BSc(Hons) Public Health (Specialist Community Public Health Nursing)

Entry year
Course code
School of Health and Social Wellbeing
Glenside Campus
1 year
Programme leader
Dawn Odd

Health Visiting/School Nursing/Occupational Health Nursing

Page last updated 5 September 2023


You will need to secure a secondment opportunity or a studentship, underpinned by a fixed term contract from a Trust prior to applying. For more information, see 'Entry Requirements'.

Accreditations and partnerships:

The BSc(Hons) Public Health course has been designed to create knowledgeable and skilled public health practitioners, are able to work inclusively with client groups across different settings within the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) Code of Professional Standards (2018). You'll reflect this knowledge and skill development by demonstrating your achievement of the NMC standards of proficiency for Specialist Community Public Health Nursing (2004).

The NMC standards include 4 key domains which require a practitioner to search for health needs; stimulate an awareness of health needs; influence policies affecting health and facilitate health enhancing activities in different public health settings. The course delivers knowledge and skills linked to the Public Health Knowledge and Skills Framework.

Our course embraces a family/child centred public health role with individuals, families, and populations, focusing on improving health and tackling health inequalities. The approach requires you to work within a dynamic socio-cultural and service provision context across traditional boundaries, networking and developing services in partnership with service users, other professionals, and voluntary workers. This involves the capacity to lead, assess, work collaboratively, evaluate public health provision, and accept responsibility and accountability for the safe, effective, and efficient management of that provision.

This course is for you, if you wish to register on the third part of the NMC register as a Specialist Community Public Health Nurse: Health Visitor, School Nurse, or Occupational Health Nurse. The course requires effective registration on part one (Nursing) or part two (Midwifery) of the NMC register.

Our course aims to prepare specialist community public health nursing (SCPHN) students with the knowledge, skills, and critical abilities to provide leadership and innovation in community health. Our wider goals are to improve population health, in particular the health of children and families, and to prevent illness. SCPHNs graduating from the course will have the community capacity building skills to support the development of fair, inclusive and ever-improving community-based health and well-being services.

You'll need to secure a secondment opportunity or a fixed term-contract from a Trust before you apply. You can find opportunities on the NHS jobs website.

What's it like to study Nursing at UWE Bristol?



The optional modules listed are those that are most likely to be available, but they may be subject to change.

During the course you'll gain experiences in a range of different settings and areas of professional practice through collaborative working and inter-professional learning covering the following areas:

  • In settings and with age groups central to the responsibilities for the defined area of practice, health visiting, school nursing or occupational health nursing.
  • Working with diverse populations, individuals and families facing multiple disadvantage, health inequalities and factors that contribute to health and wellbeing.
  • Working with age groups considered as either important or a potential area of responsibility even if not central to the areas of responsibility.
  • Completing 60 days of consolidated practice within your defined area of practice on a full-time basis over 12 weeks.

The practice element of the course is divided into two parts, taught and consolidated.

The taught practice element includes 15 days alternative practice experience, where you'll get the opportunity to gain an insight and understanding of services provided in settings or with population groups that would not be central to your pathway.

A period of consolidation provides an opportunity for you to focus on your specific profession, building on the previous experiences you've developed through the course and in practice. This period allows time to prioritise your workload, develop your proficiency and fitness to practise as a safe, accountable, and effective practitioner.

The course is 50% theory and 50% practice with designated time at University, directed study as well as time in practice with an allocated practice assessor who will co-ordinate and support your learning.

Level 3 Modules

  • Public Health and Health Promotion
  • Principles of Evidence Based Public Health
  • Professional Perspectives in Specialist Community Public Health Nursing
  • Leadership and Enterprise

Plus one of the following optional modules:

  • Promoting the Health of School-aged Children in the Community
  • Workplace Health and Well-being
  • V100 Prescribing Practice

The University continually enhances our offer by responding to feedback from our students and other stakeholders, ensuring the curriculum is kept up to date and our graduates are equipped with the knowledge and skills they need for the real world. This may result in changes to the course. If changes to your course are approved, we will inform you.

Learning and Teaching

A range of teaching and learning methods are used including formal lectures, small group seminars, enquiry-based and online learning, project work, individual self-directed study and assignment preparation. We'll encourage you to draw on your their own and your colleagues' experiences in the learning process.

We'll provide learning materials and experiences which offer diverse viewpoints and challenge you to reflect on how your values and opinions impact on your professional practice. Our teaching team strives to cultivate an inclusive, compassionate learning environment on the course and we work closely with our partner organisations to support students.

View our full glossary of learning and teaching terms.

Study time

To facilitate learning in practice, you'll be allocated a practice assessor, qualified in your chosen practice area (health visiting, school nursing or occupational health nursing), by your seconding or sponsoring health organisation.

Key study themes include:

  • Critical reflection on practice and learning
  • Self-awareness and compassionate communication
  • Self-evaluation and professional development planning
  • Leading teams and managing change
  • Multi-disciplinary team working
  • Inter-professional and inter-agency working
  • Needs assessment, planning and evaluation of practice
  • Equitable service development
  • Group working and teaching
  • Critical evaluation and utilisation of research in practice
  • Critical evaluation of policy and its implementation in practice.

A good level of IT skills is key for your academic studies and at UWE Bristol IT is integrated into your course. All of your learning materials will be made available online via the Blackboard virtual learning environment, lectures and seminars may occur virtually, and you'll need to use IT to undertake and present the work required in your modules.

You'll benefit from fantastic IT facilities on all of our campuses. On our main Frenchay Campus we have 24/7 computing facilities, and the Department provides support throughout your course. Before you start your course, you may find it helpful to familiarise yourself with some basic IT skills, including:

  • Basic word processing
  • Storing and finding files
  • Communicating via email and video conferencing
  • Searching the web for information, e.g. online shopping, booking a holiday.

We also have a range of information and resources including interactive exercises to support study skills available via our library.


We assess our modules by a range of methods including case studies, oral presentations, project work, professional practice portfolios, written assignments and exams.

See our full glossary of assessment terms.


Professional accreditation

The BSc(Hons) Specialist Community Public Health degree is accredited by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC), which means when you graduate you can register with the annotation of Health Visitor, School Nurse or Occupational Health Nurse.


UWE Bristol's geographical area for placement provision covers the whole of the South, South West and West of England. Placements across this region help support and provide a wealth of clinical experience across many areas within the NHS healthcare service and the Private Voluntary and Independent sector. These placements are vital to meet the professional regulatory body standards in practice for our affiliated health and social care courses. 

To access this variety of opportunities within the health and social care courses, there's  an expectation that all students at times will have to travel across large areas. In some cases this can be more than 50 miles away  and may be outside of normal working hours due to the nature of shift work on some courses. 

When considering your application to these courses, you must ensure you have means to travel to your placement location at unsociable hours, and/or funds available to secure short-term accommodation options to participate in your placement, if required.  

Our students will have secured a placement appropriate to their chosen SCPHN field whether as a secondment or sponsorship from a health organisation.

Study facilities

Our Department is well-equipped with an extensive range of teaching and learning resources across four campuses.

Our Glenside Campus library is one of the best health and social care libraries in England with a huge selection of books, journals and audio-visual materials including access to specialist health and social care packages.

Our Inter-professional skills simulation suite provides excellent opportunities for us to demonstrate and you to practice your professional competencies as a health and social care student.

You'll benefit from our multimedia laboratories, smart boards, and the use of virtual learning environments to deliver teaching material.

Find out more about our facilities and resources.

Get a feel for the Nursing and Midwifery facilities we have on offer here from wherever you are.

Return to Health Visiting

Our Return to Nursing Practice Course which includes health visiting, takes around four months, and comprises of a single specialist module and achievement of clinical competencies.
The module takes place over five study days, and involves a variety of approaches including interactive discussions, seminar work, tutorials, lectures, and visits.

More information:

If you wish to to return to health visiting, you will complete this theory module, and your practice hours and achievement of competence will be demonstrated in the SCPHN field. So this means you will have a public health nursing placement within health visiting.

When you have successfully completed the course, you'll be able to restore your registration to both part one and part three of the NMC Register.


The assessment is a 2000-word reflective assignment based on a learning contract negotiated to individual needs. You'll undertake practice to meet the NMC requirements for returning to practice within an appropriate supervised practice area in local NHS Trust. You're responsible for organising your practice placement along with our support.

We assess our modules by a range of methods including case studies, oral presentations, professional practice portfolios and written exams.

View our full glossary of assessment terms.

For more information about Return to Health Visiting, contact us:

Changing Field of Practice

If you already hold an active registration as a SCPHN, either as a Health Visitor, School Nurse or Occupational Health Nurse and would like to work in another field of practice as a SCPHN you can apply to undertake a 20-credit evidencing work-based learning module at Level M so you can practice in another field. To do this, you'll need to be supported by an employer so you can complete a minimum of 10 weeks in practice supported by a qualified practice assessor and compile a portfolio to evidence your learning.

For more information, contact us:

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Careers / Further study

You will need to already be working in an appropriate placement setting and on successful completion of the course you'll be able to:

  • Register with the NMC as a Specialist Community Public Health Nurse.
  • Register as a Community Practitioner Nurse Prescriber (if you have completed the V100 element of the course)
  • Enhance and build on your previous professional qualifications and practice.
  • Develop your public health knowledge and skills.
  • Start a career in public health nursing.


There is currently no published fee data for this course.

Supplementary fee information

Secondment/Sponsorship -

Health Education England may fund courses for employees of NHS Trusts and some independent organisations.

This usually means that:

  • Health Education England will pay all or part of the tuition fee (and placement fee if applicable)
  • You'll continue to receive a salary or training/cost of living allowance
  • Your employer provides placements.

We recommend you contact your manager/training manager for more information.


Typical offers

Entry requirements

You'll need to have the following:

  • Active first level registration on the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) professional register.
  • 120 credits at Level 2 or above (if you do not fulfil this criteria but have other relevant/equivalent qualifications or experience, we'll consider your application on an individual basis and we may advise you to access the 'Accelerated Learning for Professionals' module, and when you've successfully completed this, you'll fulfil this entry requirement.
  • To get onto the course, you need to secure a secondment opportunity or a studentship, supported by a fixed term contract from an employer. Your employer will then pay you a salary/cost of living allowance pro-rata for the period that you are on the course, as well as provide you with a practice placement, which is essential for entry onto the course. Organisations will be soon be advertising these opportunities on the NHS Jobs website, so we advise you to check this site regularly.
  • To secure a sponsored or seconded place from an NHS Trust or other employer, all students will need to have successfully completed an in-depth Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check and have a satisfactory Occupational Health status.

Read more about entry requirements.

Our recruitment to this course is informed by Health Education England's Values Based Recruitment Framework and the purpose of this is to ensure that we recruit students whose individual values and behaviours align with the values of the NHS Constitution.

How to apply

As soon as you've secured a placement from a Trust, you can apply using the online link 'Apply now'.

Follow us on Twitter @UWEhasCPD.

For further information