Community Specialist Practitioner (District Nursing) BSc (Hons)

Full-time undergraduate (2 years)

Cambridge, Chelmsford

January 2018

Apply via NHS jobs

Applications should be made to local Primary Care Organisations (PCOs) who will undertake joint selection with us. Visit NHS jobs to find suitable vacancies.


District nurses care for people in their home and in the community. If you’re already a qualified nurse, this course will develop your community nursing skills. You’ll learn to lead teams in delivering excellent patient-centred care, improve your caseload management and independent working skills, and gain a prescribing qualification.

Untitled Page
Full description


When you graduate, you’ll be able to record your qualification with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) as a Community Specialist Practitioner (District Nursing) with a prescribing qualification.

Employers will be impressed by the practical experience you gain on this course. You’ll have 120 days’ practical clinical experience under your belt, including a five-week consolidated practice placement. You’ll also have managed a small caseload under the supervision of your mentor, a qualified district nurse.

Modules & assessment

Year one, core modules

  • Fundamentals of District Nursing
    This module focuses on the essential aspects of the district nursing role, including the changing demographics within the 21st Century and in particular the growing ageing population living in community settings with complex healthcare. You will study caseload management of those living with long term conditions, supported by multidisciplinary teams. The module is aligned with both national and local policies supporting practice, compassion and quality of care in the community setting.

You will choose one of the following modules:

  • Community Practitioner Nurse Prescribing - see notes below
    Please note: If you have already completed a prescribing module that's recorded with the Nursing & Midwifery Council (NMC), your sponsoring Trust or healthcare organisation and the University may suggest you complete one of the optional modules outlined below. The Nurse Prescribing module will prepare you to prescribe safely, appropriately and cost effectively from the community practitioners formulary for nurse prescribers. The module is an alternative option to advanced non-medical prescribing.
  • Non-medical Prescribing
    This module prepares you to prescribe medicines from the British National Formulary, within your area of competence. You’ll learn to prescribe safely, appropriately and cost-effectively, as both an independent and supplementary prescriber. On successful completion of this module, you’ll be qualified to prescribe any medicine for any medical condition within your field of competence, including some controlled drugs.

Year two, core modules

  • Leadership and Management in the Community
    This module will develop leadership and management skills to a strategic level, enabling you as a practitioner to deliver high quality patient care. The module will introduce practitioners to theories of leadership and management processes to support teams, including performance management and motivation. You will also reflect on integrating the values of courage and good communication and addressing the challenges organisational culture can present.
  • Undergraduate Major Project
    The undergraduate major project enables you to raise and address significant questions relating to your chosen topic/issue. You'll be supported by a tutor with similar interests and research profile. This module requires autonomous study and it is your chance to demonstrate that you have met our University’s expectations and are ready to graduate.

Optional modules

  • Caring for People with Dementia
    On this course you'll learn person-centred approaches which are underpinned by respect for individuality, personal choice and family support. You’ll learn how changes in the brain can affect a person with dementia, and how this impacts on the way that person may think, feel and behave. You’ll consider how dementia is assessed and diagnosed. You’ll explore the broader ethical and legal issues relating to dementia and those who care for them. You’ll also consider contemporary research and policy issues, and how they inform best practice and service provision.
  • Clinical Assessment Skills for Health Professionals
    This module will focus on developing Clinical Assessment Skills and you will study physical examinations for all body systems using diagnostic equipment and interpreting investigations. You will examine the framework for Professional Practice and reflect on issue such as evidence-based practice, protocols, guidelines, reflective practice, and record-keeping. The module also addresses communication and the psycho-social aspects of healthcare. This covers topics such as influences on health status and health behaviour, communication skills, history-taking, record-keeping, clinical decision-making skills, and management of change. Finally, you will concentrate on the assessment of common conditions/injuries.
  • Holistic Assessment Skills for Community Nurses
    This module enables you to develop systems-based assessment skills which are patient-centered and support accurate decision making, integrating the fundamental components of compassionate care. Holistic assessment skills incorporates the environment in which the patient lives and the environment in which care will be delivered. Supervision from a designated GP or Nurse Practitioner is essential within this module to achieve the relevant clinical assessment skills.
  • Integrated Care in the Community
    This module will help you develop the theoretical knowledge which supports the concept of integrated care, with opportunities to apply it to practice. This module is 50% theory 50% practice, the theory will be delivered online and you will work with your district nurse mentor for the practice. Subjects studied include: Care around the clock, the international perspective, history and political drivers for integrated working, multi professional working and how it benefits patient care, governance, the autonomous patient and communication.
  • Law and Ethics in Health and Social Care
    You will explore the ethical and legal theories and principles that underpin health and social care, such as consent, confidentiality, duty of care and human rights. The module will explore the moral problems you may face in the course of your work, provide the background for recognising issues that may raise legal liability, and reflect on the legal, social and ethical context in which healthcare practice is situated. You will have the chance to deconstruct legal cases and practice putting forward your own contentions to construct, categorise and criticise different ethical arguments.
  • Management of the Person with Diabetes
    You will develop the professional skills you need to care effectively and compassionately for people of any age with diabetes. The module examines the physiology, symptoms and impact of diabetes. You will understand the various interventions available, and how to manage acute and long-term diabetic complications. You will study the following topics: type 1 and 2 diabetes, the management of acute diabetic complications, non-pharmacological and pharmacological interventions, the impact of diabetes, diabetes mellitus and the roles of insulin and glucagon.
  • Research Methodology
    You will learn to be analytical and insightful regarding research reports. You will gain an invaluable skill for anyone who wishes to provide effective and appropriate care in their individual sphere of practice. In addition, today's practitioner is required to work in a multi professional, multi-agency world which requires skills and insight into the efficacy of research. This module will revisit existing knowledge of the research process and assist you in further developing skills of critical analysis and ethical appraisal of published work.
  • Wound Management
    This module will help you deepen your clinical and technological understanding, enhance your patient-care skills, and advance your career prospects. You’ll focus on the healing of wounds at cellular level, enabling you to assess wounds arising from different causes within your own clinical setting. You’ll learn to critically appraise and make informed decisions about the use of different care strategies (generally and for individual patients) as well as advanced wound-healing technologies.

You will take one module from the above list. The choice will depend on modules you may have completed in the past and on availability. The course leader will discuss your options with you at the beginning of the course. Modules are subject to change.


You’ll learn theoretical and practical skills on this course – and we’ll assess you on both. Essays, examinations, case studies, poster presentations, a competency-based portfolio, and an extended literature review all help to demonstrate you’re developing the skills you need.

Where you'll study

Your faculty

The Faculty of Health, Social Care & Education is the largest provider of health, social care and education courses in the East of England, with over 6,000 students from more than 20 countries.

With 95% of our students finding full-time employment within six months of graduating, you can be sure that our courses have been designed with your career in mind. We’ve been educating nurses, midwives and social workers for over 25 years.

At the cutting edge of research, we offer a range of internationally recognised undergraduate and postgraduate degree courses taught by friendly, supportive and experienced staff. With over 150 research students across our three doctoral programmes (PhD; DProf and EdD), we provide the multi-disciplinary perspective and potential for academic debate that reflects our position as a leader in practitioner-focused and practice-led research studies.

Designed to enhance your learning experience, our facilities include state-of-the-art simulated skills laboratories that mirror real-life clinical situations and UK hospital wards. Our students also benefit from our Early Childhood Research and Resource Centre; a space in which they can experiment with equipment and play activities.

You’ll study in an exciting, modern faculty which has strong links with regional, national and international organisations, including healthcare trusts, social services, local and regional authorities, schools and academic institutions.

Your enthusiasm. Our passion. Your best foot forward.

Where can I study?

Lord Ashcroft Building on our Cambridge campus

Our campus is close to the centre of Cambridge, often described as the perfect student city.

Explore our Cambridge campus

Tindal Building on our Chelmsford campus

Our striking, modern campus sits by the riverside in Chelmsford's University and Innovation Quarter.

Explore our Chelmsford campus

Fees & funding

Untitled Page

Funding for UK & EU students

Most new undergraduate students can apply for government funding to support their studies and university life. This includes Tuition Fee Loans and Maintenance Loans. 

We also offer our £400 Books Plus scheme, which helps with the costs of study. There's no need to apply for this: if you're eligible you can simply collect a Books Plus card when you start your course.

From September 2018, EU students starting an undergraduate degree can access an £800 bursary.

There’s finance available for specific groups of students, such as those with disabilities or dependants. Find out more on our finance pages.

This course is fully funded
Places on this course are fully funded by Health Education East of England and the sponsoring employers.

Entry requirements

Loading... Entry requirements are not currently available, please try again later.

Untitled Page

Important additional notes

Our published entry requirements are a guide only and our decision will be based on your overall suitability for the course as well as whether you meet the minimum entry requirements. Other equivalent qualifications may be accepted for entry to this course, please email for further information.

UCAS Tariff calculator - 2018 entry

An error has occurred when trying to return the Tariff Calculator
Total points:
Your Qualifications
Qualification Grade Points Remove
Remove Qualification

Similar courses that may interest you

Primary Care Nursing (Top-up)

Part-time undergraduate (Up to 3 years)

Chelmsford, Peterborough (Guild House), Cambridge

January 2018, September 2018

Acute Care (Top-Up)

Part-time undergraduate (2-3 years)

Cambridge, Chelmsford, Peterborough (Guild House)

January 2018, September 2018

Get more information

UK & EU applicants

01245 68 68 68

Enquire online