People with learning disabilities often have a wide range of physical and mental health conditions. Learning disability nurses work in partnership with them and family carers, to provide specialist healthcare. Their main aim is to support the well-being and social inclusion of people with a learning disability by improving or maintaining their physical and mental health; by reducing barriers; and supporting the person to pursue a fulfilling life. For example, teaching someone the skills to find work can be significant in helping them to lead a more independent, healthy life where they can relate to others on equal terms.
Learning disability nursing is provided in settings such as adult education, residential and community centres, as well as in patients' homes, workplaces and schools. You could specialise in such areas as education, sensory disability or the management of services. If you work in a residential setting, you may do shifts to provide 24-hour care.
What does it involve?
The emphasis is on nursing in a range of social settings, including, home, work and leisure activities. Nurses specialising in learning disabilities will work as part of a team which includes psychologists, social workers, teachers, general practitioners, occupational therapists, speech and language therapists and healthcare assistants.
Our Learning Disability Nursing degree emphasises independent thinking and problem-solving, which will help you to undertake research, and deal with (or lead the management of) change in clinical practice.
The course integrates academic study with a wide range of practice placements. Graduate nurses are expected to apply their enhanced knowledge and be able to influence and manage changes in nursing. An important feature of this programme is the opportunity throughout for shared interdisciplinary and inter-professional learning. Additionally, in year 2 students are able to undertake an elective placement. Many of our students take this opportunity to work overseas.
Download a copy of the Nursing course leaflet.
- Year 1
- Fundamentals of Professional Practice
- Developing Professional Graduate Skills for Health and Social Care Practitioners
- Introduction to Health and Wellbeing
- Fundamental Approaches in Nursing
- Fundamentals of Learning Disability Nursing
- Year 1 Practice Assessment
Students exiting at this point with 120 credits at Level 4 would receive a Cert HE Health Care Studies
- Year 2
- Using Evidence to Support Practice
- Working with Others
- Challenges in Health and Behaviour
- Developing Therapeutic Approaches and Practice
- Focus upon Learning Disability Nursing Practice
- Year 2 Practice Assessment
Students exiting at this point with 120 credits at Level 4 and 120 at Level 5 would receive a Dip HE Health Care Studies
- Year 3
- Using Evidence to Evaluate Practice
- Professional Practice in Context
- Promoting Health and Wellbeing for Groups and Communities
- Transition to Graduate Practice
- Preparing for Learning Disability Practice
- Year 3 Practice Assessment
Students successfully achieving 120 credits at Level 4, 120 at Level 5 and 120 at Level 6 would receive a BSc(Hons) Nursing/RN Adult
For detailed summary of all course content please read our programme specification for this course (PDF).
Download the programme specification
240 tariff points from maximum of 3 A Levels. Also to include GCSE in English Language, Maths and Science or Social Science grade C or above.
Find out more about qualification options from the UCAS tariff table.
Please check selection criteria for any additional entry requirements.
Successful recent study within last 5 years at GCSE level or higher (NVQ3 accepted and NVQ2 not accepted).
Alternate qualifications accepted for entry include:
- Level 3 BTEC Extended Diploma in Health & Social Care/ Applied Science MMM
- Level 3 BTEC Diploma in Health & Social Care/ Applied Science DD
- OCR Cambridge Technical Level 3 Extended Diploma in Health & Social Care MMM
- OCR Cambridge Technical Level 3 Diploma in Health & Social Care DD
- Pass Access to HE Diploma with 60 credits overall. Minimum 45 credits at Level 3.
- 220 tariff points from maximum of 4 Scottish Highers.
- 220 tariff points from maximum of 4 Irish Leaving Certificate Highers.
- NVQ Level 3 in Health & Social Care, plus minimum 2 years’ experience in health care setting.
Equivalent qualifications other than those listed above may be accepted.
Experience of health/social care-related setting such as a hospital or primary care health centre prior to application is preferred.
There is competition for places on our learning disability degree, so before you apply you should consider carefully if learning disability nursing is right for you. You will need to demonstrate commitment to learning disability nursing in your application, which means that your application will not be considered if you have applied to us for more than one field (or for additional professional courses other than nursing). In your personal statement you should demonstrate your motivation for choosing learning disability nursing, and reflect upon any practical experience you have gained.
All places are offered subject to successful interview and numeracy test, as well as CRB and medical clearance and eligibility for a NHS bursary.
Value Based Recruitment
* From 1 April 2015, all Higher Education Institutions delivering NHS funded training programmes will be required to assess students for their values using the core requirements set out in the Value Based Recruitment (VBR) framework. This assessment will take place as part of our recruitment process.