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MSc/PgDip/PgCert Advanced Practice (Neonatal)

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University of Salford
Health and Social care Faculty
Contact Provider
University of Salford, Salford, M6 6PU, Greater Manchester, United Kingdom

  • A part-time clinically based course that provides nurse practitioners and midwives with advanced knowledge and skill in caring for sick, high-dependent or critically ill neonates and their families
  • Empowers you to become an innovator who will lead neonatal care
  • The clinical component of the neonatal course is delivered by consultants in speciality and experienced neonatal nurse practitioners

If you would like to help shape the future of neonatal nursing then this may be the course for you. Through a mix of academic study and clinical practice, we aim to produce competent practioners who will make a real difference.

Our modules will expose you to a range of approaches and processes of conducting and appraising research as well as providing you with the necessary skills and knowledge that will help you develop within an inter-professional framework.

  • Critically analyse and implement measures to meet cultural, sociological, physiological and behavioural needs of the neonate and the needs of the family
  • Critically determine and provide expert clinical management skills to the sick newborn infant
  • Assimilate and systematically apply knowledge of the relevant physiology and pathophysiology of specific systems into the specialist care of the neonate
  • Evaluate and facilitate the diagnostic and therapeutic requirements of infants with chronic and acute medical and surgical conditions

Course Content

The course provides the opportunity to complete a PgCert, Pg Dip or the full Masters qualification as follows:

  • PgCert – 12 months to 2 years (60 credits)
  • PgDip – 18 months to 3 years (120 credits)
  • MSc – 2 to 5 years (180 credits)

Neonatal Practice A (30 credits):

This module advances your academic and clinical development to provide the appropriate diagnostic and therapeutic management to the neonate requiring special and neonatal intensive care and includes:

  • Holistic care of the neonate and family to encompass diverse cultural and ethnic needs
  • Cardiovascular physiology: Transition and adaptation from fetal to adult circulation
  • Management of infants with cardiovascular pathology and adjunctive therapies
  • Management of infants in respiratory pathology and adjunctive therapies
  • Related neonatal surgery
  • Assessment and examination of the newborn
  • Emergency intervention in a range of clinical situations
  • Resuscitation, airway management
  • Stabilisation of the sick infant prior to transport

Neonatal Practice B (30 credits):

This module will further advance your academic and clinical development and includes:

  • Renal physiology and fluid balance
  • Renal pathology and altered fluid and electrolyte balance
  • Management of renal disease, acute renal failure
  • Basic genetic and cell biology
  • Congenital abnormality and management, antenatal/neonatal Screening, the dysmorphic infant
  • Immunology, infection, early/late onset, common neonatal infections management
  • Nutrition and metabolism, normal and altered, hypoglycaemia, jaundice, liver metabolism, liver failure

Contextualising Advanced Practice (30 credits):

Using a work based learning approach, this module provides a framework for you to consolidate your advanced practice and critically reflect on your development and includes:

  • Strategies for knowledge and skill acquisition
  • Local health issues
  • The wider health care setting
  • Professional/role issues

Research Methods (30 credits):

This module helps you develop a rigorous approach to research and prepares you for undertaking the Dissertation module and includes:

  • Contemporary issues and debates in research
  • Theories/paradigms of research
  • Ethics of, and in, research
  • Reviewing literature and the critical analysis of existing research
  • Developing a research question/hypothesis
  • Designing appropriate research
  • Role and function of the pilot study
  • Developing a research proposal
  • Access and sampling
  • Methods of data collection
  • Analysis and interpretation of data
  • Fundamentals of frequently used statistical tests
  • Uses and application of ICT
  • Dissemination and publication of research

Application of Advanced Practice – Dissertation (60 credits):

This module provides you with the experience of carrying out a systematic and structured piece of research/scholarly enquiry and develops your critical and evaluative research skills in relation to your own professional practice and organisational setting. The dissertation can be:

  • A structured/comprehensive, systematic review of evidence on a particular topic concluding with a robust critical analysis of implications for implementation in professional practice
  • A research proposal (or protocol) suitable for submission for funding that includes a critical review of relevant research literature, identifies a problem/topic or issue amenable to investigation, and outline a research design including pilot work (if appropriate) and costing projections
  • A project related to the area of professional practice, negotiated with the supervisor

Non Medical Prescribing

Although it does not form part of the Advanced Practice course, there is also the opportunity to undertake Non Medical Prescribing as a stand-alone module at both Level 3 and Masters Level.


We offer students different ways of demonstrating their learning achievements. These take the form of reflective scenarios (theoretical audit), assignments, portfolio development, clinical competence assessments and viva voce.

For the neonatal modules, Clinical Supervisors (neonatologists and paediatricians) will be responsible for assessment of clinical competencies following an initial self-assessment by the student. Module leaders will also be closely involved in this process.

What you can expect from Salford

You’ll find us on the Allerton Campus of the University which includes the Mary Seacole Building, a brand new development with state-of-the-art clinical practice wards, lecture theatres and offices, providing some the most up-to-date facilities in the UK.

Our programmes are delivered by teams of dynamic and supportive staff who are committed to helping you move professional practice forward. We have a strong tradition of working closely with healthcare organisations and this ensures this course will meet your needs.

Many of our staff are active in research and the Faculty is home to a vibrant and friendly Research Institute that explores a wide range of health and social care issues.

Virtual Learning

You will get additional support through Blackboard, our Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). It can be accessed by registered users from anywhere in the world by using the Internet and provides a range of possibilities, including:

  • The delivery of course materials, such as handbooks, lecture handouts, slides and web links which can be accessed easily by students both on and off campus
  • The use of discussion boards that allows discussion between staff, students and others
  • Online exchanges between staff, students and others who can be logged into a virtual classroom
  • Taking online assessments with automatic marking and feedback facilities

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