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Primary care is central to the health and well-being of individuals and communities. This course develops student’s critical and clinical skills to use in general practice.

Who is it for?

The programme is for NMC registered nurses, who are currently working as general practice nurses (GPN) and wish to develop their skills and progress their career.


Throughout the world, the provision of preventive, treatment and rehabilitation services is rooted increasingly in primary care.

City’s well established and successful Primary Care (Practice Nurse) programme supports GPN in developing new skills for use in the general practice setting. The programme is focused on clinical practice, with a strong emphasis on supporting the application of theory/evidence/research to the practice setting.

The BSc/Graduate Diploma consists of 120 credits.  Four of the modules are core or compulsory, with 3 optional modules.  The Post Graduate Diploma (PgDip) consists of 120 credits. Three of the modules are core or compulsory, with 5 optional modules. The choice of optional modules from our Continuing Personal and Professional Development portfolio will allow you to choose modules that are relevant to your work as a GPN within the general practice environment. However, your choice of optional modules will be determined by either the funder for your programme or your employing organisation.

The MSc consists of 180 credits. Four of the eight modules are core. The choice of optional modules from our Continuing Personal and Professional Development portfolio will be determined by either the funder for your programme or your employing organisation.

Academic facilities

The Clinical Skills Centre at City offers excellent facilities for you to rehearse practical caring skills prior to your practice placement. You will have access to a simulated 6-bedded high dependency unit (HDU) with realistic equipment including piped oxygen, call bells, medicines and emergency equipment. In addition, medium fidelity simulators and laboratories, including a biology laboratory, allow students to rehearse skills in preparation for practice in a range of placements, including clinics and people's homes.

The School of Health Science is one of the first health schools in the UK to open a Technology Enabled Care Studio, City TECS. City TECS is specially designed studio flat at our Northampton Square campus, fully equipped with the latest telehelath and telecare technologies providing City students with the unique opportunity to learn how to use the latest and future healthcare technologies whilst they study.

Teaching and learning

The Programme Director and other members of the practice nursing team have considerable experience and expertise in the field of practice nursing and advanced practice.

Members of the team have published research, books, as well as peer reviewed professional journals relevant to practice nursing and advanced practice.

Assessments are designed to assess students ability to:

  • grasp taught theory and research;
  • analyse and interpret theory and research critically;
  • apply the theory and evidence base to the clinical setting
  • present the relevant points clearly and concisely.

Both formative and summative assessments will be transparent throughout the practice nursing course.  Formative feedback will be available on group/individual presentations and/or tutorial support.

Summative assessment will integrate a variety of assessments, which will be dependent on your choice of optional modules including:

  • Essays
  • Skills schedule, including a multiple choice questionnaire and problem based scenario
  • Exams
  • Objective Structured Clinical Examination
  • Case study
  • Audit and supporting paper
  • Protocol development and a supporting paper
  • Poster development and supporting paper
  • A research proposal.


The course is made up of both core and optional modules, with the structure depending on whether students study on a full or part-time basis.

Core modules

  • Key Concepts in Practice Nursing
  • Research methods
  • Health Policy and Politics

Students progressing to MSc must undertake:

  • Dissertation

Elective modules

You can choose from a wide range of optional modules, including:

  • Cervical Cytology
  • An introduction to Long Term Conditions
  • Key Concepts in Practice Nursing
  • Asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  • Clinical assessment in Primary Care
  • Contraception and sexual health - theory
  • Diabetes care
  • Supporting and assessing in clinical practice (mentorship module)

Students have the option of exiting with 60 credits to receive the award of Postgraduate Certificate (PgCert). In order to receive this award, students must have successfully completed 60 credits, which must include one of the core modules – Key Concepts in practice nursing and 3 other optional modules.

To study the MSc, the choice of optional modules will be determined by either the funder for your programme or your employing organisation:

  • Diabetes Care
  • Asthma/COPD
  • Cervical Cytology
  • Key Concepts in Practice Nursing
  • Clinical Assessment in Primary Care
  • Long Term Conditions
  • Education in the workplace [a mentorship module]
  • Innovations in healthcare leadership and management perspectives.

Career prospects

The completion of the MSc will enable you to develop higher order critical skills, which will enhance your clinical practice underpinned by a strong evidence base. Practice Nurses may on completion of their programme choose to specialise in certain clinical areas, especially the care and management of long term conditions and in the area of triage.

Furthermore, this will enable those who have completed the MSc to negotiate a higher salary in their current post by extending their leadership and clinical skills within the general practice environment.

The PgDip Primary Care (Practice Nursing) will give you greater opportunities to deliver diverse services within general practice. The range of services can be tailored to your individual practice needs due to the selection of modules that can be taken as part of your continuing professional development.

Completion of the PgDip is achieved when you have successfully completed all 8 x 15 credit modules [120 credits]. Post graduate diploma students also have the option of gaining a PgCert by completing 4 modules [60 credits] one of which would include the core module – Key Concepts of Practice Nursing. The PgCert is an exit award only.

You will graduate with a substantial understanding of the field of practice nursing, together with enhanced clinical and analytical skills. These attributes will enable you to make a substantial contribution within the general practice environment.

Visit the Primary Care (Practice Nursing) - MSc/PgDip/PgCert page on the City, University of London website for more details!





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