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Learning Disability Nursing BSc(Hons)

Attendance UCAS code Year of entry
3 years full time B763 2017

Read more about how the funding will be changing in 2017.

Why choose this course?

  • This course provides you with theoretical knowledge and practical experience needed to register as a nurse with the Nursing and Midwifery Council.
  • Our teaching team includes Dr Irene Tuffrey-Wijne, a leading researcher in learning disability nursing and an expert in the palliative care of people with learning disabilities.
  • Highly respected honorary and guest lecturers shape our teaching, including Dr Ben Thomas, mental health, learning disability and dementia care professional officer for the Department of Health, and Phil Boulter, Consultant Nurse at Surrey and Borders Partnership NHS Foundation Trust.
  • You will share learning with the adult, child and mental health students to enhance your skills in caring for clients from these fields who also have a learning disability.
  • An adult insight placement will enable you to develop the physical health skills needed in learning disability nursing.
  • You will have the opportunity to take a national or international elective placement at the end of your second year. Countries recently visited by learning disability students include Sierra Leone and Bulgaria.

About learning disability nursing

Learning disability nursing is a person-centred profession that provides specialist healthcare and focuses on improving and maintaining the quality of life and well being of people with a learning disability. Working collaboratively and in partnership with people with a learning disability and others is central to the role of the learning disability nurse. This is to ensure that the person with a Learning Disability is able to develop to their full potential with diverse access to community services and to support their family and carers to assist in achieving this.

An important part of the work of learning disability nurses is challenging and reducing inequalities and discriminatory practice and maximising social inclusion, promoting autonomy, rights and choice. Working as part of a multi professional team, Learning Disability nurses work in a wide variety of settings with people of all ages including in people's homes, schools, hospitals, GP practices, educational settings, prisons, residential, family and respite homes.

What you will study

Learning disability care simulations help you develop your skills before you graduate, through simulated exercises delivered in partnership with Act Too and the Baked Bean Theatre Company.

In the first year, you will be introduced to the foundations of nursing and healthcare; while in the second year you will develop your understanding of the application of person-centred care, assessment, clinical reasoning and decision-making. You will examine holistic care across the life span related to all nursing fields and then build on this further, focusing on health inequalities and promoting improved health outcomes for people with a learning disability.

General nursing topics are studied alongside subjects tailored to learning disability nursing.

In your final year you will learn about the complexities of nursing at an individual and organisational level as well as preparing for your transition to registered nurse.

Module listing

Please note that this is an indicative list of modules and is not intended as a definitive list.

Year 1

  • This module focuses on developing your knowledge of anatomy and physiology with its application to nursing, including basic pathophysiology. It will also encourage you to build on and develop your entry-level numeracy skills. You will also begin to develop your knowledge of pharmacological concepts.

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  • This module presents the core topics which underpin nursing as a person- and family-centred profession including: history, policy, values, evidence-based practice, caring, compassion, communication and relationships. It also focuses on the individual within society from a psychosocial, economic and political health perspective. The module will introduce the concept of how professionals from all fields of nursing can contribute through partnership, to meeting the needs of identified individuals, groups and communities.

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  • This module introduces you to the values base of learning disability nursing practice, and explores how they contribute to the lives of people with learning disabilities, their families and carers. You will gain the knowledge that every person with a learning disability presents a specific set of needs that demand positive and individually tailored responses from the appropriate service. You will understand the significance of the Registered Nurse for People with Learning Disabilities (RNLD) having a key role in both understanding the impact that social devaluation has on people with learning disabilities and also in providing tailored support to overcome these life experiences.

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  • This module prepares you for your practice learning opportunities in part one of the programme. The module focuses on the development of professional values and the delivery of safe, holistic compassionate care. It is a generic module where all fields of nursing are engaged with core essential skills as identified by the NMC Standards for Pre-Registration Nursing Education (NMC, 2010). The module is a bridge between theory and practice.

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Year 2

  • This module further develops your understanding of the application of person-centred care, assessment, clinical reasoning and decision making, within the framework of the '6Cs' and evidence-based practice. This module explores the actions a nurse takes to ensure that each person receives appropriate person-centred care, treatment and support. This module examines both acute care and long-term conditions across the life span and related to all nursing fields. It introduces you to the concept of clinical judgement in relation to the individual, family or community responses to actual or potential health needs / life processes and care delivery as an expression of person-centred nursing practice.

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  • This module introduces you to health inequalities and their effect on people with a learning disability across the life span. You will identify a wide spectrum of health inequalities and individual needs and discuss the intricacies of care planning and delivery to improve outcomes. You will gain communication, skills and knowledge to effectively meet the needs of people with learning disability through safe, person-centred and evidence-based holistic care delivered within a multidisciplinary framework. The module provides you with a variety of tools to assess, implement and evaluate packages of care and analyse the impact on the quality of life of a person with a learning disability and their families/carers.

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  • This module explores the barriers to healthcare experienced by people with a learning disability and considers the role of the learning disability nurse in reducing inequalities. It focuses on the biopsychosocial needs of people with a learning disability across the life span, recognising the importance of health screening, early interventions and wellbeing approaches. It will enable you to implement health improvement strategies at individual and local levels. You will develop the knowledge and skills to support people with a learning disability in making choices about their health and care and to facilitate equal access. Multidisciplinary working and current frameworks used deliver person-centered care are explored.

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  • This module will be delivered in part two of the programme. The module prepares you for your Practice Learning Opportunity (PLO). It focuses on professional values, the delivery of safe compassionate care in partnership with the client. It is a generic module where all fields of nursing are engaged with essential skills as identified by the Standards for Pre-Registration Nursing Education (NMC, 2010). The module is a bridge between theory and practice.

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Year 3

  • The focus of this module is on the exploration of the complexities of learning disability nursing and service provision for people with learning disabilities. You will examine the issues relating to difficult to manage people and the management of complex conditions across the life span eg children, transition, adulthood, the older person and the patient with dementia. In addition, the module will examine the promotion of improved health outcomes and increasing access to general health and specialist service provision enabling social inclusion. You will develop the key skills, knowledge and attitude necessary to identify and support the facilitation of service change.

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  • This capstone module will enable you to reflect upon your personal and professional growth. It will draw on evidence of learning and development compiled throughout the programme. It will foster the development and application of leadership, management and team working concepts required for clinical practice. This module will enable you to reflect on the skills necessary to facilitate the transition to a registered learning disability nurse.

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  • This module is designed to enable you to further develop and consolidate your skills and knowledge regarding searching for, appraising, evaluating and applying evidence-based practice to ensure a life-long focus on best care at all times for your particular patient/client group. The module will also enable you to systematically organise and make analytical and objective judgements on the reviewed evidence in their field-specific areas of practice.

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  • This module prepares you for your practice learning opportunities (PLO) and final sign-off placement. The module focuses on professional values, the delivery of safe compassionate care and the assessment and management of patients with complex health care needs. The module aims to develop your clinical competence and confidence prior to registration. It is a generic module where all fields of nursing are engaged with essential skills as identified by the Standards for Pre-Registration Nursing Education (NMC, 2010). The module is a bridge between theory and practice.

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Constants/themes throughout the programme

Modules may not contain all of these themes but they will be represented across the whole programme:

Professional values

  • The '6Cs'
  • Quality of life
  • Safeguarding and risk
  • Working with diversity and anti-discriminatory practice

Communication and interpersonal skills

  • Study skills
  • Managing and maintaining relationships
  • Ethics and law
  • Self-awareness and reflection
  • Psychology/behavioural sciences

Nursing practice and decision-making

  • Numeracy
  • Pharmacology and medicines management
  • Care needs across the life span
  • Life sciences
  • Nursing skills
  • Creativity and problem solving skills
  • Research and evidence-based practice

Leadership, management and team working

  • Interprofessional working
  • Clinical governance
  • Employability

You will have the opportunity to study a foreign language, free of charge, during your time at the University on a not-for-credit basis as part of the Kingston Language Scheme. Options currently include: Arabic, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish.

Key information set

The scrolling banner(s) below display some key factual data about this course (including different course combinations or delivery modes of this course where relevant).

We aim to ensure that all courses and modules advertised are delivered. However in some cases courses and modules may not be offered. For more information about why, and when you can expect to be notified, read our Changes to Academic Provision.

Ask a question about this course

Admissions team, Faculty of Health, Social Care and Education
Tel: +44 (0)20 8417 5733
Email us

Ask a question about this course

Admissions team, Faculty of Health, Social Care and Education
Tel: +44 (0)20 8417 5733
Email us

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