Nursing - Professional Nursing - Learning Disabilities Nursing
The MSc Professional Nursing programme will enable you to graduate with a Masters and you will be eligible to register with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) as a Learning Disabilities Nurse.
Learning Disabilities Nursing is focused upon the psychological and physical wellbeing of individuals with a learning disability throughout the lifespan from children, young people, adults and older people.
Our highly-trained lecturing staff are actively engaged in areas of speciality practice. Our personal tutor system for student support is very well regarded, and we were awarded the Best Student Experience award in the 2021 Student Nursing Times Awards.
The Learning Disabilities Nursing pathway aims to prepare a nurse to undertake a person centred assessment, formulating and delivering care in partnership with their clients and their significant others. Learning Disabilities nurses are experts in the conditions their clients and patients are living with, and are skilled at supporting them and their families in all aspects of their life. They display leadership through a commitment to professional values and evidence based practice to improve health outcomes for individuals, families and communities.
This course will equip students with the knowledge, skills and attributes to deliver person-centred, team-based, safe, effective care in today's fast-paced, dynamic health service.
You will learn in our state-of-the-art clinical skills and simulation suite and complete practice placements in a range of settings. The course is taught by experts in learning disability nursing, who will support you in becoming a caring, compassionate professional, working in partnership with people, families, and communities. Our focus on interdisciplinary learning throughout the two year course will enrich your experience and help prepare you for the reality of professional practice.
This programme is fully funded by the Department of Health for Home students*, including full fees and a bursary. Students on this programme are ineligible to apply for funding from the Student Loans Company. The programme is not available as a part time programme.
If you have previously been in receipt of a DoH paid place/bursary for a pre-registration nursing, midwifery or AHP course in Northern Ireland you will not be eligible for a funded place on this programme.
Learning and Teaching
At Queen's, we aim to deliver a high quality learning environment that embeds intellectual curiosity, innovation and best practice in learning, teaching and student support to enable student to achieve their full academic potential.
On the MSc Professional Nursing we do this by providing a range of learning experiences which enable our students to engage with subject experts, develop attributes and perspectives that will equip them for life and work in a global society and make use of innovative technologies and a world class library that enhances their development as independent, lifelong learners. Examples of the opportunities provided for learning on this course are:
Information associated with lectures and assignments is often communicated via a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) called Canvas. A range of e-learning experiences are also embedded in the degree through, for example: interactive group workshops in a flexible learning space, podcasts and interactive web-based learning activities.
Introduce information about new topics as a starting point for further self-directed private study/reading. Lectures also provide opportunities to ask questions, gain some feedback and advice on assessments (normally delivered in large groups to all year group peers)
Students are allocated a Personal Tutor who meets with them on several occasions during each year to support their academic development.
Practical and Simulation Based Education
Where you will have opportunities to develop technical skills and apply theoretical principles to real-life or practical contexts in our groundbreaking simulation centre. All nursing students have opportunities to engage in interprofessional education (IPE) activities. You will be expected to attend 100% of classes within your nursing modules.
This is an essential part of life as a Queen's student when important private reading, engagement with e-learning resources, reflection on feedback to date and research work for assignments is carried out.
Significant amounts of teaching are carried out in small groups (typically 10-20 students). These provide an opportunity for students to engage with academic staff who have specialist knowledge of the topic, to ask questions of them and to assess your own progress and understanding with the support of peers. You should also expect to make presentations and other contributions to these groups
Work Practice placements
Students will undertake clinical placements regularly throughout the programme. This enhances the link from theory to practice in nursing and provides students with a wide variety of opportunities and experiences in all fields of nursing. It is an essential component of the programme, ensuring that the student has sufficient opportunities to develop skill and competence in care provision and decision making, meeting the requirements for professional registration with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC 2020).
Placements in Learning Disabilities Nursing can be anywhere in Northern Ireland; students should expect to travel to placements. When on placements every student is assigned a Practice Supervisor and Practice Assessor, who are trained in teaching within the clinical setting. Students should expect to work night shifts and/or long days on a regular basis while on placement
The two year programme will comprise of 50% academic modules and 50% in practice learning. All modules are listed below.
Students will be required to complete all compulsory modules, plus a Placement Portfolio to successfully complete this programme.
Applied Life Science
Students will develop confidence in bioscience knowledge, competence in integrating biosciences in evidence informed clinical decision making and care, and communication with multiprofessional teams and patients.
Developing Leadership and Professionalism
Students will demonstrate positive knowledge, skills, attitudes and values in leading and managing care in a diverse health and social care system. This will be achieved through the following themes:
Leadership and management;
Principles of supervision and assessment in practice;
Foundation of Learning Disabilities Nursing
Students will explore what it means to care for someone with a learning disability. The student will develop an awareness and understanding of the needs of people with learning disabilities across the lifespan, patterns of health and wellness, factors affecting quality of care and support and inclusion and the impact on families and carers and the role of other professionals in the provision of care and support. The student will look at how to support the person to live a fulfilling life by helping improve and maintain the person's physical and mental health, by reducing barriers to healthcare and by encouraging independence in each individual.
Students in all fields of nursing will recognise the journey of a prescription from the assessment process with the patient, to prescribing partnership, supply, storage, dispensing and administration of that medication. They will gain an understanding of the families of drugs applied across the lifespan, consider the therapeutic and adverse effects of those medications and identify factors that could modify patients' responses to medication.
Practice Learning 1
Students will demonstrate practical knowledge and skills to promote mental and physical well-being for clients with learning disabilities across the lifespan under the following themes:
-Person centred care and positive therapeutic relationships
-Communication skills and therapeutic interventions
-Inter-professional team working
Practice Learning 2
Students will demonstrate in depth knowledge and skills underpinning the care of people with learning disabilities throughout the lifespan.
Professionalism, Caring and Communication in Nursing
This module will cover the essential knowledge, skills, attitudes and behaviours required to demonstrate accountability by nurses in all care settings. This includes: introduction to the four fields of nursing; person-centred care; values based nursing care; understanding wellness; compassion, empathy; ensuring equality and diversity is respected across vulnerable populations.
Public Health and Supporting People with Chronic Health Care Needs Students will explore how health is conceptualised locally and globally. They will demonstrate understanding of the role of public health in maintaining the health of individuals and communities including vulnerable populations with specific health needs
Quality Improvement in an Interprofessional Context - Part A Students will demonstrate the skills to lead, facilitate and disseminate a Quality Improvement project to promote the embedding of outcomes as part of an interprofessional team. Students will work with practice to identify a QI project, plan, implement all aspects of the project, analyse the data and report/ disseminate the findings.
Quality Improvement in an Interprofessional Context - Part B Students will demonstrate the skills to lead, facilitate and disseminate a Quality Improvement project to promote the embedding of outcomes as part of an interprofessional team. Students will work with practice to identify a QI project, plan, implement all aspects of the project, analyse the data and report/ disseminate the findings.
Safe Medicate 2
This module provides numeracy and problem solving skills that underpin medication dosage calculations preparing students for safe clinical practice.
Safe Medicate 3
Having developed insight into key formula, students will engage and apply previous knowledge in more complex field specific scenarios preparing students for safe clinical practice as they prepare for entry to the register.
All applicants must normally have a minimum of 5 GCSEs at grade C to include English Language or an equivalent qualification acceptable to the University, Mathematics and a Science subject (ie Biology/Human Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Double Award Science or Single Award Science). GCSE Applied Science is not acceptable in lieu of GCSE Science.
In addition to the GCSE requirements, or equivalent, all applicants must have an Honours degree in any subject with an award of 2.1 or above. Candidates with an Honours degree in any subject with an award of 2.2 will be considered on a case by case basis.
Students who have a first degree in nursing and who are registered with the NMC will be eligible to apply for a field of practice in which they are currently not registered.
For information on international qualification equivalents, please check the specific information for your country.
English Language Requirements
Evidence of an IELTS* score of 7.0, with not less than 7.0 in reading, listening and speaking, and no less than 6.5 in writing, or an equivalent qualification acceptable to the University is required. *Taken within the last 2 years.
International students wishing to apply to Queen's University Belfast (and for whom English is not their first language), must be able to demonstrate their proficiency in English in order to benefit fully from their course of study or research. Non-EEA nationals must also satisfy UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) immigration requirements for English language for visa purposes.
For more information on English Language requirements for EEA and non-EEA nationals see: www.qub.ac.uk/EnglishLanguageReqs.
If you need to improve your English language skills before you enter this degree programme, INTO Queen's University Belfast offers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability for admission to this degree.
• Academic English: an intensive English language and study skills course for successful university study at degree level
• Pre-sessional English: a short intensive academic English course for students starting a degree programme at Queen's University Belfast and who need to improve their English.
How to Apply
Apply using our online Postgraduate Applications Portal go.qub.ac.uk/pgapply and follow the step-by-step instructions on how to apply.
Applicants who satisfy the academic requirements, or will be able to do so by 31st August 2022, will be shortlisted for interview. They must also submit a portfolio of evidence as part of their application, which should include evidence of 650 hrs of verified direct care, and personal statements that reflect the skills, knowledge and attributes for nurses based on the NMC Code. Interviews will normally take place in early summer and will evaluate the candidate's experience of healthcare, or other relevant direct care employment, paid or voluntary, as well as the skills, knowledge and attitudes expected of graduates.
Closing date for applications: 5pm on Monday 25th April 2022.
In 2022 we are unable to offer this programme to students who are not eligible for a funded place, which will include GB and overseas students. We are awaiting confirmation of whether EU students can access a funded place.
2 academic years (Full Time).
Contact Teaching Hours
Medium Group Teaching
25 (hours maximum)
This is a full time programme using blended learning. Students should be available to either attend class or complete all online elements across the week. 100% attendance is required for face to face teaching.
0 (hours maximum)
Students will be expected to prepare for classes and develop assignments during unscheduled time.
Post Course Info
Studying for an MSc Professional Nursing degree at Queen's will assist you in developing the core skills and employment-related experiences that are valued by employers, professional organisations and academic institutions. Graduates from Queen's are well regarded by employers both nationally and internationally.
The majority of our graduates pursue a career in nursing which is an interesting, rewarding and challenging career where work can be in a variety of health care settings from accident and emergency to working in patients' homes, with people of all ages and backgrounds. Nursing can also offer a diverse range of post registration opportunities to specialise in areas such as public health and health promotion; as well as education and research
Employment after the Course
Graduates of this programme will have the opportunity to quickly gain access to higher level and management roles, building an exceptional career from the very beginning.
Further study is also an option open to Nursing graduates, and some may choose to follow a research pathway. There is a range of PhD Nursing opportunities available within the School; click here for more information.