Nursing (Learning Disability) BSc (Hons) with NMC registration

Learning disabilities 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 people with learning disabilities and the management of their cognitive, psychological, physical and social needs.

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Block teaching designed around you

You deserve a positive teaching and learning experience, where you feel part of a supportive and nurturing community. That’s why most students will enjoy an innovative approach to learning using block teaching, where you will study one module at a time. You’ll benefit from regular assessments - rather than lots of exams at the end of the year - and a simple timetable that allows you to engage with your subject and enjoy other aspects of university life such as sports, societies, meeting friends and discovering your new city. By studying with the same peers and tutor for each block, you’ll build friendships and a sense of belonging.

Read more about block teaching


Donna Edwards, Senior Lecturer of Nursing with Registration talks about the benefits of studying Nursing with Registration at DMU.


The primary aim of being a learning disabilities 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. 

With an excellent reputation and good links with the local NHS trust and other potential employers, you will benefit from our NMC-accredited course when applying for jobs. This course is structured through Inter-professional (IP) learning. Allowing you to collaborate with other allied healthcare students and professionals and gain a wider understand of issues and debates in the sector. 

During this course – thanks to strong links with service providers across the region – we can offer a range of placement opportunities embedded within all three years of the course. You'll find opportunities in areas specific to the field, including Rainbows Children’s Hospice, HMP Leicester, Transforming Care Teams and Community Support Services. 

Placements are typically provided across the East Midlands, in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland and sometimes in surrounding counties. In your placement, you will work alongside practice supervisors and practice assessors to learn the practical application of nursing relevant to your chosen field. During the course, students also have access to updated facilities, utilising simulation suites, VR technology and LearningSpace software. 

You will benefit from shared learning opportunities with students from the other fields of nursing practice but will also engage in field of practice specific learning opportunities throughout the programme, to ensure that you develop your identity, skills and knowledge within the learning disabilities field of nursing practice. 

Key features

  • The programme is accredited by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) and upon graduation of the programme, you will be eligible to register with the NMC.
  • We have more than 50 years of teaching experience, enabling us to deliver high-quality professional education to our diverse studentship.
  • Graduates are eligible to apply for registration, and registered nurses can start on a salary of £28,407 (NHS pay scales 2023/24).
  • Study in our purpose-built facilities which comprise clinical skills suites, a moving and handling area, a cardiopulmonary resuscitation room and a sensory room – allowing you to apply theory to practice in a safe environment.
  • Our strong links and integrated work placements with local health and social care providers allow you to experience real-world situations.
  • Students have gained valuable international experience as part of their studies with our DMU Global programme. Our students have previously taken part in healthcare programmes in Peru, improved the health of communities in India and examined the social and health inequalities faced by specific populations in the US.


Financial support

The NHS Learning Support Fund provides eligible students with additional financial support whilst studying for their degree:

  • training grant of £5,000 per year
  • parental support payment of £2,000 per year to help with childcare
  • £1,000 per year for studying a specialist subject
  • help towards additional travel and accommodation costs to clinical placements over your normal daily travel costs
  • an exceptional hardship fund of up to £3,000 per student per academic year

Students must be eligible for tuition fees and maintenance support from the Student Loans Company (including certain residency criteria) to be eligible. Read more about the grant and eligibility criteria.

Nursing stories

More courses like this:


  • UK
  • EU/International

Institution code: D26

UCAS course code: B761

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

Location: De Montfort University Leicester UK.

Fees and funding: 

2024/25 tuition fees for UK students: £9,250


Additional costs: You may incur additional costs for this programme, including the cost of travelling to and from project/placement locations.

This programme is not currently available to international students 



Entry criteria


  • Five GCSEs at grade C/4 or above including: English and Maths

Passes in Functional Key Skills in Level 2 Maths and English will only be accepted if the qualification and awarding organisation is regulated by Ofqual.

Plus one of the following:

A Level

  • A minimum of 112 UCAS points from 2 or more A levels, including at least two subjects at C or above. We do not accept General Studies or UCAS points achieved through music exams.

T Levels

  • Merit in Health overall


  • BTEC National Diploma - normally in Health and Social Care or Applied Science at DMM
  • BTEC Extended Diploma - normally in Health and Social Care or Applied Science at DMM

Access course

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

Pass in the QAA Access to HE with a minimum of 96 UCAS points

GCSE English and Maths or functional skills level 2 qualifications in English and Maths are required. 

We will normally require students to have had a break from full-time education before undertaking the Access course.

International Baccalaureate  26+ points

English language requirements

If English is not your first language an IELTS score of 7 overall when you start the course is essential, with a 7.0 in all components except writing which should be at least 6.5. English language tuition, delivered by our British Council accredited Centre for English Language Learning (CELL), is available both before and during the course.

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. Interviews are currently being conducted remotely via Microsoft Teams.

Work experience

Although not essential, some relevant experience – paid or voluntary, is desirable and can strengthen your application with us. Please tell us in your personal statement, and at interview details of the length of time spent gaining relevant experience and the type of experience you have. You should also clearly demonstrate your motivations and suitability to study and train as a nurse and how your experience relates to the role.

Non-academic requirements

As well as academic requirements, you will also be required to meet and fulfil non-academic requirements which are stated below:

  • Self-Declaration Form clearance
  • Occupational Health clearance
  • Enhanced DBS disclosure clearance

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.

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. 

You must meet and fulfil all non-academic requirements before 15 July 2024. Failure to meet this deadline may result in your offer being withdrawn.

UCAS Tariff changes

Students applying for courses starting in September will be made offers based on the latest UCAS Tariff.

Availability: This course has a limited number of places so that we can ensure a good quality placement experience. In exceptional circumstances this may result in the course becoming full before you have completed the admissions process. In this situation we will offer you the opportunity to be considered for a place on an alternative course.

Structure and assessment


Course modules

Teaching and assessments

Expertise and accreditation



First Year

  • Practice Experience 1
  • Transition into Higher Education
  • Foundations of Nursing Practise
  • Foundations of Anatomy, Physiology and Pharmacology
  • Influences on Wellbeing
  • Foundations of Field of Practise

Second Year

  • Practice Experience 2
  • Research and Evidence Based-Practice
  • Primary Care – Patient Journey 1
  • Acute Care – Patient Journey 2
  • Complex Care – Patient Journey 3

Third Year

  • Practice Experience 3
  • Critical inquiry and research proposal
  • Leadership and Service Improvement
  • Managing Complexities in Nursing Practise
  • Consolidating Care and Professional Practise

Learning is supported by a strong system of personal tutors, teaching teams, academic assessors, practice work placements and enthusiastic practice supervisors and assessors. Teaching methods include:

  • Lectures (face-to-face and online)
  • Seminars
  • Webinars
  • Workshops
  • Presentations
  • Tutorials
  • Simulation activities
  • Clinical skills learning
  • Enquiry-based problem solving
  • Independent e-learning
  • Peer learning sets

The programme meets the NMC (2018) requirements for an equal split between both theory and practice and the QAA requirements for a BSc (Hons) Award. The programme provides 2,534 hours of theory and 2,480 hours of practice (50.5% theory and 49.5% practice) across the duration of the three years of the programme. The Nursing and Midwifery Council introduced new national educational standards, Future Nurse Standards of Proficiency for registered Nurses, in 2018. The curriculum from September 2021 onwards is based on these standards for nurse education. 

You will complete blocks of clinical placements 40 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 an academic assessor, practice supervisors and practice assessors to help develop and support learning in the practice context.

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 documentation which reflects the standards required by the NMC (2018) for Future Nurse Proficiencies.

Theory is assessed through academic assessments including; assignments, reports, examinations, workbooks, screencast presentations and case studies.

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 per week.

The majority of our nursing lecturers are registered nurses or other health care professionals and many are active researchers in their areas of specialism. A large number of our learning disability nursing lecturers are highly skilled and educated, holding academic and professional doctoral level qualifications. 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.


This programme is accredited by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC), and has been developed to reflect the requirements of the NMC (2018) Future Nurse proficiencies standards of Nursing Education.

Facilities and features

Clinical skills and simulation facilities for Health and Life Sciences

At DMU we provide clinical skills and simulation teaching and practice that will enhance your theoretical learning by using a realistic, immersive environment that mimics the practice environments you will encounter during your clinical placements and in your career beyond. This provides our students with opportunities to develop cognitive, practical and interpersonal skills through a comprehensive programme of simulated experiences and clinical skills sessions, allowing you to develop the confidence to perform in the real world.

DMU have invested in extending and enhancing the range of clinical skills and simulation facilities available for health and life science students. We currently have two dedicated spaces on campus that provide flexible teaching and assessment spaces to meet a wide range of student’s needs. 

Hawthorn building houses two ward environments, a dedicated midwifery suite, radiography suite and bespoke manual handling and paramedicine spaces, alongside contemporary analytical chemistry and formulation laboratories. 

Our facility in Heritage house offers three flexible teaching wards, a soft furnished space, audiology suite and observation room along with four dedicated clinical assessment rooms. Students will benefit from audio /visual technology that allows sessions to be recorded and live streamed, facilitating remote learning opportunities. This technology also enhances your learning opportunities through the use of meaningful debriefing of teaching and simulation sessions allowing you to reflect on your practice and improve in both ability and confidence before taking your learning into the real world.

Library and learning zones

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 the Virtual Learning Environment, 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.

More flexible ways to learn

We offer an equitable and inclusive approach to learning and teaching for all our students. Known as the Universal Design for Learning (UDL), our teaching approach has been recognised as sector leading. UDL means we offer a wide variety of support, facilities and technology to all students, including those with disabilities and specific learning differences.

Just one of the ways we do this is by using ‘DMU Replay’ – a technology providing all students with anytime access to audio and/or visual material of lectures. This means students can revise taught material in a way that suits them best, whether it's replaying a recording of a class or adapting written material shared in class using specialist software.


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
CCJ Graduate


As part of this course, you will have the opportunity to complete a number of placements, which offer invaluable professional experience. Placements are typically provided across the East Midlands, in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland and sometimes in surrounding counties. Students must therefore be prepared to travel to access placement opportunities which are an essential component of the programme.

In your placement, you will work alongside practice supervisors and practice assessors to learn the practical application of nursing relevant to your chosen field. Placements are typically 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.

Further information

All students will be required to adhere to a uniform policy when in practice, in which they must be bare below the elbow. This is non-negotiable as it is an infection prevention requirement to safeguard the health and safety of all students and service users.

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Graduate careers

Upon successfully completing the course nursing graduates are eligible to apply for NMC registration and can apply to work on a variety of roles throughout the NHS, charitable and private healthcare sectors. Registered nurses can start on a salary of £28,407 (NHS pay scales 2023/24). Once qualified, our postgraduate study opportunities can further enhance your knowledge and skills, including Post Registation Education, professional doctorates and master’s degrees such as Physician Associate Studies MSc

Once qualified, our postgraduate study opportunities further enhance your knowledge and skills; including master's degrees, Learning Beyond Registration modules, professional Doctorates and the Physician Associate Studies.


DMU Global

DMU Global is our innovative international experience programme, which aims to enrich your studies and expand your cultural horizons – helping you to become a global graduate, equipped to meet the needs of employers across the world. Through DMU Global, we offer a wide range of opportunities including on-campus and UK activities, overseas study, internships, faculty-led field trips and volunteering, as well as Erasmus+ and international exchanges.

Students on this course have recently undertaken DMU Global trips to places such as Peru, where they took part in healthcare programmes, as well as India, where they helped to improve the health of communities living there. Another trip gave students the opportunity to examine the social and health inequalities faced in America. 


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