Community Specialist Practitioner

Community Specialist Practitioner BSc (Hons) - Post-registration

Our BSc (Hons) Community Specialist Practitioner course is a top-up degree which has been developed to enable nurses to obtain a professional qualification in community nursing and an honours degree. The Community Specialist Practitioner course focuses on three areas of specialist practice: General Practice Nursing, Community Children's Nursing and Community Nursing in the Home.

The course consists of theoretical teaching combined with supervised practice in the student's area of professional work. This coherent programme of study enables practitioners to critically examine and reflect on their ways of working thus promoting the evolution of an adaptable, reflexive and responsive practitioner who promotes the highest standards of client care. Theory and practice will be closely linked in both course delivery and assessment. 

Key Information

  • Duration:

    Full-time: One year, Part-time: Over two years. The full-time programme will be delivered over a minimum of 40 weeks, including fixed annual leave. A part-time option is also available and this can be completed over two years.

  • Level:


  • Delivery:

    Campus, Full-time and Part-time

  • Award Type:

    BSc (Hons) - Post-registration

  • Institution Code:

    CLANC C30

  • UCAS Code:


  • Campus:

    Preston (Campus code: U)

  • Start Date:


  • Developed to enable nurses to obtain a professional qualification in community nursing.
  • Focuses on General Practice Nursing, Community Children's Nursing and Community Nursing in the Home.
  • Combination of theoretical teaching and supervised practice in the area of professional work.

Course Overview

Semester 1

  • Principles of Public Health and Social Policy
  • Valuing Research
  • Context of Community Specialist Practice

Semester 2

  • Developing Leadership Skills
  • Option Module
  • Context of Community Specialist Practice

Semester 3

  • Consolidation of Specialist Practice

More information about programme specifications and module information is available in the course handbook.

Fees 2020/21

Full-time: TBC
Part-time: TBC
Fees for international students

Entry Requirements

All applicants must have:

  • An effective appropriate 1st level registration on the NMC professional in respect of the route they wish to take, as follows:
    • General Practice Nursing: entry on sub part 1: Adult - RN1 or RNA or Child - RN8 or RNC.
    • Community Children's Nursing: entry on sub part 1: Child - RN8 or RNC.
    • Community Nursing in the Home: entry on sub part 1: Adult - RN1 or RNA.
  • The equivalent of at least one year's post registration practice experience. This is to consolidate your pre-registration training outcomes and gain a deeper understanding of relevant professional practice. (NMC Standards for Specialist Education and Practice, 2002: 9.2).
  • Experience of practicing within a healthcare environment for a minimum of 18 hours per week (or equivalent part time) clinical activity.
  • Hold 120 credits or equivalent at level 5 study: this should preferably be via a diploma course but if you have no prior academic credit / qualifications, an APEL claim demonstrating your ability to study and achieve level 5 outcomes should be developed (please note that this takes time, an APEL claim should be started at least nine months prior to the start of the academic year in September).
  • The ability to be self-funding or have the commitment of your employer to support course fees.
  • Your managers support for the course (where appropriate).
  • You are required to have a current DBS clearance which will be organised through your employing organisation.

International Students

View our entry requirements for your country

Scholarships and Bursaries

The University offers a range of scholarships and bursaries to support you through your studies.

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Further Information

The aim of this course is to prepare and develop registered nurses and midwives to meet the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) professional standards for specialist community practitioner (General Practice Nursing or Community Children's Nursing or Nursing in the Home) (UKCC 2001) and the 'Standards for Approval of Higher Education Institutions and Programmes' (ENB 1997). These standards have been accepted by the Nursing and Midwifery Council from April 2002. The course is available full-time over 40 weeks or it can be accessed as a part-time course over two years. The course will be delivered at the main university campus site in Preston, but fifty per cent of learning will take place within a practice placement.

The course incorporates the key principles of specialist practice and is grouped into four domains:-

  • Clinical Practice
  • Care and Programme Management
  • Clinical Practice Development
  • Clinical Practice Leadership.

This course meets the following core Knowledge Skills Framework (KSF) dimensions:-

  • Communication
  • Personal and People Development
  • Health Safety and Security
  • Service Improvement
  • Quality
  • Equality and Diversity.

In addition individual pathways will meet a number of elements within the following specific dimensions, for example:

  • Health and Well Being
  • Information and Knowledge
  • General.

Students will undertake the equivalent of 6 standard modules at level 6 (120 credits). All students on the programme will undertake the following modules:

  • Principles of Public Health and Social Policy (20 credits)
  • Valuing Reseach (20 credits)
  • Developing Leadership Skills (20 credits)
  • Community Specialist Practice in Context (40 credits).

This equates with 100 credits for all pathways except Community Nursing in the Home where students will also undertake an additional compulsory 10 credits through completing V100 Community Practitioner Prescribing. A further 20 credit option module (minimum of 10 credits for Community Nursing in the Home students) is required to complete the award. Each of the three pathways has a named pathway leader and they will guide you in making appropriate choices for your chosen pathway's option module. The selection of option modules will be discussed with you at interview, pre-course briefing day and also again during enrolment week. You will be required to discuss the rationale for your choice with the pathway leader and appropriate advice and guidance will be available.

The School of Health is committed to the values and principles of the NHS Constitution and these are integral to our programmes. The approaches to delivery and the content of our programmes aim to foster a culture which embraces the NHS Values of:

  • Working together for patients
  • Respect and dignity
  • Commitment to quality of care
  • Compassion
  • Improving lives
  • Everyone counts.

How to Apply

This course may involve regular access to children and/or vulnerable adults, also known as regulated activity. Where this is the case, students will be legally required to register with the Vetting and Barring Scheme (VBS) which is administered by the Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA). Following successful registration individuals will be issued with an ISA Registration Number which will stay with that person for the rest of their career. If you are not already registered, your employing organisation will take you through the process.

Course Specific:-

Access to this course is dependent on a successful application and interview process. Interviews are conducted jointly by staff from both the university and primary care trusts.

Internal Recruitment:-

Please note that this may be a secondment opportunity for staff who wish to be seconded by the NHS Trust that they already work within.

Please complete your Trust internal application form before the closing date. Application forms can be found on your Trust internal communications system.

For informal enquiries please contact your Trust Professional Development Manager.

Joint interviews by the Trust and the University will take place over two days each year.

External Recruitment:-

Please note that this is an opportunity for applicants who wish to seek sponsorship from an NHS Trust which they are not currently employed by.

To apply for external recruitment, please see the relevant Trust website and apply using their application process. These courses are also advertised on the NHS Jobs website at -

External interviews take place each year, after internal recruitment has taken place

Our student selection process is underpinned by  the National  Values Based Recruitment strategy .The selection process has to provide evidence that the future students would aspire to a high standard of excellence in professionalism which is  consistent with the NHS values i.e : working together for patients, respect and dignity, commitment to quality of care, compassion, improving lives and everyone counts.

Clinical Skills Suite

Clinical Skills Paediatric Lab

Learning Environment and Assessment

A 3 year degree qualification typically comprises 360 credits and each 20 credit (a standard module) equates to 200 hours of study, which comprises of a mixture of lectures, seminars, tutorials, practical sessions and independent study. Independent study is an important aspect of your degree course. The exact combination of study time will be detailed within your module descriptors, and will depend on your option choices.

The curriculum design facilitates development of a wide range of learning experiences to encourage lifelong, independent learning. These approaches include reflection, critical reading, problem-based activities, directed study, lectures, discussion groups, role play and eLearn (a virtual learning environment).
A major strength of the programme is the facility to offer shared learning across a range of community disciplines. Opportunities are also available for multi-professional education and practice through the chosen option modules.

Assessment is through a mixture of assignments, examinations, poster, presentation, portfolio development and practice assessment. You will be required to develop a Portfolio of Competencies and Evidence throughout the programme. Learning contracts will be developed in partnership with you, your mentor / practice teacher and an identified educationalist to support progress and achievement of NMC standards along with individually identified learning outcomes.

Our student selection process is underpinned by  the National  Values Based Recruitment strategy .The selection process has to provide evidence that the future students would aspire to a high standard of excellence in professionalism which is  consistent with the NHS values i.e : working together for patients, respect and dignity, commitment to quality of care, compassion, improving lives and everyone counts. 

Professional Validation

The programme has been accredited by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC).

Course Enquiries

Telephone us: +44(0)1772 892400
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Important Information

This course is based in the School of Community Health and Midwifery

Course Handbook

For detailed information about studying this course at UCLan, please see the course handbook for your year of entry: 2019 Entry | 2020 Entry
For information on possible changes to course information, see our Essential and Important Course Information.

Tuition Fees & Finance

*Tuition Fees are per year unless otherwise stated.
For 2019/20 fees please refer to our fees page.

Further Information for students

You can find regulations and policies relating to student life at The University of Central Lancashire on our Student Contract page.

Entry Requirements

For changes to 2017 UCAS tariff entry requirements please see our Essential and Important Course Information. UCLan requires all undergraduate applicants to have a minimum attainment of five GCSEs at grade C and above, or equivalent, (including Maths and English). In 2017 and beyond we will view the new Grade 4 as being equivalent to a C grade and will therefore require students to achieve GCSE Grade 4 or above. However, if the subject is relevant to our degree programme and requires a higher GCSE grade (e.g. GCSE B grade), and/or includes a Professional body that governs the entry requirements, Grade 5 or above may be required.