About this course
Prepare for an advanced role in clinical practice on this master's degree at the University of Southampton. Our MSc Advanced Clinical Practice (Advanced Allied Health Practitioner) develops your existing clinical experience and skills, helping you take on greater responsibility as an advanced or consultant practitioner.
This pathway is accredited by Health Education England's Centre for Advancing Practice. Completion of HEE accredited programmes/pathways is set to become one of the benchmark routes to recognition for Advanced Clinical Practitioners, and accreditation is also designed to ensure a consistent level of programme quality across England
The Advanced Allied Health Practitioner pathway is only open to professionals working as experienced registered practitioners in a UK healthcare setting. You’ll need to demonstrate that you have access to the required practice experience and mentorship.
Throughout this degree you’ll:
- examine role development in relation to advanced practice
- explore how to apply evidence to your field of practice and clinical specialty
- apply communication and clinical decision-making skills to your professional practice
- develop new clinical skills in relation to client health assessment, diagnostic reasoning and pharmacology
- show your clinical competence through simulated and practice-based clinical assessment
If you’re eligible to practise as an independent or supplementary prescriber, you will have the opportunity to obtain the V300 non-medical prescribing qualification.
We centre our allied health master's around the 4 pillars of advanced practice:
- advanced clinical practice
You’ll learn more about research and evidence-based practice, advanced health assessment, diagnosis, decision making and pharmacology, plus non-medical prescribing. You’ll also explore the place of advanced practice within modern healthcare and your own professional role.
Flexible studyIf you prefer, you can apply to study this course as:
a Postgraduate Diploma (PGDip) - you'll usually study for about 2 years and will not need to write a dissertation
You can also take a single module as part of continuing professional development (CPD). Explore modules that are available as CPD.
Your modules and fees may vary if you choose a different study option.
Your course leader is Dr Francine O'Malley. Visit Dr Francine O'Malley’s staff profile to learn more about her work.
We offer 3 other pathways on our MSc Advanced Clinical Practice course:
This course is based at Highfield.
This qualification is awarded by the University of Southampton.
Download the Course Description Document
The Course Description Document details your course overview, your course structure and how your course is taught and assessed.
Changes due to COVID-19
Although the COVID-19 situation is improving, any future restrictions could mean we might have to change the way parts of our teaching and learning take place in 2022 to 2023. This means that some of the information on this course page may be subject to change.
Find out more on our COVID advice page.
You’ll need a 2:2 degree in a subject from a clinical or science background, and:
- a current professional registration with a relevant UK professional or statutory body – normally the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) or the General Pharmaceutical Council
- a current job contract in a clinical or clinically-related area
- access to a clinical mentor who can assess your practice competency and support your learning
- at least 2 years of relevant post-registration clinical experience (3 years before commencing V300 non-medical prescribing)
- at least 1 satisfactory reference from your current employer, including confirmation of the required practice experience and mentor support
English language requirements
If English isn't your first language, you'll need to complete an International English Language Testing System (IELTS) to demonstrate your competence in English. You'll need all of the following scores as a minimum:
IELTS score requirements
- overall score
We accept other English language tests. Find out which English language tests we accept.
Got a question?
Please contact us if you're not sure you have the right experience or qualifications to get onto this course.
Tel: +44(0)23 8059 5000
This Masters course runs from 2 to 5 years part time, allowing you the flexibility to continue working alongside your degree.
You'll study six taught modules and then the dissertation. Most students study either two or three modules per year, then the dissertation the following year. There is no fee for enrolment on the programme; rather the modules are paid for as you study them.
Your pathway leader will guide you regarding your module choices and sequencing. A good starting point is either History Taking and Physical Assessment or Research Methods. Following on from History Taking and Physical Assessment is the Diagnostic Assessment and Decision Making module; both of which must be passed before commencing Pharmacology and Prescribing (or Applied Pharmacology for those in professions without prescribing authority). You then also have a choice of one option module – see here. Then the Transition to Advanced Practice module is normally studied in your last taught year before the dissertation – this is where the learning from other modules is brought together, and where you achieve sign off against the capabilities required of an Advanced Clinical Practitioner.
Want more detail? See all the modules in the course.
Modules are listed here in alphabetical order, not the order of study. Once you’re accepted onto the course, we’ll agree an order of study with you that best meets your needs.
From the optional modules, we’ll ask you to choose:
- either Research Methods or Research Methods (Online)
- either Applied Pharmacology for Clinical Practice or Pharmacology and Prescribing In Clinical Practice
You can also take an additional optional module from any discipline. Explore University of Southampton modules.
For entry in Academic Year 2022-23
Year 1 modules
You must study the following modules:
Diagnostic Assessment and Decision Making
Students will have completed the History Taking and Physical Assessment module which considers health assessment from a broad multi-professional viewpoint, focusing on discrimination between ‘normal’ vs ‘abnormal’ findings. This module will focus more s...
History Taking and Physical Assessment across the Lifespan
This module is designed to prepare nurses, midwives and allied healthcare practitioners with the additional skills in History Taking and Physical Examination (specifically the skills of inspection palpation and auscultation) across all major body systems....
MSc Dissertation 18 month
This module will provide you with the opportunity to plan, undertake and report on an independent, original project which is relevant to your current or future area of practice and is appropriate to the Award you are following. This version of the Diss...
Transition to Advanced Practice (Advanced Nurse Practitioner and Advanced Allied Health Practitioner)
This module forms the 'capstone' of the taught component of the Advanced Nurse Practitioner/Advanced Allied Health Practitioner journey. You will be supported to explore in depth the meaning of Advanced Practice and its associated concepts (such as specia...
You must also choose from the following modules:
Applied pharmacology for clinical practice
This module will enable healthcare practitioners to significantly expand their knowledge of pharmacology and the related clinical sciences. This knowledge applied in the clinical domain, will enhance their ability to assess and manage patients/clients pr...
Pharmacology and prescribing in clinical practice
On successful completion of the module, practitioners are eligible to register as an independent and/or supplementary prescriber in accordance with current professional standards and regulations. Please see special features section below for detailed ent...
This module aims to support you in enhancing your knowledge, skills and understanding required for the acquisition and critical appraisal of research literature, and other evidences, used to inform evidence based practice (EBP) in your area of health and/...
Learning and assessment
We promote a student-centred approach to guide your learning and encourage you to master your planning skills. Your personal academic tutor, module leaders and mentor in practice will support you throughout the programme.
The learning activities for this course include the following:
- lectures and seminars groups
- action learning groups
- workplace-based training
- practical clinical skills sessions
- supervised and self-directed study
These methods are designed to integrate theory and practice, and to foster a spirit of enquiry. We use these methods to mix theory and practice, and to inspire curiosity in our students. We emphasise group discussion and learning to encourage collaborative working.
We’ll assess your work according to the assessment guidelines within the module profile. Our assessment methods are designed to maximise your critical thinking and analysis skills, and develop your understanding of advanced clinical practice.
We’ll assess you through a combination of:
- written and oral exams
- practical assessments
- case studies
- a portfolio
- your final dissertation
We may also ask you to attend a viva voce exam.
You’ll plan, carry out and report on an independent, original project that’s relevant to your current or future area of practice. You can submit your final dissertation in one of the following formats:
- a literature review
- a service improvement project (including audit)
- an evidence-based project
You’ll have access to:
- an induction day on study skills, information technology and library facilities
- a dedicated section for your course on Blackboard – the University’s online learning resource
- your module leaders, programme leader and dissertation supervisor for guidance and support
- the Health Sciences Student Office for administrative support
- programme and module handbooks
- the University’s student counselling service
Our MSc programme will develop your skills and expertise to prepare you for promotion to specialised roles such as:
- advanced nurse practitioner
- advanced practitioner
- advanced critical care practitioner
- advanced health practitioner
- clinical specialist
- consultant practitioner
Careers services at Southampton
We're a top 20 UK university for employability (QS Graduate Employability Rankings 2022). Our Careers and Employability Service will support you throughout your time as a student and for up to 5 years after graduation. This support includes:
- work experience schemes
- CV/resume and interview skills workshops
- networking events
- careers fairs attended by top employers
- a wealth of volunteering opportunities
- study abroad and summer school opportunities
We have a thriving entrepreneurship culture. You'll be able to take advantage of:
- our dedicated start-up incubator, Futureworlds
- a wide variety of enterprise events run throughout the year
- our partnership in the world’s number 1 business incubator, SETsquared
Fees, costs and funding
On this course you pay for each module as you study it. There is no overall fee.
Read the latest module fees and dates on our CPD course page.
What your fees pay for
Your tuition fee covers the full cost of tuition and any exams.
Find out how to pay your tuition fees.
Accommodation and living costs, such as travel and food, are not included in your tuition fees. Explore:
10% alumni discount
If you’re a graduate of the University of Southampton you get a 10% discount on your postgraduate tuition fees.
Postgraduate Master’s Loans (UK nationals only)
This can help with course fees and living costs while you study a postgraduate master's course. Find out if you're eligible.
NHS Learning Support Fund
As a student on this course you may be entitled to help from the NHS Learning Support Fund.
This can include a training grant of £5,000 per academic year, parental support of £2,000 for students with at least one dependent child under 15 years, or under 17 years if registered with special educational needs, and help with travel and temporary accommodation costs for placements.
Find out more on the NHS Learning Support Fund website.
Other postgraduate funding options
A variety of additional funding options may be available to help you pay for your master’s study. Both from the University and other organisations.
How to apply
- Use the 'apply for this course' button on this page to take you to our online application form.
- Search for the course you want to apply for.
- Complete the application form and upload any supporting documents.
- Submit your application.
Places are limited and we allocate them on a continuous basis from 21 September 2022, until all places are filled. We advise you to apply early to avoid disappointment.
We expect to close applications for this course on Friday 15 September 2023 (11:59pm UK time).
This course may stay open after this date if places are still available.
Application assessment fee
We’ll ask you to pay a £50 application assessment fee if you’re applying for a postgraduate taught course.
This is an extra one-off charge which is separate to your tuition fees and is payable per application. It covers the work and time it takes us to assess your application. You’ll be prompted to pay when you submit your application which won’t progress until you've paid.
If you're a current or former University of Southampton student, or if you’re applying for certain scholarships, you will not need to pay the fee. PGCE applications through GOV.UK and Master of Research (MRes) degree applications are also exempt. Find out if you’re exempt on our terms and conditions page.
Single module (CPD) applications
To apply for a single module (CPD), you'll need to fill in a physical application form that you can download from our continuing professional development pages.
When you apply you’ll need to submit a personal statement explaining why you want to take the course.
You’ll need to include information about:
- your knowledge of the subject area
- why you want to study a postgraduate qualification in this course
- how you intend to use your qualification
You'll also need to send 2 academic references.
Please include the required paperwork showing your first degree and your IELTS English language test score (if you are a non-native English speaker) with your application. Without these, your application may be delayed.
You may also be asked to provide:
- evidence of professional qualifications
What happens after you apply
You'll be able to track your application through our online Applicant Record System.
We'll assess your application on the strength of your:
- academic achievements
- relevant professional experience
- personal statement
- academic references
We will aim to send you a decision 6-8 weeks after you have submitted your application.
If we offer you a place, you will need to accept the offer within 30 working days. If you do not meet this deadline, we will offer your place to another applicant.
Unfortunately, due to the volume of applications we receive, we may not be able to give you specific feedback on your application if you are unsuccessful.
We may invite you to an interview, which will take place by phone if you live abroad. You'll get an email from the admissions tutor if we'd like to talk to you before offering you a place.
We'll invite shortlisted candidates to a selection day, which includes an interview. You'll get an email from the admissions tutor if you're invited to the selection day. This will include information on how to prepare and what to expect during the session.
Equality and diversity
We treat and select everyone in line with our Equality and Diversity Statement.
Got a question?
Please contact us if you're not sure you have the right experience or qualifications to get onto this course.
Tel: +44(0)23 8059 5000
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