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. 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.
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All students studying for this award must undertake the core compulsory modules Advanced Methods in Research and Development in Health and Social Care (NUR857), Transforming Practice through Person-centred Leadership (NUR878), MSc Project (NUR836) and ANP Portfolio (NUR872).
Students must then undertake 2 additional pathway specific modules depending on which pathway they are on. Available pathways at UU are:
Advanced Nursing Practice in Adult Medicine and Older People Care
Advanced Nursing Practice in Children's Nursing
Advanced Nursing Practice in Emergency Care
Advanced Nursing Practice in Primary Care
Advanced Nursing Practice in Mental Health
Simultaneously students will complete the practice learning component. This is 129 days per year, totalling 258 days over the whole course.
Students undertaking the MSc Advanced Nursing Practice are required to undertake 2 days per week of academic study (inclusive of attending classes) and 3 days in practice learning. This equates to 258 days of practice learning across the 2 year course, following which, a portfolio of evidence will be submitted that demonstrates achievement of the competencies outlined in the ANP Framework (DOH 2016).
Students are expected to attend all classes associated with the programme and be punctual and regular in attendance. A student who has not been in attendance for more than three days through illness or other cause must notify immediately the Course Director. The student shall state the reasons for the absence and whether it is likely to be prolonged. Where the absence is for a period of more than five working days and is caused by illness which may affect their studies the student shall provide self-certification. No more than three self-certificates across an academic year will be accepted, in accordance with the General Regulations for Students. Absences from class are fed back to the commissioners / employers.
Students who are absent without good cause for a substantial proportion of classes may be required to discontinue studies, in accordance with the General Regulations for Students.
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:
the requirements of any professional, regulatory, statutory and accrediting bodies.
Attendance and Independent Study
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 near the start date and may be subject to 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 of attendance will often 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 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 Masters 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 via one method or a combination e.g. examination and coursework . 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 four learning outcomes, and no more than two 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 Masters 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 Masters degrees of more than 200 credit points the final 120 points usually determine the overall grading.
Figures correct for academic year 2019-2020.
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 (20%) or Lecturers (55%).
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) by Advanced HE - 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 2021-2022.
High quality apartment living in Belfast city centre adjacent to the university campus.
Applicants must hold a degree with at least 2:1 Honours or equivalent or demonstrate their ability to undertake the programme through the accreditation of prior experiential learning.
Be commissioned by a Health and Social Care Trust, GP Federation, or similar organisation.
Be working in a clinical area which will facilitate their achievement of the ANP competencies.
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
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.
Studies pursued and examinations passed in respect of other qualifications awarded by the University or by another university or other educational institution, or evidence from the accreditation of prior experiential learning, may be accepted as exempting candidates from part of the programme provided that they shall register as students of the University for modules amounting to at least the final third of the credit value of the award, at the highest level. The specific clinical nature of this qualification means that previous study may only be credited towards the module Advanced Methods in Research and Development in Health and Social Care (NUR857). Where students can provide evidence of having completed an equivalent module of study, they may attend class without competing the assessment for this module. Final degree classification will be calculated only on those modules taken within the MSc Advanced Nursing Practice course.
Students from MSc Advanced Nursing Practice may transfer to MSc Nursing, but not in reverse due to role specific and employment contractual requirements set out within the commissioning agreement with the Department of Health.
Students on the MSc Advanced Nursing Practice from Ulster are all already in employment within the Health and Social Care Trusts and GP Federations. Successful completion of this course leads students to the opportunity to apply for advanced nurse practitioner posts with the sponsoring employer. The qualification enables students to develop their practice in a stimulating and fulfilling manner, working in an advanced way to provide a more holistic care experience to benefit both the service and patient. Completion of this course ensures that the student has met the specific requirements of the ANP Framework for NI (DoH 2016) and makes the student an attractive prospect for any health service provider and employer wishing to advance their nursing service.
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.
Fees and funding
Our postgraduate fees are subject to annual increase and are currently under review. See our tuition fees page for the current fees for 2022/23 entry.
Additional mandatory costs
It is important to remember that costs associated with accommodation, travel (including car parking charges) and normal living will need to be covered in addition to tuition fees.
Where a course has additional mandatory expenses (in addition to tuition fees) we make every effort to highlight them above. 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 Wi-Fi are also available on each of the campuses.
There are additional fees for graduation ceremonies, examination resits and library fines.
Students choosing a period of paid work placement or study abroad as a part of their course should be aware that there may be additional travel and living costs, as well as tuition fees.