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Nursing - Specialist Community Public Health Nursing

This course provides the knowledge, understanding and skills necessary to meet the standards of proficiency for Specialist Community Public Health Nursing (SCPHN) for nurses, health visitors or school nurses. We are the sole provider in Northern Ireland of this Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) approved course, which will give you the opportunity to engage with evidence informed practice.

Get the skills to practise safely and effectively in maintaining and improving public and community health, acknowledging the responsibilities and accountabilities necessary for public protection. Embracing diversity and reflective of a changing society, the course will give you the skills necessary to recognise and respond to the needs of clients/families.

This course is only offered for health visiting and school nursing students. You will have a Practice teacher to provide the support, guidance and facilitation necessary for you to develop the competencies needed and assess your achievements. The course is designed to prepare students to register on the third part of the NMC professional register in the areas of health visiting or health visitors.

Entry requirements

Entry Requirements

Applicants must hold a degree in Nursing or other health-related area or equivalent or demonstrate their ability to undertake the programme through the accreditation of prior experiential learning (APL). The initial offer standard may vary from year to year. See prospectus entry.

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

Specific requirements for the course are detailed below:

• Applicants must have current part 1 or 2 registration in either nursing or midwifery with the

Nursing and Midwifery Council

• Applicants must have 2 years post registration experience at the time of application.

• Students are required to apply through a regional recruitment and selection process and pass the standard set at interview

• 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)

• Provide an Access NI Enhance Disclosure certificate, which is current on application to Ulster

English Language Requirements

English language requirements for international applicants
The minimum requirement for this course is Academic IELTS 6.0 with no band score less than 5.5. Trinity ISE: Pass at level III also meets this requirement for Tier 4 visa purposes.

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

Exemptions and transferability

Exit award

Students who fail the practice element but pass all academic modules will be awarded a

Post Graduate Diploma in Community Public Health as an academic award (120 credits at Level 7) but do not register with the NMC.



Part time over 104 week, 6 sememsters
Attendance 1 day University per week and 1 day placement

Full-time. The duration of the programme is 52 weeks.
Attendance (Full-time)
One – two days weekly + practice days.

Careers or further progression

Career prospects of graduates from this course are excellent with the majority moving rapidly into permanent posts within their specialist area. Successful students will go onto the third part of the NMC register as a Specialist Community Public Health Nurse with the annotation as either a Health Visitor or School Nurse.

Further enquiries

Karen Devlin
T: +44 (0)28 7032 3604

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

Subjects taught

Year one

Contemporary issues in Public Health
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 improvement, health protection and service commissioning. This module covers the spectrum of public health activity enabling the student 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.

Advanced Child Development and Life Perspectives
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) needs to be responsive to families' individual requirements and be able to tailor interventions accordingly. This module will provide the knowledge required to fulfil this role. Working under the supervision and in Partnership with Practice Teachers in the practice learning environment will give the student the opportunity for application in practice. Increasing knowledge base and placement learning experience will facilitate the students critical thinking through reflection and integration of theoretical perspectives with practice experiences.

Year two

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 student 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 student 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 student 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 and Advanced Decision Making
Continuum of Safeguarding Children is a key role for all SCPHN's working with children and families. This module explores this role in the recognition and referral of children in need and at risk of abuse. There is strong emphasis on leadership, decision making, collaborative working to safeguard children, ethical and legal issues, and professional responsibilities in relation to record keeping and report writing.
This module will provide the student with an in-depth understanding of the context in which the student will be working through examining and relating professional and recent policy developments and their implementation to practice. Their increasing knowledge base and placement experience will facilitate critical thinking through reflection and integration of theoretical perspectives with practice experiences.

Application date

Application is through the University's online application system.

Enrolment and start dates

Year of entry: 2020/21

Postgraduate Information Session 20 February 2020
Register at:

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