Specialist Community Public Health Nurse (Health Visitor) - BSc (Hons) / PgDip

BSc (Hons) - Full Time
PgDip - Full Time
February 2019

Do you have a desire to become a Health Visitor? If you've secured a position in a Trust as Student Health Visitor then this course is for you. Our programme will help you fulfil your career ambitions and prepare you to practice within a public health context. This engaging course will train you to become a knowledgeable and skilled health care practitioner and successful completion makes you eligibility for entry onto the Specialist Community Public Health Nurse part of the Nursing and Midwifery Council’s register and the recordable V100 nurse prescribing.

Delivered as 50 per cent theory and 50 per cent practice, you'll develop a broad knowledge of the complex issues of specialist practice. For more information please contact Catrina Hartle.

What's covered in the course?

The aim of this course is to train you as a practitioner who can maintain and improve the health of defined social groups and populations through the use of best available evidence, reflective practice and practical, hands-on experience.

You’ll work to ensure protection of the public is assured by using best practice that works within the boundaries of the Nursing and Midwifery Council’s Code of Professional Conduct.  We and our trust partners will ensure that you are fit for practice, fit for the award and fit for professional standing.

You’ll promote public health practice, develop evidence-based public health knowledge and skills, and promote inter-professional learning. We will prepare to practice safely and effectively from a health focus, within a public health context.

The knowledge and skills you develop will be reflected in your ability to meet the NMC standards of proficiency, incorporating the ten key areas of public health practice. You will gain the skills you’ll need to influence policies affecting health and facilitate health-enhancing activities.

Graduates from this Specialist Community Public Health Nursing Health Visitor course have progressed into roles with organisations such as Birmingham Community Healthcare NHS Trust, working as health visitors and public health nurses.

To complete this course, you need to secure a position in a Trust as Student Health Visitor. These are advertised on the NHS Jobs website.

Why Choose Us?

  • We’ll prepare you to enter a practice-based profession. It is designed to produce knowledgeable and skilled practitioners responsible for the health needs of various client groups across different settings of public health practice.
  • The course is 50 per cent theory and 50 per cent practice
  • The course is delivered full-time up to a maximum of 156 weeks and facilitates flexibility with a 'step-on-step-off' approach.
  • 52 weeks (minimum) full-time
  • We accept direct applications to University and to seconding Trusts (visit NHS Careers for adverts)
  • Theory and practice is integrated throughout the programme,with 10 weeks of consolidated practice at the end of your course
  • Supported in practice by experienced practice teachers and mentors
  • Available at both BSc (Hons) and Postgraduate Diploma level
  • The School’s collaborative work with employers and trust colleagues means your studies reflect the hands-on operations of contemporary practice.
  • By joining us, you’ll be enrolling in the region’s largest provider of qualified health and social care professionals to the NHS.

Students outside Millennium Point

Open Days

Our next Open Day for this course will take place in 2019. Register your interest and we'll send an email update nearer the time. Visit us to see our facilities and speak to our staff and students.

Book your place

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 Leader: Catrina Hartle.

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:

  • Birmingham Community Healthcare - NHS Trust

And in jobs such as:

  • 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

Entry Requirements

UK students

First level registration with the NMC (one year's post-registration experience ideal) If awaiting confirmation of registration, there must be evidence of successful completion of a pre-registration nursing or midwifery programme and evidence of application for NMC registration

To access BSc (Hons): you need the equivalent of 240 credits of which 120 must be at level 5 (higher diploma level).

To access PG Diploma: if you have previously studied at level 6, you may be eligible for entry onto the postgraduate award. Please contact our Personal Development Department (PDD) or the Programme Director for further information.

It is essential that students obtain an organised practice placement with a Primary Care Trust (PCT) and an allocated practice teacher in the defined area of Specialist Community Public Health Nursing Practice.

Without a qualified practice teacher we regret that we cannot offer a place on this course.

Enhanced CRB and Occupational Health Clearance is required prior to course entry.

UK or EU students

Award Start Mode Duration Fees
BSc (Hons) Feb 2019 FT 1 year
PgDip Feb 2019 FT 1 year

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.

The module only option for this course is for a specific trust only. 

Personal statement

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


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.


Evidence Based Practice/Research

This module is aimed at developing your understanding, in order for you to make more informed decisions in a professional context. You will develop skills and knowledge in recognising and constructing searchable clinical questions, developing search skills utilising recognised frameworks, demonstrating competent skills in the appraisal of evidence and evaluating the measurement of quantitative and qualitative outcomes.

Introducing the Principles and Practices of Specialist Community Public Health Nursing

Here, you will critically analyse the role within ethical, legal and professional frameworks, as well as analysing the factors which have the potential to impact on child development. You will work in groups, working on presentations, as well as enjoying small group tutorials and lectures.

Leadership Innovations in Public Health

In this module, you will learn to critically assess and examine theories, styles, principles and processes of leadership that impact upon public health. We will teach you to become a forward-thinking public health practitioner, with the qualities, understanding of policy and strategic leadership to influence policies affecting health.

Safeguarding Vulnerable People

This module is designed to produce knowledgeable and skilled practitioners who are confident, responsible and informed. You will examine what safeguarding and vulnerability entail, topical issues, multi-agency working, and values and beliefs. You will also look at the assessment and identification of abuse and neglect. Work is carried out through interactive lectures, case studies and group work.

V100 (Nurse Prescribing)

*A negotiated other module is available for school nurses whose seconding Trust does not wish for them to complete V100.

You will be provided with the skills you need to undertake prescribing, demonstrating expertise in care provision, communication and compassion. You will examine consultation, decision-making, therapy and referral, as well as professional accountability and responsibility. An understanding of the influences that can affect prescribing practice, as well as the ability to apply knowledge of drug actions and safe prescription, will also be provided.

Consolidation for Professional Practice

This module will draw upon key concepts and issues involved in SCPHN that have been delivered throughout the programme. You will evaluate their role and demonstrate a commitment to working effectively with families and communities to improve health and wellbeing. You will be equipped with skills and knowledge in order to continue to develop in your new profession.

Sexual Health Awareness and Practice

On this module, you will critically analyse the relevant ethical, political, legal and professional issues that impinge on contraception and sexual health in the context of children and adolescents. You will examine and explore the attitudes, values, beliefs and feelings that underpin the issues of sexual health, working in discussion groups, seminars and tutorials.

Course structure

The programme lasts for 52 weeks full-time. You will undertake a placement, which is a chance to be part of the working world of health and social care, giving you a vital introduction into the sector.

Academic assessments will be conducted via assignments, essays, examinations and presentations. You will also complete a workbook and undertake an invigilated examination to enable you to prescribe from the Nurse Prescribing Formulary. The practice element of the programme will be assessed by your practice teacher and mentor, and you will complete practice placement documents.

Learning methods you’ll undertake include self-directed study, online learning, group work and workshops / study days.

You will learn how to appraise health and social models of health with application to public health practice, evaluate methodologies used to search for health needs through surveillance, assessment and screening. You will also be able to devise, plan and implement health-promoting programmes and strategies, demonstrate self-direction and originality in tackling and solving problems through reflection and evaluate the impact of health policies.

How will I be assessed?

There are a variety of assessments, which include assignments, and invigilated examinations. The pathway modules are assessed through written work and achievement of the Nursing and Midwifery Standards of Proficiency in Practice, which is viewed together as a portfolio.

You will also complete a workbook and undertake an invigilated examination to enable you to prescribe from the Nurse Prescribing Formulary.

How much study is involved?

The programme lasts for 52 weeks (maximum up to 156 weeks) full-time. Study involves 50 per cent theory and 50 per cent practice followed by a minimum period of 10 weeks consolidated practice.

You will complete 120 credits in total over the whole programme including modules which are linked to practice. You must pass all elements of assessment to have the SCPHN and V100 qualifications recorded with the Nursing and Midwifery Council.

Further study

  • The whole programme and gain the Specialist Community Public Health Nurse professional title and have your qualifications entered onto the NMC register.
  • You can simply select some of the modules to suit your aspirations and your organisation's needs.
  • And if you decide you want to go on to study for the degree later on, you can use the modules you've already taken to give you a head start with our accredited learning system.

Enhancing employability skills

This course will give you the opportunity to expand your knowledge and move into more senior roles.

Diane Edkins was working as a school nurse and was hesitant to take on a degree, despite it being the logical step in improving her employability. Once she started studying the course, however, she completely changed her mind.

“I thought the teaching was excellent, as were the facilities. I had lots of support, whether it be in assignment writing, using electronic resources or solving a personal issue.

“The course helped my career, as I have been promoted to a higher band within school nursing. I am not sure what my plans for the future are, but I feel I now have more choices due to undertaking this course.”


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.

As part of the course, you will undertake a valuable work placement. It’ll not only help your confidence, but will also help you put theory from the classroom into practice. We make sure you get a quality experience and that you are fully supported by a workplace mentor on hand throughout your placement.

More about our placement opportunities...


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 student Ann McMaster took this course in order for her to become a full-time health visitor.

“I previously studied at the University, and a colleague, who had studied this course, highly recommended it,” she said. “I wanted to be a health visitor, so this course was the essential step in making that a reality.

“The lecturers are excellent, as are the facilities, and the course gets you to think about different methods and directions, greatly enhancing the way I now perform. I have learnt a great deal, not just about the role, but also about myself.”

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.

Catrina Hartle

Senior Lecturer / Practitioner

Catrina is the Senior Lecturer-Practitioner in Specialist Community Public Health Nursing - Health Visiting.

Catrina presently teaches on the specialist community public health programme and lead on the consolidation module on this programme.