Postgraduate Taught

School Nursing (Person-Centred Practice) - PgDip

School nurses work to support children and young people both in schools and other settings. They use their expertise to identify health needs, determine risk and protective factors, and providing early intervention to prevent issues escalating. School nurses will also work in partnership with a range of health and social care professionals. This PgDip in School Nursing (Person-Centred Practice) course is for Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) registered nurses and midwives who wish to work in the community as a school nurse.

This course will allow you to gain the level of knowledge and skills required for specialist practice and leads to a Specialist Community Public Health Nursing (School Nursing) Qualification with the NMC.

The course is delivered full-time over one year with start dates in both September and January and is part of our Person-Centred Practice Framework.

Why QMU?

  • Specialist qualification: The course is Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) validated and leads to a Specialist Community Public Health Nursing (School Nursing) Qualification.
  • Contemporary, creative and interactive learning approaches: The learning 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.
  • Staff expertise and support: You will be taught by a team of academic staff who are passionate about working with children, young people and their families, and in facilitating learning with Specialist Community Public Health Nurses
  • Our reputation: We have a reputation at QMU for innovative curriculum design, being supportive and responsive to learners and extensive online resources.
  • Relevance: Our conceptualszation of person-centredness is consistent with the WHO Framework of ‘people-centred healthcare’.
  • Professional links: We are the Omega-Xi Chapter of Sigma Global, the only global nursing leadership organization and with partnerships, collaborations and networks across more than 27 countries.

School Nursing (Person-Centred Practice) - PgDip: More information and what you will achieve

Teaching and learning on this course 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 and specifically as a school nurses contributing to the health and wellbeing of children, young people, families, communities and populations.

On completion of the course you will be able to exercise higher levels of judgement discretion and decision making’ and meet the following core and specialist outcomes: clinical nursing practice, care and pathway management; clinical practice leadership; clinical practice development, required by the NMC.

The course outcomes have been developed with the requirements of the NMC Standards of Specialist Education and Practice (NMC 2001), and on successful completion of the course you will be entered onto part 3 of the Nursing and Midwifery Council register as a Specialist Community Public Health Nursing (School Nursing).

How will I be taught?

Structure and exit awards

You can exit with a PgCert (60 credits) or PgDip (120 credits). You must complete the full PgDip to achieve the NMC Specialist Practitioner Qualification and on  successful completion of the course you will be entered onto part 3 of the Nursing and Midwifery Council register as a Specialist Community Public Health Nursing (School Nursing).

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. You can apply to study Making Judgements and Decisions in Practice. Contact Lisa Luhanga for more information on single module study.

Teaching, learning and assessment

The course delivers theoretical and practical learning opportunities with a strong emphasis on self-directed learning.

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.
You will be supported to challenge your thinking, values and beliefs, through the posing of complex activities and questions, and develop resilient and sustainable approaches to your learning and practice in response to these. 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 (eg HUB@QMU), will be an important component of approaches to formative and summative assessment.


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

Teaching hours and attendance

The School Nursing course is NMC validated and leads to the Specialist Community Public Health Nurse Qualification, and therefore the hours for theory and practice are stipulated by the NMC. It is a full-time course over 52 weeks. Holidays are set by the university and spread throughout the year.

In semester one for the first six weeks you will be full-time in university (either face-to-ace teaching, online session or self-study). From week seven you will be in practice placement for two days a week alongside university study days. Semester two will be full time in practice placement along with university study days. Semester three is a 10-week period of practice consolidation where you will be full time for 50 consecutive days in practice placement.

Class sizes

Class sizes will vary.

Teaching staff

You can read more about the teaching staff on this course at the bottom of this page. Please note that teaching staff is subject to change.



  • Theory and Practice of Person-Centred Health and Wellbeing (20 credits): This module facilitates learners’ explorations of some of the concepts, principles and theories underpinning person-centred practice in a variety of care settings and from a variety of perspectives: the prevention of ill-health, anticipatory care, and the promotion of health and well-being. By undertaking this module, learners will develop expertise in understanding and responding to the needs of person, families and communities in a way that is consistent with the theoretical underpinnings and the values of person-centredness throughout the lifespan.
  • Leading Child and Family-Centred Practice for Health and Wellbeing (20 credits): The learner will gain a wider understanding of how different sources of evidence and knowledge contribute to the development, delivery and evaluation of innovative health and wellbeing practice when working with the person, as child or young person, families and communities, and of contemporary research consistent with the values of person-centredness. There will be a focus on leadership and collaborative ways of working, evidence generation and implementation of health and wellbeing approaches for healthful cultures
  • Working with Children and Young People in Times of Vulnerability (40 credits): This module facilitates your exploration and understanding of concepts, theories and research underpinning person-centred practice within the context of the child and young person at times of vulnerability in a variety of settings and from a variety of perspectives: the child and young person within contemporary society; public sociology theories and perspectives of the child and family; child protection in its historical and social context; safeguarding legislation, policy, research and practice; judgement and decision-making; leadership and facilitation; strengths based frameworks; ethical, professional and legal issues; professional roles and responsibilities; impact of adversities on the child and young person eg for example, disability and disabling environments, substance misuse, mental health; neglect and maltreatment; application and critical analysis of risk assessment and parental capacity; contemporary issues increasing vulnerability such as online safety and cyber abuse, child sexual exploitation (CSE), trafficking, female genital mutilation (FGM); working with children and young people experiencing care and corporate parenting; interpersonal skills for escalating concerns when working interprofessionally and collaboratively with children, young people and their families/carers; relationship building, working in partnership with families, professionals and voluntary services; recognising diversity and equality issues; strategies for the promotion of wellbeing and early intervention; public health approaches.
  • The Developing Child and Young Person (20 credits): Understanding of the developing child and young person through the process of brain development from utero to childhood and teenage years, the application of childhood development theories to explain, aid assessment and analyse stages of development and milestones. The importance of relationship building within nurturing and safe environments that enable optimal growth and development and support child mental health and wellbeing. Play and parenting. Reciprocity and mutuality. Assessment of childhood development and the wider influences of health and wellbeing. Times of transition. Adverse Childhood Experiences. Ethical issues. Wider global health and public health issues impacting to the developing child and young person eg living in poverty. Health promotion/education/protection. Epidemiology and social determinants of health.
  • Making Judgements and Decisions in Practice (20 credits): The focus of this module is on examining and evaluating judgements and decisions in practice, drawing on relevant sources of robust evidence, contemporary ethics and grounded in the real world of practice.
  •  An Overarching Portfolio of Learning (non-credit bearing)

NB The modules listed are correct at time of posting (October 203) 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.

Career opportunities

Graduates have taken up Specialist Community Public Health Nurse (School Nursing) roles within their health board areas.

School Nursing (Person-Centred Practice) - PgDip: Entry requirements and application information

Entry requirements

All applicants for School Nursing 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
  • a degree and access to practice placement and Practice Assessor and Practice Supervisor


  • 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.
  • This course is not open to international students who require a visa to study here.

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

Other requirements

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.

Disability/health conditions

If you have a disability, long-term physical or mental health condition, or learning disability, it should not stand in the way of your studying at QMU. However, if you are not sure whether your disability might be a barrier in your studies or in relation to the professional standards, please contact the disability service who will be able to have a conversation with you about reasonable adjustments and supports available to you.

Applying for this course

Applications are made to the NHS Board and are jointly shortlisted with the lecturers from the course. Monitor the NHS Jobs website or contact the relevant manager at your Health Board for more information.

Joint interviews are normally held between partner Health Boards and QMU. You will be required to submit an application to your NHS Health Board and on successful interview an application is made to QMU which will include providing a degree certificate/academic transcript/reference.

Application deadline

Health boards advertise locally and therefore application deadlines vary.

Start dates

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.

Terms and Conditions

The delivery of this course is subject to the terms and conditions set out in our 2024/25 Entry - Terms and Conditions (Postgraduate).

More information and QMU contacts

Contact Lisa Luhanga (Programme Leader) or contact Admissions 

Become your best you: study at QMU

Course Overview

On campus at QMU, on placement, and with some online learning
1 year full-time
Start Date
September 2024
Start Date
January 2025
School of Health Sciences
Fees & Funding
SCQF Level

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