Health Sciences

MSc Advanced Clinical Practice (Critical Care)

This Advanced Clinical Practice masters provides an academic underpinning that meets the contemporary challenges of advanced clinical practice.

Within this the Critical Care masters pathway is designed for you if you are a UK, EU or international registered healthcare practitioner with experience working within the field of critical care.

The pathway is developed in response to ongoing national and international debate on the modernisation of critical care services and roles.

If you wish to become an advanced critical care practitioner this programme is ideal.  You need to have already undertaken a foundation post registration intensive/critical care module or equivalent, and to be keen to further advance your knowledge, understanding and skills in critical care practice.

Programme Overview

Level: 7

Duration: One to two years full time (normally a minimum of 15 months); two to five years part time.

In this Advanced Clinical Practice - Critical Care MSc you will:

  • Examine role development in relation to advanced practice, and specifically in relation to advanced practice in critical care
  • Examine the nature and use of advanced practice, communication and decision-making skills
  • Explore how to meaningfully apply evidence to your field of practice
  • Undertake learning which enables you to develop new and/or enhanced clinical skills in relation to your professional role within critical care.
  • Enable you to build on your knowledge, skills and competence to become a clinical expert and/or leader in your chosen field of critical care practice
View the programme specification document for this course

To Apply

You can register to undertake this Advanced Clinical Practice - Critical Care masters degree online using our online application form

For further course information contact the programme leader:
Dr Helen Rushforth

or pathway leader:

Dr David Voegeli


In addition to registering for the degree, if you study part time you will also need to register for your chosen individual modules of study each year once dates are published. You are eligible to study one or two modules 'stand-alone' if you wish before registering for the programme.

Programme Structure

Postgraduate diploma - 60 ECTS* normally six taught modules

MSc - 60 ECTS* from taught modules plus a 30 ECTS dissertation

*All modules are credited using the new European Credit Transfer System (ECTS) which replaces the former Credit Accumulation and Transfer System (CATS). 10 ECTS = 20 CATS. A Masters degree is therefore 90 ECTS and a Post Graduate Diploma therefore 60 ECTS.

Key facts

  • If you have not achieved a first degree, you may be considered for admission to the programme if you are an experienced practitioner, and can consequently demonstrate that you have acquired suitable experience and supportive qualifications.



Commonwealth Scholarship promotion

There are a limited number of scholarships available for this course.  More information about the Commonwealth Shared Scholarship Awards 2014/15 and how to apply can be found on their website

Useful downloads

Entry requirements

Typical entry requirements

Selection process:

The entry requirements for the Advanced Clinical Practice - Critical Care masters degree pathway are:

  • A first degree (2:2 Hons or above) or equivalent* in a relevant subject from an approved institution of higher education.
  • A current professional registration with a relevant professional/statutory body or equivalent. (For the advanced practitioner/specialist practice pathways professional registration with a UK professional regulator will be required)
  • A current or recent relevant job contract in a clinical or clinically related area
  • At least two years relevant post registration clinical experience (including undertaken of post qualification foundation education in critical care or equivalent).
  • At least one satisfactory reference (on some occasions a second reference will be required)
  • Overall IELTS of 6.5 or above with no less than a 6.0 in each component.

Premasters programme

Premasters programme available for those who do not meet the current entry.

Visit our International Office website or the NARIC website for further information on qualifications.


Typical course content

The Advanced Clinical Practice Critical Care Pathway modules are listed below.  To see a full list of individual modules, please follow the link below.

Year 1

Students on this pathway will take the core modules shown below (100 credits) including a choice of three dissertations. The choice of further modules, totalling 80 credits, will be made up from a choice from three required modules and option module.

Required modules:

Students must undertake HLTH6086 Advancing Practice in Critical Care as well as two other required modules from the selection below.

Option modules:

There is also one option module (20 credits)

Please note: This specification provides a concise summary of the main features of the programme and the learning outcomes that a typical student might reasonably be expected to achieve and demonstrate if s/he takes full advantage of the learning opportunities that are provided. More detailed information can be found in the programme handbook (or other appropriate guide or website).

Learning and teaching

The pass mark on the MSc Advanced Clinical Practice - Critical Care degree pathway is 50%.

Taught modules typically require attendance at 5 to 6 taught days, although some modules may require attendance of between 7 and 10 days.

Teaching is usually one day per week for the duration of the module.

The two core modules 'Research Methods for Evidence Based Practice' and the dissertation are taught via blended learning with 4 days attendance at action learning groups supported by on-line learning.

It is also possible to study a single or double work based learning module requiring one days attendance combined with learning in the workplace and self directed learning. Minimum attendance on the Advanced Clinical Practice - Critical Care masters pathway is therefore around 26 days over 2 to 5 years - but around 35 days is more usual, and up to 50 days may be required depending on module choice.

Assessment methods depend on module choice but are likely to include essays, case studies, examinations, simulated assessments, practice based assessment, a clinical portfolio and the dissertation. For your dissertation you have a choice of three options:

  • Evidence based practice (similar to a systematic review)
  • Empirical study (undertaking a piece of empirical research)
  • Practice inquiry (reflective systematic exploration of your own practice).

Career Opportunities