Key Facts

Course Title: Specialist Community Nursing (PgDip) - District Nursing Pathway
Course type: Full time (12 month secondment)
Contact Details:Course Administration Office
Website: Go to School homepage
Faculty: Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences
Subject Area: Nursing


Keele University School of Nursing & Midwifery offer this pathway as an NMC approved, full-time one-year Specialist Community Nursing programme: District Nursing. Specialist Community Nurses provide up-to–date, specialist and highly technical care to patients in their own environments as well as supporting families and carers. As a district nurse today you need to be highly skilled and educated to manage the changing demographics of communities and populations you will work within; you will be expected to lead teams of both qualified and support staff in a community setting. Recent government policy outlines a call to action and model for district nursing services and this award, providing a qualification in Specialist Community Nursing (District Nursing Pathway), is timely to support this, leading to a recordable specialist qualification with the NMC.

For information on how to apply please contact our administration team at

Aims of the Course

The course has been designed to produce specialist community nursing practitioners who are safe, competent, and professional, to lead district nursing in a community nursing setting. This includes meeting Nursing & Midwifery Council (NMC) standards for Specialist Community Nursing, Education and Practice. You will develop your leadership skills whilst on the programme, so that you are able to plan and lead services and initiatives which promote health, support long-term conditions, and provide specialist nursing care, including community practitioner prescribing as applicable to your role. You will achieve the recordable qualification through the Postgraduate diploma; however, there is the opportunity to undertake a dissertation through a part-time route to convert this post-graduate diploma to a Master’s Degree.

A new vision developed for District Nursing (DH 2013) Care in local communities: a new vision and model for district nursing will underpin the content and delivery of the pathway with a focus on 'Compassion in Practice' underpinning the new model focussing on: 

  • Population and case load management
  • Support and care for patients who are unwell, recovering at home and at end of life
  • Support and care for independence

The aim of this programme is to support the development and enhancement of essential knowledge and skills in the registered practitioner to equip them for a career in specialist community nursing. This will be actualised through building upon the theoretical and clinical basis of their specialised area of practice, through delivery of a coherent programme of study.

The District Nursing pathway will have a contemporary focus and is designed to meet the requirements of the Nursing & Midwifery Council (NMC) Standards for Specialist Education and Practice (UKCC 2001).

The programme will support students in applying their skills of critical reflection to enhance their professional, personal and academic development. It will encourage the development of sound District Nursing practice based on the critical application of research and evidence and will introduce students to theories and practice of leadership and partnership working.

Entry Requirements

  • Evidence of previous study and working in a relevant community role.
  • Secondment by employer.

Course Content

Postgraduate Certificate, 

Specialist Community Nursing (District Nursing).





Module 1

NUR-30149 Evidence Based Practice

15 Credits

Module 2

NUR-40042 Clinical Leadership 

15 Credits

Module 3


Specialist Community Nursing Practice

30 credits

Module 4

NUR-40056 Working in partnership to

support people with long term conditions.

15 credits

Module 5

NUR-40014 Health Assessment in Clinical Practice

30 credits


Module 6

NUR-30177 V100 Community Nurse Prescribing (V100)

15 credits



Option to return to complete MSc Specialist Community Nursing (District Nursing).





Module 7


NUR-40037 – Advanced Work-based Practice Project

60 Credits

Teaching and Assessment

The principal learning and teaching methods used in the programme are:

  • Lectures, seminars and workshops: The core of each module delivery mode is a series of face to face tutor-led or group-led seminars or workshops.
  • Web-based learning using the Keele Learning Environment (KLE), Blackboard. All modules on the programme maintain an active web presence where module details and learning materials can be accessed on campus and remotely. 
  • Group work and peer support. All modules use focused group work and class discussions within face to face tutor time
  • Project supervision. Participants on the MSc working on their dissertation / advanced work-based practice project are supported by group and one to one meetings with an experienced supervisor. In many instances, there will be an assigned co-supervisor to offer additional support and guidance from a clinical background.
  • Directed independent study. Most of the study hours for each module comprise independent learning by expecting participants to add depth and breadth to their knowledge of topics, to practice skills and to reflect on critical incidents and their practice. 

Additional Costs

Apart from additional costs for text books, inter-library loans and potential overdue library fines we do not anticipate any additional costs for this postgraduate programme.

The Postgraduate Diploma Specialist Community Nursing (District Nursing) award, recordable with the NMC on successful completion, comprises six taught modules to meet individual or service requirements in year 1 as a full-time student.

Students who have met the requirements for the award of a Postgraduate Diploma will be eligible to proceed into year 2, onto the Masters’ award, subject to the rules of progression. The award of MSc Specialist Community Nursing (District Nursing) requires successful completion of the 60 credit NUR-40037: Advanced Work Based Practice Project module on a part-time basis.


Please click here to see BSc (Hons) programme.