Bachelor of Science with Honours
Faculty of Life and Health Sciences
School of Nursing
The aim of this course is to prepare students to become SCPHN (NMC, 2004) Health Visitor or School Nurse and achieve a BSC hons degree
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.
The aim of this course is to prepare students to develop the knowledge, understanding and skills necessary to meet the Standards of Proficiency for Specialist Community Public Health Nursing (NMC 2004). This will contribute to practice that is safe and effective in maintaining and improving the health of the public and communities, acknowledging the responsibilities and accountabilities necessary for public protection.
The SCPHN programme embraces diversity on both a local and global level and is reflective of a changing society. The programme recognises the challenges of migrating populations and facilitates the student knowledge in recognising and responding to the needs of clients/families during resettlement periods. The SCPHN programme aims for teaching excellence. It is cognisant of a positive student experience and responds to student evaluation and feedback. The students are encouraged to engage with evidence informed practice.
Ulster is the sole provider in Northern Ireland of this course. The completion of this course allows students to progress their career and practice at a specialist level. The programme engenders a sense of pride amongst staff, students and alumni. The course has a national reputation for excellence in SCPHN practice which results in it being annually commissioned by the Department of Health.
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Language of instruction: English
This programme leads to the award of BSc Hons Specialist Community Public Health Nursing and registration on Part 3 of the Nursing and Midwifery Council's (NMC) Register (annotated according to chosen option as: Health Visiting or School Nursing. Theory and practice learning are integrated throughout the course in a 50% - 50% balance as required by the NMC. Each module is worth 30 credits and all students entering level 6 of the programme would undertake four modules totalling 120 credit points.
The concurrent registration is based on the successful completion of 4 modules specified for the SCPHN option and these must be completed in a minimum of 52 weeks full time or a minimum of 104 weeks part time. The programme would normally be completed in full-time mode over an academic year (3 semesters) and in part-time mode over two academic years (6 semesters).
The specialist pathways we offer are health visiting or school nursing
The student is required to complete a minimum of 128 days in the practice learning environment under the supervision of a Practice Teacher who will assess their proficiency. Practice days are completed alongside the theoretical teaching in university in semester 1 and 2. Students are expected to attend university approximately 2 days a week. Students will be expected to attend additional workshops throughout the programme, for example UNICEF breastfeeding training. The main focus in semester 3 is in the achievement of the NMC (2004) Standards of Proficiency for SCPHN within the practice learning environment. Formative and summative assessment will also take place in the practice learning environment to enable the students to develop their skills. This will be evidenced by the development of a Practice Learning Portfolio which will demonstrate progression towards achievement of NMC proficiencies
The 52-week programme includes a holiday allowance, so the programme consists of 45 weeks, of which at least 22.5 weeks are practice learning, all of which must be successfully completed. Where a practice route is required, students must complete their consolidation experience (minimum of 10 weeks full time and 20 weeks part time), in settings with clients that are central to the responsibilities for that defined area of practice. In addition, students must spend at least three weeks gaining experience in work settings and with clients considered either of relevant importance or that may be a potential area of responsibility, even if not central to the defined area of practice (NMC 2004).
Classification of the award is based on the 120 credits studied at level 6
Part time over 104 week, 6 sememsters
Attendance 1 day University per week and 1 day placement
Learning and Teaching Methods
A range of learning and teaching 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 informs and is informed by practice and practitioners.
Methods used include lectures, seminars/tutorials, guided reading, critical reflection, role play, teacher and peer observation. Active learning is promoted through strategies such as simulated practice and the use of case studies to encourage integration of theory to practice. The student will present a poster which highlight findings from a community health needs profile which they have undertaken in the practice learning environment. This poster presentation will involve lecturers, peers and practice partners and will encourage the
sharing of good practice and make recommendations to improve a public health issue within their community. This poster presentation will be assessed by academic staff and will contribute to the students' academic award. The use of digital technology is promoted for example through Blackboard learn. Blackboard learn is utilised as a platform to share learning and teaching resources, provide a forum for student/lecturer discussion, submit assignments and provide general student support and information.
To contextualise the knowledge constructed to the two specific options of Health Visiting (HV) and School Nursing (SN), option specific group seminars will be led by pathway leaders and lecturers with subject specific expertise, enabling critical application to the four key domains of Specialist Community Public Health Nursing within an option specific context. Collaborative working methods is an example of a seminar topic which relates to the NMC (2004) domain stimulation of awareness of health needs that can be applied within context to both Health Visiting and School Nursing within such option specific seminars.
A combination of formative and summative assessment will be used to facilitate continuous and incremental student learning. This will require students to demonstrate the ability to blend theory with practice through participation and by production of assignment, examination and/or poster presentation.
Formative assessment will also help students to prepare for summative assessment. The student is required to complete a minimum of 128 days in the practice learning environment under the supervision of a Practice Teacher who will assess their proficiency. Formative and summative assessment will also take place in the practice learning environment to enable the students to develop their skills. The student is required to complete a minimum of 128 days in the Practice Learning environment under the supervision of a Practice teacher who will assess their proficiencies.This will be evidenced by the development of a Practice Learning Portfolio which will demonstrate progression towards achievement of NMC proficiencies
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:
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.
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.
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.
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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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Not an entry requirement for this course.
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.
CRITERIA FOR ADMISSION
Applicants must satisfy Ulster's general entry requirements as set out in the prospectus 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.
The BSc Hons Specialist Community Public Health Nursing has a specific target audience who have relevant academic qualifications and/or practice experience in this area. Students would normally enter the programme at level 6 having been exempted from levels 4 and 5 through the accreditation of prior certificated and/or experiential learning (APL). The most common APL route involves those applicants entering with a Higher Education Diploma in Nursing Studies which would exempt them from levels 4 and 5 of the programme. Applicants who do not have the requisite APL requirements for exemption from levels 4 and 5 would be advised of the outstanding learning required to be completed to enter the programme at level 6.
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
• 240 credit points equivalent to the learning outcomes of levels 4 and 5 of the pre-registration adult nursing programme
• 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
Students who fail the practice element but pass all academic modules will be awarded a
BSc Hons in Community Public Health as an academic award (120 credits at Level 6) but do not register with the NMC.
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Career prospects of graduates from this programme are excellent with the majority moving rapidly into permanent posts with their specialist area.
Upon successful completion, you will be eligible to register on the 3rd part of the Nursing and Midwifery Council register.
The student is required to complete a minimum of 128 days in the practice learning environment under the supervision of a Practice Teacher who will assess their proficiency. Practice days are completed alongside the theoretical teaching in university in semester 1 and 2. The main focus in semester 3 is in the achievement of the NMC (2004) Standards of Proficiency for SCPHN within the practice learning environment. Formative and summative assessment will also take place in the practice learning environment to enable the students to develop their skills. This will be evidenced by the development of a Practice Learning Portfolio which will demonstrate progression towards achievement of NMC proficiencies.
The 52-week programme includes a holiday allowance, so the programme consists of 45 weeks, of which at least 22.5 weeks are practice learning, all of which must be successfully completed. Where a practice route is required, students must complete their consolidation experience (minimum of 10 weeks full time and 20 weeks part time), in settings with clients that are central to the responsibilities for that defined area of practice, (minimum of 6.3 weeks). In addition, students must spend at least three weeks gaining experience in work settings and with clients considered either of relevant importance or that may be a potential area of responsibility, even if not central to the defined area of practice (NMC 2004).
Recognised by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) for the purpose of registration as a Specialist Community Public Health Nurse
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The Maura Hamil McKenna cup is an award for the highest overall academic mark achieved by a student.
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
Lecturer in Nursing
Admissions contact regarding application process: