MSc (Hons) Community Health Studies (Specialist Practitioner - Community Children’s Nursing)

This multi-professional MSc Community Children’s Nursing course is designed for registered children’s nurses wishing to consolidate or prepare for a leadership role within a community context.

Being able to critically analyse and evaluate both policy and practice is a central focus of this course. It aims to develop professionals who can independently access information and use it to critically assess, evaluate and disseminate the evidence base for community nursing care.

It will advance your knowledge of the management of children with complex needs, life-limiting conditions and specialist care requirements, and provide you with the skills to support families for whom the focus is providing care closer to home.

You will develop specialist knowledge in decision making, law, ethics and multi-disciplinary teamwork, as well as the confidence to lead, develop and bring about change in community and primary care.

You will gain a recordable specialist practice qualification in Community Children’s Nursing as well as the Masters qualification, and have your professional competencies, as set out by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC), assessed in theory and practice through 40 days of practical clinical placements. This Community Children's Nursing course is currently funded by the Workforce, Education and Development Services department of Welsh Government.


2021/22 update: Blended learning approach for USW courses.

[Update excludes online-only courses].

The wellbeing and health and safety of our students and staff is paramount to us. We are committed to delivering all of our courses and services as safely as possible. Due to the pandemic, the methods and activities adopted for the coming year may differ from those previously published and may be subject to further change through the course of your study if such change is necessary due to public health concerns, health and safety guidance or in response to Government Guidelines. USW is committed to providing you with a fantastic student experience and a wealth of support, and you can hear how students have benefitted from this approach here: Learn more about blended learning.

Study Mode
Duration Start Date Campus Campus Code
Part-time 3 Years September Glyntaff A

Year One

During the first year of study, you will undertake three core modules:

  • Fundamentals of Community Practice - 30 credits
    This module prepares you to work safely, effectively and efficiently in a community setting, with patients, clients, families, colleagues and members of multi-disciplinary and multi-agency teams.

  • Decision Making - 10 credits
    This module enables you to critically explore decision making processes as they relate to practice.

  • Specialist Practitioner (Community Children’s Nursing 20 credits)
    This module prepares you to develop specialist knowledge and specialist clinical expertise, within the complex and changing context of caring for, and working with, children, young people, and their families in community settings.

Year Two

During the second year of study, you will undertake one core module and two optional modules. Optional modules will be decided at the end of year one. Students must study 60 credits per year.

Core module

  • Research methods for practice - 20 credits 
    This module will provide you with a comprehensive grounding in research paradigms and methods. And will enable you to demonstrate critical appraisal and synthesis regarding the relationship between the research context, research question, method and knowledge development.

Optional modules

  • Law, Ethics and Nurse Prescribing (20 credits)
    This module you to utilise and make judgements about the legal and ethical frameworks relating to patient and clients in society, to analyse your accountability, and to prepare you to prescribe safely, appropriately and cost effectively from the community practitioner formulary for nurse prescribers.

  • Paediatric Symptom Management Within Palliative Care (20 credits)
    This module enables you to explore issues in depth arising from contemporary paediatric palliative care especially in relation to symptom management.

  • Living Well With Long Term Health Conditions (20 credits)
    This module aims to enhance knowledge and understanding of long term health conditions and its management to enable service users to live with the conditions and improve their health and wellbeing.


The NMC require forty academic days to be completed. Twenty-six of these require attendance on campus on a Tuesday, from September to May. The other fourteen academic days will be self-directed and recorded on a course diary.

Each academic day is counted as 7.5 hours, thus achieving 300 hours of student effort. You will be taught alongside other community nurses by members of the team who possess a SPQ recordable with the NMC, and some practitioners.

Teaching and learning methods include lectures, tutorials, workshops and self-directed study.

If you have undertaken the 30-credit Fundamentals of Community Practice module within the last five years, this can be transferred to the MSc. 

Students can opt to finish after two years and exit with a postgraduate diploma and SPQ. Please note, the third year is not funded by WEDS.


You will be assessed by a range of methods including writing essays and case studies, formal presentations, poster presentations, examinations, dissertation, literature reviews and clinical practice assessments.

Year One

Fundamentals of Community Practice 
The practical assessment will require developing and completing a portfolio demonstrating achievement of the four clinical learning outcomes. The academic assessment will take the form of a 5000 word case study examining in-depth, the theoretical outcomes associated with the four themes.

Decision making
Complete three academic ‘enabling activities’. These activities will consider decisions made by yourself relating to your own workplace. Each activity has equal weighting and will be marked out of 100. The completion of a clinical portfolio of evidence which supports and demonstrates the decisions made (within the Summative assignment).

Specialist Practitioner (Community Children’s Nursing)
Academically you will present a 20 minute oral presentation of a short quality improvement exercise within your practice area. Practice Assessor verification of achievement of the five clinical learning outcomes

Year Two 

Research methods for practice 
A 6,000 word research proposal. There are no clinical learning outcomes associated with this module.

Law, Ethics and Nurse Prescribing
Poster presentation exploring one of the themes of this module applied to Community Health Nursing. A written examination consisting of four parts. And to achieve a clinical learning outcome, which aims to recognise ethical and legal issues which have implications for nursing practice and take appropriate action

Paediatric Symptom Management Within Palliative Care
A 3,000 word critical review of a chosen aspect of paediatric palliative care, and achievement of a clinical learning outcome.

Living Well with Long Term Health Conditions
A case study that identifies an individual with at least one long term health condition, which critically examines how the professional works with the service user and other professional to enable them to improve their health and wellbeing. One clinical learning outcome to achieve.

After two years you will attain a recordable specialist practice qualification with the NMC and an option to exit the course with a PgDiploma.

Year Three 

After three years you will attain the MSc qualification.



Accredited by the Nursing and Midwifery Council. The University of South Wales is an NMC Approved Education Institution (AEI).


On this Community Children’s Nursing course, you will undertake forty clinical practice days between September and May within a community setting that meets the needs of children and young people. Ideally you should be working in a community setting, however, if not you will need to negotiate a placement with a team in Wales. While in clinical practice, you will be assigned a Practice Assessor who will assess your clinical competence.

Students can arrange placements with appropriate teams and practitioners to aid their understanding of the clinical learning outcomes. Assistance in sourcing suitable placements is available should you need it. The Community Children’s Nursing course does not hold any exchange partnerships, although the students can arrange placements outside of Wales if they are deemed to be helpful in meeting the clinical learning outcomes.


We regularly revalidate courses for quality assurance and enhancement

At USW, we regularly review our courses in response to changing patterns of employment and skills demand to ensure we offer learning designed to reflect today’s student needs and tomorrow’s employer demands.

If during a review process course content is significantly changed, we’ll write to inform you and talk you through the changes for the coming year. But whatever the outcome, we aim to equip our students with the skillset and the mindset to succeed whatever tomorrow may bring. Your future, future-proofed.

Applicants must have a first level registration with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) and be on part 8 or 15 of the NMC register.

You must have acquired a credit rating of 120 credits* at Level 6 (Degree) or studied previously at Level 7, e.g. postgraduate diploma.

An Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check on the Child & Adult Workforce and Child and Adult Barring Lists. (Overseas equivalent required for non-uk applicants)


*If you have not achieved 120 Level 6 credits, there is a process of Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) you can undertake.


Fees: This course is fully funded by the Welsh Government for two years only. The third year is self-funded and not paid for by Welsh Government.

Full-time fees are per year. Part-time fees are per 20 credits. Once enrolled, the fee will remain at the same rate throughout the duration of your study on this course.

August 2020 - July 2021 Fees

    These courses are normally supported by Welsh Government commissioners in collaboration with NHS University health Boards

August 2021 - July 2022 Fees

    These courses are normally supported by Welsh Government commissioners in collaboration with NHS University health Boards

Additional Costs

Students have access to a wide range of resources including textbooks, publications, and computers in the University’s library and via online resources. In most cases they are more than sufficient to complete a course of study. Where there are additional costs, either obligatory or optional, these are detailed below. Of course students may choose to purchase their own additional personal resources/tools over and above those listed to support their studies at their own expense. All stationery and printing costs are at a student’s own expense.

* Obligatory

Item Cost
DBS * £47.20
This fee includes £40 for the enhanced DBS certificate, the Post Office Administration fee and the online administration fee.
DBS Updating Service * £13
Subscription required for each year of the course for a yearly fee of £13. Please note the service has to be joined within 30 days of receipt of your enhanced DBS certificate.



Funding to help pay for/cover tuition fees and living costs

Whilst you’re studying you’ll have two main costs – tuition fees and living costs. You can get a range of funding to help with these costs.

There are a number of ways to fund your postgraduate study. This can be through student finance, bursaries or help from grants, trusts and charities (see Alternative Funding), or a combination of all three.

Click here to find out more about funding your postgraduate tuition fees and living costs.


USW Alumni Postgraduate Discount 

The University of South Wales is offering a 20% reduction in tuition fees for all University of South Wales graduates studying a postgraduate course from September 2021 (this includes students starting their course in January/ February 2022). T's and C's apply.

Click here for more information about the USW Alumni Postgraduate Discount


Apply directly to the University for this Community Children’s Nursing course.

Admissions statement 

Undertaking this Community Children’s Nursing course ensures you will graduate with the knowledge, skills, competencies and capacity to provide safe and effective nursing care in community settings. Additionally, having employees with a specialist practitioner qualification is valued by nursing managers, commissioners and the Welsh Government.