Postgraduate study

Advanced Nursing

Awards: MSc

Study modes: Full-time, Part-time

Programme website: Advanced Nursing

This innovative programme offers advanced study for nurses working within a global context to enhance practice at the local level. Students can either choose a specific pathway: leadership, clinical research* or education, or follow a flexible generic programme with the opportunity to study a range of relevant courses from across the School of Health in Social Science and the wider university. Nursing, health and social care research underpins the whole programme.

Students will all begin the MSc at the same entry point, but depending on the pathway they would like to undertake, have the opportunity to exit with a range of different degree titles: MSc Advanced Nursing; MSc Advanced Nursing (leadership); MSc Advanced Nursing (education); or, MSc Advanced Nursing (clinical research).

The programme is suitable for nurses who are registered in any branch of the profession to practice in their own country and who want to critically examine the ways that evidence-based research, theory and knowledge can advance nursing in the global context. The degree also provides an excellent foundation for postgraduate research e.g. a doctoral degree, or to advance their professional career.

*The clinical research pathway is only available for students who are registered with the Nursing Midwifery Council in the UK to practice in a clinical setting.

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

Full-time MSc students take two core courses and one option course each semester. There is a choice of one of three different dissertations – empirical, research proposal or e-portfolio - to be completed during the third semester.

Students can follow one of three different pathways: leadership, education or clinical research, or can take a generic pathway, depending on career aspirations and areas of interest.

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:

  • Global Leadership in Nursing: Policy, informatics and innovation
  • Designing Research in Nursing, Health and Social Care

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 courses on offer, but may include:

  • Clinical decision making and professional judgement
  • Teaching practice attachment
  • Leadership – exploring your potential (distance)
  • Global public health: a critical approach to health improvement
  • Conducting research in nursing, health and social care
  • Health research methods workshops
  • Homeless and inclusion health
  • Cancer care
  • Transplant nursing
  • Care of the older people
  • Community nursing

The MSc Advanced Nursing enables students to:

  • develop advanced specialist knowledge and skills to be able to interrogate nursing, health and social care research, scholarship and practice within the context of a globalising world;
  • develop extensive, detailed and critical knowledge and understanding in either leadership, education or clinical research;
  • enhance skills to be a professional and critically reflective practitioner able to provide evidence-based practice in both a local and international context;
  • develop advanced skills in critical analysis for working in an evolving landscape of nursing, health and social care.

This programme will facilitate career progression for those working in any branch of Nursing to develop advanced nursing knowledge, skills and understanding. All students will develop research skills to enable them to apply for progression to doctoral level study upon successful completion of the programme. In addition, students taking a specific pathway will develop specialist skills in leadership, education and clinical research to progress careers in these areas.

A UK 2:1 honours degree, or its international equivalent, and a nursing qualification.

We may also consider your application if you have other qualifications or experience; please contact us to check before you apply.

International qualifications

Check whether your international qualifications meet our general entry requirements:

English language requirements

All applicants must have one of the following qualifications as evidence of their English language ability:

  • an undergraduate or masters degree, that was taught and assessed in English in a majority English speaking country as defined by UK Visas and Immigration

  • IELTS: total 6.5 (at least 6.0 in each module)

  • TOEFL-iBT: total 92 (at least 20 in each module)

  • PTE(A): total 61 (at least 56 in each of the "Communicative Skills" sections)

  • CAE and CPE: total 176 (at least 169 in each module)

  • Trinity ISE: ISE II with distinctions in all four components

Degrees taught and assessed in English must be no more than three and a half years old at the beginning of your degree programme. IELTS, TOEFL, Pearson Test of English and Trinity ISE must be no more than two years old at the beginning of your degree programme.*

The English Language requirement has changed from entry in September 2016.

(*Revised 8/11/2018 to provide more accurate information on English language qualifications expiry dates.)

Find out more about our language requirements:

  • Programme Administrator, Sergio Mori Sierra
  • Phone: +44 (0)131 650 4661
  • Email:
  • School of Health in Social Science
  • Medical School (Doorway 6)
  • Teviot Place
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 9AG

We encourage you to apply at least one month prior to entry so that we have enough time to process your application. If you are also applying for funding or will require a visa then we strongly recommend you apply as early as possible. We may consider late applications if we have places available, but you should contact the relevant Admissions Office for advice first.

You must submit a reference with your application.

Find out more about the general application process for postgraduate programmes:

Further information

  • Programme Administrator, Sergio Mori Sierra
  • Phone: +44 (0)131 650 4661
  • Email:
  • School of Health in Social Science
  • Medical School (Doorway 6)
  • Teviot Place
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 9AG