Advanced Nursing Practice Course PgCert/PgDip/MSc

MSc Advanced Nursing Practice

1. Overview

This Advanced Nursing Practice course will provide aspiring healthcare professionals with a comprehensive programme of preparation that develops an advanced level of practice.

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The course recognises the accepted international benchmark for advanced practice. Advanced Nursing Practitioners are highly experienced and educated members of the care team. 

The course allows you to develop the knowledge and skills required to engage in the delivery of an advanced level of practice. The course is structured around the real challenges facing advanced practitioners and each module will draw from and build on your own professional experience.

There are two study routes to this course: Route 1 is RCN accredited and is clinically focussed. Route 2 is not accredited and allows you some flexibility in your choice of modules. The strong emphasis on work based learning will allow you to apply your new knowledge to your own area of practice and mould the course to best suit your learning requirements. Flexibility is not only contained within the modular content of the course, but also in the mode of delivery. If you chose route 2 depending on your choice of optional modules there can be no compulsory attendance at the University.

There are exit points within this award to allow you to complete with a post graduate certificate, diploma or an MSc.

2. What you will study

This course is designed to develop nurses to work at an advanced level of complex practice.

This course provides the knowledge and skills to:

  • Develop a robust theoretical and practical knowledge base
  • Explore the professional and clinical implications of working as an autonomous practitioner
  • Gain in-depth knowledge and skills required to practice at an advanced level in a modern health service
  • Examine and develop the necessary leadership skills
  • Devise and develop a relevant evidence based project

Course Routes

There are two study routes to this course:

  • Route 1 is directly linked to the teaching, development and assessment of the nationally recognised benchmarks for advanced clinical practice (RCN 2010). This will be the preferred route for practitioners working in acute care, out of hours services, hospital at night services and in medical and surgical support posts. Advanced Nursing Practice RCN Route (PDF 70Kb)
  • Route 2 is for those students who will be working at an advanced level, but do not require the RCN accreditation. These students have greater flexibility in their choice of modules.  If you chose route 2 depending on your choice of optional modules, there can be no compulsory attendance at the University. Advanced Nursing Practice Non RCN route (PDF 68Kb)

All students will undertake the following core modules:

  • Research and Evidence to Inform Practice
  • Clinical Leadership
  • Work-based Learning
  • Evidence - based Dissertation

Students undertaking Route 1 will also study the following compulsory modules:

  • Clinical History Taking and Examination Skills for Advanced Practice
  • Pathophysiology, Investigations and Immediate Management in Advanced practice
  • Non Medical Prescribing

Students undertaking Route 2 will have the choice from a selection of modules including any from Route 1 and also:

  • Managing Long Term Conditions
  • Supporting Professional Development
  • Leading and Advancing Nursing Practice;
  • Advanced Concepts of Improving Health and Wellbeing.
  • Professional Knowledge for Nurse Led Practice
  • Childhood Obesity Management

3. How you will learn

This course involves a blended approach to learning .The course is driven by a philosophy that is student centered, progressive, process oriented and practice focussed. Students will learn within a virtual environment (CampusMoodle) and apply the theoretical learning to their practice through a work based learning approach. Students will therefore have an opportunity to apply learning to their specific area of practice within contemporary healthcare service.

If you undertake the RCN accredited route there will be some compulsory attendance at the University for the Clinical Examination Module and Non Medical Prescribing Module.

4. Entry requirements

The entry requirement for this course will normally be an honours degree or its equivalent. In addition because of the work based nature of the course all students must be working in clinical practice.

Route 1 - The RCN accredited route of the course requires nurses be  Registered Nurse with the Nursing and Midwifery Council and to have 2 or more years of practical experience. You will also need to meet the requirements for the Non-Medical Prescribing Module which is undertaken in year 2.

Route 2 - requires you to be a register Nurse with the Nursing and Midwifery Council, or the equivalent for International students.

* All entry requirements listed here should be used as a guide and represent the minimum required to be considered for entry. Applicants who are made a conditional offer of a place may be asked to achieve more than is stated.

5. Placements and accreditations

If you are undertaking the RCN accredited route you will require supervision by a Designated Medical Practitioner during the Non Medical Prescribing Module and an appropriately trained supervisor for the Work Based Learning Module, who may either be a medic or a trained Advanced Nurse Practitioner.

6. Course Fees

For Academic Year 2014/2015

UK/EU Students

  • 2,065 Stage 1
  • 2,065 Stage 2
  • 1,370 MSc dissertation stage

International Students

  • 3,490 Stage 1
  • 3,490 Stage 2
  • 2,320 MSc dissertation stage

For Academic Year 2013/2014

All Students

  • 1,985 Stage 1
  • 1,985 Stage 2
  • 1,325 MSc dissertation stage

For Academic Year 2012/2013

All Students

  • 1,913 Stage 1
  • 1,913 Stage 2
  • 1,274 MSc dissertation stage

For Academic Year 2011/2012

All Students

  • 2,175 Stage 1
  • 2,175 Stage 2
  • 1,450 MSc dissertation stage

All course fees are reviewed annually and subject to change. Published fees apply to the course's mode of delivery.

For further information see Student Finance pages


7. How to apply

You should apply directly to the University for all Postgraduate courses. You can Apply Online at

For further information on this course contact:

8. Prospects

This course develops greater understanding and the skills of the advanced practitioner in relation to leadership and clinical practice.

As healthcare is an ever changing environment, it will provide aspiring healthcare professionals with a comprehensive programme of preparation that develops an advanced level of practice.

It recognises the accepted international benchmark for advanced practice and develops highly experienced and educated members of the care team who are able to diagnose and treat healthcare needs or make a referral to an appropriate specialist..

This course allows students to continue and develop their knowledge and skills within their own areas of practice, enabling them to accelerate their career progression.

9. Meet your course leader

Heather Bain is the Course Leader for the MSc Advanced Nursing Practice and the MSc Advanced District Nursing.

Heather Bain's staff profile

Back to distance and flexible learning

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Start date
Course length
2-3 years
Mode of Attendance
Part-time Blended Learning
Academic school
School of Nursing & Midwifery
More information:
Nursing CPD
(If accredited route taken) Accredited by
Royal College of Nursing

Postgraduate Guide

Robert Gordon University, Garthdee House, Garthdee Road, Aberdeen, AB10 7QB, Scotland, UK: a Scottish charity, registration No. SC013781