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Advancing Practice in an AHP Specialism - Allied Health Professionals

The School of Health Sciences aims to provide quality advanced education for Allied Health Professionals to enhance their skills in client care.

The School of Health Sciences aims to provide quality education for both the current and future NHS workforce thereby improving the experience for people and their families who may now, and in the future, require help from Allied Health Professionals (AHPs).

We provide programmes of study and research opportunities by a diversity of means such as modules delivered in a short course and conference format and distance learning. This course offers Continual Professional Development (CPD) for AHPs thereby advancing allied health practice for the benefit of patients.

The School’s innovative and highly reputable CPD provision responds to the needs of all stages of the UK and Ireland’s AHP career frameworks. Our postgraduate programme enables AHPs to focus on their chosen specialism (diagnostic radiography, occupational therapy, physiotherapy, podiatry, speech and language therapy, therapeutic radiography).

The content of the course is directly relevant to AHPs working in an ever-developing workforce. The material is produced and delivered by teaching staff, national and international experts in the subject areas.

The master's programme has been produced with clearly identified, efficient, processes for applicants to engage with short courses, and to facilitate students to move on to award programmes, using flexible but clear module opportunities to build up to the Postgraduate Certificate/Postgraduate Diploma/Master's awards.

This course is designed to enable students to undertake a Postgraduate Certificate/Diploma/MSc: a student initially registers for a Postgraduate Certificate and on completion of this may either exit with the award or progress to Diploma level. On completion of the Diploma they may choose to exit or transfer to the Master's level. Please also note that there are compulsory modules associated with the Postgraduate Diploma and Master's and that awards should normally be completed within 5 years.

Modules may also be taken as stand alone i.e. without registration for an award.

Entry requirements

Entry conditions

We recognise a range of qualifications for admission to our courses. In addition to the specific entry conditions for this course you must also meet the University’s General Entrance Requirements. For general entrance requirements go to:

Entry Requirements

Applicants must:

(a)(i) Have a second class Honours degree or better in an Allied Health Profession subject from a university of the United Kingdom or the Republic of Ireland, from the Council for National Academic Awards, the National Council for Educational Awards, the Higher Education and Training Awards Council, or from an institution of another country which has been recognised as being of an equivalent standard; or

(ii) Have an equivalent standard in a Postgraduate Certificate, Graduate Diploma, Graduate Certificate or an approved alternative qualification; and

(iii) Where applicable be eligible for registration with the Health and Care Professions Council.

(iv) Where applicable have continued employment in an area relevant to the chosen modules.

(v) Have a minimum of one year's post-qualification experience (excluding course attendance).

(b) Provide evidence of competence in written and spoken English (GCSE grade C or equivalent) and for non-native English speakers, IELTS 7.0 (with no contributing band at less than 6.5) or, as an alternative to (a) (i) or (a) (ii) and/or (b):

(c) In exceptional circumstances, where an individual has substantial and significant experiential learning, a portfolio of written evidence demonstrating the meeting of graduate qualities (including subject-specific outcomes, as determined by the Course Committee) may be considered as an alternative entrance route. Evidence used to demonstrate graduate qualities may not be used for exemption against modules within the programme.

English Language Requirements

English language requirements for international applicants
The minimum requirement for this course is Academic IELTS 7.0 with no band score less than 6.5.

Ulster recognises a number of other English language tests and comparable IELTS equivalent scores.

Exemptions and transferability

Previous experiential learning or certificated learning may be eligible for exemption of modules/credit points within the Postgraduate Certificate, Diploma and Master's. Advice should be sought from the course director.


The part-time MSc programme is normally six semesters completed over 2-4 academic years. However students may opt to exit with a Postgraduate Certificate (60 credit points) after 1-2 years or a Postgraduate Diploma (120 points) after 2-3 years. In order to facilitate student attendance many of the modules involve on average 3-6 days attendance per module, these may be delivered in one block or in two shorter blocks of attendance during the semester. Some modules may require longer attendance due to professional body requirements and/or HCPC regulations. Each module coordinator will be able to advise on the expected attendance. Several modules are taught through the online environment and where these modules do not require attendance, students are expected to regularly participate in the online learning environment.

Careers or further progression

Career options
Participation in the postgraduate framework may enhance the opportunities for AHPs within the health service and beyond. The development of the programme was as a direct consequence of the need for profession-specific and interdisciplinary modules to facilitate AHPs in their career progression.

Participation in the postgraduate activity will provide the development opportunity for AHPs to progress to doctoral level activity.

Further enquiries

Course Director:​ Dr John Cathcart
T: +44 (0)28 9036 8192

Faculty contact regarding admissions and application process:
Mrs Julie Nesbitt
T: +44 (0)28 9036 6029

Attendance only:
Mrs Maria Keenan
T: +44 (0)28 9036 8167

Subjects taught

Compulsory modules and course
Project (60 points)

Postgraduate Diploma
Additional 60 credit points

To exit with Diploma:
Two compulsory modules (15 points each) - Improving my service and research evidence for health science

If progressing on to MSc level:
Must also take preparation for research (15 points) in addition to those above

Postgraduate Certificate
Free selection of modules from course list up to 60 credit points.

Assessment method

Teaching and learning assessment

This is carrried out through a variety of methods and will depend on the individual module studied.

Learning is both classroom based and online via discussion boards, blogs, video conferencing and podcasts.

Methods of assessment include case studies, class tests, computer based assessments, log books, practicals, online tasks and reflective accounts.

Enrolment and start dates

Start dates: September 2017 & January 2018

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