Advanced Practice in Health Care MSc (Med Sci)

This Masters in Advanced Practice in Health Care is designed for the growing number of graduate nurses wishing to work in clinical leadership or extended roles in clinical practice as nurse practitioners or consultant nurses.

Key facts

  • MSc (Med Sci): 12 months full-time; 24 months part-time
  • PgDip 9 months full-time; 18 months part-time
  • PgCert 5 months full-time; 10 months part-time
  • Contact: Anna.O'

Why this programme

  • The programme provides opportunities for you to develop and demonstrate knowledge and understanding, expertise in critical appraisal, develop transferable skills and have the ability to lead and innovate in the advancement of practice.
  • The programme reflects the need for tomorrow’s health care professional to be involved in lifelong learning whilst being adaptive to the dynamic care environment and supporting quality care delivery.
  • Close involvement of NHS clinical staff in the planning and delivery of courses ensures that the programme is current and relevant.
  • The themes offered link closely with the pre-registration undergraduate programme offered at the University as well as being developed in conjunction with local clinical need.

Programme structure

Continuing professional development

Each course can be taken as a stand alone continuing professional development course

This programme in Advanced Practice in Health Care is made up of three components: a core course, optional courses and a dissertation.

Research methods and statistics

This consolidates and extends your knowledge of research methods and provides you with sufficient information to write a research proposal.  This course is a prerequisite for the research-based dissertation or work-based audit and service evaluation.

Optional courses

By undertaking the 20 credit optional courses listed below a named award may be obtained in:

  • Acute & Critical Care
  • Cardiovascular Care
  • Chronic Disease Management
  • Healthcare Chaplaincy
  • Stroke Care

Acute & Critical care

  • Acute & Critical care

Cardiovascular Care

  • Cardiovascular Disease Prevention and Care
  • Principles of Acute Cardiac Management

Chronic Disease Management

  • Assessing and Managing Patients with Complex Symptoms
  • Self Management: Principles and Practice

Stroke Care

  • Clinical issues in Stroke Care.

Healthcare Chaplaincy

  • Professional Practice in Spiritual and Religious Care in Healthcare
  • Providing Spiritual and Religious Care in Healthcare
  • Advanced Health Care Practice

Generic Options

  • Advanced Communication Skills in Healthcare Practice
  • Education for Professional Practice
  • Ethics for professional practice
  • Leadership in Contemporary Health Care


Core and optional courses

Core Courses

Research Methods and Statistics

This course must be taken in order to attain the full MSc.


Knowledge of research designs and statistical techniques has become an important factor in the delivery of evidence based health care. In this course students will develop skills in qualitative and quantitative approaches to research. The need to conduct rigorous and systematic research is paramount given the introduction of a variety of new technologies and advances in care and treatment in the NHS.

On completion of the course students will be enabled to design and participate in professionally based sessions with other students. This approach will also facilitate skills in research techniques and students will be supported in identifying those transferable skills from the course that they can use in the delivery of evidence based health care

Intended learning outcomes

  1. Critically appraise the logic of the research process and the relationship of theory to research design.
  2. Critically appraise styles of research and their associated methods
  3. Evaluate the relationship between data analysis and research methods
  4. Appraise the ethical problems involved in research and understand the process involved in gaining Ethics approval for a proposed study
  5. Understand threats to internal and external validity, reliability and rigour.
  6. Demonstrate a general understanding of the use of statistical concepts to health care research.
  7. Identify a research question and critically appraise research methodologies to select an approach appropriate to the research question
  8. Detail a research protocol, and its justification suitable for addressing your research question

Optional Courses

Acute & Critical Care – Acute & Critical Care

This course seeks to provide the advanced knowledge required to facilitate an enhanced level of clinical decision making in acute and critical care practice and dissemination of evidence based practice through research based learning and independent study skills.

Advanced Communication Skills in Health Care - Generic

This course will enable health care professionals to develop their communication skills to an advanced level and to address challenging communication issues in clinical practice, such as: breaking bad news, dealing with difficult questions, dealing with strong emotions and interpersonal communication. It will facilitate the ability to reflect on, critically analyse and enhance their own interactions for continuous improvement of practice and confidence.

Advanced Health Care Practice – Generic but Compulsory for name award

The ultimate aim of the MSc (Med Sci) Advanced Practice in Health Care programme is to improve professional practice and ensure that practice is soundly based on relevant theory and research. This course facilitates integration of theory and practice promoting professional and personal development of students, in preparation for their role as advanced practitioners.

Assessing and Managing Patients with Complex Symptoms – Chronic Disease Management

The course aims to enable students to critically appraise, select and apply a range of strategies to undertake a comprehensive assessment of the patient/client with complex symptoms. Additionally students will be able to develop strategies to engage with patients/clients as partners in care in order to prioritise and manage symptoms.

Cardiovascular Disease Prevention and Care – Cardiovascular Care

This course aims to develop the student's understanding of cardiovascular disease prevention and care within a diverse and complex society. The course will also foster the student’s ability to critically evaluate contemporary models of cardiovascular disease prevention and care.

Clinical Issues in Stroke Care – Stroke Care

This course aims to prepare the practitioner to gain a deeper understanding of the current clinical issues in stroke care and explore their impact.

Education for Professional Practice – Generic

This course aims to appraise the contribution of educational theory to education and enable the student to create, implement and evaluate a teaching package.

Ethics for Professional Practice – Generic

The course aims to provide the opportunity for critical analysis and synthesis of the key concepts and themes involved in caring by professionals; enabling the student to reflect on their own experience and practice and be able to apply their learning to the wider setting of professional caring.

Leadership in Contemporary Health Care – Generic but compulsory for named award

The course aims to enable students to understand and critically analyse leadership in contemporary health service delivery with a global perspective.

The course will also facilitate the development of skills that will enable students to effectively lead, facilitate and supervise others involved in caring for diverse groups of patients / clients within a constantly evolving health and social care environment.

Principles of Acute Cardiac Management – Cardiac Care

This course encourages students to reflect on how acute cardiac care is integrated into processes of service delivery to both sustain life and maintain dignity. By integrating the evidence from research into clinical practice students are encouraged to benchmark practice to the holistic needs of the acutely ill cardiac patient and their family.

Professional Practice in Spiritual & Religious Care in Healthcare – Healthcare Chaplaincy

This course aims to develop student’s understanding and evaluation of professional practice in spiritual and religious care in healthcare. It considers practice from the perspective of individuals, healthcare teams and the healthcare unit or institution. Through critical analysis of practice issues students will be encouraged to evaluate the core elements of legal, safe, accountable and effective practice and evaluate the implications for their own professional practice.

Providing Spiritual & Religious Care in Health Care – Healthcare Chaplaincy

This course aims to develop students’ understanding and assessment of the spiritual and religious needs of patients, carers and staff with reference to the main world faith and belief groups. Through reflection on personal communication skills in pastoral encounters and focusing on skills in reflective practice, students will be encouraged to critically evaluate their personal practice and the local and national procedures and protocols for spiritual and religious care services.

Self Management: Principles and Practice

This course aims to enable students to understand the context of self management programmes within contemporary health and social care. The course will also foster the student’s ability to critically evaluate the different models of self management and to consider how self management can be integrated within specific health or social care settings.

What our students say

"I would highly recommend the postgraduate Health Care programme. It is challenging, enjoyable and highly relevant. It challenges your beliefs and attitudes in a positive way and enhances critical analysis skills, which are highly valuable for any health care professional.

The courses I undertook were fantastic;

"Research Methods and Statistics" provided a strong foundation for embarking on a research proposal.

"Education in Practice" gave a thought-provoking insight into both theory and practice of education in a fun and engaging way.

"Advanced Communication" provided insight into the nuances of communication and emphasised the vital importance of paying attention to our communications with our patients and other staff.

"Providing Spiritual Care" and "Professional Practice in Spiritual Care" although primarily designed for the Health Care chaplain are highly relevant to any healthcare professional. The courses placed emphasis on holistic care and compassion and maintained a patient-centred approach throughout; prepare to be changed in a personal way!

The staff members are very approachable, flexible, helpful and highly engaging. I am very happy that I undertook this course from both a professional and personal viewpoint."

June Anne McKnight (PGD student 2012)

"I started MSc Health Care at Glasgow in 2010 and completed in 2012. The whole experience was really positive for me. I hadn’t done any formal academic work for a while so wasn’t sure what to expect. The structure of the course worked really well for me with the modules in Year 1 providing a steep learning curve. The face to face teaching allowed a good class dynamic to develop. There was a wide choice of modules and all were relevant to my clinical practice. The research component was new to me, but gave a great pathway into Year 2 which focussed on research and dissertation.

There is a great team of approachable teaching and admin staff-when I ran into a funding problem in Year 2 they went the extra mile to get it sorted out. The MSc provided me the opportunity to research an area of clinical interest in depth and has yielded two peer review journal publications. I would strongly recommend this MSc to all health professionals." 

Angus McKillop (MSc Health Care student 2010-2012)

"As a graduate of the University of Glasgow's undergraduate nursing programme, I was aware that undertaking my MSc Med Sci at the same school would mean an excellent opportunity to extend my academic career. However, I was not expecting the changes this choice would mean to my professional working life. To say my two years at Glasgow changed my nursing life would be an understatement; it took my career to a whole other level.

The value of being supported to extend my thinking from that of a frontline nurse, to that of a strategic player, enabled me to have faith in my abilities to peruse a secondment in Clinical Risk at my Trust. I don’t think I would have considered that opportunity if I hadn't been at Glasgow. This secondment, along side my MSc and the opportunity to study with like minded professionals, has inspired me to think bigger and better. Two years on since I graduated with my MSc, I now hold the role of Clinical Nurse Educator for my speciality. My dream job. Thank you Glasgow, I couldn't have done it without you!"

Laura Wilson (MSc Health Care student 2009-2011)

“Graduating with a MSc in Health Care from the University of Glasgow has been one of my proudest achievements. The memory of looking up to the spectator’s gallery and seeing my wife and parents watching me graduate will stay with me for many years to come.

I followed the generic Masters route studying the ethics, communication in palliative care, education and management modules. This was in addition to the research methods component. Much of the work I undertook wasn’t new. However, I was encouraged to seek a deeper meaning to my learning and critically analysis my practice. Indeed, critical analysis was central to all the learning experiences which allowed me to cement and develop the skills required to be a contemporary health care practitioner.

I found this learning experience to be challenging, rewarding but overall enjoyable. The support from the teaching staff was excellent. I was made to feel welcome and their willingness to motivate the students to succeed is an integral part of this course. Any testimony must include the input from the administration and janitorial staff whose input facilitated students to concentrate on their studies.

I entered nursing as a mature student and believe that  nursing and lifelong learning are inseparable, an opinion which undertaking a MSc in health care reinforced. I would highly recommend this course, as this qualification has already allowed me to develop and move forward my career. More importantly, I feel that my studies have equipped me with the knowledge to be a more effective practitioner and therefore improve the health and wellbeing of people whom I have a professional responsibility for.”

Mark Gallagher (MSc HealthCare Student who graduated 2013)

Industry links and employability

This programme meets the demand for the preparation of both specialist and extended role practitioners. The themes offered link closely with the pre-registration undergraduate programme offered at the University as well as being developed in conjunction with local clinical need to address the growing number of graduate nurses looking to be educated at Masters level, namely those wishing to work in clinical leadership or extended roles in clinical practice as nurse practitioners or consultant nurses.

Close involvement of NHS clinical staff in the planning and delivery of courses ensures that the programme is current and relevant.

The programme also provides a platform for students to move into the field of research, with a number of past students completing PhDs.

Students who have completed the course have also gone on to teaching roles within the NHS and Higher Education Institutions.

Research environment

There is a strong research culture within the Nursing & Health Care School. During the programme you will learn how to write a research proposal and will carry this through to a dissertation project. You will be taught by staff who regularly publish papers and contribute to conferences.

There are opportunites to take your study further by completing a Masters by Research or a PhD. We aim to be an internationally recognised centre of excellence for research. Research within the school is undertaken with the view to positively influence the quality of health care locally, nationally and internationally.

Entry requirements

for entry in 2015

You must have a relevant professional degree, a first degree or equivalent and two years' experience post-qualification. 

You are required to provide two references and a full degree transcript with your application.

English language requirements

For applicants whose first language is not English, the University sets a minimum English Language proficiency level.

International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Academic module (not General Training)

  • overall score 6.5
  • no sub-test less than 6.0
  • or equivalent scores in another recognised qualification (see below)

Common equivalent English language qualifications

All stated English tests are acceptable for admission for both home/EU and international students for this programme:

  • ibTOEFL: 92; no sub-test less than 20
  • CAE (Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English): 176 overall; no sub-test less than 169
  • CPE (Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English):  176 overall; no sub-test less than 169
  • PTE Academic (Person Test of English, Academic test): 60; no sub-test less than 59

For international students, the Home Office has confirmed that the University can choose to use these tests to make its own assessment of English language ability for visa applications to degree level programmes. The University is also able to accept an IELTS test (Academic module) from any of the 1000 IELTS test centres from around the world and we do not require a specific UKVI IELTS test for degree level programmes. We therefore still accept any of the English tests listed for admission to this programme.

Pre-sessional courses

The University of Glasgow accepts evidence of the required language level from the Language Centre Pre-sessional courses. We also consider other BALEAP accredited pre-sessional courses:


What do I do if...

my language qualifications are below the requirements?

The University's Language Centre offers a range of Pre-Sessional Courses to bring you up to entry level. The course is accredited by BALEAP, the UK professional association for academic English teaching; see Links.

my language qualifications are not listed here?

Please contact the Recruitment and International Office:


For further information about English language requirements, please contact the Recruitment and International Office:

Fees and funding

Tuition fees for 2016-17

MSc (Med Sci)

Home and EU
Full time fee£6950
Part time 20 credits£772
Full time fee£18900


Home and EU
Full time fee£2317
Part time 20 credits£772
Full time fee£6300


Home and EU
Full time fee£4633
Part time 20 credits£772
Full time fee£12600

Fees are subject to change and for guidance only


The University requires a deposit to be paid by International (beyond the EU) applicants in receipt of an offer to this programme: please see: Deposits for entry in 2015/16

Funding opportunities

How to apply

We ask that you apply online for a postgraduate taught degree. Our system allows you to fill out the standard application form online and submit this to the University within 42 days of starting your application.

You need to read the guide to applying online before starting your application. It will ensure you are ready to proceed, as well as answer many common questions about the process.

Guide to applying online

Do I have to apply online for a postgraduate taught degree?

Yes. To apply for a postgraduate taught degree you must apply online. We are unable to accept your application by any other means than online.

Do I need to complete and submit the application in a single session?

No. You have 42 days to submit your application once you begin the process. You may save and return to your application as many times as you wish to update information, complete sections or upload additional documents such as your final transcript or your language test.

What documents do I need to provide to make an application?

As well as completing your online application fully, it is essential that you submit the following documents:

  • A copy (or copies) of your official degree certificate(s) (if you have already completed your degree)
  • A copy (or copies) of your official academic transcript(s), showing full details of subjects studied and grades/marks obtained
  • Official English translations of the certificate(s) and transcript(s)
  • Two supporting reference letters on headed paper
  • Evidence of your English Language ability (if your first language is not English)
  • Any additional documents required for this programme (see Entry requirements for this programme)
  • A copy of the photo page of your passport (Non-EU students only)

If you do not have all of these documents at the time of submitting your application then it is still possible to make an application and provide any further documents at a later date, as long as you include a full current transcript (and an English translation if required) with your application. See the ‘Your References, Transcripts and English Qualification’ sections of our Frequently Asked Questions for more information.

Do my supporting documents need to be submitted online?

Yes, where possible, please upload the supporting documents with your application.

How do I provide my references?

You must either upload the required references to your online application or ask your referees to send the references to the University as we do not contact referees directly. There is two main ways that you can provide references: you can either upload references on headed paper when you are making an application using the Online Application (or through Applicant Self-Service after you have submitted your application) or you can ask your referee to email the reference directly to See the 'Your References, Transcripts and English Qualifications' section of the Frequently Asked Questions for more information.

What if I am unable to submit all of my supporting documents online?

If you cannot upload an electronic copy of a document and need to send it in by post, please attach a cover sheet to it that includes your name, the programme you are applying for, and your application reference number.

You may send them to:

Recruitment & International Office
71 Southpark Avenue
G12 8QQ
Fax: +44 141 330 4045

Can I email my supporting documents?

No. We cannot accept email submissions of your supporting documents.

What entry requirements should I have met before applying? Where can I find them?

You should check that you have met (or are likely to have met prior to the start of the programme) the individual entry requirements for the degree programme you are applying for. This information can be found on the ‘entry requirements’ tab on each individual programme page, such as the one you are viewing now.

What English Language requirements should I have met before applying? Where can I find them?

If you are an international student, you should also check that you have met the English Language requirements specific to the programme you are applying for. These can also be found on the ‘entry requirements’ tab for each specific programme.

Further Information

Please see the Frequently Asked Questions for more information on applying to a postgraduate taught programme.

Guidance notes for using the online application

These notes are intended to help you complete the online application form accurately, they are also available within the help section of the online application form. If you experience any difficulties accessing the online application then you should visit the Application Troubleshooting/FAQs page.

  • Name and Date of birth: must appear exactly as they do on your passport. Please take time to check the spelling and lay-out.
  • Contact Details: Correspondence address. All contact relevant to your application will be sent to this address including the offer letter(s). If your address changes, please contact us as soon as possible.
  • Choice of course: Please select carefully the course you want to study. As your application will be sent to the admissions committee for each course you select it is important to consider at this stage why you are interested in the course and that it is reflected in your application.
  • Proposed date of entry: Please state your preferred start date including the month and the year. Taught masters degrees tend to begin in September. Research degrees may start in any month.
  • Education and Qualifications: Please complete this section as fully as possible indicating any relevant Higher Education qualifications starting with the most recent. Complete the name of the Institution (s) as it appears on the degree certificate or transcript.
  • English Language Proficiency: Please state the date of any English language test taken (or to be taken) and the award date (or expected award date if known).
  • Employment and Experience: Please complete this section as fully as possible with all employments relevant to your course. Additional details may be attached in your personal statement/proposal where appropriate.
  • References: Please provide the names and contact details of two academic references. Where applicable one of these references may be from your current employer. References should be completed on letter headed paper and uploaded on to your application.

Standard application deadlines

  • International applications (non-EU): 22 July 2016 
  • UK and EU applications: 26 August 2016

Classes start September 2016 and you may be expected to attend induction sessions the week before.

Apply now