Nursing Studies

Programme structure

Details of the core and option courses available on this postgraduate programme.

Full-time MSc students must obtain 180 credits in total. Each 20 credit course entails about 200 hours of study, of which 20-25 hours is taught. Class sizes vary, but are usually around 20-25 students in each class. Students must take two core courses in semester 1 (40 credits) and then can choose from a wide range of option courses offered in semesters 1 and 2 (80 credits). In addition, students must compelete a dissertation during semester 3 (60 credits). There is a choice of one of three different dissertations – empirical, research proposal or e-portfolio. The course is flexible to give students a range of different options and students can follow one of three different pathways: leadership, education or clincial research, or can take a generic pathway, depending on career aspirations and areas of interest.

NB: For 2021-22 we are only able to offer the standard, leadership and education pathways. We are hoping to be able to offer the clinical research pathway again for 2022-23. The dissertation options for 2021-22 will be research proposal and e-portfolio.

Please note that the Clinical Research and the Education pathways will not be offered during 2020/21 due to Covid-19.

Part-time students choose one or two courses each semester and have a choice of dissertation in their final year. They can also follow the three different pathways or take a generic pathway.

The compulsory courses form the core part of the MSc and are:

  • Nursing and Global Health Policy: developing your political leadership
  • Designing research in Nursing, health and social care (course replaced by a School-wide online research course for 2020/21)

Students can then choose 4 optional taught courses before they go on to undertake the dissertation. Optional courses can be chosen from those on offer within the School of Health in Social Science or across the wider university and are dependent on the pathway that the student chooses. Optional courses vary across years depending on the specific couses on offer, but some of the current optional courses include:

  • Leadership – exploring your potential (distance)
  • Global Public Health: a critical approach to health improvement
  • Person Cetred Care
  • Supervised Reading
  • Clinical Decision Making and Professional Judgement

For the latest information available, please see the DRPS.

Teaching is delivered in a range of engaging and interactive formats by academic and specialist staff working in the contemporary health care enviornment. Teaching methods inlclude lectures, seminars, workshops and tutor-led online learig environments.


Each course that makes up the programme has a formative (practice) assessment to enable students to receive feedback on progress. Summative assessment (the mark that counts to pass the course) varies across each course, ranging from essays, presentations, group work and exams.


All MSc Advanced Nursing students complete a dissertation (60 credits), an i​​​​ndividual literature review/research proposal dissertation – Students work individually with a member of staff as a supervisor to develop a critical literature review and research proposal on a topic of their choice.

Flexible learning

Our programme is designed to be as flexible as possible, and includes face-to-face classroom sessions, on-line learning and independent learning with staff supervision.

Student support

We recognise that our students come from a range of different backgrounds and have a variety of learning needs. We have a small and close student body and our students tell us that they really value that. In addition, we offer a range of additional learning support sessions, including an ‘Academic Writing in Nursing’ bespoke course to help those returning to study after a long time, or those studying in the UK for the first time. We also have a personal tutor to support each student.


Part time students, over two or three years, will usually take one or two 20 credit courses each semester, so that 60 credits are completed in both year one and year 2. Alternatively, the dissertation can be taken in year 3.


Continuing Professional Development (CPD)

Most courses of the MSc Advancing Nursing Practice can be taken as free-standing courses for continuing professional development.

Continuing Professional Development Courses