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Postgraduate study
Nursing & Health

Specialist Community Public Health Nursing (Health Visiting) Professional Graduate Certificate

Ideal if you are a nurse or midwife looking to become a health visitor. Learn to contribute positively to the new public health agenda to tackle health inequalities on an individual and community basis. Become an independent, resilient, dynamic, practitioner, who can promote a critical enquiry of specialist community public health nursing (SCPHN) practice.

  • This course is closed for September 2023 entry for UK applicants and international applicants.
  • Note: Apply links for the next academic year are available from May 2024.

Course overview

Build on your prior knowledge, skills and experience and continue your personal and professional development in a supportive and student-centred environment

This Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) approved course leads to registration on part 3 of the register as a specialist community public health nurse (health visiting).

Leadership is a key element – focus on quality improvement and how leadership skills and qualities can influence sustained change within SCPHN practice. Develop as a responsive, resilient and flexible practitioner who can respond to the changing health and social care environment.

You learn alongside students from a range of local partners, encouraging different perspectives and ideas.

This is a practice-centred course with 50% taught theory and 50% practice. 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 facilitate your learning in practice and assess your competence in practice.

Top reasons to study this course:

• we have strong links with local social care services, NHS trusts, private and charitable organisations, and service users ensure the course content is relevant and current

• you learn with students from a range of backgrounds in an inclusive, diverse and supportive environment, enriching your learning experience

• our experienced, dedicated and enthusiastic teaching team have a strong focus on evidence-base practice

• benefit from varied and unique career prospects across all areas of health and social care.

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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 children and their families
• protection and safeguarding standards for children and their families
• the new health visiting agenda and the UNICEF Baby Friendly Initiative standards
• public health, personal leadership philosophies and behaviours and their application within organisational settings
• public health nursing practice, legal and ethical dimensions
• prescribing from the community practitioners’ formulary
• designing and managing a service evaluation.

You explore evidence appraisal to understand the evidence which underpins and supports practice. Your practice experience enables you to link your theoretical knowledge base to practice.

Course structure

Core modules

Community Practitioner Prescribing

This module prepares specialist community public health nurses (health visiting and school nursing) to prescribe from the Community Practitioners’ Formulary.

Enhancing Leadership Skills in Specialist Community Public Health Nursing

You gain skills to critically evaluate your leadership philosophy and leadership abilities in the context of working within and across professional organisational structures.

Enhancing Safe and Effective Practice in Health

You explore the many factors impacting on the health and wellbeing of children and their families in a variety of settings and life circumstances. You critically evaluate current policy and legislation, linking this to the protection of children and families throughout the module. You build on existing experience, to adapt your practice, knowledge and skills to the needs of children and families, providing a foundation for specialist community public health nursing (health visiting) practice in the community setting.

Evidence Appraisal

Develop your understanding of the concept of evidence-based practice as a framework in which to explore different research methodologies. You gain key skills in critical thinking, academic writing and information retrieval and begin the preparation for the final-year community project.

Public Health in Practice

This module is shared by all fields of practice. You explore health, health needs assessment, health improvement and community development from a theoretical perspective and within the social, political and economic context. You apply the principles to your own field of practice. You gain confidence and become an effective public health practitioner who can reflect, respond and contribute to the public health agenda.

Specialist Community Public Health Nursing Independent Project

This module enables you to demonstrate your ability to contribute to practice and service development by planning an evidence-based intervention in a negotiated, self-managed specialist community public health nursing practice project.


Modules offered may vary.


How you learn

Course theory is delivered through lectures, seminars, problem-based learning scenarios, peer review and presentations. Your practice placement is supported with the development of a practice portfolio, which includes self-assessment activities, learning contracts, and reflective dialogue and discussion.

How you are assessed

You are assessed through examinations, case study analysis, reflective essays, written assignments, progress file and a dissertation. Your practice is assessed by the practice assessment document and the development of the practice project. You meet with your practice assessor and academic assessor to assess your progress and competence in practice.


Entry requirements

You are expected to:

  • have 120 credits at certificate level and 120 credits at diploma level (or equivalent)

  • have a valid registration on part 1 or part 2 of the NMC professional register (defined area of practice regulations apply).

After achieving the above, your offer of a place is subject to:
  • the support of an employing organisation to facilitate your access to appropriate learning opportunities (you usually have supernumerary status throughout the programme of learning)

  • a nominated practice assessor to contribute to the teaching and assessment process

  • a satisfactory work-based risk assessment

  • a satisfactory Disclosure and Barring Service check (to be carried out by your employing organisation.

For general information please see our overview of entry requirements



Career opportunities

Increased employment opportunities are available in the public health sector including public health nursing and health visiting.



2024/25 entry

Fee for UK applicants
£9,250 a year

More details about our fees

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This course is closed for September 2023 entry for UK applicants.

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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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Telephone: 01642 384982

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