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Study information

Programme Specification for the 2023/4 academic year

MSc MSc Advanced Clinical Practice (P/T 2 Year)

1. Programme Details

Programme nameMSc MSc Advanced Clinical Practice (P/T 2 Year) Programme codePTS2EMSEMS08
Study mode(s)Part Time
Academic year2023/4
Campus(es)St Luke's (Exeter)
NQF Level of the Final Award7 (Masters)

2. Description of the Programme

The Advanced Clinical Practice programme will enable you to develop the skills and expertise required to respond to the challenges facing our modern-day health service. It will provide you with theoretical concepts and practical skills and afford you the opportunity to develop your existing professional roles, while gaining an appreciation of the core requirements of advanced clinical practice.

‘To apply for the MSc Advanced Clinical Practice programme you must have a current UK health professional registration with a regulatory body (e.g. Nursing & Midwifery Council (NMC) or Health and Care Professional Council (HCPC)).  You need to have a current job contract in a clinical area in a trainee/advanced clinical practice role or a role that provides the opportunity to develop advanced clinical practice skills, knowledge and behaviours and evidence of employer support to undertake the programme, inclusive of a mentor with ‘occupational competence’  and the availability of appropriate clinical supervision.’

In July 2017, Health Education England (HEE), in partnership with NHS Improvement and NHS England, launched a national framework that set out a vision for the further development of Advanced Clinical Practitioners (ACPs). The Multi-professional Framework for Advanced Clinical Practice in England  included a national definition and provided standards for the multi-professional advanced level of practice. This enabled a clear understanding of what constitutes advanced practice and provided principles and guidance for Nurses, Midwives and Allied Health Professionals that is applicable to all healthcare settings. These guidelines consisted of the four pillars of advanced practice:

  • Clinical Practice
  • Leadership and Management
  • Education
  • Research

 

Alongside these four pillars, the framework provides a standardised definition of advance clinical practice:

Advanced clinical practice is delivered by experienced, registered health and care practitioners. It is a level of practice characterised by a high degree of autonomy and complex decision making. This is underpinned by a master’s level award or equivalent that encompasses the four pillars of clinical practice, leadership and management, education and research with demonstration of core capabilities and area specific clinical competence.

Advanced clinical practice embodies the ability to manage clinical care in partnership with individuals, families and carers. It includes the analysis and synthesis of complex problems across a range of settings, enabling innovative solutions to enhance people’s experiences and improve outcomes. (Health Education England 2017, p.8)

 

In conjunction with the advanced practice framework, momentum for the advanced practice agenda has continued with the publication of multiple high-level strategic documents including the new GP contract and most notably the NHS Long Term Plan (https://www.longtermplan.nhs.uk/). This document outlines how, with support from Health Education England, there will be strong focus on staff development in order to improve retention. In addition, there is recognition that appropriately trained staff are able to effectively and safely expand their scope of practice in order to create a more adaptable workforce in order to meet the needs of patients.

The MSc Advanced Clinical Practice at the University of Exeter will offer you the opportunity to undertake modules which will not only support each of the four domains of advanced practice, but will allow for the exploration and development of a specialism relative to your own profession. With our wide range of postgraduate module offerings, study at the University of Exeter will enable you to link theory to practice, providing you with the knowledge, understanding and experience to develop as an autonomous and reflective practitioner.

 

Within our MSc programme, you will be encouraged to apply your learning to practical situations and will be able to study issues of personal interest or areas related to your future career goals. Our ethos of small group, evidence-based learning, augmented with engaging and practical online resources enables significant contact with academic staff whilst concurrently supporting independent flexible study. 

 

MSc Advanced Practice variant

If you are an international student and do not have concurrent clinical practice, or if you are a student who wishes to study on a full time basis, we can offer MSc Advanced Practice. This programme variant shares some of the compulsory modules with the MSc Advanced Clinical Practice and in addition gives you access to the same range of optional modules. The MSc Advanced Practice will allow you to develop the theoretical underpinning of the domains of advanced practice and provide you with the opportunity to learn in a multidisciplinary environment. 

 

1. Health Education England (2017). Multi-Professional Framework for Advanced Clinical Practice in

England. ACP Framework

2. NHS.UK (2019) NHS Long Term Plan  (https://www.longtermplan.nhs.uk/)

3. Educational Aims of the Programme

The aims of the programme are:

  • To develop your clinical practice, enabling you to work autonomously and flexibly in order to make complex decisions about how people should be cared for and treated.
  • To ensure that you understand the professional, legal and ethical issues within which you work as clinical professionals undertaking advanced practice.
  • To promote multidisciplinary practice by involving clinicians and practitioners from a variety of disciplines to understand the wider clinical context of health care service needs.
  • To provide you with a sound educational grounding that will encourage critical analysis of literature, documents and policies associated with advanced practice.

To prepare you to undertake research, audit and evaluative activities that develop your personal knowledge and expertise and can be disseminated in a community of practice, improving evidence-based patient care across systems.

The programme will use a range of teaching methods including lectures from clinical specialists and academics across a range of professional backgrounds teaching in their areas of research and expertise. Problem-based learning groups where you can explore cases, develop peer support networks and share clinical experiences will support the plenary lectures. Blended learning will be used to support the face-to-face education and a range of online resources will be shared with you to support your learning.  

The programme aims to provide you with a strong academic underpinning regarding the role of the Advanced Clinical Practitioner in addition to ensuring students are able to explore opportunities to expand their scope of practice in response to clinical need. 

4. Programme Structure

The MSc Advanced Clinical Practice can be taken as a 24-month or 36-month part time programme of study. It is delivered at National Qualification Framework (NQF) level 7 (as confirmed against the FHEQ). The programme is also divided into units of study called ‘modules’ which are assigned a number of ‘credits’. The credit rating of a module is proportional to the total workload, with 1 credit being nominally equivalent to 10 hours of work.

 

The MSc requires 180 credits, of which 150 are taught modules and 30 is an Advanced Clinical Practice Improvement Project module.

The Postgraduate Certificate (PGCert) consists of 60 credits of taught modules.

The Postgraduate Diploma (PGDip) consists of 120 credits of taught modules.

 

These awards are offered in the following configurations and may be structured as follows:

 

  • PGCert Advanced Practice, 1 year part-time – 1 x 30 credit compulsory taught module plus 30 credits of optional modules
  • PGDip Advanced Clinical Practice, 2 years part-time – 2 x 30 credit compulsory taught modules plus 60 credits of optional modules
  • MSc Advanced Clinical Practice, 2 years part-time: you would typically take no more than 90 credits per year. There are 3 x 30 credit compulsory modules to be taken between Years 1 and 2.
  • MSc Advanced Clinical Practice, 3 years part-time: you would typically take no more than 60 credits per year. There are 3 x 30 credit compulsory modules to be taken between Years 1 to 3.

MSc Advanced Practice (full-time variant):

  • MSc Advanced Practice, 1 year full-time: 2 x 30 credit compulsory modules plus 120 credits of optional modules.

Note: All programmes address the same set of ILOs. However, PGDip and MSc are able to address ILOs in greater depth. Some of the assessment methods mapped to ILOs are module specific.

5. Programme Modules

The following tables describe the programme and constituent modules. Constituent modules may be updated, deleted or replaced as a consequence of the annual programme review of this programme.

Stage 1


 
The following tables describe the PGCert/PGDip/MSc programmes and constituent modules. Constituent modules may be updated, deleted or replaced as a consequence of the annual programme review of this programme. Details of the modules currently offered may be obtained from the College web site:

http://www.exeter.ac.uk/postgraduate/courses/medicine/advancedclinicalpracticemsc/

You may take Optional Modules (dependent on there being capacity within that module) as long as any prerequisites have been satisfied, where the timetable allows and if you have not already taken the module in question or an equivalent module.

Please note that all optional modules are non-condonable when taken as part of the MSc Advanced Clinical Practice 2-year and 3-year part-time programmes. This ensures that the MSc Advanced Clinical Practice Programme can meet Health Education England (HEE) accreditation requirements (the Programme Team are currently pursuing HEE accreditation; the programme is not currently accredited).

The PGCert Advanced Practice and the PGDip Advanced Clinical Practice and the full time MSc Advanced Practice are not suitable for accreditation by HEE.

Please note, if you wish to progress through PGCert and PGDip programmes onto the MSc Advanced Clinical Practice (2-year or 3-year part-time) programme, condoned optional modules will not be permitted.
 
 
Descriptions of the individual modules are given in full on the College web site:

https://medicine.exeter.ac.uk/study/pgtmodules/

Compulsory Modules

CodeModule Credits Non-condonable?
HPDM128 Principles of Advanced Clinical Practice 30Yes
HPDM133 Advanced Clinical Assessment and Decision-Making Skills 30Yes
HPDM152 Advanced Clinical Practice Improvement Project 30Yes

Optional Modules

CodeModule Credits Non-condonable?
HLS MSc ACP-AP optional modules 23.24

Optional modules:

You should ensure that they choose at least one module from each of the four advanced practice domains with an opportunity to take at least one clinical module where appropriate with regards to the learning and assessment requirements.

(a) - These modules align to the some of the clinical elements of advanced clinical practice. They may require evidence of concurrent clinical practice as a condition of enrolment

HPDM153(a) - HPDM156(a) - HPDM157(a) - HPDM065(a) - HPDM102(a) - HPDM112(a) - HPDM129(a)*

HPDM147(a) - HPDM127(a) - HPDM111(a) - HPDM138(a) - HPDM118(a) - HPDM132(a) - HPDM130(a)*

 

(b) - The modules relate to the education domain of advanced clinical practice

HPDM142(b) - HPDM110(b) - HPDM103(b)** - HPDM105(b)**

 

(c) - The modules relate to the leadership domain of advanced clinical practice

HPDM059(c) - HPDM080(c) - HPDM081(c)

 

(d) - The modules relate to the research domain of advanced clinical practice

HPDM092(d) - HPDM055(d) - HPDM054Z(d) - HPDM136(d)

 

HPDM163***  

Additional notes:       

* These modules do not run every year and availability would need to be checked with the programme team
**Teaching practitioner (HPDM103) can only be taken in conjunction with Education Essentials ( HPDM105)
*** Only suitable for students currently working at advanced clinical practitioner level or with specialist qualifications in primary care, working currently in a clinical primary care role

HPDM153 Minor Illness: Managing Common and Not-So-Common Conditions 15 Yes
HPDM156 Long-Term Condition Care (Respiratory, Endocrine and Renal) 15 Yes
HPDM157 Long-Term Condition Care (Cardiovascular) 15 Yes
HPDM065 Care of the Older Adult 15 Yes
HPDM102 Human Factors - Situational Awareness 15 Yes
HPDM147 Practice Certificate in Independent and Supplementary Prescribing 45 Yes
HPDM127 Principles of Primary Care 15 Yes
HPDM111 Health Challenges in Sport and Exercise Medicine 15 Yes
HPDM112 Orthopaedic Challenges in Sport and Exercise Medicine 15 Yes
HPDM138 MRI: Integrated Theory and Practice 30 Yes
HPDM118 Structuring and Solving Public Health Problems 15 Yes
HPDM129 Axial Skeletal Reporting 30 Yes
HPDM130 Appendicular Skeletal Reporting 30 Yes
HPDM105 Education Essentials 15 Yes
HPDM103 Teaching Practitioner 15 Yes
HPDM142 Principles of Supervision, Mentoring and Coaching 15 Yes
HPDM110 Teaching in a Digital World 15 Yes
HPDM059 Leading Change in Health Services 15 Yes
HPDM081 Management in Healthcare 15 Yes
HPDM080 Leadership in Healthcare 15 Yes
HPDM092 Fundamentals of Research Design 15 Yes
HPDM055 Qualitative Methods and Process Evaluations 15 Yes
HPDM054Z Statistics as Applied To Health 15 Yes
HPDM136 Evidence to Decision: Health Technology Assessment, Health Policy and Resource Allocation 15 Yes
HPDM132 Advanced Skill Development 45 Yes
HPDM163 Advanced Clinical Reasoning in Primary Care 30 Yes

6. Programme Outcomes Linked to Teaching, Learning and Assessment Methods

Intended Learning Outcomes
A: Specialised Subject Skills and Knowledge

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)
On successfully completing this programme you will be able to:
Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs) will be...
...accommodated and facilitated by the following learning and teaching activities (in/out of class):...and evidenced by the following assessment methods:

1. Make valid connections to local and national policies and procedures, codes of conduct as relevant to your own profession and the importance of working within boundaries of practice
2. Critically evaluate theories, models and techniques which can be deployed in a healthcare setting in order to affect change at differing levels
3. Evaluate and audit own practice, selecting and applying valid, reliable methods and demonstrating an understanding of the importance of effective governance systems and methods.
4. Understand how to identify learning needs and the importance and impact of organisational culture in learning and development.

The programme features a range of learning methods to facilitate knowledge and develop understanding. These include lectures, tutorials, workshops, seminars, and problem-based learning, group tasks and laboratories/practical sessions as well as ELE based activities. Independent study also forms a large part of the teaching and learning methods.

The ILOs are assessed by the following individual methods or a combination of these:

 

Case studies

OSCE's

Oral and poster presentations

Portfolio: relevant to professional competency/practice development

    Written coursework/essay

Intended Learning Outcomes
B: Academic Discipline Core Skills and Knowledge

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)
On successfully completing this programme you will be able to:
Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs) will be...
...accommodated and facilitated by the following learning and teaching activities (in/out of class):...and evidenced by the following assessment methods:

5. Ability to synthesise information from a number of sources in order to gain a coherent understanding of theory and practice, to evaluate research and evidence critically
6. Demonstrate a critical understanding of their broadened level of responsibility and autonomy and the limits of own competence and professional scope of practice, including when working with complexity, risk, uncertainty and incomplete information.
7. Use expertise and decision-making skills to inform clinical reasoning approaches when dealing with differentiated and undifferentiated individual presentations and complex situations, synthesising information from multiple sources to make appropriate, evidence-based judgements and/or diagnoses.
8. Critically appraise and synthesise the outcomes of relevant research, evaluation and audit, using the results to underpin individual practice and to inform that of others

All ILOs are developed through lectures, tutorials, seminars, practical classes, e-learning based teaching, and supervised research project work, supported by directed research of texts and journals. Independent study and clinical practice also forms a major part of our teaching and learning methods.

The ILOs are assessed by the following individual methods or a combination of these:

 

Case studies

OSCE's

Oral and poster presentations

Portfolio: relevant to professional competency/practice development

Written coursework/essay

Intended Learning Outcomes
C: Personal/Transferable/Employment Skills and Knowledge

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)
On successfully completing this programme you will be able to:
Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs) will be...
...accommodated and facilitated by the following learning and teaching activities (in/out of class):...and evidenced by the following assessment methods:

9. Identify, evaluate and maintain qualities to support effective communication in a range of complex and specialised contexts
10. Exercise initiative and personal responsibility for independent learning and continuing professional development
11. Critically evaluate learning and evidence base resources for application to clinical practice

Participation in seminars, group work, practical and problem-based learning. Students will also develop their critical and analytical skills via lectures tutorials and collaborative learning.  Independent study and clinical practice also forms a major part of our teaching and learning methods.

The ILOs are assessed by the following individual methods or a combination of these:

 

Case studies

OSCE's

Oral and poster presentations

Portfolio: relevant to professional competency/practice development

Written coursework/essay 

7. Programme Regulations

Classification

Full details of assessment regulations for all taught programmes can be found in the TQA Manual, specifically in the Credit and Qualifications Framework, and the Assessment, Progression and Awarding: Taught Programmes Handbook. Additional information, including Generic Marking Criteria, can be found in the Learning and Teaching Support Handbook.

8. College Support for Students and Students' Learning

Academic tutoring: It is University policy that all Colleges should have in place a system of academic tutors. The role of academic tutors is to support you on individual modules; the role of personal tutors is to provide you with advice and support for the duration of the programme and extends to providing you with details of how to obtain support and guidance on personal difficulties such as accommodation, financial difficulties and sickness. You can also make an appointment to see individual teaching staff.

 

College entry

You will be allocated a personal tutor who will remain with you throughout the programme, where possible. Personal tutors are able to provide guidance and feedback on assessment performance, guidance in generic academic skills and pastoral support. They are also able to refer you to more specialist support services, both within the College and elsewhere across the University.

 

In addition, you can expect reasonable access to all teaching staff through drop-in ‘office hours’ and specific appointments, and will in addition receive formative feedback from various discussion groups/in-lecture exercises throughout the delivery of each module and therefore receive essentially continuous feedback during the taught component of the programme. Your progress will be monitored, and you can receive up-to-date records of the assessment, achievements and progress at any stage.

 

All module-based learning resources and student handbooks are hosted by the Exeter Learning Environment (ELE), the University's on-line Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). ELE provides an online set of integrated tools to support e-Learning activities and enables students to access course materials and use tools such as Discussion Forums and Quizzes to interact online

There is also a Director of Postgraduate Studies who will monitor student absences and progress, and meet any students needing additional support. In addition, there is a Programme Director who will offer support and advice to all students on a programme.

 

In addition, you will be provided with

  • Student handbook and module guides
  • Access to Discipline Disability Officer

 

Student/Staff Liaison Committee enables students & staff to jointly participate in the management and review of the teaching and learning provision.

9. University Support for Students and Students' Learning

Please refer to the University Academic Policy and Standards guidelines regarding support for students and students' learning.

10. Admissions Criteria

Undergraduate applicants must satisfy the Undergraduate Admissions Policy of the University of Exeter.

Postgraduate applicants must satisfy the Postgraduate Admissions Policy of the University of Exeter.

Specific requirements required to enrol on this programme are available at the respective Undergraduate or Postgraduate Study Site webpages.

To apply for the MSc Advanced Clinical Practice programme you must have a current UK health professional registration with a regulatory body (e.g. Nursing & Midwifery Council (NMC) or Health and Care Professional Council (HCPC)).  You need to have a current job contract in a clinical area in a trainee/advanced clinical practice role or a role that provides the opportunity to develop advanced clinical practice skills, knowledge and behaviours and evidence of employer support to undertake the programme, inclusive of a mentor with ‘occupational competence’  and the availability of appropriate clinical supervision.

11. Regulation of Assessment and Academic Standards

Each academic programme in the University is subject to an agreed College assessment and marking strategy, underpinned by institution-wide assessment procedures.

The security of assessment and academic standards is further supported through the appointment of External Examiners for each programme. External Examiners have access to draft papers, course work and examination scripts. They are required to attend the Board of Examiners and to provide an annual report. Annual External Examiner reports are monitored at both College and University level. Their responsibilities are described in the University's code of practice. See the University's TQA Manual for details.

(The Practice Certificate in Independent and Supplementary Prescribing is accredited by the Health Care and Professions Council (HCPC), the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) and the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC).

13. Methods for Evaluating and Improving Quality and Standards

The University and its constituent Colleges review the quality and standard of teaching and learning in all taught programmes against a range of criteria through the procedures outlined in the Teaching Quality Assurance (TQA) Manual Quality Review Framework.

14. Awarding Institution

University of Exeter

15. Lead College / Teaching Institution

Faculty of Health and Life Sciences

16. Partner College / Institution

Partner College(s)

Not applicable to this programme

Partner Institution

Not applicable to this programme.

17. Programme Accredited / Validated by

0

18. Final Award

MSc MSc Advanced Clinical Practice (P/T 2 Year)

19. UCAS Code

Not applicable to this programme.

20. NQF Level of Final Award

7 (Masters)

21. Credit

CATS credits ECTS credits

22. QAA Subject Benchmarking Group

23. Dates

Origin Date

05/03/2020

Date of last revision

03/03/2023