M.Sc. Specialist Community Public Health Nursing MSc and PGDip

London Brunel International College, Brunel University London

Application deadline: as early as possible
Tuition fee:
  • £ 5,115 / Year (EEA)
  • £ 16,000 / Year (Non-EEA)
Start date: September  2015
Credits (ECTS): 180 ECTS
Duration full-time: 12 months
  • English
Delivery mode: On Campus
Educational variant: Part-time, Full-time
Intensity: Flexible
Duration part-time: 24 months
Part-time variant: Flexible

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Current government policy recognises the need for specialist practitioner nurses who are prepared to take on leadership and management roles, develop research skills and be innovative and creative in practice.

This postgraduate diploma aims to develop specialist practitioners who are competent to practise and able to influence and facilitate change within the community nursing environment. It enables nurses to qualify as community specialist practitioners able to influence and facilitate change within the community environment.


The following specialisms are available:

* Health Visiting: Develops skills in the promotion of health and the prevention of ill health at the individual, group and community level.

* Occupational Health Nursing: Develops skills in the provision of healthcare in the workplace.

* School Nursing: Develops practitioners able to lead a school nursing team and plan quality health care for school children and their families.


The Postgraduate Diploma comprises 50% theory and 50% practice. Students undertake five modules.

Modules (all core)

* Specialist Community Public Health Nursing Practice
* Professional Perspectives in Specialist Community Public Health Nursing
* Evidence Based Practice for Public Health
* Promoting Public Health
* Management of Public Health Practice
* Dissertation

Specialist Community Public Health Nursing Practice

* Preparation of students to meet the challenges of the SCPHN role
* Introduction to a wide range of appropriate and stimulating learning opportunities
* Comprehensive experience in the student´s primary sphere of SCPHN
* Introduction to public health practice in alternative settings

Professional Perspectives in Specialist Community Public Health Nursing

* The profession of health visiting - a critique of models and theoretical frameworks underpinning public health nursing
* Role and function of health visiting at an individual, group, community and population level
* Community profiling searching for health needs
* Assessment of need - a client centred approach
* Common assessment framework
* Supporting families
* Parenting
* Mental health issues
* Nutrition and health
* Human development
* Health surveillance and screening
* Immunisations
* Improving inter-personal skills
* Evidence-based practice in health visiting
* The public health movement and the building of health alliances.
* Caseload and workload management, working within contractual arrangements.
* Alternative specialist community public health nursing strategies - a community development approach.
* The social context of specialist community public health nursing and public, private and voluntary sector provision.
* Influencing policy in a dynamic environment.
* Health promotion and inequalities; poverty and homelessness.
* Legal and ethical issues related to health visiting.
* Child protection and safeguarding children.
* Child and family protection issues - domestic violence; substance misuse; multi-agency approaches.
* Children with special needs - working in partnership, promoting health and planning care.
* National Service Frameworks.
* Nurse prescribing which meets the required content laid down in the NMC´s (2006) Standards of proficiency for nurse and midwife prescribers.

Evidence Based Practice for Public Health

* Research Principles: * The foundations of knowledge
* Defining knowledge in nursing, sources of evidence for nursing
* Philosophical issues in research
* Testability
* Theory and practice
* Assessing the value of different sources of evidence for public health practice
* Establishing the rigour of evidence (e.g. reliability, validity and credibility)
* Quality, quantity, and measurement
* Epidemiological concepts and techniques
* The research literatures of public health nursing
* Strategies for disseminating and implementing evidence

* Research Methods: * Exploration of evidence based public health practice
* Research paradigms (positivism, naturalism, critical theory)
* Designs associated with the main paradigms (e.g. experiments, surveys, case studies, phenomenology, grounded theory, ethnography, action research)
* Formulation of research questions and hypotheses
* Research design and sampling
* Methods of data collection including observation, interviewing, and questionnaires and other self-report methods
* Interpretation and write-up of research
* Ethical issues related to research
* Writing research proposals

* Reading and Writing Skills for Research * Systematic reviews of literature
* Reviewing research articles
* Searching databases
* Logic
* Structuring reports
* Referencing
* Writing a literature review

Promoting Public Health

* The current context of community nursing practice
* Concepts of Health
* Health Needs Assessment/Profiling
* Patterns of health, illness and disease and their relationship to groups and segments in society
* Judgements, concerned with tensions between health and social needs
* Sociology of health and illness
* Social policy
* Inequalities in health
* Public health practice
* Debates around health promotion, health education and disease prevention strategies
* Principles of Health Promotion
* Overview of Models of Health promotion & Health Promotion Planning
* Health Promotion Planning Process: Research Based Practice and Needs Assessment
* Health beliefs and behaviour
* Working in partnership with clients and other professionals to meet health needs
* Facilitation and teaching skills
* Group work skills
* Community development
* Ethical and legal issues, especially the legal context of community health and issues surrounding professional accountability and confidentiality
* Cultural issues
* Equal opportunities and interpersonal skills designed to develop effective and professional self-management
* Anti-discriminatory practice
* Evaluation
* National Service Frameworks.

Management of Public Health Practice

* Theories of decision making, deductive and inductive processes
* Domain specific knowledge and expertise in decision making
* Problem-solving
* Decision making in health care settings, specifically within the community
* Cognitive reasoning skills
* Development of clinical reasoning skills
* Methods for the study of clinical reasoning and decision making in clinical practice
* The role of contextual factors in decision making within community settings (political, economic, ethical and social policy)
* Policy & decision making in community settings
* Leadership - theory, research, skills, styles and strategies
* Management - theory, research, skills, styles and strategies
* Clinical governance, audit and quality assurance
* Change - theory, research, skills, styles and strategies
* Organisational learning - theory, research and strategies
* Organisational culture - theory, research and evaluation
* Organisational analysis - strategies for diagnoses
* Organisational development and transformation
* Professional culture - theory, research and evaluation
* The current social and organisational context of change
* Change as professional ideology
* Change as organisational ideology - Fordism, Post-Fordism, Post-Modernism
* Analysis of levels of change - individual, group and organisation
* Aims, visions and missions
* Economics and cost-benefit analysis
* Ethics in leadership and management
* Managing change through action research
* Change-promoting strategies
* Managing organisational and professional resistance
* Managing organisational and professional conflict
* Partnership working/overcoming barriers
* Project development in practice
* Team Working
* Managing teams, skill mix and service planning
* Staff appraisal and self-appraisal - person effectiveness skills
* Interviewing & CVs

Students wishing to progress onto the MSc undertake the dissertation module.


You will generally work within the current research activities of the academic staff working in an area relevant to your disciplinary major. The refinement of the topic will be done in conjunction with your supervisor. The topic of research may include a quantitative project focusing on the measurement and analysis of data relevant to a question from within the discipline of your major, a qualitative project focusing on the professional (clinical) practice from within the discipline of your major, or a systematic review of the evidence relevant to a question from within the discipline of your major. This latter approach may itself be either qualitative or quantitative. In all cases final approval for the topic is subject to a supervisor´s or course leader´s approval.

Topics may rely on:

* the collection and analysis of primary data;
* the secondary analysis of data collected or being used by the supervisor or
* the secondary analysis of data in the public domain or held in a data-archive.

Where necessary you will need to seek and obtain the approval of relevant ethics committees before proceeding with the collection or analysis of data.

Work Placements

Fifty per cent of the course involves supervised work placements within the chosen area of specialist practice. You will be allocated an experienced practice teacher who provides support and undertakes assessment in practice. Strong links have been forged between the University, practice teachers, managers and purchasers to ensure a quality programme.


Qualified nurse with active registration on the NMC Nursing Register in the UK.
A Nursing Diploma of Higher Education or the equivalent of 120 level 3 credits will be considered with nursing experience.
Health Visiting and School Nursing applicants should have active registration on the NMC Register in the UK.
All applicants are required to be interviewed to ascertain their professional readiness to undertake the programme.

English Language Requirements

* IELTS: 7 (min 6 in all areas)

* Pearson: 64 (51 in all subscores)

* BrunELT: 70% (min 60% in all areas)

English Language Requirements

IELTS band: 6.5
CAE score: (read more)

Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) is part of the Cambridge English suite and is targeted at a high level (IELTS 6.5-8.0). It is an international English language exam set at the right level for academic and professional success. Developed by Cambridge English Language Assessment - part of the University of Cambridge - it helps you stand out from the crowd as a high achiever.

180 (Grade C)

IMPORTANT NOTE: Per 6 April 2015 only the English language tests from IELTS and Trinity College London are accepted for Tier 4 Visa applications to the United Kingdom. Other tests (including TOEFL, TOEIC, Pearson, City & Guilds) are no longer accepted for Tier 4 visa applications to the United Kingdom. The university might still accept these tests to admit you to the university, but if you require a Tier 4 visa to enter the UK and begin your degree programme, these tests will not be sufficient to obtain your Visa. Since the Trinity College London language tests must be taken in one of their exam centres in the UK, IELTS is now the only language test accepted for Tier 4 visas to the UK that can be taken worldwide.

The IELTS test is most widely accepted by universities and is also accepted for Tier 4 visas to the UK- learn more.


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