Learning Disability Nursing PgDip
Learning disability nurses enable individuals to live their lives to their full potential within the social context they choose, through collaborative interventions across a variety of health and social care settings and by using specialist input, through person centred practice, underpinned by the concept of partnership working.
This course teaches you to promote social inclusion, good mental and physical health and self-determination through developing your skills, knowledge and attributes. All learning is grounded in a strong evidence base of integrative health and social care modelling. Our placements are varied, offering you the chance to create a future career that will be rewarding both for your personal and professional advancement.
Find out about Learning Disability Nursing at LSBU from our very own students and staff:
Success on this course makes you eligible to register as a learning disabilities nurse with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC).
Third year BSc (Hons) Learning Disability Nursing student Jenny Ash is on a quest. She’s doing everything she can to prepare herself for a career helping those with learning disabilities.
Some compulsory skills sessions may take place in the evening.
You will be taught separately from the three-year undergraduate students and will study the following:
- Improving quality, change management and leadership
During this module you’ll explore key principles of quality improvement. You’ll critically evaluate and apply service improvement methodologies and change management models, and develop your knowledge and skills in becoming a leader in your practice area.
- Building practice skills for learning disability nursing
You’ll undertake a non-credit bearing practice module to enable the development of requisite clinical and interpersonal skills needed to practice effectively as a learning disability nurse.
- Applied physiology, growth and development
In this module, you’ll study physiology in relation to the growth and development of people with learning disabilities. This will include the impact of maternal and pre-natal health on physiology, growth and development.
- Contemporary issues in learning disability nursing
In this module you’ll engage in pertinent debates related to emerging policy trends and the wider health and social care context as it impacts on people with learning disabilities and their identified circles of support.
- Research in health and social care
This module will extend your knowledge of research approaches and methods, enhancing your ability to be a critical consumer of research evidence. This module provides underpinning knowledge and skills for students who wish to complete their dissertation.
- Enhancing practice skills in learning disability nursing
This non-credit bearing module consolidates and further develops your clinical and inter-personal skills in the context of implementing evidence-based practice.
- Complexity in learning disabilities
This module provides the opportunity to develop critical insight into complex needs experienced by people with learning disabilities throughout the lifespan, in the context of their identified circles of support. This will include contemporary approaches to supporting syndrome-specific issues, physical and/or mental health needs, and behavioural issues.
- Advanced communication
This module builds on your knowledge of the issues impacting on the inclusion of people with learning disabilities and offers evidence-based interventions to meet the needs of this group. The module will enhance your specialist communication skills to work in partnership with individuals with learning disabilities, their identified circles of support and the wider multidisciplinary team.
Learning disability nursing as a career
The course will enable you to develop a wide range of employability skills through the emphasis on a vocational approach to teaching which leads to a professional qualification leading to registration with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC).
There is an increasing body of research that shows the need for learning disability nurses as a specialist resource to address health inequalities experienced by people with learning disabilities. The course will give you the specialist knowledge and skills to work in a wide range of services, and the confidence to work collaboratively with people with learning disabilities, their families and carers, and other professionals and agencies.
Role and responsibilities
As a learning disabilities nurse you would work with people of all ages to give them the skills and confidence they need to live as independently as possible. You'd be working as part of a multi-disciplinary team and be responsible for co-ordinating care plans with other healthcare professionals, as well as monitoring progress. A learning disabilities nurse would be responsible for making an initial assessment of a patient's health and social care needs.
Day-to-day duties would be likely to include help and encouragement with tasks such as personal hygiene, dressing, using public transport, shopping, leisure interests, making and attending appointments, and finding a job. Learning disabilities nursing also involves campaigning on behalf of those with learning disabilities, supporting the agenda for equality and trying to improve healthcare services for those with learning difficulties.
Working hours and salary
Nurses usually work around 37.5 hours a week, but this can include evenings, weekends, night shifts and bank holidays due to the need to provide 24-hour care for some patients.
Newly qualified nurses can expect to earn around £21,000 a year but with experience, this can rise to around £28,000. Those working as advanced practitioners, clinical specialists or managers can earn up to £40,000 and nursing consultants can earn up to £70,000 a year.
Graduates of our BSc (Hons) programmes have gone on to work in NHS services, independent and voluntary sector services for children and adults, and in social care settings in managerial roles.
Successful graduates of the PgDip can top-up to MSc in one year and will be qualified to study a range of further specialist postgraduate pathways. With additional experience, advanced practice is available at Masters level with the potential to progress to doctorate studies. Once you are a registered nurse browse our online CPPD prospectus to find out what courses are on offer to help with your professional development.
We are University of the Year for Graduate Employment for the second year in a row - The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2018, 2019.
At LSBU, we want to set you up for a successful career. During your studies – and for two years after you graduate – you’ll have access to our Employability Service, which includes:
- An online board where you can see a wide range of placements: part-time, full-time or voluntary. You can also drop in to see our Job Shop advisers, who are always available to help you take the next step in your search.
- Our Careers Gym offering group workshops on CVs, interview techniques and finding work experience, as well as regular presentations from employers across a range of sectors.
Our Student Enterprise team can also help you start your own business and develop valuable entrepreneurial skills.
Every student will spend 50% of the course on placement. You'll have the opportunity to work in partnership with individuals with learning disabilities and their families using a health mentoring model. Alternatively you can work in partnership with community based organisations on projects where all parties increase their awareness, understanding and valuing of their roles, using strength based approaches.
The placement aim is to provide a broad range of experiences working with children and adults with learning disabilities in a variety of settings. This will enhance your knowledge and experience of the range of challenges people with a learning disability may face on a daily basis and what can be done to assist not only the individual but also their families.
You'll also gain insight into what is available to support workers and organisations providing services in the areas of physical and mental health, complex care needs, communication, behaviours of concern, sexuality, personal care and a range of other areas.
Teaching and learning
You'll be expected to work as an independent adult learner, working alongside academic staff to expand and extend your knowledge, skills and attitudes as a critical scholar in the field of Intellectual Disabilities.
You'll be allocated a personal tutor, a cohort leader, and a course director, plus clinical mentors, and link lecturers whilst on placement.
The course makes use of the virtual learning environment MOODLE, an interactive based system for accurate and rapid information sharing, so course materials are available whenever you need them. A range of learning styles are employed, including visits from service users and their carers, to ensure the course remains contemporary and applied to real life situations.
Applicants will be considered on an individual basis but will normally require:
- A Bachelor’s degree with a minimum 2:2 classification. Candidates without a health or science related degree are required to complete a Life Sciences work book package to satisfy the Life Sciences element of the APL portfolio.
- In accordance with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) requirements, Maths and English GCSEs/equivalent (at C or above) are also required.
Those whom English is not their first language must achieve a minimum score of 7.0 overall or equivalent, with not less than 7.0 in the listening and reading sections and not less than 7.0 in the writing and speaking sections for the International English Language Test Score (IELTS) at the time of application.
How to apply
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Although this is a postgraduate course, all students apply to the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS). Full details of how to do this are supplied on our How to apply webpage for undergraduate students.
Attributes and values
Nursing is a very competitive career and it is important you make a high quality application to us. Here are some tips on what attributes, skills and values we are ideally looking for in an LSBU nursing student:
- Meet the required entry requirements for LSBU nursing courses
- Good understanding of basic numeracy and literacy skills
- Impeccable communication, caring and helping skills
- Able to work as part of a team as well as independently
- Reliable, patient and understanding
- Dedicated to a career in nursing and fully comprehend the responsibilities of the role
- Personal qualities and values in line with those expected by the NHS constitution.
Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL)
All applicants are required to make an APL claim. You may apply for APL through both certificated learning and the production of a portfolio to demonstrate achievement of programme outcomes for the programme you have applied for through experience. If you are offered a place on the course you'll be provided with guidance notes to assist you in constructing this.
Interviews and assessments
As part of the selection process you'll be expected to attend an MMI interview. Find out more.
If offered a place, you must successfully complete both a Disclosure Barring Service (DBS) and occupational health check, and provide proof of ordinary residency requirements and satisfactory references. A valid passport is required for enrolment purposes.
For those whom English is not their first language must achieve a minimum score of 7.0 overall or equivalent with not less than 7.0 in the listening and reading sections and not less than 7.0 in the writing and speaking sections for the International English Language Test Score (IELTS) at the time of application.
Postgraduate Application Service
Book your time with one of our specialist Postgraduate Advisors. Over a one on one Advice Session they'll advise you on postgraduate degrees at LSBU that match your interests and experience. And when you're ready to apply join one of our Postgraduate Application Sessions. There, we take small groups of up to four people through the application process. Look online for the next of our Advice Sessions or Postgraduate Application Sessions.
Fees and funding
Fees are shown for new entrants to courses, for each individual year of a course, together with the total fee for all the years of a course. Continuing LSBU students should refer to the Finance section of our student portal, MyLSBU. Queries regarding fees should be directed to the Fees and Bursaries Team on: +44 (0)20 7815 6181.
|UK/EU fee: £9250||International fee: £23125|
|AOS/LSBU code: 3982||Session code: 1FS00|
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For more information, including how and when to pay, see our fees and funding section for postgraduate students.
Please note that this course is not currently open to international students.
Possible fee changes
The University reserves the right to increase its fees in line with changes to legislation, regulation and any governmental guidance or decisions.
The fees for international students are reviewed annually and, additionally, the University reserves the right to increase tuition fees in line with the RPIX measure of inflation up to 4 per cent.
Postgraduate loan (PGL) for Masters study
If you are starting a Masters course, studying either full- or part-time, you may be entitled to apply for a postgraduate study loan. Find out more at our postgraduate fees and funding section.
We offer several types of fee reduction through our scholarships and bursaries. Find the full list and other useful information on funding your studies on the scholarships and fee discounts page.
Please check your fee status and whether you are considered a home, EU or international student for fee-paying purposes by reading the UKCISA regulations.
Funding for pre-registration postgraduate programmes 2018/19
From August 2018 new postgraduate pre-registration nursing, midwifery and allied health professional students will access loans from the Student Loans Company.
Accessing loans will provide students with at least 25% more up-front living cost support whilst you study. You will also have access to the Learning Support Fund, which is administered by the NHS Business Services Authority, for support while attending clinical placements.
Background to these changes can be found on Gov.uk.
NHS Bursary will produce guidelines and information once the information has received parliamentary approval.
Select a case study and read about practical project work, student's placement experiences, research projects, alumni career achievements and what it's really like to study here from the student perspective.
Third year BSc (Hons) Learning Disability Nursing student Jenny Ash is on a quest. She’s doing everything she can to prepare herself for a career helping those with learning disabilities.
Prepare to start
You need to declare any previous convictions, cautions, warning or reprimands through the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS). Find out more on the DBS process for applicants.
To see when and if convictions and cautions are removed from the DBS certificate check the filtering rules for the criminal record check certificates.
For more information please read our DBS FAQs.
To complete the DBS application and get your ID documents checked, please follow the steps below:
If you already have a DBS certificate and are part of the DBS update service, we need to see the hard copy of your DBS certificate. You’ll also need to e-mail email@example.com the details below so that we can perform a status check on the update service website:
- Your DBS certificate number
- Your name as it is on the DBS certificate
- Your date of birth
You will need to bring in and show us three accepted ID documents so we can verify your application. You can bring them to the Southwark Student Help Desk in the K2 building during working hours, Monday-Friday (9am-11am, 1pm-4pm). No appointment is needed.
If you are unable to physically come to campus and show your three forms of required ID, you can use the Post Office which offers an identity document checking service for a fee of £10.50.
Take photocopies of your three items of ID documents and your three original documents with you to the Post Office.
The Post Office will stamp the form and the photocopies and give them back to you
The documents should be scanned (including the Post Office receipt) and sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you have further questions you can email email@example.com.
Enrolment and Welcome Week
Before you start your course we’ll send you information on what you’ll need to do before you arrive and during your first few days on campus. You can read about the process on our new students pages.
Please read our guide to immunisation, screening and health clearance.
If you have met the conditions of your offer download and complete an online medical questionnaire. This will go to our current occupational health provider. You can only enrol on your course when this is complete. For further information please read our Occupational Health FAQs.
Before you enrol on your course take the GP Vaccination and Screening History Form (PDF File 117 KB) to your GP for them to complete, sign and stamp.
Once you’ve enrolled take the form to the meeting with the occupational health nurse so the nurse can check your immunisation status and confirm this for your placement. If you do not complete the occupational health process you cannot go on placement and this may jeopardise your continuation on your course.
If you have any questions you can email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Your holiday periods will not follow the normal University timetable because of placements. You’ll receive more details once you start your course.
Most health and social care courses’ practice placements will operate outside normal working hours e.g. evenings, nights, weekends and bank holidays.
Most placements will require you to wear a uniform on placement or during some practical sessions in our skills laboratories. This will be provided along with a formal name badge.
You'll have to pay for any additional or replacement uniforms. For more information, see our uniform FAQs.
- Falk-Rafael, A., C. Ward-Griffin, et al. (2004). "Teachingnursing students to promote the health of communities: A partnershipapproach." Nurse Educator 29(2): 63-67.
- Goddard, L.,Mackey, S., & Davidson, P. (2010). Functional clinical placements: A driverfor change. Nurse Education Today, 30, 398-404.
- Kirkham, S. R., C. H. Harwood, et al.(2005). "Capturing a vision for nursing: undergraduate nursing students inalternative settings." NurseEducator 30(6): 263-270.
- Parks, M (2014) Caring for a child withprofound disabilities: a mother's story. Learning Disability Practice, 15(5): 27-30.
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