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The University of Southampton
Health SciencesPostgraduate study

MSc Nursing Studies (Top-up for Postgraduate Diploma in Nursing or SCPHN)

Studying during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic
This course is running in September 2020. Find out how we’re safeguarding our students and staff during coronavirus.

As a University of Southampton student when you complete your Post Graduate Diploma you have the option to return to ‘top-up’ the Diploma to MSc.  The Master of Science Top-up Award aims to enhance your knowledge base and skills to be a critically aware practitioner able to appraise and, if necessary, challenge practice. You will be enabled to use effectively a philosophy of care that is based on evidence, to develop and lead service provision that meets the needs of a 21st century health and social care service.  This is a part time programme which commences each September.  You need to commence the programme within three years of completing your Post Graduate Diploma.

Our nursing and midwifery is ranked 5th in the world and 2nd amongst UK universities in the QS World Rankings by Subject 2020/21.

Introducing your course

This is the course page for MSc Nursing Studies (Top-up for Postgraduate Diploma in Nursing or SCPHN) at the University of Southampton. Find out everything about Nursing Studies (Top-up for Postgraduate Diploma in Nursing or SCPHN) and what studying here involves.

In this course page we explain a range of key information about the course. This includes typical entry requirements, modules you can take and how assessment works. We also suggest career opportunities open to you as a University of Southampton graduate of MSc Nursing Studies (Top-up for Postgraduate Diploma in Nursing or SCPHN).

If you still have questions, please get in touch and we’ll be happy to answer any enquiries. See our contact us page for our telephone, email and address information.

Community nurse entering patient home

There are two top up programmes:

MSc Nursing Studies (programme code 8334).  This part-time programme is only open to those students who have completed the Postgraduate Diploma in Nursing (pre-registration) adult, child or mental health pathways.

MSc Specialist Community Public Health Nursing Studies (programme code 8327).  This part-time programme is only open to those students who have completed the Post Graduate Diploma in Public Health Practice: Specialist Community Public Health Nursing [SCPHN] (all pathways) September 2012 and on.

View the Specialist Community Public Health Nursing Studies programme specification document for this course

View the programme specification for this course for Nursing part-time for 20/21 entrants

View the programme specification for this course for SCPHN part-time for 20/21 entrants

View the programme specification for this course for Nursing part-time for 21/22 entrants

View the programme specification for this course for SCPHN part-time for 21/22 entrants

To Apply

The cost of the programme for 2020/21 is £2343.00. The application deadline for 2020 is 20 August 2020. You can self-fund, request full funding from your employer or fund through combining monies from you, your employer and/or other grant. You can apply now and ask to pay for the programme in July 2020 – please make this clear on the application form.  You should apply using the module application form.  This application form (CPD application form) is available via the Health Sciences web site; select ‘professional development’ and then ‘how to apply’.  Or apply through our webpage.

Please state clearly on the form that you are applying for an MSc top up programme and state the programme code (see above).  This will ensure that you are registered correctly and invited to the induction days.  As a previous student with us you do not need to attend an interview. 

Programme contact

For more information contact Lyn Wilson,

Programme Structure

As you have achieved your Post Graduate Diploma the programme consists simply of two ‘induction’ days and the dissertation module.

Induction days

These dates are Thursday 17 September and Friday 18 September 2020.  In these two days you will cover the following content:

  • Introduction to the dissertation module
  • What is nursing research?
  • Examples of research taking place in the Faculty
  • The dissertation formats
  • The dissertation process
  • Research ethics
  • Q and A opportunities

It is possible to study remotely; the module resources, including videoed lectures, will be available via Blackboard and you can email or skype your supervisor.  Do take in to account other responsibilities that you may have/may take on in the next eighteen months as these can impact on your ability to study.

Key Facts

  • Ranked 5th in the world for nursing and midwifery and 2nd amongst UK universities in the QS World Rankings by Subject 2020/21
  • The MSc Top-Up is an effective way to achieve an MSc. It will demonstrate your ability to study independently and undertake a critical exploration of a topic, analysing it from multiple dimensions, using evidence from a wide range of sources, and drawing conclusions from the project to disseminate to practice.

Typical entry requirements

Selection process

You will have completed a University of Southampton Postgraduate Diploma (see programme overview).

Current registration with the Nursing and Midwifery Council.

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

Typical course content

Dissertation Module

You must also successfully complete the compulsory 30 ECTS Dissertation Module (HLTH6213). The aim of this module is to enable you to undertake an independent project relevant to your own field of practice.  You can select any topic which is important to you and your practice.  You have a choice of format for your dissertation; you can choose from, a service improvement project, evaluation or audit or a literature review.  Most students undertake a literature review.  The project will require; formulating an appropriate question, planning and undertaking the project, analysing data or critiquing evidence and submitting a paper in a format suitable for publication in a peer reviewed academic journal.

To see a full list of individual modules, please follow the link below.

Dissertation module dates:

14 October 2020 – on-line material becomes available via Blackboard. 19 November 2020 (all day), 10 December 2020 (half day Supervision Group), 4 February 2021 (half day) and 28 September 2021 (half day). Submit dissertation in March 2022. It is possible to access online supervision groups and view recordings of the sessions delivered on 19 November.


Year 1

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).

Tuition fees

List of tuition fees for this course and it's variations
Course TitleAwardYear of entryMode of studyUK/EUInternational
Nursing StudiesMSc2020Part-time£4,625not offered
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:

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.
Printing and copyingIt may be possible to submit coursework online. However, where it is not possible to submit online students will be asked to provide a printed copy.

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

You are required to attend action learning groups, submit a formative research proposal and undertake a substantial piece of independent study.  You will be supported by the Programme Lead, the Dissertation Module Lead and an Academic Supervisor.

Programme Support

This is a part time programme of 18 months.

Lyn Wilson is the Programme Lead, she will run the induction days and provide programme support (for example, programme queries, extension or suspension requests)

Lyn Wilson is also the dissertation module lead.  In November 2020 there will be a whole day introduction for all students starting the dissertation.  You will be allocated to a Supervision Group for the December date (as dates above).

Supervisor – your supervisor will support your progress through the dissertation.  The supervisor will be allocated dependent on your dissertation topic.




Study locations

University of Southampton

University of Southampton Highfield Campus

Based on the University's main Highfield campus, Health Sciences is si...Find out more

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