Postgraduate Taught

PgDip Person-Centred Practice (District Nursing)

Our recently developed innovative Master’s Person-Centred Practice (PCP) Framework with a suite of course routes which place the values of person-centredness at their core. These routes offer practitioners the opportunity to build upon their experience and develop an understanding of the knowledge and evidence that positively contributes to the health and wellbeing of persons, groups and populations. 

The framework enables you to study the route which best meets your professional background and future aspirations. It will appeal to a wide range of health professionals. Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) Registered Nurses already working in, or wishing to work in, the community can undertake a specified  group of modules that allows them to achieve a community qualification or registration recognised by the NMC in District Nursing, Health Visiting or School Nursing.

This MSc/ PgDip is forRegistered Nurses already working in, or wishing to work in, the community in a district nursing capacity.

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

Why QMU?

  • 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.

Course overview

This MSc/ PgDip is for Registered Nurses already working in, or wishing to work in, the community in a district nursing capacity.

The aim of the PgDip Person-Centred Practice (District Nursing) 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 course 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 course is a pathway leading to professional registration in the QMU MSc Person-centred Practice Framework.  Incorporated into this award is the NMC Specialist Practitioner Qualification: District Nursing. The course 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 course  is available at SCQF Levels 10 & 11

Exit awards

PgDip (120 credits)/ PgCert (60 credits)

Teaching, learning 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

The course is 50% theory and 50% practice based. Your attendance at QMU will depend on the module selected.


Links with industry/ professional bodies

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 crediits.

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 course:

  • Community Nurse Prescribing (V100) (15 credits)


  • Additional module (15 credits)

Single modules for CPD

If you are looking to complete a stand alone module prior to applying for the PgDip Person-Centred Practice (District Nursing), you can register as an associated student and apply to the MSc Person-centred Practice course 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.

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.

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

Applications must be made to both QMU and the NHS Board. Monitor the NHS Jobs website or contact the relevant manager at your Health Board for more information.

NHS Lothian

Information is not yet available

NHS Fife

Information is not yet available

NHS Borders

Information is not yet available

More information and contacts

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

Please Note:

Entry for the academic year 2019/20

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 2019/20 Entry - Terms and Conditions (Postgraduate).

Course Overview

At QMU and on placement
Full-time: 1 year; Part-time: 2-3 years
Start Date
September 2019
Study Abroad
School of Health Sciences
Fees & Funding

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