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  • Study Type

    Full time & Part time available

  • Subject Areas

    Nursing & Health

  • Start Date


  • Course Duration

    Full-time: 1 year; Part-time: 2 years

  • Course Type


  • Course Fees

    Funding is secured via application to an NHS Trust for a student post

Course content

This innovative Specialist Community Public Health Nursing (Health Visiting or School Nursing) course enables you to develop your practice as a specialist public health nurse. You will complete the programme as a collaborative public health practitioner, who is able to lead practice forward and work in partnership with clients and other professions and agencies.

The overall philosophy of the Specialist Community Public Health Nursing - Health Visiting or School Nursing (SCPHN) course is to provide an excellent course structure and teaching and learning methods in both academic and practice settings. We believe that academic preparation is an integral part of practice development and that both are part of the same process. Our aim is to enable you to be a high-quality practitioner who is a skillful public health nurses in school nursing or health visiting, and is able to bring about change in your practice environments.

See the website https://www.brookes.ac.uk/courses/postgraduate/specialist-community-public-health-nursing-health-visiting-or-school-nursing/

Why choose this course?

Health care and the community environment are undergoing great change. For public health to be central to the service that is offered to clients and school students, there is a need for highly dynamic and flexible practitioners. You will need sound academic skills and evidence-based practice to enable you to lead positive change, both of your own practice and that of the health visiting and school health professions as a whole. The course will challenge you and help you to develop the knowledge and skills that you require in preparation for a future in public health nursing and the 0-19 agenda .
- This course will strengthen your leadership attributes in order to prepare you for the public health workforce as a SCPHN

- The curriculum content will reflect currency in practice issues, this will include the exploration of contemporary public health high impact areas across the fields of practice.

- We support multi and interprofessional learning and teaching, offering excellent opportunities for shared learning.

- Our lecturers are experienced in their specialist practice areas and maintain excellent practice links with those areas locally or across the region, and have established links with colleagues, organisations and institutions at national and international levels to enable contemporaneous teaching material and speakers.

- Oxford Brookes is a student-centred institution that is fully committed to each individual achieving their potential. To support this, we offer a broad range of student support schemes to facilitate learning and development.

- We have an excellent track record of high levels of student satisfaction, low student attrition rates and high employability.

Professional accreditation

Students successfully completing this course will be eligible for registration by the NMC on the Specialist Community Public Health Nursing part of the register (third part), and for registration as able to prescribe from the community practitioners formulary (V100).

Teaching and learning

The teaching, learning and assessment strategy of the course reflects its interprofessional, client-centred and practice-focused approach. Opportunities for sharing existing and developing skills, knowledge and experience are maximised. Lively debates develop within the sessions and you will be able to discuss relevant issues with others from different primary care trusts and the wider health and care environments. In order to make the most of the range of experience, skills and knowledge within the group, a variety of teaching and learning strategies will be used. They include seminars, discussions, debates and group work. The Brookes Virtual Learning Environment (an online repository of lectures, handouts, information and learning exercises) will also be used as part of the teaching and learning process. Some modules will have a greater emphasis on E-learning as a primary source of education. Teaching strategies will encourage self-reflection, the integration of theory and practice and interprofessional collaboration.

Practice assessment is a key part of the assessment process throughout the course and many strategies are used to assess your overall practice competence; these are all clearly demonstrated in the course practice assessment document.

Approach to assessment

The course is centred on practice and you will spend 50% of time in the practice environment. Your community practice teachers (CPTs) are highly involved with the development and implementation of the course and there is a great deal of collaboration with the primary care trusts (PCT) education leads. You will be encouraged to critically analyse and evaluate SCPHN practice with your lecturers and CPTs, and your assignments will provide a focus for analysing practice. Your CPT will be responsible for facilitating your learning, supervising your progress and assessing your competence in practice.

Attendance pattern

This course is unique in nature as you will be paid full-time (or part-time) thus your attendance at university is recorded. Sickness and absence during the course will affect your sickness and absence record. Equally punctuality at university is a important part of your professional role.

How this course helps you develop

- The course enables experienced practitioners to build on their leadership and strategic development skills.

- Students exiting the programme have demonstrated their ability to be leaders in community public health nursing practice.


On successful completion of the course:
- You will receive a Postgraduate Diploma in Specialist Community Public Health Nursing (Health Visiting or School Nursing).

- If you wish to meet the minimum NMC mentorship requirements, evidence from your practice documentation can be considered through Accreditation of Prior Learning processes within the Faculty.

- Your details will be forwarded to the NMC for registration on the Specialist Community Public Health Nursing (third part of the register), and for registration as able to prescribe from the community practitioner’s formulary (V100).

Free language courses for students - the Open Module

Free language courses are available to full-time undergraduate and postgraduate students on many of our courses, and can be taken as a credit on some courses.

Please note that the free language courses are not available if you are:
- studying at a Brookes partner college
- studying on any of our teacher education courses or postgraduate education courses.

Research highlights

We have a number of both promising and experienced researchers working in established areas including cancer care, children and families, drugs and alcohol, physical rehabilitation and enablement, and interprofessional education and collaborative practice. Over the past few years, these researchers have won external research and consultancy contracts including grants, fellowships and studentships for NHS staff. Our research staff collaborate with researchers from across Oxford Brookes University and from the Institute of Health Sciences at the University of Oxford, along with research teams from many other UK and international centres.

Our academic staff have extensive experience of NHS and general management at both senior and director level. They also have a significant record of research and publications on the topics of management and leadership. The currency of the course is also assured by the lecturers' close involvement in the health and social care sector and their movement between that sector and education.

We are very pleased with the results received in the last Research Assessment Exercise (RAE). 70% of our research in Allied Health Professions and Studies was rated as being of international significance in the assessment of research, of which 10% was rated as world-leading. The university has been careful to nurture emerging research strengths, and the international standing achieved by subjects allied to health demonstrates significant progress since 2001.

Visit the Specialist Community Public Health Nursing (Health Visiting or School Nursing) (PGDip) page on the Oxford Brookes University website for more details!




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