PgDip Specialist Practitioner: Community Children's Nursing

Study mode

Full-time (1 year)

Part-time (2 years)

Start date(s)

September 2020

Tuition fees 20/21
Home (full-time, per year): To be confirmed
Home (part-time, per year): To be confirmed
International (full-time, per year): To be confirmed

General enquiries:

0151 231 5090

Faculty of Health:

0151 231 5829

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About this course

Study for LJMU's Registered Specialist Community Practitioner Children’s Nursing course and have your NMC professional competencies assessed in practice.

  • Study for a recorded qualification in Community Children’s Nursing. 
  • Learn from expert nurses and specialists on this contemporary programme.
  • Benefit from a curriculum praised for its enhanced practice perspective and ‘outstanding’ fitness for practice from the NMC
  • Have your professional competencies, as set out by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC), assessed in theory and practice 
  • Experience 17.5 or 22 weeks (dependent on the length of your programme) of practical placements
  • This course will only run subject to minimum numbers

Accredited by the Nursing and Midwifery Council as a recordable qualification, this programme meets the aims of all four groups of children within the NHS at Home (DH2011) document.

The course covers the treatment of children with: acute and short term conditions; long-term conditions; disabilities and complex conditions, including those requiring continuing health care and neonates and life-limiting and life-threatening illness, including those requiring end of life care.

As a community children’s nurse you must be able to demonstrate flexibility and creativity, working collaboratively with children, young people and their 


families and demonstrating high quality practice leadership to maximise patient independence in collaboration with partner organisations. 

The specialist practice experience and theoretical learning provided by this course will enable you to deliver seamless, high quality, holistic care. You will use your existing skills, knowledge and experience to provide holistic nursing care to children, young people and their families at home, or close to home. The course will also equip you to lead and develop community children’s services.

Informed by the very latest developments, the course examines: the role of the Community Children's Nurse, transition care from children's to adult services and leading and developing CCN services for the future. You will explore the development of Continuing Health Care Funding for Children; children's palliative care; clinical supervision and risk management.

Professional body recognition

The programme is accredited by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC). 


Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) logo

Fees and funding

Money - postgraduate funding informationFunding

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).

Employer sponsorship

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.

Funding sources

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 2017) 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.

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.

The School’s wide-ranging portfolio of cutting-edge postgraduate courses enables you to enhance your existing skills in the field of health and social care, develop specialised knowledge and expertise and improve your long-term job prospects.

All programmes meet the needs of the current healthcare agenda and the growing demand from this ever-evolving sector for increasingly skilled healthcare professionals. 

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Each programme is informed by cutting edge research, ensuring you have the opportunity to study the latest developments alongside world class experts. Indeed, in the 2014 REF, 68% of LJMU’s health-related research was considered world leading or internationally excellent.

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Course modules

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.

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Core Modules

Leadership For Specialist Practice
20 credits

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.

Research for Specialist Practice
20 credits

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

Paediatric Clinical Examination and Minor Illness
20 credits

This module centres on the major physiological systems, building on prior knowledge and expertise. It will go on to inform greater understanding of the causes and management of common childhood illnesses and their diagnosis. It aims to provide an educational package meeting the needs of nurses and other allied professions required to act autonomously within a variety of ambulatory settings, improving the skills and knowledge of those who are the first point of contact for children, young people and their families.

Contemporary Issues In Community Children'S Nursing Part 1
20 credits

Optional Modules

Independent and Supplementary Non-Medical Prescribing (V300)
20 credits

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: This module is a professional body accredited programme and as such requires students to follow the employing NHS Trust's (or other health care service) protocols and approvals prior to selecting this as a choice module.

Negotiated Work-Based Learning for Specialist Practice
20 credits

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.

Contemporary Issues In Community Children'S Nursing Part 2
20 credits

Contemporary Issues In Community Children'S Nursing Part 2 With V100 Nurse Prescribing
20 credits


An insight into teaching on your course

Study hours

The programme timetable comprises 50% theory and 50% practice.

Modules run on one,  two and, very occasionally, three specified days of the week. This allows the timetable to be predictable, and facilitates the part-time students undertaking the relevant modules with their full-time counterparts. The university day usually runs from 9.30am to 4pm.

Practice days are in a combination of single days or blocks of days. This combined approach has been developed in response to student and practice teacher feedback. It allows the student to become established in the practice setting, supports continuity of patient/client care, and aims to support students to balance their practice and academic work. The practice day varies by placement area and service, but generally attendance is required 9am-5pm.

Teaching methods

An important element of the programme is to recognise and utilise the current skills of the students and to build on these competencies. Students are encouraged to share their knowledge and experiences and to network both within their peer group and externally. The teaching and learning activities will build on student experiences and will facilitate and encourage further development of existing theoretical and professional knowledge.

The use of interactive lectures and seminars, group work and problem based learning techniques help identify existing skills and, at the same time, encourage students to develop and tailor their portfolio of competencies to meet present and future challenges. 

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Many of the sessions are shared between the different routes of the community programmes and with other disciplines. Group discussions and workshops provide an ideal opportunity for students to gain knowledge about other specialist roles.

Applied learning

There is a series of placements to enrich your learning and allow you to experience a variety of partner settings.

You will spend time in a children's hospice, a special school, A&E, a children's walk-in centre and a neo-natal unit. These invaluable placements will enable you to build up a network of contacts and a greater appreciation of where your role a Specialist Community Children's Nurse fits into the overall scheme of healthcare provision.

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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. Assessment techniques vary from module to module to reflect relevant assessment approaches and the key learning points of each topic.

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, seminar presentations, reflective diaries, reports and essays, 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.

Course tutors

Our staff are committed to the highest standards of teaching and learning

Caroline Boyle

Caroline Boyle

Programme Leader

Caroline has a background in community children’s nursing and is passionate about holistic community health provision for children and young people’s. She has been a children’s nurse for 26 years, and a qualified community children’s nurse for 11 years. Caroline also has an Advanced Practice and Independent and Supplementary Non Medical Prescribing Qualification and experience of managing episodes of care within the community in partnership with children, young people and their parents/cares. Since becoming Programme Lead for the CCN programme Caroline has commenced her postgraduate certificate in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education at LJMU; she is due to complete this in August of this year. 

It is both exciting and rewarding to watch CCN students grow in their confidence and abilities as the programme progresses and, at the end, to emerge as qualified CCNs with the drive to make positive changes in community care for children, young people and their families. 

School facilities

What you can expect from your School

Situated 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 which is open 24/7 during semesters plus a large café, 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.

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Entry requirements

You will need:

  • current level one registration on the NMC professional register (part one or part two)
  • a minimum of a year’s post-registration experience
  • DipHE in Nursing
  • Applicants without a DipHE may gain entry to the programme by evidencing 120 credits at level 4 and 120 credits at level 5 either through study or RPEL, against this programme's stated level 4 and 5 learning outcomes

Additional information:

  • RPL is accepted on this programme
  • Satisfactory DBS and references required

If you have any specific queries, please contact

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Please note: All international qualifications are subject to a qualification equivalency check via NARIC.

View country specific entry requirements

Contact LJMU's International Admissions Team for guidance on visa information. Further information is also available from our international web pages.

Application and selection

Securing your place at LJMU

You will apply for the majority of postgraduate courses using our online application form. You should complete the form thoroughly and provide a detailed personal statement which reflects your suitability and aptitude for the programme.

Applications are to be made through NHS jobs at once the application process is open.

A supporting statement should be provided as part of the application and it must demonstrate: 

  • a sound knowledge of health policy relating to the role you have applied for (150 words)
  • understanding of the role of the Specialist Community Public Health Nurse or Specialist Community Practitioner (200 words)
  • well-developed communication and interpersonal skills (150 words)
  • leadership potential (150 words)
  • a track record of professional values, behaviour and teamwork (150 words)
  • computer literacy skills (50 words)
  • appreciation and application of research and evidence-based professional practice (150 words)

Your statement should also demonstrate the following:

  • Professional values and behaviour
  • Reliability, innovation and flexibility
  • The ability to learn and work hard under pressure
  • Self-awareness
  • Provision of an academic and professional reference
  • Access to transport

Please note: all of the above will also be assessed at interview.

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Additional interview requirements:

You will need to present an up-to-date professional portfolio demonstrating progression towards a career in Specialist Community Practice or Specialist Community Public Health Nursing and an understanding of the role you are applying for (District Nurse, Community Children’s Nurse, Health Visitor or School Nurse).  

The portfolio should include relevant, reflective diaries. You must also demonstrate that you will be able to adapt to student status.

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.