Public Health Practice SCPHN School Nursing PGDip - 2024/5

Awarding body

University of Surrey

Teaching institute

University of Surrey


FHEQ Level 7

Final award and programme/pathway title

PGDip Public Health Practice SCPHN School Nursing

Subsidiary award(s)

Award Title
PGCert Public Health Practice SCPHN School Nursing

Professional recognition

Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC)
Recognised by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) as a post-registration and CPD qualification.

Modes of study

Route code Credits and ECTS Credits
Full-time PTA56917 120 credits and 60 ECTS credits
Part-time PTA56918 120 credits and 60 ECTS credits

QAA Subject benchmark statement (if applicable)

Other internal and / or external reference points

NMC (2022a) Standards of proficiency for specialist community public health nurses NMC (2022b) Part 3: Standards for post-registration programmes NMC (2018a) Part 1: Standards framework for nursing and midwifery education NMC (2018b) Part 2: Standards for student supervision and assessment

Faculty and Department / School

Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences - School of Health Sciences

Programme Leader

JONES Felicity (Health Sci.)

Date of production/revision of spec


Educational aims of the programme

  • To develop school nurses who undertake assessments of school age children and young people that are child centred, safeguarding those who are most vulnerable, advocating for fairness and social justice to support children and young people to reach their full potential.
  • To develop critically autonomous specialist public health nurses in school nursing who can adapt and tailor their response to enable them to improve population health whilst promoting human rights and addressing inequalities.
  • To equip school nursing students, in partnership with health, education and other agencies, with the skills to lead and transform public health practice through the application of the latest evidence and research whilst considering the impact of diversity on health and equitable service provision.
  • To equip school nursing students with the knowledge and skills to design, deliver and evaluate culturally competent, maturity appropriate, person-centred health promotion to empower school age children, young people and families to make informed choices in relation to health behaviours.
  • To provide school nurse students with the theoretical and practical competencies to meet the standards of proficiency for entry to the NMC register as a SCPHN School Nurse.

Programme learning outcomes

Attributes Developed Awards Ref.
Critically evaluate and apply the evidence base and public health data in order to promote health and prevent ill health and disability that are influenced by genetics, life choices, inequality, environmental factors, non-communicable diseases, trauma, public health hazards and emergencies and pandemics. KCPT PGCert, PGDip
Identify opportunities to lead, influence and collaborate with other agencies, organisations and professionals to critically evaluate and develop innovative, sustainable public health interventions that inform and improve health across the life course within communities. KCPT PGDip
To develop innovative and culturally competent, autonomous practitioners who are committed to advocating for and improving people¿s fundamental human right for health and wellbeing, reflecting the contemporary developments in the delivery of public health. KCPT PGCert, PGDip
Demonstrate a critical awareness of the impact of vulnerability on children and families and analyse policy; to play a key role in the safeguarding of those people who are most vulnerable in society to ensure early intervention and prevention. KCPT PGCert, PGDip
To develop advanced assessment and surveillance skills in order to identify the unique health needs of individuals, families and communities in order to address health inequalities. KPT PGDip
Critically apply theory to the biopsychosocial assessment in relation to child development, considering physical and mental health, vulnerability, capacity, consent, cognitive ability confidentiality, intergenerational cycles of dependency and adversity to safely manage challenges and conflicts both in terms of individual and population health. KCPT PGCert, PGDip
Demonstrate application of specialist knowledge and evidence to build trusting relationships in order to promote, support and improve the health and wellbeing of school aged children and young people, recognising the rights of the child and the increased vulnerability at transition stages. KPT PGDip
Applying the theory and evidence base, critically assess existing services to identify gaps in order to design, deliver and evaluate public health interventions that respect the rights of parents and children; ensuring their voices are heard with regard to equity, diversity and inclusion. KCPT PGCert, PGDip
Apply advanced communication and leadership knowledge and skills to lead teams and promote the visibility of school nursing services and ensure accessibility through engagement with school aged children and young people, parents, carers, families, school staff and other stakeholders. KPT PGDip
Demonstrate critical awareness of the impact of socio-economic disadvantage including digital poverty, and work with others to facilitate policy change that supports school aged children and young people to achieve their potential. KCPT PGCert, PGDip

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Programme structure


This programme is studied full-time This programme is studied full-time over one year, consisting of 120 credits at FHEQ level 7. Possible exit awards include:
- Postgraduate Certificate (60 credits)


This programme is studied part-time over two years, consisting of 120 credits at FHEQ level 7. Possible exit awards include:
- Postgraduate Certificate (60 credits)

Programme Adjustments (if applicable)



Opportunities for placements / work related learning / collaborative activity

Associate Tutor(s) / Guest Speakers / Visiting Academics Y
Professional Training Year (PTY) N
Placement(s) (study or work that are not part of PTY) N
Clinical Placement(s) (that are not part of the PTY scheme) Y Yes
Study exchange (Level 5) N
Dual degree N

Other information

On achieving a Post Graduate Diploma Public Health Practice in SCPHN School Nursing, students will be eligible for registration with the NMC as a Specialist Community Public Health Nurse School Nurse. The student award must be registered with the NMC within five years of successfully completing the programme and if a student fails to do so they will have to undertake additional education and training or gain such experience as specified in NMC standards for the award to be registered. (NMC 2022b 5.2).

Exiting the programme with a Post Graduate Certificate in Public Health Practice will not lead to any NMC award. Any combination of modules, apart from Developing Autonomous Practice in SCPHN (School Nursing), can be used to meet the 60 credits for the Post Graduate Certificate.

The School of Health Sciences is committed to developing graduates with strengths in Employability, Digital Capabilities, Global and Cultural Capabilities, Sustainability, and Resourcefulness and Resilience.¿ This programme is specifically designed to allow students to develop knowledge, skills, and capabilities in the following areas, enhanced detail is provided within each module specification:¿¿

Digital capabilities: Students will develop their digital capabilities by the critical use of information, problem solving and innovative approaches, such as technology enhanced learning.¿ These skills will be transferable to their role as a specialist community public health nursing and a leader where public health data underpins the identification of health needs and supports service development. The students work in a dynamic, modern health or social care environment, currently driven by the need for innovation in digital health and transformation of services. The modes of student learning have been designed to encourage student to engage with available digital resources (e.g., self-directed, blended, hybrid, asynchronous/synchronous).¿¿

Employability: All students on the programme will be a NMC registered nurse (level 1) or NMC registered midwife. They will be developing skills and knowledge that can be applied to their role and will enhance their future employability and career aspirations. On achieving a Post Graduate Diploma Public Health Practice in SCPHN School Nursing, students will be eligible for registration with the NMC as a Specialist Community Public Health Nurse School Nurse. Therefore enhancing their professional role and developing employability is core to this programme.

Global and cultural capabilities: To mirror the diversity within Health and Social care environments, the programme incorporates perspectives and practices from a range of cultures, thus enabling students to diversify their knowledge and reflect on different experiences in a healthcare setting.¿¿¿The importance of equity, diversity and inclusion, is core to this pathway and the NMC (2022a) Standards of proficiency for specialist community public health nurses. This is achieved in a variety of ways, but particularly through engagement with clinical experts and users of the services to expand on the expertise within the teaching team.

Resourcefulness and Resilience: Throughout the programme students are guided to develop the ability to reflect, evaluate, adapt, and respond flexibly to ever changing needs of working in a community setting as a Specialist Community Public Health Nurse School Nurse. This pillar is fundamental to the development of effective and safe health professionals. Scenario based examples are used during the programme, utilise experiential learning theory to draw on the students considerable clinical and life experiences, to develop students¿ ability to respond effectively to situations within their professional field.

Sustainability: Students are encouraged to recognise and respond to the need for sustainable community public health provision. Throughout the programme students will be developing skills to enable them to advocate for and improve people¿s fundamental human right for health and wellbeing through leading and developing innovate services that reflect contemporary developments in the delivery of public health and the United Nations¿ Sustainable Development Goals. As a programme team we are very aware of the responsibility we also hold, supporting programmes that are funded by central government, and therefore state funded, utilising a hybrid approach, enables clinical colleagues to engage with programme design and delivery, but where possible in a virtual format to ensure they remain able to support national healthcare services.

Quality assurance

The Regulations and Codes of Practice for taught programmes can be found at:

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2024/5 academic year.