Degree Apprenticeship PgDip

PgDip Specialist Community Public Health Nurse (SCPHN) - School Nursing (Degree Apprenticeship)


Blended Delivery



13 month

Next enrolment

September 2024


In a nutshell

These programmes are scheduled to commence from September 2024 subject to NMC Approval

The Specialist Community Public Nurse - School Nursing Apprenticeship has been developed to support registered nurses develop advanced skills and knowledge in integrated community care within schools. 

The Specialist Community Public Nurse- School Nursing programme at the University of Salford supports you to develop specialist skills, knowledge and behaviours in the implementation of whole-person, place-based and integrated care enabling you to support children, families and young people in community settings. 

As a graduate you will be leaders in your area of specialism with skills and knowledge in quality improvement, caseload management, team leadership, and working as part of a complex health and social care system. 

You will:

  • Gain a NMC registration as SCPHN School Nurse
  • Gain specialist and advanced level leadership knowledge and skills, preparing you to lead in the contemporary health and social care system
  • Have the choice to opt for a route that will enable you to complete and register with the NMC as a Non-Medical prescriber (V300)
  • Tailor your learning through the selection of optional modules
  • Learn in supportive interdisciplinary environment with a range of other community nurses

This is for you if...


You want to make the ambitious career choice to study and become a Specialist Community Public Health Nurse.


You want to be a part of reducing health disparities among children and young people at local, national and system levels.


You want to join the growing workforce that is focusing on delivering health care that is inclusive, preventative, and delivered locally in homes, schools and communities.


You want to enhance your professional role, developing your skills in leadership and service quality improvement.


You want to work and learn alongside other health and care professionals benefitting from a diverse range of experiences and developing an advanced knowledge of integrated care.


You want to be on a programme that enables you to learn on the job, with a balance of theory and placement and immediately put into practice the things you are learning at university.

Course details

All about the course

The course is 1 year, full-time apprenticeship programme where you will work half your time in a School Nursing team and half of the time in university theory. You will have the opportunity to undertake alternative practice and spoke days across wider community services to enrich your learning. 

On completion of the program, you will gain 120 level 7 credits and a PG-Dip in community specialist practice in a specific area. 

Semester 1 - Core Modules

Integrated and Inclusive Community Practice

This module explores the impact of inequalities, stigma, poverty and social privilege on health outcomes of populations and individuals. The module fosters deep critical understanding of these complex issues including the policy context in which they sit on a local, national and global scale. The module focuses on the theories and practice that enables individuals and populations to maintain health and wellbeing.

You will engage in interprofessional, collaborative learning, gaining critical appraisal skills to examine complex healthcare scenarios. You will consider the challenges around interprofessional working and the opportunities to improve the health of under-served people. You will develop specialised knowledge tailored to community and public health practice, which will support you to practice in an integrated and inclusive way.

You will gain experience in interpreting and analysing public health data, enabling you to make informed decisions that directly impact the health and wellbeing of individuals and populations. Upon completion of this module, you will have cultivated a specialist knowledge of population health dynamics, enabling you to identify meaningful insights into the lived experiences of others that you can then critically apply to your practice setting.

Evidence Based Community Practice and Research

Throughout this module, you will focus on advancing your skills in research and evidence-based practice within the context of community nursing and change management. Building upon the foundation of Module one, you will gain critical reading, analysis, and writing skills that will enable you to critically reflect on contemporary policies, evidence-based research, and their practical application. By the end of this module, you will have the proficiency to critically reflect on contemporary policy; rigorously evaluate and utilise evidence-based research in your practice; and recognise the significance of evidence in informing decision-making. Finally, you will be able to apply these skills to change management and leadership activities, focusing on delivery of safe, effective and compassionate community health and social care.

Semester 2 - Core Modules

Essentials of Assessment and Management

This module will prepare you to undertake health assessments, diagnose and manage commonly presenting complaints/conditions within your scope of practice. You will learn how to take a structured history, physical examination and apply this to inform care planning and support. You will develop a deeper understanding of the wider context of people's lives and how this impacts on individual health and wellbeing.

Specialist Community Public Health Nursing - School Nursing

This module is designed to give learners the opportunity to explore in-depth, the contemporary issues in School Nursing practice, policy and research. It will provide learners with the required knowledge and skills to work as a Specialist Community Public Health Nurse in School Nursing. 

This module aims to 

  • Provide opportunity to develop specialist knowledge and skills in health visiting that will support you on your journey to meeting the NMC (2022) and Apprenticeship (2023) standards for your chosen area of specialist public health nursing.
  • Provide opportunity to have proficiency in synthesising both theoretical and practical knowledge related to contemporary issues in school nursing. This includes demonstrating leadership capabilities in addressing health disparities and enhancing community well-being. 
  • Create an environment that supports application of high level of critical awareness regarding the role of school nursing in leading the identification, assessment, and care of children and young people. Additionally, have the skills to collaborate effectively with others to promote health and ensure the safety. 
  • Supports the learning of critical and analytical skills in assessing evidence-based theories, policies, and research, enabling the development of specialised knowledge and skills in school nursing.


Non-medical Prescribing - Independent Prescribing Practice

This module will look at the practical elements of independent prescribing, accompanied by the theory module Non-medical Prescribing - Independent Prescribing Theory. 

This module is accredited by the NMC, HCPC and GPhC and upon successful completion of this module and the programme as a whole, you will be able to add an annotation to your professional registration as an independent prescriber.

Non-medical Prescribing Theory - Independent Prescribing Theory

This module will enable you to evaluate and challenge prescribing practice with reference to evidence based practice, equality and diversity and clinical governance.

This module is accredited by the NMC, HCPC and GPhC and upon successful completion, you will be able to add an annotation to your professional registration as an independent prescriber.

Semester 3 - Optional Modules

If you are on a NMP V300 route you will select one of the optional modules and all other routes will select three modules.

Compassionate Digital Care

The module will support you to take a critical look at the range of ethical, legal and policy concerns and how digital health can be applied within you specialist area.

The ever-increasing use of technology has become a vital factor in the delivery of health and social care, and its integration is particularly pertinent in the context of specialist community nursing practice and community public health nursing practice. This module delves into not only the various technologies in use but, more crucially, how they can be applied to enhance the delivery of care, with a strong emphasis on compassion, prevention, independent living, and self-care within the community nursing domain.

Education in Practice

This module will prepare community practitioners to promote, deliver, design, and assess education in practice settings across pre and post registration health and care programmes. The module includes content such as learning theories, development of teaching skills and has an emphasis on integrated care and interprofessional learning.

This module is mapped to Domain 4 of the QNI Voluntary Standards for Practice Teachers (QNI, 2023) and to the Associate Fellowship of HE (Advanced HE, 2023).

Mental Health in Non-mental Health Settings

This module is designed to equip non-mental health practitioners with comprehensive knowledge and insights into delivering person-centred and personalised care for individuals requiring mental health support. The program aims to bridge the gap in understanding and competence among professionals who may not specialize in mental health but find themselves in roles where such knowledge is essential.

Participants will delve into the principles of person-centred care, emphasizing the importance of tailoring interventions to individual needs, preferences, and circumstances. The curriculum covers key aspects of mental health support, fostering a holistic approach that goes beyond traditional medical perspectives. By the end of the module, participants will have acquired a nuanced understanding of the diverse factors influencing mental health, enabling them to engage with individuals in a manner that respects their autonomy and values.

Sexual and Reproductive Health

This module is aimed at registered healthcare professionals who wish to develop their knowledge and competence in contraceptive and sexual health within a community setting.

Topics covered will included:

  • Anatomy and physiology of the reproductive system
  • History taking
  • STI’s-transmission, prevalence, and treatment
  • Contraceptive methods and rationale for use
  • Contraceptive and sexual health needs in specific client groups
  • Legal and ethical issues in practice

Specialist Safeguarding

On completion of this module the learner will be able to demonstrate an advanced knowledge of safeguarding issues across the life course. The learner will be able to reflect on their practice and the practice of the multi-disciplinary team, mapping this against national and local policies, identifying and critically appraising barriers and drivers to effective safeguarding. This module is designed to enable the learner to have the appropriate skills and knowledge to work at Level 4 of the Intercollegiate Frameworks for Safeguarding.

Please note that it may not be possible to deliver the full list of options every year as this will depend on factors such as how many students choose a particular option. Exact modules may also vary in order to keep content current. When accepting your offer of a place to study on this programme, you should be aware that not all optional modules will be running each year. Your tutor will be able to advise you as to the available options on or before the start of the programme. Whilst the University tries to ensure that you are able to undertake your preferred options, it cannot guarantee this.

What will I be doing?


During this programme, there will be a range of teaching and learning strategies in line with level 7 study. Learning will be a mix of in person, online, and directed study activities, focusing on the acquisition of specialist knowledge and the development of creative and critical thinking.

There is a pathway lead for School Nursing who will work closely with you to ensure that you develop a strong professional identity and knowledge in your chosen area.

Teaching may include: 

  • Student and practitioner-led seminars
  • Learning scenarios and case study presentations
  • Reflection on practice
  • Lectures

A student-centred experience is at the heart of this programme you will be guided and supported to achieve on the programme. The university offers a wide range of support to enable you to grow your skills and knowledge and succeed in your studies.


The programme follows an authentic assessment process that focus on practical application of theoretical knowledge and will include a range of different assessment types including: 

  • Oral assessment
  • Written assignments
  • Literature reviews
  • Case studies
  • Presentation


This course has been developed and is delivered by academics and specialists in the fields of Specialist Community Public Health Nursing and Specialist Community Practice. Both SCPHN pathways have a dedicated lead with specialist knowledge, SCPHN registration and appropriate experience.

The programme leader is Miriam Collett. 

Miriam is a SCPHN School Nurse and has over 10 years experience of working in community nursing roles, including School Nursing and as a Senior Specialist Nurse for Looked After Children. Miriam has led the SCPHN prgramme at the University of Salford since 2022 and is undertaking doctoral research into school nursing and weight stigma in children. Miriam presents nationally at school nursing and research events around the topic of weight neutral approaches to health. Miriam is passionate about reducing health inequalities, particularly those experienced by underserved groups and communities.

School of Health and Society

The School of Health and Society is a forward-thinking, dynamic school with a commitment to lifelong learning and real-world impact.

Our courses are informed by the latest research and we work closely with organisations from both the public and private sector to ensure our teaching is at the forefront of practice.

Employment and stats

What about after uni?

On successful completion of this course, you will have the opportunity to apply for a role as a Specialist Community Public Health Nurse – School Nurse.

People with SCPHN qualifications often stay within those roles or can take development opportunities into into safeguarding, education/teaching, management, or research.

A taste of what you could become

School Nurse

Public Health Nurse

Safeguarding Practitioner


What you need to know

Essential Apprenticeship requirements:

1. Employed for more than 30hrs a week (the programme requires the ability to work a 37.5-hour week to ensure there is sufficient time to complete the KBSs and NMC standards)

2. English and Maths GCSE Grade C or above or recognised equivalent

3. Be employed in an appropriate nursing position with an appropriate organisation (that is approved apprenticeship partner with the University of Salford) 

4. Have the right to Work in England and Meet the Residency Eligibility ( 

Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks, and health checks will be completed prior to the commencement of the Programme. 

All programmes of preparation value prior learning and, by doing so, provide wide access to programmes and advanced standing through appropriate accreditation of relevant prior learning and experience in line with the university of Salford APEL policy, NMC (2022) Standards of post registration education.

Following successful completion of your NMC programme:

You must be registered with the NMC within five years of successfully completing the programme and if you fail to do so, you will have to undertake additional education and training or gain such experience as specified in NMC standards for the award to be added as an annotation to professional registration.

Programme requirements:

If you are on a supplementary prescribing qualification pathway, the V300 award must be registered with NMC within five years of successfully completing the prescribing programme. If you fail to do so you will have to retake and successfully complete the programme to qualify as a prescriber.

1. Active registration as a nurse (level 1) and/or a registered midwife (Midwife part of the register) of the NMC register the Nursing and Midwifery Council register (NMC). Before being considered as eligible to apply for entry (applicants must have registered as a nurse or midwife with the NMC before they can apply, students who have not yet got their pin are not eligible to apply).

 2. Demonstrate capability of safe and effective practice at the level of proficiency appropriate to the NMC approved SCPHN entry requirements. The University and practice partner will assess that the applicant has the relevant professional experience and is capable of safe and effective practice within chosen pathway

3. For routes with Non-medical prescribing applicants must have been registered with the NMC for least one year to comply with the Nursing and Midwifery Council requirements for V300 - nonmedical prescribing qualification (if on a pathway that includes V300 - non-medical prescribing)

4. If on a pathway that includes non-medical prescribing be practising in, and have appropriate experience in an environment where there is an identified need for the individual to regularly use independent an/supplementary prescribing (for example community team)

One of the below:

- A minimum of degree in a related discipline area. 

-  An equivalent academic or professional qualification from the UK or elsewhere i.e. incorporating study at least comparable to 120 credits at Honours level. 

 - Professional qualification of equivalent status and associated work experience or an equivalent qualification deemed suitable by the course team.

An applicant who does not possess one of these qualifications may be admitted for entry through the Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL). 

Standard entry requirements


Two GCSEs at minimum grade C/ grade 4 in English Language and Mathematics. Level 2 equivalents such as functional or key skills can be accepted.

You must fulfil our GCSE entry requirements as well as one of the requirements listed below.

Additional Requirements

Accreditation of Prior Learning

We welcome applications from students who may not have formal/traditional entry criteria but who have relevant experience or the ability to pursue the course successfully.

The Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL) process could help you to make your work and life experience count. The APL process can be used for entry onto courses or to give you exemptions from parts of your course.

Two forms of APL may be used for entry: The Accreditation of Prior Certificated Learning (APCL) or the Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning (APEL).

English Language Requirements

International applicants will be required to show a proficiency in English. An IELTS score of 6.5 (with no element below 5.5) is proof of this. If you need to improve your written and spoken English, you might be interested in our English language courses.


How much?

The apprenticeship levy was introduced in April 2017 and requires all employers operating in the UK, with a pay bill of over £3 million each year to invest in apprenticeships.

The funding policy supports the changes to the way apprenticeships in England are paid for, underpinned by the apprenticeship levy of 0.5% of the annual pay bill for companies paying over £3 million per year.

There is also a co-investment model for companies who will not be paying into the levy. The government will cover 95% of the cost of the apprenticeship and the employer will only have to contribute the remaining 5%. Once payments have been declared to HMRC, employers will now have access to a digital apprenticeship account from which they will be able to access funding to pay for apprenticeship training.

The maximum amount of money allocated to each standard falls into a specific funding band, ranging from £1,500 to £27,000. The Social Worker standard has been allocated the following funding band: £14,000

Funding band maximum: £14,000

Find out more at

Additional costs

You should also consider further costs which may include books, stationery, printing, binding and general subsistence on trips and visits.

Apply now

All set? Let's apply

Not in Employment

To apply for an apprenticeship, you must first be employed with a company willing to enrol you on the apprenticeship programme.

The government national apprenticeship website has further information on this. The website also advertises vacancies for apprentices.

Unfortunately, the University does not hold details of employer vacancies.

In Employment

Speak with the apprentice lead in your organisation in the first instance as they will provide the funding and will make initial contact with the Apprenticeship Services Unit. Your employer will need to confirm that they'll fund and support your enrolment with the University.

If you are currently in employment with a company that is willing to support you through an apprenticeship, then they will need to contact us in the first instance to express their interest in the apprenticeship programme and this will trigger the application process.

For general apprenticeship enquiries email phone: +44 (0)161 295 3063 or complete the contact us form

Enrolment dates

September 2024

September 2025