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Specialist Nursing (with pathways)PG Dip

Course Description

The Post Graduate Diploma Specialist Nursing (with pathways) is aimed at preparing Nurses for Leadership roles in a field of Nursing of their choice. There are a range of Pathways to suit all Nurses including District Nursing, Mental Health Nursing, Learning Disability Nursing, and Community Children’s Nursing. The full range of Adult Nursing Specialisms include, Palliative Care, Stroke Care, Diabetes Care and Emergency Care.

Key benefits

- The programme leads to more than one qualification. You will obtain a degree from Ulster University and a professional qualification from the United Kingdom Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC).

- Students of District Nursing also obtain a further professional qualification in Nurse Prescribing.

- Recognised by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) for the purpose of recording as Specialist Practice Qualification (SPQ) (child/ adult/ learning disabilities/ mental health)

Visit the website: https://www.ulster.ac.uk/courses/course-finder/201617/specialist-nursing-with-pathways-8831

Course detail

- Description -

The term, ‘Specialist Nursing’ refers to, the exercising of higher levels of judgment and decision-making in relation to the nursing care of individuals, families and communities. As a future Leader you must display this higher level of decision-making across four areas; clinical practice, care and programme management, clinical practice development and clinical practice leadership.

- Format and assessment -

At Ulster we focus on developing you as a Leader and help you achieve academic and professional competence in all these areas. This programme is a 50-50 programme, meaning that 50% of the programme is university-based and 50% based in the practice learning setting. In the Practice Learning setting you will be allocated to a Sign-Off Mentor. This Sign-Off Mentor who is an established Specialist Nurse and Leader in Clinical Care will supervise you throughout the Programme. He/she will assess you and sign off your competencies prior to recording the professional qualification with the NMC. You will also be allocated to a Pathway Leader who will supervise your academic development and provide support throughout.

The academic component of the programme consists of four 30-credit modules:

- Research Module
- Leadership Module
- + Two Specialist Focus Modules, depending on your selected pathway.

District Nursing students have an additional 20 credits to complete in order to evidence outcomes related to Nurse Prescribing.

A range of assessment methods including OSCEs, Reflective and Academic Essays, Case studies and Portfolio are used. Patients and families are involved in the assessment process.

- Work placement / study abroad -

All students must complete 75 days Practice Learning in an aproved setting. Students must have direct interaction with patients and families during this period. Supervision by an expert Specialist Nurse (Sign-Off Mentor) will occur during Practice Learning. A Specialist Practice Qualification (SPQ) Portfolio is required to evidence achievement of professional outcomes.

Career options

Graduates of this programme take up posts as Specialist Nurses. Most are in Team Leadershippositions. There is 100% Employability associated with this programme.

How to apply: https://www.ulster.ac.uk/apply/how-to-apply#pg

Why study at Ulster?

1. Over 92% of our graduates are in work or further study six months after graduation.
2. We are a top UK university for providing courses with a period of work placement.
3. Our teaching and the learning experience we deliver are rated at the highest level by the Quality Assurance Agency.
4. We are an international university with more than 2,000 international students from over 80 countries and Alumni from 121 countries.
5. More than 4,000 students from over 50 countries have successfully completed eLearning courses at Ulster University.

Flexible payment

To help spread the cost of your studies, tuition fees can be paid back in monthly instalments while you learn. If you study for a one-year, full-time master’s, you can pay your fees up-front, in one lump sum, or in either five or ten equal monthly payments. If you study for a master’s on a part-time basis (e.g. over three years), you can pay each year’s fees up-front or in five or ten equal monthly payments each year. This flexibility allows you to spread the payment of your fees over each academic year. Find out more by visiting http://www.ulster.ac.uk/learnyourway


A comprehensive range of financial scholarships, awards and prizes are available to undergraduate, postgraduate and research students. Scholarships recognise the many ways in which our students are outstanding in their subject. Individuals may be able to apply directly or may automatically be nominated for awards. Visit the website: https://www.ulster.ac.uk/apply/fees-and-finance/scholarships

English Language Tuition

CELT offers courses and consultations in English language and study skills to Ulster University students of all subjects, levels and nationalities. Students and researchers for whom English is an additional language can access free CELT support throughout the academic year: https://www.ulster.ac.uk/international/english-language-support

Visit the Specialist Nursing (with pathways)PG Dip page on the Ulster University website for more details!

(Student Profile)

Deirdre McCrory

"I have been a registered nurse for 28 years and I wanted to develop knowledge and skills in District Nursing. The Postgrad Diploma in Specialist Practice will enable me to develop the professional attributes needed to learn and prepare for practice."


Entry Requirements

Hold a degree in Nursing or equivalent . Hold current registration with the NMC and have completed a period of experience as a registered nurse to have consolidated pre-registration outcomes. Have the support of an employer for 75 days Practice Learning and the name of an appropriately qualified Sign-Off Mentor in the Practice Learning setting. English language entry requirements: View Website

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Recipient: Ulster University
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