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Nursing Studies MSc / Nursing Studies (Top-up) MSc

Study for your Nursing Studies MSc on this innovative course for degree-level nurses offering a flexible pathway towards a masters degree
September 2024
2-3 (max 5) years part-time
£63 per credit (UK) *
Course leader
Alison Harris

Why choose Nursing Studies MSc/Nursing Studies (Top-up) MSc at Middlesex?

This is an innovative course suitable for any degree-level practising nurse who wishes to follow a flexible modular pathway towards a master's degree.

Course highlights:

  • Individualised study pathway based on pre-accreditation, tailored to current and future development needs

It is possible to accredit or recognise prior learning RPL.

What you will gain

For registered nurses, we offer two alternative routes to achieving a master's award:

  • MSc Nursing Studies
  • MSc Nursing Studies (Top-up).

Our work-based learning modules make the masters highly relevant to the organisation you work for.

It will enable you to demonstrate mastery in nursing-related skills and knowledge so that you can contribute to enhanced professional nursing practice and service development. We will help you develop a critical understanding and use of advanced research skills.

3 great reasons to pick this course

  • Ranked 2nd in London
    For Nursing and Midwifery – The Guardian University Rankings, 2022
  • Postgraduate success
    90% of our nursing students have been in graduate level employment six months after graduation
  • Excellent reputation
    Top 2 university in the UK – Times Higher Education, Young Universities,  2022

Find out more

Sign up now to receive more information about studying at Middlesex University London.

About your course

The MSc Nursing Studies offers you the option to develop expertise in your chosen field, and its flexibility allows you to choose the most appropriate modules from our CPD portfolio.

A module gained from another HEI may be accredited following a discussion with the course leader. Practice-based modules will allow you to make a difference to your patient groups and service through the acquisition of new skills, evaluation of service initiatives, and your own personal development.


  • Modules

    • Leadership for Public and Community Services (15 credits)

      The module aims to critically develop the student’s knowledge and skills to enable them to work effectively within the context of leadership and service development within the workplace. Students will be facilitated to develop and enhance their own leadership role within their chosen profession, and to critically explore and evaluate their own leadership style.

    • Health Promotion: Targets and Evidence (15 credits)

      This module will explore the latest evidence and Government targets for maintaining healthy communities and supporting the public health agenda.

    • Service Development and Quality Improvement (15 credits)

      This module aims to provide managers and practitioners with the opportunity to explore legislation and policy directions in public and community services. There will be a focus on the impact of the practitioner’s role in leading the development of services in a way that gives high importance to quality enhancing.

    • Principles of Advanced Practice (15 credits)

      The module aims to enable students to critically examine the concept of advanced practice and to apply their skills to advancing nursing practice in their own practice.

    • Leadership for Public and Community Services (15 credits)

      The module aims to critically develop the student’s knowledge and skills to enable them to work effectively within the context of leadership and service development within the workplace. Students will be facilitated to develop and enhance their own leadership role within their chosen profession, and to critically explore and evaluate their own leadership style.

    • Essentials of Advanced Nursing Practice (15 credits)

      The module aims to enable students to critically examine the concept of advanced practice and to apply their skills to advancing nursing practice in their own practice.

    • Social Research Methods (30 credits)

      The purpose of this module is to familiarise level 7 students with major approaches to social research; develop skills in designing a research proposal; enhance their skills in qualitative and quantitative methods; enhance their critical appreciation of research; and ensure students are able to apply relevant approaches and methods to their own research project or extended literature review at masters level.

    • Negotiated Work Based Learning Project (60 credits)

      This module aims to provide you with the opportunity to undertake a ‘professional learning and development project’ that is designed to plan how you will improve your own professional practice and understanding. You will reflect on and critically analyse your professional development and learning needs and action plan how these can be developed both through your Masters programme and beyond.

    • Advanced Practitioner Inquiry (30 credits)

      This module will develop your skills in research and inquiry methodologies in order to design a work based project that has the potential to improve practice. It will explore approaches to practitioner inquiry methods appropriate for your area of practice and enable critical reflection upon your role.

    • Physical assessment (30 credits)

      The aim of this module is to enable the experienced practitioner to develop the skills of physical assessment in order to apply this to their clinical area. It enables the student to undertake an autonomous assessment to start to plan appropriate care or referral for their patients. It provides the experienced practitioner with a more advanced knowledge base, communication skills and clinical examination to increase confidence and aid with patient care decisions.

    • Independent and Supplementary Non-Medical Prescribing (45 credits)

      This module is designed to support practitioners in developing the evidence based knowledge and skills required for undertaking safe, appropriate and cost effective independent and supplementary prescribing roles. This will be within the context of current legislation and local and national policy. An emphasis will be placed on a team and public health approach to prescribing decisions and practice. The module aims to build on the students existing knowledge base and physical assessment skills and further enhance autonomous practice. This module leads to a NMC recordable qualification.

  • Core modules

    • Advanced Work Based Project (60 credits)

      This module is a culmination of your Masters study and provides the opportunity to synthesise professional and academic learning. It will support you to undertake a substantial work based project that is designed to develop your own professional practice and address a practice, organisational or service issue that you have already identified in your workplace or professional field. Building on your understanding of advanced practitioner inquiry methodologies, you will be encouraged to consider improvement and leadership strategies to support the successful management of your project with the potential to deliver real outcomes that can transform practice.

    • Advanced Practitioner Inquiry (30 credits)

      This module is designed to develop your understanding of a range of advanced inquiry and research methodologies appropriate for practitioners, in order to design a real work based project or practice development activity that has clear objectives related to your own professional development or the development of practice in your setting. you will be expected to focus on specific service, organisational or practice related issues and take initiative and leadership. It will explore approaches to advanced practitioner inquiry and innovative research methods appropriate for your area of practice. It will enable critical reflection upon your position as a ‘practitioner or insider researcher’ and the ethical implications that could arise during the project.

  • Or choose the following:

    • Developing Research Capability (60 credits)

      This aims of this module are:

      1. To engage you in scholarly enquiry to develop a critical understanding of social science research.
      2. For you to develop research capability through formulating and implementing a proposal for research related to your field of practice.

More information about this course

See the course specification for more information about typical course content outside of the coronavirus outbreak:

Optional modules are usually available at levels 6 and 7, although optional modules are not offered on every course. Where optional modules are available, you will be asked to make your choice during the previous academic year. If we have insufficient numbers of students interested in an optional module, or there are staffing changes which affect the teaching, it may not be offered. If an optional module will not run, we will advise you after the module selection period when numbers are confirmed, or at the earliest time that the programme team make the decision not to run the module, and help you choose an alternative module.

You will be actively involved in a range of learning, teaching and assessment approaches as part of postgraduate degree. Teaching methods will include classroom and online lectures, face-to-face and online seminars, workshops and  tutorials. Such active approaches aim to put you at the centre of your learning so you are involved and engaged in all aspects of your assessment and learning. Your programme will be facilitated using a variety of media and online tools such as UniHub, podcasts and wikis. You will have flexible access to a diverse range of online resources, quizzes and learning materials as well as collaborative tools with which you can engage and learn with your peers.

One of the central tenants of post-graduate learning is to be able to take an active role in your own learning. For every day timetables study day it is expected that you undertake a further 4 hours of study.

Coursework and assessments

Your progress on the modules is assessed using written assessments, online tests, OSCEs and written exams


Feedback will be given to you verbally, in writing and through your formative assessments.

  1. UK
  2. How to apply

The fees below refer to the 2021/22 academic year unless otherwise stated.

UK students*

Part-time students: £63 per credit
Part-time students: TBC per dissertation credit

*Course fees are subject to annual inflation so the total costs for part-time study are shown here as a guide

For more information and to answer your frequently asked questions, please visit our postgraduate funding page.


Some of our students have their course fees covered by CPPD contracts between NHS trusts and Middlesex University.

Alternatively, other students pay their own fees or are sponsored by their employer (but not under a CPPD contract). Please view our dedicated fee page for more information.

Please note that for MSc award part-time students, the 60 credit dissertation module (and only that module) is priced at £32 per credit.

Additional costs

You will be asked, by the Nursing & Midwifery Council (NMC), to pay for the non-medical prescribing recordable qualification. We ask that you do not buy any text books before discussing it with the course leader as all texts on the reading lists are available from the library.

We cover your costs for the day-to-day things that you need to do well in your studies.

  • Free – laptop loans, Wi-Fi and printing
  • Free specialist software for your course.

Financial support

We offer lots of support to help you with fees and living costs. Check out our guide to student life on a budget and find out more about postgraduate funding.

Postgraduate scholarships

You may be eligible for one of our scholarships including:

  • The Alumni Postgraduate Award – for all UK/EU Middlesex alumni a 20% fee reduction
  • The Commonwealth Scholarship – full course fees, airfares and a living allowance
  • The Chevening Scholarship – full course fees
  • The European Academic Awards – £1000 to £7000 for students showing academic excellence
  • Regional or International Merit Award –up to £2,000 towards course fees

Find out more about our postgraduate scholarships.

Fees disclaimers

1. UK fees: The university reserves the right to increase postgraduate tuition fees in line with changes to legislation, regulation and any government guidance or decisions. The tuition fees for part-time UK study are subject to annual review and we reserve the right to increase the fees each academic year by no more than the level of inflation.

2. International fees: Tuition fees are subject to annual review and we reserve the right to increase the fees each academic year by no more than the level of inflation.

Any annual increase in tuition fees as provided for above will be notified to students at the earliest opportunity in advance of the academic year to which any applicable inflationary rise may apply.

How can the Nursing Studies MSc support your career?

Our university's postgraduate courses have been recognised for their ability to support your career.

Following completion of the MSc, you will be perfectly placed for a wide variety of enhanced career opportunities.

Graduates of the MSc have taken up roles as specialist nurses, started up new clinics, implemented new ways of managing patients (based on their research findings) and assumed senior roles.

You might also wish to explore your options in research or academia, or even complete further study at doctoral level.


MDXworks, our employability service, will help you make the most of your experience and connections to achieve your career goals. You'll have unlimited access to one-to-one advice and support from specialists in your sector plus 24/7 online support. You can also make the most of events and networking opportunities, on and off campus.

Our dedicated lifetime career support, like our business start-up support programme and funding for entrepreneurs, has been recognised with the following awards:

  • The top 20 UK universities for business leaders and entrepreneurs – Business Money, 2023
  • A top 10 university for producing CEOs – Novuana, 2023.

Global alumni network

You’ll be studying with students from 122 countries who’ll become part of your personal global network. You'll learn how to work with a global mindset and make invaluable connections on your course for your chosen industry.

The Sheppard Library

Our library is open 24 hours a day during the term and includes:

  • Over 1,000 study areas with rooms for group study and over 600 computer spaces
  • 350,000 books and e-books and more than 24,000 online journals
  • Free laptop loans, Wi-Fi and printing.

Student support

We offer lots of support to help you while you're studying including financial advice, wellbeing, mental health and disability support.

Additional needs

We'll support you if you have additional needs such as sensory impairment or dyslexia. And if you want to find out whether Middlesex is the right place for you before you apply, get in touch with our Disability and Dyslexia team.


Our specialist teams will support your mental health. We have free individual counselling sessions, workshops, support groups and useful guides.

Work while you study

Our Middlesex Unitemps branch will help you find work that fits around uni and your other commitments. We have hundreds of student jobs on campus that pay the London Living Wage and above. Visit the Middlesex Unitemps page.

Financial support

You can apply for scholarships and bursaries and our MDX Student Starter Kit to help with up to £1,000 of goods, including a new laptop or iPad.

We have also reduced the costs of studying with free laptop loans, free learning resources and discounts to save money on everyday things. Check out our guide to student life on a budget.

Alison Harris
Senior Lecturer - Primary Care

Alison Harris has had an expansive career in nursing and education that began at the Royal London Hospital in 1983. Since then her various nursing roles have included a specialist haematology unit at St George’s Hospital in South London and an academic neurology unit in Edinburgh.

After further study to gain a specialist practice community qualification, Alison practiced in North London first as a district nursing sister and then a bladder and bowel specialist nurse. Alison developed a role, held at that time by just one other specialist nurse in England, where both children and adults with bladder and bowel dysfunction received a specialist service from a multi-professional team. Applying evidence-based, innovative and highly individualised treatment plans some children who had continence difficulties as part of their profound learning disability would achieve continence and the ensuing dignity and personal fulfilment of their potential that this could bring. Alison went on to assist in the establishment of an academic continence centre at University College London, supporting the move to take continence care into the undergraduate medicine curriculum.

While at UCL Alison became a lecturer practitioner in bladder and bowel care, developing and delivering post-qualified modules to health care staff studying at Middlesex University. At this time Alison was elected to serve on the Association of Continence Advice, a charity for professionals working in the field of bladder and bowel care. Alison was website officer and editor of the quarterly journal.

In 2001 Alison was amongst the first wave of nurses to prescribe. Now within her current permanent role as senior lecturer at Middlesex University Alison lectures on bladder and bowel care, diabetes and non-medical prescribing for nurses and is programme lead for the MSc Nursing Studies. With a strong interest in culturally compassionate care, the themes of cultural awareness, sensitivity and safety run through all her teachings.

Alison has thirty-seven years of experience as a nurse and an educator. She has been a contributing writer for books, has published articles and lectures extensively on nursing issues. It is anticipated that a 2nd edition of her co-edited book on pharmacology for non-medical prescribers will be published later this year. Academically, Alison earned her bachelors from Middlesex University, looking at the continence care challenges of children with learning difficulties. Her masters, also from Middlesex University, researched the cultural compatibility and sensitivity of nurses working with a diverse population in inner London trusts.


Scholefield D, Sebti A, Harris A. (Editors). (2015). Pharmacological Case Studies for Non-Medical Prescribers.

We’ll carefully manage any future changes to courses, or the support and other services available to you, if these are necessary because of things like changes to government health and safety advice, or any changes to the law.

Any decisions will be taken in line with both external advice and the University’s Regulations which include information on this.

Our priority will always be to maintain academic standards and quality so that your learning outcomes are not affected by any adjustments that we may have to make.

At all times we’ll aim to keep you well informed of how we may need to respond to changing circumstances, and about support that we’ll provide to you.

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