Learning Disabilities Nursing MSc

Why choose this course?

This course is for is for students that want to make a real difference to the health and wellbeing of people with learning disabilities. The course has a strong practical focus and will give you the knowledge, skills and approaches you need to become a registered nurse (learning disability) with the Nursing and Midwifery Council.

The course is taught in partnership with St George's, University of London, so you'll get combined expertise, facilities and interprofessional learning. You'll gain hands-on experience in our award-winning simulation suite and develop your skills and confidence in working with people with a learning disability by learning with the famous Baked Bean Theatre Company and other service users.

You'll also have the opportunity to be a part of the wider Learning Disability Nursing UK and Eire network and can attend the Positive Choices Conference.

This course is designed for a small cohort of students, where you'll benefit from individual learning and support. You will be taught by our dynamic teaching team which includes leading researchers and experts in learning disability nursing from practice and the Department of Health. Our students are highly sought after and receive multiple job offers before their course is complete.

NHS Training Grant 

Nursing students on pre-registration courses from September 2020 will receive a payment of at least £5,000 a year which they will not need to pay back, subject to eligibility criteria. For more information please visit the NHS Business Service Authority.

UCAS code Mode Duration Attendance Start date
B764 Full time 2 years Classroom based and clinical placements September 2021
Location Kingston Hill

2021/22 entry

If you are planning to join this course in the academic year 2021/22 (i.e. between August 2021 and July 2022), please view the information about changes to courses for 2021/22 due to Covid-19.

 

Continuing students

Students who are continuing their studies with Kingston University in 2021/22 should refer to their Course Handbook for information about specific changes that have been, or may be, made to their course or modules being delivered in 2021/22. Course Handbooks are located within the Canvas Course page.

Reasons to choose Kingston University

  • We are No 1 for Nursing and Midwifery in London (Guardian University League Tables 2020)
  • You will have access to a wide range of placements, including some internationally, if you wish.
  • You will gain hands-on experience in our simulation suite and through working with the Baked Bean Theatre Company – a professional group of actors with learning disabilities.

What you will study

This course will share learning with adult, child and mental health nursing students, where you can develop your skills in supporting people with a learning disability across the lifespan.

Topics covered include factors affecting the health and wellbeing of individuals in our changing and diverse society, addressing health inequalities and promoting improved health outcomes for people with a learning disability.

Year 1 modules (parts one and two)

Year 2 modules (part three)

Year 1 introduces the foundations of nursing and healthcare. You will study the role of the learning disability nurse and the diverse needs and contexts of people with learning disabilities. At the end of Year 1, you will be offered an opportunity to undertake a national or international placement.

Core modules

Foundations of life sciences for graduates

15 credits

This module is a core requirement for all students on the MSc Nursing course. It explores the foundations of human anatomy and physiology, including the body's systems, mechanisms for maintaining homeostasis, genomics and human development across the lifespan. Selected pathophysiology will be introduced in relation to commonly encountered health conditions and students will also begin to develop their knowledge of pharmacological concepts relating to nursing. This will provide students with key underpinning knowledge which will facilitate the exploration of person-centred assessment and care later in the programme.

Establishing the fundamentals of nursing care

30 credits

This module is a core requirement for all students on the MSc Nursing course. It introduces students to the fundamental principles of nursing and person-centred care, the determinants of health and well-being, compassionate communication and contemporary health policy. It enables the student to develop critical knowledge, skills and professional attitudes for the delivery of safe and effective person-centred care of individuals and their families or carers across a variety of settings. Students will begin to establish a sense of their nursing field identity but also that of other fields in order to promote effective interdisciplinary and integrated care.

Assessment and care planning in learning disability nursing

30 credits

This module focuses on assessment and care planning as part of the nursing process. Students will examine critically health inequalities and the impact on people with a learning disability across the lifespan. Students will apply person centred inclusive approaches to assess and plan care with people with learning disabilities, and their families and care workers, within legal and ethical frameworks. The skills and knowledge for assessment and planning will be explored critically within a framework of work place culture, utilising evidence based models.

Collaborative working for health and well-being in learning disability nursing

30 credits

This module explores the knowledge and skills necessary to implement effective holistic and collaborative care for people with a learning disability. The student will learn the importance of reasonable adjustments and health improvement strategies at individual and local levels to enable delivery of safe person-centred care. Students 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. Interdisciplinary working and current frameworks will be explored for delivering person-centred care. A range of evaluative techniques to measure clinical outcomes will be examined.

Introduction to professional practice

15 credits

This module will prepare the student for their role in practice. The focus is to introduce a range of nursing procedures to enable students to provide skilled, evidence-based, person-centred care to people at any stage of life who may have a range of physical, mental, cognitive or behavioural health conditions. It is a generic module where all fields of nursing are engaged with core nursing procedures as identified by the NMC Standards of Proficiency for Registered Nurses (NMC, 2018).

Developing professional practice

30 credits

This module will develop the skills taught and practised in the introduction to professional practice in Year 1. Students will be able to assess, plan and rationalise the nursing care they provide for people in health and social care and community settings. The emphasis will be on holistic person-centred care covering physical, psychological, social and cultural care. It will look at evidence-based, person-centred care being delivered inter- and intra-disciplinary.

In Year 2 you will explore the management of complex conditions across the lifespan (e.g. children, transition, adulthood and the older person) and the analysis and application of research and evidence base. You will also be prepared for your transition to registered nurse.

Core modules

Safe and effective quality care in learning disability nursing

30 credits

This module will provide the learning disability nursing student with the theoretical knowledge and skills required for their future role as a qualified learning disability nurse when contributing to risk monitoring, quality care provision and optimised service improvements. The student will learn to manage and prioritise clinical actions, participate in clinical audit activities for quality and service improvements and learn to avoid compromising quality care using evidence-based knowledge and experience from practice. Regulations essential for maintaining safety at work and in different care environments will be covered. Students will learn about collaborative interdisciplinary working, whilst collectively developing effective improvement strategies. Some sessions will be shared across fields as they are core for all fields.

Coordinating the care of people with learning disabilities with complex health care needs

30 credits

This module will provide the student with the underpinning knowledge and skills required for their future leadership role in coordinating and managing the complex needs of people with a learning disability across a range of organisations and settings. The module explores the complex role of the learning disability nurse, working as a specialist, to enrich the quality of life of people with learning disabilities. Experts from lived experience will be involved in the learning and teaching, supporting students through a range of complex case studies and current socio-economical and workforce challenges. The student will build on their knowledge of partnership and collaborative working and examine the cultural, political, psychosocial and technological influences on nursing care, resource management and finances.

Leadership in learning disability nursing

30 credits

Navigating the transition from student to a professional practitioner who is skilled at leading teams is critically important to the delivery of safe, effective and high quality health care. This module is designed to prepare the student for professional nursing practice by expanding their knowledge and skills to enable them to be an accountable and compassionate leader within the health and social care system. It focuses on leadership, team working, and performance management and enables learning disability nursing students to reflect on their transition to registered practice and build the evidence base for a career development portfolio. Some sessions will be shared across fields as they are core for all fields.

Advancing professional practice

30 credits

This module advances the skills taught and practised in Year 1 in order to prepare students for their transition to working as a registered nurse. The module focuses on the assessment and management of patients with complex health care needs, working in partnership with other health care professionals. Students will integrate their clinical and communication skills with evidence based knowledge to become clinically proficient and confident nurses. It is a generic module where all fields of nursing learn with and from each other.

The information above reflects the currently intended course structure and module details. Updates may be made on an annual basis and revised details will be published through Programme Specifications ahead of each academic year. The regulations governing this course are available on our website. If we have insufficient numbers of students interested in an optional module, this may not be offered.

Entry requirements

Typical offer

  • A health- or science-related degree is preferred at 2.2 or above, completed in the last five years. Health and science-related degrees could include health studies, psychology, physiology, biology, social sciences, or related studies.
  • A minimum of 650 hours of health- or social care-related experience undertaken in the 12 months prior to your application. Applicants will be asked to complete an RPL (Recognition of Prior Learning) claim form to demonstrate this experience. This, along with a testimony, is a condition for entry to the programme.
  • You must have at least five GCSEs at grade 4 or above (or grade C or above for GCSEs taken before 2017), including English language and maths (and a science subject is preferred), or equivalent qualifications, together with evidence of academic study, ideally within the last five years.

Additional requirements

The UCAS personal statement must include:

  • how you have researched the profession of nursing;
  • examples of how you have worked with vulnerable people or worked in teams where you have developed skills which may be relevant to nursing;
  • how you have gained insight into the course e.g. open days, speaking to other people; and
  • your personal qualities which you feel are related to nursing.

International

Non-native speakers who do not have the equivalent of GCSE English at grade 4 (formerly grade C) or an equivalent (e.g. Functional Skills Level 2 Literacy) require an Academic IELTS score of 7.0 or equivalent overall and at least 6.5 in the writing section and at least 7 in the reading, listening and speaking sections.

Interview and selection

  • All suitable applicants are required to attend an interview and selection day. 
  • Interviews will be undertaken by academic members of staff, service users and service-side colleagues using the multi-mini interview technique (MMIs). MMIs are value-based short structured interviews that assess some of the NHS key values and attributes required for the course and the nursing profession. These are similar in format to the OSCEs used to assess practice elements of the programme. Kingston and St George's were the first university to introduce MMIs for nursing, which have now been adopted widely across the country. Research has shown that the MMIs have a higher level of validity in the offer making process than traditional interview techniques. 
  • During the day, you will also have an informal assessment of your current digital literacy skills, which provides us with a baseline to develop your digital skills during the course.
  • Candidates called for interview will also be required to sit a literacy test in the form of an essay.
  • Admission is subject to occupational health screening and Disclosure Barring Service (DBS) enhanced check including checks against the Adult and Child Workforce Barring lists if you are offered and accept a place on the course.

Teaching and assessment

We offer a range of innovative and flexible approaches to teaching and learning which includes:

  • classroom based learning;
  • simulated practical exercises;
  • case based learning;
  • clinical placements;
  • self-directed learning;
  • individual and group working;
  • research; and
  • online resources.

You will also benefit from the support of a personal tutor, peer group learning and a range of web-based learning materials and online discussion forums.

Guided independent study

When not attending timetabled sessions, you will be expected to continue learning independently through self-study. This typically will involve reading journal articles and books, working on individual and group projects, undertaking preparing coursework assignments and presentations, and preparing for exams. Your independent learning is supported by a range of excellent facilities including online resources, the library and CANVAS – the online virtual learning platform.

Support for postgraduate students

As a student at Kingston University, we will make sure you have access to appropriate advice regarding your academic development. You will also be able to use the University's support services

Your workload

Year 1 (part one and two)

Year 2 (part three)

Year 1 (part one and two)
  • Scheduled teaching: 207 hours
  • Guided independent study: 812 hours
  • Placement learning including skills: 875 hours
Year 2 (part three)
  • Scheduled teaching: 160 hours
  • Guided independent study: 630 hours
  • Placement learning including skills: 796 hours

Year 1

  • 57 % of your time is spent in timetabled teaching and learning activity (including placement learning.

Year 2

  • 60% of your time is spent in timetabled teaching and learning activity (including placement learning.

Contact hours may vary depending on your modules

How you will be assessed

Assessment methods include; essays, exams, presentations and reports and clinical skills assessed in our simulation suites and by practice supervisors and practice assessors in practice placements.

The approximate percentage for how you will be assessed on this course is as follows:

Year 1

  • 40% coursework
  • 40% practical exams
  • 20% written exams

Year 2

  • 75% coursework
  • 25% practical exams

Feedback summary

We aim to provide feedback on assessments within 20 working days.

Who teaches this course?

Our academic team of highly skilled nurses, lecturers and researchers are known for innovation in teaching and learning. Our award-winning simulation suites provide you with unrivalled opportunities to develop your skills in caring for patients and service users through highly realistic simulations and role play. You will also have opportunities to learn with and from other health and social care students.

Course fees and funding

2021/22 fees for this course

Home and European Union 2021/22

  • MSc full time £9,250

Overseas (not EU) 2021/22

  • MSc full time £15,400

2020/21 fees for this course

Home and European Union 2020/21

  • MSc full time £9,250

Overseas (not EU) 2020/21

  • MSc full time £14,555

Additional costs

Depending on the programme of study, there may be extra costs which are not covered by tuition fees, which students will need to consider when planning their studies.

Tuition fees cover the cost of your teaching, assessment and operating University facilities such as the library, IT equipment and other support services. Accommodation and living costs are not included in our fees.

Where a course has additional expenses, we make every effort to highlight them. These may include optional field trips, materials (e.g. art, design, engineering), security checks such as DBS, uniforms, specialist clothing or professional memberships.

Textbooks

Our libraries are a valuable resource with an extensive collection of books and journals as well as first-class facilities and IT equipment. You may prefer to, or be required to, buy your own copy of key textbooks.

Computer equipment

There are open-access networked computers available across the University, plus laptops available to loan. You may find it useful to have your own PC, laptop or tablet which you can use around campus and in halls of residences. Free WiFi is available on each of the campuses.

Printing

In the majority of cases coursework can be submitted online. There may be instances when you will be required to submit work in a printed format. Printing and photocopying costs are not included in your tuition fees.

Travel

Travel costs are not included but we do have a free bus service which links the campuses and halls of residence.

Funding

Full-time students qualify for the same fee loan and living costs support as undergraduate students starting full-time higher education courses in 2019/20 by accessing loans from the Student Loans Company.

Visit our Fees and funding page to find out about the student funding options available to help you fund your postgraduate studies.

In addition, to support you while you are undertaking the clinical placement element of your studies, the government is providing non-repayable grants. The Learning Support Fund administered through the NHS Business Services Authority makes available: 

  • £1,000 Child Dependants' Allowance 

  • up to £3,000 for exceptional hardship 

  • reimbursement of additional travel and accommodation costs over normal daily travel to clinical placements. 

Information on NHS bursaries can be found on the NHS Business Services Authority website
 
Please note, you cannot apply for a pre-registration masters qualification in the same profession that you are already registered in, for example, if you hold a BSc Nursing in Adult Nursing, you are unable to complete an MSc Nursing in Mental Health. 

Discounts for Kingston University alumni

Kingston University is pleased to offer a 10% discount on full-time and part-time postgraduate degree course tuition fees (including PGCE courses) to our alumni. Visit our Alumni discount page to find out more.

International students

If you are an international student, find out more about scholarships and bursaries.

NHS Training Grant 

Nursing students on pre-registration courses from September 2020 will receive a payment of at least £5,000 a year which they will not need to pay back, subject to eligibility criteria. For more information please visit the NHS Business Service Authority.

Facilities

Kingston University's unique partnership with St George's, University of London (SGUL), means that health and social care students can access the combined resources of both Kingston University and SGUL.

As a student on this course, you will be based mainly at the Kingston Hill campus and will use the St George's campus for working in the anatomy laboratory.

Kingston University's Kingston Hill campus

Kingston University's Kingston Hill campus offers you modern facilities and include well-equipped laboratories where you can practise within a safe environment.

Our clinical skills laboratories house all the equipment needed to simulate clinical practice.

St George's, University of London campus

The St George's, University of London campus in Tooting is based alongside St George's University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, and offers you the specialist teaching environment of a medical school.

After you graduate

Once qualified, you will have a range of employment opportunities in leading NHS and independent organisations. Graduates have gained employment in areas such as:

  • Acute or primary care liaison nurses
  • Community learning disability nurses
  • Specialist nursing (eg. Epilepsy, behaviours that challenge)
  • Nurse therapists
  • Senior managers and leaders of the profession
  • Nurse consultants (learning disability)
After you graduate

Accreditation

This degree confers both an academic award and a professional qualification in nursing. On successful completion of the programme, you will be recommended to the Nursing and Midwifery Council for professional registration.

Links with the health sector

Changes to courses for 2021/22 due to Covid-19

Course information (changes for 2021/22 entry)

Composition of the course

The experience of delivering courses in 2020/21 under the various Covid-19 restrictions has enabled us to better prepare and plan the delivery of our courses in 2021/22. We are confident the course can be delivered as planned and, therefore, we do not anticipate having to make any further changes to the course, i.e. number of modules or credits in a year, in response to issues arising from the pandemic. However, if this becomes necessary, the changes will be highlighted to students via email before enrolment.

Unless government advice instructs otherwise, Study Abroad programmes will take place in 2021/22. The safety of all our students is paramount, therefore, as per normal practice, all Study Abroad activities must also be approved by the University's insurers to ensure that students are adequately protected during their period abroad. We will provide updates as the pandemic situation stabilises and/or further government advice is released.

Changes can be made to courses as part of normal enhancement processes in order to keep our courses up to date with current developments in that subject area and in response to feedback from students and other key stakeholders. Any such changes made to the composition of the course will be highlighted to students by email before enrolment.

Modules

The experience of delivering courses in 2020/21 under the various Covid-19 restrictions has enabled us to better prepare and plan the delivery of our courses in 2021/22. We are confident the course can be delivered as planned and, therefore, we do not anticipate having to make any further changes to module titles and summaries or to the availability of modules in response to issues arising from the pandemic.

Changes can be made to modules as part of normal enhancement processes in order to keep our courses up to date with current developments in that subject area and to provide a high quality student experience. Any such changes made to module titles, module summaries and/or availability of modules will be highlighted to students by email before enrolment.

Length of course

We expect to deliver the course within the planned timescales to enable successful students to progress through and graduate from the course without delay.

In exceptional circumstances the sequence of learning and teaching activities may be changed in 2021/22, e.g. moving those modules which can be delivered more effectively to the first teaching block and moving back those – such as practical modules and placements – which may be more difficult to deliver due to some ongoing restrictions.

In some cases, it may be necessary to delay placement modules which may then impact the length of the course. In these circumstances the University will guide students through the appropriate options available to ensure students are able to make informed choices.

Entry requirements (changes for 2021/22 entry)

We have not changed entry requirements as a direct result of the pandemic.

Entry requirements for international students

We have not changed entry requirements for international students as a direct result of the pandemic.

Teaching (changes for 2021/22 entry)

Changes to the way the course will be delivered

As we transition from the pandemic restrictions, we expect to steadily increase the proportion of on-campus teaching. We will continue to provide a proportion of online learning, as experience has shown that this enriches and supports the student learning experience.

If the pandemic affects teaching and learning activities in 2021/22 more than we currently anticipate, the proportion of online learning will increase. However, unless a lockdown is enforced, we will ensure that all courses provide a reasonable percentage of their teaching and learning activities on campus.

Should your circumstances prevent your attendance at on-campus sessions, you should still be able to engage with your course remotely in a way that allows you to progress. Where this is not possible, for example on courses with high practical content, your course team will be able to advise you on the options available to you.

Changes to teaching in the event of a further lockdown or adjustments in government advice

The University will continue to closely monitor government announcements and advice in relation to the pandemic and, where required, will take any necessary action in order to comply with such advice.

In the event that a further lockdown is enforced in 2021/22 the University will aim to deliver the course fully online once more. The majority of our courses are prepared to be delivered fully online if the situation requires it. Where the quality of the student experience may be compromised, or the course is unable to be delivered fully online, the University may need to suspend the delivery of that course until a time that it can be delivered. Students will be supported in these situations to ensure they are able to make the right choices for their particular circumstances.

Changes to the overall breakdown of scheduled teaching hours, placements and guided independent study hours for Year 1

Changes to the overall breakdown of scheduled learning and teaching hours, placements and guided independent study hours were not and will not be made as a direct result of the pandemic.

‘Scheduled learning and teaching' includes teaching delivered online, either live or recorded/on demand.

Timetable

Your individualised timetable for teaching block 1 (i.e. up to December 2021) should be available by the end of August. Timetables for teaching block 2 (i.e. from January 2022) will not be available until the autumn. We make every effort to ensure timetables are as student-friendly as possible.

In 2020/21 it was agreed that scheduled learning and teaching could take place on any day of the week between 9am and 9pm, to maximise the time available for teaching in order to accommodate smaller group sizes and social distancing. This meant we sometimes had to use Wednesday afternoons and enrichment week for additional teaching slots. If we need to accommodate smaller group sizes and social distancing in 2021/22 we expect to adopt a similar approach. Timetables for part-time students will depend on the modules selected.

Assessment (changes for 2021/22 entry)

The experience of delivering courses in 2020/21 under the various Covid-19 restrictions has enabled us to better prepare and plan the delivery of our courses in 2021/22. We are confident the course can be delivered as planned and, therefore, do not anticipate having to make any further changes to the course, i.e. to the overall methods of assessments, in response to issues arising from the pandemic. However, if this becomes necessary, the changes will be highlighted to students via email before enrolment.

Changes are made to modules, including how they are assessed, as part of normal enhancement processes to keep our modules up to date with current developments in that subject area and in response to feedback received from students and other key stakeholders. Any changes to the overall methods of assessment for Year 1 of the course will be highlighted to students by email before enrolment.

If social distancing or lockdown restrictions are in place in 2021/22, online alternative options to formal on-campus examinations, including practical examinations, will be made available to students where possible.

Staff (changes for 2021/22 entry)

No changes are expected to the general level of experience or status of staff involved in delivering the course.

Staff are engaged in Continuous Professional Development activities to develop their teaching expertise, as part of the normal enhancement processes, to ensure that course teams have the required breadth of expertise.

Fees, funding and additional costs (changes for 2021/22 entry)

Tuition fees

There will be no changes to published tuition fees for 2021/22.

Additional costs (e.g. field trips, materials, equipment, etc.)

As we transition from the pandemic restrictions, we expect to be able to increase student access to on-campus facilities. Students will therefore have access to University computers and library facilities.

If, due to an increase in social distancing requirements or the enforcing of a lockdown, it becomes necessary to significantly increase the proportion of teaching delivered online, students will need a personal laptop or computer and access to the internet to participate in online teaching and learning activities. Students who are able to travel will have access to computers on campus, however, it should be noted that access to on-campus facilities might be restricted if social distancing requirements are enforced.

The University is committed to supporting students who are unable to access suitable technology to ensure equity of access in a blended delivery mode.

Funding

There will be no changes to any existing University funding arrangements for 2021/22. Currently there are no indications from the UK government that there will be any changes to government funding arrangements.

Fees and funding for international students

There will be no changes to published tuition fees or funding arrangements specifically relating to international students for 2021/22.

Work placements and field trips (changes for 2021/22 entry)

We are anticipating that placements (including work and clinical placements) and field trips included as part of the course will go ahead in 2021/22. However, to ensure students gain maximum value from placement activities, it may be necessary to reschedule them to later in the year, when any impacts from the pandemic restrictions are minimised.

Any proposed changes to placements or field trips would go through the University's agreed processes where the impact of the change will be carefully considered.

In the interests of the health and wellbeing of our students, all placement arrangements must be approved by the University's insurers and the appropriate risk assessments made before students are sent on a placement.

Courses which require placements or field trips to be completed in order to pass relevant modules will have contingency plans in place in the event that a placement or field trip cannot be completed due to another lockdown or more stringent social distancing measures.

Award, qualification and accreditation (changes for 2021/22 entry)

Qualification

No changes will be made to the qualification awarded, e.g. BSc (Hons), MSc, etc., as a direct result of the pandemic.

Changes can be made to courses, including the qualification awarded (although very rare), as part of normal enhancement processes in order to keep our courses up to date with current developments in that subject area. Any changes made to the qualification awarded for the course will be highlighted to students by email before enrolment.

Accreditation

The experience of delivering courses in 2020/21 under the various Covid-19 restrictions has enabled us to better prepare and plan the delivery of our courses in 2021/22. We are confident the course can be delivered as planned and in accordance with any professional body requirements. We do not anticipate making any further changes to courses in response to any issues arising from the pandemic and which would put at risk any professional body accreditation status.

Additional (changes for 2021/22 entry)

International students should maintain awareness of the UK government's and their home country's government's advice on possible travel restrictions. The University will closely monitor advice and guidance published by the UK government and assess its impact on our international students. Appropriate advice and guidance will be provided as and when required.