Specialist Community Public Health Nursing (Health Visiting)

UCAS codes

Course contact

Jillian Taylor
+44 (0)1698 283100

Qualifications and durations

  • Pg Diploma
    1 year (full-time)
    2 years (part-time)


Start date(s)

  • Hamilton (September 2016) Paisley (February 2017)

The aim of the Pg Diploma in Specialist Community Public Health Nursing (Health Visiting) is to prepare first level nurses and midwives for 21st century Health Visiting practice and entry to the third part of the professional NMC register. 

The programme is designed to provide motivated professionals with the theoretical knowledge and practical experience required to promote and improve the health and wellbeing of children, families and communities. While also preparing them academically to progress to Masters level study with the option of continuing to the MSc Health Studies (Community Health).


Candidates must be registered as a nurse or midwife on either parts 1 or 2 of the NMC professional register.

Applicants who can evidence successful completion of their pre-registration nursing education programme and who have applied for NMC registration can be admitted to the programme.

Candidates will normally be educated to degree level. Admission is permitted with relevant previous academic credit and/or prior learning. This will be in accordance with the University of the West of Scotland Regulatory Framework.

Applicants must have the language and literacy skills to understand and use the written materials utilised in the learning and teaching of the programme and be able to communicate clearly and accurately in spoken and written English as per University guidelines or Nursing and Midwifery guidelines* (IELT score of 7 or above) for practice-based placements.

The programme of study leads to both an academic award and professional qualification. It consists of equally distributed theoretical learning and practice based experience within the six core modules. Each module has been designed to take into consideration the health care needs of children, families and communities currently within the UK.

The course is governed by the Nursing & Midwifery Council and is regulated by University of the West of Scotland.

For the award of postgraduate diploma and professional registration, students are required to complete six 20 credit modules (180 credits). These modules are taught on campus, on line and on practice placement over three trimesters. The programme can be undertaken both full time over one year or part time over 2 years.

Part time students will complete three modules per year. The use of an asterix below indicates when part time students will undertake this module. One symbol indicates a year one module, with the double symbol indicating a year two module.

On-line Learning format
The online learning for three modules is released weekly (Monday) over the process of the module. Students are asked to engage with online reading and activities during the week and to post to discussion boards. Some discussion boards will involve live discussions with other students at a set time or students will post when they can over the week. The minimum weekly learning expectation equates to approximately 7-10 hours per week with addition work required to prepare written assessment papers.

On-campus learning format
The face to face component of the programme is for two discipline specific modules. For each module, students are expected to attend the university for two weeks full time (Monday to Friday, 09.30 – 16.30). The weeks are separate over a four week period and on top of this students are expected to undertake self-directed learning and prepare for assessments.

There is also a face to face induction week scheduled for all students commencing the programme. This will be undertaken before full enrolment is concluded.

Placement Time
The placement hours in the full time programme are 30 days (6 weeks/225 hours) in trimester 1 and 2 = 60 days/12 weeks. This is then followed by a further 10.5 weeks in trimester 3. This placement will be determined by employing NHS Health Boards and will be guided by the availability of Practice Teachers.

The placements in the part time programme are 15 days in trimester 1 and 2 in year one = 30 days (6 weeks), a further 30 days (6 weeks) in trimester 1 and 2 in year 2 = plus a further 10.5 weeks in trimester 3 of year 2.

Trimester 1

  • Contemporary Health Visiting*
  • Responding to Public Health Challenges**

Trimester 2

  • Research Methods for Health and Social Care*
  • Safeguard Children, Enable Families**

Trimester 3

  • Leadership for Effectiveness*
  • Consolidating Practice**

On completion of the course graduates will be eligible for employment at a specialist practitioner level.

They will have competency in advanced assessment practice, leadership and public health.

Further Study

Students will also be eligible to progress to the MSc Health Studies (Community Health) dissertation module.

The programme will consist of 50% practice based learning that will be undertaken in Heath Boards in NHS Scotland. NMC logo

Useful Information

  • Competitive entry requirements (regulation 6.1.2c) necessitate the need for a scenario based interview. Interviews will be conducted in partnership and collaboration with key stakeholders.

    Please note
    Students require a Practice Teacher to supervise their placement learning. At this time in Scotland Practice Teachers are supplied by NHS Health Boards. Recently Health Boards have advised that they are only able to provide this support to students that they are fully seconding onto the programme. As a result UWS are not in a position to recruit any independent students. However the positive from this is that Health Boards are increasing the number of students they are supporting to undertake the programme.

    To obtain this Health Board support all students are encouraged to observe the recruitment pages of the NHS SHOW website for Health Board student Health Visitor adverts.

    The programme currently receives financial support from the Scottish Government.