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Our Graduate Diploma (GradDip) Specialist Community Public Health Nursing (Occupational Health) course will enhance the education and training of First Level Nurses wishing to gain a Specialist Practitioner qualification and enable you to contribute to these initiatives.

Occupational health services provided at the workplace address the health care needs of working populations and this has been identified as an important component of the current public health strategy. Our GradDip creates practitioners who will lead and respond to new challenges in providing workplace healthcare and will provide practitioners who will emerge as key figures involved in delivering high quality occupational health services to the working population.

Professional Recognition

Our programmed is accredited by the Nursing & Midwifery Council (NMC). For UK practitioners, you will obtain both an academic qualification and a professional qualification in Occupational Health and be entered on to the 3rd part of the NMC register.

More Information

Our GradDip covers a range of topics specific to Occupational Health which will include: exploring the evidence related to identifying and managing health hazards presenting in a workplace setting and understanding the complex relationship between work, working conditions, psychological processes and health and wellbeing.

You will also undertake a range of topics which will develop your skills and knowledge that compliments your wider role as a practitioner such as developing research skills, understanding and critiquing leadership styles and analysing an aspect of your own practice. You’ll also consolidate all of your learning and development through a practice-based module.

Placement Requirements

Practice based learning experiences comprise 50% of the total course hours and equates to 22.5 weeks. Each practice placement is aligned to a module of theoretical learning, assisting you to integrate theory with practice and supporting the development of your knowledge base and competence. All your practice placement experience is guided by a Practice Teacher.

All applicants must be able to work/be working within Occupational Health for the course duration as well as access their own Practice Teacher.

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Entry Requirements

We welcome Scottish, UK and international students and consider all applicants on an individual basis.

Don’t worry if your qualifications are not listed here, we take a range of factors into account when assessing your application and are happy to consider other alternative combinations of qualifications and experience

If you are applying with an EU or non-EU qualification, please check our Postgraduate & Post-experience Entry Requirements page which gives more information about country-specific entry requirements.

Academic Requirements

You will normally be educated to degree level.

You must be registered as a nurse or midwife on either parts 1 or 2 of the NMC professional register. However, you can be admitted to our course if you can evidence successful completion of your pre-registration nursing education course and if you have applied for NMC registration.

Admission is permitted with relevant previous academic credit and/or prior learning. This will be in accordance with University of the West of Scotland's Regulatory Framework.

As part of the selection process, you will also need to submit a 1000 word academic essay on current challenges in occupational health practice.

Due to the practice based element of the course you must be currently working in an Occupational Health setting or have agreed to gain access to an Occupational Health setting. You must also have access to a Practice Teacher to support you through the duration of the course.

In addition, you will also need to supply:

  • Proof of a PVG/DBS or similar criminal background check within the last two years
  • Details of two professional references if you have been in your current Occupational Health role for less than 12 months
  • Proof of NMC status and NMC PIN

All the above must be uploaded prior to the closing date which is 31 July annually for September intake.

English Language Requirements

English language requirements for most courses

For applicants whose first language is not English, the University sets a minimum English Language proficiency level. The qualifications below must have been gained within two years of the start of your course.

General English language requirements at UWS: International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Academic module (not General Training)

  • overall score 6.0
  • no sub-test less than 5.5

Common equivalent English language qualifications

All stated English tests are acceptable for admission for both home/EU and international students for this programme:

  • CAE (Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English): 176 overall; no sub-test less than 169
  • CPE (Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English): 176 overall; no sub-test less than 169
  • Trinity College London Integrated Skills in English: ISEII with the minimum of a Pass in all sub-tests
  • PTE Pearson Academic English: An overall score of 54 with no element below 51 (for programmes that require IELTS 6.0 with no element below 5.5). An overall score 61 with no element below 51 (for programmes that require IELTS 6.5 with no element below 6.0)


IELTS Score Exceptions (Research degrees, Nursing & Midwifery degrees with NMC registration, Certificate of Higher Education, etc.)

For our research degrees (MRes, MPhil, PhD, DBA, DProf), applicants are required to have an IELTS score as follows:

  • overall score of 6.5
  • no sub-test less than 6.0

For Health, Nursing & Midwifery courses that lead to professional registration with the Nursing & Midwifery Council, applicants are required to have an IELTS or Occupational English Test (OET)*.

For such courses, the IELTS score is as follows:

  • overall score of 7.0
  • score of at least 7.0 in reading, listening and speaking and no less than 6.5 in writing

* Note that the Occupational English Test (OET) will now be accepted in addition to IELTS as proof of a Nurse's English Language Competence (Nursing & Midwifery Council, 2019). 

For our Certificate of Higher Education courses, applicants are required to have an IELTS score as follows:

  • overall score of 5.0
  • no sub-test less than 4.5



TOEFL IBT*: 78; no sub-test less than:

  • Reading: 17;
  • Listening: 17;
  • Speaking: 17;
  • Writing: 17

* Please note that TOEFL is still acceptable for admission to this programme for both home/EU and international students.
For international students, the Home Office has confirmed that the University can choose to use TOEFL to make its own assessment of English language ability for visa applications to degree level courses. We therefore still accept TOEFL tests taken in the last two years for admission to this programme.


West African Senior School Certificate of Education (WASSCE)

West African Senior School Certificate of Education (WASSCE) including acceptance of WAEC Scratchcard*

  • C6 or above in English

*UWS will accept a WAEC scratchcard confirming that an applicant has achieved C6 or above as evidence of meeting English language requirement from Nigeria if the student graduated within the last 5 years. After 5 years applicants would be required to provide the WAEC Certificate.


Pre-sessional courses

Applicants who do not meet the minimum English language requirements have the option to study one of our preparatory and pre-sessional English courses. The UWS courses available are:

    • 10 week pre-sessional - entry criteria UKVI IELTS 5.0 with no element below 4.5.
    • 5 week pre-sessional - entry criteria UKVI IELTS 5.5 with no element below 5.5.
    • English Language for University Study - entry criteria UKVI IELTS with score of 4.0 in all elements (10 month course), or 4.5 with no score below 4.0 (7 month course).

Find out more about our English lanaguage Courses.

Course details

Our Graduate Diploma, Specialist Community Public Health Nursing (Occupational Health) course has been developed in line with the recent rapid development in workplace health. This is largely due to the new demands and expectations from employers, employees and their representative bodies as they recognize the economic, social and health benefits achieved by providing these services in the workplace. The rapid development of occupational health services has also, in part, been driven by the expanding program of legislation in the areas of:

  • Health
  • Safety
  • Environmental protection
  • The need by employers to respond to this legislation

The course is delivered online and is delivered at Bachelor degree level (SCQF Level 9).

The Graduate Diploma comprises of six core modules:

  • Contemporary Occupational Health (core, 20 credits)
  • Critical Research Appraisal (core, 20 credits)
  • Investigative Enquiry (core, 20 credits)
  • Leadership in health and social care (core, 20 credits)
  • Managing Risk in OH Practice (core, 20 credits)
  • Consolidation of Practice (core, 20 credits)

The final module at the end of the course entails a 10.5 week full-time period in the defined area of occupational health practice.

Teaching & Assessment

Teaching strategies used will include:

  • Interactive lectures
  • Electronic teaching materials
  • Interactive synchronised discussion forums
  • Ongoing practice e-portfolio
  • Group work
  • Enquiry case studies
  • Concept mapping
  • Problem solving
  • Interactive quizzes

There will be a variety of approaches taken to assessment within the course. The nature of assessments differ depending on which module is being assessed and the learning and teaching strategies used. The range of assessments include:

  • Preparing literature reviews
  • Poster presentation
  • Presenting a research proposal
  • Written reports
  • Invigilated exam
  • Presenting of case-studies
  • Analysis of practice based problems


  • Scheduled learning:25 %
  • Independent study:25%
  • Placement: 50%


  • Exam: I assessment required and 50% of 1 module
  • Practical: As required by Practice Teacher/Assessor
  • Coursework: As required submitted throughout the Course on Moodle

Assessment methods will include:

  • Written reports
  • Coursework
  • Academic posters
  • Essays
  • Case studies
  • Literature reviews
  • Research proposals
  • Posters

Course Structure

Find out more about the structure, learning outcomes, compulsory and optional modules in this course.

Graduate Diploma Specialist Community Public Health Nursing Course Structure

Career Prospects


You will emerge as a key figure involved in delivering high quality occupational health services to the working population.

After exiting from our course you will work independently or as part of a larger multi-professional team and be at the frontline in helping to protect and promote the health of the working population.

Tuition Fees

Module Fee: Online version 2020/21

Scottish & EU

£305 per module (20 credits)

English, Northern Irish & Welsh

£820 per module (20 credits)

Channel Islands & Isle of Man

£820 per module (20 credits)

International (Non-EU)

£820 per module (20 credits)

More on current & future tuition fees

Academic Session 2021/22 Postgraduate Tuition Fees - Online


£1,820 Cost of study

Rest of UK (English, Northern Irish, Welsh)

£9,250 Cost of study

Republic of Ireland

£9,250 Cost of study

International (including EU)

£13,325 Cost of study

Check Your Tuition Fee Status

2021/22 Tuition Fees for 20-credit Module (Online)


£305 Cost of 20-credit module

Rest of UK (English, Northern Irish, Welsh)

£1,550 Cost of 20-credit module

Republic of Ireland

£1,550 Cost of 20-credit module

International (EU/EEA & non-EU/EEA)

£1,920 Cost of 20-credit module

Check Your Tuition Fee Status

Additional Costs & Sources of Funding

The cost of attending university is an investment in your future career.

In addition to tuition fees and living expenses, some courses involve extra costs like study materials, field trips, equipment and uniforms.

Fortunately, there is a great deal of financial support available to help students meet the cost of their study. This ranges from:

  • statutory government loans to pay for tuition fees
  • scholarships for Scottish, EU and International (non-EU) students
  • bursaries to help towards living expenses

The sections below provide details of additional costs that your course may involve along with any financial support that may be available.

You can also find additional information in our Postgraduate Money, Fees & Funding section.

Additional Costs

Students on certain degrees will incur some additional costs not covered by their tuition fees. These could be for things like specialist equipment, study materials, work placements, graduation, membership of relevant organisations or costs related to carrying out fieldwork.

For students on course with an element of fieldwork, there may also be extra costs for travel and accommodation.

Please contact the course leader for details of the additional costs associated with this course.

Tuition Fees & Living Cost Support

Tuition Fees & Additional Costs

Tuition fees are calculated based on where you are from and what you are studying. Some courses also involve additional costs, such as mandatory field trips, equipment or studying abroad.

Find out how much it will cost you to study at UWS as a postgraduate student.

Funding for Scottish Students

Scottish students studying at postgraduate level at UWS are entitled to various funds and support towards tuition fees and living costs.

Find out more.

Funding for English, Welsh & Norther Irish Students

English, Welsh and Northern Irish students studying at postgraduate level at UWS are entitled to various funds and support towards tuition fees and living costs.

Find out more.

Funding for EU Students

EU students studying at postgraduate level of UWS may be eligible for SAAS funding, as well as support to meet the costs of childcare and various sources of additional funding.

Find our more.

Funding for International Students

There are several scholarship and incentive schemes available to international students studying at postgraduate level at UWS, as well as support to meet the costs of childcare and various sources of additional funding.

Find out more.

Other Financial Support

Discretionary & Childcare Funds

UWS administer a range of discretionary and childcare funds. These are designed to support students who are experiencing financial difficulty or struggling to meet the costs of childcare.

Find out more.

Benefits & Tax Credits

Becoming a student can have an impact on your entitlement to certain benefits. It may mean you are no longer eligible to claim a benefit you have been receiving, or your new income from student funding may affect the amount you are able to receive.

Find out more.

Additional Financial Support

If there isn’t a statutory source of funding for you or your course, or you are in need of additional financial support, you may wish to consider more alternative sources of funding such as trust funds and scholarships.

Find out more.

Money & Debt Advice

Choosing to become a student can have a big impact on your budget and you may need to reassess your spending to account for a reduced income. We’ve put together some guidance to help you manage your money and make the right financial choices for you and your family.

Find out more.

How to apply

Postgraduate courses (MA, MSc, MEd, MBA, DBA, PG Cert, PG Dip, etc.) & some Post-experience courses (CertHE, BA, Grad Cert, Grad Dip, etc.)

All students should apply directly to the University through our online application system. Before you apply, you should check that you meet our entry requirements and you should have all your supporting documents ready.

The first stage of the process is to create a profile; you don't have to complete the application in one session - you can complete it in stages by saving each section and return to complete it at a later date.

You will need to upload documents with your applications, which may include transcripts and degree certificates.

Most courses don't have a formal closing date, but they will close when they are full; apply early to avoid disappointment. There may also be funding deadlines that apply to you.

Before you begin your application, it is important to read the Postgraduate & Post-Experience application step-by-step guide for a smooth process.


An ATAS certificate is not required for overseas students applying for this course.

Get in touch

Do you have a question about applying for this course? Get in touch. We are here to help!

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Research at UWS

With cutting edge facilities, specialist knowledge and world-leading and internationally excellent expertise, we aim to develop research outputs that have a tangible, early and positive impact on society across the globe.


We will always try to make sure that we publish accurate course information but we do not accept responsibility for any mistakes or omissions. We will also try to make sure that we deliver our courses in line with our published information. However, we may not always be able to do so and you can find further information about this in our enrolment terms and conditions.