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Postgraduate Diploma in Specialist Community Public Health Nursing

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University of Suffolk on Ipswich Waterfront
Institution code: 

Full-time: One year

Part-time: Two years

Typical Offer: 

Qualifcations, employment and professional registration are all required for this course.

Please see Entry Requirements below


(With pathways in Health Visiting and School Nursing)

This programme has been developed in response to a growing need for practitioners to respond to the emerging public health policy agenda and develop knowledge, understanding and skills of public health approaches to practice (Department of Health 2003; Department of Health 2004a; Department of Health 2004b; Department of Health 2005a; Department of Health 2005b; Department of Health 2006, Department of Health 2010). 

Such a context of practice requires that health care professionals develop a comprehensive range of skills to enable them to develop and lead population based services designed to tackle inequalities in health, prevent ill health and work in partnership with individuals, families and communities. 

Actualising health for wellbeing in meaningful, ethical and human caring ways for individuals and communities requires leadership and public health at Masters level thinking, and beyond.

The Department of Health Studies is committed to embedding the NHS Constitution Values into everything we do; they define the behaviours and expectations of all our staff and students underpinning the work we do in the university and in the practice setting. You can view the full NHS England Constitution and Values on the Gov.UK website

In the future there will be opportunity for students to undertake a dissertation and achieve a Masters degree. 

The programme is committed to ongoing development of SCPHN s and is contemporary in its content and delivery. A blended learning approach is used with time spent at University and in practice; students are supported in practice by an experienced practice teacher. Innovative methods of teaching incorporate virtual learning, wikis, blogs and discussions to enhance student focused education. 

Current developments in practice are recognising a national need for SCPHN practitioners; developing study to incorporate enhanced critical thinking, research knowledge, and reflective practitioners has potential to augment delivery of quality services to individuals and communities. The Masters programme encourages students to develop these skills.

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Further information about the University's relationship with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) is available in the PSRB register.

Course modules

The Postgraduate Diploma in Specialist Community Public Health Nursing will enable registered nurses and midwives to achieve the standards of proficiency required to practice and register as a Specialist Community Public Health Nurse (NMC 2004) within the identified fields of health visiting and school nursing. 

The programme for the Postgraduate Diploma in Specialist Community Public Health Nursing is underpinned by the ten key principles of public health practice which can be grouped into four domains:

  • The search for health needs;
  • Stimulation of awareness of health needs;
  • Influence on policies affecting health;
  • Facilitation of health-enhancing activities.
Full downloadable information regarding all University of Suffolk courses, including Key Facts, Course Aims, Course Structure and Assessment, is available in the Definitive Course Record.

Fees and finance

The Specialist Community Public Health Nursing courses are either commissioned by the Health Education East of England or contract funded. Please contact the Infozone for further information regarding fees.

Entry requirements

Academic Requirements

Professional qualification

First degree, or evidence of working at Masters or the ability to work at this level

Non-academic Requirements

Current registration with the NMC and employment in health/social care setting.

Transferring Credit

If you have previously studied at higher education level before you may be able to transfer credits to a related course at the University of Suffolk and reduce the period of study time necessary to achieve your degree.


Senior Lecturer

Associate Professor

Lecturer in Specialist Community Public Health Nursing