PgDip Specialist Community Public Health Nursing

Start date(s)
September 2023
Study mode
Full-time (1 year)

Tuition fees 23/24

: Not applicable

About this course

Study at LJMU for this registered Specialist Community Public Health Nursing course with routes into School Nursing and Health Visiting.

  • Study for a registered Level 7 qualification providing routes into School Nursing and Health Visiting 
  • Learn from expert nurses and visiting specialists on this contemporary programme which encompasses registration for practice
  • 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 22 weeks of practical placements
  • Available as a BSc (Hons) top-up degree (Level 6) for applicants holding a DipHE in Nursing or current registration with the Nursing and Midwifery Council 

Designed to develop clinical knowledge and skills and a true appreciation of collaborative working, this contemporary programme combines 50% theoretical study with 50% supervised practice in primary care settings.

On completion of the SCPHN course you will be equipped to lead the development of future public health nursing services.


Practical experience is the prime focus of the programme, with academic research and theoretical perspectives informing practice innovation and development. You will devote 22 weeks to practical placements, gaining experience in various settings and with clients important to your current/potential area of responsibility.

During the course you will develop a comprehensive partnership approach, using your skills and expertise to examine and reflect on practice from a public health perspective.

You will explore topics such as: health education, health promotion, health protection, community development, empowerment, advocacy, autonomy and informed choice. You will consider the wider determinants of health and focus on maximising health improvement and addressing inequalities within local contracting priorities.

The programme promotes a non-judgmental, anti-oppressive, respectful approach, valuing diversity and supporting freedom of choice. It encourages you to challenge accepted wisdom, equips you to deal with conflicting priorities and diverse health needs and enables you to support the empowerment of individuals, carers, groups and communities.

Professional body recognition

LJMU's PgDip Specialist Community Public Health Nursing programme is recorded with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC).

Fees and funding


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 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 Specialist Community Public Health Nurse programme is specifically designed to balance academic content and practical experience. It is geared towards securing motivating and rewarding employment as a Specialist Community Public Health Nurse (Heath Visitor or School Nursing). As a graduate you may go on to lead and develop future services, take a strategic job in public health or progress to further study.

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To find out more about becoming a health visitor, go to:

To learn more about becoming a school nurse, visit:

The student experience

Discover life as a postgraduate student at LJMU.

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.

Your programme comprises all Core modules to the total of 120 credits.

There are two versions of the Contemporary Issues in Public Health Nursing module; one with V100 Nurse Prescribing and one without. Depending on your current qualifications, you will be enrolled on the appropriate version of the module.

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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.

Contemporary Issues in Specialist Community Public Health Nursing Part 1
20 credits

This module provides a theoretical foundation to Specialist Community Public Health Nursing (SCPHN) and you will be able to build on its content to develop innovative and creative practice. 

Students are required and facilitated to extend their theoretical learning to apply to their own core settings / clients, and this is reflected in the assignments. In addition there are route specific sessions with a health visitor or school nurse focus.

On completion of this module, you will be able to work with individuals, families and communities to improve, promote and protect their health and well being and reduce inequalities.

Risk and Vulnerability
20 credits

This module aims to build safeguarding knowledge, enabling you to manage need across the safeguarding continuum for vulnerable individuals and client groups. 

You will explore the underpinning theory of safeguarding practice, review the effective management of safeguarding, and consider the challenges to current practice and ways to initiate change. 

The module provides an opportunity to critically consider contemporary safeguarding practice including prevention and early help, and propose service developments for improved practice.

Public Health
20 credits

This module aims to provide you with the knowledge and skills to work as a public health practitioner in the community setting. 

It introduces the discipline of public health and the use of evidence to improve services. You will also learn how public policy can influence health needs and service development. The wider determinants of health and health inequalities will be examined in detail. Principles and concepts of health promotion will also be covered.

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

Contemporary Issues in Specialist Community Public Health Nursing Part 2 with V100 Nurse Prescribing

This module builds on the specialist knowledge acquired in Contemporary issues in SCPHN Part 1. You will develop your knowledge and abilities in SCPHN practice.

This module will continue to provide a theoretical foundation to SCPHN practice and enable practitioners to develop innovative and creative practice. This module includes community practitioner prescribing. 

This module is for students without an existing recordable prescribing qualification.

Contemporary Issues In Specialist Community Public Health Nursing Part 2 without V100 Nurse Prescribing
20 credits

This module builds on the specialist knowledge acquired in Contemporary issues in SCPHN Part 1.

You will develop your knowledge and abilities in SCPHN practice. It will continue to provide a theoretical foundation to SCPHN practice and enable practitioners to develop innovative and creative practice. 

This module is for students with an existing recordable prescribing qualification.

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You will study modules delivered two or three days a week with clinical placements interspersing the classroom learning blocks. Theory days can be used for activities such as non-module specific sessions, masterclasses, personal study and assignment preparation.

At this level, independent study is essential and much of the learning is self-guided. You will be introduced to new concepts through formal lectures and tutorials, whereas workshops will offer you the opportunity for deeper investigation. Many sessions are co-taught with other community nursing programmes, enabling you to get a better understanding and appreciation of other healthcare specialists.

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.


An insight into teaching on your course

You will be appointed a Personal Tutor to support and oversee your progress through the course and you will work with an experienced practitioner - your Practice Teacher - on work placements.

Applied Learning

Practice is at the heart of the curriculum and all course modules build the foundations for this practice.

During your study, you will have many opportunities to network, not only amongst your multi-disciplinary peer group, but also with the clinical practitioners you will encounter on placements, as guest-speakers or taking part in the annual masterclass.

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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.

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.

Course tutors

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

I am trained in the Solihull Approach parenting programme, and motivational interviewing which enables dynamic change within families. Both areas I teach to my SCPHN students with a hope to develop their critical thinking, compassion and a drive to fight for those who are disadvantaged in the communities they serve.

School facilities

What you can expect from your School

Based at 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 first level registration on the NMC professional register (part 1 or 2)
  • 120 credits at Level 5 (to study at Level 6) or 120 credits at Level 6 (to study at postgraduate level) in nursing 

Additional information:

  • RPL is accepted on this programme

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 programme directly with a supporting NHS Trust via NHS jobs. You should complete the form thoroughly and provide a detailed personal statement which reflects your suitability and aptitude for the programme.

Supporting statement

As part of your application, you 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 statement should 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.

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Additional interview requirements

You will need to present an up-to-date professional portfolio which should:

  • Demonstrate progression towards a career in Specialist Community Practice or Specialist Community Public Health Nursing
  • Show an understanding of the role you are applying for
  • Include relevant, reflective diaries
  • Demonstrate that you will be able to adapt to the role of a student

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.