Graduate Diploma Community Specialist Practice (District Nursing)

Accredited by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC)

Course details

Online application

September 2016

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Learn the skills you need to be an expert in District Nursing! We'll provide you with everything you need to become a specialist practitioner in this field, combining the theory you learn with the skills you have developed in practice to ensure successful progression of your career. You'll learn how to think, read and write critically around contemporary issues involving districy nursing, and thanks to our excellent working relationships with partner trusts, have the ability to put your studies to practice in a supportive learning environment. We have everything you need to be a specialist in District Nursing, so take advantage of the wealth of experience our expert teaching staff have and work towards advancing your career!

We provide a challenging and flexible learning environment for registered nurses to develop in community specialist practice. As well as a broad knowledge in relation to public health, you'll develop specialist skills in aspects such as health assessment, clinical care and case management. This course will last 40 weeks at full time study or 80 weeks part time.

Our course is half theory, half practice, facilitated in an area specific to your subject. There will also be opportunities to gain alternative practice experience in another relevant setting during the course - you will be encouraged to undertake five days alternative placement to provide a wide perspective of District Nursing. Students are also actively encouraged to work with other health professionals to enhance their knowledge and understanding.

Year One

Compulsory Modules

  • HPHG 6110 Leading Evidenced Based District Nursing
  • HLLG 6018 Evidence Based Practice
  • HPHG 6050 Public Health in Practice
  • HPHG 6028 Facilitating Health Behaviour Change
  • HLLG 6012 Consultation and Physical Examination: Health Assessment Skills
  • HPHG 9006 QPU - Community Specialist Practice
  • HPHN 9001 QPU - Community Practitioner Nurse Prescribing
  • HPHN 9002 QPU - Community Practitioner Nurse Prescribing

Programme Specification

For detailed summary of all course content please read our programme specification for this course.

Download the programme specification (PDF)

1st or 2nd class honours degree.

Students with other qualifications may be admitted to the course via Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL) procedures.

Selection criteria

If you apply for this course you must be currently on the NMC Nursing register and you will need to provide evidence of study at level 5/6 within the last five years or complete an approved study skills course.

You will be interviewed for selection for this programme. The interview panel may include Trust staff, employers, mentors/practice teachers and university staff. During the interview you will be offered advice on the suitability of the award dependent on factors such as recent evidence of prior learning, and your personal and professional development needs.

You will need support from a NHS Health Trust or your employer and be able to secure a placement in your chosen area of practice, with access to a Practice Teacher. You will need to have completed a Disclosure Baring Service clearance, and this will be checked prior to your commencement on the course.

If you work in Cumbria, Lancashire or Blackpool areas, you may be eligible to apply for a place on the programme funded and supported by one of the local NHS Trusts. The NHS Trusts advertise places on the programme each year through NHS Jobs usually in spring/early summer. We advise you to contact your local NHS Health Trust and ask to speak with the manager for the specialist pathway that you are interested in, in order to express your interest and discuss opportunities.

Occasionally students self-fund a place on this programme. However, you will still need to talk to the relevant manager in your local NHS Health Trust in order to ask if they can provide you with a placement and a mentor/practice teacher in the relevant field of practice.

If you live further afield, you are able to undertake the programme with us if you can organise a practice placement with a mentor or practice teacher in the relevant field of practice. Your local NHS Health Trust will be able to advise you as to whether this is possible.

Making your application

Applications should be made online directly to the university - visit our website or contact for details and guidance. There is no official closing date but we would encourage you to apply as early as possible, as many courses are competitive.

What makes a good application?

We consider all aspects of your application, not simply your qualifications and grades. We look at your academic background and performance, relevant experience (particularly for professional courses where some voluntary or paid experience is required) and your reference. Above all, we look for motivation, commitment and potential - evidence that you can benefit from study at higher education level.

Make sure you include:

  • Relevant qualifications/evidence of ability: check our website for the specific entry requirements required for each course. Tell us your previous academic results and your projected grades.
  • A supportive reference, from an employer or your school or college.
  • A good personal statement.

Explain clearly what attracts you to the course and tell us about your wider interests and experience. If you are applying for a course that incorporates professional training and placements, you should include any relevant experience or visits you have made in the workplace. Highlight your individual strengths and qualities, personal skills, capacity for teamwork, contribution to the community and your enterprise, originality and determination. Select some activities which bring out these qualities.

What next?

When we receive your application, we will send you an acknowledgement and if you are successful at this stage you will get either - an offer (with an invitation to visit the campus to which you have applied), or - an invitation to interview on a particular date. If we are not able to offer you a place on your chosen course we will usually try to offer you a place on a similar course and will contact you to discuss this. Alternatively, if we think you are suitable, but cannot offer you a place on your preferred campus because of the level of competition, we will offer you a place at another campus if one is available.

And if I accept?

The admissions team will contact you and send further information from February onwards about accommodation, and from May/June onwards about preparing to join the university. If you have any other queries, please telephone the admissions offices for information and advice on 0845 6061144.

Deferred entry

We welcome applications for deferred entry on some courses. If you have specific plans during your year out, indicate these on your personal statement as they may be relevant to your course and could enhance your application.

International students

Please see the international pages of our website for full details of our entry requirements (including English-language skills) as well as contacts for advice and support.

From 2009 the UK Border Agency introduced a Points-Based Immigration System (PBS) for students coming to the UK from outside the European Economic Area (EEA).

Students entering higher education will need to obtain a Confirmation of Acceptance (CAS) plus finance confirmation to obtain a Tier 4 student visa.

UK education providers are licensed by the UK Border Agency. When students apply for their visa (or entry clearance) they will need a valid Certificate of Acceptance of Studies from the university. Please note that a CAS is not a guarantee that a visa will be issued.

See the following websites for further details:

Successful completion of the course will allow you to apply for the NMC Nursing register, recording this qualification as a V100 Community Practitioner Nurse Prescriber. This will enable you to work as a District Nurse and progress to work as a team leader in your field.

If you wish to take your learning further, you could use your qualification to study at a Masters level.

As one of the UK's leading health and social care faculties, we can offer a fantastic level of student support and a wide range of high quality courses. Our expert academic and clinical practice staff are dedicated to helping you enhance your learning, which has helped produce our excellent employment record. Our NHS related provision achieved the highest possible rating on our recent review by the Quality Assurance Agency.

Have a look at our learning resources for Nursing.