MSc Advanced Leadership for Professional Practice (Social Work) / Course details

Year of entry: 2022

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Course description

Our MSc Advanced Leadership for Professional Practice course gives registered nurses the knowledge and skills they need to enhance their practice and prepare for leadership roles.

The course is aimed at social workers registered with a relevant professional, statutory or equivalent regulatory body. You will study content that reflects professional, UK-wide government and international benchmarks for advanced level practice in health and social care, enhancing your suitability for revalidation.

This includes contemporary knowledge and skills in clinical and direct care practice, leadership and collaborative practice, improving quality and developing practice, and developing self and others.

You will learn how to develop efficient and ethical ways of working that offer a better quality of life and care by placing service users and carers at the centre of decision-making and service redesign.

Special features

Flexible learning

Study this course full-time over one year or part-time for a maximum of five years depending on your other commitments.

Interdisciplinary learning

Learn from - and alongside - professionals from various fields of health and social care practice.  

Tailor your course

Choose from a range of course units to suit your own interests, with social work-specific units on topics including leadership and managing change.

Teaching and learning

We use a range of teaching and learning methods, including face-to-face, blended and online learning.

The course focuses on an active learning approach and is designed to prompt the discovery, processing and application of knowledge through collaboration and cooperation.

You will draw on your own experiences - both academic and work-based - when learning. The course will promote the construction of understanding through task-related activities and reflection.

We have extensive experience and good practice in online learning, with dedicated e-learning technologists to support you and our staff in making the most of the e-learning platform.

This course does not have a practice placement element.

Find out more by visiting the postgraduate teaching and learning page.

Coursework and assessment

You can undertake standalone units as short courses for professional development purposes, or build up a selection of optional and compulsory course units to complete a PGCert or PGDip academic award and, on completion of a dissertation unit, an MSc.

The dissertation unit enables you to consolidate your learning by completing a piece of work from a range of options:

  • research grant proposal;
  • full or adapted systematic review;
  • report-based dissertation including:
    • public health report/health needs
    • service development/organisational change audit;
    • evaluation of service delivery/policy.
We use a range of assessments throughout the course to assess your knowledge and understanding and to develop your intellectual and practical skills.

Course unit details

You can study individual units as standalone short courses or build up units of study towards a PGCert or PGDip award, and undertake a dissertation to complete the MSc award. See the CPD units page for more information.

Postgraduate Certificate (PGCert) (60 credits)

You will initially develop your specialist knowledge and clinical practice relating to social work, particularly in relation to leadership and management.

Recognising your key role in practice, these clinically-focused units of study will enable you to enhance practice and service delivery.

  • 45 credits can be undertaken from a variety of optional course units to best suit your professional specialism.
  • 15 credits will comprise one core unit on Leadership in Professional Practice

Postgraduate Diploma (PGDip) (120 credits)

You will further explore and develop advanced clinical practice in social work by selecting further optional units from the portfolio of units available.

  • PGCert - 60 credits including compulsory course unit Leadership in Professional Practice


  • 15 credits can be undertaken from a variety of optional course units to best suit your professional specialism and
  • 45 credits comprising two compulsory course units Advanced Evidence Based Practice & Leadership (30 credits) and Developing Practice and Managing Change (15 credits).

Master of Science (MSc) (180 credits)

After successfully completing the 120 credits for the PGDip, you may be eligible to undertake a dissertation the options below:

  • full or adapted systematic review;
  • report-based dissertation.

Course unit list

The course unit details given below are subject to change, and are the latest example of the curriculum available on this course of study.

TitleCodeCredit ratingMandatory/optional
Advanced Evidence Based Practice & Leadership NURS60045 30 Mandatory
Developing Practice and Managing Change NURS60141 15 Mandatory
Leadership in Professional Practice NURS63332 15 Mandatory
Foundation in Cancer Care NURS60033 15 Optional
Principles and Practice of Breast Care Nursing NURS60035 30 Optional
Promoting Effective Practice in Supportive and Palliative Care NURS60036 15 Optional
Advanced Decision Making in Professional Practice NURS60055 15 Optional
Independent studies NURS60360 15 Optional
Pain Management NURS61192 15 Optional
Academic Accreditation of Continued Professional Development (CPD) NURS61450 15 Optional
Physical Health Promotion and Well-being in People with Psychosis NURS63130 15 Optional
Principles of Haematology Oncology NURS63160 15 Optional
Dementia: A Person Centred Approach NURS63570 15 Optional
Concepts of Ophthalmic Nursing L7 NURS63600 15 Optional
Enhancing Competence in the Infection Prevention & Control Professional NURS63690 15 Optional
Infection Prevention & Control in Clinical Practice (L7) NURS63850 15 Optional
Renal Nursing NURS63960 15 Optional
Adult Safeguarding Level 7 NURS64100 15 Optional
Reflective Teaching and Learning in Practice NURS67801 15 Optional
Principles and Practice of Burn Care NURS69971 15 Optional
Burns Rehabilitation NURS69972 15 Optional
Displaying 10 of 21 course units

Course collaborators

Some course units are delivered in partnership with the Christie NHS Foundation Trust and the Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust , which are both National Centres of Excellence.


The University of Manchester offers extensive library and online services to help you get the most out of your studies.

Disability support

Practical support and advice for current students and applicants is available from the Disability Advisory and Support Service .

CPD opportunities

You can take individual units from this course as standalone courses for continuing professional development (CPD). See the nursing, midwifery and social work CPD page for further information.