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Nursing (Specialist District Nursing) with NMC Recordable SPQ MSc/PG Dip

PGDip/MSc Nursing (Specialist District Nursing) is a professional post-graduate programme that is designed to meet the needs of community nurses who wish to advance their knowledge and skills to an expert specialist level within district nursing.

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The course is tailored for clinically experienced nurses seeking a flexible route to a master’s level qualification that has a recordable Specialist Practitioner Qualification (PG Diploma only) with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC).

Our practitioners, researchers, and academic staff are experienced specialists in clinical areas of practice and will offer a unique perspective to your learning. You'll also benefit from experienced visiting lecturers, enhancing your learning through varied sources of clinical expertise.

Integrating both theory and practice, you will develop the skills, knowledge and attitudes needed to deliver safe and effective specialist practice to patients and clients. You'll gain the confidence to make higher level clinical decisions, drive consistent developments and advancements in clinical healthcare, and see through strategic or operational change within your workplace. DMU's strong links with clinical practice, combined with direct input and teaching from experienced colleagues in clinical settings, helps to ensure learning is relevant to current practice.

Key features

  • 50% of your time on the programme will be spent undertaking theory that is made up of taught sessions and private study, and 50% of the programme will be undertaken in clinical practice in district nursing teams.
  • You will obtain a specialist practitioner recordable qualification with the NMC.
  • Specialist academic and clinical colleagues have worked collaboratively to develop expert core and clinical modules
  • Specialist District Nursing including Community Formulary Prescribing v100 (full-time or part-time) will be taken as part of this programme.
  • Gain competencies that are mapped to the NMC Standards for Specialist Practice, The Queen’s Nursing Institute’s Voluntary Standards for Specialist Practice, and the Royal Pharmaceutical Society’s Standards for all Prescribers.
  • Through successful completion of the Community Formulary Prescribing (CFP) module (V100) you will be able to prescribe from the CFP formulary in practice.
  • By the end of the programme you will have gained the specialist skills and knowledge required to be a specialist practitioner in district nursing.

This programme does not accept direct entry applications.

All applicants need to be supported by their manager and hospital trust.

For further information contact

Course Leader: 
Donna Edwards

T: +44 (0)0116 257 7700 

More courses like this:

District Nursing BSc (Hons)


DMU has been shortlisted for the Postgraduate Award in the 2024 Whatuni Student Choice Awards (WUSCAs), as voted for by students.

  • UK
  • EU/International


Start date:  October 2023

The 3-day induction will commence the week prior to the programme start date and will be communicated to individuals who are accepted onto the programme.

Fees and funding: The MSc District Nursing Programme is funded by Health Education England.

To be eligible for this programme you will need to be an employee of a Community Nursing Trust, and be prepared to be seconded onto the MSc District Nursing programme following a successful interview with your manager and a member of the university’s academic team.

Duration: PG Dip Nursing (Specialist Practice) with/without NMC SPQ: One year full-time/MSc Nursing (Specialist Practice) with/without NMC SPQ: first year fulltime to PGDip then 2-6 years part-time.

Attendance: Days of attendance differ as the student works through the different between modules on the programme

Induction: There will be a 3-day Induction for this programme. Students will receive details of the induction upon registration of the programme

Location of study: De Montfort University Leicester UK

For further information please contact Donna Edwards, Programme Lead at

 This course is not currently available to international students

Entry criteria

  • A UK honours degree (2:2 or above in a relevant subject, or equivalent)
  • A minimum of 60 credits (inclusive of research) at level 6 plus three years’ clinical experience
  • Effective registration on the NMC professional register
  • At least two years’ clinical experience in nursing in a chosen field of practice, and demonstration of experience in leadership, within your clinical area either through continued professional development (CPD) or publication of clinical articles/material
  • You should also be able to demonstrate that you have the requisite clinical skills and relevant CPD required and therefore be in a position to develop higher level skills
  • Demonstration of direct and continuing contact with clients who have specialist care needs, prior to and continuing throughout the duration of the course
  • Provide two references, one giving emphasis to academic ability and the second relevant to clinical experience
  • You will be expected to attend an interview


DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) check: Yes

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

We strongly advise that you opt for the DBS update service as it is possible that future placement providers may request a recent DBS and not one from the start of the programme. If you decide not to opt for this service then you will have to pay for the DBS again if requested by your placement provided – the university will not cover this cost. 

English language requirements:

If English is not your first language an IELTS score of 6.5 or equivalent 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.


Structure and assessment


Course modules

Teaching and assessment

Academic expertise


Course modules

Semester one (modules taken concurrently)

  • SPEC 5608 Developing Expertise in District Nursing (30 credits). The student will develop expert skills and knowledge in the specialist filed of district nursing
  • SPEC 5615 The Community Agenda (15 credits). The student will explore the influences and drivers of nursing within the community setting to enhance specialist practice
  • SPEC 5610 Research Methods for Health Professionals (15 credits). The student will explore the  Fundamentals of Research within clinical practice to enhance specialist practice

Semester two (modules taken concurrently)

  • SPEC 5604 Physical and Psychosocial Examination and Consultation Skills for Specialist Practice (30 credits). The student will develop the knowledge and skills of patient consultation and physical examination skills
  • SPEC 5601 Accountable Practitioner (15 credits). The student will  explore professional accountability in nursing to enhance specialist practice
  • SPEC 5603 Influencing/Innovating and Problem Solving in Clinical Practice (15 credits) The student will explore communication, leadership and problems solving skills to enhance specialist practice
  • NMAH 3112 (V100) Community Formulary prescribing "0" credit module – undertaken throughout the programme

MSc - additional final core module for all MSc students only

  • Service Development Project (60 credits) part-time 18 months up to 6 years.

Note: All modules are indicative and based on the current academic session. Course information is correct at the time of publication and is subject to review. Exact modules may, therefore, vary for your intake in order to keep content current. If there are changes to your course we will, where reasonable, take steps to inform you as appropriate.

Teaching and assessment

The course adopts a range of teaching and learning strategies designed to facilitate the learning of a professional group; aiming to be efficient and motivating in the transfer of theoretical and practical knowledge and to engage positively in actively negotiating, constructing and evaluating learning. Strategies include:

  • Teacher-led sessions
  • Student-led seminars and presentations
  • Discussions and tutorials
  • Independent study
  • Focused reflection
  • A range of experiential teaching methods

Academic expertise

A key strength of our team is that they are experienced specialists in clinical areas of practice; familiar with the evidence-based informing specialist nursing practice and a wide range of accompanying issues and debates.

Visiting lecturers will also contribute to the modules to broaden your perspective of specialist nursing regionally and nationally. In addition, many staff members are actively involved in undertaking research within this area of clinical practice.

Facilities and features

Health and Life Sciences facilties

Substantial investment in Health and Life Sciences has developed our teaching and learning facilities to help you develop your practical experience and theoretical knowledge beyond the classroom.

The 19th century Hawthorn Building has facilities designed to replicate current practice in health and life sciences, including contemporary analytical chemistry and formulation laboratories, audiology booths and nursing and midwifery clinical skills suites.

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.

Library services

On campus, the main Kimberlin Library offers a space where you can work, study and access a vast range of print materials, with computer stations, laptops, plasma screens and assistive technology also available. 

As well as providing a physical space in which to work, we offer online tools to support your studies, and our extensive online collection of resources accessible from our Library website, e-books, specialised databases and electronic journals and films which can be remotely accessed from anywhere you choose. 

We will support you to confidently use a huge range of learning technologies, including Learning Zone, Collaborate Ultra, DMU Replay, MS Teams, Turnitin and more. Alongside this, you can access LinkedIn Learning and learn how to use Microsoft 365, and study support software such as mind mapping and note-taking through our new Digital Student Skills Hub. 

The library staff offer additional support to students, including help with academic writing, research strategies, literature searching, reference management and assistive technology. There is also a ‘Just Ask’ service for help and advice, live LibChat, online workshops, tutorials and drop-ins available from our Learning Services, and weekly library live chat sessions that give you the chance to ask the library teams for help.

Learning zones

Our Learning Zones and The Greenhouse also provide space for group or individual work and study.

There are 1,600 study places across all library locations, more than 700 computer stations, laptops to borrow, free wi-fi and desktop power outlets.

You can also book rooms with plasma screens, laptops and DVD facilities for group work and presentations, secure an individual study room with adjustable lighting or make use of our assistive technology.

Opportunities and careers

Find the people who will open doors for you

DMU's award-winning careers service provides guaranteed work experience opportunities DMU Careers Team


As part of the university's commitment to enhancing the personal and career development of our graduates. We offer an Alumni scholarship programme. For more information visit Health and Life Sciences Alumni Scholarships.


Graduate careers

Nursing practice provides an essential aspect of your professional portfolio and career development; supporting your career progression through the advancement of your own practice in providing high-quality patient, family, group and community specialist nursing care in clinical practice.

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