PgDip Specialist Community Public Health Nursing (Health Visiting or School Nursing)

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Overview

Explore public health, community development, health needs assessment, and health inequalities. Critically examine safeguarding issues, factors affecting emotional wellbeing, and ethics in public health.

As a health visitor, you’ll usually work in the community with families and young children up to the age of five. As a school nurse, you’ll work with children in education, from primary schools to secondary schools and colleges.

Our Specialist Community Public Health Nursing (SCPHN) course is for nurses and midwives who already hold a first level qualification on part one or two of the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) register. You’ll spend half of this course in a clinical setting, so you’ll also need to have a supported practice placement when you apply, this is obtained by applying to NHS Trusts via NHS jobs.   

You’ll spend 50% of the timetabled course in a health visiting or school nursing community placement depending on the field you’ve chosen.

When you graduate, you’re eligible to register on part three of the NMC register as a Specialist Community Public Health Nurse.

Features and Benefits

Career Prospects

Most health visitors tend to work in the NHS, and some of the places you might work at include GP surgeries, community clinics, in people’s homes or in the voluntary sector.

As a school nurse, you might work for the NHS, local councils or for a school. You’ll usually provide support and advice in school settings, though you might conduct home visits too (your role will depend upon the type of school and the location).

Learn more about graduate careers

Entry requirements

Applicants should hold a first level qualification on part one or two of the NMC register.

Applicants for PgDip will normally have a UK honours degree (or international equivalent) in a relevant subject, with a minimum of a 2:2 classification and demonstrate the ability to study independently at level 7.

All applicants must secure a Health Visiting/School Nursing student position through the NHS before applying to the course, as advertised at: www.jobs.nhs.uk 

Once a position is secured, applicants are eligible to apply to the course.  

Course details

On our Specialist Community Public Health Nursing (SCPHN): Health Visitor (HV) or School Nurse (SN) course, you’ll spend half of your time studying theory at Manchester Met and half of your time in practice on placements.

We’ve designed our course curriculum with stakeholders, including service users, students, practice teachers, and managers. This is to make sure that we’re preparing you for the realities of working as a health visitor or school nurse.

Day-to-day, you’ll experience a variety of teaching and learning styles. You’ll have lectures, workshops and seminars, as well as work-based learning in NHS Community Trusts across Greater Manchester.

Specialist Community Public Health Nurses (SCPHNs) work as part of multidisciplinary teams and once you’re qualified you’ll usually work with other healthcare professionals, such as social workers, nurses or GPs. To help you develop skills in communication and teamwork, and share clinical experiences, you’ll study some of the units with students from the other pathway.

Topics you might explore as a group include inequalities in health, how to identify and assess mental and emotional difficulties, and safeguarding (including categories of abuse, female genital mutilation, and looked-after children).

For SCPHN – HV, topics you’ll study include the psychosocial and emotional stages in a child’s development, partnership working, and indicators of need in children. For SCPHN – SN, topics include current national school nursing policy, the effectiveness of interventions, and the health needs of children and young people.

We’ll assess your theoretical knowledge through a variety of exams, assignments and presentations. Presentations are tasks that you’ll typically complete in your clinical career and so these assessments are designed to help you develop skills for your future practice.

 

Over the duration of your course, you'll cover the following units:

  • Principles of School Nursing Practice
  • Contemporary Issues in School Nursing
  • Child Development for Health Visitors
  • Contemporary Issues in Health Visiting
  • Emotional Health and Wellbeing
  • Principles of Health Visiting
  • Specialist Practice of Health Visiting
  • Specialist Practice of School Nursing
  • Developing Leadership and Professional Practice
  • Principles of Public Health
  • Safeguarding for Public Health Nursing
  • Evidence Based Practice

For the full unit descriptions, click read more about this year of study below.

Read more about this year of study

Core Units

Principles of School Nursing Practice

In this unit, you'll explore the underpinning principles of health visiting and develop their knowledge of the School Nurse role.

The content of this unit is flexible to enable you to be responsive to current school nursing practice. Typical content will include: principles of school nursing; current national school nursing policy drivers and health needs of children, young people and families.

Teaching and learning strategies may vary according to the group size and learning preferences of group members. They may include: lectures; group work; seminars; e-learning; case study analysis, reflection on practice; directed study activities; subject focused tutorials

Contemporary Issues in School Nursing

In this unit, we aim to enable you to explore how school nursing practice can be developed. There will be an emphasis on contemporary issues, effectiveness of interventions and working collaboratively with client groups and service providers

Content for this unit may include:

  • Contemporary school nursing practice;  
  • the evidence base and effectiveness of interventions;
  • consulting and engaging with relevant client groups and communities;
  • contemporary health and social care issues;
  • clinical governance ;
  • commissioning,
  • policy and ethical issues;
  • accountability and responsibility;

Teaching and learning strategies may vary according to the group size and learning preferences of group members. They may include: lectures; group work; seminars; e-learning; case study analysis, reflection on practice; directed study activities; subject focused tutorials

Child Development for Health Visitors

In this unit, you'll look at the psychosocial, emotional, physical and cognitive stages of child development and the associated health visitor role.

You'll explore underpinning child development theories, stages of development, assessment strategies, indicators of need and a range of appropriate interventions, the role of the health visitor and partnership working

Contemporary Issues in Health Visiting

In this unit, we aim to enable you to explore how health visiting practice can be developed. You'll focus on contemporary issues, the effectiveness of interventions and working collaboratively with client groups and service providers

Contemporary health visiting practice; the evidence base and effectiveness of interventions; consulting and engaging with relevant client groups and communities; contemporary health and social care issues; clinical governance ; commissioning, policy and ethical issues; accountability and responsibility.

Teaching and learning strategies may vary according to the group size and learning preferences of group members. They may include: lectures; group work; seminars; e-learning; case study analysis, reflection on practice; directed study activities; subject focused tutorials

Emotional Health and Wellbeing

In this unit, you'll explore factors affecting the emotional health and wellbeing of school aged children in contemporary society. You'll look at appropriate interventions and analyse promoting emotional resilience from the School Nurse perspective.

Normal emotional development of children. Factors associated with mental distress- mental health conditions; stress; anxiety; self-esteem. Identifying and assessing mental and emotional difficulties. Early help. Appropriate interventions.

Teaching and learning strategies may vary according to the group size and learning preferences of group members. They may include: lectures; group work; seminars; e-learning; case study analysis, reflection on practice; directed study activities; subject focused tutorials

Principles of Health Visiting

In this unit, you'll explore the underpinning principles of health visiting and develop their knowledge of the health visitor role.

The content of this unit will be flexible to enable responsiveness to current health visiting practice. Typical content will include: principles of health visiting; current national health visiting policy drivers and health needs of children and families.

Teaching and learning strategies may vary according to the group size and learning preferences of group members. They may include: lectures; group work; seminars; e-learning; case study analysis, reflection on practice; directed study activities; subject focused tutorials

Specialist Practice of Health Visiting

The overall aim of this unit is to allow you to achieve the knowledge, skills and competencies to practice safely and effectively in the area of Specialist Community Public Health Nursing: Health Visiting

In order for your practice placements to meet the NMC standards a wide range of practice experiences are required. You'll be supported by an appropriate practice teacher or mentor.

You'll work closely with your identified practice teacher or mentor to devise an individualised programme of learning which provides opportunities to meet the NMC ‘Standards of proficiency for specialist community public health nurses’.

Specialist Practice of School Nursing

In this unit we aim to equip you with the knowledge, skills and competencies to practice safely and effectively in the area of Specialist Community Public Health Nursing: School Nursing

In order for your practice placements to meet the NMC standards a wide range of practice experiences are required, you must be supported by an appropriate practice teacher or mentor.

You'll work closely with their identified practice teacher ormentor to devise an individualised programme of learning which provides opportunities to meet the NMC ‘Standards of proficiency for specialist community public health nurses’.

Developing Leadership and Professional Practice

In this unit, you'll acquire the necessary knowledge and skills to lead and develop professional practice and work flexibly and collaboratively within a health/social care environment

Content may include:

  • Organisational theory;
  • creating a culture for learning and development;
  • accountability and quality issues; 
  • leadership theory;
  • emotional intelligence;
  • developing strategic vision;
  • service development proposals,
  • planning,
  • budgets,
  • reports;
  • risk assessment;
  • change theory;
  • project management; 
  • team working and collaboration;
  • communication,
  • negotiation and conflict resolution

Teaching and learning strategies may vary according to the group size and learning preferences of group members. They may include: lectures; group work; seminars; e-learning; reflection on practice; directed study activities; subject focused tutorials

Principles of Public Health

Promoting health and prevention of disease and illness is not achieved simply through the efforts of health professionals and the health service.  The factors that influence health and disease are multi-factorial (Dahlgren and Whitehead 1991) and it is important that those working in health and social care have an understanding of the social, economic and environmental determinants of health, in order to realistically frame the contribution of interventions and support at an individual level.  Appreciating the wider context of health underpins the importance of inter-professional, interagency work and recognises the influence of national and local government on the health of individuals, communities and populations.   

In this unit, we'll provide you with the opportunity to explore the theoretical principles underpinning public health practice.  You'll explore the complexity of work to promote health and develop insights into the range of skills and approaches necessary to improve the health of individuals and populations. 

You'll explore and develop your understanding of the theoretical frameworks within promoting health, key theoretical concepts and principles.

This will include discussion around the nature of health, health promotion, public health; factors that affect health including inequalities in health; an overview of public health policy; approaches to the promotion of health including community development, equity and empowerment; ethics and public health.  Reference will also be made to principles and evidence that underpins public health/health promotion work (e.g. understanding and analysing the contribution of epidemiology and the broad principles health needs assessment and the principles and challenges around evaluation of public health/health promotion). 

Teaching and learning strategies will vary according to the group size and learning preferences of group members. They may include: lectures; group work; seminars; e-learning; case study analysis, reflection on practice; directed study activities; subject focused tutorials

Safeguarding for Public Health Nursing

This unit will facilitate students to critically explore the current legislative   safeguarding framework, ethical and professional issues and develop a deep understanding of key safeguarding issues to prepare them for their professional role.

The content of this unit will remain flexible to enable a responsiveness to safeguarding practice. Typical content will include: underpinning legal and theoretical frameworks, categories of abuse, family and domestic violence, human trafficking, female genital mutilation, child sex exploitation, Looked After Children, interagency working, information sharing and findings from serious case reviews.

All SCPHN students will undertake core sessions together; then School Nurses and Health Visitors will receive additional content applicable to their field of practice.

Evidence Based Practice

In this unit, you'll critique evidence-based practice and understand the relative merits and limitations the different types of evidence, which inform practice. We'll enable you with the skills to be able to locate and interpret primary source evidence and thereby be enabled to make informed judgements about applying evidence to practice.

Teaching and learning strategies may vary according to the group size and learning preferences of group members. They may include: lectures, group work, seminars, e-learning, case study analysis, reflection on practice, directed study activities, subject focused tutorials.

Assessment weightings and contact hours

10 credits equates to 100 hours of study, which is a combination of lectures, seminars and practical sessions, and independent study. A masters qualification typically comprises of 180 credits, a PGDip 120 credits, a PGCert 60 credits and an MFA 300 credits. The exact composition of your study time and assessments for the course will vary according to your option choices and style of learning, but it could be:

Study
Assessment

Additional information about this course

Professional, Statutory and Regulatory Bodies require students to achieve results that demonstrate their ability to practise safely. There are therefore some exceptions to the standard University Assessment Regulations for those students, for example limitations on resits and on compensation of failed marks.

Placement options

You’ll spend 50% of this course on one placement so that you gain in-depth and rich experiences in a Health Visiting or School Nursing team. This will enable to you to develop strong links with partner agencies, local communities and children, young people and their families.

Throughout the year, a Practice Teacher who will be a SCPHN (HV /SN) with additional teaching qualifications will support and assess you. This experiential learning will link theory and practice together and will prepare you to be fit to practice in your chosen pathway.

The University SCPHN teaching team work closely with the Trust Practice Teachers and will visit you in your placement area during the year.    

Department of Nursing

Our Department of Nursing is a large team of specialists, covering many aspects of nursing and healthcare, offering real insight and experience of professional practice.

The department is passionate and enthusiastic about helping students achieve their goals, working to the mission statement of not just providing academic qualifications, but equipping students with the tools to become professionals.

More about the department

Taught by experts

Your studies are supported by a team of committed and enthusiastic teachers and researchers, experts in their chosen field. We also work with external professionals, many of whom are Manchester Met alumni, to enhance your learning and appreciation of the wider subject.

Meet our expert staff

Fees

UK and EU students

UK and EU students: Full-time fee: £400 per 10 credits per year. Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of your course providing you complete it in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).

UK and EU students: Part-time fee: £400 per 10 credits studied per year. Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of your course providing you complete it in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).

Additional Information

A Masters qualification typically comprises 180 credits, a PGDip 120 credits, a PGCert 60 credits, and an MFA 300 credits. Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of study provided the course is completed in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).

Additional costs

Specialist Costs

All of the books required for the course are available from the library. The University also has PC labs and a laptop loan service. However, many students choose to buy some of the core textbooks for the course and/or a laptop. Students may also need to print their assignments and other documents. Campus printing costs start from 5p per page. Estimated costs are £300 for a laptop up to £100 each year for books and printing.

Professional Costs

Responsibility for Disclosure and Barring Service clearance on employment based and CPD programmes normally lies with your employer and not the University. Where a new DBS check is required for placement but not supported by your employer, the University will pay the cost of your first check. Please go to our DBS webpage for more details - http://www.mmu.ac.uk/dbs

Postgraduate Loan Scheme

Loans of up to £10,906 for many Postgraduate Courses

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Alumni Loyalty Discount

Rewarding our graduates

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Want to know more?

How to apply

Please apply for a Health Visitor Student position to the NHS Trusts who will be recruiting in conjunction with the University via NHS jobs.

If you obtain a place through NHS jobs you will then be asked to complete the University Application Form

MANCHESTER IS YOUR CITY. BE PART OF IT.

Programme Review
Our programmes undergo an annual review and major review (normally at 6 year intervals) to ensure an up-to-date curriculum supported by the latest online learning technology. For further information on when we may make changes to our programmes, please see the changes section of our Terms and Conditions.

Important Notice
This online prospectus provides an overview of our programmes of study and the University. We regularly update our online prospectus so that our published course information is accurate. Please check back to the online prospectus before making an application to us to access the most up to date information for your chosen course of study.

Confirmation of Regulator
The Manchester Metropolitan University is regulated by the Office for Students (OfS). The OfS is the independent regulator of higher education in England. More information on the role of the OfS and its regulatory framework can be found at officeforstudents.org.uk.

All higher education providers registered with the OfS must have a student protection plan in place. The student protection plan sets out what students can expect to happen should a course, campus, or institution close. Access our current Student Protection Plan.

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