PgDip Children's NursingSouthwark Campus
Children's nurses care for children and young people from birth to 18 years old in hospital and in the community. Children and young people can present with a range of conditions, from birth defects, accidents and injuries, to life-limiting or critical illnesses or which can result in the death of a child. Children's nurses work in partnership with the child/young person, their parents and carers, involving them in the planning and delivery of their child's care and treatment. Children's nurses, in collaboration with other professionals, strive to promote health in children and young people to ensure they enter into adulthood in good health.
This innovative and intensive two-year course aimed at students with an existing degree (2:2 or above) will equip you with the knowledge and skills to assess and manage the nursing care needs of children and families, including those with acute and long-term conditions. The course will also develop your abilities to consider the wider aspects influencing children's health needs, preparing you for future leadership in a changing and challenging health care system.
You'll experience a variety of clinical settings such as NHS acute Trusts, community placements, independent sector and voluntary sector organisations. Practice experience is gained in several world-renowned central and outer London hospitals including:
- Barts Health NHS Trust
- Evelina London Children's Hospital
- Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children NHS Foundation Trust
- Variety Children's Hospital at King's College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
- University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
You will be allocated one of these hospitals as your host Trust during the course.
Success on this course makes you eligible to register as a children's nurse with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC).
Top-up to MSc
By completing a dissertation (an extended and independent piece of written research) following graduation as a registered nurse you'll be able to gain a masters. Students who successfully complete the PgDip RN course have up to four years to complete the dissertation module via part time study.
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:
- Assessing needs, planning and providing care in Children's Nursing
This module will introduce students to the values, frameworks and skills that underpin children’s nursing. The module focuses on different methods and frameworks engage in holistic assessment underpinned by evidence based practice. The module is mapped against the NMC (2018) standards and prepares students to carry out fundamental nursing skills across the four fields of nursing utilising a combination of teaching methods including simulated practice.
- Applied physiology for children and young people
This module fosters the knowledge development of human embryology, anatomy and physiology based on prior knowledge and experience. There is a specific emphasis on application to child health and children’s nursing.
- Promoting health and preventing ill health
This module introduces public health concepts and contemporary public health issues, the principles of which can then be applied at an individual and population level and within a local, national and global context. This module of study is aligned to the NMC Standard Platform 2, Promoting health and preventing ill health (NMC 2018, Future nurse: Standards of proficiency for registered nurses).
- Pharmacology & medicines management in Children’s Nursing
This module aims to develop knowledge and understanding of pharmacology and medicines optimisation to ensure students are prescriber ready upon NMC registration. This module focuses on the nursing of children and young people, with an emphasis on the theoretical prescribing and practical application of administration. It will explore and discuss the general principles of pharmacodynamics and the complexities of pharmacokinetics. Commonly used medications will be explored in the context of a variety of care settings. This module will consider the role of the nurse in relation to the safe administration of medication in clinical practice, including competency with drug calculations.
- Enhancing and evaluating care in Children's Nursing
The module develops students’ ability to utilise clinical reasoning to respond to and manage unfamiliar and complex scenarios in children’s nursing, to evaluate care that is provided and to develop the skills of other members of the team. The module is mapped against the NMC (2018) standards and prepares students to carry out fundamental nursing skills across the four fields of nursing utilising a combination of teaching methods including simulated practice.
- Research in health and social care
The purpose of this module is to consolidate and extend students' knowledge of research approaches and methods and enhance their ability to be critical users of research evidence. The module examines philosophical and theoretical perspectives underpinning health and social care research approaches including exploration of research design and key aspects of data gathering and interpretation of both qualitative and quantitative analyses. The module will develop practical skills for identifying, critical reviewing and synthesising research evidence relevant to professional practice.
- Acute and complex care in Children’s Nursing
This module has been designed to integrate the application of theoretical and clinical knowledge, skills, attitudes and values required to underpin managing the acute and complex care of the child and young person and their families. The module will build upon a student’s knowledge and help develop a clinical reasoning approach to the complex care of the child and young person. The module aims to examine the assessment, observation, close monitoring and intervention required to manage the complex care of the child and young person.
- Mother and new-born
This virtual learning module introduces the student to the nature of normal childbirth and neonatal care. It explores the concepts of antenatal care, childbirth and postnatal care and the role of the midwife in the delivery of woman centred care. Utilising a variety of on line resources, students will share knowledge gained with their peers on labour, infant feeding and maternal care. This module ensures compliance with European Union Directive 2005/36/EC.
- Dissertation (MSc only)
This module provides the student with the opportunity to undertake original enquiry in a chosen area of professional practice, either through a systematic review of the literature or a research/work-based project such as service evaluation or audit. Students will be able to consolidate and extend their knowledge and understanding of research and evaluation design and associated methods of enquiry during six taught sessions. They will subsequently be supported by a named supervisor to develop the practical skills necessary to plan and carry out their chosen project.
Children's nursing as a career
Day-to-day duties of a children's nurse are varied; from administering drugs and injections, recording observations on vital signs such as pulse and temperature, to explaining treatments and procedures to gain consent from parents/guardians.
With experience, there are multiple opportunities for specialisation as your career progresses – such as: counselling, intensive care, cancer care, child protection, ambulatory care, orthopaedics and asthma.
Working hours and salary
Hours can be demanding for paediatric nurses. Long shifts, unsocial hours and possibly being called to work at the last minute are all common. A children's nurse starts on a salary around £24,000. However, with career progression and developed experience this can extend to well over £50,000. (Prospects)
All graduates are offered the opportunity to apply for employment with the NHS Trusts and hospitals where they gained experience during training when posts are available. The course has an excellent record in graduate employment, including working overseas, and covering a range of qualified nurse positions.
Successful graduates of the PgDip can top-up to an 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. Find out more about professional development opportunities through our online CPPD prospectus.
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.
Children's nurses work in a child-centred and multi-professional team, which is reflected in the variety of people who contribute to the course. Expert speakers include service users, such as parents and charitable organisations, expert practitioners and other lead professionals in child health and children's nursing.
The Nursing and Midwifery Council regulates nurses and midwives in England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland and the Islands.
Time spent on placement
During the course you will spend 50% of your time involved in academic study and 50% in clinical practice within a broad variety of healthcare settings. A clinical practice placement allows you to put theory into practice by working with a range of health professionals in clinical situations to develop the skills, knowledge and experience required to become a competent nurse. Although sometimes initially challenging, practice learning is one of the most interesting and exciting aspects of learning to be a nurse.
LSBU is affiliated with the top teaching hospitals and Trusts in London, including Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH). At LSBU you will experience a variety of clinical settings such as NHS acute Trusts, community placements, independent sector and voluntary sector organisations. You will also undergo a placement within the community.
We're proud to partner with:
- Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children NHS Trust
- University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
- Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
- Evelina London Children's Hospital at Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust
- Variety Children's Hospital at King's College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
- Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust
- Barts Health NHS Trust
Structure of placements
Placements are spread over the two years:
Your initial placements are designed to introduce you to working in a professional setting and to develop essential care and basic assessment skills, infection control and learn about safeguarding vulnerable people.
You will then build on the experience gained from Year one and will begin to take on more responsibility, progressing your clinical reasoning skills and begin to look after small groups of patients making confident, proactive decisions for their health and management with less supervision.
You will also have the opportunity to choose a four week elective placement in which you can pick a speciality (e.g. working with Clinical Nurse Specialists, specialist services or independent and 3rd sector providers), or a different context of care (e.g. prison, private health care facility, social care, charity, hospice etc.), or a lived experience of a certain condition (e.g. charity work, carer shadowing, etc.) During your final year, you will require less supervision and will be responsible for a small group of patients.
Support from a mentor
Whilst in the clinical placement we ensure our nursing students receive continuous support and guidance from a dedicated mentor and practice learning teams made up of lecturers and practitioners.
Find out more about nursing placements through our student and graduate testimonials.
Children's skills laboratories
We have two Children's skills laboratories which are set up like nursing wards. The skills labs are used by all student nurses throughout their on-campus study time at LSBU. They learn manual handling of patients, basic life support skills and skills specific to the field of nursing.
The nursing wards have simulator mannequins; SimMan, SimBaby and SimMom. These life-size mannequins are computer controlled and can be programmed with various clinical conditions. These are operated by a computer in real-time and so respond to a students' actions. They also allow students to see the outcome of specific interventions in certain scenarios, which could make the patient better or deteriorate quite quickly.
The mannequins are used to teach students how to recognise clinical signs, and to also associate those clinical signs with the actions they are taking to care for the patient. SimMan can be male or female with fully accurate anatomy and can breathe, blink, sweat, speak and groan in pain as well as have a pulse. Read more about SimMan.
Teaching and learning
As a Health and Social Care student, you will be allocated a named tutor during your first three weeks at LSBU. The role of your tutor is to be your primary contact for academic and professional development support.
Your tutor will support you to get the most of your time at LSBU, providing advice and signposting to other sources of support in the University. They should be the first person at the university that you speak to if you are having any difficulties that are affecting your work. These could be academic, financial, health-related or another type of problem.
You will have appointments with your personal tutor at least 4 times a year and after every placement throughout your course. You can contact your tutor for additional support by email or phone.
Applicants will be considered on an individual basis but will normally require:
- A Bachelor 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.
- Please make sure you have the required GCSE qualifications (or equivalent Level 2 qualifications) before applying for this course.
- Maths and English GCSEs/equivalent (at C or above) to meet the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) selection criterion.
How to apply
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This course is not open to international students.
Although the PgDip 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.
When making your UCAS application you will need to apply for your chosen field of nursing practice.
Five stages to your application
- Attend an Open Day
- Apply to us through UCAS
- Write your personal statement and use this as a tool to illustrate why you are right for the course
- Write your APL claim
- Prepare for your interview
Remember the personal statement is extremely important. This is essentially a selling tool on why you are right for the course. The personal statement is taken into consideration when shortlisting applicants for interview. Download our Personal Statement Guide (PDF File 160 KB).
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. You are permitted to claim up to 50% APL when applying to study with us using prior work and academic experience, for example: previous health or science based Degree studies, Foundation degree etc. You will be provided with guidance notes to assist you in constructing this.
If your application has been successfully shortlisted you will be invited, through UCAS Track, to attend an interview at a given time and date.
Read our interview page for important information about this stage and to help you prepare.
You will also need to complete a Declaration of character and conduct form (PDF File 166 KB) and the Interview declaration form (PDF File 44 KB) and bring these with you to your interview.
Preliminary fee assessment
At your interview we start the process of checking your eligibility for NHS funding.
In order for us to ascertain your eligibility for NHS funding, download the Preliminary Fee Assessment Form (PDF File 155 KB), complete and bring it with you to the interview. Also, ensure you bring along your evidence as noted in the letter which will enable us to assess your residency status.
These will be made available through UCAS Track usually within two weeks.
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.
Prepare to start
Disclosure Barring Service (DBS)
All pre-registration students need to be DBS cleared before going on placement. You’ll need to have an enhanced DBS check even if you have had one before and will not be able to go on placement until this is complete.
The DBS process is not difficult but can take some time so it's best to get started as soon as you receive your email. You will receive the email during Summer 2021.
DBS update service
If you're part of the DBS update service, your subscription is up to date and you already have a DBS certificate, please bring in your original green DBS certificate for the document check. To take advantage of the update service, your certificate needs to be classified as 'Enhanced' and workforce must be listed as 'Adult and Child'. If you have any queries, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
How to complete your DBS
Our DBS supplier, Verifile, will send you an email with all the details you need to complete your DBS.
Verifile will give you instructions to log into their system and complete your personal details and information. To complete the process, you'll need your passport or driving licence and 5-year address history including dates when you moved in/out.
You can use your application number to track the progress of your DBS.
When you've finished, your Disclosure Statement will be mailed to the most recent address in your submission, so please make sure it's correct. We don't automatically receive a copy of this Statement, which is why we need you to bring it in as part of the next step.
Frequently asked questions
My Social Work friends said they need to pay. Do I need to pay?
Only Social Work applicants need to pay for their DBS. It costs £46 and can be purchased on our online store.
What do I need to declare on my DBS?
Please include any and all major and minor, spent and unspent convictions, cautions, warning and reprimands, even if they relate to juvenile offences or seem trivial or unimportant. Some minor offences will not prevent you from going on placement or being offered a place on your course, but still need to be reviewed so it’s best to be honest and include everything. Also, the more information you include about any offences can help reduce the time it takes to assess them.
I’ve applied for/had a DBS in past. Do I need to do it again?
Yes, you do. You need to have an up-to-date DBS. Once you have received the email from our DBS supplier make sure you start the process straight away. All details of how to do this will be outlined in the email. If you don’t complete your DBS in the timeframe given, we may withdraw your offer even if term has already started. So it’s important that you get started as soon as you receive the email.
Why do I need an enhanced DBS check?
Government legislation requires all Higher Education Institutions who offer courses where students may come into unsupervised contact with children or vulnerable adults to have this check. These checks also help us to ensure duty of care to our students, and create a safer environment for patients seen by our students.
Who reviews my DBS?
As part of the University’s admissions process, declarations of any offence may be referred to a virtual panel made up of senior managers from partner NHS Trusts and/or other sectors within Health and Social Care. Any DBS that is considered by the panel will be anonymised. The panel members then deliberate and make a recommendation whether the application be rejected, accepted or request further information or documents.
When will I hear back from the panel about my DBS?
If you have declared an offence, we might ask for more information from you in writing which will help the panel make a decision. Once your declaration has been referred to the panel it can take up to 28 working days to be processed.
Which address do I use?
You need to put your current address on your DBS application because this is where your Statement will be mailed. If you’ve moved house between submitting and receiving your DBS, make sure you have mail forwarding set up so that you’ll receive your statement. If you’ve moved recently, make sure you have proof of your new address (such as a new bank statement) to bring for your document checks.
I’ve lost my statement. What do I do?
If you’ve lost your statement you will need to pay £46 to purchase a new one.
I’ve had my application rejected due to my DBS declaration/disclosure. Can I appeal the decision?
Yes. If your application has been rejected due to your DSB declaration/discloser, you will be sent a letter to confirm this. There will be instructions in the letter about how you can appeal and which supporting information you need to provide. Once a decision has been made you will receive a letter from the School Executive Team.
Once you have completed the online part of the DBS process, you will need to produce three accepted documents from this list to be verified.
Providing documents whilst campus is closed due to COVID-19
LSBU help desks are currently closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We are temporarily accepting ID documents and DBS certificates for Update Service checks by email. Documents should be clear and legible; DBS certificates should include all pages. Please send your documents to email@example.com.
Document check on campus
Southwark: Southwark Student Help Desk in the K2 building Monday – Friday between 9am-11am or 1pm-4pm
Havering: come to reception at Havering Monday – Friday between 8:30-10:30am, 12-2pm, 4-5pm
Document check at the Post Office
If you’re not able to come to campus, you can get your documents checked and certified at the Post Office for a fee of £10.50. To do this, make photocopies of your three accepted ID documents and take your DBS form, copies and originals of your documents to the Post Office. The Post Office will stamp the form and photocopies and given them back to you. Email your post office receipt, stamped form and stamped documents to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
Occupational Health (OH)
An exciting part of many of our Health and Social Care courses is the opportunity to learn off-campus and work with patients, clients and/or service users. Before you start, we need to make sure that you have the correct levels of immunisations.
The second part of your occupational health check is to get any inoculations that you may need from your GP. When attending your GP appointment, please take printed copies of these two documents with you.
Occupational Health appointment
After these steps are complete you will receive an email from OHWorks Ltd inviting you to attend an appointment on-campus with an Occupational Health Nurse. These appointments take place during the week and sometimes when your classes have already started.
The OH team have prepared this guide which outlines what to expect at each stage. If you have queries or concerns about your Occupational Health clearance or inoculations please contact the Occupational Health team.
Frequently asked questions
I don't want to get vaccinations. Can I opt out of these?
We have a duty of care to students and patients and so need to make sure you have the correct level of immunisation before you go on placement. You won’t be able to go on placement if you don’t have this or are not OH cleared.
My local GP doesn’t have my vaccination history. What should I do?
Contact the OH team at email@example.com who will be able to advise you.
What if I can’t make my OH appointment?
Please contact the OH team to reschedule at least 48 hours in advance. Remember that you won’t be able to go on placement until you’re cleared.
I’ve already registered with LSBU’s Disability and Dyslexia Support Unit (DDS). Do I still need to tell the OH Nurse about my condition?
Yes. Tell the OH Nurse about all conditions including specific learning difficulties even if you’ve declared these in the past. This will allow us to make reasonable adjustments whilst you’re on placement.
If I’ve declared a condition to the OH Nurse, do I need to register with LSBU’s Disability and Dyslexia Support Unit as well?
The information you share with the OH Nurse will be treated with confidence, meaning that it won’t be automatically shared with the DDS team. The DDS team can help you to receive support for your lectures, assignments and exams so it’s worth to register with them and provide evidence of your condition if you need this support.
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 and some practical sessions in our skills laboratories will require you to wear a uniform and name badge. You will be measured for uniforms specific to your course as part of your Welcome Week activities after enrolment. In the meantime, we have prepared answers to frequently asked questions that you might find useful.
Frequently asked questions
Do I get a uniform for when I go on placement?
Yes, LSBU will supply you with uniforms for your placement with the exception of Social Work and Health and Social Care BSc students who are not required to wear uniforms for their placements.
Which uniforms will I receive?
Nursing and midwifery students will receive two pairs of trousers, three tunics and a name badge. Polo shirts will be issued instead of tunics for students studying mental health nursing, physiotherapy, chiropractic and sport rehabilitation. ODP students will receive one set of scrubs top and trousers.
How long do the uniforms need to last?
The items are to last for the duration of your programme of study.
How do I know what size I am?
A measuring and distribution service will be available by the uniform provider at both Southwark and Havering campuses. As garments are fitted for work purposes they need to allow for flexibility of movement so it’s best to have the uniform provider measure you up.
Am I able to request a longer tunic?
You can request a longer tunic for religious or medical reasons. To do this, you should advise the uniform supplier at the measuring session. These tunics are 2 inches longer and sleeves finish just above the elbows. Due to infection control, full length sleeves are not permitted.
Can I use a preferred name or a nickname on my name badge?
Name badges are professional and need to include your formal names.
What do I do if I lose or damage my name badge?
You can order a replacement name badge direct with the uniform provider. Badges need to be worn at all times when you are at placement.
Can I order more uniforms?
You are welcome to purchase additional items at Work in Style. You will need to log in using your student ID and then follow the step-by-step instruction. Please note that dresses are not available.
Can I try on my uniforms?
You should try on your uniforms the day you receive them so that the staff at the measuring service can help arrange any size exchanges. If you choose not to try on your uniforms and require different sizes at a later date you will need to purchase these through the uniform provider’s online portal at your own cost.
What do I do with my uniform after I complete my studies?
They are yours to keep – you do not need to return the garments.
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.
PGDip Childrens Nursing - Year 1 FT Southwark SEPT
|UK fee: £9250||International fee: £0|
|AOS/LSBU code: 5445||Session code: 1FS00|
|Total course fee:|
The international fee for this course shows as "£0" because this course is not open to international students.
Funding for pre-registration postgraduate programmes
Since August 2018 new postgraduate pre-registration nursing, midwifery and allied health professional students have been able to access loans from the Student Loans Company. Accessing loans provides 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.