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Postgraduate study
Nursing & Health

Nursing Studies (Child) Pre-registration MSc

Children’s nursing involves the care of premature babies, infants, children, young people and their families. As a children’s nurse you are an important member of a multi-professional team, working in partnership with parents and carers, healthy children and those experiencing acute and long-term physical and mental illness and/or disabilities.


Course overview


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You are in a unique and privileged position and you play a key role in assessing, planning, implementing and evaluating the wide-ranging care needs of vulnerable children and their families. This requires hard work, commitment and excellent interpersonal skills.

If you are a motivated graduate with healthcare experience, this course gives you an exciting opportunity to work towards professional registration within two years, and prepares you for a fulfilling and successful career in children’s nursing.

You develop the essential knowledge and nursing skills required to care for children and their families in a variety of diverse settings, including hospital and community care. During these placements you participate in shift work, including weekends and nights.

You become a confident and competent skilled practitioner, capable of leading and managing the care of children and their families and a resilient and future-ready nurse who holds strong professional values, exercise clinical judgement, challenge inequality, champion diversity and uphold the integrity of the profession while delivering high quality, child-centred compassionate care.

The course content reflects the changing and challenging nature of providing healthcare in the 21st century, and the evolving and diverse role of the registered nurse. Leadership is embedded throughout the course, recognising the crucial role nurses play in moving practice forward. You work together with students from the adult, learning disabilities and mental health fields of nursing courses to share your learning and experiences. In the new nursing curriculum, there is increased emphasis on mental health and cognitive issues impacting on physical health and vice versa, and the essential need to consider biological, psychological and social care across the age continuum, bridging the existing gaps between healthcare services.

Please note 100% attendance is expected during this course.

Study this course and you may be eligible for a £5,000 maintenance grant each year from the NHS Business Service Authority. Find out more. You can also apply for our Placement Support Fund if you are experiencing financial difficulties attending your placement. Find out more.

Pre-registration nursing courses are typically three years, so in order to join this two-year master's degree, you are required to submit a Portfolio of Evidence. This portfolio will demonstrate how you have achieved the year 1 requirements of the course (through previous study and/or work experience). You must also provide evidence that you have worked a minimum of 500 hours within a health or social care setting. These two elements are a condition for application and for shortlisting.

Please ensure you read the entry requirements, guidance and complete the Portfolio of Evidence and Declaration (documents available from Entry requirements section) before commencing your course application.

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Course details

Course structure

Year 1 core modules

RPL portfolio

Evidenced through the successful production of an RPL portfolio in accordance with University procedures.


Year 2 core modules

A Partnership in Care – Valuing the Experts by Experience

You will gain the requisite skills needed to analyse, conduct and assess qualitative research within the applied psychology setting. You will also gain an understanding of key theoretical approaches in designing qualitative research projects as well as practical experience in collecting and analysing qualitative data. The module aims to facilitate the development of a knowledge of and skills in using advanced qualitative research designs, specifically it will develop your knowledge and skills in qualitative research design and methods as applicable to applied psychology at MSc level. You will understand the relationship between theory and practice of interpretative approaches in psychological research, and explore different modes of investigation and analysis employed within these interpretative approaches.

Indicative content:

Theoretical approaches in qualitative research: phenomenological, ethnographic, social constructionist, discursive and narrative approaches
Sampling in qualitative research
Interview design and constructing the data corpus
Analysis of textual and visual data including Grounded Theory; Interpretative Phenomenological analysis; Narrative inquiry; Semiotics; Discursive Psychology; Conversation analysis; Critical discourse analysis & affective textual analysis
Trustworthiness and credibility

The assessment for this module is a 5,000 word qualitative research bid including feasibility study and data analysis (ECA, 100%).

Contemporary Public Health in Nursing Practice

You gain the knowledge, skills and understanding of the nurse’s role in health improvement locally, nationally and globally. Learning alongside master’s students from other areas of nursing, you explore current public health legislation and policies which impact on health and wellbeing, emphasising inequalities in health.

Developing a Skilled and Compassionate Children’s Nurse

This module runs across the academic year and facilitates your nursing skills development. It integrates theory gained in the other modules into practice and prepares you for placement.

Integrating Evidence-based Decision Making in Children’s Nursing

You are introduced to evidence-based integrated decision-making theories and their application to children’s nursing practice in a variety of settings within the context of healthcare.


Final-year core modules

Biopsychosocial Assessment and Decision Making in Children’s Nursing

Building on what you have learned in year 2, you further develop the complexity of your clinical decision-making skills, across the age continuum. You develop the skills and knowledge to assess and manage a caseload, lead teams and deliver care for children, their families and carers in a range of settings.

Leading Innovative Evidence-Based Nursing

Utilising clinical and research related knowledge, you identify a question to research, find an evidence-based solution, and demonstrate the leadership skills that are required to make a successful sustainable change in practice.


Modules offered may vary.


How you learn

The workload is demanding and requires you to be a highly motivated, engaged and self-directed learner. You spend 50% of your time studying the theory, while the other 50% is spent in practice placements.

The course uses a blended learning approach. You are required to engage with face-to-face learning within university and open distance learning in an environment conducive to your individual learning style. Self-directed study in each module allows you to advance your knowledge, prepare for and reflect upon theory and practice and consolidate your learning. Learning activities within theory hours include lectures, discussions, group activities, seminar presentations, tutorials, skills workshops, experiential learning/simulations, service user-focused activities and e-learning. Digital competency and learning through digital based platforms are an important component of this course.

The teaching week during theory/study blocks is Monday to Friday and may involve some evening sessions. During practice allocations you are required to complete the shift patterns allocated to you by your assessor or supervisor. These include early starts (for example a shift may start at 7.00am and finish at 8.00pm), night duty and weekend shifts including bank holidays. Practice placements are provided in a range of healthcare related environments including hospital and community settings. These include experiences with community nursing teams, acute medical and surgical wards, immediate and urgent/complex care environments such as intensive therapy units, accident and emergency. This enables you to explore people-centered care and the nursing and healthcare needs of people with acute and long term conditions. Throughout your placement allocations you have opportunities to gain experience with client groups from other fields of nursing (mental health, learning disabilities and adult nursing) to enable you to develop an understanding of the health and nursing needs of people across all fields of practice.

The structure and sequencing of University and placement-based learning means that holidays are fixed – it is not possible to take holidays outside of the set dates. The assessment schedule takes account of placement allocations and study weeks to support time for reflection upon practice and preparation for the submission of assessments, while providing opportunities for reassessment prior to the end of each year of the course.

You are taught by senior lecturers, specialist practitioners, guest lecturers from practice and ‘experts by experience’. You are assigned a personal tutor who provides pastoral support and guidance throughout the course. In addition, the personal tutor monitors your attendance, academic progress and assists you with any difficulties, signposting to other services within the university as and when appropriate. They also provide references for employment at the end of the course.

How you are assessed

A variety of assessment methods consider different learning styles including written assignments, presentations and timed exams. The assessments help you develop the transferable skills sought by managers within the NHS such as delivering presentations, developing a business case, designing and defending posters, and action plans, being able to engage in personal reflection and write for publication.

You demonstrate achievement of your practice learning outcomes through completion of a Practice Assessment Document. This document is mapped against the NMC Standards for Pre-registration Nursing (2018) and recognises the importance of skill development and knowledge in practice.

Essential proficiencies must be met for this course, they include:

  • numerical calculations in relation to drug administration
  • physical and manual dexterity to undertake clinical skills
  • observational and auditory ability are needed to carry out holistic practical examinations and emergency care
  • accurate interpretation of assessment data and written records, such as drug prescription charts and treatment plans, to inform clinical decision making
  • keeping accurate and legible records.

Our Disability Services team helps students with additional needs resulting from disabilities such as sensory impairment or learning difficulties such as dyslexia.


Entry requirements

Please ensure you read the guidance and complete the Portfolio of Evidence and Declaration before commencing your course application.

You must meet the course academic entry requirements and be highly motivated towards a career in nursing, demonstrate a good insight into the nurse’s role within the health and social care arena, and have excellent communication skills. 

Nursing courses are typically three years, so in order to join this two-year master’s degree, you are required to submit a Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) portfolio of evidence. The portfolio is a condition for application and shortlisting.

You are also expected to have:

  • a minimum of two GCSEs at grade 4 (C) or above including English and maths. Key Skills/Functional Skills Level 2 in Communication and Application of Number can be accepted in place of GCSEs
  • a degree with a 2:2 classification or above.

Recognition of Prior Learning

You must submit a reflective portfolio which demonstrates how you have achieved the NMC outcomes for year 1 of the course. Additionally, you must provide evidence that you have worked a minimum of 500 hours within a health or social care setting, either paid or voluntary. Your written reflection within the portfolio will be marked at level 7 (MSc).

Shortlisting criteria
Your application is measured against the following criteria:

  • your ability to complete all sections of the application form fully and correctly
  • the level of all qualifications and grades are specified
  • appropriate academic entry requirements achieved or working towards qualifications
  • personal statement supportive of chosen course and demonstrates an understanding of the uniqueness of the profession and the role of the professional
  • satisfactory appropriate supportive references (academic/employer/character)
  • completion of the RPL portfolio to a high standard.

If you are invited to interview and the date is not suitable, we may not be able to offer you an alternative date due to the high volume of applications received for this course – but it is important that you contact the admissions office immediately.

Interview criteria

An online or face to face interview is used as part of the selection process. This involves you answering a series of questions and scenarios measured against the six Cs and the following criteria, which has been mapped against the NHS Constitution:
• knowledge of chosen profession/career
• an appreciation of the demands of the course and chosen profession
• enthusiasm for the course/profession
• ability to communicate effectively both verbally and non-verbally
• a future plan for the specialism.

If you are successful in both shortlisting and interview you receive a conditional offer which is subject to the following:
• evidence of achievement of the required academic qualifications
• a successful work-based risk assessment which will reflect the appropriate HEOPS recommendations
• an enhanced criminal history (DBS) check may be required for certain modules or placements which involve working with children and/or adults at risk. Where an enhanced DBS check is required, applicants will cover the cost of these checks which can only be processed through the University.
• satisfactory references.
Please note until these conditions have been successfully completed the offer of a place on the course remains conditional.

International applicants

  • International applicants must have a minimum IELTS score of 7.0 in reading, listening and speaking or equivalent in line with the University English Language policy that equates to overall IELTS 7.0 with a minimum of 6.5 in writing before an unconditional offer is made.
  • If you are successful at shortlisting you are invited to attend an online interview (which will be arranged by the University).

If you cannot attend an interview as stated, you will be unable to proceed with your application.

Guidance and Portfolio of Evidence and Declaration forms
MSc Nursing – Written Assignment Guidelines
Confidentiality and Informed Consent Guidelines
MSc Nursing Portfolio of Evidence
Confidentiality and Informed Consent Declaration

For general information please see our overview of entry requirements

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



Career opportunities

A diverse range of career opportunities are available within the NHS and private sectors in the UK and overseas. This course provides a stepping stone from which you can develop your expertise. You have the opportunity to explore future career and academic development opportunities, including becoming an NMC professional registrant, plus possible progression to becoming a non-medical prescriber, an advanced practitioner, alumni member or graduate researcher. Progression to doctoral studies may also be considered on completion of the course.

The current employability rate is excellent for nursing graduates. To gain a higher grade and leadership posts within the nursing profession, registrants are required to be qualified to master’s level. This course therefore enables you to be future ready and highly employable. Completion of the course positions you and may inspire you to pursue an accelerated career pathway towards becoming a future leader, clinical expert or researcher within the nursing profession.

Work placement

At the beginning of the course you are allocated a ‘Home Trust’ and you attend a Trust Induction before starting your first practice placement. We offer placements that cover a large geographical area to provide diverse and rewarding learning experiences, so you must be prepared to travel to gain experience of the adult journey, independent sector and agency provision. Travel expenses can be claimed if mileage or public transport costs exceed your home to university mileage/costs.


Information for international applicants


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

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Professional accreditation

On successful completion of the course you are eligible to register with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) on the nurses' part of the Professional Register (Children's Nursing).

During the pre-registration nursing course you are expected to work to the spirit of the NMC Code (2018) at all times.


2024/25 entry

Fee for UK applicants
£9,250 a year

More details about our fees

Fee for international applicants
£17,000 a year

More details about our fees for international applicants

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