Postgraduate Taught

PgDip Person-Centred Practice (District Nursing)

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, the Person-centred Practice Framework is suitable for international, United Kingdom and local practitioners who wish to further develop critical thinking, professional reasoning and research knowledge and skills to develop practice in a way that is informed by evidence and that is person-centred.

This course is for Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) registered nurses already working, or wishing to work, in the community in a district nursing 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.
  • 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 care systems. 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.

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 care system 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 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.


Exit awards

PgDip (120 credits)/ PgCert (60 credits)


You can exit all routes with a PgCert or PgDip. You can also register as an associate student to complete a single module for CPD. On completion of a single module, you may wish to complete further modules and progress your studies to a named award.

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

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 that 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 (e.g. 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. To support learners in their practice learning environment they will be assigned to a Practice Supervisor and a Practice Assessor. Placement will be negotiated with your supporting NHS area.

Teaching hours and attendance

The District Nursing programme [Pg Dip PCP DN] is an NMC validated programme leading to the Specialist Practitioner Qualification, and therefore the hours for theory and practice are stipulated by the NMC.

For the full time route, the theoretical component of the programme is ‘front-loaded’ – that is, you will be participating in face to face and online learning substantially in the first semester [at least 3 days a week devoted to theoretical content]. In semester 2 the balance of theory and practice is essentially 50:50. In semester 3 you will be in practice for an average of 4 days a week. Over the course of the programme you will experience a minimum of 925 hours of theoretic content [taught and individual student effort] and achieve a minimum of 925 hours of learning in practice.

For the part time route, the theoretical component of the programme is ‘front-loaded’ – that is, you will be participating in face to face and online learning substantially in the first semester [at least 3 days a week devoted to theoretical content]. In semester 2 the balance of theory and practice is essentially 50:50. In semester 3 you will normally be in practice full time, before beginning the V300 programme in Semester 1 of year 2. Over the course of the programme you will experience a minimum of 925 hours of theoretic content [taught and individual student effort] and achieve a minimum of 925 hours of learning in practice.

Links with industry/ professional bodies

These routes allow you to gain the level of knowledge and skills required for advanced practice. They do not receive accreditation with the NMC unless students are undertaking the Specialist Practitioner Qualification in District Nursing or registration as a Specialist Community Public Health Nurse (SCPHN).


The modules listed are correct at time of posting (October 2021) but are subject to change. In the event that modules change, QMU will seek to use reasonable endeavours to ensure that there is no detrimental impact on students.

*Please check the course content and entry requirements for the Independent and Supplementary Prescribing for Health Care Professionals.It is a NMC approved qualification, requiring an up-to-date Criminal Records Check.

Single modules for CPD

Associate learners can apply to study any of the modules within this programme, except for Person-centred Specialist District Nursing Practice, and Evidencing Specialist Practice in District Nursing. Contact Julie Churchill.


The course is 50% theory and 50% practice based. You must have access to a practice placement, a Practice Supervisor, and a Practice Assessor. 


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/ Children’s Nursing. 

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 Assessor/ Sign-off Mentor.

International: 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.

Class sizes

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

Contact Admissions or Julie Churchill on tel: +44(0)131 474 0000

Professional registration / accreditation

Specialist Practitioner Qualification Community Nursing in the Home (Nursing and Midwifery Council)

Independent and/or Supplementary Prescribing for Health Care Professionals (Nursing and Midwifery Council V300)

Fees and transitionary scholarships for postgraduate EU students in 21/22 and 22/23

As part of our management of the Brexit transition, for many of our courses, including this one, we have introduced an EU transitional scholarship for EU full-time postgraduate students commencing their studies on campus in academic years 2021/22 and 2022/23. This provides a 40% discount on international tuition fees. The scholarship is available to EU students for whom the international fee rate applies and covers the courses marked with a # in the Postgraduate Fees – Full-Time Study section of our Fees page. This transitional scholarship is not applicable to students from the Republic of Ireland, who will continue to be eligible for the home fee rate.

Please Note:

  • The delivery of this course is subject to the terms and conditions set out in our 2022/23 Entry - Terms and Conditions (Postgraduate).
  • There are intakes in September and January each year. Partner NHS Health Boards normally advertise their recruitment opportunities around March – April for the September intakes, and Aug – Sept for the January intakes. Joint interviews are normally held between partner Health Boards and QMU.  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: