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Learning with Disability

Nursing with Registration (Learning Disability) BSc (Hons)

Learning disability nursing is a professional and rewarding career enabling you to make a real difference to the lives of people across all age groups. During the course you will learn about specialist nursing care for clients with learning disabilities and the management of their physical, social, psychological and cognitive needs. 


The government is changing the way in which students beginning nursing, midwifery and speech and language therapy courses are funded.

For all students attending university from September 2017 onwards NHS bursaries will no longer be available. Instead, you will have access to the standard student support package of tuition fee loans and support for living costs. Please be aware courses commencing in the March 2016/17 academic period will still be eligible for the 2016 funding package unless stated otherwise.

Despite these changes the process for getting on to your chosen course, the standards of teaching and the reasons you have for choosing a career in the health sector all remain the same.

For current details, please visit and the Council of Deans of Health website. Or for more information about the financial support available at DMU, visit our fees and funding webpage.

Reasons to study Nursing with Registration (Learning Disability) at DMU:

  • 100% graduate employability
    our students are in work or study within six months of graduating (DLHE 2014/15)

  • Accredited by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC)
    with extensive career opportunities worldwide (subject to country-specific criteria) 

  • Eligibility to register with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC)
    upon graduation, enabling employment in a wide variety of clinical areas

  • More than 50 years’ teaching experience
    in delivering high quality professional education to our diverse studentship

  • Benefit from two intakes 
    per academic year in September and March 

  • Strong links and integrated work placements
    with local health and social care providers allow you to put theory in to practice

  • £12million investment in our Faculty’s facilities
    include purpose-built clinical skills suites which replicate real-life settings

  • International experience opportunities 
    in the second year to undertake observational experience abroad (subject to conditions)

The primary aim of being a learning disability nurse is to support the well-being and social inclusion of people with learning disabilities; through improving or maintaining physical and mental health to live full and rewarding lives within their communities. You need to be committed and dedicated with the willingness to give time to others with care and compassion.

Employment is found within NHS organisations and increasingly in the private, social care, voluntary and independent sectors in a wide and diverse range of roles including:

  • Acute hospital liaison nurses
  • Advising and counselling during pregnancy planning
  • Community nursing (within specialist learning disability community teams or as part of a primary health care team)
  • Consultant nurses
  • Disability advisory services
  • Genetic screening and counselling
  • Hospice/respite nurses
  • Independent practitioners (self-employed)
  • Lecturers in Higher Education Institutions
  • Managers and service commissioners
  • Practice development nurses
  • Primary health liaison nurses
  • Research nurses
  • Residential service managers
  • School nurses
  • Staff nurses
  • Specialist areas e.g. epilepsy, enteral nutrition, continence 

More courses like this

Nursing with Registration (Adult Nursing)

Nursing with Registration (Child Nursing)

Nursing with Registration (Mental Health)


  • UK/EU
  • International

Key facts for UK/EU students

Institution code: D26

UCAS course code: B761

Duration: Three years full-time (45 week year)

Location: De Montfort University Leicester UK.

Fees and funding: For 2017/18 tuition fees will be £9,250 (subject to Parliamentary approval)

Find out more about tuition fees and available funding.

2017 March Entry: UK students currently benefit from a grant, means-tested bursary and payment of fees by the NHS.

Find out more about NHS funding

Additional costs: Here at DMU we provide excellent learning resources, including the Kimberlin Library and specialist workshops and studios. However, you should be aware that sometimes you may incur additional costs for this programme.

Contact us: For more information complete our online enquiry form or call us on +44 (0)116 2 50 60 70.


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Key facts for international students

Not available to international students 

Entry criteria


Five GCSEs at grade C or above including Maths, English and Science.

Plus one of the following:

A levels

A minimum of 112 UCAS points from a minimum of two A levels including at least two subjects at a grade C or above (excluding General Studies, key skills and music exams)


BTEC National Diploma - BTEC normally in Health and Social Care or Applied Science at Distinction/Merit/Merit

BTEC Extended Diploma - BTEC normally in Health and Social Care or Applied Science at Distinction/Merit/Merit

International Baccalaureate: 28+

Access course (started before September 2014)

  • Access to Nursing and Midwifery
  • Access to Science
  • Applied Science
  • Forensic Science

60 Credits overall (minimum) – PASS - 45 credits at Level 3 and 15 credits at Level 2

Maths and English GCSE required (Grades A-C). Alternatively, an additional 12 x Level 2 credits in English and 12 x Level 2 credits in Maths can be undertaken as part of the Access programme.

Science 24 - 30 credits at Level 3. 

Additional GCSE’s are not required

Access to Higher Education Diploma (started in or after 2014)

in the following courses:

  • AHE (Nursing and Midwifery)
  • AHE (Health Professions)
  • AHE (Science)

60 Credits overall (minimum) - PASS -  60 credits all at Level 3 or 45 credits at Level 3 and 15 credits at Level 2 and including Science (30 credits at Level 3).

Maths and English GCSE (Grades A-C).

Passes in Functional Skills and Key Skills qualifications at level 2 can be accepted as equivalents.

Additional GCSE’s are not required

Transition to Pre-Registration Nursing Professional 



Interview: Yes

Professional conduct during the event will also contribute to the decision-making regarding an applicant’s application.

The recruitment process for this course includes assessing applicants by the content of their personal statement and interview for the core values of the NHS constitution.

Work experience: Yes

Applicants are required to demonstrate relevant work experience. This would normally include experience from formal or informal employment, school or college work placements, voluntary work and other relevant life experiences.

Occupational Health check: Yes

All applicants must complete a satisfactory health screening.

DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) check: Yes

You submit an enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service disclosure application form before starting the course (if you are overseas you will also need to submit a criminal records certificate from your home country), which needs to be cleared in accordance with DMU’s admissions policy. Contact us for up-to-date information.

English language requirements:

If English is not your first language an IELTS score of 7 in all components when you start the course is essential. English language tuition, delivered by our British Council accredited Centre for English Language Learning (CELL), is available both before and during the course.

Please visit for more information.

UCAS Tariff changes

Students applying for courses starting in September 2017 will be made offers based on a new UCAS Tariff. Find out more.

Structure and assessment


Course modules

Teaching and assessments

Expertise and accreditation



First Year

  • Professional Responsibility 1
  • Skills and Evidence for Professional Practice
  • Foundations of Nursing Practice
  • Promotion of Health and Well-being
  • Holistic Nursing Interventions

Second Year

  • Professional Responsibility 2
  • Analysing Evidence for Healthcare
  • Complex Care Needs
  • Responding to Altered Health Needs


  • Additional Module – choose one specialist module from: Policy, Politics and Health; Human Rights and Ethics; Diversity and
    Healthcare Practice; Governance, Quality and Risk; or Global Health

Third Year

  • Professional Responsibility 3
  • Dissertation
  • Working in Partnership with Service Users and Carers
  • Transitions to Professional Practice


Learning is supported by a strong system of personal tutors and teaching teams, clinical work placements and enthusiastic mentors. Teaching methods include:

  • Lectures
  • Seminars
  • Presentations
  • Tutorials
  • Enquiry-based problem solving
  • Independent e-learning

You will complete blocks of clinical placements 37.5 hours per week and blocks comprised of theory and independent learning hours up to an equivalent of 37.5 hours each week.

Students in practice placements are allocated a mentor to help develop and support learning.

Inter-professional (IP) learning allows you to mix with other students and professionals, and understand wider issues and debates in the sector.

A variety of approaches are used to assess theory and practice.

Practice is assessed through the completion of your practice portfolio, clinical skills log, submission of service user/ expert by experience feedback and undertaking the required number of hours in practice.

Theory is assessed through written assignments including as essays, reports, Critical incident analysis, blog (weblog), examinations, and culminating in your dissertation.

Teaching contact hours

Contact hours in a typical week will depend to some extent on the modules you are studying. However, typically you will have up to 16 contact hours of teaching and this will break down as:

Personal tutorial/small group teaching: approx. 1 hour of tutorials or small group teaching each week

Medium group teaching: approx. 6 hours of practical classes, workshops or seminars each week

Large group teaching: approx. 10  hours of lectures each week

Personal study: approx. 21.5 hours studying and revising in your own time each week, including some guided study using hand-outs, online activities, etc.

The nursing lecturers are all registered nurses and qualified teachers. Many are research active. Further subject and research expertise is provided by our VC2020 lecturers. Many lecturers have doctoral level qualifications and many staff are currently undertaking academic and professional doctorates.


Accredited by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC), this course has been recognised for its high standard of teaching quality, and upon successful completion of the course you can register as a nurse with the NMC.

The nursing team have an excellent reputation and good links with the local NHS trust and other potential employers, which is beneficial when you are applying for jobs.

Facilities and features

Health and Life Sciences 


Investment of £12 million in Health and Life Sciences has developed our first-class teaching and learning facilities to help you develop your practical experience and theoretical knowledge beyond the classroom.

Purpose-built clinical skills areas allow you to apply theory to practice in a safe environment. You will receive guidance and support from staff, to ensure that your practical ability in the clinical skills suites is accurate.

Learn more about DMU’s first-class study facilities.


We have 1,500 study places and 650 computer workstations across four sites on campus.

During term time the main Kimberlin Library is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, giving access to more than half a million publications and a wide range of DVDs, as well as e-resources and thousands of electronic journals. Award-winning staff are on hand to help and there is a café for study breaks.

We offer a range of workshops, drop-ins and one-to-one sessions, plus our Just Ask service provides email or telephone support.

Learning zones

Our comfortable and well-equipped study areas provide a range of environments to suit your needs.

Originally set up in our main Kimberlin Library, the learning zones proved so popular that more were created in the Eric Wood building and Greenhouse. These flexible spaces are ideal whether you are working as a group, practising a presentation or working quietly on your own.

They feature workstations with power supplies for laptops, plus bookable syndicate rooms with interactive whiteboards and DVD players. Eduroam wi-fi is available across all campus locations.

Opportunities and careers

CCJ Graduate


50 per cent of the course is based in clinical practice. You are required by the NMC to complete at least 2,300 hours of practice learning where you will be working towards achieving practice competencies and demonstrating appropriate professional conduct.

Placements are organised in blocks of at least four weeks duration and are based in a variety of acute and community health environments and social care settings including caring for individuals in their own homes. This includes a range of different shift patterns across a 24 hour cycle

You will benefit from placements in Leicester, Leicestershire, Rutland and Northampton's hospitals and community placements.

Exciting opportunities for placements in Nottingham and Nottinghamshire's hospitals and community services have been developed. Students based in north Leicestershire or Nottinghamshire may wish to benefit from these placements.

New for September 2016: Nottinghamshire, Lincolnshire, Derbyshire hospitals and community services have been developed. Learning Disability nursing students based in these counties may wish to benefit from these placements.

In your placement you will work alongside a mentor to learn the practical application of nursing relevant to your chosen field of nursing practice.

UK and International elective placement opportunities are also available in your second year.

CCJ Policing Graduate

Graduate Careers

The qualification enables you to practice anywhere in the UK, EU plus countries such as Canada, USA and Australasia (local registration required).

Once qualified, our postgraduate study opportunities further enhance your knowledge and skills; including Masters Degrees, Learning Beyond Registrationmodules and professional Doctorates. 


Uniform and dress code policy

This course includes acute and community based placements; these are an essential component for completion of the course. Whilst on placement, students must adhere to the uniform and dress code policy of the placement provider. NHS Trusts and other placement providers have given careful consideration to cultural and religious needs relating to uniform policies / dress codes.

These policies/codes have been developed in conjunction with local and national cultural and religious bodies to ensure that local and national infection control guidance is adhered to. Whilst every attempt has been made to accommodate individual needs, there are some areas where the need to fully comply with infection control guidance has overridden religious requirements.


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