Community Health Nursing Specialist Practitioner - District Nursing - BSc (Hons) / PgDip

BSc (Hons) - Full Time, Part Time
PgDip - Full Time, Part Time
September 2018

Are you are community nurse? Do you want to progress into work as a Specialist Practitioner? If so, why not take the next step with one of the UK's leading providers of health education and the post-registration educator of the year 2017 (Student Nursing Times Awards)? Our specialist course will provide you with the learning and resources you need to become a clinical leader in your community.

What's covered in the course?

We’ll expand your knowledge, as well as the way you think, helping you to reflect, solve problems and think independently, all of which are essential attributes in this challenging but highly rewarding career.

We take a half theory/half practice approach on this course to ensure you gain important knowledge as well as first-hand experience. There will also be an extended period of practice to allow you to develop your skills by participating in vital management of real-life situations and challenges.

You’ll learn to apply the skills and qualities of a specialist practitioner to meet the needs of clients, communities and purchasers, as well as work in a team, creating strong working partnerships.

You’ll discover how to assess the professional, ethical and legal context of the specialist practitioner role, as well as evaluate sources of information to support the assessment and management of long term conditions, the provision of inter-professional palliative care, and effective and efficient case management.

Why Choose Us?

  • We are one of the largest and most diverse providers of health and social care education in the country.
  • By joining us, you’ll be enrolling with the post-registration educator of the year 2017 (Student Nursing Times Awards) and the region’s largest provider of qualified health and social care professionals to the NHS.
  • You’ll benefit from our partnerships across health and social care providers both within the UK and internationally.
  • You’ll learn in specialist environments, with access to our cutting-edge virtual technologies and one of the UK’s largest specialist health education libraries.
  • Our last Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) audit cited the support provided for the students on our courses as demonstrating good levels of practice (2015). 
  • You’ll be based at our City South Campus, which has recently undergone a £41 million expansion, including newly built laboratories and equipment that’ll continue to give you a leading edge in employment.

Students outside Millennium Point

Open Days

Our next Open Day for this course will take place on Sunday 25 November 2018. Book your place to see our facilities and speak to our staff and students.

Book your place


This course is worth...

120 credits

This course is not open to International students

Speak to an expert

If you’ve got any questions about the course, we’d love to hear from you. Please email the Course Director: Ann Cubbin.

Email Course Director

Alternatively, you can register for our next postgraduate open day.

Where our students go

Our students have gone on to work with companies such as:

  • Heartland of England Foundation Trust
  • A range of Community Trusts

And in jobs such as:

  • District Nurse
    • Health Visitor

New £10,609 postgraduate loans

You may be able to take advantage of the government’s plans to make loans of up to £10,609 available for postgraduate study.

More about postgraduate loans

Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC)

Entry Requirements

You must have at least one of the following:

UK students

For BSc (Hons) you will need the equivalent of 240 credits of which a 120 must be at level 5 (diploma level).

For PgDip you will need to provide evidence of successful completion of accredited Level 6 study within the last 5 years.

Have a minimum of 1-2 years professional experience where appropriate.

Securing secondment/sponsorship from a Primary care Trust

You will require DBS and Occupational Health Clearance prior to course entry

UK or EU students

Award Start Mode Duration Fees
BSc (Hons) Sep 2018 FT 1 year
PT 2-5 years TBC
PgDip Sep 2018 FT 1 Year
PT 2-5 years TBC

International Students

Sorry, this course is not available to international students.

If you're unable to use the online form for any reason, you can complete our PDF application form and equal opportunities PDF form instead. The University reserves the right to increase fees in line with inflation based on the Retail Prices Index or to reflect changes in Government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament up to a maximum of five per cent.

This course is not available to International Students

Please note: All communication from the University is sent via email. Please ensure that you supply an email address on your application form that you check regularly.

Personal statement

UK / EU students are required to submit a personal statement as part of their application for this course.*

Your postgraduate personal statement is going to shine a light on your personal experience, academic success, personal skills and any other factors that will support your application for further study.

Here are the key areas you’ll need to address:

Your passion and motivations

Studying a postgraduate course usually means you want to specialise in something. So what’s driving you?

Why this course?

Show that you’ve researched the course offering. What is it about this particular course that appeals to you? Is it the lecturers? The modules? Etc.

What makes you a good postgraduate candidate?

Tutors want to know that you can handle postgraduate study, so show them how your undergraduate experiences or work life has equipped you for a more advanced level of study. Key areas to address are research and group work but this can vary depending on your chosen course.

Relevant academic or work experience

Add anything relevant that relates back to your chosen course and shows how your skills will contribute towards your learning. What extra-curricular activities have you taken part in? What awards have you won? What employment or voluntary experience do you have that has helped you develop transferable skills? How do these specifically relate to the course you are applying for?

You should also mention your future plans and how a postgraduate qualification fits in. Try to look beyond your postgraduate study – do you plan to jump straight into a specific career or follow your studies with a research degree? Lastly, use plain, professional English and, where possible, utilise the language of your chosen industry.

Get more information on writing personal statements


*Non-EU students are not required to submit a personal statement when applying for this course.

Additional costs

We offer a wide range of professionally accredited and vocational courses that require the purchase of, among other things, uniforms, equipment, subscriptions, professional body memberships and DBS checks, and may require you to pay to attend conferences or participate in placements.

The link below provides our estimate of the possible costs associated with key activities on specific courses. Please bear in mind that these are only estimates of costs based on past student experience and feedback. The actual costs to you could vary considerably (either greater or lower than these estimates) depending on your choices as you progress through the course. We set out where we can, based on experience, where these indicative costs are for activities that are optional or compulsory.

All our students are provided with 100 free pages of printing each year to a maximum total value of £15.

Find additional costs for your course

Accommodation and living costs

The cost of accommodation and other living costs are not included within your course fees. More information on the cost of accommodation can be found in our accommodation pages.

Term 1

Evidence Based Practice
15 credits

This module offers you the opportunity to develop your decision-making in a professional context. You’ll enhance your knowledge and insight in recognising and constructing clinical questions, search skills, interpreting evidence and identifying issues. We’ll teach you to make more informed, professional decisions that’ll help you in a leadership role.

Leadership and Innovation and Public Health
15 credits

Developing leadership is an integral part of the Government’s agenda for improving community care provision. This module will enable you to drive forward the public health agenda, which requires competent leaders with strong personal qualities.

Community and Policy Studies
15 credits

Health policy and community nursing are continually evolving. This module will enable you to gain an understanding of the changes and developments within the sector. Community nurses have a crucial role in carrying out the Government’s plans for the NHS, so this module will ensure you gain the skills and information you need to provide healthcare in a community setting.

Term 2

You will study the core modules and one of the option modules (total 60 credits).

The Professional Practice of District Nursing
15 credits

You will study with other specialist practitioners on the programme, analysing contemporary issues within community nursing, as well as enhancing your ability to reflect and think critically. This is a double module required if you’re studying the District Nursing pathway award to demonstrate proficiency in achieving the NMC competencies.

Community Nurse Prescribing
15 credits

Here, you will develop your knowledge and skills to prescribe medicinal problems from the Nurse Prescribing Formulary safely and effectively. This is a core module for District Nurse students.

Assessment for First Contact Care in the Community
15 credits

This is a core module for District Nursing, and will develop your role in managing first contact care and assessment of complex health needs. Reflecting the Department of Health ideology of preparing community nurses to develop their role to improve access to services for patients to enable them to self-manage or be supported with health care needs in their home.

Managing Long Term Conditions in the Community
15 credits

This core module for District Nursing aims to highlight the importance of integrated, community-based health care for patients with long term conditions in the community. Expert case management of complex needs within the community is a critical component of care delivery within the community.

Course structure

The course aims to:

  • Enable nurses and midwives to work as specialist practitioners in the community
  • Strengthen the academic and clinical base of community health nursing
  • Help you make the most of your learning, whether you're keen to develop your knowledge and skills to become a specialist practitioner in the community or access modules to learn more about a certain area of practice.
What are my options?

One of the real strengths of this programme is its flexibility.

You can choose to study:

  • The whole programme with a Specialist Practitioner award.
  • Simply pick and choose modules that suit your aspirations and your organisation's needs.

If you decide you want to go on to study for the whole programme later on, you can use the modules you have already taken to give you a head start with our accredited learning system.

How will I be taught?

This flexible course can be studied as a whole programme, with a Specialist Practitioner award, or you can choose up to two modules that suit your aspirations and your organisation’s needs. If you then decide you want to go on to study for the whole programme, you can use the modules you’ve already taken to give you a head start.

You will be assessed through a variety of methods, which include invigilated examinations, assignments, seminars, use of a journal of reflection and professional practice competencies that will allow you the opportunity to creatively demonstrate your role and development as a specialist practitioner.

Assessment methods

You will be assessed through a variety of methods, which include invigilated examinations, assignments, seminars, use of a journal of reflection and professional practice competencies that will allow you the opportunity to creatively demonstrate your role and development as a specialist practitioner

Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC)
The Nursing and Midwifery Council

The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) works with partner organisations to set and maintain high standards of nursing and midwifery education across the UK.

This course has been approved and monitored by the NMC to make sure that the education and training on offer meets their standards.

To work as a nurse or midwife, you must pass an NMC approved course at a higher education institution (HEI) in pre-registration nursing and midwifery, leading to registration with the NMC.

Further study

You could consider a research degree after finishing this course, especially at PhD level. In addition, CATS may be worth considering, as it’s a pathway that will also enable you to enrol for individual modules if you wish to update your skills and knowledge in a specific area, but do not wish to go on to gain an academic award.

Enhancing employability skills

This course is intended to enhance your career prospects and enable you to progress onto more senior public health jobs at either operational, policy or commissioning levels.

On successful completion of the programme, your Specialist Practitioner qualification will be recorded by the NMC and entered on NMC register.


OpportUNIty Student Ambassador

OpportUNIty: Student Jobs on Campus ensures that our students are given a first opportunity to fill many part-time temporary positions within the University. This allows you to work while you study with us, fitting the job around your course commitments. By taking part in the scheme, you will gain valuable experiences and employability skills, enhancing your prospects in the job market.

It will also allow you to become more involved in University life by delivering, leading and supporting many aspects of the learning experience, from administration to research and mentoring roles.

Graduate jobs

Previous students have progressed into roles as team leaders, caseload managers and Matrons.

Our Facilities

We are constantly investing in our estate and are currently in the process of spending £260 million on new learning facilities.

We boast up-to-date, innovative facilities that simulate the real situations that medical staff may come across.

These resources are essential in offering students a hands-on introduction to health and social care practice. Much of our teaching is carried out within our state-of-the-art, £30m Seacole Building, which houses cutting-edge learning facilities.

Take a virtual tour of our skills suites at Seacole

In a sector where new techniques are constantly being discovered, we work hard to ensure that students learn using the most up-to-date equipment available. These include the only mock operating theatre in an English university and a cutting-edge radiography virtual clinical training facility, virtual ward and virtual case creator.

Virtual Case Creator

For pre-registration midwives, Virtual Case Creator software contains a range of scenarios to let you experience birthing situations and decide on appropriate interventions in a safe environment.

Hospital Ward

Our mock wards enable you to get a feel of what a ward is really like before you head out for your first placement. They contain ‘Sim Men’, which are demonstration dummies that develop ailments, allowing you to treat them as you would a real patient and build your confidence in reacting to the changing needs of patients.

The Hospital Ward can be adapted from a low care to high dependency care environment with the necessary monitoring equipment.

Part of the package is our SIM baby, SIM man and Mega code kid. There are also nursing manikins for fundamental skills teaching and various equipment to support essential skills teaching, such as blood pressure monitoring venepuncture and cannulation equipment.

Skills Practice and Clinical Enhancement facility

The SPACE (Skills Practice And Clinical Enhancement) learning facility lets you further practice the skills taught in class, at your own pace and convenience.

It is fully stocked with the specialist items and equipment needed for procedures such as taking blood pressure, giving an injection, abdominal examination of a pregnant woman and caring for ill babies in an incubator.

Biomedical Laboratories

We have recently installed new laboratory facilities to help you explore understand the scientific principles underpinning many of our courses. The physiology laboratory is equipped to help you learn about the way the human body works by performing investigative experiments. The biomedical science laboratory is undergoing an upgrade over the summer and will allow you to learn about anatomy, cellular processes, immunology and enzymology in a hands-on way that links directly to day-to-day health care.

Simulation Mannequins

We have several Simulation men (SIM men) and Simulation babies (SIM babies) which are leading edge, anatomically correct mannequins used for teaching specific techniques such as advanced adult and paediatric life support skills, acute and high dependency clinical skills, first aid and communication skills.

The SIM men and SIM baby mannequins are complete with software, which is used to replicate real symptoms, and are enhanced by the manipulation of for example blood pressure, pulse and heart rate for extra realism. SIM Man can also “talk” to the students which adds another dimension to their use in teaching clinical skills and in simulation exercises.

Mary Seacole Library

The Seacole library, based at City South Campus, is one of the UK's largest specialist health education libraries. The state-of-the art facility offers an extensive range of range of information and reference materials set out in a relaxing environment, conducive to studying. There are comfortable seating areas, group study areas, a silent study area and private study rooms.

You will have access to all of the University’s libraries.

Computer Facilities

The Seacole building houses a large open access IT Suite which comprises of 96 PCs, full colour printers, photocopiers and scanners. Our PCs utilise the latest Intel i5 core technology, all with:

  • Fast (unrestricted) internet connectivity
  • Ability to save files to USB, DVD & CD
  • Microsoft Office software
  • Research and statistical software
  • Storage space which can be accessed from any PC across the University and from home

Our PCs are also designed to support students who may have difficulties with reading and writing, featuring specialised software with zooming/magnification and screen reading capabilities, which may also be customised for individual student needs.

The IT Suite offers extended opening hours and is supported by a specialist Open Access Assistant during term time. In addition to the open access PCs within the IT Suite, there are 12 networked student PCs available within Seacole library.

Ann Cubbin

Programme Director, Community Health Nursing

Ann Cubbin has been with Birmingham City University for 12 years, and has worked as Programme Director for Community Health Nursing for the past six.

She recently received the Queen’s Award in recognition of her achievements in community nursing, after being nominated by two of her students.