Course structureNurse Training

The course is normally conducted part-time over a three year period by online distance learning starting in September of each year. Each academic year consists of 30 study weeks and is split into two semesters lasting 15 study weeks each.

For the first 2 years you will complete 4 units a year, 2 units will run concurrently each semester. There are some compulsory units which are integral to the course and you are also given some optional units. In the 3rd and final year you will complete an individual systematic literature review project supported by University staff and written up as a dissertation worth 60 credits.

Please see a full list below of the units available on this masters course.

PLEASE NOTE: The units that form part of the Masters in Advanced Nursing Studies can also be studied as stand alone units.  Visit the individual module pages below to find out more.


Masters Level Study Skills (SNM651)

This unit is designed for those who are new to working at master’s level in the health sciences, providing an introduction to the nursing and midwifery master’s programmes, online learning and the skills needed to work effectively at master’s level. Key master’s level skills are addressed around communication, collaborative working, critical appreciation of evidence, utilising library resources, literature searching, Harvard referencing, plagiarism, reflective practice and incident analysis. The skills learned or honed during this unit will prove invaluable in safely negotiating future units taken at master’s level.

Legal and Professional Issues in Healthcare (SNM633)

This unit aims to provide an introduction to the philosophical underpinnings of ethics and their potential for resolving ethical issues in health care. Emphasis is placed on understanding the ethical, legal and professional context within which nurses and midwives practice. These ideas are explored through consideration of topics that highlight some of the ethical difficulties facing nurses in practice, such as how to address the needs of vulnerable people in a healthcare system, the concepts of rights and responsibilities, professional advocacy, professional discipline and fitness to practice and organisational ethics. Consideration of these topics will allow you to develop your understanding of the ethical issues involved in these areas and your ability reason ethically and rationally when faced with complex and difficult ethical dilemmas and choices that are common in modern health care and contemporary nursing practice.

Evidence Based Practice (SNM660)

This unit is designed to enable students to consider sources of knowledge that impact on health and social care practice. The nature of evidence, hierarchy of evidence, and the process of evidence based practice will be explored. The students will critically explore, develop and apply the skills for searching, retrieval, appraisal, utilization, dissemination and implementation of evidence.

Research Methods (SNM663)

This unit will introduce students to the purpose and principles of qualitative and quantitative research together with its application to relevant areas of practice. The meanings of research terminology will be explored and methodological techniques and practices associated with data collection and analysis will be examined. Students will explore the ethical and social implications of planning and undertaking research. They will develop the knowledge and skills needed to critically appraise, and effectively evaluate, the quality of research and its contribution to the subject-specific knowledge base.


Health Promotion and Education (SNM609)

This unit aims to enable practitioners to critically appraise their role in health education and promotion by analysing the theoretical and conceptual aspects of health promotion and relating this to their practice. It enables nurses and midwives to explore the health promotion and education aspect of their clinical practice. It looks at the theoretical base for health promotion and analyses the models and concepts of health promotion and education - including individual, social and population level activity. It also enables students to explore the related sociological and psychological elements of health behaviour and critically assess the manner in which these may be applied to individual clients or specific target groups. The impact of health policy and epidemiology upon health promotion and education is also critically explored.

Leadership and Change Management (SNM639)

Healthcare professionals who wish to see their service environment advancing and developing need to become familiar with the key concepts of leadership and change management. This unit offers the opportunity to critically evaluate and reflect upon change survival and growth utilising life and work experiences to demonstrate self-awareness and synergy. It also enables an exploration of the underpinning knowledge and skills relating to leadership and teamwork and considers how empowerment, personal influence and collaborative practice affect the patient/client experience.

Education and Teaching for Health Care Professionals (SNM661)

This unit aims to facilitate comprehensive understanding and advanced students knowledge about teaching and learning ideologies and process specifically in relation to health care environment. Various learners styles, teaching strategies, assessment and evaluation, issue related to curriculum development and delivery in different contexts will be explored. Quality and governance issues and the procedures necessary for review and application in the educational context will be explored.

Optional units – students will take one from the following 


Dissertation (SNM6930)

This unit gives students an opportunity to undertake a systematic literature review. The research topic must be relevant to the scope of the course and must be realistically achievable within the time and resources available. Students are encouraged to work up a concept based on an area of particular interest and/or relevance to themselves. The subject and methodological approach will be agreed between each individual student and their tutor(s) and will normally be based on those worked up in the preceding Research Design and Application unit. The completed work will be written up in the form of a dissertation.