Specialist Community Public Health Nursing

PgDip

2023/24 Full-time Postgraduate course

Award:

Postgraduate Diploma

Faculty:

Faculty of Life and Health Sciences

School:

School of Nursing and Paramedic Science

Campus:

Belfast campus

Start date:

September 2023

Overview

The aim of this course is to prepare students to become SCPHN (NMC, 2004) Health Visitor or School Nurse and achieve a Post Graduate Diploma.

Summary

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) Health Visitor or School Nurse. 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. To prepare proficient SCPHNs who can reflect systematically upon their practice. Through analysis, synthesis and evaluation the SCPHN will contribute to the development of practice.

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.

We’d love to hear from you!

We know that choosing to study at university is a big decision, and you may not always be able to find the information you need online.

Please contact Ulster University with any queries or questions you might have about:

  • Course specific information
  • Fees and Finance
  • Admissions

For any queries regarding getting help with your application, please select Admissions in the drop down below.

For queries related to course content, including modules and placements, please select Course specific information.

We look forward to hearing from you.

About this course

About

Language of instruction: English

This programme leads to the award of Post Graduate Diploma in 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 7of 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. The programme would normally be completed in full-time mode over an academic year (3 semesters).

The specialist pathways we offer are health visiting or school nursing

Practice Learning

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), 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 7

This programme leads to the award of Post Graduate Diploma in 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 7 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. The programme would normally be completed in full-time mode over an academic year (3 semesters).

Module Title Credit Points Module Status

Contemporary issues in Public Health 30 Credits

Advanced Child Development and Life Perspectives 30 Credits

Clinical Practice Development and Research for SCPH Nurses 30 Credits

The Continuum of Safeguarding Children and Advanced Decision Making 30Credits

Total 120 Credits at level 7

Attendance

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.

A minimum of 128 days in placement including 50 days consolidation of practice as per NMC (2004)

Start dates

  • September 2023

Teaching, Learning and Assessment

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.

Assessment Methods

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 help students to prepare for summative assessment. Formative and summative assessment will 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 Supervisor and Practice Assessor 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:

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 near the start date and may be subject to 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 of attendance will often 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 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 Masters 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

Assessment methods vary and are defined explicitly in each module. Assessment can be via one method or a combination e.g. examination and coursework . 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 four learning outcomes, and no more than two 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 Masters 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 Masters degrees of more than 200 credit points the final 120 points usually determine the overall grading.

Figures correct for academic year 2019-2020.

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 (20%) or Lecturers (55%).

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) by Advanced HE - 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 2021-2022.

Belfast campus

Accommodation

High quality apartment living in Belfast city centre adjacent to the university campus.

Find out more - information about accommodation  


Student Wellbeing

At Student Wellbeing we provide many services to help students through their time at Ulster University.

Find out more - information about student wellbeing  


Belfast Campus Location

Campus Address

Ulster University,
2-24 York Street,
Belfast
BT15 1AP

T: 02870 123 456

Standard 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.

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

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.

Careers & opportunities

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

The student is required to complete a minimum of 128 days in the practice learning environment under the supervision of a Practice Assessor 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), 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).

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

Apply

Start dates

  • September 2023

Fees and funding

2023/24 Fees

Our postgraduate fees are subject to annual increase and are currently under review. See our tuition fees page for the current fees for 2022/23 entry.

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 Check

It is important to remember that costs associated with accommodation, travel (including car parking charges) and normal living will need to be covered in addition to tuition fees.

Where a course has additional mandatory expenses (in addition to tuition fees) we make every effort to highlight them above. 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 Wi-Fi are also available on each of the campuses.

There are additional fees for graduation ceremonies, examination resits and library fines.

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

See the tuition fees on our student guide for most up to date costs.

Contact

We’d love to hear from you!

We know that choosing to study at university is a big decision, and you may not always be able to find the information you need online.

Please contact Ulster University with any queries or questions you might have about:

  • Course specific information
  • Fees and Finance
  • Admissions

For any queries regarding getting help with your application, please select Admissions in the drop down below.

For queries related to course content, including modules and placements, please select Course specific information.

We look forward to hearing from you.


For more information visit

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