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Postgraduate study
Nursing & Health

Specialist Practice in District Nursing (Degree Apprenticeship) PgDip

The apprentice learns the skills and knowledge to be a proficient, confident and innovative district nurse who can deliver evidence-based care whilst leading a team and managing a caseload of patients with complex needs.


Degree apprenticeship


Course overview

They have access to tutors with expert knowledge in their fields including clinical skills, leadership and district nursing. Learning is structured around four areas: clinical practice, leadership and management, facilitation of learning and evidence, research and development.

Their theoretical learning is alongside learners from a range of local Trusts and they are encouraged to explore different perspectives and ideas. Employers accessing this apprenticeship and the clinical learning team provided by the employer, are supported by the course team and Teesside University in facilitating the apprentices’ learning in the placement area through a regular forum, websites and designated academic tutors as well as workplace assessors.

Apprentices are supported to achieve the best they can through tutorials, directed learning, Library resources, specific support from our Student Life team and many other methods.

The apprentice studies the course for 19 months part-time while also having a full-time contract and being employed as an apprentice district nurse.

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Supporting information for applicants

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Course details

Course structure

Core modules

Advancing District Nursing Practice (Part A)

The apprentice learns key aspects of district nursing including building a community profile, safeguarding, risk, teaching and learning, promoting independence, the experience of service users and carers and understanding associated research.

Advancing District Nursing Practice (Part B)

The apprentice incorporates the professional district nursing proficiencies, as well as developing service improvement, patient safety and understanding research methodology for project design.

Advancing non-medical prescribing

Independent and supplementary prescribing is an integrated feature of health service delivery – some health-specific professionals are qualified to prescribe across a range of healthcare settings. Advancing roles within both nursing and allied health professions have provided a greater access to medicines. This award provides nurses and allied health professionals (physiotherapists, radiographers, podiatrists, dietitians and paramedics who are working in advanced practice roles) with the knowledge and skills to prescribe safely and effectively. You must work within your own scope of practice and area of competence, and be in a position to complete the care cycle in a holistic manner for clients within your care. You must meet the individual entry criteria for this course.

Leadership and Management in District Nursing

The apprentice explores the theory around leadership including just culture, ethics and compassionate leadership along with skills in business planning.

Patient Centric Management of People with Long-Term Health Conditions

The apprentice explores clinical assessment and management skills for key long-term conditions, drawing on current guidelines and practice.


Optional module

Negotiated Learning in Advanced Clinical Practice

You explore a specific area of advanced professional practice or academic study in depth, critically evaluating relevant theory and research, and linking this theory to advanced professional practice. Your chosen topic should demonstrate development in your area of specialist practice.

You are encouraged and facilitated in an independent approach to learning with tutor support. The module leader introduces you to the module and assessment process at the beginning of the semester. You are allocated a supervisor who provides tutorial support. Alternatively you can study this module online through the virtual learning environment and email.

Assessment is negotiated within the learning contract and can take a variety of forms such as a 4,000-word written assignment, viva, defended poster or a report. The assessment must include a critical evaluation of the impact of the module on your personal learning and professional practice.


Modules offered may vary.


How you learn

A range of teaching and learning methods are used, including lectures, seminars, laboratory-based learning, tutorials, small-group work, practical skills-based sessions, guided independent study and work-based learning. Teaching is delivered by lecturers and specialists in their fields from across the University or external speakers which provides a rich learning experience for the apprentice. Learning in placement is in the employing Trust’s services where apprentices are encouraged to negotiate to use their on-the-job learning time to gain insight into the Trust’s services and structures.

How you are assessed

Assessment uses a variety of forms, including OSCE, report, viva voce, presentation, portfolio, exam and assessment of proficiencies in practice. All modules incorporate the opportunity for formative feedback whilst the apprentice progresses. Work is generally submitted online with online feedback available. Apprentices review their progress at the end of the first year and prepare for their next stage of learning. On successful completion of the course, they are awarded through an academic assessment board and with an integrated end point assessment.


Entry requirements

To be accepted on to a degree apprenticeship course you must have support from your employer, and also meet the course entry requirements - you can find these below.

Apprentices must:

> have an NMC-valid registration as a registered nurse and at least one year’s post-registration experience
> hold Level 2 qualifications in English and maths before starting their apprenticeship. Find out more.
> be professionally practising in a role where there is an identified need to prescribe, including at least one year in the clinical field in which they intend to prescribe
> be approved by the employing Trust or organisation’s non-medical prescribing lead and service manager who must provide verification of the apprentice’s suitability to prescribe
> have an NMP practice assessor or designated prescribing practitioner who will provide supervision, support and opportunities to develop competence in practice
> pass a 20-question drug calculations entry test with a mark of 80% or above
> undertake an interview with their employer and the University and must have a satisfactory enhanced DBS closure

Where an apprentice already has the V300 Nonmedical prescribing qualification, they are given the opportunity to study an option module of the same academic credit value. This module gives the applicant scope to identify a topic which is of interest to both them and their employer and to develop their knowledge and understanding around this topic with the support of their supervisor.

Apprentices may undertake an occupational health work-based risk assessment check. If they have a disability, specific learning difficulty, mental health condition, autism spectrum condition, sensory impairment or medical condition that may require reasonable adjustments during an external placement or in the university or a clinical practice area, this must be declared as part of the enrolment process. Contact the relevant admissions or course tutor for guidance.

For general information please see our overview of entry requirements



Career opportunities

Successful apprentices can apply for a district nurse post as team leader and specialist practitioner, as well as develop professionally and academically with a master’s level qualification.

Work placement

Placements are in the employing Trust’s community nursing service.


Degree apprenticeship

A degree apprenticeship combines vocational work-based learning with study for a university degree. Designed in partnership with employers, degree apprenticeships offer it all - a higher education qualification, a salary, and invaluable practical experience and employment skills.

Find out more


  • Not available full-time


2023/24 entry

Fee for UK applicants

More details about our fees

  • Length: 19 months
  • Start date: September

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Service user and carer involvement

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

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UK students


Telephone: 01642 738888

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