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Graduates from this course are employed in many different roles

  • Specialist Public Health Nurse
  • Health Visitor
  • Nurse
  • School nurse


Important notice – campus change Students will complete the next two years on the Jordanstown campus (academic year 2019/20 and 2020/21). Thereafter, from 2021, they may transition campuses. Precise timings will be communicated as we progress through the final stages of the build of the enhanced Belfast campus. Find out more

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


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.

The University regularly ‘refreshes’ courses to make sure they are as up-to-date as possible. The University calls this process 'academic revalidation’. This course is currently being ‘refreshed’, with changes being put in place for students entering from September 2018 onwards. For the most up-to-date course/ module information, please contact the Course Director.

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About this course

In this section


The specialist pathways we offer (health visiting or school visiting) enable you to choose optional modules which in turn means you can focus your qualification in a particular area of interest.

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.


Full-time. Health Visiting and School Nursing.

Full-time. The duration of the programme is 52 weeks.

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

Start dates

  • September 2019
How to apply

Teaching, Learning and Assessment

Teaching and Learning Methods: A range of teaching/learning methods are used to enable students to develop knowledge and understanding related to these learning outcomes and to provide the foundation for other learning. There is a continuous focus upon how theory is linked to and is informed by practice.

Methods used include lectures, seminars/discussions, guided reading, reflection, role play, teacher and peer observation, simulated practice, presentation, creative methods and debate. Video and other material may be used to support this.

To apply the knowledge to the three specific pathways of Health Visiting (HV), Occupational Health Nursing (OHN) and School Nursing (SN), group seminars and discussions will be led by pathway leaders.

Assessment Methods: Self, peer and teacher assessment will be used throughout the course to assess the achievement of learning outcomes and will require students to demonstrate the blending of theory with practice through participation and by production of coursework. A combination of formative and summative assessment will be employed to demonstrate student learning. Students will be expected to note where the feedback gained from formative assessment influenced their summative submissions to demonstrate development and achievement of learning outcomes.

Formative assessment will also take place in practice to enable student to develop their skills. and the use of learning contracts will aid and show progression towards achievement of proficiencies and recorded in the practice portfolio.


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.

In this section

Year one

Current issues in Public Health

Year: 1

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.

Evidence & Research Underpinning Specialist Community Public Health Nursing Practice

Year: 1

This module provides students with the opportunity to acquire the knowledge and skills to review evidence, in particular research findings on which to justify or change current practice, and use certain research techniques. Teaching methods will comprise introductory lectures and workshops. Assessment is by coursework.

Child Development and Life Perspectives

Year: 1

The role of the Specialist Community Public Health Nurse either, health visiting/school nurse 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 student with 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. The students increasing knowledge base and placement learning experience will facilitate critical thinking through reflection and integration of theoretical perspectives with practice experiences.

Safeguarding Children and Decision Making

Year: 1

Safeguarding Children is a key role for all Specialist Community Public Health Nurse'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 they will be working through examining and relating professional and recent policy developments and their implementation to practice. The increasing student knowledge base and placement experience will facilitate critical thinking through reflection and integration of theoretical perspectives with practice experiences.

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.

In this section

A level


English Language Requirements

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).

Additional Entry Requirements

Applicants must have current registration as a nurse or midwife on Part 1 and/or Part 2 on the Nursing & Midwifery Council (NMC) register.

  • Hold 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 the 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 (date of issue to be within the last 2 years).

Exemptions and transferability

All modules must be completed to obtain the award.

Students not meeting the required NMC competencies may apply to transfer to the BSc Hons Health and Wellbeing.

Careers & opportunities

In this section

Job roles

Graduates from this course are employed in many different roles. Here are some examples:

  • Specialist Public Health Nurse
  • Health Visitor
  • Nurse
  • School nurse

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.

Work placement / study abroad

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

Professional recognition

Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC)

Recognised by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) for the purpose of registration as a Specialist Community Public Health Nurse


How to apply Request a prospectus

Health Visiting - Places on this pathway are commissioned by the Department of Health (DoH) in Northern Ireland. BSO (Business Services Organisation) are fully responsible for the recruitment and selection process. Entry to the course is through application and interview and can be completed at both undergraduate and postgraduate level. These training posts are advertised once per year on the HSC Recruit website (normally around February time onwards). ALL applicants MUST apply online via the HSC Recruit website

School Nursing & Occupational Health Nursing – Places on this pathway are normally commissioned by the Department of Health (DoH) in Northern Ireland. Anyone who will be receiving a Commissioned place from the DoH via their HSC Trust should contact the Practice Education Team in their relevant HSC Trust in order to obtain a commissioned Application Form. The HSCT will manage your application. Please DO NOT apply directly via the University online application system. Those who are not eligible for DoH Commissioned places, must apply via the University online application system.(known as the self-funded route).

Start dates

  • September 2019

Fees and funding

In this section

Fees (per year)

Important notice - fees information Fees illustrated are based on 19/20 entry and are subject to an annual increase. Correct at the time of publishing. Terms and conditions apply. Additional mandatory costs are highlighted where they are known in advance. There are other costs associated with university study.
Visit our Fees pages for full details of fees

Northern Ireland & EU:

England, Scotland, Wales
and the Islands:

£9,250.00  Discounts available

£14,060.00  Scholarships available

Scholarships, awards and prizes

The Maura Hamil McKenna cup is an award for the highest overall academic mark achieved by a student.

Additional mandatory costs

AccessNI Enhanced Disclosure

Tuition fees and costs associated with accommodation, travel (including car parking charges), and normal living are a part of university life.

Where a course has additional mandatory expenses we make every effort to highlight them. These may include residential visits, field trips, materials (e.g. art, design, engineering) inoculations, security checks, computer equipment, uniforms, professional memberships etc.

We aim to provide students with the learning materials needed to support their studies. Our libraries are a valuable resource with an extensive collection of books and journals as well as first-class facilities and IT equipment. Computer suites and free wifi is also available on each of the campuses.

There will be some additional costs to being a student which cannot be itemised and these will be different for each student. You may choose to purchase your own textbooks and course materials or prefer your own computer and software. Printing and binding may also be required. There are additional fees for graduation ceremonies, examination resits and library fines. Additional costs vary from course to course.

Students choosing a period of paid work placement or study abroad as part of their course should be aware that there may be additional travel and living costs as well as tuition fees.

Please contact the course team for more information.


Course Director: Aishlinn Long

T: +44 (0)28 9036 6366


Lecturer in Nursing: Julie Tracey

T: +44 (0)28 9036 8356


For more information visit

Faculty of Life and Health Sciences

School of Nursing


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