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Nursing - Learning Disabilities and Child - Dual Award - MSci

  • UCAS Code: 1045
  • Level: Undergraduate
  • Starting: September 2020
  • Study mode: Full Time (4 years)
  • Location: City South

Our Integrated Master's in Nursing – Dual Award is run alongside, and integrates, with our BSc (Hons) Nursing programme.  Through this four-year programme, you will learn alongside students from different fields of nursing (Adult, Mental Health, Learning Disabilities and Child) and have tailored support to help you achieve the Master's element of the course.

 As a dual award course, you will spend time on placement in different hospital and clinical settings across the West Midlands area to help you qualify in your chosen fields of nursing. 

The course is accredited by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) and you will be able to apply for Registered Nurse status in two fields of nursing on successful completion of the course. The reference to ‘dual award’ indicates the professional NMC dual registration you will be eligible for on successful completion.

What's covered in the course?

In the first two years you will study with BSc (Hons) Nursing students on modules with integrated theoretical content, learning about all fields of nursing - Adult, Child, Mental Health and Learning Disabilities. The early part of the course aimed at developing your confidence and competence in working with and caring for people of all ages across the lifespan, with a range of health needs.

During the third and fourth year, the course focuses on your dual award. You will take learning disabilities and child nursing specific modules aligned to practice placements, which will help to build on your previous learning and develop proficiency in your chosen fields of practice. These modules will help develop you as a leader and critical thinker to apply research-informed, evidence-based care, to plan, evaluate and coordinate care, supervise other health professionals and gain confidence in the safe management of medication.

You will also benefit from having personalised, field specific academic and clinical support and bespoke action learning sets to accelerate research-informed evidence-based decision-making. 

Your placement learning experiences may be within community, hospital or home environment settings and at a location anywhere within the West Midlands and potentially into neighbouring counties, particularly for the Learning Disability field placements. While on placement, you will be supported, supervised and assessed by practice and academic staff to develop your knowledge and skills.  

We are committed to providing excellent, innovative, learning, teaching and assessment experiences through the use of technology, which we use to enhance your learning, through lectures, seminars, skills simulation and virtual learning. Engaging with practice partners and service users is also integral to our approach.

Our MSci Nursing dual award course has been designed to comply with the new Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) standards (2018) meaning that successful completion of this course makes you eligible to apply and be entered onto the NMC register in two of the four fields of nursing, Learning Disabilities and Child.

Why Choose Us?

  • Excellent employability rate - over 99 per cent of our graduates are studying or in work within six months (DLHE 2016/17)
  • You will study at our recently extended £71 million City South Campus, complete with real-life hospital environments and simulation equipment so you can practice your practical skills at all times – not just on placement
  • Birmingham is one of the UK’s most diverse cities outside of London, which provides you with a wide variety of experience that will be valuable to take forward into your future career.
  • Opportunities to go abroad, if this is something you would like to explore during your time studying with us
  • Student finance - have you already had a student loan to study an undergraduate degree but would like to do a second degree in nursing, midwifery or the allied health professions? You may still be eligible for funding

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Meet or Beat scholarship for undergraduate students

Meet or beat our entry requirements and you could be eligible for an achievement scholarship worth £1,000.

*Terms and Conditions apply - some undergraduate courses are not eligible for this scheme. The £1,000 scholarship is made up of an £850 scholarship and £150 free credit to spend in an online shop.

Find out more 

This course is not open to International students

Course Accreditations

Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC)

Entry Requirements

We now recruit to the values of the NHS constitution. This influences our selection criteria and especially the values we are seeking to be demonstrated in both your application and interview, which we view as essential in any individual involved in patient care.

The essential requirements for being selected for interview are:

  • You have achieved (or are predicted to achieve) the UCAS tariff points required through your Level 3 qualifications (as outlined below).
  • You meet the Level 2 requirements at the point of application (as outlined below).
  • You submit a satisfactory personal statement, which demonstrates why you are interested in both the fields of nursing involved in the course to which you're applying. 
128 UCAS tariff points
Essential Requirements
Level 2 qualifications which must be achieved prior to enrolment:
A minimum of three GCSEs at Grade 4 or above (previously Grade C), must include English Language, Mathematics and one of Biology, Chemistry, Physics, or Science Double/Triple Award or equivalent.

Acceptable GCSE Science Equivalents:
  • BTEC 1st Certificate
  • BTEC 1st Diploma
  • Intermediate GNVQ
  • OCR Level 2 National Award
  • OCR Level 2 National Certificate
Acceptable English GCSE Equivalents:
  • Key Skills Communication - Level 2
  • Functional Skills English – Level 2
Acceptable Maths GCSE Equivalents:
  • Key Skills Application of Number- Level 2
  • Functional Skills Maths – Level 2


Irish Leaving Certificate
A minimum of five Ordinary levels at Grade B3 or above, must include English Language, Mathematics and a Science subject.
Scottish qualifications
A minimum of five Intermediate Standard 2 or above, must include English Language, Mathematics and a Science subject.
Plus one of the following Level 3 qualifications which you may be working towards: 
GCE A/A2 Level
128 UCAS points from a maximum of three A/A2 Level passes, which must include one of Health and Social Care, Human Biology, Biology, Physics, Chemistry, Applied Science, Psychology or Social Science at Grade B. A typical offer would be ABB.
General Studies, Critical Thinking and Extended Project are not accepted.
GCE AS/A1 Level
128 UCAS points from a maximum of two AS/A1 Level passes, plus a maximum of two A/A2 Level passes at Grade C or above, which must include one of Health and Social Care, Human Biology, Biology, Physics, Chemistry, Psychology or Social Science.
General Studies, Critical Thinking and Extended Project are not accepted.
BTEC Extended Diploma in Health and Social Care Society, Health and Development, Science or equivalents 128 UCAS points from a DDD profile.
International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma
Minimum Grade 32 points required. Acceptable on its own or combined with other level 3 qualifications.
Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced diploma - core
Full award must be achieved plus combined other A Level at minimum C grade in a science related subject. Must be combined with other acceptable Level 3 qualifications to meet 128 UCAS tariff points.
The Open University K101 – An Introduction to Health and Social Care or equivalents
Completion of full year (transcripts will be required). K101 is acceptable with another level 3 qualification.
Irish Leaving Certificate
128 UCAS tariff points achieved in 4 Higher Level subjects, must include Health or Science related subjects. Must include Maths and English Language at either Ordinary or Higher Level. 
Scottish Qualifications – Advanced Highers
Maximum of 5 Advanced highers at Grade C or above to achieve 128 UCAS tariff points. 

Access to HE Diploma in a Health and Social Care Subject
Full award (60 credits) of which a minimum of 45 must be at Level 3 including 30 at Merit or Distinction, of which a minimum of 24 must be in a Science or Health related subjects and 15 at Level 2. In addition, Mathematics and English Language GCSE Grade C must be achieved prior to application through UCAS. 

If an applicant is studying an Access qualification or has already achieved an acceptable Level 3+ qualification, but is missing an acceptable Level 2 qualification, then they will be asked to complete Functional Skills Level 2 Maths and/or English Language (as applicable) by the 31st July alongside the GCSE they are studying.

Foundation Degree
Foundation degrees will be reviewed on an individual basis and will require a transcript of the content of the course.

Other qualifications:

Qualifications that are not listed will be considered on an individual basis.

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

International candidates:

Those who meet residency/academic requirements of UK students but whose language is not English will need to hold IELTS with an overall score of at least 7.0.

In addition
  • You must provide evidence of having been in general education for a minimum of 10 years
  • You must provide evidence of study within the last five years
  • No offers are made without a face-to-face interview
  • All offers are subject to satisfactory Occupational Health Clearance, Disclosure and Barring Service report and, registration with Independent Safeguarding Authority
  • You should be aware that qualifications, personal statement, interview and references all form part of the selection criteria for this course

I really want to become a nurse but do not meet your entry requirements. What advice can you give me?

  • All applicants must meet our academic entry requirements in order to be considered for the course.
  • If you do not have sufficient Level 2 and Level 3 qualifications we advise you to consider undertaking a course which will give you the opportunity to gain the correct entry criteria. For example, an access course in a health/science-related field at your local further education college. This course contains the right mix of level 3 and level 2 qualifications which allow you to access higher education.
  • Alternatively, you could undertake the Open University K101 course, as long as you have the appropriate GCSE qualifications (as defined in our entry criteria) with another level 3 qualification.
  • UK/EU students
  • International students

Award: MSci

Starting: Sep 2020

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees

Sorry, this course is not available to International students.

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


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

Personal statement

Your personal statement is a highly important part of your application. It gives you a crucial opportunity to say why you’re applying and why the institution should accept you.

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

Course choice

Why does this course appeal? What areas are of particular interest?

Career plans

If you have a specific career in mind, say how your chosen course will help you pursue this goal.

Work experience

Mention any work that is relevant to your subject, highlighting the skills and experience gained.

School or college experience

Highlight skills gained at school/college, eg summer schools or mentoring activities.

Non-accredited skills or achievement

eg Duke of Edinburgh Award, Young Enterprise scheme.

You should also mention your future plans – if you’re planning to take a year out, don't forget to give your reasons. Talk about any subjects you’re studying that don’t have a formal assessment and any sponsorships or placements you’ve applied for. And don't be scared to add in details about your social, sports or leisure interests.

Get more information on writing personal statements.

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.

Worried about personal statements?

Worried about personal statements?

If you've got no idea where to start or just want to check you're on the right track, we’ve got expert advice and real examples from our students to help you nail your personal statement. You can even download our ultimate personal statement guide for free.

Get personal statement advice

Loans and Grants

Financial Support

We offer further information on possible undergraduate financial support. This includes the type of loans, grants and scholarships available both from the government and from Birmingham City University.

Personal Statement Tip

You need to demonstrate your interest in both of the fields of nursing mentioned in the MSci award you’re applying for.

Year One

In order to fully complete this course and be eligible for application for entry onto the NMC register, a student must successfully achieve all 480 credits.

What is Nursing?
20 credits

The NMC standards aim to ensure that nurses are able to work in ways that are not only fit for today, but also for the future. Nurses are being asked to undertake more complex roles than ever before in an evolving health and care landscape requiring a depth and breadth of a range of topics (Smith, 2017). This module aims to provide an introduction to fundamental nursing knowledge and skills, as well as develop a pride in the profession and the role of the nurse.

Providing and Evaluating Care
20 credits

This module will focus specifically on the final stages of the nursing process which includes a systematic and collaborative approach to providing and evaluating care for people and families across the lifespan. You will learn how to support individuals and if appropriate their families and carers, to make informed choices through effective communication, relationship management skills and shared decision making. You will develop an evidence based approach to working in partnership with people, families and carers to continuously monitor, evaluate and reassess the effectiveness of all agreed nursing care plans and readjust agreed goals as necessary.

Introduction to Leadership and Teamwork
20 credits

The aim of this module is to help you start to enhance your skills in leadership, management and team-working, in addition to the development of your ability to promote health and assist people to modify their lifestyles to enhance healthier lives. Nurses are leaders who are participative, facilitative and emotionally intelligent. Effective leadership styles contribute to team cohesion, lower stress, and higher empowerment and self-efficacy. Leadership is a predictor of quality outcomes in health care settings. Authentic leaders offer good role modelling consistent with ethical values and vision for health care. They offer individualised consideration of staff, provide motivation and stimulate creativity and innovation (RCN 2017).

Assessing Needs and Planning Care
20 credits

Good nursing care is based on the identification of the needs of the person and should be appropriate to the nursing context in which the assessment takes place (DH, 2014). This module will focus specifically on the first two steps of the cyclical nursing process, a model that helps to deliver appropriate and effective care and resolve peoples’ needs by setting goals. Undertaking a comprehensive assessment is the first stage of the nursing process and one in which the nurse is required to ensure the person and, if appropriate, their family and carers are fully involved. A thorough assessment enables the second stage of the nursing process; that of planning care. It is at this stage that person-centred, holistic care can then be identified prior to the third and fourth stages of the process, which are known as providing and evaluating care.

Professional Practice 1
40 credits

The module provides you with an introduction to and ongoing support for practice elements of your programme. The module is designed to enable you to achieve practice proficiencies within your chosen field of practice through ongoing guided participation in care within the practice setting. The module offers preparation, development and consolidation to grow your confidence and acquire competence within the practice learning environment.

You will be able to practice and develop your nursing skills within a safe, supportive environment, participate in teaching and learning sessions that support begin to allow you to identify and reflect on your own learning needs and experiences in practice.

Year Two

Complex Care 1: Assessing and Planning
20 credits
Complex Care 2: Providing and Evaluating Care
20 credits
Improving Quality and Safety in a Global Context
20 credits
Leadership and Co-ordinating Care
20 credits
Professional Practice 2
40 credits

Year Three

Nursing Care: Children and Young People
20 credits
Medicines Management and Applied Physiology in Children and Young People's Nursing
20 credits
Leadership and Decision Making in Learning Disability Nursing
20 credits
Delivering High Quality, Safe Nursing Care for Children, Young People and their Families
20 credits
Professional Practice 3
40 credits

Year Four

Appraising Nursing Care: Learning Disabilities
20 credits
Research-Based Medicines Management and Applied Physiology in Learning Disability Nursing
20 credits
Research-Based Leadership and Decision Making in Children and Young Peoples’ Nursing
20 credits
Delivering Research-Based, Safe Quality Care for People with Learning Disabilities
20 credits
Professional Practice 4
40 credits

Course Structure

Year One

As an undergraduate, the first year prepares you for further study and facilitates your understanding of the principles which underpin nursing. This is supported by numerous placement learning experiences over the year.

Your University Modules are taught and assessed alongside your BSc (Hons) Nursing colleagues. Your Practice Placements are organised around a practice hub (e.g. hospital ward/unit/community hub) and allied experience, for example, Child hub and Learning Disability allied experiences. For your practice assessment you will be assessed in one Field only.

Year Two

During this year university modules will continue to have a generic focus and help develop core nursing skills and knowledge in: leadership, assessment and evaluation of care. Clinical placements will be more targeted to your dual award, with placements in both fields of practice. At the end of the second year, clinical practice assessment will be in the same field as year one. 

Again for this year, your University Modules are taught and assessed alongside BSc (Hons) Nursing colleagues. Your placements are organised as: Placement 1 Field A, Placement 2 Field B and Placement 3 Field A. For your practice assessment you will again be assessed in one Field only.

Years Three and Four

As you continue on the MSci dual award programme, placements in your third and fourth year alternate between your chosen fields of nursing. In these years, University modules follow the flow of placements. In the fourth year your University modules you will be assessed at Master's level.  

Your Year Three University Modules are taught and assessed alongside BSc (Hons) Nursing colleagues in specific Field modules, which align to your field placements. Your placements are organised as: Placement 1 Field B, Placement 2 Field A and Placement 3 Field A. For your practice assessment you will again be assessed in one Field only.

Your Year Four University Modules are taught and assessed alongside BSc (Hons) Nursing colleagues in specific Field modules, which align to your field placements. Your placements will alternate between your two fields: Placement 1 Field A, Placement 2 Field A and Placement 3 Field A and B. In this year your practice assessment will be in both Fields. 

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'll graduate with a MSci Nursing – dual award worth 480 credits and be eligible to apply for Registered Nurse status with the Nursing and Midwifery Council in both the Learning Disability and Child fields of practice. 

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.

Erasmus scheme

If you are interested in undertaking part of your studies abroad, the Erasmus scheme may be of interest to you. It allows higher education students to study for part of their degree in another European country.

It is open to undergraduates in their second year (or above) and offers a unique opportunity to enhance your CV and experience new cultures. If you study with us you will have access to an Erasmus co-ordinator, who can provide information about which institutions we have links with.

Find out more


We have collaborated with clinical practice colleagues, service users and carers in the West Midlands region to design our dual awards to meet the changing health care needs and services of the region, and beyond, nationally.  This is a highly relevant, exciting, varied and timely course, positioning you at the centre of the changing scope of patient care and services care in the 21st century.

Holding a dual award offers more employment options. Choosing either to specialise in one field of practice or work towards specialising in clinical roles where being qualified in two fields of practice is required for specialist roles in emergency care, primary care and clinical liaison roles in large hospitals.

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, plus many more - the options are endless.


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.


BCU Graduate+

Through our courses we give you the skills and experience needed to get a head start when applying for jobs. But we offer something extra too – Graduate+.

Our unique programme gives you the chance to develop valuable skills outside of the more formal classroom learning. We award points for Graduate+ activities (including firewalking!) and these can be put towards a final Graduate+ award.

More about Graduate+

Our Facilities

We are constantly investing in our estate and are currently in the process of spending £340 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 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.

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.

Ben Appleby

Dr Ben Appleby

Senior Lecturer and Research Coordinator

Ben is a NMC Registered Nurse Tutor and Senior Lecturer at Birmingham City University.  He qualified from City University London and St Bartholomew’s School of Nursing and Midwifery in September 1998, completing a 4-year BSc (Hons) in Nursing and Human Science, and clinically, went on to practice in Cardiology, Cardiothoracic Care, Coronary Care and Cardiac Rehabilitation.   He completed an MSc in Nursing Research in 2002 from King’s College London, a PGCert Ed from BCU in 2005 and a PhD in Life Sciences in 2016 from the University of Birmingham. 

Now a Senior Lecturer, Ben joined BCU in 2004.  He teaches on BSc and MSc Health modules, which include Acute Nursing Practice, Evidence Based Practice and Research Methodology.  He also supervises BSc and MSc research students.  He has also been the Clinical Liaison Link for Adult Nursing and Research Subject Quality Coordinator for the Faculty, and is currently the Research Coordinator for Adult Nursing.

Ben’s research interest is in ‘knowledge mobilisation’ for clinical practice, with an emphasis on exploring health professionals’ research utilisation behaviour.  His PhD work focused on Nurses’ and Health Care Assistants’ intentions to use clinical guidelines, he continues to research in this area.