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MSc in Advancing Healthcare Practice

This MSc course is designed to equip you with the knowledge, understanding and skills which will enable you to contribute to the advancement of healthcare. To achieve this qualification, you will need to successfully complete three 60-credit modules, Leading healthcare improvements (K827), Researching and evaluating healthcare practice (K828) and Transforming professional practice (K829).

In K827, you will investigate the theory and practice of healthcare improvement, exploring what healthcare improvement means and how it can be achieved through change agency, collaboration and partnership and the field of improvement science. You will develop leadership skills in relation to policy, innovation and service improvement. 

In K828, you will develop your knowledge, skills and understanding of using research and evidence-based practice to support service improvements in relation to advancing healthcare practice. Research skills are considered an important part of advancing healthcare practice, so within K828 you will pay particular attention to the conception, design and conduct of research that has significance and benefit in the practice setting.

In the final module, K829, you will build on the knowledge, understanding and skills developed through your study of the two previous module to undertake a project that focuses on a service or system improvement based on the needs and the priorities of your health related practice area. This module will provide opportunities to conduct a project that is of immediate and clear benefit to stakeholders in healthcare.

You will consult with practice colleagues locally and make strategic recommendations for change, which draw both upon evidence and a careful analysis of experience. You will be taught how to disseminate your discoveries to others and be introduced to ways in which your improved practice might be shared more widely.

Masters degree

Course code


  • Credits measure the student workload required for the successful completion of a module or qualification.
  • One credit represents about 10 hours of study over the duration of the course.
  • You are awarded credits after you have successfully completed a module.
  • For example, if you study a 60-credit module and successfully pass it, you will be awarded 60 credits.
How long it takes
3–8 years
Read more about how long it takes
Study method
Distance learning
Find out more in Why the OU?
Course cost
See Fees and funding
Entry requirements

Find out more about entry requirements.

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Course details


For this 180-credit masters degree you require:

180 credits from the following compulsory modules:

Postgraduate compulsory modules Credits Next start
Leading healthcare improvements (K827)

This module will help you develop leadership skills in relation to healthcare improvements, innovation and policy.

See full description

60 03 Oct 2015
Researching and evaluating healthcare practice (K828)

This module assists you to play a leading role in healthcare improvements through an appreciation of healthcare quality, research, evidence evaluation and skill analysis.

See full description

60 03 Oct 2015
Transforming professional practice (K829)

You will undertake a guided enquiry into advanced healthcare practice enabling you to demonstrate your scholarship and to make recommendations for improvement in your healthcare context.

See full description

60 03 Oct 2015

The modules quoted in this description are currently available for study. However, as we review the curriculum on a regular basis, the exact selection may change over time.

Learning outcomes, teaching and assessment

The learning outcomes of this qualification are described in four areas:

  • Knowledge and understanding
  • Cognitive skills
  • Practical and professional skills
  • Key skills
Read more detailed information about the learning outcomes, and how they are acquired through teaching, learning and assessment methods.

Credit transfer

If you have already completed some successful study at postgraduate level at another institution you may be able to transfer credit for this study and count it towards this Open University qualification. If you wish to apply to transfer credit you must do so as soon as possible as it may affect your choice of OU modules. If you are awarded credit for study completed elsewhere, you may find that you need to study fewer OU modules to complete your qualification with us.

Visit our Credit Transfer site for more information and details of how to apply for credit transfer.

On completion

On successful completion of the required modules you can be awarded an MSc in Advancing Healthcare Practice, entitling you to use the letters MSc Adv HCP (Open) after your name. You will have the opportunity of being presented at a degree ceremony.


As a student of The Open University, you should be aware of the content of the following regulations:

These regulations are also available on our Essential Documents website.

Entry requirements

It is a requirement that you have:

  • a degree (FHEQ Level 6 / SCQF Level 9) conferred by a UK university or other recognised degree-awarding body
  • access to a setting related to healthcare

You must complete this qualification within eight years.

You should note that the University’s unique study rule applies to this qualification. This means that you must include at least 60 credits from OU modules that have not been counted in any other OU qualification that has previously been awarded to you.

Career relevance

This is a UK qualification with international relevance that will be of interest to professionals working in a wide range of healthcare related areas who are seeking to improve practice. Whilst the qualification does not lead to a professional registration it is of relevance to a diverse range of employment roles and careers within or related to the field of healthcare improvement. This qualification has strong links to developing and supporting career planning and employability skills. 

There is more information about how OU study can improve your employability in the OU’s Employability Statement from our Careers Advisory Service. You can also read or download our publication OU study and your career and look at our subject pages to find out about career opportunities.