PG Dip Specialist Community Practitioner (District Nursing)
About this course
LJMU's Specialist Community Practitioner (District Nursing) course combines theory and primary care practice, preparing practitioners to lead service development.
- Study for a District Nursing qualification, recorded with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC)
- Follow a curriculum developed by a team of nationwide policy influencers
- Learn from expert nurses and visiting specialists
- Have your professional competencies, as set out by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC), assessed in theory and practice
- Benefit from practice placements with an NMC-approved practice teacher
- This course will only run subject to minimum numbers
The course's student-centred approach values prior learning and experience and builds on existing clinical and theoretical knowledge.
You will be encouraged to share your past experiences as you network within your peer group and beyond.
Many sessions are co-taught with other community nursing programmes enabling you to gain a better understanding and appreciation of the roles played by, and the challenges faced by, other healthcare specialists.
You can study full-time or part-time. Modules are delivered one or two days a week and clinical placements intersperse the classroom learning blocks. Theory days can be used for activities such as complementary module-related sessions, masterclasses, personal study and assignment preparation.
You will be appointed a Personal Tutor to support and oversee your progress throughout the course and you will work with an experienced Practitioner on work placements. Formal teaching takes place in Tithebarn Street in the city centre campus. This vibrant location offers everything you could possibly need during your studies. The resident Avril Robarts library has computer rooms, learning spaces and on site catering facilities.
Formal teaching takes place in Tithebarn Street in the city centre campus. This vibrant location offers everything you could possibly need during your studies. The resident Avril Robarts library has computer rooms, learning spaces and on site catering facilities.
Professional body recognition
LJMU's PgDip Specialist Community Practitioner District Nursing is recorded with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC).
Fees and funding
There are many ways to fund postgraduate study for home and international students
The fees quoted at the top of this page cover registration, tuition, supervision, assessment and examinations as well as:
- Library membership with access to printed, multimedia and digital resources
- Access to programme-appropriate software
- Library and student IT support
- Free on-campus wifi via eduroam
Although not all of the following are compulsory/relevant, you should keep in mind the costs of:
- accommodation and living expenditure
- books (should you wish to have your own copies)
- printing, photocopying and stationery
- PC/laptop (should you prefer to purchase your own for independent study and online learning activities)
- mobile phone/tablet (to access online services)
- field trips (travel and activity costs)
- placements (travel expenses and living costs)
- student visas (international students only)
- study abroad opportunities (travel costs, accommodation, visas and immunisations)
- academic conferences (travel costs)
- professional-body membership
- graduation (gown hire etc)
There are many ways to fund postgraduate study for home and international students. From loans to International Scholarships and subject-specific funding, you’ll find all of the information you need on our specialist postgraduate funding pages.
Please be aware that the UK’s departure from the EU may affect your tuition fees. Learn more about your fee status and which tuition fees are relevant to you.
There are two routes for funding for this course:
- Sponsorship (when a local NHS trust or organisation will sponsor you to train for the duration of the programme at LJMU)
- Secondment (for those currently employed by a local NHS organisation that will provide the practice placement whilst studying at LJMU).
Some organisations and companies fund the cost of postgraduate studies for their employees as they recognise the value of having well qualified staff. Check out our courses and see if there are any on offer that could enhance your current career. Remember, employer support doesn't always have to be financial; it can take other forms too, such as flexible working arrangements, day release and time in lieu of study.
There are many ways to fund postgraduate study for home and international students. From Postgraduate Masters Loans to International Scholarships and subject-specific funding, you'll find all of the information you need on our specialist postgraduate funding pages.
Further your career prospects
LJMU has an excellent employability record with 96% (HESA 2018) of our postgraduates in work or further study six months after graduation. Our applied learning techniques and strong industry connections ensure our students are fully prepared for the workplace on graduation and understand how to apply their knowledge in a real world context.
This District Nursing programme is specifically designed to balance academic content with practical experience. It is geared towards securing motivating and rewarding employment. Underpinning all aspects of the training offered is a commitment to: ethical and anti-oppressive values, the values and principles of the NHS Constitution and Professional Body requirements.
As a graduate you may go on to lead and develop future services, or work as an operational manager.
The student experience
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Discover the building blocks of your programme
Your programme is made up of a number of core modules which are part of the course framework. Some programmes also have optional modules that can be selected to enhance your learning in certain areas and many feature a dissertation, extended report or research project to demonstrate your advanced learning.
You will study a mix of core and optional modules on your course to a total of 120 credits. 100 credits come from mandatory core modules and then you have a choice to select one 20 credit optional module from those available.
Leadership for Specialist Practice
This module aims to enhance your skills and knowledge, enabling you to take a central role in the development of practice within your working environment.
It will also provide an opportunity for you to engage in debate and discussion, so you can identify your strengths and weaknesses as a leader within your organisation.
You will further consider how you can influence and inspire others at both a local, regional, national and international level.
Contemporary Issues in District Nursing: Part 1
This module aims to develop a critical awareness of the knowledge fundamental to the contemporary role of district nurse.
Clinical Examination and Diagnostics for District Nursing
During this module, you will gain the skills and knowledge required to perform clinical assessments of patients in the community setting. It will also help you develop skills in interpreting relevant diagnostic tests which may inform treatment plans, treatment modification or a suitable referral.
Research for Specialist Practice
This module provides an overview and understanding of a broad range of qualitative and quantitative research methodologies and their application in the clinical and social care environment. It enables you to read, understand and critically analyse clinical and social care research literature. You will:
- examine a variety of research methods, used within the sphere of health and social care practice and development
- develop skills in critical evaluation of literature available within the field of health and social care development and clinical management
Independent and Supplementary Prescribing
Aimed at healthcare professionals, this module allows you to prescribe, safely, appropriately and cost-effectively as independent and/or supplementary prescribers, in accordance with both legal and the professional requirements of relevant professional bodies (NMC, HPC, RPSGB). It:
- gives you knowledge to address the specialist educational needs of nurses, pharmacists and allied health professionals working within specialist areas and with specific client groups
- prepares you to exercise advanced clinical reasoning, critical thinking and creative problem solving with regard to the unique challenges associated with medicines management among infants, children and young people, the elderly and other specific client groups
*Please Note: Students who wish to undertake V300 Independent and Supplementary Non-Medical Prescribing (NMP), as part of the PgDip Specialist Community Practitioner Children's Nursing programme, must have at least one years post registration experience. Students wishing to undertake this module must also be deemed competent by, and obtain permission and support from their employer. All students who wish to undertake V300 Non-Medical Prescribing will have to complete an additional 'North West Non-Medical Prescribing Application form' which will be approved by the prescribing programme team prior to commencement on the NMP programme.
Contemporary Issues in District Nursing: Part 2 with V100
This module will enable you to develop the knowledge and skills to become an effective leader who can manage the care of individuals and groups within the primary care setting.
Contemporary Issues in District Nursing: Part 2 without V100
The aim of this module is to enable you to critically review knowledge relating to the development of specialist district nursing practice. The knowledge and skills gained will help you to become an effective leader who can manage the care of individuals and groups within the community setting.
Students who do not already hold a V150/300 qualification will register on the Contemporary Issues in District Nursing: Part 2 with V100 module.
Negotiated Work Base Learning for Specialist Practice
This module will help you to maximise learning opportunities and experiences relevant to your own area of work in order to facilitate practice, career and professional development.
Along with your practice teacher/mentor and the module leader, you will identify the area of study as part of personal development planning to meet the standards for community specialist practice (NMC 2001) and the voluntary standards for District Nursing (QNI 2016), where appropriate. There will be a focus on practice development for service delivery.
An insight into teaching on your course
You can study full-time (40 weeks) or part-time (80 weeks). Modules are delivered one or two days a week and clinical placements intersperse the classroom learning blocks. Theory days can be used for activities such as complementary module-related sessions, masterclasses, personal study and assignment preparation.
At this level of study you are expected to work independently and much of the learning is self-guided. Lectures, workshops, seminars and reading lists provide a framework around which you can think, discuss, debate and produce your assessments.
Formal lectures introduce concepts whilst tutorials and workshops offer the opportunity for deeper investigation. You will then be invited to present a paper at a group seminar which will be used as a starting point for peer group debate.
To support your independent study, course materials, presentations and handouts are available on the University's virtual learning environment. Practice is at the heart of the curriculum and all course modules build the foundations for this practice.
During your placements you will work with a Practice Teacher and will need to demonstrate what you have learnt through the Practice Evidence Tool.
You will be appointed a Personal Tutor to support and oversee your progress throughout the course and you will work with an experienced Practitioner on work placements.
This is a very practical course featuring 20 weeks of practice placements.
How learning is monitored on your programme
To cater for the wide-ranging content of our courses and the varied learning preferences of our students, we offer a range of assessment methods on each programme.
Practice is at the heart of the curriculum and all course modules build the foundations for this practice. During your placements you will work with a Practice Teacher and will need to demonstrate what you have learnt through the Practice Evidence Tool.
To gain the credits required for each module you must be able to demonstrate that you have achieved all of the learning outcomes for that module and completed the Practice Evidence Tool.
Formal grading, which counts towards your final module results, involves essays, poster presentations, reflective accounts, exams and clinical skill observations. You will also receive feedback on your progress throughout the course.
Theory assessments are awarded pass, refer or fail and practice assessments are classed as competent or not competent in each specific area.
Our staff are committed to the highest standards of teaching and learning
Joanna has been in post at LJMU since November 2019.She qualified as a registered nurse from LJMU in 1999 and has been fortunate enough to work in a number of areas including neurology, neurosurgery, and critical care. After a period working in Australia, she returned to Liverpool and gained her SCPDN qualification, moving into a community role as a district nurse. She held posts as a district nurse care manager and community matron, becoming involved in advanced practice and service development. She made the leap back into secondary care working as an Advanced Nurse Practitioner in acute medicine and ambulatory emergency care.Joanna has since transitioned into higher education and is commencing her PhD in Cardiorenal and Metabolic Syndrome. She has a varied range of research interests including patient care, evidence-based practice, and the experiences of others within healthcare.
I enjoy supporting others to advance their clinical skills to realise their full potential.
Where you will study
What you can expect from your School
Based in the City Campus, the School of Nursing and Allied Health works with a wide range of health and social care organisations to design, deliver and evaluate a dynamic suite of postgraduate programmes. In addition to specialist facilities, you will find high quality meeting and seminar rooms and lecture theatres, the Avril Robarts Library, plus a large cafe, IT facilities and social spaces.
LJMU's excellent educational and professional training facilities include 1.6 million practice suites which show a patient's journey from the home environment through to rehabilitation. We use the latest clinical equipment for simulations and developing clinical skills in child, adult and mental health nursing, paramedic practice, social work and midwifery. We also have purpose-built, soundproof booths with video camera and playback facilities.
You will need:
- 120 credits at Level 5 (to study at Level 6) or 120 credits at Level 6 (to study at postgraduate level) in nursing
- 120 credits at Level 5 (to study at Level 6) or 120 credits at Level 6 (to study at postgraduate level) in nursing
Relevant work experience
- to be practising as an Adult nurse
- current level one registration on the NMC professional register (part one)
- a minimum of one year’s post-registration experience
- non-graduates may, in exceptional circumstances, gain entry to the programme by virtue of a strong portfolio, which provides evidence of significant achievement, plus a DipHE in a related area (eg nursing or public health) and written work equivalent to the standard of a first degree
- confirmation of satisfactory references and DBS check are also required
- Students who wish to undertake V300 Independent and Supplementary Non-Medical Prescribing (NMP) as part of the PgDip Specialist Community Practitioner Community Children's Nursing Programme must have at least one years’ post registration experience. Students wishing to undertake this module must also be deemed competent by, and obtain permission and support from their employer.
- students must be seconded or sponsored by an NHS Organisation
- RPL is accepted on this programme
The University reserves the right to withdraw or make alterations to a course and facilities if necessary; this may be because such changes are deemed to be beneficial to students, are minor in nature and unlikely to impact negatively upon students or become necessary due to circumstances beyond the control of the University. Where this does happen, the University operates a policy of consultation, advice and support to all enrolled students affected by the proposed change to their course or module.
Further information on the terms and conditions of any offer made, our admissions policy and the complaints and appeals process.