Nursing (Learning Disability) BSc(Hons) 2017-18

This course also available for 2016-17 entry

About the course

This course currently offers:

  • The opportunity to become a confident, competent, caring and compassionate nurse whilst enhancing the health of people with a learning disability.

  • Equal preparation to work in community or acute settings when you graduate.

  • Graduate eligibility to apply for registration with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) and work as a Registered Nurse in Learning Disability.

  • Personal and professional development, in order to gain a high level of skills and abilities helping you to build a career in a wide range of health and social care settings.

  • The opportunity to develop communication and interpersonal skills to empower, advocate and protect the rights of marginalised individuals.

Learning disability nurses work with people who have an array of learning disabilities, providing hands on care in relation to people's complex physical, social and psychological needs. They also work in a consultative way with other professionals, ensuring they have the skills required to meet the client group's needs, as well as impacting on policy and wider practice.

Learning disability nurses work in a multitude of places, including the individual's own home, schools, respite units, hospitals within areas such as assessments and treatment units, as well as low, medium and high secure services. They work independently and in multidisciplinary teams, with other professionals.

No day is ever the same when you work with people with learning disabilities and you can make a real difference to someone's life. If you're passionate about meeting the holistic health and social needs of people with a learning disability and wish to have an interesting and exciting career working with this client group, then this course may be ideal for you.

The aim of the course is for you to become a confident, competent and compassionate nurse in a rapidly changing health and social care environment. You'll have the opportunity to develop a high level of personal and technical skills to help improve the quality of life of people with a learning disability and their ability to live as independently as possible. You'll learn how to work in partnership with service users, their families, carers and other professionals to promote health and wellbeing. Completing this degree and becoming a Registered Nurse in Learning Disability (RNLD) can be the start of a fantastically rewarding career in nursing.

We will help you to learn and develop both practical and theoretical skills, in order to achieve your full potential as a learning disability nurse and meet the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) Standards. These include professional values, communication and interpersonal skills, nursing practice and decision making, as well as leadership, management and team working. The course also teaches you how to respond to the needs of all patients and service users from all fields of nursing including adult, child and mental health.

UCAS code:

Start date:
18 / 09 / 2017


3 years full-time

Entry requirements

Entry requirements for this course are normally one of the following:

•  BBB at A Level including a social or biological science, Maths or Health and Social Care, General Studies is excluded. The endorsement for practical work is an essential part of Science A-level study, and is a requirement for entry to our degree course.

•  DDM in BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma in Health and Social Care. Applied Science is accepted only if you have studied specific units, please contact the admissions assistant for further details.

•  120 UCAS tariff points from a combination of Level 3 qualifications including a Grade B at A Level in social or biological science, Maths or a Distinction in BTEC Subsidiary Diploma in Health and Social Care.

•  Pass Access to Higher Education Diploma with 45 Level 3 credits, 15 at Distinction, 30 at Merit and including 15 credit modules in a social or biological science or Psychology.

Plus: English Language or English Literature and Maths GCSE at grade C or above (Equivalent qualifications to Maths GCSE may be accepted at the Admissions Team discretion).

You must demonstrate that you have a broad understanding of learning disability nursing, as well as relevant work experience (employment or voluntary) highlighting your transferable skills.

•  You also need satisfactory enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) and occupational health clearances prior to registration on the course. We arrange these as part of the application process. You will be required to sign a self-declaration at the start of each year and at the end of the course. All police contact during the course must be reported to the course leader as a matter of urgency and may lead to suspension or termination.

•  Offers will be subject to an interview and references. Please note all the information provided in support of your application may be checked and must be verifiable as a true record.

•  Candidates for whom English is not the first language are required to have International English Language Testing System (IELTS) at a score of 7.0 overall and no less than 7.0 in any component (academic or general test). This is a Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) requirement.

•  You may be eligible to gain accreditation for your prior learning towards this course.

•  IOther suitable experience or qualifications will be considered. For further information please see the University's minimum entry requirements at

Please note places are limited and attainment of the minimum entry requirements does not guarantee an interview or offer. You must include details of any previous study on any NHS funded health course, as required by UCAS.

Please note: UCAS points are based on the new UCAS tariff, introduced for courses starting in 2017/18.


Admissions Assistant
Tel. 01484 472199

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Places available:
25 (this number may be subject to change)

Huddersfield, HD1 3DH

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Course content

Year 1: core modules

Foundations of Nursing 1

This module will provide the opportunity for you to gain foundation knowledge in relation to policy, professional values and communication, as well as the theory and practical skills required for professional behaviour as a student nurse, connected to safety, safeguarding and protection of people of all ages. This will be demonstrated through coursework, where you will reflect on the communication skills you used in your practice learning experience, policy and professional practice.

Foundations of Nursing 2

You will have the opportunity to develop the knowledge and understanding required to care for patients/service users focusing on physical and mental health needs. You will explore normal anatomy and physiology and be introduced to some pathophysiology. You will be assessed on this through an online multiple choice exam. You will also study how to deliver person centred care safely with compassion whilst surveying health and promoting health and wellbeing. You will examine applied sciences such as sociology and psychology and how these support nursing practice. You will be assessed on this through submission of a field specific case study. You will also be introduced to some fundamental nursing skills including hand washing, nutrition, basic life support and administration of medication, which you will practice in the simulation labs.

Fundamentals of Nursing Practice

This module will provide you with the opportunity to gain fundamental skills of nursing practice including personal hygiene, infection control, undertaking observations and basic life support. You will complete a practice learning experience, normally in two blocks equivalent to 20 weeks, where you will put the theory learnt into practice. You will be assessed through coursework including the Practice Assessment Document (PAD), where you will record the practical outcomes you have achieved and the Ongoing Achievement Record and Skills Log, where you and your mentor will document your progress and skills gained.

Professional Development and Research 1

This module involves multidisciplinary team working with Nursing, Midwifery, Occupational Therapy, Operating Department Practice, Physiotherapy and Podiatry students. You will have the opportunity to develop an understanding of evidence based practice and learn how to critically appraise journal articles, as well as gain an appreciation of the ethical context of professional practice. You will be assessed through an online exam and a piece of coursework. Firstly you will complete an online open book exam to demonstrate your research knowledge. Secondly as you are introduced to the idea of professional responsibility, reflective practice and lifelong learning, you will complete a personal development planning (PDP) portfolio, which must be passed to successfully complete the module.

Year 2: core modules

Developing an Enhanced Understanding of Practice

This module will provide the chance for you to build and develop your practice skills through completion of a practice learning experience. This will normally be undertaken in two blocks equivalent to 22 weeks. You will explore physical, mental and social aspects in the treatment of patients/service users from your own field of nursing. Through coursework you will be required to demonstrate your understanding and ability to link theory and practice. This will involve completing the Practice Assessment Document (PAD) that records the practical outcomes you have achieved, and the Ongoing Achievement Record and Skills Log, where you and your mentor will document your progress and skills gained.

Interprofessional Working in Context

You will be introduced to the theory and concepts of interprofessional working (IPW). You will explore what helps and hinders IPW in practice, drawing on experience from your first year practice learning experience. This will include attending two conferences, one where you will listen to keynote lectures and one where you will present your work in a group and observe other group presentations. You will be assessed through coursework, where you will participate in the group conference presentation (pass/refer/fail) and produce a written review based on an example of interprofessional working (worth 100% of module marks).

Nursing Concepts and Care Approaches

You will have the opportunity to further develop your knowledge and skills through lectures and simulation activities carried out in the simulation suites, so you can safely and competently care for patients/service users. You will be assessed through coursework, where you will complete a report based on a case study from your field of nursing. You will also participate in simulation activities and undertake a practical exam.

Research 2

This module provides the opportunity for you to build on your knowledge of research that you studied in Year 1 and prepare you to undertake an area of research in Year 3. You will learn about and be assessed on data collection and analysis in relation to methods which are currently used in research and evaluation of practice, through coursework involving a work book. This includes quantitative and qualitative research, systematic reviews and audits. In addition you will work in multi professional groups to produce coursework involving a research proposal, which you will carry out in Year 3. This will be assessed on a pass/fail basis (which must be passed to successfully complete this module).

Year 3: core modules

Complex Needs and Enhanced Care - Learning Disability

You will have the opportunity to further develop your nursing skills in relation to the complex health and social needs of people with a learning disability. You will explore how to effectively manage and lead person centred care required in a range of settings, including care at home, day care provision and supported living resources. You will be assessed through coursework, where you will produce a multi media portfolio, a non verbal presentation or a teaching tool which is used to enhance care.

Frameworks for Clinical Leadership and Management

This module provides you with the opportunity to develop the skills required so you are prepared for a leadership and management role upon qualification, where you will lead teams, solve problems and ensure high quality care is delivered. This will also provide you with the chance to work as a capable, independent, accountable and reflective practitioner. This will be assessed through one piece of coursework. You will interpret, reflect and critically evaluate a critical incident related to your own field of professional practice.

Managing Enhanced and Complex Practice

This module will provide the opportunity for you to meet the outcomes required by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) for eligibility to apply for registration. You will complete a practice learning experience, normally in two blocks equivalent to 24 weeks, which will provide opportunities for you to apply, integrate and build on the knowledge, skills and values you have previously developed. You will be assessed through coursework including the Practice Assessment Document (PAD), where you will record the practical outcomes you have achieved and the Ongoing Achievement Record and Skills Log, where you and your mentor will document your progress and skills gained.

Research 3

This is a multi-disciplinary module which follows on from Research 2. You will undertake a small scale research project in a multi-professional group, which could consist of a combination of nursing, midwifery, occupational therapy, physiotherapy, operating department practice, or podiatry students. Based on this research project you will produce two pieces of coursework, a report written in a style suitable for publication and a group presentation at the Interdisciplinary Student Research Conference.

Important information

We will always try to deliver your course as described on this web page. However, sometimes we may have to make changes as set out below.

We review all optional modules each year and change them to reflect the expertise of our staff, current trends in research and as a result of student feedback. We will always ensure that you have a range of options to choose from and we will let students know in good time the options available for them to choose for the following year.

We will only change core modules for a course if it is necessary for us to do so, for example to maintain course accreditation. We will let you know about any such changes as soon as possible, usually before you begin the relevant academic year.

Sometimes we have to make changes to other aspects of a course or how it is delivered. We only make these changes if they are for reasons outside of our control, or where they are for our students’ benefit. Again, we will let you know about any such changes as soon as possible, usually before the relevant academic year. Our regulations set out our procedure which we will follow when we need to make any such changes.

When you enrol as a student of the University, your study and time with us will be governed by a framework of regulations, policies and procedures, which form the basis of your agreement with us. These include regulations regarding the assessment of your course, academic integrity, your conduct (including attendance) and disciplinary procedure, fees and finance and compliance with visa requirements (where relevant). It is important that you familiarise yourself with these as you will be asked to agree to abide by them when you join us as a student. You will find a guide to the key terms here, where you will also find links to the full text of each of the regulations, policies and procedures referred to.

The Higher Education Funding Council for England is the principal regulator for the University.


Nothing can really replicate working in the real-world. That's why practice placements are essential and a compulsory part of the course. The Nursing and Midwifery Council require you to complete these to obtain registration. Each year you'll complete two blocks of placement, equivalent to 20 weeks in Year 1, 22 weeks in Year 2 and 24 weeks in Year 3. You'll have the opportunity to complete your practice learning experiences in a diverse range of health and social care settings, reflecting the diversity of services accessed by people with a learning disability. This may include community teams, nursing and residential homes, supported living services, schools, short breaks services, day opportunities or hospitals and clinics. You may also have the opportunity to work within forensic services, prisons, palliative care and youth offending services.

You'll be mentored throughout your practical experiences by a suitably qualified professional, who will provide you with any required help and advice. In order to provide you with the broadest professional experience possible, practice experiences are generally offered across West Yorkshire and occasionally beyond, covering 24 hour care including evening, weekend and occasional night shifts.

Please note that you may be required to travel for/during your placements.

Career opportunities

97% of graduates from this course go on to work and/or further study within six months of graduating. Possible career opportunities include working as nurses in local healthcare trusts, community interest companies, charities and short-term care providers.*

Other careers could also include high profile leadership roles supporting people with learning disabilities and specialist needs or roles within specialist assessment and treatment areas.

After qualification there is also an extensive range of training and career opportunities, which include becoming a manager for local service providers, epilepsy nurse, safeguarding nurse, behavioural specialist or forensic care nurse. Other opportunities include working in dual diagnosis services or specialist services for people with Autistic Spectrum Disorders, specialist nurse for drug management, consultant nurse specialist or nurse lecturer, as well as a policy maker and advisor at a national or local level.

  • Source: DHLE survey

Professional links and accreditations

This course is currently regulated by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC).

Whilst studying this course you're currently not required to register as a member with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC), however you must follow their codes of conduct.

Teaching and assessment

You'll be taught by a team who really understand what it's like to do the job and care passionately about developing the best future workforce. Contemporary issues will be addressed, latest techniques demonstrated and strategies identified which will support you in developing skills and qualities for professional practice.

A range of teaching and learning strategies are used to suit different learning styles. Teaching is delivered through seminars, group work, practical experience, simulation, role play, and lectures. Our virtual learning environment and state of the art simulation equipment provides the opportunity to put the skills and theory you've learnt into practice.

You'll be assessed in a variety of ways including coursework group and poster presentations, practical tests, essays, case studies, report writing and exams.

11.3% of the study time on this course is spent in lectures, seminars, tutorials etc.

Your module specification/course handbook will provide full details of the assessment criteria applying to your course.

Feedback (usually written) is normally provided on all coursework submissions within three term time weeks – unless the submission was made towards the end of the session in which case feedback would be available on request after the formal publication of results. Feedback on exam performance/final coursework is available on request after the publication of results.

Huddersfield is the only University where 100% of the teaching staff are Fellows of the Higher Education Academy.*

*permanent staff, after probation: some recently appointed colleagues will only obtain recognition in the months after their arrival in Huddersfield, once they have started teaching.

How much will it cost me?

The Government is introducing changes which mean that Undergraduate tuition fees may be able to rise with inflation (RPI-X) from September 2017. The University of Huddersfield intends to increase its fees if that is made possible. The increase would be in line with inflation (RPI-X, which is currently 2.8%) and would mean that the full-time tuition fee for home and EU undergraduates would rise from £9,000 to £9,250. All universities that qualify under the new Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF), and fulfil the requirements of the Office for Fair Access (OFFA), would be able to increase fees in this way from September 2017 if the Government’s plans do not change. Please note that the fee may also rise in subsequent years beyond 2017/18 by RPI-X.

Tuition fees will cover the cost of your study at the University as well as charges for registration, tuition, supervision and examinations. For more information about funding, fees and finance for UK/EU students, including what your tuition fee covers, please see Fees and Finance. Please note that tuition fees for subsequent years of study may rise in line with inflation (RPI-X).

If you are an international student coming to study at the University of Huddersfield, please visit the International Fees and Finance pages for full details of tuition fees and support available.

Please email the Student Finance Office or call 01484 472210 for more information about fees and finance.

Further study

The University currently offers a range of Specialist Skills and Post Registration Development (SSPRD) courses.

You may be interested in studying:

Advanced Safeguarding Msc

Community Nursing Practice (District Nursing) MSc

Health Studies MSc

Public Health Nursing Practice: Health Visiting/School Nursing MSc

Progression to a postgraduate course is dependent on successful completion of your undergraduate studies. There may also be minimum qualification requirements such as a first class or higher second (2.1) degree. Please check the course details to confirm this.

How to apply

We hope you're interested in what you've seen and want to apply to join us. Please take a look at the information on what to do next.

Once you've sent your form in to UCAS you may need to come to an interview. We've put together some information for you about what to expect at an interview- but don't worry, when you're invited you'll be given full details of what will happen.

Research community

Research plays an important role in informing all our teaching and learning activities. Through research our staff remain up-to-date with the latest developments in their field, which means you develop knowledge and skills that are current and highly relevant. For more information see the Research section of our website.

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