Postgraduate Taught

PgDip Person-Centred Practice (District Nursing)

The Framework is innovative and interactive, emphasising application of theory to your practice context. It will enable you to critically engage with, evaluate and synthesise the evidence and research to promote the development and enhancement of person-centred culture and practice. This fosters a transformative and reflective approach to meeting the public health and social needs of individuals, families, groups and populations.

The routes in the Person-Centred Practice Framework seek to influence and enable the transformative processes of personal and professional development through engagement, facilitation and evaluation of person-centred teaching and learning approaches. It is designed to meet the professional needs of practitioners from all disciplines working in a variety of different health and social care settings.

The Post Graduate Diploma in Person- Centred Practice (PgD PCP): District Nursing is part of the MSC in Person-Centred Practice framework. The course reflects the focus of the Division of Nursing on personhood and child and family centred practice.  This is set within the contemporary context of health and social care integration and the health and wellbeing agenda.

Course Overview

The aim of the PgDip PCP: District Nursing programme is to enable you to develop deep and critical understandings of different sources of knowledge and research evidence that contribute to the health and wellbeing of individuals and groups within communities in a way that is consistent with the values of person-centredness and child and family centred care.  This programme is for Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) registered nurses and midwives already working in, or wishing to work in the community in a district nursing capacity.

The PGDip PCP: District Nursing programme is a pathway leading to professional registration in the MSc Person-centred Practice Framework at Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh. Incorporated into this award is the NMC Specialist Practitioner Qualification: District Nursing. The programme is made up of 50% theory and 50% practice and has a flexible delivery pattern. Your learning in practice will be facilitated, observed and assessed by a designated Practice Teacher (PT) or Sign Off mentor (SOM) and your learning will be guided by a negotiated Learning Action Plan. We work in close partnership with NHS Borders, Fife and Lothian as part of this process, so when applying you need agreement from one of these Health Boards that they can provide a practice placement and access to supervising Practice Teacher.

To support this approach, QMU and partner Health Boards will hold joint interviews for both the university selection process and Health Board provision of practice placements and supervising practice teachers.

International students are very welcome as they offer a varied and different perspective to the context in which the learning occurs.

Academic Level of Study

The programme is available at SCQF Levels 10 & 11

Exit Awards

PgDip (120 credits)/ PgCert (60 credits)

Learning, Teaching and Assessment

Our teaching, learning and assessment strategy is framed by our core philosophical concepts of personhood, person-centredness, human valuing, healthful relations, human potential and development, supportive and enabling environments. Central to this strategy is the need for learners to engage in the learning experiences, a readiness to listen and explore, preparedness to be open to experiences and a resolve to keep going. This environment will generate an ethos of engagement, and where criticality students can explore and challenge theories, practices and different sources of knowledge creatively in an atmosphere of high challenge and high support. We will achieve this learning environment through a focus on three pillars of learning activity namely:

  • Student-centred experiential and collaborative learning;
  • Reflexivity and critical discourse;
  • Sustainable and ethical evidence-based teaching.

Students will be supported to challenge their thinking, values and beliefs; through the posing of complex activities and questions, and develop resilient and sustainable approaches to their learning and practice in response to these. Critical to this process is the use of diverse knowledge, scholarly inquiry processes and evidence informed materials to engage and enliven the processes of learning. Assessment strategies will encourage application to practice. In line with the framework’s philosophy, a wide range of sustainable strategies are used to ensure assessment diversity. This will be achieved through the use of varied strategies which draw on the student’s own areas of practice such as portfolio development, practice proposals, annotated bibliographies, simulation events, games, seminar presentations and self-determined contextual assignment topics. Tutor, peer and self-assessment, including within virtual environments (eg HUB@QMU, Values Exchange), will be an important component of approaches to formative and summative assessment.

For students undertaking NMC recognised specialist qualification and registration (District Nursing, Health Visiting, School Nursing), the course is 50% practice-based and requires placement in an approved practice with a Practice Teacher or Sign-off Mentor or Health Visitor Mentor. Placement will be negotiated with your supporting NHS area.

Teaching Hours and Attendance

50% theory and 50% practice based, attendance depends on module selected.


Programme Duration

Full time:                     1 year

Part time:                    2-3 years

Links with Industry / Professional Bodies

The routes allow you to gain the higher level knowledge and skills required for advanced practice. Students undertaking the Specialist Practitioner Qualification in District Nursing or registration as a Specialist Community Public Health Nurse (SCPHN) gain accreditation with the NMC.




  • Theory and Practice of Person-centred health and Social Care (30 credits)
  • Advancing Person-centred Specialist Practice (30 credits)
  • Advancing Approaches to Clinical Assessment (30 credits)
  • Non-Medical Prescribing (V300) (30 credits)  


Please check the entry requirements for the Non-medical Prescribing (V300), 30 credits module, using the following link:

If you are not eligible to complete the Non-Medical Prescribing (V300) module, you will need to complete the following modules to make up the number of credits required to complete the programme.

  • Community Nurse Prescribing (V100) (15 credits)


  • Additional moddule (15 credits)

Single Modules for CPD

Stand Alone Modules for CPD

Register as an associate student to study a stand alone module in areas of interest by applying to MSc Person-centred Practice course.

If you are looking to complete a stand alone module prior to applying for the PgD Person-centred Care: District Nursing, you can apply to the MSc Person-centred Practice course as an associate student noting that you wish apply to undertake one of the following single modules:

Non-Medical Prescribing                                         (30 credits)

Advancing Approaches to Clinical Assessment          (30 credits)

The modules listed here are correct at the time of posting (April 2018), but are subject to change. In the event that modules have to change, QMU will seek to use reasonable endeavours to ensure that there is no detrimental impact to students.

Register as an associate student to study single modules in areas of interest. Contact Caroline Dickson or Bill Lawson for more information.


Graduates have taken up advanced specialist practice and leadership roles within their specialist field of practice.

Quick Facts

Contemporary, creative and interactive learning approaches facilitate your learning.

■ Teaching staff include internationally renowned Person-centred Practice academics Professor Brendan McCormack and Professor Jan Dewing.

■ For Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) Registered Nurses already working in, or wishing to work in, the community in a district nursing capacity.

Entry Requirements

All applicants for District Nursing must be on part 1 of the NMC register (adult).

It is recommended that applicants have completed a period of experience of sufficient length to have consolidated pre-registration outcomes and to have gained a deeper understanding in relevant professional practice; have a degree and access to practice placement and Practice Teacher/Sign-off Mentor or Health Visitor Mentor.

International: Where your honours degree has not been studied in English, you will be required to provide evidence of English language competence at no less than IELTS 6.5 and no individual component score below 6.0.

Criminal Records Check: For students undertaking NMC approved qualifications a satisfactory criminal records check will be required. Compliance with the terms of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act (1974) and mental health legislation for clinical placement and employability in statutory services, for work with children and in other sensitive areas of employment.


Application Deadline


More Information and Contacts

Admissions or Caroline Dickson on tel: +44(0)131 474 0000

Please Note:


Entry for the academic year 2018/19

There are intakes in September each year. Partner NHS Health Boards normally advertise their recruitment opportunities around March – April and joint interviews are normally held around May – June.  You will be required to submit an application to both your NHS Health Board and QMU.  Please visit our application area on the QMU website: or contact our Admissions Team:

The delivery of this course is subject to the terms and conditions set out in our 2018/19 Entry - Terms and Conditions (Postgraduate).





 You will find case studies on students and graduates at the foot of this page.

Course Overview

At QMU and on placement
Full-time: 1 year; Part-time: 2-3 years
Start Date
September 2018
Study Abroad
School of Health Sciences
Fees & Funding

Related Professional Bodies