Advanced Clinical Practitioner Masters Degree Apprenticeship MSc

Postgraduate ( work-based, part-time, degree apprenticeship)

Chelmsford, Blended learning, Cambridge

September, January

Course duration: 18 months - 5 years part-time.

Timetables may vary depending on optional module choice.


Take a journey through the four pillars of advanced practice. Through the exploration of clinical practice, education, research and leadership, you’ll learn how to apply these to a higher level of contemporary and autonomous clinical practice in your speciality. You’ll gain an Advanced Practice (Clinical) MSc while you work, with no tuition fees.

Find out more about teaching options and studying during COVID-19 in the Entry requirements section, below.

Full description
Undertaking the MSc in Advanced Nursing Practice at ARU opened my eyes to working as a nurse at an advanced level. I now work with four GPs as an Advanced Nurse Practitioner and love my job
Jam Gower
Advanced Nurse Practitioner, The Moat House Surgery


When you complete the Masters, you will be able to work either as an Advanced Clinical Practitioner (ACP) or an Advanced Nurse Practitioner (ANP), according to your areas of specialised knowledge.

You may also wish to consider furthering your research career in your specialised field with a Professional Doctorate in Health and Social Care DProf.

Modules & assessment

Core modules

  • Advanced Skills in Clinical Assessment
    Advance your theoretical knowledge and practical skills to develop and integrate your existing experience with the concept of autonomous decision making and practice and ideas of health care in the 21st Century.
  • Advanced Practice in Context
    You will be equipped to navigate and articulate your transition towards advanced practice. The module focuses on work-based contextualisation with the application of learning in the work-place, drawing from current knowledge and experience, and evidence-based assessment of practice and achievement, in order to relate new theory to your role.
  • Research Methodology
    This module provides a framework within which to select, evaluate and justify the research methods you have chosen, from which you will write a research proposal in preparation for the major project module.
  • Clinical Diagnostics for Advanced Practice
    This module provides the underpinning knowledge to interpret physiological and clinical data to enable you to work as an Advanced Clinical Practitioner or Advanced Nurse Practitioners, either in primary or secondary care.
  • Change Project Module
    Building on the Research Proposal module, you will develop a clinical practice change report, and present your findings thereafter. You are expected to demonstrate how you might manage defined episodes of clinical care independently, from beginning to end, providing care and treatment from the time an individual first presents through to the end of the episode, which may include admission, referral or discharge or care at home.
  • Advanced Non-Medical Prescribing
    This module will prepare you to prescribe safely and cost effectively as an independent and supplementary prescriber. You’ll develop key skills to deliver community agendas, providing care close to home, and to prescribe safely, appropriately and cost effectively as a supplementary prescriber.

Optional modules (subject to availability)

  • Adult Acute Care
    Explore all aspects of adult acute care and the support required for family members. You’ll develop the knowledge necessary to care for the highly dependent and acutely ill patient as guided by NICE Clinical Guideline 50 and the DoH competencies for the acutely ill adult
  • Advanced Management of Minor Injuries
    If you work in primary, or emergency care settings, this module will advance your decision-making skills, theoretical knowledge and advanced practical skills required to work autonomously in caring for patients who present with a minor injury.
  • Advanced Practice in Diabetes Care
    If you are looking to develop skills in the management of adults and children with diabetes, this module will enhance your existing knowledge and skills for delivering evidence-based diabetes care and exercise your higher levels of judgement, discretion and decision making.
  • Emergency Care
    Injury or illness may occur suddenly or may arise as a consequence of an underlying condition, sometimes with life threatening implications. The purpose of this module is to consider and explore the common illnesses and injuries of clients requiring emergency care.
  • Advanced Principles of Respiratory and Thoracic Care
    Primarily intended for registered healthcare professionals working in areas such as respiratory wards, thoracic surgery and critical care areas, this module’s aims are to support the theoretical learning and thus application of this advancing knowledge and skill set within the respiratory and thoracic field.
  • Specialist Mental Health Care
    Develop specialist knowledge on certain mental health skills, interventions and an understanding of various specialised aspects of the ‘craft of caring’ for people with a serious mental illness.
  • Minor Illness Assessment and Management
    Develop your approach to the assessment and management of patients with minor illnesses that is symptom-based and patient safety-focused.
  • Cardiac Care
    This module is especially suitable if you are working in areas such as coronary care units, cardiac (medical and surgical) wards, investigational units and critical care areas. The module will focus on the assessment, monitoring, medical and surgical management of cardiac disorders, with a strong emphasis on developing the knowledge to interpret and respond to potential and actual deterioration in the patient's condition.
  • Pain Management
    This module will consider the nature of pain, and will focus on the physical, social and psychological theories and issues that underpin the management of pain, with an emphasis on inter-professional team work.
  • Pathophysiology for Advanced Practice for ACP trainees
    The module will enable you to develop your knowledge in the field of pathophysiology, your skills in the application of this knowledge in clinical reasoning and the planning of management strategies.
  • Palliative and end of life Care - Management of Symptoms in Advanced Disease
    This module is for Healthcare Practitioners who are involved with caring for Adults approaching the end of their life and their families. It will focus on managing symptoms in both malignant and non-malignant diseases in a variety of settings
  • Wound Management
    This module will give you the necessary knowledge to manage wounds on a day to day basis in your care setting. You will explore current wound care issues and develop a sound knowledge of aetiology, physiology & care and management of the individual with tissue viability needs.

Please note that modules are subject to change

Please note this course will be subject to major changes for January 2021, which may mean some modules currently advertised will change and others may not be available.


From traditional case study essays to an oral examination, we use a variety of assessment strategies with our course to get the most of your learning. You'll also have the exciting opportunity to be assessed through a work-based portfolio, which will demonstrate your transition from first level registrant to that of advanced practitioner.

Successful completion of the core modules listed above, and the completion of one of the optional modules, enable you to fulfil the criteria for the gateway (160 credits) to progress to the End Point Assessment, which is the Major Project of this programme.

In addition to the on-programme assessments for each module, the End Point Assessment must be undertaken to complete the Apprenticeship. This takes place during the final module of this integrated Apprenticeship and comprises the following components:

  • an Open Book Examination
  • presentation of Practice, involving a 1500-word clinical practice change report, and a 35-minute presentation.

Where you'll study

Your faculty

The Faculty of Health, Education, Medicine and Social Care is the largest in ARU, with over 7,000 students. Our Faculty is teeming with expertise and primed to meet the demand for creating health professionals, teachers, doctors, scientists and educators for the three districts we serve: Chelmsford, Cambridge and Peterborough.

We have been training undergraduates for professional roles for over 25 years, with a reputation for quality, dedication and ambition balanced with student satisfaction.

We know that to give our students the very best experiential learning, prior to getting into the workplace, simulation is second to none, for safe, realistic, learning environments. We have invested heavily in purpose built simulated wards, science labs and skills space, to support our students through their learning.

Where can I study?

Tindal Building on our Chelmsford campus

Our striking, modern campus sits by the riverside in Chelmsford's University and Innovation Quarter.

Explore our Chelmsford campus

Blended learning
Person using laptop

Study at a time that suits you, using our learning management system.

More about blended learning

Lord Ashcroft Building on our Cambridge campus

Our campus is close to the centre of Cambridge, often described as the perfect student city.

Explore our Cambridge campus

Fees & funding

Course fees

Degree apprenticeships are funded by your employer and the Government


Entry requirements

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In addition to the personal specifications that have been set out by your employer, these are the entry requirements for the MSc course.  you have any questions about these entry requirements, please speak to your employer first.

You are required to provide evidence of these requirements on submission of your application to be invited to interview.

  • Employment in a suitable health care role/ environment on a permanent contract exceeding 30 hours per week
  • Employer support to undertake this course, with a confirmed, assigned Clinical Designated Facilitator
  • Evidence of a first degree, with honours, at a minimum final classification of Lower Second (2:2) or equivalent
  • Evidence of Level 2 qualifications in Maths and English e.g. GCSEs at Grade C/4 or above (or equivalent)
  • If English is not your first language you will be expected to demonstrate a certificated level of proficiency of at least IELTS 7.0 (Academic level), or equivalent English Language qualification, as recognised by Anglia Ruskin University.

You must have undertaken a period of three year post-qualifying consolidation and be registered with the NMC regulatory body. You must be currently employed in an appropriate role within the field of advanced practice you wish to study for a period of at least six months prior to commencing the course. You must have a designated facilitator and recommendation to undertake the course by your Education Liaison Manager.

Non-graduates with extensive relevant practical and continuing professional development experience will be considered for entry onto the pathway.

You will be required to provide one reference from someone who knows you in your current (preferable), or most recent, healthcare role to identify your attitude to study and learning.

Studying during COVID-19

Due to national restrictions all universities in England, including ARU, are only able to provide face to face teaching on campus for a limited number of courses. Visit our restrictions page for details.

In response to the COVID-19 global pandemic the majority of our apprenticeship courses are being delivered online only using our established online learning systems. The provision offered is subject to change due to the possibility of further Government restrictions, however the University remains committed to delivering teaching and ensuring a COVID-19 secure environment for those that are on campus.

View the impact of the current restrictions.

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