Advanced Nurse Practitioner/Professional Practice MSc

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What is special about this course?

Developed in partnership with expert clinical partners, and taught by subject experts, this course will equip nurses and allied health professionals to lead and deliver advanced healthcare for patients and clients. 

This innovative and clinically current programme is relevant to a variety of healthcare settings including remote and rural contexts.

You will develop advanced knowledge and skills in clinical practice, leadership, facilitation of learning and evidence based research and development.

A combination of core and option modules will support consolidation of clinical knowledge and skills reflecting the Advanced Practice Framework.

The programme offers the two routes of: Advanced Nurse Practitioner (ANP) or Advanced Professional Practice (APP) and is available at both our Department of Nursing in Inverness and Stornoway.

Find out more about the Department of Nursing

Special features

  • Exclusive arrangements for Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) for core modules
  • Innovative and clinically current curriculum developed and taught by subject experts
  • Designed in partnership with expert clinical partners
  • Practice-led and research-based curriculum
  • Accessible and flexible learning that combines innovative technologies for e-learning 
  • Core and option modules available 
  • Opportunity to study individual modules for personal or professional development, or work towards a PgCert, PgDip, or full masters degree

Entry requirements

  • You must be a registered nurse or allied health professional, normally working in a full-time or part-time post with a health, social care or third sector setting
  • You will have a first degree or relevant professional experience and normally three years' experience as a registered health professional
  • Application for Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) may be undertaken and will be assessed on an individual basis*
  • You must submit evidence of your current professional registration, for example Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) registration
  • Within your application personal statement, you must provide information about your place of work and employing health board. This information should include contact details for your line manager

*The Department of Nursing in the University of the Highlands and Islands has a tailored arrangement for Recognition of Prior Learning for our Advanced Practice programmes.

For the MSc and PgDip, it is possible to apply for 80 credits of exemption for qualifying modules, instead of the normal 60. Not only that, clinical skills and prescribing modules undertaken at lower than postgraduate level, for example at SCQF level 9, can be upgraded to postgraduate level by submission of additional academic work, to be assessed by the department's academic team. These arrangements can allow for considerable financial and time savings.

Finally, once confirmed at the start of the programme that RPL is possible, completing the process can be postponed to a convenient point in the programme, rather than having to be done before commencement.


For the PgCert (60 credits) and PgDip (an additional 60 credits) the modules offered are listed below.

For those undertaking the Advanced Nurse Practitioner (ANP) route: you will be required to study the three core modules. For those undertaking the Advanced Professional Practice (APP) route: you may choose any combination of the modules on offer.

Modules available in the Autumn semester:

  • Clinical reasoning, judgement and decision-making (20 credits): core for ANP route
  • Non-medical prescribing (NMP) (40 credits): core for ANP route
  • Risk, vulnerability and incapacity: legal and ethical frameworks for professional practice
  • Expertise in dementia practice

Modules available in the Spring semester:

  • Professional leadership and resilience
  • Clinical assessment for advanced practice: core for ANP route 
  • Non-medical prescribing (NMP) (40 credits): core for ANP route
  • Improvement science: enhancing quality in health and social care (available from 2019)
  • Complexities of care in multi-morbidity (available from 2019)
  • Understanding research in evidence based practice (available from 2019)


To achieve the award of MSc (180 credits in total), you must complete one of the following modules:

  • Quality improvement (QI) dissertation
  • Applying research skills for clinical impact

How will I study my course?

  • Part-time (Structured)

You will study mainly through supported online learning, accessing materials via the university's virtual learning environment (VLE). Some face-to-face study days require attendance at one of our campuses, for example, Clinical Assessment for Advanced Practice; attendance at these is highly recommended, although there is the option of connecting to these remotely through video conference.

You will be invited to attend a campus-based induction at the start of the programme. Alternative arrangements will be made for those who cannot attend the campus-based event.

If you have any questions or need further information, please email or call 01463 279279.

How long will my course last?

Part-time (structured):

  • PgCert: normally 12 months
  • PgDip: normally 24 months
  • MSc: normally 36 months

Where can I study my course?

  • Department of Nursing, Inverness - and Stornoway - for administrative purposes, all applications will be processed through Inverness

Start date

  • September
  • January

Our Department of Nursing is based at the Centre for Health Science near Raigmore Hospital, Inverness, and at the Western Isles Hospital in Stornoway, Isle of Lewis. Our academics are acknowledged for excellence in teaching and learning, and their work is internationally recognised for being innovative and ground-breaking. We provide a supportive and friendly environment to learn and develop professional nursing skills. Simulation labs help to facilitate state-of-the-art skills teaching. The Centre for Health Science is home to world-leading healthcare research.


The following fees apply to this taught postgraduate course :

fee status
Rest of the UK
Per 20 credits (180 maximum for the MSc) £560 £650


fee status
Rest of the UK
Per 20 credits (180 maximum for the MSc) £520 £650

You will also be required to pay for any travel and accommodation costs to attend the induction session at the start of the programme and the face-to-face sessions in year one and two.


External scholarships and financial support may be available. Contact the relevant UHI partner college for more information.

What can I do on completion of my course?

The programme aims to enable nurses and allied health professionals to work autonomously in clinical practice using advanced clinical skills to lead care delivery within a variety of health and social care settings.

Can I progress into further study?

The University of the Highlands and Islands provides a range of options for further study including doctoral programmes.

Is there more information available online?

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Apply for Advanced Nurse Practitioner/Professional Practice MSc

I want to start in Aug/Sep 2019 or Jan/Feb 2020

We are delighted that you are thinking about studying at the University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI). UHI operates a fair and open admissions system committed to equality of opportunity and non-discrimination. We consider all applications on merit and on the basis of ability to achieve, without discrimination on grounds of gender, age, disability, ethnicity and socio-economic background. We welcome applications from all prospective students and aim to provide appropriate and efficient services to students with disabilities.

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