Postgraduate Taught

Person-Centred Practice (Advanced Forensic Nursing Practice) - PgCert

This course is for NMC registered nurses who are looking to move into the area of forensics. It supports the development of advanced forensic practitioners who, as registered nurses, will carry out forensic examinations, gather evidence to support criminal investigations and court cases, while providing trauma informed and person-centred care. 

This course is the first to take a person-centred and trauma informed based approach to this area of health and social care in Scotland.

It is delivered part-time and part of our Person-Centred Practice Framework.

Why QMU? 

  • Unique: This is the first postgraduate advanced forensic practice course in Scotland.
  • Contemporary, creative and interactive learning approaches: The learning environment will generate anethos of engagement where students can explore and challenge theories, practices and different sources of knowledge creatively in an atmosphere of high challenge and high support.
  • Staff expertise and support: You will be taught by a team of academic staff.
  • Our reputation: We have a reputation at QMU for innovative curriculum design, being supportive and responsive to learners and extensive online resources.
  • Relevance: Our conceptualization of person-centredness is consistent with the WHO Framework of ‘people-centred healthcare’.

Person-Centred Practice (Advanced Forensic Nursing Practice) - PgCert: More information and what you will achieve

The course aims to enable practitioners working in a variety of contexts to advance deep and critical understandings of different sources of knowledge including research evidence that contribute to the health and wellbeing of individuals, families, communities and populations, in ways that are consistent with trauma informed person-centredness.

Students will undertake professional competencies for their specific area of practice, achieving these through assessment of clinical practice to achieve Advanced Standards for Education and Training in Forensic Practice competencies (Custody) or (Sexual Assault Examination) and be eligible for the UKAFN ASET Certificate (UKAFN 2020).

How will I be taught?

Structure and exit awards

This is a PgCert (60 credits) and you will also obtain Advanced Standards for Education and Training in Forensic Practice competencies (Custody) or (Sexual Assault Examination) and Eligibility for the UKAFN ASET Certificate (UKAFN 2020). 

You can also register as an associate student to complete a single module for CPD. On completion of a single module, you may wish to complete further modules and progress your studies to a named award.Available. Contact Alison Bacigalupo, Programme Administrator, for more information on single module study.

Teaching, learning and assessment

Our teaching, learning and assessment strategy is framed by our core philosophical concepts of personhood, person-centredness, human valuing, healthful relations, human potential and development, and supportive and enabling environments. Central to this strategy is the need for students to engage in the learning experiences, a readiness to listen and explore, preparedness to be open to experiences and a resolve to keep going. This environment will generate a culture of engagement where students can explore and challenge theories, practices and different sources of knowledge creatively in an atmosphere of high challenge and high support.

Students will be supported to challenge their thinking, values and beliefs, through the posing of complex activities and questions, and develop resilient and sustainable approaches to their learning and practice in response to these. Critical to this process is the use of diverse knowledge, scholarly inquiry processes and evidence-informed materials to engage and enliven the processes of learning.

Assessment strategies will encourage application to practice. This will be achieved through the use of varied strategies that draw on the student’s own areas of practice such as portfolio development, practice proposals, annotated bibliographies, simulation events, seminar presentations and self-determined contextual assignment topics. Lecturer, peer and self-assessment, including within virtual environments (eg HUB@QMU), will be an important component of approaches to formative and summative assessment.

The unique individual contributions of students to the learning situation are an important learning resource. Sharing of knowledge by participants from diverse professional perspectives throughout the course aims to focus and extend experience and understanding of different areas of practice and of postgraduate level study.

For students undertaking the PgCert Person-Centred Practice (Advanced Forensic Practice) and to achieve the UKAFN ASET competencies, each student will identify an approved preceptor from practice (PP) who can support and sign off competencies as supported by the CMO and Rape Task Force from Scottish Government, and the Deans of Sexual Offences Medicine from NHS Education Scotland. It is the learner’s responsibility to identify an appropriately qualified and updated PP who meets the UKAFN criteria for appropriate practice assessor/preceptor.

Teaching hours and attendance

Your attendance requirements at QMU will depend on the module you are studying. There is a mix of online and face-to-face teaching. The course is part-time and time commitment for the taught content of the will be 12 days, and initially this will start online.

Class sizes

Class sizes vary.

Teaching staff

You can read more about the teaching staff on this course at the bottom of this page. Please note that teaching staff is subject to change.


  • Introduction to Forensic Science (20 credits)
  • Professional Legal Skills for Non-Lawyers in Advanced Forensic Practice (20 credits)
  • Advanced Forensic Clinical Practice (Custody) or (Sexual Assault) (20 credits)
  • An Overarching Portfolio of Learning (non-credit bearing)

NB The modules listed above are correct at time of posting (October 2022) but are subject to change. Please check the website for any updates.

Career opportunities

Graduates will be able to take up advanced specialist practice and leadership roles within their specialist field of practice.

Person-Centred Practice (Advanced Forensic Nursing Practice) - PgCert: Entry requirements and application information

Entry requirements

To apply, you will be a registered nurse with the Nursing & Midwifery Council (NMC).

Standard entry is normally a degree and you will need access to practice learning environment, written support from your line manager and Preceptor.

International: You will be required to provide evidence of English language competence at no less than IELTS 6.5 with no individual component score less than

Applying for this course

For more information on applying, or to apply for this course, please follow the links in the 'Start your application' box at the top right of this page.

Application deadline


Terms and Conditions

The delivery of this course is subject to the terms and conditions set out in our 2023/24 Entry - Terms and Conditions (Postgraduate).

Become your best you: study at QMU