Skip to main content
Postgraduate study
Specialist Community Public Health Nursing (School Nursing)

Specialist Community Public Health Nursing (School Nursing)* MSc

If you are a registered nurse or midwife looking to become a school nurse, this course is ideal for you. Contribute positively to the new public health agenda, tackling health inequalities on an individual and community basis. Become an autonomous practitioner with the skills, knowledge, behaviours and experience to lead, influence and collaborate. Drive sustainable, inclusive and evidence-based changes to the health and wellbeing of people, communities and populations.


Course overview


Approved by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC), this course is structured to meet the NMC’s Standards of Proficiency for Specialist Community Public Health Nurses (2022). It leads to Part 3 registration as a specialist community public health nurse (school nursing).

Become an autonomous, resilient and dynamic practitioner, who can promote a critical enquiry of specialist community public health nursing practice, leading and delivering safe and effective interventions. Develop your confidence and independence in learning, while networking with other professionals to support interdisciplinary working.

Develop public health practice knowledge and skills to address health inequalities with individuals and communities, and enhance your leadership skills to contribute to the new school nursing agenda. Gain an understanding of evidence that underpins and supports practice.

Explore the changing and expanding role of the school nurse, including the bio-psychosocial needs of children, young people, parents and families. Develop a high level of cultural competence and advanced communication skills to support holistic assessment and the development of shared goals.

Gain skills and confidence to critically analyse and actively contribute to the public health agenda. Examine the protection and promotion of health and wellbeing, debating the challenges to service delivery in a theoretical, legal and ethical context. Understand the determinants of health, addressing health inequalities across diverse communities and the life course.

Developing leadership skills is integral to the role. You assess theories and enhance your own leadership philosophy. Collaborate with vulnerable populations and address the legal, ethical and professional issues associated with safeguarding. Evaluate the personal leadership skills you need to ensure the safety of vulnerable individuals and families, ensuring an inclusive and culturally safe approach.
You explore research and service improvement, linking theoretical knowledge to practice and understanding the evidence underpinning clinical practice. Learning takes place across course and professional boundaries, encouraging cross-pollination of perspectives and ideas.

You are taught mostly at our Darlington campus, with some sessions at our Middlesbrough campus. This is specified in the course timetable.

Top reasons to study this course:

  1. Practice-based: you spend more time in the practice setting than in theoretical learning, maximising your learning opportunities and ensuring you are well prepared for the role.
  2. Experienced teaching team: learn from our dedicated and enthusiastic teaching team, who have a strong focus on evidence-based practice and a passion for improving health.
  3. Opportunities: engage with service users and specialist practitioners to enhance your learning experiences, who are involved in the design, delivery and assessment aspects of the course.
  4. Support: benefit from our proactive approach to student support, with a wide range of services and strong partnerships.
  5. Diversity: this course is inclusive and addresses the diverse needs of the population, and you learn with students from a range of backgrounds in a supportive environment.

Download pdf Order prospectus

Supporting information for applicants

Our School feedback policy (word - 278kb)
Our School reference policy (word - 276kb)

* Subject to University approval


Course details

Course structure

Advancing Autonomous School Nursing Practice

In line with the new school nursing agenda, develop your ability to critique and critically evaluate the complexities and opportunities associated with contemporary school nursing. There is an emphasis on child/adolescent/family-centred care. You are introduced to theories underpinning school nursing practice, and enquiry-based learning further develops your knowledge, skills and attitudes. Apply and test your knowledge with real-world problems, and analyse complex practice situations. Enhance your debating skills, synthesis and the integration of your knowledge base. The practice assessment document is embedded in this module.

Developing Leadership Skills in SCPHN Practice

Critically evaluate key professional leadership theories and organisational culture relating to your area of specialist practice (health visiting or school nursing). Explore collaborative working with vulnerable individuals and families, focusing on safeguarding. In relation to your role, develop your own leadership skills and qualities, enhancing your professional development.?The legal, ethical and professional practice issues surrounding safeguarding children and adults are also addressed.


Consolidate and develop further skills and knowledge from previous modules. Synthesise your learning, applying your research-related knowledge to identify a problem and plan to execute a study. Use a range of different methodologies for your study, such as quantitative, qualitative or systematic review.

Improving Population Health

Develop as a confident and autonomous public health practitioner who can reflect, critically evaluate, lead, respond and contribute to the current public health agenda. Understand the need to work in partnership with people to prevent ill health, protect health and promote wellbeing at an individual and population level. Critically evaluate health and wellbeing, health needs assessment, health improvement and community development from a theoretical perspective and within the social, political and economic context.

Research and Service Improvement in SCPHN Practice

Engage with evidence-based practice and the service improvement aspects of the clinical governance agenda to ensure safe, equitable, timely and effective practice remains at the forefront of public health nursing. Analyse the importance and use of all forms of evidence, using the principles of service improvement theory to help disseminate evidence into practice.


Modules offered may vary.


How you learn

You learn through lectures, seminars, problem-based learning, scenarios, case study work, simulations, guided study, and both independent and collaborative activities. Face-to-face learning is combined with online sessions, online discussion boards and self-directed study enabling you to learn at your own pace.

You must have a contract and agreement with a health trust, local authority or employer to provide a clinical placement. You are allocated a practice assessor by your sponsoring organisation to support your learning and take responsibility for assessing practical competence. Learning in practice is supported with the development of a practice assessment document, which includes self-assessment activities, learning contracts, learning logs, reflective dialogue and discussion with practice assessors, practice supervisors and academic staff.

The curriculum has been produced with stakeholders to ensure the programme is representative of the population served, and meets the current challenges and aspirations for the local communities.

The incorporation of specialist practitioners and people who use services has been included to support future readiness, and provision of inclusive and culturally safe care.

How you are assessed

Assessment includes written essays, poster presentations, case studies, simulations, research proposals and a dissertation. You can select from case studies, scenarios and topic areas specific to your interests. Practice is assessed by the practice assessment document, and through meetings between you, your practice assessor and your academic assessor. Opportunities for feedback in both theory and practice are provided throughout the course.


Entry requirements

You should have:

• NMC-valid registration as a level 1 registered nurse or midwife capable of safe and effective practice at a level of proficiency for the intended field
• a degree of 2:2 or above
• employer support and protected learning time
• a successful interview
• a suitable Specialist Community Public Health Nursing placement, and practice assessor and supervisor, who meet the quality governance aspects of the programme and can contribute towards the assessment process by giving you practical learning opportunities
• evidence of a current satisfactory enhanced DBS carried out by your employing organisation.

This programme provides opportunities for eligible NMC-registered nurses or midwives who are self-employed or self-funded applicants to apply. Prospective self-employed/self-funded applicants should contact the course lead for further discussion.

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 general information please see our overview of entry requirements

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



Career opportunities

The course prepares you to work as a school nurse and to take practice forward to meet the challenges of a dynamic school nursing profession.


Information for international applicants


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

Select your country:

Useful information

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

Talk to us

Talk to an international student enrolment adviser


Professional accreditation

Following successful completion of the required theoretical learning outcomes (120 credits at master’s level) and the specialist community public health nursing practice Standards of Proficiency (NMC 2022) you are eligible to register as a specialist community public health nurse (school nursing).


2024/25 entry

Fee for UK applicants
£6,710 a year

Limited HEENE funded places available for eligible applicants - you must check with admissions before applying.

More details about our fees

Fee for international applicants
£17,000 a year

More details about our fees for international applicants

Apply now (full-time)



2024/25 entry

Fee for UK applicants
£750 for each 20 credits

More details about our fees

Apply now (part-time)

Apply now (part-time)


Choose Teesside


Service user and carer involvement

Service users and carers support all aspects of our students' lifecycle from recruitment to graduation.

Find out more

Get in touch

UK students


Telephone: 01642 384982

Online chat (general enquiries)

International students


Telephone: +44 (0) 1642 738900

More international contacts


Open days and events

Go to top menu