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Postgraduate study
Specialist Community Public Health Nursing (Occupational Health Nursing)

Specialist Community Public Health Nursing (Occupational Health Nursing)


Course overview

This programme is for registered nurses or midwives who want to gain registration on Part 3 of the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) register as a specialist community public health nurse (occupational health). It offers you the opportunity to gain registration as an occupational health nurse and for academic development at master’s level.

You develop public health practice knowledge and skills in addressing health inequalities and the health needs of the working population, through development of expertise in hazard and risk assessment, health surveillance and protection, sickness absence management and public health leadership skills, to enable you to contribute to improving the health of the working population.

Where you study

The programme comprises 50% theory and 50% practice within an integrated approach. Practice based learning – you are allocated a practice teacher by your sponsoring organisation who facilitates your learning in practice and is responsible for the assessment of your competence in practice.


Supporting information for applicants

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Course details

You study evidence based practice and the factors which impact on the health and well-being of the working population; the recognition of hazards and risks within the working environment, the application of health and safety legislation, health surveillance and sickness absence management skills within the workplace; public health, personal leadership philosophies and behaviours and their application within organisational settings; public health nursing practice, legal and ethical dimensions also designing and managing a service evaluation.

Course structure

Core modules

Advancing Health and Safety in the Working Environment

This module enables you to have a comprehensive and critical understanding of risk management strategies available to manage hazards in the working environment. You will be able to critically evaluate assessments of the working environment with reference to current legislation, guidance notes, literature and the validity and reliability of the methodologies used. You will be taught using interactive lectures, seminars, case studies and scenarios. Workshops will develop your evaluative skills and your ability to explore a range of environments and complex ethical issues and their potential solutions. Group work will be used to stimulate debate, analysis justification and defense of methodologies

Advancing Leadership and Management in the Context of Specialist Practice

This module will facilitate you to critically evaluate your leadership philosophy and leadership abilities in the context of working within and across professional organisational structures. You will identify strategies to develop your leadership skills and behaviours that will enable you function effectively within clinical/professional practice and lead within collaborative working environments. A range of learning strategies will be used; seminars, student-led discussions and self-directed study. You will be encouraged to share your experiences of clinical leadership and organisational contexts to enable debate and examination of leadership styles and behaviours relevant for specialist community public health practice and working in a collaborative and social care context.

Advancing Occupational Health Practice

This module aims to develop practitioners who are able to respond in analytical and innovative ways to the challenging occupational health environment. You will be able to design, initiate and evaluate health surveillance in the working environment and carry out physiological and mental health and complex attendance management assessments; making appropriate recommendations to management and ensuring compliance with relevant legislation. You will be taught using interactive lectures, seminars and discussion groups, skills workshops, peer review and simulations to develop your knowledge and skills and their application in complex situations.

Advancing Public Health

This module is shared by all fields of practice. It aims to develop confident and effective public health practitioners who can reflect, respond and contribute to the public health agenda. It explores health, health needs assessment, health improvement and community development from a theoretical perspective and within the social, political and economic context. You will apply the principles to your own field of practice. You will learn through a combination of lectures, discussions, group work and experiential learning.

Contemporary Issues in Public Health

This module is designed to enable you to study in-depth a range of contemporary and emerging issues in specialist community public health nursing practice and their potential implications for practice. You will synthesise, critically evaluate and robustly challenge and debate new and emerging areas of public health nursing and their legal and ethical dimensions and potential implications of the advances for specialist community public health nursing practice. You will then build on these skills through learning sets to facilitate developing your own personal decision-making skills and practice through action learning sets.

Developing Research Projects

You gain the knowledge and skills you need to design and manage a primary or secondary research audit or evaluation project that’s relevant to your practice. You also cover research governance and ethics, and prepare for applying for ethical approval or release. And we prepare you for your dissertation if you choose to progress to the master’s course.

Evidence-based Practice

You enhance your skills as a professional practicing evidence-based health care. This module also helps your transition to postgraduate study. You develop key skills that are transferable to subsequent modules, such as literature searching and using advanced critical appraisal skills as an integral part of decision making in health and social care. You also learn how to apply the principles of change management to implement evidence in practice. We use a variety of approaches to teaching including e-learning, formal lectures, seminars and practical activities.

Specialist Community Public Health Nursing Practice

This module will enable you to develop your competence and skills in practice and demonstrate achievement of the SCPHN Standards of Proficiency through achievement of the Practice Progress File.


Modules offered may vary.


How you learn

Teaching methods include lecturers, seminars, experiential learning, scenarios, problem based learning, case study work, simulations, action learning sets, and peer led seminars and discussions.

Learning in practice is supported with the development of a practice progress file, which includes self-assessment activities, learning contracts, learning logs, reflective dialogue and discussion with practice teachers, mentors and academic staff.

How you are assessed

Assessments include examinations, a defended poster, essays, case study analysis, research proposal and simulations. Practice is assessed via the practice progress file through the mechanism of the tripartite meetings which include you, your practice teacher and your academic mentor.


Entry requirements

• a degree of 2:2 or above or
• successful study at postgraduate level
• a valid Level 1 registration on part 1 or part 2 of the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) professional register (defined area of practice apply)
• successful interview and subject to:
• support of an employing organisation who will give an undertaking to enable access to/or facilitate access to the appropriate learning opportunities. Normally you have supernumerary status throughout the programme of learning.
• a nominated practice teacher who will contribute to the teaching and assessment process.
• a satisfactory work-based risk assessment.
A satisfactory Disclosure and Barring Services check (to be carried out by your employing organisation).

Under recognition of prior learning (RPL) you may be awarded credits for previous study or related work experience which can be credited towards the course you want to study. Find out more about RPL.

For additional information please see our entry requirements

International applicants can find out what qualifications they need by visiting Your Country



Work placement

Following successful completion of the required theoretical learning outcomes (120 credits at master’s level) and the specialist community public health nursing practice competencies (NMC 2004) you are eligible to register as a specialist community public health nurse (occupational health) and are eligible for the award of Postgraduate Diploma in Specialist Community Public Health Nursing (Occupational Health Nursing).

Following completion of the PgDip in Specialist Community Public Health Nursing (Occupational Health Nursing) an opportunity will be available to continue your studies and complete a 60 credit master’s level dissertation module leading to an MSC Specialist Community Public Health Nursing (Occupational Health Nursing). This is undertaken as one year part-time or six months full-time study after SCPHN (OH) registration with the NMC. It must be completed within five years of commencing the PgDip.

Career opportunities

The course prepares you to work as an occupational health nurse and to take practice forward to meet the challenges of improving health within a wide range of workplace settings.


Information for international applicants


International applicants - find out what qualifications you need by selecting your country below.

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Useful information

Visit our international pages for useful information for non-UK students and applicants.

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2020 entry

Fee for UK/EU applicants
£3,930 a year

More details about our fees

Fee for international applicants
£12,400 a year

More details about our fees for international applicants

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2020 entry

Fee for UK/EU applicants
£655 for each 20 credits

More details about our fees

Apply online (part-time)

Apply online (fast-track) for current students


Choose Teesside


Stand out from other job applicants with your higher level qualification, specialist knowledge and expanded networks.



Improve your project management, critical thinking, research skills, time management, presentation skills and teamwork.



The median salary for working-age (16-64) postgraduates in 2018 was £6,000 more than graduates
(DoE Graduate Labour Market Statistics 2018,



Study in our friendly town-centre campus with over £270m recently invested and another £300m over the next 10 years.


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