Taught course

Professional Practice

University of Essex · School of Health and Social Care

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Entry requirements

  • A relevant professional qualification – e.g. Nursing, AHP, Social Worker etc so registered with NMC or HCPC
  • A minimum of 2 years post qualification experience
  • A good first degree in a relevant subject or relevant professional experience and qualifications that demonstrate ability to study at level 7
  • Currently employed in a relevant field of practice – e.g. in health or social care setting - NHS, local authority, education, community or third sector etc

Months of entry


Course content

Choose to study in a way that suits you best. Our MA Professional Practice is a pathway degree that can be studied on a modular basis at either our Colchester or Southend campus. You develop your knowledge and skills in various areas across the sector to help you build your expertise and progress in your career. With input from practitioners across a variety of backgrounds, you gain insight into a wide range of areas including public and private health and social care settings and community/voluntary sectors. You can do this on a full-time basis over one year, or on a part-time basis over up to six years.

There are three routes offered; Professional Practice, Professional Practice for Leadership and Professional Practice for Education. All three routes engage students in the professional development required for higher level practice, leadership and/or education roles.

In the Professional Practice route you will complete advanced level analysis, professional or clinical reasoning around cases, therapeutic or other interventions and aspect or sequence of service delivery within your context.

The Leadership route will focus on encouraging professionalism with the confidence and ability to utilise critical and reflective abilities to deal with the complex issues both systematically and creatively, drawing sound judgements and conclusions.

In the Education route you will learn to act autonomously in planning and implementing educational developments at professional levels, based on a sound understanding of, and insight into current theories.

You explore the following core topics across every route:

  • Professional practice reasoning and decision making
  • Analysis of current debates and challenges
  • Reflection on every organisational practice

Studying in our School of Health and Social Care offers you the opportunity to work directly with academics who also work for local NHS organisations and other local agencies. Their experience ensures that the department has a strong grasp of the contemporary links between academic research, and the major issues of the day and practice.

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • MA
    full time
    12 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details

Postgraduate Admissions