Specialist Community Public Health Nursing (Health Visiting or School Nursing) (Top-Up) BSc (Hons)

Full-time undergraduate (1 year)



Please note: this course is open to UK and EU applicants only, as it is a work-based course.


This course places you at the heart of the family. You’ll develop public health skills while specialising in providing support for children and families at household, school and population level. You’ll focus on preventing ill-health, improving health and reducing health inequalities.

Full description


We work with employers to make sure you graduate with the knowledge, skills and abilities they need. They help us review what we teach and how we teach it – and they offer hands-on, practical opportunities to learn through work-based projects, internships or placements.

Our course is approved by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC). Graduating will open up a wide range of interesting and rewarding specialisms. You could extend your practice into helping people in primary care settings as well as in schools or people’s homes. For example, you could:

  • register as a specialist community public health nurse as either a health visitor or school nurse
  • build a career in public health
  • register with the NMC to prescribe from the community practitioners' formulary.

Modules & assessment

Level 6 modules

  • Community Practitioner Nurse Prescribing - see notes below
    Please note: If you are a Health Visiting student and have already completed a nurse prescribing module that's recorded with the Nursing & Midwifery Council (NMC), your sponsoring Trust or healthcare organisation and the University may suggest you complete the optional Work-Based Learning module. If you are a School Nursing student, depending on your Trust or healthcare organisation's preference (after discussion with the University), it may be suggested that you replace the Nurse Prescribing module with one of the optional modules listed on this course page. The Nurse Prescribing module will prepare you to prescribe safely, appropriately and cost effectively from the community practitioners formulary for nurse prescribers. The module is an alternative option to non-medical prescribing and is undertaken with allied health professionals.
  • Fundamentals of Specialist Community Public Health Nursing (Health Visiting or School Nursing)
    The Department of Health (DOH, 2009) suggests that the foundations of a healthy and fulfilled adult life are laid in childhood and adolescence. Neuro-scientific and genetic advances have enhanced our understanding of physiological and psychological childhood development and how this can be both promoted and damaged. It is imperative that the children’s public health workforce is adequately equipped with the knowledge, skills and understanding to deliver the Healthy Child Programme (2009). This theory/practice module focuses on the universal components of the progressively universal framework for practice delivered to infants, children, young people and their families, beginning in early pregnancy, right through into early adulthood, as described in the Healthy Child Programme (DoH 2009). This module will focus on the key issues around health and developmental reviews within the 0-19 framework in order to enable SCPHN students to develop an understanding of the identification/assessment of and management of, abnormalities or deviations from the norm. In order to ensure that practitioners are prepared effectively to work within the challenging and dynamic arena of children’s public health, this module will explore the background theories that are integral to working with children, young people and their families, and communities. Furthermore, this module will recognize, apply and communicate aspects of care and highlight the compassionate skills required in relation to the key content listed in 6b. Summative assessment for this module will comprise of an essay totalling 1,500 words, and a practice competency document. Within this document students will be required to achieve a pass at the required competency level whilst reflectively demonstrating their critical analysis and evaluation skills via 1,200-word detailed reflection(s) from practice.
  • Enhanced Specialist Community Public Health Nursing (Health Visiting or School Nursing)
    This theory/practice module will allow you to analyse the knowledge and skills required to assess and manage vulnerability and risk to children, adults, families and communities. You’ll also be equipped to develop the competence and confidence in order to work proactively within the HCP Universal Plus service-delivery context (DOH 2009). This module will build on the knowledge and expertise gained in the ‘Fundamentals of SCPHN Module’. It’ll also encourage you to demonstrate analytical knowledge of legislative requirements for safeguarding children and vulnerable adults. It’ll require you to consider innovative approaches to individual and organisational risk management. You’ll be encouraged to develop advanced communication skills utilising strategies such as motivational interviewing, compassion and solution focused therapies, enabling parents/carers to better manage behavioural and emotional challenges within the context of vulnerable families. You’ll review, evaluate and reflect on current policy drivers related to public health and safeguarding practice, reflecting on the need for a multi-disciplinary and multi-agency approach to working with children and their families.
  • Leadership, Commissioning and Public Health Practice
    This module will develop leadership skills to a strategic level, enabling practitioners to become effective advocates on behalf of children and families. Furthermore, this module will develop the practitioner's knowledge base with respect to the commissioning of services in order to ensure that a quality service is provided to children and their families.
  • Research in Public Health Theory
    This module will enable students to critically review and systematically evaluate key relevant contemporary literature and the application of this to Specialist Community Public Health Nursing (SCPHN) practice. It will foster students with the complex knowledge and skills to be able to search for current information which underpins the delivery of SCPHN care. Students will develop enhanced skills to critically appraise the literature to derive relevance and meaning from their findings. This will draw into practice the evidence on which public health practice is delivered. Research, policy and professional standards will be comprehensively synthesised to embed a deep understanding of literature underpinning SCPHN. The ability to link these concepts into the practical world of SCPHN will be developed to enable the student to maintain a contemporary knowledge. This knowledge base which the service delivered can be justified in order to work proactively within a SCPHN context. The module will consider concepts of information validity utilising learning sessions which incorporate research methods and the skills and knowledge to develop advanced scholarship in the comprehension of literature quality. Sessions will cover: Data collection, qualitative and quantitative research, epidemiology, data base searching, ethical, cultural and gender issues reliability, validity, bias and research interpretation. Students will evaluate methodologies and develop critiques which may lead to the proposal of new hypothesise. Students will be encouraged to read literature related and applied to this specialist public health area including legislative and health literature that encourage ethical argument and debate. This literature will be drawn from disciplines such as; social, psychological, medical sciences and education in addition to those of the SCPHN. Students will systematically and creatively review, evaluate and synthesise current policy drivers related to public health reflecting on the need for a multi-disciplinary and multi-agency approach to working with children and their families. Students will be encouraged to explore literature at the forefront of SCPHN theory that is in place to inform SCPHN practice. Summative assessment for the module will be a 1,500 word research critique which addresses a public health topic at an individual, local or national level and a practice competency document. Within this document students will be required to achieve a pass at the required competency level whilst reflectively demonstrating their critical analysis and evaluation skills via 1,200-word detailed reflection(s) from practice.
  • Undergraduate Major Project
    The undergraduate major project enables you to raise and address significant questions relating to your chosen topic/issue. You will be supported by a tutor with similar interests and research profile. This module requires autonomous study and it is your chance to demonstrate that you have met our University’s expectations and are ready to graduate.
  • Consolidated Practice
    This module is a practice placement specifically related to the BSc (Hons) Specialist Community Public Health Nursing Programme. It's a ten-week period at the end of the programme which will enable you to consolidate your education and competence in your field of practice. A work-based based learning approach will be used and supported throughout the delivery, and you will be expected to explore theories and reflect on your experiences in order to integrate theory and practice. You'll be monitored on a fortnightly basis by a Practice Teacher who will report on your progress, completing the appropriate documentation which is a pass/fail element of the programme.


Throughout the course, a range of assessments will help you and your tutors to be sure you’re on track. These will include exams, essays, case studies, a competency-based portfolio, critical incident analysis and an extended literature review.

Where you'll study

Your faculty

The Faculty of Health, Education, Medicine and Social Care is the largest in ARU, with over 7,000 students. Our Faculty is teeming with expertise and primed to meet the demand for creating health professionals, teachers, doctors, scientists and educators for the three districts we serve: Chelmsford, Cambridge and Peterborough.

We have been training undergraduates for professional roles for over 25 years, with a reputation for quality, dedication and ambition balanced with student satisfaction.

We know that to give our students the very best experiential learning, prior to getting into the workplace, simulation is second to none, for safe, realistic, learning environments. We have invested heavily in purpose built simulated wards, science labs and skills space, to support our students through their learning.

Where can I study?

Lord Ashcroft Building on our Cambridge campus

Our campus is close to the centre of Cambridge, often described as the perfect student city.

Explore our Cambridge campus

Fees & funding

Course fees

UK & EU students starting 2020/21 (per year)


Fee information

For more information about tuition fees, including the UK Government's commitment to EU students, please see our UK/EU funding pages

Funding for UK & EU students

Most new undergraduate students can apply for government funding to support their studies and university life. This includes Tuition Fee Loans and Maintenance Loans. There are additional grants available for specific groups of students, such as those with disabilities or dependants.

We also offer a fantastic range of ARU scholarships, which provide extra financial support while you’re at university. Find out more about eligibility and how to apply.

Entry requirements

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Important additional notes

Our published entry requirements are a guide only and our decision will be based on your overall suitability for the course as well as whether you meet the minimum entry requirements. Other equivalent qualifications may be accepted for entry to this course, please email answers@anglia.ac.uk for further information.

We don't accept AS level qualifications on their own for entry to our undergraduate degree courses. However for some degree courses a small number of tariff points from AS levels are accepted as long as they're combined with tariff points from A levels or other equivalent level 3 qualifications in other subjects.

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UK and EU students

Applications should be made to local Primary Care Organisations (PCOs) who will undertake joint selection with us. Visit NHS jobs to find suitable vacancies.

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