Specialist Community Practitioner/ District Nursing

Specialist Community Practitioner/ District Nursing BSc (Hons)/PgDip

Course fees (2018/19 entry)

Option / fee Value
Home/EU full-time annual tuition fee: N/A
Home/EU part-time tuition fee: n/a
International full time annual tuition fee: 

Course type



Nursing and Allied Health

Study mode

Full Time & Part Time

About your course

Study for this recordable Specialist Community Practitioner/District Nursing qualification at Liverpool John Moores University. Combining theory and primary care practice, the course prepares 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 20 weeks of practice placements with an NMC approved practice teacher
  • This course will only run subject to minimum numbers

The quality of teaching on the programme was fantastic and it helped that the programme lead is a very experienced District Nurse who can pull from her own experience to motivate and inspire you.

Emma McDermott

This programme aims to provide a dynamic and high quality educational experience relevant to the specialist community practitioner district nurse with opportunities to work in a critical, analytical and reflective manner and to provide the opportunity to acquire lifelong learning skills.

Sally Sprung, Course Leader

Introduction to the School

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.

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.

Why study this course at LJMU?

This demanding programme is designed for nurses who want to become specialist community practitioners, leading District Nursing teams to meet the complex health needs and safeguard the health and welfare of vulnerable patients nursed in the home or in a community setting.

The programme is designed to create critically reflective and responsive practitioners who can synthesise new knowledge to develop improved practice.
Employing a non-judgmental, anti-oppressive, respectful approach, you will learn to value diversity and support freedom of choice, working collaboratively with patients to identify and meet complex individual needs.
You will learn to plan, commission and evaluate services, promoting and improving the health of the populations you serve and empowering individuals, groups and communities to take greater control of their health and health care support services.

The programme focuses on holistic health and patient independence. The aim is to work collaboratively to keep patients well and at home.
You will be taught by experienced practitioners and visiting specialists and your work placements will offer a valuable insight into real life practice.
Course leaders play a key role in influencing the nationwide development of the District Nursing role, so you can be sure that learning is informed by the very latest thinking.

Programme outline and structure

This District Nursing programme combines theoretical study and supervised practice within a primary care setting. It involves a great deal of critical analysis, synthesis, evaluation, discussion, dialogue and debate.

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 (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.


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, for example, is open 24/7 during semesters and has computer rooms, learning spaces and on site catering facilities.

What you will study on this degree

Please see guidance below on core and option modules for further information on what you will study.

Level 7
  • Leadership and Management
  • Research in Health and Social Care
  • Contemporary Issues in District Nursing Part 1
  • Contemporary Issues in District Nursing Part 2
  • V300 Prescribing
  • Clinical Examination and Diagnostics for District Nurses

The Contemporary Issues in District Nursing Part 2 module includes a V100 nurse prescribing option for those students who are not NMC prescribers and who do not wish to undertake V300 prescribing

NB All students must complete the District Nursing programme with either a V100 or V300 prescribing competence.

Further guidance on modules

The information listed in the section entitled ‘What you will study’ is an overview of the academic content of the programme that will take the form of either core or option modules. Modules are designated as core or option in accordance with professional body requirements and internal Academic Framework review, so may be subject to change. Students will be required to undertake modules that the University designates as core and will have a choice of designated option modules. Additionally, option modules may be offered subject to meeting minimum student numbers.

Academic Framework reviews are conducted by LJMU from time to time to ensure that academic standards continue to be maintained. A review is currently in progress and will be operational for the academic year 2016/2017. Final details of this programme’s designated core and option modules will be made available on LJMU’s website as soon as possible and prior to formal enrolment for the academic year 2016/2017.

Please email courses@ljmu.ac.uk if you require further guidance or clarification.   

How will I be assessed?

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 Canvas – 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.

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 accounts, vivas, 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.

Staff research interests

Tutors have a wide range of research interests which inform learning on the programme. They are also widely published in their areas of expertise.

Course Leader Sally Sprung, for example, has worked on various Department of Health secondments relating to the development of national policy for district nursing with the Community Nursing Advisory Group (CNAG).

As a member of the Queens Nursing Institute, Sally has carried out literature reviews relating to adult and young carers and was involved in a project rewriting the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) Specialist Practitioner Qualification (SPQ) Standards for District Nursing as a member of the Association of District Nurse Educators.

Entry requirements (Home)

You will need:

  • current level one registration on the NMC professional register (part one)
  • a minimum of one year’s post-registration experience
  • 120 credits at Level 5 (to study at Level 6) or 120 credits at level 6 (to study at post graduate level) in nursing

This course will only run subject to minimum numbers.

Application and selection

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

Supporting Statement

As part of your application process you will need to provide a supporting statement. Please provide individual responses for criteria 1-7, using the criteria name as the sub-heading for the response. This must demonstrate the following:

  • 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)
  • 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 supporting statement or application form must also demonstrate the following:

  • Professional values and behaviour
  • Reliable, innovative, flexible
  • Ability to learn and work hard under pressure
  • Self-awareness
  • Access to transport
  • Provision of an academic and professional reference

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

Additional Interview requirements

You will need to present an up-to-date professional portfolio demonstrating progression towards a career in or 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.

Will I be interviewed?


Is RPL accepted on this programme?


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

Financial support


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 and Professional and Career Development Loans (PCDLs) to International Scholarships and subject-specific funding, you’ll find all of the information you need on our specialist postgraduate funding pages.

Graduate employment

There are many opportunities for networking during the course, not only amongst your multi-disciplinary peer group, but also with the clinical practitioners you encounter on placements, as guest speakers or taking part in the annual masterclass.

To maintain the professional relevance of the course and enable you to forge key contacts, we work with local, national and international stakeholders. Our health and social care partners include: Merseycare NHS Trust, St Helens and Knowsley Hospitals NHS Trust, Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospitals NHS Trust and the North West Ambulance Service. Our education partners include: City of Liverpool College; Alexian Research Centre, Germany; Eindhoven University of Technology, Netherlands; University College Thomas More, Belgium and KPY University, Malaysia. We also work with charities and community/voluntary groups.

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, follow a career in public health, work as a community educator, in a safeguarding role or a healthcare leadership/management position. There is also, of course, the opportunity to progress to further study.

International Study

International applicants are required to demonstrate equivalent qualifications to the standard requirements for entry when applying for courses at LJMU.

Students must also demonstrate a proficiency in communicating through English, for example via an IELTS tests or equivalent.

Please note: UK visa restrictions mean that international students are only permitted to study on a full-time basis.

Please contact LJMU’s International Team by visiting www.ljmu.ac.uk/international for more information and advice.


LJMU has launched a range of generous international scholarships for students enrolling at the University.

These prestigious scholarships take the form of tuition fee waivers and are available for outstanding international students applying for taught postgraduate programmes and research degrees.

You will need to complete an additional application form in order to be considered for these scholarships. Full eligibility criteria and the online application form are available here: www.ljmu.ac.uk/international

Applications for these scholarships are welcomed from:

  • new international applicants
  • current LJMU international students hoping to progress onto postgraduate study at the University
  • LJMU international alumni

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.

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