2021/22 Part-time Postgraduate course
Master of Science
Faculty of Life and Health Sciences
School of Nursing
The MSc Advanced Nursing Practice programme is designed to equip students to develop a career as an advanced nurse practitioner.
The MSc Advanced Nursing Practice programme is aimed at students who wish to develop a career as an advanced nurse practitioner. It is underpinned by the Advanced Nursing Practice Framework for Northern Ireland (DoH 2016). This co-produced programme has been designed to equip registered experienced nurses with the knowledge, skills, attitudes, values and competencies to make a meaningful contribution to patient care in a safe and professional manner.
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The MSc in Advanced Nursing Practice is undertaken over two academic years. Via the commissioning process, students are appointed to full-time ANP trainee posts within the HSCTs or GP Federations in NI and undertake the course on a part time basis. To achieve the academic award of MSc Advanced Nursing Practice, students must complete 180 credits of academic study at level 7, plus a practice learning component and portfolio. The academic study is comprised of two 30 credit modules in Advanced Research Methods and Development in Health and Social Care (NUR857) and Transforming Practice Through Person-centred Collective Leadership (NUR878), two 30 credit pathway specific modules, and the MSc Project (NUR836) worth 60 credits. Students must also pass a non-credit bearing practice-based module to evidence achievement of the competencies set out within the ANP Framework for Northern Ireland (DoH 2016). During Year 1 Semester 1, students will commence two modules, Advanced Methods in Research Methods and Developement in Health and Social Care, and the first pathway specific module. In Year 1, Semester 2, students will continue their first pathway module, and will also complete NUR878 Transforming Leadership Through Personcentred Collective Leadership. Alongside this, they will complete practice learning. In Year 2, Semester 1 and 2, students will study their second pathway module, and will concurrently undertake their MSc Project across semesters 1, 2 and 3. Simultaneously they will complete the practice learning component, totaling 258 days over the whole course. The design of the course means that:
• Students are introduced to research concepts at the start of the course so that this embeds their critical and evidence-informed thinking from the outset and allows them the maximum time to formulate and develop their research idea and gain any necessary ethical permissions in a timely way
• Concepts of leadership are introduced in semester 2 once students have settled into their ANP trainee role The MSc project is divided across 3 semesters, allowing students to pace their project work across the whole of the second year.
Practice learning and portfolio development run the full length of the programme, allowing students to develop as theory is applied to practice, demonstrating their increasing independence as the course progresses.
The ANP PAD module is a non-credit bearing practice-based module. It has been designed to allow students to demonstrate progression of competence across the 258 days of practice learning. Students are guided by a practice portfolio and a practice learning handbook. The structure of the course and module content ensures that professional knowledge and skills are underpinned by current evidence based approaches.
Attendance will be at the Jordanstown campus (dependent on availability).
The MSc in Advanced Nursing Practice is undertaken over two academic years. Via the commissioning process, students are appointed to full-time ANP trainee posts within the HSCTs or GP Federations in Northern Ireland and undertake the course on a part time basis. They will complete the practice learning component, (totalling 258 days), by working as a trainee ANP for 3 days per week in practice under the supervision of a Clinical Practice Supervisor and spend 2 days per week with university learning.
Teaching, learning and assessment take a variety of forms across the suite of modules in this course. The strategies used are based on principles of adult learning such as self-direction and a capacity to draw upon experience.
Teaching strategies are selected by the nature of the intended learning outcomes. The learning experience is designed to encourage students to become active and motivated learners, who can seek information, question and analyse its validity and draw appropriate and logical conclusions. Students are encouraged to make connections between theoretical content and clincial and professional experiences and this facilitates their ability to move from understanding practice and applying skills taught, to questioning and critiquing practice.
Teaching methods on the course include:
Assessment throughout the course has been constructively aligned to the learning outcomes of each of the modules and all contain a combination of formative and summative components. Ongoing formative assessment occurs throughout the course and students are encouraged to discuss their progress and actively plan to address identified learning needs. Summative assessment of student performance and progression is carried out through coursework and all pathways will undertake an Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE). Assessments include essays, presentations, literature reviews and reflective analyses. These are designed to test knowledge and understanding, to allow students to integrate and apply information, and encourage the development of critical thinking skills.
The ANP PAD module is a non-credit bearing practice-based module. It has been designed to allow students to demonstrate progression of competence across the 258 days of practice learning. All students will complete the same PAD module regardless of pathway, but may use a variety of pathway specific evidence to demonstrate how they have met the ANP competencies for NI (DoH 2016). Students are guided by a practice portfolio and a practice learning handbook.
The content for each course is summarised on the relevant course page, along with an overview of the modules that make up the course.
Each course is approved by the University and meets the expectations of:
As part of your course induction, you will be provided with details of the organisation and management of the course, including attendance and assessment requirements - usually in the form of a timetable. For full-time courses, the precise timetable for each semester is not confirmed until close to the start date and may be subject to some change in the early weeks as all courses settle into their planned patterns. For part-time courses which require attendance on particular days and times, an expectation of the days and periods of attendance will be included in the letter of offer. A course handbook is also made available.
Courses comprise modules for which the notional effort involved is indicated by its credit rating. Each credit point represents 10 hours of student effort. Undergraduate courses typically contain 10- or 20-credit modules (more usually 20) and postgraduate course typically 15- or 30-credit modules.
The normal study load expectation for an undergraduate full-time course of study in the standard academic year is 120 credit points. This amounts to around 36-42 hours of expected teaching and learning per week, inclusive of attendance requirements for lectures, seminars, tutorials, practical work, fieldwork or other scheduled classes, private study, and assessment. Part-time study load is the same as full-time pro-rata, with each credit point representing 10 hours of student effort.
Postgraduate Master’s courses typically comprise 180 credits, taken in three semesters when studied full-time. A Postgraduate Certificate (PGCert) comprises 60 credits and can usually be completed on a part-time basis in one year. A 120-credit Postgraduate Diploma (PGDip) can usually be completed on a part-time basis in two years.
Class contact times vary by course and type of module. Typically, for a module predominantly delivered through lectures you can expect at least 3 contact hours per week (lectures/seminars/tutorials). Laboratory classes often require a greater intensity of attendance in blocks. Some modules may combine lecture and laboratory. The precise model will depend on the course you apply for and may be subject to change from year to year for quality or enhancement reasons. Prospective students will be consulted about any significant changes.
Assessment methods vary and are defined explicitly in each module. Assessment can be a combination of examination and coursework but may also be only one of these methods. Assessment is designed to assess your achievement of the module’s stated learning outcomes. You can expect to receive timely feedback on all coursework assessment. The precise assessment will depend on the module and may be subject to change from year to year for quality or enhancement reasons. You will be consulted about any significant changes.
Coursework can take many forms, for example: essay, report, seminar paper, test, presentation, dissertation, design, artefacts, portfolio, journal, group work. The precise form and combination of assessment will depend on the course you apply for and the module. Details will be made available in advance through induction, the course handbook, the module specification and the assessment timetable. The details are subject to change from year to year for quality or enhancement reasons. You will be consulted about any significant changes.
Normally, a module will have 4 learning outcomes, and no more than 2 items of assessment. An item of assessment can comprise more than one task. The notional workload and the equivalence across types of assessment is standardised.
Calculation of the Final Award
The class of Honours awarded in Bachelor’s degrees is usually determined by calculation of an aggregate mark based on performance across the modules at Levels 5 and 6, (which correspond to the second and third year of full-time attendance).
Level 6 modules contribute 70% of the aggregate mark and Level 5 contributes 30% to the calculation of the class of the award. Classification of integrated Master’s degrees with Honours include a Level 7 component. The calculation in this case is: 50% Level 7, 30% Level 6, 20% Level 5. At least half the Level 5 modules must be studied at the University for Level 5 to be included in the calculation of the class.
All other qualifications have an overall grade determined by results in modules from the final level of study. In Master’s degrees of more than 200 credit points the final 120 points usually determine the overall grading.
The University employs over 1,000 suitably qualified and experienced academic staff - 59% have PhDs in their subject field and many have professional body recognition.
Courses are taught by staff who are Professors (25%), Readers, Senior Lecturers (18%) or Lecturers (57%).
We require most academic staff to be qualified to teach in higher education: 82% hold either Postgraduate Certificates in Higher Education Practice or higher. Most academic staff (81%) are accredited fellows of the Higher Education Academy (HEA) - the university sector professional body for teaching and learning. Many academic and technical staff hold other professional body designations related to their subject or scholarly practice.
The profiles of many academic staff can be found on the University’s departmental websites and give a detailed insight into the range of staffing and expertise. The precise staffing for a course will depend on the department(s) involved and the availability and management of staff. This is subject to change annually and is confirmed in the timetable issued at the start of the course.
Occasionally, teaching may be supplemented by suitably qualified part-time staff (usually qualified researchers) and specialist guest lecturers. In these cases, all staff are inducted, mostly through our staff development programme ‘First Steps to Teaching’. In some cases, usually for provision in one of our out-centres, Recognised University Teachers are involved, supported by the University in suitable professional development for teaching.
Figures correct for academic year 2019-2020.
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Here is a guide to the subjects studied on this course.
Courses are continually reviewed to take advantage of new teaching approaches and developments in research, industry and the professions. Please be aware that modules may change for your year of entry. The exact modules available and their order may vary depending on course updates, staff availability, timetabling and student demand. Please contact the course team for the most up to date module list.
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This 30-credit module is compulsory for the student to achieve their MSc award. This module builds upon previous study of research methods and enables students to develop and apply theoretical and scientific knowledge and problem-solving skills, extending their understanding of the philosophical and practical aspects of research, service evaluation and project development initiative. Students are required to write an identified research question relevant to research, service evaluation or a project development initiative. This module is assessed by 100% coursework.
This module encourages students to lead small step change contributing to quality improvement initiatives leading to transformation of services through person centred practice. It focuses on the development of strategic leadership skills in nurses in order to meet the global challenges facing todays healthcare systems.
This module is optional
This level 7 module provides an opportunity for students to develop an in-depth understanding of the role of the advanced nurse practitioner in primary care. Students will develop an enhanced knowledge of applied pathophysiology and use this as a basis for the assessment, planning, management and evaluation of whole care episodes for people in primary care. During this module, students will concurrently undertake clinical practice under the guidance of a clinical practice supervisor. Assessment is by coursework and examination. This module is only available to students who are undertaking the commissioned programme for MSc Nursing - Advanced Nursing Practice.
This module is optional
This level 7 module provides students with an opportunity to explore and develop their role as a nurse in advanced practice within the field of adult medicine and older people care. Students will develop advanced knowledge of relevant pathophysiology and will extend their skills of caring for people living with a range of disorders, including people who are frail and vulnerable. Students will undertake practice learning alongside this module, under the supervision of a clinical practice supervisor. Assessment is by coursework and examination. This module is only available to students who are undertaking the commissioned programme for MSc Nursing - Advanced Nursing Practice.
This module is optional
The term 'children' includes all children aged birth to 18 years of age
This module recognises that Advanced Paediatric Nurse Practitioners (APNPs) need in-depth knowledge and understanding of CYP anatomy and physiology, if they are to provide care at an advanced level commensurate with the domains and competencies of advanced practice as described by the Department of Health. This is a core module for the Children's ANP programme and is only available to students who are undertaking the commissioned programme for MSc Nursing - Advanced Nursing Practice.
This module is optional
This is the first clinical specialist module for the Advanced Nursing Practice in Emergency Care student, and the focus is on the assessment, clinical examination, diagnostic investigations and management of patients presenting with selected key respiratory, cardiovascular, gastrointestinal and trauma clinical presentations across the age and acuity spectrum. Assessment is by coursework, examination, and Objective Structured Clinical Examination. This module is only available to students who are undertaking the commissioned programme for MSc Nursing - Advanced Nursing Practice.
This module is optional
This is the first of two field specific modules within the mental health through the life span, ANP pathway. The module centres on developing knowledge, understanding, and skills for undertaking comprehensive collaborative mental and physical health assessment and formulation and treatment of people presenting with acute and/or chronic mental illness. The module includes developing on the ANP's competence with health promotion, improvement, psychological therapies and nurse prescribing practices. Assessment is by course work. This module is only available to those undertaking the advanced nurse practitioner (mental health through the lifespan) pathway.
This 60-credit module is compulsory for the student to achieve their MSc award. Students are allocated an MSc supervisor. The student completes either a traditional research project or a service evaluation or a project development initiative. Students must write a project proposal, apply for ethics, collect data, analysis the data and the write the final report. This module is assessed by 100% coursework.
The Advanced Nursing Practice programme at Ulster University requires students to complete a 258 day period of practice learning where they work under the supervision of a Clinical Practice Supervisor from the clinical area and a Pathway Leader who is a member of staff at the university. This practice learning component of the programme runs alongside the theoretical component allowing students to develop, practise and consolidate their clinical skills. During this module, students will demonstrate an advanced level of practice, knowledge and decision-making that is commensurate with the advanced nursing practice role and reflects the requirements of the Advanced Nursing Practice Framework as set out by the DoH (2016). Course regulations state that the academic award of MSc Advanced Nursing Practice is wholly dependent on the completion of this ANP portfolio. This module is only available to students who are undertaking the commissioned programme for MSc Advanced Nursing Practice.
DoH (2016) Advanced Nursing Practice Framework: Supporting Advanced Nursing Practice in Health and Social Care Trusts. Belfast: NIPEC.
This module is optional
In this Level 7 module students will further enhance their knowledge and skills to facilitate autonomous advanced nursing practice in primary care. The module will follow a systems based approach underpinned by the principles of person-centred practice. Students will develop the knowledge and skills to manage clinical complexity in order to provide safe and effective care. During this module, students will concurrently undertake clinical practice under the guidance of a clinical practice supervisor. Assessment is by OSCE and examination. This module is only available to students who are undertaking the commissioned programme for MSc Nursing - Advanced Nursing Practice.
This module is optional
This is the second pathway module which enables students to continue along their path towards becoming an Advanced Paediatric Nurse Practitioner, (APNP). The module focuses on common conditions in paediatrics that APNPs would be reasonably expected to encounter in clinical practice
*The term 'children' includes all children aged birth to 18 years of age
This module is optional
This is the second clinical specialist module for the Advanced Nurse Practitioner in Emergency Care student, and the focus is on the history taking, assessment, diagnostics and management of a range of less common clinical presentations associated with set body systems across the age and acuity spectrum. Assessment is by coursework, examination, and presentation. This module is only available to students who are undertaking the commissioned programme for MSc Nursing - Advanced Nursing Practice.
This module is optional
This level 7 module will encourage students to further develop their role as an advanced nurse practitioner. Students will continue to develop their knowledge and ability to care for people experiencing a range of conditions and will enhance their understanding of complexity within care. Alongside this module, students will engage in practice learning experiences under the guidance of a clinical practice supervisor. Assessment is by assignment and OSCE. This module is only available to students who are undertaking the commissioned programme for MSc Nursing - Advanced Nursing Practice.
This module is optional
This is the second of two ANP mental health through the life span modules. The module learning objectives centre on proficiency for ethical, legal and lawful therapeutic decision making, additionally, theory, knowledge and application of psychological therapies and psychopharmacology prescribing. Assessment is by course work and exam. This module is only available to those undertaking the advanced nurse practitioner (mental health through the lifespan) pathway.
We recognise a range of qualifications for admission to our courses. In addition to the specific entry conditions for this course you must also meet the University’s General Entrance Requirements.
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Applicants will have a degree [with at least 2ii Honours standard] or equivalent or demonstrate their ability to undertake the programme through the accreditation of prior experiential learning. Students undertaking this course will normally be commissioned by a Health and Social 2020 Care Trust, GP Federation, or similar organisation. Students will be working in a clinical area which will facilitate their achievement of the advanced nurse practitioner competencies. And
• Have live registration as a nurse with the Nursing and Midwifery Council in a relevant field of practice
• Have successfully completed a non-medical prescribing / nurse and midwife prescribing (v300) course • Provide confirmation of an Access NI check within the last three years
• Have agreement of their employing organisation to ensure that appropriate governance arrangements are in place
• Provide confirmation of the availability of an appropriately qualified clinical practice supervisor
English language requirements for international applicants
The minimum requirement for this course is Academic IELTS 6.0 with no band score less than 5.5. Trinity ISE: Pass at level III also meets this requirement for Tier 4 visa purposes.
Ulster recognises a number of other English language tests and comparable IELTS equivalent scores.
Accreditation of Prior Learning may be considered through the School of Nursing APL process for the Advanced Methods in Research and Development in Health and Social Care module only. Students are encouraged to discuss this with the Course Director. There are no exemptions from the other modules. Because of the clinical specificity of each area of practice, students will complete all core modules and both modules on their particular pathway, in addition to the MSc project and the ANP PAD.
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The unique commissioning arrangement within Northern Ireland means that students undertaking the MSc Advanced Nursing Practice are commissioned by their employer to a Band 7 Advanced Nurisng Practice Trainee post. On successful completion of this course, they are eligible to apply for a Band 8a Advanced Nursing Practitioner post. Graduates of this course are also eligible to apply for PhD study.
Students are appointed to full-time ANP trainee posts within the HSCTs or GP Federations in Northern Ireland and undertake the course on a part time basis. They will complete the practice learning component, (totalling 258 days), by working as a trainee ANP for 3 days per week in practice under the supervision of a Clinical Practice Supervisor and spend 2 days per week with university learning.
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Fees illustrated are based on 21/22 entry and are subject to an annual increase.
Correct at the time of publishing. Terms and conditions apply.
Additional mandatory costs are highlighted where they are known in advance. There are other costs associated with university study.
The fees indicated are for full-time study.
The price of your overall programme will be determined by the number of modules that you initiate in the relevant academic year.
There are several awards available to students during this course. Students with outstanding performance in the leadership module may be considered for the Professor Robert Bowman Award. Outstanding students in MSc research project module may be eligible to apply for the Mona Grey Award.
Tuition fees and costs associated with accommodation, travel (including car parking charges), and normal living are a part of university life.
Where a course has additional mandatory expenses we make every effort to highlight them. These may include residential visits, field trips, materials (e.g. art, design, engineering) inoculations, security checks, computer equipment, uniforms, professional memberships etc.
We aim to provide students with the learning materials needed to support their studies. Our libraries are a valuable resource with an extensive collection of books and journals as well as first-class facilities and IT equipment. Computer suites and free wifi is also available on each of the campuses.
There will be some additional costs to being a student which cannot be itemised and these will be different for each student. You may choose to purchase your own textbooks and course materials or prefer your own computer and software. Printing and binding may also be required. There are additional fees for graduation ceremonies, examination resits and library fines. Additional costs vary from course to course.
Students choosing a period of paid work placement or study abroad as part of their course should be aware that there may be additional travel and living costs as well as tuition fees.
Please contact the course team for more information.
For information about the admissions process, please contact:
For information relating to the content, please contact Course Director:
Dr Donna McConnell