Integrated Practice in Learning Disabilities Nursing and Social Work
BSc (Hons)

Clinical Placement
NHS Funding available
Overseas study available
Work placement opportunity

3 good reasons to study Integrated Practice in Learning Disabilities Nursing and Social Work at Salford


Incorporates Social Work and Registered Nurse in Learning Disability qualifications


Professional preparation to work in the Learning Disability Service


Only course of this kind in Greater Manchester that combines nursing with social work and fees are paid by the NHS Commissioners

Course Summary

This innovative course will offer you the opportunity to develop the key knowledge, skills and experience required for working in health and social care, and specifically with people who have a learning disability.

Using the best research and evidence, you will learn, and demonstrate, your abilities through both theoretical and practical study.

The course acknowledges that the rights and needs of people with a learning disability are not clearly divisible into health or social care services, and you will study a number of related topics to provide you with a holistic knowledge base and approach to supporting people who have a learning disability, their families, and communities.

50% of your studies will be spent in practice in a diverse range of settings including NHS, Local Authority, and the independent sector. Your placements will be in a well-supported environment, working alongside qualified nursing and social work mentors and practice educators.

On successful completion you will have a recognised degree qualification that leads to registration as a qualified nurse (learning disability) with the NMC, and to apply for registration as a social worker with the HCPC.

Please note: For applications for entry in September 2017 or later, it is likely there will be changes to the funding of fees and a bursary may no longer be available. Please see the ‘Fees and Funding’ tab for further details.


Course Details

This course acknowledges that the rights and needs of people with a learning disability are not clearly divisible into health or social care services. While recognising that some distinct teaching of nursing and social work is necessary, this course adopts a holistic approach and emphasises the need for training courses to develop transferable skills and strategies for caring.

Your time will be split equally between theory and practice. You will study a number of related topics including sociology, psychology, social policy, law and ethics, risk and abuse, health promotion and human growth and development which is applicable to working with people with learning disabilities and their families and communities.

Placements represent a fundamental aspect of the course and you will gain a wealth of experience in a diverse range of settings including NHS, Local Authority, secure settings and the independent sector. You will complete over 2,300 hours on placement which will give you valuable insight and experience of supporting people in the real world.

Year 1

To enable the student to acquire essential knowledge, skills, values and attitudes in order to best meet the needs of individuals, families and communities and develop key principles and concepts underpinning professional practice.
To provide students with an understanding of the historical development of health and welfare services and how this has shaped the legislative framework relating to the delivery of health and social care today. In addition, students will develop an awareness of factors that impact on health and wellbeing across society and develop and apply concepts and approaches to health promotion within a diverse society.
To enable students to identify the nature of learning disabilities including causation, impact, complexity and the support needed by individuals, families and communities, taking into account relevant bio-psycho-social perspectives. In addition, students will develop an understanding of the role of Nurses, Social Workers and others professionals who support people with a learning disability, and ways in which discrimination, oppression and exclusion can be addressed whilst promoting empowerment inclusion and person centred thinking and practice.

Year 2

To enable students to identify and respond to the changing mental and physical health needs of individuals, families and communities across the lifespan and to recognise specific social phenomena such as class, poverty, unemployment, disability, age and gender impact on mental and physical health. Students will specifically consider service systems in relation to children and families and those in need of support to achieve and sustain mental health as well as develop assessment skills that clearly identify ongoing and developing health needs from childhood through to end of life care.Health and Wellbeing across the Lifespan – Theory
To enable students to achieve key roles and outcomes in practice
To enable students to work collaboratively across inter-professional settings and boundaries in order to maximise the health and social wellbeing of children and adults who have a learning disability irrespective of the degree or complexity of their impairments. To maximise the student skill set in relation to working in partnership with individuals, families and other professionals in order to develop and sustain a person centred focus on the individual child or adult who has a learning disability.

Demonstrate the competencies outlined in the Practice Assessment document that is commensurate with Year 2 Semester 3 Demonstrate the outcomes outlined by the NMC/GSCC for progression point 2

Year 3

To provide an opportunity for students to study and reflect on historical, political, social and economic factors in service systems from a European and International perspective and to critically review differing perspectives. In so doing, students are better able to locate and critically analyse contemporary British provision within a wider international context.
To introduce students to different ways of defining research problems; acquaint them with key principles of research and evidence based practice; to explore a range of research methodologies and skills and to enable students to undertake, analysis of research data and consider the implications for professional practice.
Facilitate students to utilise their acquired knowledge, skills and values in the transition from student to qualified professional practitioner; to prepare for a career in learning disability services by providing them with opportunities to further develop their understanding and skills so central to working sensitively and responsively with people who have a learning disability and their families and to enable them to become professional and autonomous practitioners, managing themselves and others effectively through personal and professional reflection and supervision.

Entry Requirements

Qualification Entry requirements
Police Clearance All offers on this course are made subject to police clearance. The University adheres fully to the CRB Code of Practice.
Health Clearance All offers on this course are subject to Mandatory Health Clearance.
Other qualification Knowledge and understanding of the needs of people with learning disabilities and their families
GCSE All applicants must have GCSEs in English language and maths at grade C minimum
UCAS tariff points 260-300 points
BTEC National Diploma DDM
International Baccalaureate 25

Salford Alternative Entry Scheme (SAES)

We welcome applications from students who may not meet the stated entry criteria but who can demonstrate their ability to pursue the course successfully. Once we have received your application we will assess it and recommend it for SAES if you are an eligible candidate.

There are two different routes through the Salford Alternative Entry Scheme and applicants will be directed to the one appropriate for their course. Assessment will either be through a review of prior learning or through a formal test.

English Language Requirements

International applicants will be required to show a proficiency in English. An IELTS score of 7.0 overall with a minimum 7 in reading, writing and speaking is required for this course.

Applicant profile

Applicants should demonstrate a clear desire and commitment to work with people with learning disabilities.  This may be achieved through any number of expressions of: personal experience of caring for people with learning disabilities, exposure to working in environments where people with learning disabilities attend, desirable personal characteristics/attitudes, insightful perceptions of nursing and social work, an insight into career opportunities, an appreciation of the the contributions nurses and social work make to care, relevance of recent study no more than five years ago, hobbies, involvement in voluntary activities, relevance of involvement in college/work activities, an appreciation of the value of life experiences.

Successful applicants who meet the criteria will be offered an interview. At interview, applicants will be tested on literacy and numeracy, ability to communicate effectively and to work in groups to achieve a task within allocated time and your values in relation to caring. There will also be an individual interview where applicants will have to answer questions posted by service users/carers.

We positively welcome applications from students who may not meet the stated entry criteria but who can demonstrate their ability to successfully pursue a programme of study in higher education. Students who do not have the traditional entry requirements may be able to apply through the Salford Alternative Entry Scheme. In the first instance you should discuss this will the relevant Admissions Tutor.


A variety of teaching and learning methods are used.

  • Lectures
  • Seminars
  • Directed study
  • Problem-based learning
  • Individual tutorials

You will be on placement for a total 320 days during this three year course.


  • Written assignments
  • Presentations
  • Direct observations of practice
  • Open book exam


When you qualify, you will be a valuable asset to employees because of your dual qualification. This will enable you to apply for a wide range of jobs within the NHS, Local Authorities and the independent sector. Many learning disability practitioners also occupy roles as managers and lead teams of support staff.

Career Prospects

As a practitioner who recognises the importance of collaboration across the social and health care divide, you will be extremely valuable to employers. You will be well equipped to take up a range of posts, many within statutory services, for example in day, field or residential services. You may also go on to be a staff nurse, community nurse, social worker or care manager and decide to work with adults with complex health needs or children with challenging behaviour.

Links with Industry

We have formed strong and varied partnerships with a large number NHS Trusts and social work agencies in the North West which means your learning is informed by current practice and developments. You will undertake your practical placements in a variety of setting depending on what area you wish to specialise in which include hospitals, community settings, third sector and private health care organisations.

Further Study

Fees and Funding

Fees 2016-17

Type of StudyFee
Full-timeIf you are a UK or EU resident, and have home student status, you will have your tuition fees paid for you. You may also qualify for a means-tested bursary to help with living expenses.

Please note: For applications for entry in September 2017 or later, it is likely there will be changes to the funding of fees and a bursary may no longer be available.

Please see more information on the proposed changes here, and we will update this page as soon as the changes are confirmed. If you are applying for entry before September 2017, there will be no changes to the funding available. 

Financial support for this course


Our Simulation Laboratory has a ward setting and six patient simulators. It will give you the chance to take part in real-world scenarios under the supervision of our qualified staff. Our Clinical Practice Wards are four rooms designed to give the look and feel of a hospital environment or community settings. The rooms are furnished with patient’s beds, lockers, chairs, sinks and curtains as well as audio-visual equipment, internet and a teaching area. The environment can be adapted to simulate a sitting room in residential care areas.