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

Currently viewing course to start in 2022/23 Entry. Switch to 2023/24 Entry

Do you have a desire become a School Nurse? The Specialist Community Public Health Nursing (SCPHN) course is aimed at registered nurses or midwives who wish to develop their knowledge and skills within the context of Specialist Community Public Health Nursing (School Nursing).  

  • Level Postgraduate Taught
  • Study mode Full Time
  • Location City South
  • Award BSc (Hons) / PgDip
  • Start date February 2023
  • School School of Health Sciences
  • Faculty Faculty of Health, Education and Life Sciences


Do you have a desire become a School Nurse? The Specialist Community Public Health Nursing (SCPHN) course is aimed at registered nurses or midwives who wish to develop their knowledge and skills within the context of Specialist Community Public Health Nursing (School Nursing).  

This course is not open to International students.

What's covered in this course?

SCPHN practitioners are uniquely placed to reach, children, young people, families and communities. Being supported by academic assessors, practice assessors, and practice supervisors (NMC, 2018) students will develop skills that enable them to work collaboratively, ensuring support for children, young people and families is effective and proportionate to need. 

Underpinned by research and evidence the SCPHN course provides a range of learning opportunities which encourage students to; become autonomous practitioners in public health; adopt a life course approach to their developing practice and to develop skills to effect change that reduce health inequalities.   

Students will reflect their knowledge and skill development by achievement of the NMC Standards of Proficiency for Specialist Community Public Health Nursing (NMC, 2004). The NMC SCPHN standards include four domains, which require SCPHN practitioners to search for health needs; stimulate an awareness of health needs; influence policies affecting health and facilitate health enhancing activities in different public health settings.   

On successful completion of this course students are eligible for registration by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) on the third part of the register (specialist community public health nurse) and can prescribe from the community practitioners formulary (V100). 

Accredited By

This course is accredited by:

  • Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC)

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.

Studying with us during the Covid-19 pandemic

The University has put in place measures in response to Covid-19 to allow us to safely deliver our courses. Should the impact of the pandemic continue in future years, any additional or alternative arrangements put in place by the University will be in accordance with the latest government public health advice, health and safety legislation, and the terms and conditions of the student contract.


Join us for an on-campus Open Evening where you'll be able to explore our campus and facilities in person. Booking for the next event isn’t open yet. Register your interest below and we’ll email you as soon as booking goes live.

Next Event: Wednesday 26 April

Register Your Interest

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 Academic Development Department (ADD) or the Programme Director for further information.

It is essential that students secure a secondment opportunity or fixed term contract with an employing organisation before applying.

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

Fees & How to Apply

Please select your student status to view fees and apply
  • UK Student
  • International Student

UK students

Annual and modular tuition fees shown are applicable to the first year of study. The University reserves the right to increase fees for subsequent years of study in line with increases in inflation (capped at 5%) or to reflect changes in Government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament. View fees for continuing students.

Award: BSc (Hons)

Starting: Feb 2023

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees
  • Full Time
  • 1 year
  • TBC

Award: PgDip

Starting: Feb 2023

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees
  • Full Time
  • 1 year
  • 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

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.

Course in Depth

Level 6

In order to complete this course a student must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 120 credits):

This OPTIONAL module can be completed in place of prescribing should your employing Trust deem this more suitable. 

Level 7

In order to complete this course a student must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 120 credits):

This OPTIONAL module can be completed in place of prescribing should your employing Trust deem this more suitable. 

Course structure

The aim of the Specialist Community Public Health Nursing (SCPHN) course is to prepare students with the skills and knowledge to provide leadership and innovation in community public health.   

The wider aims are to improve population health, in particular the health of children, young people and families, and to prevent illness and are based upon the four guiding principles with the NMC Standards of Proficiency for SCPHNs (NMC, 2004) 

How will I be assessed?

A variety of assessment methods are used to enable students to demonstrate their knowledge, skills and understanding. The assessment methods are designed to enable students to apply theory to their developing SCPHN practice; develop critical thinking and analysis skills and to achieve the required level of internalisation (Steinaker and Bell, 1989) in their field of Specialist Community Public Health Nursing (SCPHN). 

Assessment methods used include formative assessments such as group work – presentations; professional skills profile; self-assessments; midpoint placement assessment; quizzes.  A range of summative assessments are used such as essays; invigilated exams; presentations and practice assessment documents (SCPHN and V100). 

Course Specifications

Download the course specifications:

BSc (Hons)

PG Dip

This course is accredited by:

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.


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

Facilities & Staff

We have invested £340 million in our facilities, including an upgrade to our Skills and Simulation facilities at City South Campus. We boast up-to-date, innovative facilities that simulate the real situations that you may come across in the workplace. These resources are essential in offering you a hands-on introduction to health and social care practice.

Mock Wards

These are set up to look like typical hospital wards, with four to six bays. Depending on the topic in hand, different manikins can be used as patients and relevant equipment is provided to practise clinical skills. Some of the manikins are interactive and can simulate different scenarios e.g. some allow you to cannulate, check pulses, intubate etc, and some can talk to you. One ward is often used as an adult ward, and the other as a child ward.

These rooms also allow for scenarios to be set up for other professions such as dietetics, paramedic science and social work.

The Operating Theatre and Recovery Suites

The operating theatre and recovery suite gives you the sense of what it would be like in a real surgical environment.

These spaces emulate the full surgical journey from anaesthetics, through surgery and into recovery. ODP students can practice a range of skills including gowning, hand washing, preparing instrument trays, and working with a patient. Nurses and midwives may experience a surgical placement and need to go to theatre or be part of the midwifery team involved with caesarean sections. Many other Allied Health Professionals may also see patients in recovery if necessary.

Home Environment Room

This space is used to simulate non-clinical settings, as not everything health professionals deal with is hospital based. This is used for simulations of home visits and home births. It also houses soft matting and a bubble machine that are used by the Learning Disability Nursing team.

Assisted Living Space

This space replicates a flat and is used for scenarios such as home visits. The sitting room area provides a different space to practise skills and simulations and work with service users and other students.

Assisted Kitchen

This specially designed kitchen has different areas where you can practice cooking, cleaning, boiling the kettle etc., with someone who has actual or simulated visual impairments. There are adapted devices to help, and simulation glasses for you to wear to experience visual impairments.

Physiotherapy Room

This is a space for physiotherapy students to use, with various equipment to practise client meetings.

Radiotherapy Planning Computer Suite

Our computers allow you to plan hypothetical treatments, in terms of angles and directions, ensuring that radiotherapy reaches where it is needed on a patient’s body.

Radiography Image Interpretation and Reporting Stations Computer Suite

These facilities allow you to view and analyse x-rays.

VERT - Virtual Environment for Radiotherapy Training

This room contains 3D technology to view virtual patients and look at trajectories for treatment.


This room contains the same bed/couch used when patients are given radiotherapy treatment. While students of course do not administer radiotherapy in this room, it does allow them to practise adjusting the equipment to make sure both it and a patient would be in the correct position to receive treatment.

Telehealth Room

This room allows for small group teaching in a central area (large boardroom type table) with fiv small telehealth booths down either side. These are to allow all our health professions students to practise delivering healthcare and advice remotely, either over the phone or on a video call. This addition to our teaching reflects moves in the sector to offer more flexible access to healthcare services, particularly as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Imaging Academy

This new facility is a larger version of our existing image interpretation computer facilities and forms part of the West Midlands Imaging Academy hub, funded by Health Education England. These expanded facilities will mean we can further develop our courses and expertise in radiography and imaging.

Speech and Language Therapy Resource Room

Our Speech and Language Therapy Team have developed a collection of tools, books and resources to help you learn and understand the implications of a speech or swallowing limitation. You can practise one to one client meetings and clinics and use the video recording equipment to review role play scenarios.

Our staff

Laura Maguire

Senior Lecturer – Post Qualifying Practice Department

Laura’s professional background is in midwifery and health visiting.  She has worked in both hospital and community settings, here in the UK and in Australia.  She joined Birmingham City University in 2014 as a PhD student and Graduate Research and Teaching Assistant (GRTA).  Her interests include offering excellence in teaching and...

More about Laura