Postgraduate Taught

PgDip Person-Centred Practice (Health Visiting)

Do you want to build on your experience as a health or social care practitioner? Are you keen to develop an understanding of the knowledge and evidence that positively contribute to the health and wellbeing of persons, groups and populations? Our innovative Person-Centred Practice (PCP) Framework offers a flexible suite of course routes that will give you a valuable, career-expanding qualification in person-centred practice.

With part-time and full-time options, this Framework will appeal to health and social care professionals and graduates in health or social care who wish to develop their careers. We have carefully structured the Framework to be as flexible as possible, so you can study the route that best meets your professional background and future aspirations.

This PgDip Person-Centred Practice (Health Visiting is for NMC registered nurses and midwives already working, or wishing to work, in the community in a health visiting capacity.

Why QMU?

  • You will engage with contemporary, creative and interactive learning approaches that are designed to help you thrive in your studies.
  • You will learn from passionate and internationally renowned person-centred practice academics including Professor Brendan McCormack and Professor Jan Dewing.
  • Flexible pathways, allowing you to personalise your learning to your own situation.

Course overview

This Framework is for graduates and practitioners who wish to develop their careers in the broad field of health and social care. You can personalise your learning to your own situation – for example mental health, social care, infection control, acute care or community health. You can also sign up to study single modules.

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.

There are three core modules that enable you to obtain a PgCert. You will then study modules appropriate to your desired route.

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 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 develops a pro-active, transformative and reflective approach to meeting the public health and social needs of individuals, families, groups and populations.

We are proud of the varied and progressive approaches to learning which we offer and international students are particularly welcome to apply.

The aim of the PgDip Person-Centred Practice (Health Visiting) 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 children, young people, families and communities in a way that is consistent with the values of person-centredness and child and family centred care. 

To meet NMC requirements the course must have 50% theory and 50% practice and the overall course length is 52 weeks (NMC 2004).

To complete the course you would engage with 50% university based, and 50% practice based, learning over three semesters. You will learn and achieve the standards of proficiency for specialist community public health nursing (SCPHN) (NMC 2004) by working across boundaries with children, young people, families and communities; with focus on early intervention and anticipatory care. Your learning in practice will be facilitated, observed and assessed by a designated Practice Teacher or Health Visitor mentor. 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. There can be secondment opportunities.

On successful completion of the course students will gain entry to part three of the NMC Register as a SCPHN – Health Visitor.

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, and 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 students can explore and challenge theories, practices and different sources of knowledge creatively in an atmosphere of high challenge and high support.

We 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. 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), 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 registration as a Specialist Community Public Health Nurse (SCPHN) gain accreditation with the NMC. as part of the course, students will be on practice placement within a health visiting context.


  • Theory and Practice of Child and Family Centred Health and Social Care (30 credits)
  • Leading Professional Practice (15 credits)
  • Making Judgements and Decisions in Practice (15 credits)
  • Childhood Development 1 (15 credits)
  • Childhood Development 2 (15 credits)
  • Child Protection and Safeguarding (30 credits) 

Single modules for CPD

If you are looking to complete a single module prior to applying for the PgDip Person-centred Practice (Health Visiting), you can apply to the MSc Person-Centred Practice course as an associate student noting that you wish apply to undertake one module. The choice of modules would either be Making Judgements and Decisions in Practice (15 credits) or Leading Professional Practice (15 credits). For more information, contact Bill Lawson. 



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

Entry requirements

All applicants need to be on either part 1 of the NMC register and/or registered midwife.

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 with no individual component score less than 6.0.

Interview: Interviews will take place in collaboration with partner Health Boards.

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.


More information and contacts

Contact Admissions or contact PGDipHealthVisitor on tel: +44(0)131 474 0000

Please Note:

 The delivery of this course is subject to the terms and conditions set out in our 2020/21 Entry - Terms and Conditions (Postgraduate).