The University of Southampton
Health SciencesPostgraduate study

MSc Advanced Clinical Practice (District Nursing/Children's Community Nursing)

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

There are two pathways with in the Specialist Practice Community Nursing degree: 'Specialist Practice Community Nursing - District Nursing in the Home' or 'Specialist Practice Community Nursing - Children's Community Nursing'.

Both are only suitable for UK Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) Registered nurses and will lead to the NMC recordable qualification of either 'Specialist Practice Community Nursing - District Nursing in the Home' or 'Specialist Practice Community Nursing - Children's Community Nursing'.

The pathways are responsive to on-going local, national and international debate on the modernisation of community nursing.

Specialist Practice incorporates the exercising of higher levels of judgement, discretion and decision making in clinical practice, management, development and leadership.

Introducing your course


This Advanced Clinical Practice (District Nursing/Children’s Community Nursing) offers the opportunity for community nursing professionals to deepen their knowledge, understanding and clinical skills modules relating to; decision making, history taking and physical assessment, research methods for evidence based practice pharmacology and specialist community nursing practice . The programme provides a valuable enhanced contemporary knowledge and skillset for experienced District Nurses/Children's Community Nurses.




Level: 7

Duration: One to two years full time (normally one year for Post Graduate Diploma, two years for MSc with part time study of dissertation in year two); two to five years part time.

In the Specialist Practice Community Nursing masters pathways you will:

  • Examine role development in relation to advanced practice and specialist practice.
  • Examine the nature and use of communication, decision-making, management and leadership skills within community nursing practice.
  • Explore how to meaningfully apply evidence within the field of community nursing.
  • Undertake learning which enables you to develop new and/or enhanced clinical skills and apply these within the context of community nursing.
  • Enable you to build on your knowledge, skills and competence to become a clinical expert and/or leader within community nursing practice.

This pathway is made up of 50% pratice and 50% theory.  You will be allocated a qualified practice teacher to support and assess you in your pactice settings.

View the programme specification document for this course

To Apply

You can register to undertake this programme online using our online application form

For further course information contact the Pathway Leader:
Margaret Fergus

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 Postgraduate 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. 

Entry Requirements

Typical entry requirements

Selection process

The entry requirements for both the District Nursing in the home and Community Children's Nursing Pathways are:

  • A first degree (2:2 Honours degree or above) or an equivalent standard in other qualifications approved by the University in a relevant subject from an approved institution of higher education.
  • A current professional registration with the Nursing and Midwifery Council on part one of the register. Applicants for the ‘District Nursing in the Home' pathway must be registered as an RN (Adult) and applicants for the ‘Children's Community Nursing' pathway must be RN (Child)
  • A current or recent relevant job contract in a clinical or clinically related area
  • At least two years relevant post registration clinical experience.
  • At least one satisfactory reference (on some occasions a second reference will be required)
  • Sponsorship or secondment is normally also required from an NHS or similar employer


This page contains specific entry requirements for this course. Find out about equivalent entry requirements and qualifications for your country.


Typical course content

Normally you will be in receipt of sponsorship or secondment from an NHS trust. Note that for entry to this programme of study, you must be registered with the Nursing and Midwifery Council and have the support from your manager to undertake this programme of study. This pathway is therefore not open to international students unless they are NMC registered and working within the UK.

Students may exit with a postgraduate diploma (70 ECTS - additional 10 ECTS over normal postgraduate diploma requirements to fulfil all the NMC Specialist Practitioner recordable qualification requirements) - or complete the with the additional study of the 30 ECTS dissertation module.

The MSc Advanced Clinical Practice (District Nursing and Children's Community Nursing) pathway modules are listed below.  To see a full list of individual modules, please follow the link below.



HLTH6115 Decision Making for Advanced Clinical Practice

HLTH6107 Research Methods for Evidence Based Practice

HLTH6151 Transition to Advanced Practice (District Nursing/Community Childrens Nursing Pathway)

HLTH6059 Dissertation


HLTH6121 Principles of History Taking and Physical Assessment

HLTH6120 Pharmacology and Applied Clinical Science for Prescribing and Advanced Medicines Management

HLTH6150 Community Nursing in the Home (District Nursing)


HLTH6149 Community Childrens Nursing

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).

Fees & funding

Tuition fees

Fees for postgraduate taught courses vary across the University. All fees are listed for UK, EU and international full-time and part-time students alphabetically by course name.

View the full list of course fees


Scholarships, bursaries, sponsorships or grants may be available to support you through your course. Funding opportunities available to you are linked to your subject area and/or your country of origin. These can be from the University of Southampton or other sources.

Explore funding opportunities

Costs associated with this course

Students are responsible for meeting the cost of essential textbooks, and of producing such essays, assignments, laboratory reports and dissertations as are required to fulfil the academic requirements for each programme of study.

There will also be further costs for the following, not purchasable from the University:

EquipmentApproved calculators: Candidates may use calculators in the examination room only as specified by the University and as permitted by the rubric of individual examination papers. The University approved models are Casio FX-570 and Casio FX-85GT Plus. These may be purchased from any source and no longer need to carry the University logo.
StationeryYou will be expected to provide your own day-to-day stationery items, e.g. pens, pencils, notebooks, etc. Any specialist stationery items will be specified under the Additional Costs tab of the relevant module profile.
BooksWhere a module specifies core texts these should generally be available on the reserve list in the library. However due to demand, students may prefer to buy their own copies. These can be purchased from any source. Some modules suggest reading texts as optional background reading. The library may hold copies of such texts, or alternatively you may wish to purchase your own copies. Although not essential reading, you may benefit from the additional reading materials for the module.
EquipmentMedical equipment and materials (e.g. stethoscopes, pen torches, tuning forks): In most cases students undertaking practical components within the course will be working within a healthcare setting and thus required equipment will be available to them. However some modules may require equipment not routinely available; the most frequently needed equipment (essential for all students on the advanced practitioner pathways) is a good quality stethoscope.
EquipmentIT: Computer discs and memory sticks, software licenses and hardware - The use of IT equipment is essential within this course. All students will have access to University based computer suites but most students will prefer to have access to their own computer (laptop or desktop). Access to a suitable word processing package (e.g. Microsoft word), teaching materials package (e.g. PowerPoint) and spreadsheet package (e.g. Excel) will be required. If University computers are used these will be available on the University machines, but students will require memory sticks for saving downloaded materials and storage backup.
ClothingUniforms: In most cases students undertaking practical components within the course will be working within a healthcare setting and thus required uniform will be available to them. Occasionally students may have a placement made available to them as part of the course, and in these instances students may be responsible for purchasing their own uniform including suitable footwear. This will need to be to a design stipulated by the host placement.
Printing and copyingSome essays and projects are likely to be submitted online. However the course currently requires much of its coursework to be submitted in hard copy, and in addition there are some items (such as portfolios and dissertation log books) that due to their format cannot be submitted electronically. Therefore students will be asked to provide a printed copy. A list of the University printing costs can be found here:
PlacementsPlacements (including Study Abroad Programmes): Accommodation, insurance, medical insurance, travel costs, immunisation/vaccination costs, Disclosure and Barring Certificates or Clearance, translation of birth certificates, other. In most cases students undertaking practical components within the course will be working within a healthcare setting and thus required uniform will be available to them. Occasionally students may have a placement made available to them as part of the course, and in these instances students or their sponsors will be responsible for the cost of travel to and from the placement and in some cases accommodation near the placement setting. Such placements would require indemnity insurance, vaccinations and DBS clearance - the cost of this may be covered within course fees, or may be passed on to the student. Which is the case will be made clear to students/sponsors at the time such placements are agreed - well before programme commencement.
OtherOptional visits: Some modules may include optional visits to exhibitions, professional study days, professional body events (e.g. events hosted by the Nursing and Midwifery Council or Health Professions Council). You will normally be expected to cover the cost of travel and admission, unless otherwise specified in the module profile.
OtherParking costs: Students will be expected to meet their own parking costs for attendance at the University. These costs will vary depending on the location of the teaching session - current University Main Campus visiting car parking costs are £1.10 per hour. Limited free parking may be available in nearby streets but is at the students own risk.

In some cases you'll be able to choose modules (which may have different costs associated with that module) which will change the overall cost of a programme to you. Please also ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at

Learning & Assessment

Study locations

University of Southampton

Highfield Campus

Based on the University's main Highfield campus, the School is situate...Find out more

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