Nursing - Learning Disability with Foundation Year - BSc (Hons) *

UCAS Code:
B76B
Attendance:
Full Time (1 year foundation followed by 3 year degree)
Starting:
September 2019

Due to changes in the NMC Nursing Standards this course is being updated for 2019/20 entry and is subject to validation. The information below is based on the 2018/19 course. 

Are you interested in working with people who have learning disabilities and their families? Study Learning Disability nursing with a Foundation Year at one of the country’s largest nursing schools, with 100% graduate employability rate, to gain all the knowledge and experience needed to fulfil the role of a learning disability nurse.

Tailor your Health Sciences Degree

When you successfully complete your Foundation Year, you will be able to progress onto a range of Undergraduate courses at the Birmingham City School of Health Sciences and School of Nursing and Midwifery. These include:

  • BSc (Hons) Biomedical Sciences
  • BSc (Hons) Diagnostic Radiography
  • BSc (Hons) Food and Nutrition
  • BSc (Hons) Health Studies (Public Health)
  • BSc (Hons) Medical Ultrasound
  • BSc (Hons) Midwifery
  • BSc (Hons) Nursing - Adult
  • BSc (Hons) Nursing - Child
  • BSc (Hons) Nursing - Learning Disability
  • BSc (Hons) Nursing - Mental Health
  • BSc (Hons) Operating Department Practice
  • BSc (Hons) Paramedic Science
  • BSc (Hons) Radiotherapy
  • BSc (Hons) Speech & Language Therapy

Why choose a foundation year course?

By studying a foundation year in Health Sciences, your first year will be spent learning a wide range of broad subject areas which then open up opportunities for you to specialise further in your next year –  which would be the first year of a full degree programme. 

You will study very broad subjects in your foundation year, which is designed to prepare you for a range of courses and not just one particular BSc degree. 

So although you are studying a BSc in a specific course – BSc nursing - Learning Disability – the foundation year sets you up for a number of other possible degrees starting the following year. It may be that you don’t end up doing a degree in precisely the same subject as your foundation year.

This flexibility is one of the great things about the foundation year category - Health Sciences, allowing you to find out more about your interests and talents before focusing on a three year degree. The foundation year also helps us at BCU to make sure we help to match you to the degree that fits you best.

Please note: entry requirements for degree course

Upon completion of your Foundation Year, if your chosen course is regulated by a professional body such as the Nursing and Midwifery Council, you will be required to successfully complete the University’s selection process for the specific programme which will include an interview in order to proceed onto year one of the full degree programme. Entry onto year one of the degree programme will also be subject to a satisfactory DBS and Occupational Health Assessment. 

What's covered in the course?

Our Learning Disability Nursing BSc (Hons) course is accredited by The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) to expertly support you in gaining hands-on clinical and care skills.

You will start by learning foundation nursing skills and then you will become increasingly field-specific, to ensure that when you graduate as a qualified nurse, you are competently and confidently able to support people with learning disabilities when they need a professional by their side.

In addition to essential practical learning, you will also explore important aspects of values, ethics, research, philosophy, physiology, nursing theory and social policy to equip you for professional practice.

Towards the end of the course you will focus on making the transition from nursing student to Registered Nurse, and our experienced staff and practitioners will be here to help every step of the way.

Successful completion of the course entitles you to apply for professional registration with The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC).

Where will I study?

You will study at our £41 million City South Campus that offers state-of-the-art simulation facilities and a skills suite, so that you are able to continue developing your practical skills right here on campus. This includes our unique blend of virtual and live simulation to ensure that you are sensitively prepared for all situations you will experience in clinical placement.

See what our students say...

“It’s the opportunity to become more than a nurse – you become a vital link for people to live their lives.” James Hickin

“Support from staff cannot be faulted – there is always somebody there that you can voice any concerns or queries to, whether by email, phone or face-to-face. In addition, the learning disability nursing groups at the University are small and tight-knit, where everyone can become well-acquainted with each other.” Michele Prosser

Why Choose Us?

  • 100% graduate employability rate (unistats 2016*)
  • Experience different placement opportunities - benefit from our excellent relationships with medical institutions including the NHS and private, voluntary and independent sectors to carry out your work placements 
  • Birmingham is one of UK’s most vibrant and diverse cities outside of London, which will provide you with a wide variety of skills that will be valuable to take forward into your future career
  • Study at our £41 million City South Campus complete with access to state-of-the-art facilities 
  • We sensitively prepare you for practice and time on placement via live scenarios, encountering some of the most difficult situations in the safety of a practice environment, so that you feel confident and competent
  • We will support you in a friendly, co-operative environment, where our experienced staff prioritise your learning and development at all times – you can take advantage of our well-established range of pastoral and study support teams to deliver this.
  • Receive outstanding support - we have received a Quality Mark from the British Dyslexia Association for our successful efforts
  • We were commended for achieving ‘good practice’ in a recent BSc course review for the placement support that we provide, through our close links with NHS trusts 

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 not open to International students
Midwifery and social work

Discover the School of Nursing and Midwifery

Visit our School site for more student work and extra information.

Visit the School website

Where our students go

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

  • Otterburn Care Home

And in jobs such as:

  • Qualified Nurse

Subject to approval

This course is in the final stages of approval to ensure it meets the very highest standards of quality, creativity and applied learning.

Entry Requirements

We accept a range of qualifications, the most popular of which are detailed below.

Entry Requirements
Essential

A minimum of 3 GCSEs at Grade 4 or above (formerly Grade C), at the point of enrolment. These must include mathematics, English language and one of health and social care, biology, chemistry, physics or science double/triple award.  (or equivalent).

88 UCAS tariff points from A/AS Level

Typical Offers
UK Qualification Requirements 2019/20
GCE A Level/ AS Level 88 UCAS tariff points = CCD. Must include either Health & Social Care, Human Biology, Biology, Physics, Chemistry, Psychology, Social Science or Applied Science.
Access to Higher Education Diploma 60 credits overall in a health related pathway, also including GCSE English Language and Maths equivalence if not hold separately.
BTEC Diploma (12-units) DD in Health and Social Care Society, Health and Development or Science equivalent.
BTEC Extended Diploma (18-units) MMM in Health and Social Care Society, Health and Development or Science equivalent.
International Baccalaureate Diploma 24 points overall
Irish Leaving Certificate Minimum of 88 tariff points, achieved in four Higher level subjects.
Scottish Higher/ Advanced Higher Minimum of 88 tariff points achieved in either three Advanced Highers or from a combination of two Advanced Highers plus two Highers.
Other qualifications

If you have a qualification that is not listed in the table please refer to our full entry requirements on UCAS.

Further guidance on tariff points can be found on the UCAS website.

UK or EU students

Award Start Mode Duration Fees
BSc (Hons) Sep 2019 FT 1 year foundation followed by 3 year degree £9,250 per year Apply via UCAS

International Students

Sorry, this course is not available to international students.

Fees for 2019/20 will be published as soon as possible. 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.

Guidance for UK/EU students

UCAS

UK and EU students applying for most undergraduate degree courses in the UK will need to apply through UCAS.

The Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) is a UK organisation responsible for managing applications to university and college.

Applying through UCAS
 Register with UCAS
 Login to UCAS
 Complete your details
 Select your course
 Write a personal statement
 Get a reference
 Pay your application fee
 Send UCAS your application

Our advice for applying to a health care course

Applying for a course and preparing for an interview can be a daunting process, so we have created a series of films to help you through the process, including what to put in your personal statement.

More guidance

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.

The additional costs listed here are to be used for indicative purposes only and are based on the additional costs for the 2018/19 academic year. The additional costs for 2019/20 will be published as soon as possible.

Learning Support Fund

From 1 November 2017 you may be able to apply for elements of the learning support fund if:

  • you are studying a pre-registration healthcare course
  • are studying in England and
  • your course started on or after 1 August 2017

Visit NHS student services for more information

Foundation Year

Academic Skills for Success

This module is designed to support you in your transition to studying in a Higher Education environment at Birmingham City University. Through a range of class-based group and individual activities, discussions, debates, personal reflection and wider reading and research, you will have opportunities to consider academic conventions, which include: effective use of literature; sourcing and reviewing information; various forms of academic writing; developing reflective capacity. You will also receive guidance on study skills and strategies, which will enhance previously acquired skills.

These professional skills are transferable and will be valuable not only in the immediate context but throughout your continued education and employment. By engaging with this module, we have set out clearly what we expect of you at foundation and undergraduate level, and will equip you with the confidence, competence and capacity to utilise resources to be able to meet expectations in this environment.

An essential element of this module will be your ability to analyse and reflect on your own learning and the way in which you have applied your knowledge, skill and understanding to any academic context in which you have engaged to date. Communicating effectively through a variety of academic conventions is a key skill for any student and this will be a feature of this module.

Equality, Diversity and Inclusivity

This module is designed to help you gain awareness and understanding of current challenges around Equality, Diversity and Inclusivity and how this impacts upon the Health, Education and Social Sciences sector, preparing you for your future education and journey into practice.

Introducing the Equality Act 2010 as the overarching legislation that focuses on Equality, Diversity and Inclusivity, the module is based on themes that are covered by this Act.  The nine protected characteristics, upon which a person can be discriminated, as laid down in the Equality Act, will be discussed throughout and you will be introduced to case studies relevant to your chosen pathways.

The module will give you the opportunity to discuss debate and reflect upon how challenges around Equality, Diversity and Inclusivity may present themselves. Using problem and inquiry based learning you will have the opportunity to explore and discuss ways of working which can help to minimise discrimination in your own practice.  The module will be made up of lead lectures, taught sessions, group work and individual study.

An essential element of this module will be your ability to analyse and reflect on your own experiences and perceptions, whilst gaining an awareness and appreciating the differences of others. 

Negotiated Study

This module will focus on enabling you to gain a deeper understanding of the interpersonal skills and behaviours required to work in your chosen area. Through a range of class based and student focused activities you will explore the different concepts of effective interpersonal and professional behaviours essential to your own personal development and progression. By engaging in this module you will  reflect on your own and others  values, beliefs and behaviours identifying how this can impact on the way in which you will  be viewed by others. You will also address the importance of effective communication and how this can lead you to have a more professional approach in your chose area of work.

Interpersonal Skills and Professional Behaviours

This module is designed to support you in your transition to studying in a Higher Education environment at Birmingham City University, allowing you the opportunity to negotiate learning of a bespoke subject. Under the guidance of tutors, you will be able to direct your learning and identify relevant learning opportunities that you feel enable you to learning more about a specific field of study.

The subject area within this module is student-led, with guidance and facilitation from designated academic and practice support. You will identify an area of study that you would like to review and evaluate, and which relates to your foundation year pathway and indicate programme.

A significant proportion of the module is based around negotiation with academic facilitators to identify extended areas of study and opportunities that are possible to enhance your towards completion of the study.

The module is not reliant on traditional taught subject sessions, although you will be expected to attend classes where you will work in peer learning groups exploring and developing your negotiated study. This approach to studying is closely allied to learning within the workplace.

Introduction to Human Biology

An appreciation of the principles of Human Biology plays a central role in the understanding of the workings of the human body. This module is organised into three distinct phases from fundamental principles, to physiological processes, and then disruption of the interplay of such systems in human disorders. This understanding provides a solid foundation for the subsequent study in a range of disciplines from healthcare, allied healthcare, and other disciplines requiring an understanding of human biology. The topics covered will also be underpinned by practical activities. Pre- and post-session activities will help to develop your key transferable skills such as being able to reflect and ask probing questions as well as being able to think independently.  Development of these skills will ensure a growth in maturity and boost your confidence which will lead to unlocking your learning potential.

Health and Well-being in Society

Students embarking on health related studies and careers need to have a knowledge and understanding of the factors that contribute to creating good health.  Evidence shows that the majority of these factors lie outside of the healthcare and clinical remit and so it is important that students are aware of the wider social, economic, environmental and political drivers of states of health of the population, group or client group they may encounter.   As health services are reoriented towards prevention of ill-health and health improvement, all health science students need to consider the ways in which they may work in future, to both understand the social determinants of health and the principles and practice of health promotion in order to improve health, prevent ill-health and reduce health inequalities.

Year One

During the first year you will study specific subject areas such as how the body functions in health and ill-health, communication skills and how to give care compassionately and begin to relate this to the clinical skills that you will practice both in University and on placement.

You will also begin to learn about aspects of caring for patients/service users from all four fields of nursing.

Modules include:
Professional Values and Academic Skills
30 credits
Introduction to Nursing Practice and Decision Making
30 credits
Health in Society
30 credits
Learning Disability Nursing Practice 1
30 credits

Year Two

In year two you will be taught how to assess, implement, plan and evaluate care for patients in a variety of settings and you will undertake two practice placements where you will have to pass the Standards of Proficiency as required by the Nursing and Midwifery Council.

There is also a specific placement learning experience where you will scope the services available within the community. A range of subjects such as ethics, research, physiology, social policy will be integrated into your studies to inform your practice. The acquisition of skills is given a high priority throughout the course, aided by our excellent state-of- the-art simulation facilities and skills suite.

Modules include:
Professional Values and Evidence Based Practice
30 credits
Learning Disability Nursing Practice 2
30 credits
Nursing in Society
30 credits
Learning Disability Nursing Practice 3
30 credits

Year Three

Modules include:
 
Policy, Politics and Nursing
30 credits
 
Learning Disability Nursing Practice 4
30 credits
 
Learning Disability Academic and Practice Enquiry
30 credits
Learning Disability Transition to Qualified Practitioner
30 credits

This module is designed to facilitate the transition of nursing student to Registered Nurse.

You have the flexibility to transfer to a standard undergraduate programme from the School of Health Sciences or the School of Nursing and Midwifery upon successfully completing your Foundation Year including:

  • BSc (Hons) Biomedical Sciences
  • BSc (Hons) Diagnostic Radiography
  • BSc (Hons) Food and Nutrition
  • BSc (Hons) Health Studies (Public Health)
  • BSc (Hons) Medical Ultrasound
  • BSc (Hons) Midwifery
  • BSc (Hons) Nursing - Adult
  • BSc (Hons) Nursing - Child
  • BSc (Hons) Nursing - Mental Health
  • BSc (Hons) Operating Department Practice
  • BSc (Hons) Paramedic Science
  • BSc (Hons) Radiotherapy
  • BSc (Hons) Speech & Language Therapy

Course structure for BSc (Hons) Nursing - Learning Disability

The course is delivered using a modular approach and divides the content into manageable elements of study and practice learning opportunities.

The first year prepares you for further study and facilitates the understanding of the principles which underpin nursing. This is supported by two placement learning experiences of about 10 weeks' duration each.

In year two there is an increasing field-specific focus. Core modules help to contextualise nursing whilst Field Specific modules prepare you for the two placement experiences which follow each period of study.

In year three all the modules are Field Specific but there are opportunities for shared learning with the other fields of nursing and you will again complete two placement experiences.

You'll experience a mixture of teaching, self-directed study and practice-based clinical placements, spending half of your time each year on placement.

Upon successful completion you will graduate with a BSc (Hons) Nursing degree worth 360 credits and be eligible to apply for Registered Nurse status with the Nursing and Midwifery Council.

Additional support

If you're dyslexic, or have a specific learning difference or disability, we have a Disability Tutor who can help and support you. 

More on our disability tutor >>

We offer extra technical and learning support.

Teaching breakdown

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24 Time in lectures, seminars and similar MidnightBlue
36 Time in independent study RoyalBlue
40 Time on placement LightSkyBlue

Assessment breakdown

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17 Written exams DarkOrange
46 Coursework FireBrick
38 Practical exams #fece5a

Student stories

Star Alumni Helen Goulding graduated in 2005 and is now a Learning Disability Nurse and a Lecturer at Birmingham City University.

The course is aimed at people who wish to study nursing at degree level. Successful completion will enable you to apply for registration with the Nursing and Midwifery Council.

Samantha's story

Mature student Samantha explains why she chose to study at Birmingham City University, what she has enjoyed most about the course and how it has transformed her career prospects.

Further study

Nursing provides the opportunity for lifelong learning and the BSc (Hons) Nursing award forms the basis for progression onto further study.

Many opportunities exist for post-registration and postgraduate study. As a graduate, you may progress to a masters degree, eg Masters in Advanced Nursing Practice, PhD.

A comprehensive portfolio of post-registration courses called Continuing Professional Development is available. These courses allow for academic and/or clinical development.

Many of the courses are taught as part-time flexible modules to fit around your work and domestic commitments.

Trips and visits

You'll have the opportunity to take part in overseas trips and visits. For example, nursing students travelled to Pittsburgh University as part of an exchange programme, opening up opportunities to share academic, clinical and cultural experiences.

Find out more...

Employment opportunities

Once qualified and registered with the Nursing and Midwifery Council you can practice in the UK and many countries overseas. As a qualified nurse you could find yourself working within:

  • the NHS
  • the private sector
  • in the community
  • at GP surgeries
  • at schools
  • Child and adolescent mental health services
  • Older adults
  • Dual diagnosis
  • Specialist Housing Support
  • specialist clinics
  • community care
  • forensic
  • primary care
  • prison
  • health facilitation teams
  • respite care
  • Day care
  • Plus many more.

The Learning Disability Nurse website shows you careers in this area.

Placements

Placements take place across a range of settings. You may experience care in acute, critical care, long-term care and community settings which are related to your Field. During your second year there will also be the opportunity to undertake a placement learning experience elsewhere in the UK or abroad* (*subject to selection criteria).

A placement is your chance to be a part of the working world of health and social care as it really is: your first taste of your career. For most of our courses, it's a compulsory part of your training; it's that important.

Placements help you with your confidence, by putting theory from the classroom into practice. We make sure you get a quality experience and that you're fully supported by a workplace mentor on hand throughout your placement.

More about our placement opportunities...

OpportUNIty

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.

Other student opportunities

To enhance your CV, we offer extra-curricular student opportunities, such as a major incident simulation, that you can get involved in.

Student opportunities  >>

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.

Home Environment Room

The Home Environment room is the perfect setting for teaching communications skills and allows us to simulate a community setting for our students. It is particularly useful for paramedics, mental health and learning disability nurses and also midwives.

Virtual Home Environment

We have been commended by the NMC for our Virtual Home Environment, where students are exposed to a variety of scenarios and problems that they must solve to prepare them for clinical practice. The Virtual Home (Elmwood House) forms part of Shareville, our on-line virtual town which was shortlisted for the Times Higher Education Awards 2011 in the Outstanding ICT Initiative of the Year category.

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.

Computer Facilities

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

  • Fast (unrestricted) internet connectivity
  • Ability to save files to USB, DVD and 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.

Helen Goulding

Senior Lecturer

Helen is currently working as a lecturer in learning disability nursing, mostly concentrating on forensic care and epilepsy. She runs the online epilepsy care module for the dimensions in health care course. She also teaches pre-registration learning disability nurses on the Diploma in Higher Education course about health assessment.

Previously, Helen worked as a community learning disability nurse in Birmingham and also as a forensic nurse where she specialised in caring for women with learning disabilities and offending behaviour.

In her spare time she enjoys playing the violin for local orchestras.