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Nursing - Specialist Community Public Health Nursing

Ulster University is the only Northern Ireland University to offer a PGDip in Specialist Community Public Health Nursing.

Study Specialist Community Public Health Nursing at Ulster University in the United Kingdom.

The programme is designed to prepare students to register on the 3rd part of the NMC Professional Register in the following areas – health visiting or school nursing. This programme is only offered on a full time basis for Health Visiting and School Nursing students.

Practice learning
Students undertaking a programme leading to a Specialist Community and Public Health Nursing qualification complete 113 days of practice to permit you to attain the required specialist competencies and enable you to make the necessary links between theory and practice. Each student has a Teacher Practitioner identified who provides the support, guidance and facilitation necessary for the student to develop the competencies/attributes needed and assesses their achievement.


While on the programme you will undertake a range of modules in semester 1 and 2 that will lead to a level of proficiency which is commensurate with the specialist nature of community public health nursing practice (NMC 2004). It will also build on your previous knowledge and skills to develop reflective professionals whose decisions are based on the best available evidence and who possess an in-depth understanding of public health practice and the differing needs of various client groups. Throughout the duration of the course pathway specific modules will focus on the theories and competencies required to meet the standard for that pathway.

Entry requirements

Entry conditions

We recognise a range of qualifications for admission to our courses. In addition to the specific entry conditions for this course you must also meet the University’s General Entrance Requirements. For general entrance requirements go to:

Entry Requirements

Applicants must have current Part 1or 2 registration in either nursing or midwifery with the Nursing & Midwifery Council

BSc Hons/BSc degree in Nursing or a health related area OR

A Diploma of Higher Education in Nursing/midwifery which is equivalent to 240 academic credits OR

Applicants without a Diploma Higher Education in nursing/midwifery must have successfully completed a portfolio of evidence for Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL) which demonstrates the achievement of all Level 4 and Level 5 learning outcomes. Please note this APL portfolio must be successfully completed and assessed by Ulster University before applicant can proceed to interview.

Health Visiting students are required to apply through a Regional Recruitment and Selection process and pass the standard set at interview

Occupational Health Nurses and School Nurses apply directly to the HSCT and must pass the standard set at interview

Provide an Access NI Enhanced Disclosure certificate, which is current on application to Ulster.

English Language Requirements

English language requirements for international applicants

International students must achieve a score of 7 overall and 7 on each sub-scale on the IELTS test of proficiency in English (NMC requirement).

Ulster recognises a number of other English language tests and comparable IELTS equivalent scores.

Exemptions and transferability

All modules must be completed to obtain the PG Diploma award.

Students not meeting the required NMC competencies may apply to transfer to the PG Dip Health and Wellbeing.



The duration of the programme is 52 weeks.

Attendance (Full-time)
One – two days weekly + practice days.

Careers or further progression

Career options

Career prospects of graduates from this programme are excellent with the majority moving rapidly into permanent posts with their specialist area.

Professional Recognition

Upon successful completion you will be eligible to register on the 3rd part of the Nursing and Midwifery Council register.

Professional recognition

Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) 

Recognised by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) for the purpose of registration as a qualified nurse (adult).

Further enquiries

Course Director: Aishlinn Long
T: +44 (0)28 9036 6366

Lecturer in Nursing: Julie Tracey
T: +44 (0)28 9036 8356

Subjects taught


Here is a guide to the subjects studied on this course.

Courses are continually reviewed to take advantage of new teaching approaches and developments in research, industry and the professions. Please be aware that modules may change for your year of entry. The exact modules available and their order may vary depending on course updates, staff availability, timetabling and student demand. Please contact the course team for the most up to date module list.

Year one

Public Health in Practice
Public health is high on the political agenda and specialist community public health nurses are recognised as playing a key role in this agenda. Public health practice encompasses health promotion, health protection and service commissioning. This module covers the spectrum of public health activity enabling students to analyse policies and practice; evaluate models of practice; work in partnership with communities and stakeholders, develop a needs assessment of a defined community, prioritise needs and design interventions to meet those needs. Assessment is by dissertation

Family Synergy and the Developing Child
The role of the SCPHN (HV, SN) in identification and early intervention with children and parents has become increasingly significant in trying to improve the long term overall health outcomes of children. The SCPHN (HV, SN) at postgraduate level needs to be able to analyse family dynamics and devise individual family interventions. This module will provide the knowledge required to fulfil this role and partnership with teacher practitioners in the practice learning will give the student the opportunity for application in practice. Assessment is 100% by coursework

Developing Leadership and Management in Public Health
This module endeavours to provide students with a thorough understanding of the context in which they will be working through examining recent policy developments and their implementation, professional developments within the ever changing health care environment. The students? increasing knowledge base and placement experience will facilitate critical thinking through reflection and integration of theoretical perspectives with practice experiences. Assessment is by 100% coursework.

Surveillance Screening and Advanced Communication
Health surveillance includes the whole range of screening activities which take place in community clinics, surgeries, schools, workplaces and people?s homes. To manage these activities and engage appropriately with clients and patients SCHPN must be skilled in good communication techniques. This module aims to give SCPHNs the knowledge and skills to contribute to this process.

Clinical Practice Development and Research for SC & PH Nurses
This module builds on previous study of research methods at undergraduate level and provides the critical skills necessary for the SCPHN to utilise research, and its findings, in order to make informed decisions about clinical practice that will enhance nursing and improve the quality of patient care. The aim of this module is to provide the SCPHN to develop the skills required to identify literature, critique the literature, and apply and disseminate research findings relating to their nursing specialism. This module will prepare the SCPHN to develop a more critical understanding of the research process and methods, in order to assess the findings and therefore evaluate evidence to inform practice. The successful completion of this module will enable students to gain greater understanding and confidence in their engagement with the research process and its application to inform evidence-based practice.

The Continuum of Safeguarding Children
Safeguarding Children is a key issue for all SCPHN?s coming into contact with children and families. This module explores their role in the recognition, assessment and referral of children in need and at risk of abuse. There is strong emphasis on collaborative working to safeguard children, ethical and legal issues and professional responsibilities in relation to record keeping and report writing.

Enrolment and start dates

Start Date: September 2017

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