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

Learn about the course below
September 2023
January 2024
2-3 (max 5) years part-time
£63 per credit (UK) *
Course leader
Alison Harris

Why study MSc Nursing Studies at Middlesex University?

This master's degree is an innovative programme suitable for any degree-level practising nurse who wishes to follow a flexible modular pathway towards a masters 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
  • Work-based modules form the core modules making the masters highly applicable to the organisation you work in.
  • Enables you to demonstrate mastery in nursing-related skills and knowledge in order to contribute to enhanced professional nursing practice and service development
  • Facilitates your acquisition of critical understanding and use of advanced research skills
  • As a student of this course you'll receive a free electronic textbook for every module.

Find out more

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

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

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

What will you study on the MSc Nursing Studies?

The MSc Nursing Studies is a part-time programme. It consists of 180 credits including two core modules (90 credits) and 90 credits of optional modules to complete the programme.

The MSc Nursing Studies is studied part-time; a list of modules available to you is available on the University CPD website.

The two core modules of the MSc Nursing Studies are:

  • WBH 4630 Advanced Practitioner Inquiry (30 credits)
  • WBH 4760 Work Based Learning Project (60 credits)

Optional modules may include:

  • NSA 4900 Independent and Supplementary Non-Medical Prescribing
  • NSA 4902 Community Practitioner Nurse or Midwife Prescribing
  • NSA 4502 Physical Assessment and Diagnostics
  • NSA 4501 Critical Care Nursing
  • NSA 4637/4638 Contraception and Sexual Health
  • NSA 4100 Leadership for Public and Community Services
  • NSA 4200 Quality Enhancement
  • NSA 4504 Minor Illness Module

A programme planning meeting with the programme leader will be arranged prior to choosing your modules. This meeting will allow you to focus on the specific modules you wish to study and to discuss any Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL).

What will you study on the MSc Nursing Studies (Top-up)?

If you are a registered nurse and already have a Postgraduate Diploma in a health related subject, you could apply for the MSc Nursing Studies (Top-up) course.

This route allows you to accredit a PGDip and consists of a single combined research methods / dissertation module, NSA 4050 Developing Research Capability (60 credits).

Core Modules

  • 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.

We are regularly reviewing and updating our programmes to ensure you have the best learning experience. We are taking what we have learnt during the pandemic and enhancing our teaching methods with new and innovative ways of learning.

We aim to model a wide range of teaching strategies and approaches on the course which you can adapt to your own setting.

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.


Assessments will vary depending on modules chosen.

  1. UK
  2. How to apply
  1. UK
  2. Additional costs

How can the MSc Nursing Studies support your career?

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

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

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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