fees. These could be for things like specialist equipment, study materials, work placements, graduation, membership of relevant organisations or costs related to carrying out fieldwork.

For students on course with an element of fieldwork, there may also be extra costs for travel and accommodation.

Please contact the course leader for details of the additional costs associated with this course.

Tuition Fees & Living Cost Support

Tuition Fees & Additional Costs

Tuition fees are calculated based on where you are from and what you are studying. Some courses also involve additional costs, such as mandatory field trips, equipment or studying abroad.

Find out how much it will cost you to study at UWS as a postgraduate student.

Funding for Scottish Students

Scottish students studying at postgraduate level at UWS are entitled to various funds and support towards tuition fees and living costs.

Find out more.

Funding for English, Welsh & Norther Irish Students

English, Welsh and Northern Irish students studying at postgraduate level at UWS are entitled to various funds and support towards tuition fees and living costs.

Find out more.

Funding for EU Students

EU students studying at postgraduate level of UWS may be eligible for SAAS funding, as well as support to meet the costs of childcare and various sources of additional funding.

Find our more.

Funding for International Students

There are several scholarship and incentive schemes available to international students studying at postgraduate level at UWS, as well as support to meet the costs of childcare and various sources of additional funding.

Find out more.

Other Financial Support

Discretionary & Childcare Funds

UWS administer a range of discretionary and childcare funds. These are designed to support students who are experiencing financial difficulty or struggling to meet the costs of childcare.

Find out more.

Benefits & Tax Credits

Becoming a student can have an impact on your entitlement to certain benefits. It may mean you are no longer eligible to claim a benefit you have been receiving, or your new income from student funding may affect the amount you are able to receive.

Find out more.

Additional Financial Support

If there isn’t a statutory source of funding for you or your course, or you are in need of additional financial support, you may wish to consider more alternative sources of funding such as trust funds and scholarships.

Find out more.

Money & Debt Advice

Choosing to become a student can have a big impact on your budget and you may need to reassess your spending to account for a reduced income. We’ve put together some guidance to help you manage your money and make the right financial choices for you and your family.

Find out more.


You should apply for all UWS postgraduate courses using our online application form.


The first stage of the process is to create an profile; you don't have to complete the application in one session - you can complete it in stages by saving what you do each session and return to complete it at a later date.

Most courses don't have a formal closing date, but they will close when they are full; apply early to avoid disappointment. There may also be funding deadlines that apply to you.

You will need to upload documents with your applications, which may include transcripts and degree certificates.

You can find out more here in our Postgraduate Application Guide.

An ATAS certificate is not required for overseas students applying for this course.


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Course Leader

Dr Maureen Crowley


Research at UWS

With cutting edge facilities, specialist knowledge and world-leading and internationally excellent expertise, we aim to develop research outputs that have a tangible, early and positive impact on society across the globe.


We will always try to make sure that we publish accurate course information but we do not accept responsibility for any mistakes or omissions. We will also try to make sure that we deliver our courses in line with our published information. However, we may not always be able to do so and you can find further information about this in our enrolment terms and conditions.