BSc(Hons) Specialist Practice (District Nursing)

Entry year
Course code
Tariff points
School of Health and Social Wellbeing
One year full-time; two years part-time
Full-time; Part-time
Programme leader
Alison Hughes

Page last updated 10 March 2021


Learn to work as a reflective, highly skilled district nurse, with the confidence to challenge practice, and the skills to inspire and lead large nursing teams.

Accreditations and partnerships:

Why study district nursing?

Working in the community, district nurses lead nursing teams to provide care and support for patients with a variety of acute and long-term health conditions.

Many employers require nurses in team leadership roles to have a recognised district nurse qualification.

An opportunity to move your career to the next level, it's also a chance to build your leadership skills and play a more strategic role in how care is delivered in your community.

Why UWE Bristol?

BSc(Hons) Specialist Practice (District Nursing) is a professional practice programme for registered adult nurses working in the community and aspiring to move into team leader grade roles.

Once you have completed the honours programme, you will be eligible to claim the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) specialist practitioner qualification in District Nursing.  

With outstanding onsite facilities, and a 50/50 split between theory and practice-based learning, you'll gain the strong academic and practical grounding you need to practise competently and confidently as a district nurse.

Learn from a highly experienced team of community nurses at UWE Bristol, with a depth of knowledge across many areas, including advanced clinical practice, research and education.

Develop strong skills in decision-making, critical thinking and leadership, and be equipped to lead teams effectively and confidently, and to plan and evaluate care in complex and unpredictable contexts.

Highly relevant to the changing landscape of community nursing, the course will deepen your understanding of current issues, and help you take a more strategic and political view of the care you and your teams provide drawing on policies, literature and evidence that influence your care delivery. 

We place a strong focus on nurturing positive relationships with team members and other colleagues, disciplines and agencies, and working in partnership with service users and carers to develop user and family-centred holistic care.

Completing the course full or part-time alongside your work, and studying at a pace that suits you and your organisation, you'll put what you learn into practice in your work, supported by your own mentor.

You'll graduate as a reflective, highly confident practitioner, able to question and challenge practice, and well equipped to lead and manage teams of nurses to provide effective evidence-based care.

Where can it take me?

NHS employers increasingly require district nurses to hold the NMC recordable specialist practice qualification (SPQ) in district nursing.

You could continue your professional development by taking further modules in areas of practice that interest you. You could also continue your studies to master's level.



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

You will study:

  • Current Issues in Community Practice
  • Evidence and Research in Practice
  • Leadership and Innovation
  • V100 Prescribing Practice
  • Community Specialist Practice.

Plus one optional module from:

  • Physical Assessment and Clinical Reasoning
  • End of Life Care
  • Advancing Practice for Long Term Conditions
  • Complexities of Caring for Older People
  • Fundamentals of Dementia Care.

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.

This structure is for full-time students only. Part-time students study the same modules but the delivery pattern will be different. 

Learning and Teaching

A mix of lectures, seminars, student-led sessions and clinical skills practice will maximise your learning and support you to develop as a self-directed, reflective practitioner.

'Action learning' is key, so you'll work in small groups to unpick different issues relating to care delivery, and formulate and present your own solutions.

Learn from a team of highly experienced community nurses at UWE Bristol, many of whom retain links with practice and can share the latest research with you. 

Completing the course alongside your current work, you'll be supported by a suitably qualified mentor/practice teacher within your organisation applying what you learn to your own practice and bringing your experiences into the classroom.

Work with other health professionals on selected modules, building on the inter-professional and interpersonal skills that are essential to district nursing.

Develop your knowledge of current issues in community practice, prescribing, the latest evidence and research, and leadership and innovation.

Hone and develop your clinical and leadership skills in our advanced Skills Simulation Suite.

Choose an extra optional module to suit your development needs and the needs of your organisation, whether that's physical assessment and clinical reasoning, end of life care, dementia care, caring for older people, or long-term conditions.

Develop the strong critical thinking and leadership skills that will give you a solid foundation as you progress and evolve in your career. You'll also produce a practice portfolio you can take with you, providing valuable evidence of your learning.

See our full glossary of learning and teaching terms.

Study time

The academic part of the course runs on a modular basis. You'll study for at least 32 weeks, made up of 16 weeks of theory and 16 weeks of supervised practice within your organisation.

Available as a full or part-time course, you can work at a pace that suits you and your employer.


We'll assess you using a mixture of essays, Objective Structured Clinical Examinations (OSCEs), exams, presentations and your practice portfolio.

See our full glossary of assessment terms.


Professional accreditation

BSc(Hons) Specialist Practice (District Nursing) leads to the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) recordable specialist practice qualification (SPQ) in district nursing. 


To consolidate your learning and development, as part of the final module you'll be based in another area within your own organisation.

During this time you can also choose to take a week's elective placement. It's an opportunity to visit an area of practice you're interested in, whether that's a community nursing team in a particular area, or another healthcare organisation or service. It's an optional placement and it's up to you to decide how best to use it, to enhance your development.

Study facilities

You'll be based at our Glenside Campus, where you'll benefit from the latest facilities, including our advanced Skills Simulation Suite, where you can practise on mannequins and hone and develop your clinical skills.

Glenside has one of the best healthcare libraries in the country with a huge selection of books, journals, audio-visual materials and specialist health and social care software.

Learn more about UWE Bristol's facilities and resources.


Careers / Further study

NHS employers increasingly require district nurses to hold the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) recordable specialist practice qualification (SPQ) in district nursing.

You'll be equipped to lead teams of nurses in the community, and to work in more senior roles. You will be sought after for your leadership skills, strategic thinking, and ability to manage large teams of nurses in challenging and complex environments.

The prescribing module means that as a graduate, you'll also be qualified to prescribe from the Nurse Prescribers Formulary for Community Practitioners.

You could continue your professional development by taking further modules in areas of practice that interest you. You could also continue your studies to master's level.

Get inspired

Our award-winning careers service will develop your employment potential through career coaching and find you graduate jobs, placements and global opportunities.

We can also help find local volunteering and community opportunities, provide support for entrepreneurial activity and get you access to employer events.

Visit our employability pages to learn more about careers, employers and what our students are doing six months after graduating.


There is currently no published fee data for this course.

Supplementary fee information

Payment for this course is per module, whether you are studying for the full degree or individual modules as CPD.


Typical offers

How to apply

You will be required to apply for each module, whether you are studying for the full Masters course or individual modules as CPD.

If you are going to study on a full-time basis, you will need to apply for all the modules you will take in that current academic year at the same time.

If you are studying part-time, you will need to apply for all the modules you will take in the first year of study at the same time. Applications for modules in the second year of study will be available for you to apply during May of your first year.

For further information regarding the above, please contact the Programme Lead.

View our professional short courses to apply.

For further information