Advanced Practice



The Masters in Advanced Practice programme aims to assist nurses, allied health professionals and social care practitioners to develop their professional role, leadership skills and contribution to their own area of practice, whether clinical practice, management or education or practice development.

All students are encouraged to work innovatively and collaboratively across disciplines, in keeping with the ethos of improving the experience of shared care delivery for patients, families and carers in the 21st century.  All the modules support the student’s engagement with and achievement of advanced skills and knowledge.

The MSc in Advanced Practice is a product of partnerships with university departments, research centres and external partners.  This ensures a robust academic and practice based context is maintained throughout.

Key information

  • Degree type: MSc
  • Study methods: Part-time, Full-time, Stand-alone modules, Online, Campus based
  • Start date: September and January.
  • Course Director: Dr Patricia Thomson

Continuing Education Co-ordinator School of Health Sciences
University of Stirling
+44 (0)1786 466336

View fees and finance

Course objectives

The student will be able to:

  • Develop and embed knowledge, skills and confidence to inform the organisation and delivery of care and advanced decision making

  • Demonstrate extensive and critical knowledge of the central themes of  advanced practice, namely, leadership, facilitation of learning, research/development  and advanced professional practice, and the underpinning principles

  • Apply critical reasoning and argument skills to support evidence-based practice as part of health and social care delivery

  • Evaluate theoretical models as a basis for informing advanced practice developments and innovation

What makes us different?

World-class library and teaching facilities

Studying for a degree means learning in different ways; managing your own time; conducting research; mastering new computer skills. We have the facilities and advice on hand to help you do all this - and do it well.

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Life at Stirling

Of the many reasons students come to Stirling, such as academic reputation and research standards, one factor is always cited: the outstanding beauty of the University's Stirling campus.

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Live Life

Entry requirements

Academic requirements

A minimum of a second class Honours degree (2.1 preferred) or equivalent in a relevant subject.  Applicants without these formal qualifications but with significant appropriate/relevant work/life experience are encouraged to apply.

Current professional registration as nurse or health/social care practioner is required.

Please note: If you are a student from overseas and applying with a Tier 4 student visa, we unfortunately can not accept your application for this course as it falls into the category of being part-time, delivered online or a distance learning course.

English language requirements

If English is not your first language you must have one of the following qualifications as evidence of your English language skills:

  • IELTS: 6.5 with 6.0 minimum in each skill
  • Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE): Grade C
  • Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English (CAE): Grade B
  • Pearson Test of English (Academic): 60 with 56 in each component
  • IBT TOEFL: 90 with no subtest less than 20

For more information go to English language requirements

If you don’t meet the required score you may be able to register for one of our pre-sessional English courses. To register you must hold a conditional offer for your course and have an IELTS score 0.5 or 1.0 below the required standard. View our range of pre-sessional courses.

Structure and teaching

Structure and content

This flexible programme of study can be completed over three years or two years part-time or full-time over 12 months.  You are encouraged to embed your learning within your practice, thereby advancing your critical understanding and application by completing directed activities, reading, seminars, tutorials and accessing student support online.  Each module, with the exception of the dissertation, is available as a stand-alone Continuing Professional Development (CPD) module.

Delivery and assessment

The course utilises a blended approach to learning. Blackboard Collaborate™ is used as a platform for synchronised e-learning. Module content will be supported by Web-based materials including podcasts. Campus days will be facilitated by face to face contact using video-conferencing/connective technologies/SKYPE where appropriate for distance students.

The course assessment strategy will centre on student acquisition of the necessary theoretical knowledge and access to expert practice required to meet the learning outcomes.  The student will be encouraged to participate in reflective and critical review of their knowledge and practice through engagement with online materials and in the preparation of assignments and dissertation.


Academic Year 2015/16
We are currently reviewing the curricula for our 2015/16 course.

The Advanced Practice Programme offers a selection of core and specialist modules. Each 15-week module is SCQF level 11 worth 20 credits.  Most modules comprise of 20 credits. The dissertation is worth 60 credits. Modules are mostly provided in the Autumn and Spring Semester.

The core modules:

  • The Advanced Practitioner (20 credits)
  • Skills for Knowledge Enquiry (20 credits) {autumn starts only}

Specialist modules (20 credits) - themed awards

  • Cardiovascular Disease, Prevention and Challenges
  • Cardiac Care:  Acute Treatment, Recovery/ Rehabilitation
  • Exploring the Context and Science of Cancer Care and its Treatment
  • Promoting Health & Well-Being in People Affected by Cancer
  • Towards a Psychological Trauma Informed Future
  • Minimising Risk & Maximising Recovery in Mental Health

Optional module choices (20 credits)

  • Care Integration in Practice
  • Effective Person Centred Consultations
  • Advanced Clinical Decision Making in Acute Care
  • Partnerships in Care for Managing Long Term Conditions
  • Non-Medical Prescribing (40 credits)
  • Anticipating and Enhancing the Health & Wellbeing of the Person with Dementia
  • Exploring the Complexities of Caring for the Older Person
  • GIRFEC A Multi-disciplinary Approach to Practice
  • Contemporary Leadership in Early Years’ Practice
  • Quality Improvement Project in Health Care±
  • Evaluating Impact on Practice#
  • Qualitative Research*
  • Quantitative Research*

Dissertation choices (60 credits)

  • Quality Improvement±
  • Work Based Project#
  • Research Proposal*

Recommended reading

Reading lists are made available on commencement of each module.

Modes of study

The course utilises a blended approach to learning. Blackboard Collaborate™ is used as a platform for synchronised e-learning. Module content will be supported by Web-based materials including podcasts. Campus days will be facilitated by face to face contact using video-conferencing/connective technologies/Skype where appropriate for distance students.

Why Stirling?



In REF2014 Stirling was placed 6th in Scotland and 45th in the UK with almost three quarters of research activity rated either world-leading or internationally excellent.


In the most recent Research Assessment Exercise (RAE), 20 percent of research in Nursing, Midwifery and Health was described as ‘World-leading’ and a further 65 percent as of ‘International Significance’, placing us firmly as the leading nursing and midwifery department in Scotland and one of the top ten in the UK.

Our students

I am really happy doing this course. It is very pr​ofessional and the subjects are very interesting. Compared to the BSc I just finished, the support I am getting from my supervisors is much better. I will be recommending this course to my peers and students definitely

Distance Learning student, Malta

Our staff

Course Director

  • Dr Patricia Thomson

Course Team

  • Lorraine Armstrong
  • Janette Barrie
  • Michelle Beattie
  • Elaine Dibden
  • Dr Barbara Farquharson
  • Dr Mairi Harper
  • Brian James
  • Dr Leah Macaden
  • Angela MacAskill
  • Michael MacPhee
  • Dr Cari Malcolm
  • Dr Nicola Ring
  • Julia Scott
  • Dr Annetta Smith
  • Joanna Smith
  • Dr Anne Taylor
  • James Taylor
  • Jennifer Young

Careers and employability

Career opportunities

Completion of the Advanced Practice programme provides opportunity to develop transferable skills therein optimising the ability of each student to impact on the experience of individuals, families and service providers within a range of clinical, social and pastoral settings within the UK and internationally. All modules are related to NHS Knowledge and Skills Framework (KSF), enabling you to clearly identify the core and specific dimensions within the KSF which can be achieved when you successfully complete your module/programme.

All modules can be linked to specific professional capability/competency frameworks within your practice area. You are encouraged to view your participation within the programme as a means of supporting your professional development plans (PDP) and career progression.


All students on the Masters in Advanced Practice Programme are required to have a professional qualification in health and social care, and to be currently employed in practice, education or management.

Industry connections

The programme provides the opportunity for students to experience collaborative learning and links with other home-based, national and international students.  This strengthens their understanding of different contexts of care and the challenges therein.

Online application process

Please choose a start date and study method from the drop-down list below, and click the Apply Now button below to begin the online application process. (Please make sure you have consulted the Postgraduate Study pages on the University website and the Online Application Guidance Notes before continuing).



2016/17 Overseas PG Cert - £4,150 PG Dip - £8,300 MSc - £12,450
2016/17 Home/EU PG Cert - £1,500 PG Dip - £3,000 MSc - £4,500
2015/16 Overseas PG Cert - £3,967 PG Dip - £7,933 MSc - £11,900
2015/16 Home/EU PG Cert - £1,500 PG Dip - £3,000 MSc - £4,500
2014/15 Overseas PG Cert - £3,630 PG Dip - £7,270 MSc - £11,400
2014/15 Home/EU PG Cert - £1,330 PG Dip - £2,660 MSc - £4000


You should expect to pay fees for every year you are in attendance and be aware fees are subject to revision and may increase annually. Students on programmes of study of more than one year should take this into account when applying.

Please note there is an additional charge for the conferral of your degree. This will be charged at the rate applicable when you complete your studies. View more information

Scholarships & funding

There is a variety of sources students may apply for funding: ILA 500, Charities and NHS Boards.

Scholarship finder
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