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Programme list > Master of Clinical Practice (Nursing)

Master of Clinical Practice (Nursing)


Change to a career in nursing

Massey’s Master of Clinical Practice (Nursing) is a vocationally focused programme that is a postgraduate pathway to becoming a registered nurse.

  • Level

  • Postgraduate, NZQF Level 9
  • Distance learning

  • Available
  • Credits

  • 240
  • Duration

  • 2 year(s) full-time.
  • Other

  • Delivered via on-campus block courses. Incorporates some distance learning. Selected entry programme.

Note: This programme is covered by the COVID-19 Public Health Response (Vaccinations) Amendment Order 2021. Students are required to provide details of their vaccination status on enrolment.

The Master of Clinical Practice (Nursing) operates in collaboration with a range of clinical service providers in home, community and hospital settings. It is an integrated programme of:

  • theoretical health/nursing knowledge
  • applied science
  • clinical experiences.

The Master of Clinical Practice (Nursing) is a similar study programme to the Bachelor of Nursing programme. The main difference is that you will already have an undergraduate degree (as a minimum). You will also already know how to write and research at a tertiary level and can underpin scholarly arguments with evidence. The criteria for all registered nursing education programmes is set by the Nursing Council of New Zealand. That is to ensure that all nursing students meet the requirements to become a registered nurse.

Students in the two-year MCP are required to meet exactly the same criteria as students in the Bachelor of Nursing and you will learn the same nursing specific theory and complete the same number of clinical placement hours. However, as this programme is at master’s level, two of your courses will be at a postgraduate (800) level.

Get real-world experience

You will complete a minimum of 1100 clinical learning hours in a range of clinical settings under the supervision and guidance of a registered nurse. In your last semester, you will have a continuous nine-week placement within a clinical setting. Clinical learning takes place in many different areas including surgical, emergency, medical, mental health and primary care services.

Learn from the best in your field

You’ll learn from academics and professional clinicians who are highly experienced registered nurses. Their expertise in practice and research drives the development of relevant, up-to-date course content, teaching, and assessment of your work.

You’ll be supported all the way

Along with contact with your lecturers, learning consultants in the Centre for Teaching and Learning are available to support your study and academic writing skills. Each library has a subject librarian who supports you on campus or at a distance.

Careers and further study


Nursing is one of the most rewarding careers, as it is focused on supporting people, families and communities to manage a wide range of health challenges. Nurses are involved in all areas of health care and can specialise in particular areas such as intensive care, community mental health, aged care, or child and adolescent nursing. They can also become a specialist in particular conditions, such as diabetes, respiratory care or cancer nursing. Nurses can also choose to develop careers in health management, research and teaching.

Here are a few examples of where you can work:

Primary and community health care

  • general practice
  • Māori health services
  • hospice
  • district nursing
  • community mental health.

Hospital-based care

  • neonatal units
  • medical and surgical wards
  • emergency departments
  • intensive care
  • paediatrics
  • acute mental health services.

Populations-based services

  • public health
  • schools.

Specialty practice

  • mental health
  • aged care
  • child health
  • family health
  • rural and remote nursing.

Further study

As a graduate of the Master of Clinical Practice (Nursing) you can go on to more postgraduate study to become a nurse specialist with prescribing rights or a nurse practitioner. You can also do a PhD in nursing.

Entry requirements

University admission

All students must meet university entrance requirements to be admitted to the University.

Programme admission


This programme is a ‘selected entry’ programme. This means as well as applying you will need to provide additional material as part of your application. 

To enter the Master of Clinical Practice (Nursing) you will:

  • have been awarded or qualified for a bachelor’s degree or equivalent qualification with a grade average of B over the highest two levels of courses.

You will need to provide the following documents. These are to meet the requirements set down by the Nursing Council of New Zealand for registration as a nurse in New Zealand (in terms of your good character and fitness to be a nurse): 

  • a personal supporting statement of about 300 words explaining why you chose the Master of Clinical Practice (Nursing) programme and why you feel you would make a good nurse. List any personal characteristics you have that demonstrate your suitability
  • a curriculum vitae of approximately three pages, which should include your academic and work history
  • provide details of two character referees – these must not be family or friends
  • omplete the vetting service request and consent form for a New Zealand Police check – a criminal record check under the Criminal Records (Clean Slate) Act 2004
  • provide a current police certificate from any overseas countries you have lived in for 12 months or more in the last 10 years
  • complete the Health and Disability Declaration
  • an interview may be required.

Once you have been accepted into the Master of Clinical Practice (Nursing)

Once you are successful at gaining a place in the Master of Clinical Practice (Nursing) programme, you will also need to complete further tasks. These are to meet the requirements set down by the Nursing Council of New Zealand for registration as a nurse in New Zealand (in terms of your good character and fitness to be a nurse). You will need to:

  • fill out a VCA 2014 Questionnaire – Vulnerable Children Act 2014 (VCA 2014)
  • hold a current Comprehensive First Aid Certificate (NZQA unit standards 6402, 6401 and 6400) for example Red Cross Comprehensive First Aid or St John First Aid Level 2 
  • To be eligible for Clinical Placement (which is a compulsory part of the qualification), you must meet the immunisations standards of practice for healthcare professionals in New Zealand. This includes, Hepatitis B, Varicella (Chicken pox), Measles, Pertussis (Whooping cough) and Tuberculosis (TB). You must also be vaccinated against COVID-19 as per the New Zealand Government’s announcement that healthcare workers be vaccinated. We require all Master of Clinical Practice (Nursing) students to be vaccinated prior to commencement of study. Further details will be sent to you after you gain a place in the programme.

Application closing dates

If you are a new-to-Massey student, applications for this programme close on:

  • Semester Two 2022: 11 June 2022.

English language requirements

If English is not your first language you must also supply a copy of your results in an Academic International English Language Testing System (IELTS) test. You must have achieved at least 7.0 across all bands with no band less than 7.0 within the preceding two years.

Other requirements

About referees

Referees need to be able to provide informed responses on your personal suitability for the programme. A referee should be someone who has known you for one year or more in the capacity of employer, educator, work colleague or person of community standing, for example a kaumatua, minister or similar. Your referee should not be a friend, flatmate, relative or someone who has not known you for at least a year. The information your referee supplies is confidential to those involved in the selection process.

Prior learning, credit and exemptions

For information on prior learning, exemptions and transfer of credit or other questions:

If you do not have the entry requirements

English language and foundation courses

If you need help with your English language skills before you start university, we have courses and qualifications that may help.

Courses and planning

Credit summary

240 credits

  • Part One compulsory courses – 120 credits
  • Part Two compulsory courses – 120 credits
  • 1100 hours of approved clinical practice and associated reports

Requires completion of Part One and Two

There are regulations around completion of Part One before progressing to Part Two.

Courses for this programme

Part One

120 credits
168740 Critical Knowledge for Nursing (Bioscience) 15
168742 Fundamental Partnerships I 30
168743 Fundamental Partnerships II 30
168744 Professional Issues 15
168745 E-Health and Technology in Nursing 15
168746 Social Justice and Citizenship 15

Part Two

120 credits
168747 Complex Partnerships I 45
168748 Complex Partnerships II [Transition to Practice] 30
168820 Scholarship for Clinical Practice 15
168821 Leadership in Nursing Practice Project 30

Planning your programme

Planning overview

The Master of Clinical Practice (Nursing) is a parts-based qualification. That means you must complete the first part and meet some requirements, before moving to the second.

If you study full time, you’ll take 120 credits per year or 60 credits per semester.

Part One

The courses in your first semester of study focus on hauora and wellbeing.  It includes 160 clinical hours and introduces the professional requirements for nursing, nursing skills and knowledge, and the regulatory, legal and ethical dimensions of practice.

The courses in your second semester focus on long-term conditions and primary health care. This includes 240 clinical hours and study of the fundamentals of care (evidence-based nursing framework). It also includes a critical evaluation of the desired and unseen effects of technology in nursing. And a critical consideration of our individual and collective response to vulnerable and marginalised populations to lead reduction of health inequity and to promote wellbeing.

Part Two

This section focuses on complex and acute health challenges including caring for people and their whānau experiencing acute distress, illness or trauma across the age continuum. It includes evidence-based practice as a conscientious, problem-solving approach to nursing and 360 hours clinical placement.

The final semester of study focuses on consolidation of nursing knowledge and leadership. This includes 360 hours of continuous clinical practice and supports the student to understand the reality of the novice registered nurse. You will undertake an evidence-based exploration of the potential for change in practice in the clinical environment.

Timeframes of your study

Due to the clinical requirements, the Master of Clinical Practice (Nursing) does not follow the standard Massey University semester calendar. You will be required to do extended semesters, and study break timing will vary from year to year to accommodate the clinical placement dates.

Maximum time limits for completion

There are maximum time limits to complete postgraduate qualifications.  If you do not complete within the maximum time, you may be required to re-apply for the programme if you wish to continue your studies.

Time limits for Honours, Distinction and Merit

Where your qualification is completed within the stated time limit and to a high standard, you may be able to graduate with a class of Honours, Distinction or Merit. 

Professional requirements

Becoming a registered nurse

In order to become a registered nurse, there are requirements from the Nursing Council of New Zealand that you will need to meet, in terms of your good character and fitness to become a registered nurse.

There are requirements both before you start your study and when you successfully complete this programme.

See details in the ‘Entry requirements’ section.

Fees and scholarships

Fees and finance

Fees, student loans and free fees scheme

Your tuition fees may be different depending on the courses you choose. Your exact fees will show once you have chosen your courses.

There will also be some compulsory non-tuition fees and for some courses, there may also be charges for things such as study resources, software, trips and contact workshops.

Already know which courses you're going to choose?

You can view fees for the courses that make up your qualification on the course details pages.

Student loans (StudyLink) and Fees Free scheme

You may be eligible for a student loan to help towards paying your fees.

The New Zealand Government offers fees-free tertiary study for eligible domestic students. Find out more about the scheme and your eligibility on the Fees Free website. To use the site's eligibility checking tool, you will need your National Student Number.

Current and returning Massey students can find their National Student Number in the student portal.

A good fit if you:

  • want to change careers
  • want excitement and challenges in a job where every day is different
  • are passionate about making a difference to the lives of people, communities and populations.

Accreditations and rankings

Nursing Council of New Zealand

Our nursing programmes are nationally and internationally recognised and approved by the Nursing Council of New Zealand. Upon completion you can apply for registration as a registered nurse with the Nursing Council of New Zealand.

QS Ranking Nursing

Massey nursing is ranked in the world's top 150 universities by Quacquarelli Symonds (QS).

ShanghaiRanking - nursing

Massey University is ranked in the top 150 universities in the world and second in New Zealand in the subject area of nursing by the ShanghaiRanking's Global Ranking of Academic Subjects.

Key information for students

Compare qualifications and academic information across different New Zealand institutions.


Review this important information before you apply for this programme. This gives you full details of the rules and regulations about what you need to study and what you must achieve in order to graduate with this qualification. That includes structure, courses and requirements. These regulations should be read in conjunction with all other Statutes and Regulations of the University including the below.

Postgraduate regulations

General Regulations for Postgraduate Degrees, Postgraduate Diplomas and Postgraduate Certificates.

Regulations for this programme

Applying and enrolling

Applying for the programme

Check you are ready

If you are ready to apply, have a look at our application checklist. It will help you get prepared with what you need. Please also check the entry requirements carefully before you apply.

Choose your programme and click on Apply now

You will apply for the programme using the Apply now button on this page. You’ll also choose your specialisation (major, subject or endorsement) if applicable.

Some programmes have additional requirements such as the submission of a portfolio or CV. Click on Apply now and you will be able to submit those documents as part of the application process.

Receive and accept an Admission Offer of Place

You will receive an Admission Offer of Place when you have been accepted into the programme. You need to accept this before you can enrol in your courses. International students also need to pay their fees at this point.

Enrolling in courses

You’ll then get access to your own student homepage (also known as the student portal). This is where you can enrol in courses. Any updates on your application or enrolments will also be on your student homepage. Make sure you check this regularly.

When you choose courses, ensure you check for any requirements that apply including:

  • prerequisites (courses you have to do before the one you are enrolling in)
  • corequisites (courses you have to do at the same time as the one you are enrolling in)
  • restrictions (courses that you cannot enrol in if you are completing or have completed another identified similar course)
  • location – for instance some distance-based courses still have an on-campus element, so double check that the way the course is taught is suitable for your situation.

Each of our courses has its own webpage where you can find this information. You can use our course search to find course pages.

More information on courses is in the ‘Courses for this programme’ section on this page.

You can find information on application due dates and semester dates on the key dates page.

We look forward to welcoming you to Massey!

If you have any questions, contact us through the Enquire button on this page.

What are courses and credits?

What are courses and credits?

Each Massey programme is made up of courses (in some tertiary institutions they are called ‘papers’).

You will have some compulsory courses and some you can choose from.

Each course is worth a certain amount of credits (often 15 credits, but this does vary). You must gain a set number of credits to be able to graduate from this programme.

There may also be some rules about which courses you need to pass to progress to the next year, or stage, of your study (known as progression). There are also courses you must pass to graduate with a specialisation.

  • See the ‘Courses for this programme’ section for the list of courses.
  • Courses search

Understanding course numbers

The first three digits of our course numbers show you which subject the course is about.

The second three digits show you the level and course ID number. For instance:

  • sub-degree courses are '0' (i.e. xxx.0xx)
  • undergraduate study begins at 100-level, (i.e. xxx.1xx)
  • as you progress through 200- and 300-level courses this number changes to 2 and 3 respectively. The higher the number that starts the second three digits, the higher the level of study.
1 6 2 . 3   0 1
Subject area   Level   Course ID number

Workload and time management

Use this tool to help determine how much time you will need each week to complete your studies.

Estimate workload

Returning students

For returning students, there may be changes to the majors and minors available and the courses you need to take. Go to the section called ‘Transitional Provisions’ in the Regulations to find out more.

In some cases the programme or specialisation you enrolled in may no longer be taking new enrolments, so may not appear on these web pages. To find information on the regulations for these programmes go to the Massey University Calendar.

Please contact us through the Enquire button on this page if you have any questions.

Scholarships and awards

There are a number of scholarships available for new and current students. They could relate to your situation, achievement or interest.

Find and apply for scholarships