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Advanced Clinical Practice PgDip/Top up to MSc

Overview

Initially students will enrol for the Postgraduate Diploma award. If they are successful they can apply to undertake the top-up MSc Advanced Clinical Practice award by completing the 60 credit Dissertation module. Graduates from the full MSc course will receive confirmation that they have completed an RCN Accredited Advanced Nurse Practitioner pathway.

The School of Health and Social Care at London South Bank University has been delivering high quality Royal College of Nursing (RCN) accredited Advanced Nurse Practitioner (ANP) education for over 20 years, with demand increasing year on year.  While initially the focus was on developing experienced nurses working in primary care settings, this has subsequently expanded to include nurses from secondary and tertiary services.

This course has therefore been developed for both experienced qualified registered nurses and other health professionals working in primary, secondary and tertiary health care settings, who wish to undertake advanced clinical education at master's level. This education will provide high-quality preparation not only for Advanced Nurse Practitioners (ANP) but also for Advanced Clinical Practitioners and health professionals who need to work at a higher level of practice.

RCN Accreditation

While not all of the students undertaking this course will be nurses, other health professionals will benefit from the rigorous standards set by the RCN Accreditation unit for advanced nurse practitioner preparation. Their standards are currently the only quality marker for Advanced Practitioner preparation in England. RCN Accreditation indicates that this course has been evaluated against 15 standards and associated criteria for educational preparation and judged to prepare practitioners to an advanced level (RCN, 2012).

Further, in accordance with the RCN endorsement (2012), the course has also been designed to comply with the Department of Health (England) (2010) position statement on Advanced Level Nursing.

This programme has been accredited by the RCN Centre for Professional Accreditation until 31 August 2021.

Accreditations

Key course information - ordered by mode
Mode Duration Start date Location
Mode
PgDip
Duration
18 months - 5 years
Start Date
January; September
Location
Southwark Campus
Mode
MSc (top-up)
Duration
18 months - 5 years
Start Date
January; September
Location
Southwark Campus

Case studies

Modules

PgDip

The structure for the course comprises of a prescribed sequence of six compulsory modules, the order depending on the start date (September or January) and the rate of progression.

Each 20 credit module accounts for 200 hours of total student effort.  This typically comprises of 36 – 42 classroom contact hours, 14 blended learning activity hours, practice based learning hours (equivalent to a minimum of 3 hours per week) and the remainder for self-directed study.

A range of assessment strategies will be used to reflect the academic, clinical and professional aspects of the programme. This includes use of exams, a written case study, an essay, completion of a Practice Based Learning record including Practice Facilitator feedback and evaluation of practice, OSCEs (Objective Structured Clinical Examination) and production of a clinical portfolio including patient feedback.

The first part of the course includes:

  • ACP_6_001 Physiological Principles for Advanced Clinical Practice
    This module develops key foundation knowledge to underpin subsequent applied pathophysiology and pharmacology educational input.
  • ACP_7_001 Clinical Assessment Skills for Advanced Practice
    This module can be taken in conjunction with, or following the Physiological Principles for Advanced Clinical Practice module.
  • Non Medical Prescribing*
    The PgDip ACP includes the requirement for students to be Independent Prescribers. This ensures that graduates from the programme will be able to fully meet patient's needs and service demands. Increasing numbers of applicants are already Independent Prescribers, having completed Non Medical Prescribing (NMP) courses at Level 6 or 7, and are using their prescribing rights on a daily basis. Such students will be able to accredit their prior learning to account for 20 credits within the PgDip ACP course. Students who are not Independent Prescribers will be required to undertake the NMP course, normally in January - July of their first year, when a separate occurrence of the NMP course is provided for all advanced practice students in the School. 20 credits of the Postgraduate Certificate Non Medical Prescribing will be used towards the PgDip ACP award.

The second part of the course includes:

  • ACP_7_002 Clinical Reasoning in Advanced Practice
  • ACP_7_003 Leadership and Research Skills for Advanced Practice

There is an option for the final module according to work setting from:

  • ACP_7_004 Managing Complexity in Advanced Clinical Practice (Community and Primary Care)
  • ACP_7_005 Managing Complexity in Advanced Clinical Practice (Emergency Care)
  • ACP_7_006 Managing Complexity in Advanced Clinical Practice (Acute and Critical Care)

The Complexity modules share a common learning framework and approach to assessment but the focus, content and assessment requirements are adapted for the context.

MSc (top-up)

Students can progress to undertake the Dissertation module (60 credits) to gain the MSc Advanced Clinical Practice award.




*Current Prescribing legislation enables Physiotherapists, Pharmacists, Chiropodists and Podiatrists to train to become Independent Prescribers. The case for extending these rights to Diagnostic Radiographers and Paramedics was debated in 2016 but rejected. It is anticipated that the case for Paramedics will be represented within the next couple of years. Therefore Paramedics will be able to enter the course and study for the other modules first and undertake the Non Medical Prescribing component when the legislation is amended to include this profession. In the event that this is delayed, the student will be able to take an alternative module "Professional Development through Contract Learning". This module allows students to investigate an area of their own choice, relevant to their field of professional practice. For this group, the focus will be on development of the knowledge and skills to make safe, appropriate, evidence-based prescribing decisions. The module is delivered in the form of a learning contract and is largely student managed with tutorial support. This will be provided by members of the Non Medical Prescribing team. This strategy will ensure that paramedic students will not be disadvantaged and can complete the PgDip ACP award within the maximum 5 year time frame.

Employability

Graduate and employer surveys and feedback indicate our graduates are making a positive impact on patient care and service innovation in general practices, walk-in centres, urgent care centres, minor injury units, emergency departments, projects for refugees, asylum seekers and homeless populations, elderly care facilities, “out of hours” developments, rapid response services, intermediate care teams, prison services, acute medical and surgical teams, critical-care outreach and specialist hospital services.

Some of our graduates are now lead nurses within social enterprises, nurse partners in general practices, nurse representatives on commissioning boards, community matrons and consultant nurses.  To date two graduates have gone on to pursue doctoral studies.

Employability Service

We are University of the Year for Graduate Employment - The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2018.

At LSBU, we want to set you up for a successful career. During your studies – and for two years after you graduate – you’ll have access to our Employability Service, which includes:

  • An online board where you can see a wide range of placements: part-time, full-time or voluntary. You can also drop in to see our Job Shop advisers, who are always available to help you take the next step in your search.
  • Our Careers Gym offering group workshops on CVs, interview techniques and finding work experience, as well as regular presentations from employers across a range of sectors.

Our Student Enterprise team can also help you start your own business and develop valuable entrepreneurial skills.

Placements

Practice based learning requirements

The Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) (2007) identify that learning within the work place is integral to a higher education programme and is demonstrated through engagement within the practice environment. This is particularly important for preparation for a course of this nature; for any students, even those with many years of experience, some of the areas covered by the programme will be new such as history-taking, physical examination skills, ordering and interpreting investigations, making differential diagnoses, pharmacology, prescribing, social sciences and mental health assessment, etc. One of the key requirements for the course is that the practice experience provides learning opportunities that enable students to achieve the course learning outcomes (RCN, 2012) and so in order to ensure this, learning in practice is purposely structured and assessed.

Students will spend the equivalent of 3 hours per week working in a "supernumerary capacity" in order to focus specifically on their clinical and professional development. This requirement extends beyond the University semesters to include the summer periods.

Practice Based Learning is supported through identification of a doctor/qualified Advanced Practitioner to act as the student's "Practice Facilitator" to initially supervise and subsequently support their clinical development. Other experienced senior clinicians can also supervise and support student development.

Evidence of practice based learning (36 hours of direct supervision and 180 hours of indirect supervised clinical practice) and feedback on progress is used as an element of assessment on the following modules: 1. Clinical Assessment Skills for Advanced Practice [Level 7] 2. Clinical Reasoning in Advanced Practice [Level 7] 3. Managing Complexity in Advanced Clinical Practice [Level 7]

The overall total for supervised hours through successful completion of these modules is 648 hours.

Facilities

Teaching and learning

There are a range of facilities to support teaching practice skills and simulation. These include the skills laboratories, clinical and simulation equipment, themed notice boards, resources, anatomical models and the media/skills technicians who maintain the labs and prepare for sessions.

Students are supported by a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) using “Moodle”. Students have access to the VLE using a web browser from home, from campus, or when mobile if they have a smart phone or tablet.  Open access computers are provided in the Library and Learning Resource Centre on our Southwark campus.  These computers enable access to the internet, email, Microsoft office and other supported software.  Direct IT helplines are available to support students

E-learning will complement face-to-face delivery for all modules within the course, with 14 specific hours assigned to blended learning activities in each timetable.

Skills workshop


A four day workshop will continue to be provided mid-way through the course, to give the opportunity for students to practise, consolidate and develop their new skills in a supervised, supportive environment. This is currently used as an effective strategy which is very highly evaluated by our students.

Entry requirements

In order to be considered for entry to this course applicants will be required to have the following:

Academic qualifications

Normally applicants will have a Health-related honours degree (or international equivalent), with a classification of 2.2 or above, however applications from clinically experienced, senior level health professionals with evidence of a minimum of 90 undergraduate degree level credits (at least 15 credits of which has been completed within the past 2 years) will also be considered.

For students whose first language is not English, one of the following is also required:

  • A first degree from a UK university or an overseas institution recognised by the University as providing adequate evidence of proficiency in the English language, for example, from institutions in Australia, Canada or the USA
  • Possession of an IELTS score of at least 7.0 across all four domains or its equivalent for students whose first language is not English.

Professional experience

  • Current nursing registration with the Nursing & Midwifery Council (NMC) or Health Care Professions Council (HCPC) or The General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC)
  • A minimum of 3 years post-registration experience
  • Employed for a minimum of 25 hours per week in a relevant clinical environment, with access to appropriate clinical support and supervision for the development of knowledge and skills to an advanced level.

Applicants must also be able to demonstrate employer support for all of the following (even where individuals are self-funding):

  • For the applicant to undertake this course at LSBU
  • Support for development of the applicant to an advanced level within the workplace while on the course to enable evolution of the scope of practice and responsibilities
  • Willingness to release the student to enable them to dedicate the equivalent of 3 hours per week throughout the calendar year (in addition to the study day in university) to have protected learning time in a 'supernumerary capacity' to focus on clinical and professional development, completion of the Practice Based Learning activity requirements and the Practice Based Learning records.
  • Able to support the student to organise for a doctor/qualified Advanced Practitioner to act as their designated "Practice Facilitator" to initially supervise and subsequently support the applicants overall clinical development and facilitate completion of specified practice-based learning activities. Sign off for specific aspects of learning is required (this responsibility can be shared with other senior experienced clinical colleagues however nomination of an overall lead clinician is required)
  • Provision of day-to-day supervision and support by an experienced clinical team to enable the development of the knowledge, skills, competence and confidence commensurate with this level of practice

Selection process

Advanced level clinical practice is by its very nature challenging and demanding. It is therefore important that appropriate candidates are selected who have the determination, professional attitudes and calibre that is needed for academic success and maximum impact in practice.

Students are therefore selected for the course using the following strategies:

1. Application form with personal statement.

2. Submission of a 1,000 word referenced essay, which critically analyses the potential for development of ANPs within their clinical practice, with reference to relevant advanced practice literature.

3. A letter from the clinical lead expressing their support for the course AND development of the individuals practice to an advanced level.

4. A supportive reference from the students current clinical lead.

5. The contents of the Clinical Practice Learning Environment profile which evaluates the students work environment (and other clinical opportunities) for meeting the learning requirements for the course.

6. Provision of a completed Practice Facilitators nomination and acceptance form.

Suitable candidates will be invited for an interview to assess interpersonal skills and professional awareness, particularly in relation to the potential benefits offered by the course for personal and professional development and to the patient care provided on an individual and organisational basis.

Recognition of prior learning

This is considered on an individual basis at interview, in accordance with the University academic regulations.

Credit awarded by another Higher Education Provider may under certain circumstances contribute to the credit required for a London South Bank University award. For credit to be transferred, the learning must be relevant to the course for which the claim for credit is being made. The learning must also have been at a comparable academic level and must have been assessed. The amount of credit transferred must be equal to or less than the amount of credit awarded by the Provider at which the learning took place. At least half of the credit required for an award of the University must normally be accumulated as a result of learning assessed at London South Bank University. The University also has a process for accreditation of prior experiential learning, with the details and submission requirements for each claim considered individually.

How to apply

International (non Home/EU) applicants should follow our international how to apply guide.

Instructions for Home/EU applicants
Mode Duration Start date Application code Application method
Mode
PgDip
Duration
18 months - 5 years
Start date
January; September
Application code
4758
Application method
Mode
MSc (top-up)
Duration
18 months - 5 years
Start date
January; September
Application code
4759
Application method

Apply for this course through the online CPPD prospectus.

Fees and funding

Fees are shown for new entrants to courses, for each individual year of a course, together with the total fee for all the years of a course. Continuing LSBU students should refer to the Finance section of our student portal, MyLSBU. Queries regarding fees should be directed to the Fees and Bursaries Team on: +44 (0)20 7815 6181.

Part-time
The fee shown is for entry 2018/19.
UK/EU fee: £2898International fee: £4375
AOS/LSBU code: 4759Session code: 1PS01
The fee shown is for entry 2018/19.
UK/EU fee: £3555International fee: £4375
AOS/LSBU code: 4758Session code: 1PS00
Total course fee:
UK/EU £7110
International £8750
The fee shown is for entry 2018/19.
UK/EU fee: £2898International fee: £4375
AOS/LSBU code: 4759Session code: 1PS00
The fee shown is for entry 2018/19.
UK/EU fee: £2370International fee: £2916.67
AOS/LSBU code: 4758Session code: 1PS07
Total course fee:
UK/EU £7110
International £8750
The fee shown is for entry 2018/19.
UK/EU fee: £3555International fee: £4375
AOS/LSBU code: 4758Session code: 1PS05
Total course fee:
UK/EU £7110
International £8750
The fee shown is for entry 2018/19.
UK/EU fee: £2370International fee: £2916.67
AOS/LSBU code: 4758Session code: 1PS06
Total course fee:
UK/EU £4740
International £5833.33
The fee shown is for entry 2018/19.
UK/EU fee: £2370International fee: £2916.67
AOS/LSBU code: 4758Session code: 1PS04
Total course fee:
UK/EU £7110
International £8750
The fee shown is for entry 2018/19.
UK/EU fee: £3555International fee: £4375
AOS/LSBU code: 4758Session code: 1PS02
Total course fee:
UK/EU £7110
International £8750
The fee shown is for entry 2018/19.
UK/EU fee: £2370International fee: £2916.67
AOS/LSBU code: 4758Session code: 1PS03
Total course fee:
UK/EU £7110
International £8750

Speak with your employer/Trust regarding professional development funding that may be available to you.

Case studies

Select a case study and read about practical project work, students' placement experiences, research projects, alumni career achievements and what it’s really like to study here from the student perspective.

Prepare to start

We help our students prepare for university even before the semester starts. To find out when you should apply for your LSBU accommodation or student finance read How to apply tab for this course.

Enrolment and Induction

Enrolment takes place before you start your course. On completing the process, new students formally join the University. Enrolment consists of two stages: online, and your face-to-face enrolment meeting. The online process is an online data gathering exercise that you will complete yourself, then you will be invited to your face-to-face enrolment meeting.

In September, applicants who have accepted an unconditional offer to study at LSBU will be sent details of induction, which is when they are welcomed to the University and their School. Induction helps you get the best out of your university experience, and makes sure you have all the tools to succeed in your studies.

Read more about Enrolment and Induction.

Reading list

Pre-module workbooks are provided for the first two modules:

  • ACP_6_001 Physiological Principles for Advanced Clinical Practice
  • ACP_7_001 Clinical Assessment Skills for Advanced Practice.

The core text for the course is: Bickley, L. and Szilagyi, P. (2016) Bates’ Guide to Physical Examination and History taking. 12th ed.  London: Wolters Kluwer.

 
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Contact information

Course Enquiries - UK

Tel: 0800 923 8888

Get in touch

Course Enquiries - EU/International

Tel: +44 (0) 20 7815 6189

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