Key Facts

Course Title: Rheumatology Practice
Course type: MSc, Postgraduate Diploma
Mode of Study:Part Time
Contact Details:Course Administration Office
Website: Go to School homepage
Faculty: Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences
Subject Area: Nursing


Over the last decade there has been a major increase in the number of healthcare professionals engaged in specialist roles within rheumatology. This development has seen an expansion in the clinical skills used by such practitioners within the rheumatology field. Many rheumatology practitioners at a specialist/advanced level undertake patient assessment clinics, drug surveillance and counselling clinics and are involved in patient and multidisciplinary education programmes. Not surprisingly, these health professionals often express a desire to extend their knowledge base to complement their clinical skills.

This exciting and contemporary programme places clinical advancement within a theoretical framework, with the objectives of enhancing professional capabilities, individual development, and influencing rheumatology care provision. The programme promotes concepts of professionalism, reflective learning and evidence based practice in the field of rheumatology.

This programme will enable you as an experienced clinical nurse or allied health professionals to manage the on-going care of people with rheumatoid arthritis and other musculoskeletal conditions. The programme will develop your clinical knowledge and skills in musculoskeletal examination, psychological and social aspects of care, drug therapy, clinical leadership and enable you to challenge existing practice and engage in research to develop the discipline of rheumatology practice.

Course participants will already be experienced practitioners in the field of rheumatology. The course will encourage an analytical and questioning approach to the care of people with rheumatoid disorders. It will lead students to evaluate their current role and adopt evidence-based practice.

Aims of the Course

The overall aim of the MSc in Rheumatology Practice is to facilitate the development of the skills, knowledge and attitudes relevant to advanced practice in rheumatology. This will include the engagement of rheumatology practitioners in aspects of drug therapy, clinical assessment, psychosocial issues and appraisal of research so that they may be able to analyse, reflect on and evaluate clinical practice in these areas, and enhance their own professional capabilities. At the same time the aim is to equip these practitioners with the necessary skills to appraise and evaluate research, and to design and undertake their own research projects. The course’s aims and objectives are closely aligned to national developments in the rheumatology specialism, which should prove attractive to NHS Trusts who are seeking high quality courses for practitioners to be sponsored to attend.

Entry Requirements

Potential/prospective students will normally:

  • Hold current first level Professional Registration with a relevant regulatory body
  • Significant experience of the routine management of patients with rheumatological disorders
  • Have either a degree (at least second-class honours) or an equivalent professional qualification and appropriate experience
  • Undertake an interview

Course Content




Module 1

NUR-40039 An Introduction to Clinical Effectiveness

15 Credits

Module 2

NUR-40044 Physical Assessment in Rheumatological Practice (1) 

15 Credits

Module 3

NUR-40064 Drug Therapy in Rheumatological Practice

30 credits




Module 4

NUR-40040 - Psychological and Social Aspects of Care

15 Credits


Module 5

NUR-40042 Clinical Leadership

15 Credits


Module 6

NUR-40038 Physical Assessment in Rheumatological Practice (2)


Principles and Practice of Joint and Soft Tissue Injection

15 Credits

Module 7

NUR-40043 Research for Health Practitioners

15 Credits




Module 8

NUR-40019 – Research Dissertation

60 Credits

Teaching and Assessment

The MSc Rheumatology Practice is delivered as a part-time mode of study and you can choose whether you want to progress through the Postgraduate Certificate to the MSc over a maximum of five years. The modules can also be undertaken on an individual basis if you are looking to develop your knowledge and skills in specific clinical areas such as drug therapy or physical examination.

As we attract both national and international students the programme runs over a number of short intensive blocks. This pattern of learning is compatible with maintaining a busy clinical role. The course has been endorsed by the British Health Professionals in Rheumatology.

This course is delivered at the Clinical Education Centre and Staffordshire Rheumatology Centre at the Haywood Hospital in Stoke. Courses will be taught through a mixture of lectures, interactive tutorials, problem-based learning, workshops, formal presentations and guided study. Written handout and visual aids will be used throughout the course.

Course preparation and study for assessment requirements will be made explicit throughout.

Additional Costs

Apart from additional costs for text books, inter-library loans and potential overdue library fines we do not anticipate any additional costs for this postgraduate programme.