MSc Nursing (Adult) Post-registration

Nursing offers exciting career progression opportunities for qualified nurses with the necessary skills and experience. The University of Bolton's MSc Nursing (Adult) Post-registration degree enhances your existing knowledge and develops your professional practice so you can move forward in your nursing career or pursue doctoral study.

Nursing (Adult) Post-registration

Key information



Mode of Study:



36 months


University of Bolton

Start date:


Course Details

The University of Bolton's MSc Nursing (Adult) Post-registration degree is ideal if you're a qualified nurse wishing to build on your existing knowledge, experience and skills. By studying for this master's degree, you can become a critically reflective, creative, and socially conscious evidence-based practitioner. Whether you're already registered with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) or are an international qualified nurse seeking NMC registration, this postgraduate programme will support you in achieving your goals.

Developed in consultation with our partner NHS Trusts, this level 7 nursing degree focuses on developing your critical understanding of the profession. It drives you to analyse and improve your work. You'll explore systematic methods for evaluating and implementing new techniques and technologies and learn effective ways to combine your practice experience with the latest knowledge. We'll support you in becoming a forward-thinking practitioner who integrates evidence-based advances into your practice. This degree will also build your leadership skills, preparing you for day-to-day team leadership and the challenge of leading colleagues in implementing practice enhancements to improve patient care.

With help from our dedicated team, you can gain the in-demand skills and knowledge necessary to progress your career in health and social care practice or clinical research while experiencing life at our supportive, student-focused, multicultural campus. Your studies will be based at the University, increasing your knowledge of theory and practical expertise in a way that complements and enhances your prior academic and practice-based learning. Through structured professional development planning, we'll support you in tailoring your studies to meet your personal goals and career development needs.

The core elements of this flexible programme focus on developing your critical thinking, research and leadership skills. It also offers a wide range of specialist option modules covering topics such as end-of-life care, clinical skills in adult and child nursing, perioperative care in anaesthetics and surgery, community nursing, care of the frail adult, minor injuries, bereavement and loss, safeguarding and social care nursing. (This list is not exhaustive and will continue to grow as our school introduces additional modules in specialist areas.)

Our expert team will guide you in identifying and developing a suitable topic for your dissertation. This major project comprises one-third of your programme and may centre on theory or practice. You'll research and critically evaluate a contemporary health and social care issue, suggesting improvements and showcasing your advanced learning and skills.

If you hold an international nursing qualification, this course can support you in achieving professional registration with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) via the Test of Competence (ToC). You can choose an option module designed to prepare you for the NMC OSCE for international nurses and benefit from additional support to enhance your numeracy skills. The NMC OSCE and CBT examinations are offered at external testing centres and incur separate charges. Please note that the course is designed to prepare you for the OSCE – registering with the NMC is not part of the programme.

  • Our dedicated academics have a wealth of experience working in NHS settings and are engaged in relevant research, bringing their expertise and passion for service excellence to their teaching.
  • Qualified healthcare practitioners contribute to many of the modules and are invited as guest speakers so that you have the opportunity to learn from their first-hand examples of current practice.
  • Our expert team deliver teaching across the University's sites, which includes the modern state-of-the-art facilities clinical simulation suites across the campus. Depending on your choice of option modules, you may study in one or more of our well-equipped clinical skills suites.
  • We take a blended learning approach using a range of different teaching and learning methods, including lectures, seminars, problem/enquiry-based learning, e-learning, and peer learning and assessment. Clinical skills and simulated learning are also key elements of some modules.
Key Features
  • You can study at our town-centre campus in the heart of Bolton, benefiting from our strong strategic partnerships with local NHS trusts, private health providers and social care organisations.
  • We've been offering high-quality courses specifically designed to meet the needs of the health and social care sector for over 30 years.
  • As you study this course, we'll help you build employability and lifelong learning skills so that you can take ownership of your professional development for the future, maximising your potential for success.
  • While enrolled on the course, you can access the wide range of academic, career and pastoral support services available through the University and Students' Union, covering areas such as study and research skills, digital literacy, employability workshops, and mental health and wellbeing resources.
  • We recognise and value prior learning and experience. You may apply for exemptions if you've recently completed professional development modules at level HE7 that significantly overlap with the optional modules we offer as part of this course.
  • By choosing to study with us, you'll have the chance to enjoy Bolton's many shops, bars, restaurants and leisure facilities. Nearby Manchester is one of the UK's most multicultural and lively cities, and the Northwest of England is renowned for its beautiful countryside, coastline, and heritage.
Professional recognition

If you hold an international nursing qualification, the University of Bolton's MSc Nursing (Adult) Post-registration course is specifically designed to support you if you aim to achieve professional registration with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) via the Test of Competence (ToC). The NMC is the UK regulator for nursing and midwifery professions.

You can choose an option module that focuses on preparing you for the NMC OSCE for international nurses. Our experienced team will explain the process, detailing the skills, knowledge, values and behaviours the NMC requires. You'll undertake a simulated version of the OSCE (a mock exam) so that when you successfully complete this degree, you'll be ready to apply to the NMC and take the formal OSCE at an approved test centre. While you study with us, you'll also have access to additional numeracy support to help you prepare for the online CBT element of the ToC.

Please note that the NMC ToC is not part of this course and will incur additional charges. For details, please visit the NMC's Test of Competence web page at

While we have specifically designed this master's degree with the NMC ToC in mind and promise to prepare you to the best of our ability, the University of Bolton is unable to guarantee that you will achieve all the elements of ToC after completing the qualification. The ToC assessments are external and beyond our control.

  • You’re normally expected to have at least an upper second-class honours degree (2.1) (or equivalent) in nursing.
  • Qualifications gained outside England and Wales will be assessed on an individual basis according to guidance from the NMC and the University's International Office.
  • You'll be asked to attend an interview if your application is successfully short-listed (the interview may be online if you reside overseas).
  • You'll also be required to provide a portfolio of evidence demonstrating your professional practice.
  • If English isn’t your first language, you’ll also need IELTS 7.0 with normally no less than 6.5 in any band (or equivalent). We also accept a range of other English language qualifications – please visit our English Language Requirements web page for more details.
  • The University of Bolton recognises prior learning, whether gained through academic credit and qualifications or through your professional and employment experience. Previous learning may be used towards meeting the entry requirements for this programme or for exemption from part of this programme. It is your responsibility to make a claim for recognition of prior learning, and each claim will be considered in accordance with the University’s policy and regulations for the recognition of prior learning.
  • You'll need to ascertain if you're eligible for a student loan via Student Finance England or will need to be able to self-fund.

Where changes are made to material information contained in this course description or a decision is taken to suspend a course between the offer of admissions and enrolment, we will inform applicants at the earliest possible opportunity and will outline the various options available to the applicant.

On successfully completing the University of Bolton's post-registration adult nursing master's degree, you'll possess the knowledge and skills you need to advance your career in nursing, adopt new technologies and approaches in health care and take on team leadership responsibilities. You'll also be well-prepared to work in clinical research, combining nursing practice with academic research and pursue doctoral study in the future.

As a graduate of this qualification, you'll be able to synthesise practice and theory in decision-making for practice, service delivery and leadership. You'll also be able to demonstrate competence, autonomy and professional accountability in the development of higher-level skills. You'll be ready to use your skills to enhance service delivery and outcomes for service users.

We'll support you to become a professional who can independently access information and use the information to critically assess, evaluate and disseminate the evidence base for nursing care. The course develops problem-solving skills and prepares you to take a leadership role in the nursing context.

What can I do with this qualification?

The context of health and social care nursing practice, both within and outside of the NHS, is constantly changing and offers opportunities for career development and innovative approaches to service provision. This course can support your progression towards becoming a nursing leader for the future.

As a graduate, you'll likely work in the NHS. However, you'll also be able to apply your knowledge and skills in a wide range of private health and social care roles. The opportunities available to you will depend on your prior experience and the option modules you chose as part of this master's degree, but are likely to include roles such as NHS clinical nurse manager or practice education facilitator. You could also consider careers in advanced clinical practice, public health, or government.

Our students can become engaged in a range of research projects that focus on advancing nursing knowledge, skills and expertise and improving health outcomes for patients and families. Such experience may fuel your ambition to continue your studies and gain a professional doctorate or PhD.

Alternative career options

Graduates can use this qualification as a stepping-stone into many other careers. Some of these roles may require relevant experience and/or postgraduate study. Possible areas include:

  • Health service management
  • Policy research
  • Public health
  • Armed forces
  • Secondary schools
  • FE and HE teaching and education
  • Clinical research
  • Health promotion
  • Occupational health
  • Overseas aid and development
  • Prisons
  • Universities
  • Holiday companies
  • Voluntary organisations

Course fees

Important note regarding tuition fees for the 2023-2024 academic year: EU nationals who meet residency requirements (have settled or pre-settled status) may be eligible for 'Home' fee status. If you do not meet these residency requirements, overseas fees will apply. Irish citizens living in the UK or Ireland will be eligible for 'Home' fee status under the Common Travel Area arrangement. Please read the student finance for EU students web page on for information.

The fees for a student's course of study will be set for the normal duration of that course subject only to inflationary increases – measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI) recorded in March each year to take effect for subsequent start dates.


Click here for more information on our Master's Bursaries.

For details of how to apply for this course, please choose your status from the options below:

You may apply directly to the University using the University's online application form. Please select your chosen start date from the list below:

You should have to hand:

  • Details of the educational establishments you attended and dates

  • Your certificates for the qualifications you are using to gain entry to the course – you will need to enter the completion date and upload copies

  • Details of any employment history including name, address, dates and role

  • Personal statement – this can be either input into the relevant field or uploaded separately

  • Details including e-mail addresses of two referees, at least one of which should be someone who can provide an academic reference

Please make sure any documents you wish to upload in support of your application are in pdf or jpeg format. Personal statements may be word documents.

Please ensure your data is correct at each stage of the application before you proceed to the next page. If you use the back button at any time during the application, you should check the validity of the data you have already input.

If you experience difficulties during the application process, contact the Admissions Team on 01204 903394 or

International applications are not possible for this course

As an international student you are not allowed to study this course because of the restrictions on your visa.

We offer a wide range of full-time courses in lots of different subjects, many of our courses start in September and January. If you would like to see what courses are available please visit our Course Search.

Our students' learning needs and preferred learning styles vary, so we use a blended learning approach, including online (where appropriate). Importantly, throughout the course, we'll guide and encourage you to draw on your practice experience while studying theory and consider how you could apply the theory you've learned to your practice.

Lectures introduce the core course content, while seminars, presentations and discussion groups allow you to explore subjects in greater detail. Small group and one-to-one tutorials offer space to ask questions, ensuring you understand your study topics. We use simulations delivered by tutors, case studies, practical scenarios and workshops to help you learn to apply academic theory to real-life practical scenarios, allowing you to gain insights into contemporary practice in working health and social care environments.

You'll also need to undertake a significant amount of personal study, including general background reading, preparing for seminar activities, working on assignments, revising for examinations, and engaging with virtual learning environments (VLE) and e-learning packages. To help support your learning, the University also offers additional study skills sessions, such as essay writing, library skills and electronic searching, and numeracy.

We use a range of assessment methods, including essays, reports, presentations, portfolios, set exercises via multiple choice questions, objective structured clinical examinations (OSCEs), traditional examinations and, in clinical modules, assessment of practice in simulated clinical environments. These contribute to your final module mark and demonstrate that you have met the learning outcomes.

We also use other assessment forms to help you learn, provide feedback, and inform your development. These do not, however, count towards your final module mark.

The programme comprises 180 credits at level HE7. There are three core modules: two worth 20 credits each and one worth 60 credits (the dissertation). The remaining 80 credits are achieved by successfully completing option modules from a range available in consultation and agreement with the programme leader.


The modules listed below may be a mixture of compulsory and optional. You may not have the opportunity to study all the modules shown as part of the course.

  • Professional Practice Research Project
  • Developing critical analytical skills for professional practice
  • Contemporary Nurse Leadership
  • The Complexities of the UK Health and Social Care Environment
Assessment methods
LevelAssesment method
Level oneCoursework 100%
Learning activities
LevelLearning activity
Level oneGuided independent study 76%, Scheduled learning and teaching activities 24%


The university will use all reasonable endeavours to deliver your course as described in its published material and the programme specification for the academic year in which you begin your course. The university considers changes to courses very carefully and the university will minimise any changes. Please be aware that our courses are subject to review on an ongoing basis and changes may be necessary due to legitimate staffing, financial, regulatory and academic reasons. The content of course modules and mode of associated assessments may be updated on an annual basis. This is to ensure that all modules are up-to-date and responsive to employment and sector needs. The published course material and the programme specification contain indicative ‘optional modules’ that may be subject to change due to circumstances outside of our control. For this reason, we cannot guarantee to run any specific optional module.

Meet the team

The academic staff detailed above teach across a range of courses in this subject area and may not teach on this course specifically.

Programme Contacts

Nursing and Midwifery Team
University of Bolton

Rizwana Adia
Admissions Tutor

+44 (0)1204 903313

Enquiry Team
University of Bolton

+44 (0)1204 903903

Related courses

MSc Nursing (Adult) Post-registration

Mode of study
18 Months

University of Bolton


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Help Centre

We have the answers to your questions, find all the advice and support in one place.

Part of the University of Bolton Group

Bolton college
Alliance learning
Anderton centre2
QQA Scheme Participant