University of the West of Scotland

Postgraduate Programme Specification

Session: 2022/23

Last modified: 12/04/2022 09:09:41

Named Award Title:MSc Advanced Clinical Practitioner

Award Title for Each Award: MSc  Advanced Clinical Practitioner
PG Dip  Advanced Clinical Practitioner
PG Cert  Advanced Clinical Practice

Awarding Institution/Body: University of the West of Scotland
Language of Instruction & Examination: English
Award Accredited By:
Maximum Period of Registration:
Mode of Study:Full Time
Part Time
Campus:Lanarkshire

School:School of Health and Life Sciences
Programme Leader:Jan Meechie

Admission Criteria

Candidates must be able to satisfy the general admission requirements of the University of the West of Scotland as specified in Chapter 2 of the University Regulatory Framework together with the following programme requirements:

Appropriate Undergraduate Qualification
Applicants should normally possess a relevant first degree or equivalent qualification at SCQF Level 9, and be able to demonstrate a command of current, evidence based knowledge within their field of practice.
Other Required Qualifications/Experience

Applicants must possess a relevant Nursing, or Allied Health Professional qualification and have current registration with the NMC or HCPC. They will normally have a minimum of three years' experience within their field of practice and must be working within a clinical environment where they can develop the skills and knowledge required for this programme. Applicants will normally be employed as Trainee Advanced Clinical Practitioners.

Recruitment of students who do not possess a degree may require an entrance interview if deemed necessary by the programme leader, in order that the applicant can demonstrate that they have sufficient professional and practice-based experience, to undertake their chosen field of study. Prior Learning may be accepted for the purpose of gaining credit towards the academic award, as per the requirements of the UWS Regulatory Framework. Such applications shall be reviewed and decided by the Programme Leader.

Applicants undertaking NMC or HCPC approved modules (e.g. Independent & Supplementary Prescribing L11 Module), must satisfy NMC/HCPC entry requirements for the specific module, alongside the overall Programme requirements.

All applicants must complete and submit the Advanced Clinical Practitioner Health Board Statement of Support, as part of the admission process.


Further desirable skills pre-application

IT Skills:
Students must be able to access regular broadband communication and computer hardware.
Software is available to students, via licensing agreements held by UWS, once they are fully enrolled as a student of the University.

A level of skills and experience in Information Communication Technology sufficient to engage positively with online material, both in teaching and assessment. For example, students will be expected to complete the online module 'Head Start', an introductory module for Masters level study.


General Overview

The MSc Advanced Clinical Practitioner programme curriculum has been designed using a constructivist, spiral model which allows for the most complex material, properly structured and presented, to be understood (Johnstone 2012; Bruner 1960). 
Students are introduced to new concepts of advanced clinical practice and build their knowledge as they progress through PG Certificate, PG Diploma and full Masters’ levels. Further, the programme assessment strategy reflects this curricular model, building on knowledge developed from previous modules.
The benefits of a spiral curriculum include the reinforcement and consolidation of learning, progressing from simplistic to complex analysis. The student will progress logically through the curriculum, revisiting topics, themes, and subjects to reinforce and consolidate their learning. The programme learning outcomes reflect this progression, ensuring that students develop a greater depth of complex information analysis, contextualised to their own field of practice. 

The MSc Advanced Clinical Practitioner programme provides students with the opportunity to add one of four named titles to the exit award depending upon which field of professional practice they work within:

  • MSc Advanced Clinical Practitioner (Neonatal)
  • MSc Advanced Clinical Practitioner (Child)
  • MSc Advanced Clinical Practitioner (Adult)
  • MSc Advanced Clinical Practitioner (Mental Health)

Within the programme, there are identified exit points at PG Certificate and PG Diploma levels.

PG Certificate Advanced Clinical Practice (Neonatal/Child /Adult/Mental Health) Students may exit with a PG Certificate [60 credit points of which a minimum of 40 are at SCQF 11 and none less than SCQF level 10], by successfully completing three core modules: Anatomy, Physiology & Pathophysiology in Advanced Practice; Assessment & Decision-making in Advanced Practice; and Advanced Clinical Practice. The module outcomes are generic but will be contextualised to the student’s area of practice and therefore successful completion will allow them to exit with one of the PG Certificate exit titles.

PG Diploma Advanced Clinical Practitioner Students may exit with a PG Diploma [120 credit points of which a minimum of 90 are at SCQF 11 and none less than SCQF level 10], by successfully completing the requirements for the PG Certificate as well as three modules, i.e., the two core modules Research for Health & Social Care and  Independent & Supplementary Prescribing L11, in addition to an option module from the following (some are specific to certain fields of practice only). This list may be adapted over time, and in addition, if the Independent & Supplementary Prescribing L11 module is not relevant *an extra option module may be undertaken (*relevant to AHPs where the Independent & Supplementary Prescribing L11 module is not professionally required):

  • Assessment of Capacity
  • Clinical Teaching
  • Dementia Care Principles
  • Frailty in Later Life
  • Independent Study
  • Leadership for Effectiveness

Students who require to conclude their postgraduate study, without successful completion of the module grouping specified for the exit award of PG Certificate in Advanced Clinical Practice, may be eligible to exit with the more generic title of PG Certificate in Advancing Professional Development (Chapter 1, UWS Regulatory Framework). To be eligible for this award, students will have accrued a minimum of 60 credit points of which a minimum of 40 are at SCQF 11 and none less than SCQF level 10,  from a combination of the programme modules.

MSc Advanced Clinical Practitioner (Neonatal, Child, Adult, Mental Health) Students will be eligible for the award [at least 180 credit points of which a minimum of 150 at SCQF 11 and none less than SCQF level 10]  by successfully completing the MSc Dissertation (HLS) module, in a subject related to their field of advanced clinical practice.

A key feature of this programme is the multi-professional nature of shared learning to advanced practice education. This is advocated as a way of breaking down professional boundaries and aids in developing a more cohesive approach to practice. In addition, it allows students the opportunity to enhance previous knowledge through reflection, discussion and sharing of experiences from different professional perspectives.

The programme is delivered using a hydbrid mode of delivery and reflects the UWS Curriculum Framework 2021, by offering a contemporary programme, with flexible and hybrid teaching and learning approaches to facilitate the development of cognitive skills that enhance professional practice and development. It is intended to attract Neonatal, Paediatric, Adult , Mental Health Practitioners, and Allied Health Professionals (AHPs) to develop and enhance their knowledge, skills and competencies for the advanced practice role through education studied at postgraduate SCQF Level 11.

Advanced practitioner roles play a key part in developing and sustaining the capacity and capability of the health and social care workforce of the future (Scottish Government 2016; ICN, 2014). An advanced practitioner is an experienced and highly educated registered nurse or allied health professional who manages complete clinical care for their patient, and not solely on specific conditions. Advanced practice is considered to be a level of practice, rather than having a focus on specific role titles. It takes several years of both academic and clinical preparation to develop an advanced practitioner, with a far greater focus now on clinical care more than ever.

The aims of the MSc Advanced Clinical Practitioner programme are to:

  1. Create a graduate who has the ability to adapt and respond to the evolving advanced practice role within a variety of clinical settings within a given speciality;
  2. Develop students’ knowledge and ability to create robust and credible advanced practice skills which impact on health outcomes across the clinical setting;
  3. Encourage and support students to become advanced practitioners who can practice safely within the four domains of advanced practice within the UK, but will be aware of developments as they occur on a global basis.

ICN (2001) and the Scottish Government (2016) recognize that the key to advanced practitioner status is education at Masters level. The core educational focus is on the development of competence within the four pillars of advanced practice (NES 2012) in the following areas and these are developed within the programme modules:

  • Clinical assessment;
  • Clinical reasoning, judgement and diagnostic decision-making;
  • Anatomy and pathophysiology;
  • Non-medical prescribing - V300;
  • Leading, delivering and evaluating care;
  • Practice learning/transferable work-based learning processes.

Other specific clinical competencies identified which require to be incorporated within academic programmes are:

  • Comprehensive history taking;
  • Clinical assessment;
  • Differential diagnosis;
  • Investigations;
  • Treatment;
  • Admission, discharge & referral.

(Scottish Government, 2016).

All key aspects are identified as crucial to the development of advanced practitioner status and are transparent within this programme and modular content.


Graduate Attributes, Employability & Personal Development Planning

Students on this programme are normally experienced practitioners who will be seeking to influence clinical theory and practice within the specialist area in their organisations, and in different partnerships across regional and national domains. Students will thus be supported to develop numerous higher-level transferable skills to enable them to make a significant contribution to improving practice and providing quality care.

Within specific modules on the programme, students will be enabled to develop capacities and skills which transfer to the world of practice.  Through the use of an ePortfolio [e.g. Turas], students will engage in discussions with Academic Assessors and their employer to ensure that the programme meets the personal aspirations of the student and will enable progressive development within the desired career structure in the specialist area. Work-based Learning is a key aspect of this programme, enabling students, as they progress through the programme, to demonstrate their knowledge, skills and abilities.

Students are therefore challenged through this process to reflect on their learning achievements and experiences and the implications these have for their future development. Those students who are involved with the NHS Knowledge and Skills Framework Personal Development Planning (PDP), process and/or Health Board requirements for Advanced Practice, will be encouraged to map their learning accordingly.

Throughout the duration of their studies at UWS, students will be encouraged to plan for the achievement of their personal development goals and reflect on how these are linked to their employability skills, uysing their own Turas portfolio. It is expected that students at the end of the PG Diploma and/or MSc award will be employable as an Advanced Practitioner within a variety of clinical settings within their given speciality. This may also lead to other career opportunities, such as Nurse Consultant.

Inherent within the process of programme delivery are mechanisms which facilitate the development of transferable skills. It is part of the programme philosophy that students are enabled to be lifelong learners by being able to adapt and respond to change and by being change agents. It is also expected that students will be encouraged to continue in their studies to undertake a PhD or Professional Doctorate.

The aim of the UWS Graduate Attributes is to prepare graduates who will be Universal, Work Ready and Successful. Therefore through studying the MSc Advanced Clinical Practitioner programme at UWS students will develop attributes across three dimensions which encapsulate the breadth of the learning experience at University level, i.e. Academic; Personal and Professional.

 

Work Based Learning/Placement Details

Within the programme, the focus of each module is for the student to develop appropriate knowledge (and skills) which they then apply to the context of the clinical environment within which they practice within their given speciality.

Students who undertake modules where there are work-based learning requirements must comply with any regulatory body and university requirements. There are selected modules on this programme, which require specific work-based learning (i.e., Assessment & Decision Making in Advanced Practice, Advanced Clinical Practice and Independent & Supplementary Prescribing L11 modules) which are congruent with the university policy for work-based learning (Chapter 1, UWS Regulatory Framework). These modules contain standards or competency frameworks to be met as set by either the NMC, HCPC or NES Clinical Skills/National competencies which will require to be achieved within the workplace.

Students will be supported by a named Clinical Supervisor/Designated Prescribing Practitioner who is an expert practitioner within their field of practice, who will have the appropriate experience and qualifications to support the student on this programme of study. Clinical Supervisor/Designated Prescribing Practitioner will be supported by the programme team within a tripartite arrangement which includes a  Practice Educator. The Clinical Supervisor/Designated Prescribing Practitioner  is someone who is able to facilitate learning, supervise and assess the student in practice. Students will have agreed on a suitable expert practitioner from their clinical area of practice in conjunction with their Advanced Clinical Practice Lead, prior to the commencement of appropriate modules (i.e., Assessment & Decision Making in Advanced Practice, Advanced Clinical Practice and Independent & Supplementary Prescribing L11 modules). 

Engagement

In line with the Academic Engagement Procedure, Students are defined as academically engaged if they are regularly engaged with timetabled teaching sessions, course-related learning resources including those in the Library and on the relevant learning platform, and complete assessments and submit these on time.

Equality and Diversity


The University's Equality, Diversity and Human Rights Procedure can be accessed at the following link: UWS Equality and Diversity Policy


Programme structures and requirements, SCQF level, term, module name and code, credits and awards ( Chapter 1, Regulatory Framework )

A. PG Cert
Learning Outcomes (Maximum of 5 per heading)

Knowledge and Understanding

A1Demonstrate a critical knowledge of the anatomy, physiology and pathophysiology of the neonate, child or adult.
A2Demonstrate a critical knowledge and understanding of the principle theories, concepts and principles relating to the 'four pillars' of advanced practice.
A3Critically review the relationship between theory, policy development and professional practice in relation to holistic patient-centred care.
A4Critically examine and synthesise a wide range of theoretical explanations in relation to decision-making strategies and evaluate the resulting impact on professional practice.
A5Develop a critical knowledge and understanding of developments in advanced practice on a global basis.

Practice - Applied Knowledge and Understanding

B1Critically appraise the integration of body systems of the neonate or child or adult in the management of health and illness.
B2Apply specialised knowledge and decision-making skills for practice related issues at an advanced level of practice.
B3Critically apply the use of a wide variety of clinical and cognitive skills to select and retrieve information relevant to complex problems in advanced practice related to the neonate or child or adult.
B4Demonstrate originality and creativity in the application of knowledge, understanding and practice.
B5Critically reflect on the practice of others to enhance professional self-judgement and the development of advanced decision-making skills.

Communication, ICT and Numeracy Skills

C1Communicate, using appropriate methods, to a range of audiences with different levels of knowledge and expertise.
C2Use a wide variety of ICT skills to support and enhance patient care.
C3Work constructively with others to progress one's own learning within the team and critically reflect on these.

Generic Cognitive Skills - Problem Solving, Analysis, Evaluation

D1Plan, manage and critically evaluate specific projects which contribute to effective and efficient patient care.
D2Develop creative, innovative and/or original responses to presenting problems and issues in relation to the ethical principles to professional practice.
D3Critically analyse, evaluate and synthesise issues relating to the neonate or child or adult which are at the forefront of evidence based practice.
D4Critically reflect on one's own views, values, perspectives, practice and experience using rational argument and evidence based principles in order to develop professionally.

Autonomy, Accountability and Working With Others

E1Critically review one's own knowledge of professional autonomy, accountability, regulation, legal and ethical issues and in relation to working collaboratively with patients and their families.
E2Demonstrate the ability to make autonomous decisions and be able to function confidently as a member of the wider healthcare team.
E3Critically analyse the appropriate utilisation of the NMC/HCPC/NES Advanced Practice Frameworks and the full spectrum other appropriate practice standards within advanced practice roles.

Core Modules
SCQF Level Module CodeModule NameCreditTermFootnotes
123
11NURS11142Anatomy, Physiology and Pathophysiology in Ad20check mark  
11NURS11133Assessment and Decision making in Adv Pract.20 check markcheck markLong module over T2 & T3
11NURS11141Advanced Clinical Practice20 check markcheck markLong module over T2 & T3

* Indicates that module descriptor is not published.

Footnotes
Three 20 credit core modules are taken to begin the Programme.
The first module, Anatomy, Physiology and Pathophysiology in Advanced Practice is the foundation module for the first year of study and beyond. This module is delivered in Term 1 of the programme. In Term 2, students will study the Advanced Clinical Practice module [comprised of 200 hours of work-based learning] alongside the Assessment and Decision Making in Advanced Practice Module, as 'long thin' modules across into Term 3. This ensures that the students have time to consolidate their assessment and decision making knowledge & skills, and can demonstrate their competency development, related to the 4 pillars of advanced clinical practice.

Optional Modules
SCQF Level Module CodeModule NameCreditTermFootnotes
123
               

* Indicates that module descriptor is not published.

Footnotes

Criteria for Progression and Award

Students who successfully complete the three core modules (60 credit points of which a minimum of 40 are at SCQF 11 and none less than SCQF level 10), will be eligible to exit with the PG Certificate in Advanced Clinical Practice (Neonatal, Child, Adult or Mental Health).

Students who require to conclude their postgraduate study without successful completion of the module grouping specified for the exit award of PG Certificate in Advanced Clinical Practice may be eligible to exit with a PG Certificate in Advancing Professional Development.[60 credit points of which a minimum of 40 are at SCQF 11 and none less than SCQF level 10]. Students will have successfully completed a combination of modules from within this programme portfolio. This award ensures that students will gain a PG Certificate exit award, which demonstrates graduate attributes at the PG Certificate level.


B. PG Dip
Learning Outcomes (Maximum of 5 per heading)

Knowledge and Understanding

A1Demonstrate a critical understanding of contemporary theory, principles and concepts in relation to research design and methods.
A2Integrate an extensive detailed knowledge of a specific clinical aspect with related clinical experience (neonate or child or adult or mental health) to demonstrate in-depth knowledge and understanding.
A3Demonstrate an in-depth knowledge of both national and international advanced practice policy / practice.
A4Demonstrate competence in prescribing, supplying, administering and evaluating effects of medicines, applying legislative aspects and agreed policy/procedure within own practice domain.

Practice - Applied Knowledge and Understanding

B1Critically evaluate one's own values and beliefs and their impact on practice.
B2Use innovation and creativity in application of knowledge, understanding and practices in relation to gathering, generating and disseminating knowledge.
B3Application and synthesis of knowledge of research through the development of a literature review which demonstrates an understanding of evidence based practice related to the neonate or child or adult or mental health.
B4Critically evaluate complex issues in practice demonstrated through rational argument which then delivers best practice impacting on clinical outcomes of care.

Communication, ICT and Numeracy Skills

C1Demonstrate critical thinking, writing and communication skills with peers, senior colleagues and others.
C2Demonstrate appropriate use and evaluation of ICT and numeracy skills as considered appropriate to advanced practice roles.
C3Identify relevant information and categorise in order of significance, communicating important information effectively and timeously.

Generic Cognitive Skills - Problem Solving, Analysis, Evaluation

D1Develop original and creative responses to complex situations.
D2Synthesise information from the evidence base/research to respond to complex problems and issues.
D3Justify the individual's role in clinical practice/leadership, consultancy and the development of multi-professional policy and strategy within advanced practice.
D4Rationalise alternative views and perspectives within a wide range of topical and controversial issues relating to advanced practice.

Autonomy, Accountability and Working With Others

E1Exercise substantial autonomy, responsibility and innovation in all professional activities.
E2Critically evaluate advanced practice skills contextualised to own professional practice (in the neonate or child or adult or mental health) and leadership contributions to practice policy and strategy.
E3Critically analyse and synthesise the utilisation of NMC/HCPC/NES advanced practice frameworks and practice standards in advanced practice roles which may lead to change in practice.

Core Modules
SCQF Level Module CodeModule NameCreditTermFootnotes
123
11NURS11153Independent and Supplementary Prescribing L1130check markcheck mark Long module over T1 & T2
11MIDW11003Research for Health & Social Care20 check mark 

* Indicates that module descriptor is not published.

Footnotes

If the student already has a recorded Prescribing qualification at level 9, they will have the option to undertake the APEL (PG) 00002,as RPL (in line with Chapter 2 of the UWS Regulatory Framework), to achieve the 20 academic credits at SCQF level 11, or they may opt to undertake a further option module.

*Independent & Supplementary Prescribing L11 may not be required by certain professional groups (registered with HCPC - Allied Health Professions) - in this case, the Independent & Supplementary Prescribing L11 will be replaced by another option module.

Optional Modules
SCQF Level Module CodeModule NameCreditTermFootnotes
123
11NURS11018Dementia Care Principles20check mark  
11NURS11129Introduction to eHealth20check mark  
11NURS11049Quality Improvement in Healthcare20check mark  
11MIDW11010Clinical Teaching20 check mark 
11NURS11094Frailty in Later Life20 check mark 
11NURS11012Independent Study (HSCE)20check mark  
11NURS11151Assessment of Capacity20  check mark
11NURS11118Education for Mental Health20 check mark 
11NURS11117The Supervisory Process20  check mark
11NURS11017Leadership For Effectiveness20  check mark

* Indicates that module descriptor is not published.

Footnotes

Criteria for Progression and Award

The student will be eligible to exit at this point [120 credit points of which a minimum of 90 are at SCQF 11 and none less than SCQF level 10], with the award of PG Diploma Advanced Clinical Practitioner (Neonatal, Child, Adult or Mental Health).

Students who require to conclude their postgraduate study, without successful completion of the module grouping specified for the exit award of PG Diploma Advanced Clinical Practitioner, may be eligible to exit with a PG Certificate in Advanced Clinical Practice.[60 credit points of which a minimum of 40 are at SCQF 11 and none less than SCQF level 10, as per this Programme Specification]

OR

Students who require to conclude their postgraduate study without successful completion of the module grouping specified for the exit award of PG Certificate in Advanced Clinical Practice may be eligible to exit with a PG Certificate in Advancing Professional Development.[60 credit points of which a minimum of 40 are at SCQF 11 and none less than SCQF level 10]. Students will have successfully completed a combination of modules from within this programme portfolio.

Distinction for the award of PG Diploma shall be awarded in line with Chapter 1 of the UWS Regulatory Framework.


C. Masters
Learning Outcomes (Maximum of 5 per heading)

Knowledge and Understanding

A1Demonstrate a detailed critical knowledge that covers and integrates most, if not all, of the main aspects of research methodology utilised within health and social care.
A2Critically analyse concepts of theory, systems and practice and the influence of these concepts on a wide range of issues related to advanced practice and patient care.
A3Critically appraise the contextualisation of Government strategy and policy and strategic developments in relation to advanced practice development.
A4Critically debate a variety of mechanisms used in strategic development and project management, appraising relevant regulatory, legal and organisational factors involved in advanced practice.

Practice - Applied Knowledge and Understanding

B1Demonstrate originality and creativity in the choice of topic (related to neonate or child or adult or Mental Health)/methodology used and development of a research project or research proposal.
B2Utilise knowledge and understanding of contemporary research related to the neonate or child or adult or mental health, to contribute to the body of knowledge at the forefront of the student's area of professional practice.

Communication, ICT and Numeracy Skills

C1Utilise a range of advanced communication methods and numeracy skills to support and enhance research and professional practice.
C2Design the presentation of information for dissemination across the appropriate levels and areas of the professional audience and organisational contexts.
C3Evidence of advanced ICT skills in extensive online database searching and utilisation of a range of ICT software to support writing of the dissertation.

Generic Cognitive Skills - Problem Solving, Analysis, Evaluation

D1Critically review, analyse and synthesise a range of research theories which will support a change of practice or impact on practice.
D2Demonstrate originality and creativity in defining new and abstract problems which identify gaps in care or require solutions through the research evidence base.
D3Critically appraise and evaluate research and other forms of evidence to ensure only best evidence is used to support changes or developments in practice.

Autonomy, Accountability and Working With Others

E1Critically demonstrate substantial autonomy and initiative in professional practice and research activities.
E2Demonstrate synthesis and application of effective accountability and leadership to make significant contributions to policy and strategy at a local level, national level and global level where appropriate.
E3Manage complex ethical and professional issues and makes informed judgements on issues not addressed by current professional and/or ethical codes or practices.

Core Modules
SCQF Level Module CodeModule NameCreditTermFootnotes
123
11NURS11010MSc Dissertation (HLS)60check markcheck markcheck mark

* Indicates that module descriptor is not published.

Footnotes

Optional Modules
SCQF Level Module CodeModule NameCreditTermFootnotes
123
               

* Indicates that module descriptor is not published.

Footnotes

Criteria for Award

On successful completion of the MSc Dissertation (HLS) Module, and a total of 180 credit points of which a minimum of 150 at SCQF 11 and none less than SCQF level 10, the student will be eligible for the award of MSc Advanced Clinical Practitioner (Neonatal, Child, Adult or Mental Health) (as per Chapter 1 of the UWS Regulatory Framework).

A distinction will be awarded in line with Chapter 1 of the UWS Regulatory Framework.


Regulations of Assessment

Candidates will be bound by the general assessment regulations of the University as specified in the University Regulatory Framework.

An overview of the assessment details is provided in the Student Handbook and the assessment criteria for each module is provided in the module descriptor which forms part of the module pack issued to students. For further details on assessment please refer to Chapter 3 of the Regulatory Framework.

To qualify for an award of the University, students must complete all the programme requirements and must meet the credit minima detailed in Chapter 1 of the Regulatory Framework.

Combined Studies

There may be instances where a student has been unsuccessful in meeting the award criteria for the named award and for other more generic named awards existing within the School. Provided that they have met the credit requirements in line with the SCQF credit minima (please see Regulation 1.21), they will be eligible for an exit award of PgCert/ PgDip in Combined Studies.



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