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Public Health (District Nursing, Health Visiting or School Nursing) (MSc/PGDip)

    School of Health Sciences Logo
  • Study Type

    Full time available

  • Subject Areas

    Nursing & Health

  • Start Date


  • Course Duration

    1 year full time, 2 years part time

  • Course Type

    MSc, PgDip

  • Course Fees


  • Last Updated

    05 October 2018

Course content

Who is it for?

This course is suitable for qualified nurses or midwives with a commitment to prevention and health promotion and evidence-based practice in a community setting.

Applicants will want to develop their practice in the sphere of district nursing, health visiting or school nursing, as well as gain an academic qualification of BSc (Hons) Graduate Diploma or Postgraduate Diploma the last of which can lead to an MSc.


The programme offers registered nurses and midwives an opportunity to enhance their knowledge and broaden their skills to improve health within communities. City offers the three specialist community practitioner routes in District Nursing, Health Visiting and School Nursing.

The course aims to support you to:

  • Acquire a deep and systematic understanding of the professional and technical skills and knowledge of public health policy, practice, care delivery and service development
  • Develop knowledge, skills and professional competencies
  • Critically analyse social and cultural perspectives of public health, health and disease and the influence they have on judgements and decisions for practice, practice development and service delivery
  • Promote multi-agency and multi-disciplinary working in relation to public health practice
  • Critically analyse, synthesise and apply Specialist Public Health Nursing or Primary Care Nursing knowledge, policy and practice to work in different settings
  • Develop skills and knowledge to practise autonomously and organise and appraise practice and learning
  • Achieve the competency to prescribe from the community practitioner formulary for nurse prescribers.


This course is recognised by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC).

Students who successfully complete the programme are eligible to apply to the NMC stating that they either achieved a Specialist Practice District Nurse qualification or entry to the Specialist Community Public Health Nursing part of the register if meeting health visitor or school nurse competencies.


Practice is an integral part of the programme. In the practice setting, you will work alongside a practice teacher or practice teacher and mentor from the specific sphere of practice, while completing learning activities and a practice assessment document.

You are required to undertake 15 days additional experience in an area of, or that may be of, responsibility, even if not central to the defined area of practice. This can be anywhere in the world. Past students have visited Denmark and Scotland, for example, as well as working elsewhere in London. They have worked with food banks, specialist nurses, environmental health officers and been involved in community development projects.

For the final ten weeks of the programme, you will work consistently in practice, consolidating your learning.

During your placement, you will have at least three visits from your link lecturer (who is also your personal tutor) to support learning in practice and facilitate theory - practice development.

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 six-bed 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 you to rehearse skills in preparation for practice in a range of placements, including clinics and people's homes.

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

Teaching and learning

Teaching is facilitated by qualified educators, the majority of whom are registrants from the appropriate sphere of practice.

In becoming a self-critical, lifelong, reflective learner, you will identify your learning needs and work towards meeting these.

Learning and teaching strategies will include formal lectures, seminars, student-led seminars, group projects, simulated practice, negotiated learning, e-learning, self-directed learning and practice-based activities.


Assessment strategies seek to make links to practice. The following assessment methods will be used throughout the programme:

  • Essays
  • Practice Assessment Document
  • Vivas
  • Case studies
  • Written examinations
  • Reflections on Objective Structured Clinical Examinations (OSCEs)
  • Drug Calculations
  • Development of a research proposal
  • Community Health Needs Assessment Health
  • Project plan
  • Digital Pitch.


Throughout the programme, both practice and theory is used to develop learning. 50% of the time is in practice, working alongside a practice teacher or mentor, and the other 50% is learning time in the Institution.

This programme will generally include 50 organised learning days, most of which will be campus-based and 107 practice days of different sorts (supervised, alternative and consolidated). There are 57 study days when you are expected to undertake guided independent study.

As a paid employee, you are expected to attend all timetabled classes and placement learning experiences.

Career prospects

The programme is vocational, leading to practice and employment as a district nurse, health visitor or school nurse.

Such practitioners are employed by NHS Foundation Trusts, Social Enterprises and Commercial Providers.

The starting salary is generally at Agenda for Change Band six.

District nurses, health visitors and school nurses gain employment as:

  • Experienced practitioners
  • Practice teachers
  • Community matrons
  • Nurse consultants
  • Managers
  • Professional organisation officers
  • Institution lecturers.

Visit the Public Health (District Nursing, Health Visiting or School Nursing) (MSc/PGDip) page on the City, University of London website for more details!




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