Studying on this course enables you to develop your knowledge and skills to work with children, young people, their families and carers to improve health and wellbeing.
You learn to develop a pragmatic public health philosophy for family healthcare and an evidence-based skill set applicable to the challenges of contemporary practice.
To meet the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) standards, your studies consists of 50% practice and 50% theory (alongside 100% attendance). We structure the postgraduate diploma to reflect the important balance of the practice elements, which are designated practice days or work-based learning. A 10 week consolidated practice block (in semester 3) enables you to work independently while remaining under the supervision of a practice teacher. The theoretical elements involve a mix of learning approaches including self-directed study days.
Another key aspect of your studies is to develop an understanding of the levels of accountability and responsibility you take on in these roles. You learn how to ensure public protection is developed to deliver safe and effective health improvements to individuals, groups and communities.
There are many opportunities on the course to share learning from your peers and other disciplines from across the primary /community care teams and services that work with children, young people and families.
When you start to put what you have learnt into practice, you benefit from strong partnerships with health, education and local authority organisations in the region.
The modern and diverse placements you go on are designed to meet the changing needs of children, young people and families, and may include placement with social services, education and a variety of organisations from the voluntary sector – foster collaborations with those that work alongside health visitors and school nurses.
You also complete a research-based module which provides a building block for further study from the exit award of PgDip to MSc qualification. The learning from the research module equips you to use policy and research to underpin and develop innovative practice and gives you the skills to frame a research question, take empirical research and write up an academic dissertation. If you successfully complete the PgDip, you can at a later date (pending additional funding and study) undertake a 60 credit dissertation module and gain an MSc qualification.
Experienced course teaching team
Experienced health visitor and school nurse lecturers deliver the course. As a student you learn from a highly motivated and proactive teaching team aiming to improve lives through excellence in professionalism. We ensure our students and the public benefit from a commitment to evidence-based education, application to practice and impact on quality of care.
Some lecturers are engaged in ongoing research and are publishing in peer reviewed journals with areas of expertise that include safeguarding, the child and families agenda, behaviour change and community development.
Four members of our teaching team are also Fellows of the Institute of Health Visiting (iHV), a professional body which strives for excellence in the health visiting profession.
Successfully completing the course
Gaining an MSc qualification enhances your employability in advanced and specialist roles available to health visitors and school nurses. These may include working in public health positions in local authorities or in advisory and health education positions in acute health care.
Study individual modules
You have the option to study individual modules from this course and gain academic credit towards a qualification. Visit our continuing professional development website for more information.
This course is approved by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC). Graduates are eligible to apply to register with the Nursing and Midwifery Council as a Specialist Community Public Health Nurse - Health Visitor or School Nurse.
You must be registered with the NMC in order to practise as a Specialist Community Public Health Nurse in the UK.
To access the full course and gain the NMC recognised qualifications, you need to be sponsored by an employing NHS organisation (hence have NHS contract for the length of the course).
Postgraduate diploma modules
You will enhance your professional and academic development on this course. Completing the course enables you to be registered with the NMC as a registered specialist community public health nurse - as either a health visitor or school nurse (SCPHN-HV or SCPHN-SN). It also enables you to be annotated on the NMC register as a community practitioner nurse prescriber. This course will also provide you with advanced skills in research.
As a health visitor or school nurse you will develop specialist skills and attributes to work in different health, social and educational settings. You gain experience of public health at an individual, family and community level, working with children, young people, families.
You can develop your career
This course aims to equip nurses and midwives to develop an enhanced and applied knowledge base in Health Visiting Practice allowing you to exit with the required Nursing & Midwifery Council (NMC) recordable qualification as a Specialist Community Public Health Nurse (SCPHN)-Health Visiting (NMC 2004).
The course is delivered in collaboration with NHS Health Board and local authority partners in Western Isles, Highland, Tayside and Forth Valley, combining academic teaching and practice learning throughout the course.
On successful completion of the course you will be able to respond to the demands of contemporary public health practice in the community and to work to influence and improve the standard of care for children, young people and their families.
All entrants to the MSc/Graduate Diploma in Early Years Practice (Health Visiting) Programmes must meet the following requirements (NMC 2004):
The course curriculum is designed to equip nurses and midwives to deliver safe and best practice in the role of Health Visitor as defined in the NMC Standards of Proficiency for Specialist Community Public Health Nurses (NMC 2004), the Report from the Education Sub Group of the Children, Young People and Families National Advisory Group (CYPFNAG 2014) and key legislation from the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014 (Scottish Government 2014).
The key duties identified within current legislation are to promote, support and safeguard children’s wellbeing (Scottish Government 2014).
Thus, the course focuses on the following three key themes:
On completion of the course graduates will be eligible for employment as a qualified Health Visitor/ Specialist Community Public Health Nurse.
These modules are suitable for you if are a registered mental health nurse, midwife, health visitor or social worker.
In the maternal mental health recovery module you develop the skills to recognise maternal mental health illnesses in pregnancy and during the first year of the postnatal period, and you learn to formulate individualised pathways of care and manage potential risks and complications in order to promote positive birth outcomes.
You explore mental health conditions and their management including personality disorders, eating disorders, tokophobia, self-harming, schizophrenia, puerperal psychosis, fabricated illness, substance misuse, antenatal and post-natal depression, drawing from the evidence base to inform your practice.
It will benefit to you if you work with and support women in pregnancy or in the first year after birth who have mental health concerns.
The perinatal mental health and the family module helps you to develop the skills to recognise the impact (short and long term) of maternal mental health on the development of the infant/child, formulate individualised pathways of care and manage potential risks and complications in order to promote positive birth outcomes. By engaging with this module you develop a deeper understanding on family relationships and dynamics.
The perinatal mental health and the family module benefits to you if work with and support women in pregnancy or in the first year after birth who have mental health concerns.
Assessment is by written assignment
A range of staff working across health and social care and support role in the voluntary sector, such as
These modules would provide in depth knowledge to support these roles.