2024/25 entry

MSc Advanced Healthcare Practice (Critical Care)

Start date(s):
Study mode:
Course duration:
3 years

Tuition fees

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0151 231 5090
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About this course

Developed in response to the current Advanced Health Care Practice agenda, this well-established Advanced Healthcare programme enables you to specialise in your area of expertise.

Combining academic and practical content, LJMU's Advanced Healthcare Practice MSc is ideal for those working towards or already in an advanced practice role.

  • Study on this flexible and innovative programme
  • Two routes available: Clinical and Critical Care
  • Explore your specialist area of practice with this non-prescriptive, multi-professional framework
  • Choose from over 15 different modules
  • Benefit from the knowledge of experienced nurse clinicians
  • Enjoy theoretical and practical sessions in state-of-the-art learning facilities

The programme is tailored to meet the development needs of healthcare professionals, creating the kind of highly-skilled practitioners required by a modern, dependable, world-class NHS.

This multi-professional, flexible and innovative programme is taught by current and former nurse clinicians who offer students invaluable practical insight as well as advanced theoretical knowledge. The curriculum also benefits from the input of three professors with specialist knowledge of Accident and Emergency, bowel cancer and anaesthetics.

To keep abreast of health care requirements, tutors regularly network with key stakeholders to identify specific educational needs in the workforce and develop additional, appropriate modules for the framework.

Fees and funding

There are many ways to fund postgraduate study for home and international students


The fees quoted at the top of this page cover registration, tuition, supervision, assessment and examinations as well as:

  • library membership with access to printed, multimedia and digital resources
  • access to programme-appropriate software
  • library and student IT support
  • free on-campus wifi via eduroam

Additional costs

Although not all of the following are compulsory/relevant, you should keep in mind the costs of:

  • accommodation and living expenditure
  • books (should you wish to have your own copies)
  • printing, photocopying and stationery
  • PC/laptop (should you prefer to purchase your own for independent study and online learning activities)
  • mobile phone/tablet (to access online services)
  • field trips (travel and activity costs)
  • placements (travel expenses and living costs)
  • student visas (international students only)
  • study abroad opportunities (travel costs, accommodation, visas and immunisations)
  • academic conferences (travel costs)
  • professional-body membership
  • graduation (gown hire etc)


There are many ways to fund postgraduate study for home and international students. From loans to International Scholarships and subject-specific funding, you’ll find all of the information you need on our specialist postgraduate funding pages.

Please be aware that the UK’s departure from the EU may affect your tuition fees. Learn more about your fee status and which tuition fees are relevant to you.


Further your career prospects

LJMU has an excellent employability record with 96% (HESA 2018) of our postgraduates in work or further study six months after graduation. Our applied learning techniques and strong industry connections ensure our students are fully prepared for the workplace on graduation and understand how to apply their knowledge in a real world context.

This Advanced Healthcare Practice programme is applicable to many different healthcare professionals, with most students going on to enjoy successful careers in advanced practice roles. Nurses, paramedics, occupational therapists, pharmacists, physiotherapists, radiographers and more study on the course.

On graduation, you will be equipped to work as: a Consultant in community, secondary care and private sector settings e.g. Nurse/Paramedic Consultants or an Advanced Practitioner in specified health disciplines.

The student experience

Discover life as a postgraduate student at LJMU.

Course modules

Discover the building blocks of your programme

This course is currently undergoing its scheduled programme review, which may impact the advertised modules. Programme review is a standard part of the University’s approach to quality assurance and enhancement, enabling us to ensure that our courses remain up to date and maintain their high standard and relevancy.

Once the review is completed, this course website page will be updated to reflect any approved changes to the advertised course. These approved changes will also be communicated to those who apply for the course to ensure they wish to proceed with their application.

Your programme is made up of a number of core modules which are part of the course framework. Some programmes also have optional modules that can be selected to enhance your learning in certain areas and many feature a dissertation, extended report or research project to demonstrate your advanced learning.

Critical Care Pathway students take the following modules:

  • Advanced Health Care Practice
  • Clinical Examination
  • Clinical decision making
  • Research Methodology, Methods and Data Analysis
  • Dissertation
  • Advancing the Critical Care practice

Core modules

Clinical Examination
10 credits

This module is designed for experienced healthcare practitioners who are currently involved in developing their skills in clinical examination.

60 credits

The dissertation module offers you an opportunity to explore, in depth, an area of personal or professional interest that relates to their programme of study. In doing this, you will expand your research skills and apply what you have learned in the earlier modules to their research project.

Clinical Decision Making - Advancing Practice
20 credits

This innovative module will equip you with the knowledge and understanding of the processes involved in clinical decision making which places patients and service users at the centre of care.

Advancing the Critical Care Practitioner
30 credits

This is a Core module on the Critical Care route only. It is also available as an Option module on the Clinical route.

This programme has a practice assessment document that has a pass/fail element that will be part of the assessment component.

Research Methodology, Methods and Data Analysis
30 credits

This module aims to develop your research skills in the field of health and social care practice. It also enables you to systematically evaluate research outcomes from a variety of sources. The module:

  • provides a critical knowledge base of the philosophical foundations of health and social research
  • enables you to develop expertise in qualitative and quantitative data analysis
  • enables you to carry out empirical and literature-based research

Optional Modules

Advanced Health Care Practice
10 credits

This module will enhance your theoretical knowledge of Advanced Healthcare practice.

Ethical and Legal Issues Within Advanced Practice
10 credits

Aimed at those working as registered professionals in a relevant area of practice, this module will build your skills in advanced practice decision making. It will also raise your appreciation of the ethical and legal responsibilities involved in advanced practice decision making.

Pathophysiology Advanced Practice
10 credits

This module, aimed at registered professionals, is relevant to all specialist clinical pathways including mental health.

Congenital Heart Disease
20 credits

This module aims to equip you as a health care professional with a critical understanding of the aetiology, presentation and impact of congenital heart disease on children and their families.

Advancing Leadership for Quality
20 credits

Through active learning this module will enhance your leadership skills and to work effectively in a team.

Cardiac Care – Adult
20 credits

This module will help you to develop your knowledge and skills so that you are able to provide high quality care that is based on sound clinical judgement and robust evidence. It will cover areas including:

  • The evolution of cardiovascular care and the role of evidence
  • Advanced anatomy and physiology of the heart and circulation
  • Physical assessment of the cardiac patient
  • Haemodynamic assessment and intervention
  • Single and 12 lead ECG interpretation
  • Introduction to biochemistry and haematology
  • Cardiac pharmacology and patient concordance
  • Care of the patient post cardiac intervention
  • Managing patients with complex heart failure in the acute setting
  • Advanced life support
  • Promoting healthy behaviour change through cardiac rehabilitation and secondary prevention
  • Supporting patients from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic backgrounds to navigate the healthcare systems
  • Caring for patients who are nearing the end of life and supporting grieving families

Clinical Diagnostics
10 credits

This is an innovative module using formative assessments and the scenario-based approach. This approach lends itself to experienced healthcare professionals and assists in preparing you for your final examination.

Negotiated Work Based Learning
20 credits

This module focuses on putting your theoretical learning into practical use.

Professional Practice in Palliative Care
30 credits

The aim of this module is to enhance knowledge of palliative care practice, promoting high quality care for all those approaching the end of their lives, whatever their condition and whatever their setting.

Independent and Supplementary Prescribing
20 credits

Aimed at healthcare professionals, this module allows you to prescribe, safely, appropriately and cost-effectively as independent and/or supplementary prescribers, in accordance with both legal and the professional requirements of relevant professional bodies (NMC, HPC, RPSGB). It:

  • gives you knowledge to address the specialist educational needs of nurses, pharmacists and allied health professionals working within specialist areas and with specific client groups
  • prepares you to exercise advanced clinical reasoning, critical thinking and creative problem solving with regard to the unique challenges associated with medicines management among infants, children and young people, the elderly and other specific client groups

*Please Note: Students who wish to undertake V300 Independent and Supplementary Non-Medical Prescribing (NMP), as part of the PgDip Specialist Community Practitioner Children's Nursing programme, must have at least one year post registration experience. Students wishing to undertake this module must also be deemed competent by, and obtain permission and support from their employer. All students who wish to undertake V300 Non-Medical Prescribing will have to complete an additional 'North West Non-Medical Prescribing Application form' which will be approved by the prescribing programme team prior to commencement on the NMP programme.

Teaching, learning and assessment in practice
20 credits

This module is designed to enable registered health professionals from a wide range of settings to develop their approaches in advancing teaching learning and assessment in practice.

It will also help you to develop a critically reflective approach to your own development in the application of teaching and learning theory, and apply this to your own practice.

Speech Language Communication and Narrative
20 credits

The course intends to broaden your understanding and application of the use of narrative approaches in health care. It aims to:

  • provide the healthcare practitioner with the knowledge underpinning the use and benefits of a narrative approach to healthcare in both acute and continuing care settings

Fundamentals of coaching for developing health and social care practice
20 credits

This module will help you to:

  • develop a critical understanding of the underlying fundamental theory and principles of coaching within Health and Social Care
  • demonstrate a critically reflexive approach to synthesising coaching theory and principles within the context of practice.


An insight into teaching on your course

Study hours

This part-time course has a strong emphasis on self-guided study. A 10 credit module, for example, involves two hours of timetabled study per week for 15 weeks, backed up by significant independent study focussed on virtual learning resources.

Teaching methods

Advanced Healthcare Practice offers a blended learning approach with staff always looking for new and engaging ways to develop competencies around healthcare roles.

You will learn via key note lectures, case scenarios, workshops, discussions and clinical skills lab simulations.

One innovative aspect of the programme is the integration of service users as part of clinical examination modules. Patient models have proved invaluable in terms of student feedback and improving the realism of scenarios.

LJMU's virtual learning environment further enhances the learning experience and the use of wikis and group blog videos have received very positive feedback. All course lectures and materials are available online.

Applied learning

To maintain our professional relevance and enable you to forge key contacts for the future, we work with local, national and international stakeholders.

Our health and social care contacts include Merseycare NHS Trust, St Helens and Knowsley Hospitals NHS Trust, Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospitals NHS Trust and the North West Ambulance Service. Our education contacts include City of Liverpool College; Alexian Research Centre, Germany; Eindhoven University of Technology, Netherlands; University College Thomas More, Belgium and KPY University, Malaysia.

We also work with charities and community and voluntary groups.


How learning is monitored on your programme

To cater for the wide-ranging content of our courses and the varied learning preferences of our students, we offer a range of assessment methods on each programme.

Assessment methods on this programme include: Objective Structured Clinical Examinations (OSCEs), vivas, written exams, portfolios, reports, reflective pieces, assignments and practical work.

Course tutors

Our staff are committed to the highest standards of teaching and learning

From working as an Advanced Practitioner and having completed the MSc, I understand and appreciate the challenges students may face professionally and academically. It's extremely rewarding to meet the future advanced practice workforce and support and guide them along their MSc journey.

School facilities

What you can expect from your School

Part of the City Campus, the School of Nursing and Allied Health works with a wide range of health and social care organisations to design, deliver and evaluate a dynamic suite of postgraduate programmes. In addition to specialist facilities, you will find high quality meeting and seminar rooms and lecture theatres, the Avril Robarts Library, plus a large cafe, IT facilities and social spaces.

LJMU's excellent educational and professional training facilities include 1.6 million practice suites which show a patient's journey from the home environment through to rehabilitation. We use the latest clinical equipment for simulations and developing clinical skills and have purpose-built, soundproof booths with video camera and playback facilities.

Entry requirements

You will need:

Qualification requirements

Alternative qualifications considered

Nurse Candidates Standard Entry Completed successfully at least level 6 academic work (preferential) Working within a critical care environment (essential) Appropriate post-registration critical care experience (essential) Support from employer (in an appropriate clinical setting)(preferential) Prospective candidates will be required to attend an interview in order to provide evidence to support their application. Pathway advice will be offered to facilitate professional and personal development which best fits both their academic and clinical profile. Students would normally have had a minimum of 3 years post registration experience and would be employed within a clinical environment in the public, private or voluntary sector. They would be in a position, which enables them to influence and advance practice within their working context. Students who wish to undertake 7100NPAPP during the programme must also be registered with either NMC as a Nurse (level 1)/Midwife/SCPHN, with a minimum of 1 years post registration experience in the clinical field in which they are intending to prescribe, OR with HCPC with three years relevant post-qualification experience in the clinical area in which they are intending to prescribe, and working at an advanced practitioner or equivalent level. Confirmation of satisfactory references and DBS checks are also required as well as completion of the NWNMPEG application form.

Application and selection

Securing your place at LJMU

To apply for this programme, you are required to complete an LJMU online application form. You will need to provide details of previous qualifications and a personal statement outlining why you wish to study this programme.

Please contact the Faculty of Education, Health and Community to arrange a meeting/discussion with a Programme Manager about course content and route pathways.
As the modular element of this programme must be tailored to your current work settings and level of qualification, please note that there will be a delay in the turnaround time of your application.

You can email health@ljmu.ac.uk or call 0151 231 5829 for more details.

The University reserves the right to withdraw or make alterations to a course and facilities if necessary; this may be because such changes are deemed to be beneficial to students, are minor in nature and unlikely to impact negatively upon students or become necessary due to circumstances beyond the control of the University. Where this does happen, the University operates a policy of consultation, advice and support to all enrolled students affected by the proposed change to their course or module.

Further information on the terms and conditions of any offer made, our admissions policy and the complaints and appeals process.