Only Social Work applicants need to pay for their DBS. It costs £46 and can be purchased on our online store.
BSc (Hons) Learning Disability NursingSouthwark Campus
A learning experience
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. 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.
Success on this course makes you eligible to register as a learning disabilities nurse with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC).
We offer the opportunity for all undergraduate Home/EU students to undertake a work placement, internship or work experience while studying a full-time course starting in September 2020.
Why Learning Disability Nursing at LSBU?
- Professional accreditation - the course is approved by the Nursing and Midwifery Council.
- Great professional links - graduates of this course are eligible to register as a learning disabilities nurse with the Nursing and Midwifery Council.
- Our heritage - LSBU has been developing, delivering and evaluating courses in the field of learning disability nursing for the past 20 years.
- We’re affiliated with world-renowned hospitals and Trusts in London and the South East, so we’re industry relevant.
- Fantastic work experience opportunities - you’ll work in a variety of clinical settings such as NHS Trusts, community placements, independent sector and voluntary sector organisations.
- We have a counselling and communication suite as part of our facilities for role playing realistic work-based scenarios.
- Joint 1st in the UK for career prospects (Guardian League Table 2020).
- 1st in UK for overall satisfaction and for learning opportunies and community (National Student Survey 2019).
For this course, we’ve responded to best practice guidance and changing service demand, and developed an innovative and contemporary course of study, leading to a Registered Nurses Learning Disability (RNLD) nursing qualification.
The course focuses on theories of learning disability nursing and practice, healthcare planning and assessment, and enabling practitioners to be able to support people with learning disabilities of any age. The course has a holistic focus, taking into account physical, mental, emotional, spiritual and cultural wellbeing.
You’ll have the opportunity to gain knowledge and develop sound communication, interpersonal and therapeutic intervention skills and become fully equipped to meet the additional requirements of patients with more complex needs such as dual diagnosis and multiple and profound disability.
Some compulsory skills sessions may take place in the evening.
- Concepts of inter-professional and collaborative practice
This module introduces the place and value of inter-professional and collaborative working in health and social care delivery. The module aims to support the development of the necessary communication, personal, partnership working and reflective practice skills required to meet the needs of clients/carers and diverse populations who are at the centre of inter-professional health and social care delivery. You’ll work collaboratively on-line to explore and develop understanding of the purpose, scope and range of inter-professional and collaborative working.
- Introducing evidence-based practice in learning disability nursing
This module introduces the nature of evidence in health and social care and the importance of evidence-based practice for people with learning disabilities and their identified circles of support. You’ll develop skills in accessing evidence, gain familiarity with the library, including use of electronic databases, and learn how to use the university’s referencing system for your material. You’ll learn key terms relating to research and evidence-based practice and be introduced to an evidence-based practice model. The module also sets out the context for the conduct of health and social care research, including funding and ethical aspects.
- Essentials of biosciences for health
The module provides understanding of the structure of the body’s’ systems, their function and how the human body maintains health. As the structure of organs and body systems is closely linked to their function the two sciences of anatomy and physiology cannot be separated as structure determines the functions each organ or system can perform. This will form a basis for future learning and application. It has been designed to run across the whole year to ensure consistency and application as students experience a variety of practice areas.
- Contexts and concepts in learning disabilities
This module will explore the past, present and future contexts of life for people with learning disabilities and the role of learning disability nursing. The module provides the foundation for working with people who have a learning disability in a range of settings, across the lifespan. Historical factors that have influenced and shaped current practice will be highlighted. You’ll gain insight into the pathways which have influenced current legislation, social policies, ethical stance, and approaches to health and disability.
- Practice skills for learning disabilities nursing
In this module, you’ll focus on understanding and exploring the clinical practice skills required for the role of the learning disability nurse working across the contexts where the care and support of people with learning disabilities is delivered. The module considers the lifespan approach to bio-psycho-social human development, health and wellbeing when considering the clinical practice skills required to adequately provide safe and effective health care to people with learning disabilities. You’ll develop skills in recognising deterioration in mental and physical health and will develop specialist communication skills.
- Inter-professional learning in practice
This module builds upon the Concepts of inter-professional learning and collaborative practice gained in year one of the programme and expands to look at the environment, teamwork and collaboration. It will promote the exploration of inter-professional practice in the clinical situation working with peers and health consumers.
- Appraising evidence-based practice in learning disability nursing
This module considers how research questions are generated from practice with application to Learning Disability Nursing. The steps in conducting research and audit and the main research methods in health and social care are explained and associated ethical aspects are discussed. Methods of analysing and presenting different types of research data are introduced. The rationale for appraising research is considered and critical appraisal tools are reviewed. The module equips Learning Disability Nursing Students with the core skills and understanding to appraise evidence and assess its appropriateness to be implemented into practice.
- Contemporary issues in learning disability nursing
In this module you’ll have the opportunity to investigate and participate in informed debate around the pertinent trends, latest evidence, political directives and health and social care challenges, as they emerge, so that people with learning disabilities are 'treated the same as everyone else (even when they have to change things to make this happen’).
- Applied physiology across the lifespan
This module encompasses the growth and development of people with learning disabilities and builds knowledge of applied physiology in relation to complex health needs. There will be a range of practice experiences in year 2 and 3 of the programme. You’ll utilise a `hub and spoke` model in which the hub is the main focus of the practice learning whilst other learning opportunities are also accessed e.g. visits, shadowing activities, time in other related services. In year 2 of the programme, you’ll have had three learning disability nursing practice experiences of 24 weeks in total. As you progress through these practice learning experiences, you’re required to develop and demonstrate skills in assessment (including risk), planning care and making simple evidence-based interventions.
- Specialist interventions in learning disability nursing
This module will build on your knowledge of the range of issues that affect individuals who have a learning disability, offering opportunities to explore evidence-based supports and interventions to meet the needs of this group. The module will facilitate the application of contemporary theory to practice, developing your ability to find and apply relevant research. This module will also enhance communication skills to work in partnership with individuals with learning disabilities, their identified circle of support and the wider multidisciplinary team, in order to best meet the needs of those they are supporting in the practice settings.
- Improving quality, change management and leadership
This module will explore leadership, quality improvement and change within organisations from an inter-professional perspective. The module looks at a strategic, evidence-based approach to change management in a range of environments, integrating the perspectives of service users.
- Implementing evidence-based practice in learning disability nursing
In this module you’ll focus on a topic relevant to your practice experience and will examine underpinning evidence, identifying limitations and drawing conclusions. You’ll examine evidence-based practice models and analyse factors that influence the implementation of best evidence in practice. You’ll reflect on how implementing best evidence affects the experiences of people with learning disabilities and their identified circles of support.
- Emerging trends in learning disabilities
This module focuses on new and developing trends in four areas of learning disability practice. Following a short series of introductory sessions, you’ll be able to choose student led seminars that focus on community learning disability nursing, mental health in learning disability nursing, forensic services or social enterprise. You’ll choose your seminar based on your intended first destination to improve your employability.
- Complexity in the world of people with learning disabilities
In this module you’ll gain in-depth knowledge of underlying causal conditions, physical and mental health conditions and related behavioural phenotypes. There is a critical focus on pharmacology and medicine optimisation, and you’ll develop the specialist knowledge to choose and implement appropriate and effective specialist interventions.
- Promoting self-determination and inclusion
In this module you’ll present issues that relate to individuals and families with whom you have worked with in the practice setting and will work in small groups to develop a campaign on relevant issues. This module provides you with advanced knowledge and skills to challenge poor practice and to promote person-centredness at all levels of support for people with learning disabilities.
Our vocational approach to teaching means you’ll develop impeccable communication, interpersonal and therapeutic intervention skills. These will prepare you for a career in a range of learning disability nursing opportunities across many different settings – including the NHS, independent and voluntary sectors. And if you successfully complete the course, you’ll have the requirements to register with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) as a registered Nurse - Learning Disabilities (RNLD).
Your day-to-day duties could include leading activities that promote health, well-being and independence - giving practical help and encouragement with everything from personal hygiene to finding a job. With experience, there are many opportunities for specialising as your career progresses, into areas such as health management, specialist activities, supported living management, research or nurse education.
And as a graduate from this course, you’ll be able to apply for further study at postgraduate level. You can find out more about professional development courses available 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.
The course is linked to the Nursing and Midwifery Council which regulates nurses and midwives in England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland and the Islands.
The Nursing and Midwifery Council regulates nurses and midwives in England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland and the Islands.
During the course you’ll 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. It can be difficult at first but practice learning is one of the most interesting and exciting aspects of learning to be a nurse.
At LSBU, you’ll experience a variety of clinical settings such as NHS acute Trusts, community placements, independent sector and voluntary sector organisations.
Placements are spread over the three years:
You’ll have two clinical placements. These 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’ll have three clinical placements of around eight weeks each and building on the experience gained from year one will begin to take on more responsibility, progressing your clinical reasoning skills and begin to look after one or two patients of your own under supervision.
Year three will involve two clinical placements, plus one four week elective placement in which you can choose a speciality (e.g. working with Clinical Nurse Specialists, specialist services or independent and third 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 this year, you will require less supervision and will be responsible for a small group of patients making confident, proactive decisions for their health and management.
While you’re in the clinical placement we’ll ensure that our nursing students receive continuous support and guidance from a dedicated mentor and practice learning teams made up of lecturers and practitioners.
Counselling and Communication Suite
Our counselling and communication suite is the ideal place for Mental Health and Learning Disability students to role play realistic work-based scenarios. It contains two adjoining rooms with a one-way window and audio link, that allows students to practice one-to-one situations with 'clients' while they are monitored by teaching staff in the adjoining room.
Teaching and learning
|Lectures and seminars||Self-directed study||Work-based placements|
- A Level BBC and 5 GCSEs A*-C including Maths and English or equivalent (reformed GCSEs grade 4 or above); or;
- BTEC National Diploma DMM and GCSEs Maths and English A*-C (reformed GCSEs grade 4 or above) or equivalent; or;
- Access to HE Diploma in Nursing or similar with 15 Distinctions and 30 Merits and GCSEs Maths and English A*-C (reformed GCSEs grade 4 or above) or equivalent; or
- Equivalent level 3 qualifications worth 112 UCAS points; and GCSEs Maths and English A*-C (reformed GCSEs grade 4 or above) or equivalent.
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
- Has a 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 comprehends the responsibilities of the role
- Personal qualities and values in line with those expected by the NHS constitution.
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.
Been out of study for a long time? Or maybe you haven’t met the entry requirements of your chosen degree? Our entry year acts as a bridge to degree-level studies.
How to apply
|Mode||Duration||Start date||Application code||Application method|
All full-time undergraduate 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.
Four 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
- 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).
If your initial application is successful you will be invited to interview through UCAS Track.
Read our interview page for important information about this stage and to help you prepare.
Information regarding results
When the interview has finished you will be given information and advice as to what happens next, should you be either successful or unsuccessful.
These will be made available through UCAS Track usually within two weeks.
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.
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 email a copy to email@example.com and then bring in your hard copy 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?
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'll need to bring your DSB Statement along with three accepted documents from this list to be verified at either our Southwark or Havering campus. Document checks can be completed for free at either campus, no appointment is necessary.
If you cannot get to either of our campuses, you can have your documents checked and certified at the Post Office for a small fee.
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 email@example.com.
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 first part of your occupational health check is to complete the online questionnaire which our occupational health provider will review.
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 (PDF File 322 KB) 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
Before starting your course, you may want to check or practice your numeracy skills. The National Numeracy Challenge is a free online tool that helps you learn, revise and quiz your essential numeracy skills. You’ll also be able to get a certificate to show your efforts.
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.
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.
Most health and social care courses’ practice placements will operate outside normal working hours e.g. evenings, nights, weekends and bank holidays.
Your holiday periods will not follow the normal University timetable because of placements. You’ll receive more details once you start your course.
Fees and funding
For more information, including how and when to pay, see our fees and funding section for undergraduate students.
Please check your fee status and whether you are considered a Home, EU or International student for fee-paying purposes and for our regulatory returns, by reading the UKCISA regulations.
Possible fee changes
The University reserves the right to increase its fees in line with changes to legislation, regulation and any government guidance or decisions.
The fees for international students are reviewed annually and the University reserves the right to increase the tuition fees in line with the RPIX measure of inflation up to 4 per cent.
We offer several types of fee reduction through our scholarships and bursaries. Find the full list and other useful information on our scholarships page.
Courtney Francis, alumnus, BSc (Hons) Learning Disability Nursing
Courtney Francis studied BSc (Hons) Learning Disability Nursing at LSBU and is now developing a successful career in this field
Jenny Ash, BSc (Hons) Learning Disability Nursing
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.
Nursing skills labs
Our realistic wards and lifelike mannequins allow a safe environment to practice