Return to Practice Nursing

2020/21 Part-time Short course and CPD


Magee campus

Start dates:

16 September 2019


20 January 2020



Ulster University is the sole provider for Return to Practice Nursing in Northern Ireland.


This programme is designed to update and develop professional competence and work in partnership with clients, patients and other members of the health and social care team to enable individuals to be eligible for readmission to the NMC when registration has lapsed after a break in practice of three years or more.

It has been designed to fully update the competencies and skills needed in key areas of professional nursing practice which are:

  • Adult Nursing
  • Children’s Nursing
  • Learning Disabilities Nursing
  • Mental Health Nursing

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About this course


Regardless of which pathway you are on you must undertake two 20 credit modules concurrently which equates to 400 effort hours. This is composed of one theory based module and one practice focused module at level 6 (Degree).It is only on successful completion of both modules that you will have met the requirements for a Return to Practice Nursing programme and be eligible to apply to re-register with the NMC and return to the same part of the register that you have lapsed or come from.

Registration with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) is essential for all nurses to work in the United Kingdom (UK). NMC maintain a register of all nurses who have fulfilled the registration requirements. The register is at the heart of the NMC’s role in safeguarding the health and wellbeing of the public.

The NMC (2015) have in their revalidation processes identified that nurses must have worked in some capacity by virtue of their nursing or midwifery qualification during the previous three years for a minimum of 450 hours and undertaken 35 hours of learning activity relevant to your practice. If unable to comply with these and other requirements then, nurses have to successfully complete an approved Return to Practice programme to allow them to renew their registration.

Accordingly, an approved Return to Practice Nursing programme will not be less than five days in length. The length and nature of the programme will be determined by the education provider and the particular individual. This will take into account your registration history, previous level of knowledge and experience, and consideration of any relevant experience undertaken while you have been out of professional practice.

Anyone applying to Return to Practice Nursing may be accepted to intakes starting in September 2020.


The two modules at level 6 are credit bearing only and will award 40 credit points in total. The theoretical module will be assessed via a 2000 word essay submitted in week 12. The pass mark is 40%. The practice learning module will be summative assessment is by completion of a portfolio which includes two mandatory pieces of reflection based on The Code (NMC2015), service user evaluation and essential skills clusters.

On successful completion you must apply to re-register with the NMC to the relevant part of the register


The programme is one semester in length totalling 8 study days altogether. This includes 1 induction/registration day and a further 7 study days. In addition, students are required to undertake from a minimum of 150 up to a maximum of 300 clinical practice hours, over a period of 10 weeks, depending on length of time that they have been out of nursing practice. Normally the following criteria will apply:

Pathway 1- If you have been out of practice for 5 years or less you will undertake a minimum of 150 hours up to a maximum of 200.

Pathway 2- If you have been out of practice for more than 5 years but less than 10 years you will undertake a minimum of 200 hours up to a maximum of 250.

Pathway 3- If you have been out of practice for more than 10 years you will undertake a minimum of 250 hours up to a maximum of 300.

Entry requirements

Applicants must meet the following criteria to be considered for a place:

  • A lapsed registration with NMC after a break of three years or more (or nurses whose registration will have lapsed by the time the course completes will be considered on an individual basis).
  • Verification of initial NMC registration.
  • Satisfactory attendance at an interview.
  • Applicants for whom English is not their first language must have evidence of English at Level 7 IELTS or above or equivalent.

As you will be engaged in ‘regulated activity’ involving children or vulnerable adults as part of this course, there is a compulsory, legal requirement to obtain an Enhanced Disclosure from Access NI. You will be liable for the cost of the disclosure which is currently £33. More information on Enhanced Disclosures may be accessed at

You will also be required to demonstrate good health prior to commencing the course. You will therefore complete a health declaration form which will be screened by Occupational Health who will confirm your medical fitness to undertake the course. Following the screening, you may be required to undertake a vaccination programme. You will be liable for the cost of both the health screening and vaccinations. Costs will be confirmed.

Start dates


The content for each course is summarised on the relevant course page, along with an overview of the modules that make up the course.

Each course is approved by the University and meets the expectations of:

Attendance and Independent Study

As part of your course induction, you will be provided with details of the organisation and management of the course, including attendance and assessment requirements - usually in the form of a timetable. For full-time courses, the precise timetable for each semester is not confirmed until close to the start date and may be subject to some change in the early weeks as all courses settle into their planned patterns. For part-time courses which require attendance on particular days and times, an expectation of the days and periods of attendance will be included in the letter of offer. A course handbook is also made available.

Courses comprise modules for which the notional effort involved is indicated by its credit rating. Each credit point represents 10 hours of student effort. Undergraduate courses typically contain 10- or 20-credit modules (more usually 20) and postgraduate course typically 15- or 30-credit modules.

The normal study load expectation for an undergraduate full-time course of study in the standard academic year is 120 credit points. This amounts to around 36-42 hours of expected teaching and learning per week, inclusive of attendance requirements for lectures, seminars, tutorials, practical work, fieldwork or other scheduled classes, private study, and assessment. Part-time study load is the same as full-time pro-rata, with each credit point representing 10 hours of student effort.

Postgraduate Master’s courses typically comprise 180 credits, taken in three semesters when studied full-time. A Postgraduate Certificate (PGCert) comprises 60 credits and can usually be completed on a part-time basis in one year. A 120-credit Postgraduate Diploma (PGDip) can usually be completed on a part-time basis in two years.

Class contact times vary by course and type of module. Typically, for a module predominantly delivered through lectures you can expect at least 3 contact hours per week (lectures/seminars/tutorials). Laboratory classes often require a greater intensity of attendance in blocks. Some modules may combine lecture and laboratory. The precise model will depend on the course you apply for and may be subject to change from year to year for quality or enhancement reasons. Prospective students will be consulted about any significant changes.


Assessment methods vary and are defined explicitly in each module. Assessment can be a combination of examination and coursework but may also be only one of these methods. Assessment is designed to assess your achievement of the module’s stated learning outcomes. You can expect to receive timely feedback on all coursework assessment. The precise assessment will depend on the module and may be subject to change from year to year for quality or enhancement reasons. You will be consulted about any significant changes.

Coursework can take many forms, for example: essay, report, seminar paper, test, presentation, dissertation, design, artefacts, portfolio, journal, group work. The precise form and combination of assessment will depend on the course you apply for and the module. Details will be made available in advance through induction, the course handbook, the module specification and the assessment timetable. The details are subject to change from year to year for quality or enhancement reasons. You will be consulted about any significant changes.

Normally, a module will have 4 learning outcomes, and no more than 2 items of assessment. An item of assessment can comprise more than one task. The notional workload and the equivalence across types of assessment is standardised.

Calculation of the Final Award

The class of Honours awarded in Bachelor’s degrees is usually determined by calculation of an aggregate mark based on performance across the modules at Levels 5 and 6, (which correspond to the second and third year of full-time attendance).

Level 6 modules contribute 70% of the aggregate mark and Level 5 contributes 30% to the calculation of the class of the award. Classification of integrated Master’s degrees with Honours include a Level 7 component. The calculation in this case is: 50% Level 7, 30% Level 6, 20% Level 5. At least half the Level 5 modules must be studied at the University for Level 5 to be included in the calculation of the class.

All other qualifications have an overall grade determined by results in modules from the final level of study. In Master’s degrees of more than 200 credit points the final 120 points usually determine the overall grading.

Academic profile

The University employs over 1,000 suitably qualified and experienced academic staff - 59% have PhDs in their subject field and many have professional body recognition.

Courses are taught by staff who are Professors (25%), Readers, Senior Lecturers (18%) or Lecturers (57%).

We require most academic staff to be qualified to teach in higher education: 82% hold either Postgraduate Certificates in Higher Education Practice or higher. Most academic staff (81%) are accredited fellows of the Higher Education Academy (HEA) - the university sector professional body for teaching and learning. Many academic and technical staff hold other professional body designations related to their subject or scholarly practice.

The profiles of many academic staff can be found on the University’s departmental websites and give a detailed insight into the range of staffing and expertise. The precise staffing for a course will depend on the department(s) involved and the availability and management of staff. This is subject to change annually and is confirmed in the timetable issued at the start of the course.

Occasionally, teaching may be supplemented by suitably qualified part-time staff (usually qualified researchers) and specialist guest lecturers. In these cases, all staff are inducted, mostly through our staff development programme ‘First Steps to Teaching’. In some cases, usually for provision in one of our out-centres, Recognised University Teachers are involved, supported by the University in suitable professional development for teaching.

Figures correct for academic year 2019-2020.

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Northland Road
County Londonderry
BT48 7JL

T: 028 7012 3456


Start dates

Price and payment

Payment information

This course is funded by the Department of Health

Additional mandatory costs

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.


Admissions Office

Tel: +44 (0) 28 7167 5678


Course Director: Dr Pauline Black

Tel: +44 (0)28 7167 5444



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