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Specialist Community Public Health Nursing (MSc/PGDip/PGCert)

The Specialist Community Public Health Nursing MSc is for registered nurses and midwives who want to earn both a professional qualification as a school nurse or health visitor, and an academic award at masters level.

The course equips nurses to be innovative and creative in their response to the needs of various client groups across different settings of public health practice.

On completion of the course you will be able to show that you can meet the ten key areas of public health practice required for second level registration as a Specialist Community Public Health Nurse with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC 2004).

Under the guidance of a personal tutor, you will map out a development plan before the start of the course so that you have a clear focus on your intended direction.

We are known for our flexible approaches to practice-based learning, with course durations and intensities that can be adapted to your individual needs and outside commitments.  

The values of the NHS constitution – respect, dignity, compassion and working together for patients – and the recognition that patients come first in everything the NHS does are embedded in our curriculum.

You will be taught and supported by passionate and experienced staff, who are informed by current research, meaning teaching is up to date and adheres to best practice.

We have a dedicated team of academic staff who are actively engaged in internationalising the nursing and midwifery curriculum.

Course structure

The course is delivered in a variety of ways, and is flexible enough to meet the needs of part-time students. Delivery is typically via e-learning, lectures, seminars, workbooks for work-based learning and simulation in our state-of-the-art Clinical Skills and Simulation Suite and Flexible Learning Environment.

You will be allocated practice placements by your employing trust, and assigned a dedicated tutor to support your learning in practice. You will also undertake a period of alternative practice during which you can spend a week in another practice environment of demonstrable value to your role, to diversify your skills and experience base.

A variety of learning and teaching strategies are used including problem-based and work-based learning. You need to be highly motivated and be prepared to actively engage with all aspects of your learning.

Public health roles are diverse, and flexibility in the course gives you the opportunity to gain the knowledge and skills to suit your personal and professional ambitions.

You will be supported throughout your course and placements by a practice teacher and mentors. An exciting variety of learning approaches are utilised in the course, which can be tailored to your preferred learning styles. 

Making sure that what you learn with us is relevant, up to date and what employers are looking for is our priority, so courses are reviewed and enhanced on an ongoing basis. When you have applied to us, you’ll be told about any new developments through our applicant portal.

 With the guidance of a tutor, you will set out a professional development plan (PDP) from the initial interview, which will be reviewed throughout the course. The PDP helps to integrate your personal areas of advancement with the existing requirements of the knowledge and skills framework. It also serves as evidence of your expanded skill set in order to boost your future employability. The PDP ensures that your needs are assessed on an ongoing basis and adjustments made accordingly, particularly useful if you opt for an extended part-time route.

Areas of study

As a student on the course, you will share your learning with other community nursing specialities, allowing you to benefit from intra-professional collaboration. Our programmes are designed to allow students from other disciplines, and in some cases other professions, the opportunity to exchange knowledge and expertise.

A core module within the course relates to public health from the individual, through to whole societies. An innovative module which enables you to work with marginalised groups, connected with the Community University Partnership Project, may also be chosen. The modules allow you to focus your practice assignment work on areas which benefit your desired career.

On completion of the course, you will have studied and practised:

  • assessing risk in complex situations
  • developing effective relationships based on trust and openness
  • working flexibly with other services in a range of settings
  • dealing with conflicting priorities and ambiguous situations
  • knowing when to use, different and sometimes contradictory theories and perspectives.


Core modules

  • A choice of research module
  • Transforming practice
  • Capacity building for early intervention
  • A Critical Approach to Practising Public Health
  • Taking research into practice


  • Child protection; Enhancing practice
  • Health promotion

Careers and Employability

Most graduates go on to work within the NHS in health visiting or school nursing teams.

The skills and knowledge that you will have achieved by graduation can also be applied to a wide range of community nursing or public health roles in various settings.

The context of public health practice both within and outside of the NHS is constantly changing and the opportunities for career development and innovative approaches to service provision exist.

Visit the Specialist Community Public Health Nursing (MSc/PGDip/PGCert) page on the University of Brighton website for more details!




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