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  • Learning Disability Nursing MSc

Learning Disability 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.

Government Bursary

All Nursing and Midwifery students on courses from September 2020 will receive a payment of at least £5,000 a year which they will not need to pay back.

UCAS code Mode Duration Attendance Start date
B764 Full time 2 years Classroom based and clinical placements September 2020
Location Kingston Hill

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 (part 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

Introduction to Nursing for Graduates

30 credits

This is a core module for all graduate students. It introduces you to nursing and enables you to develop skills and critical knowledge that will enable the application of safe delivery of care for an individual through person-centred care and the care model pathways.

Nursing Practice Part 1

30 credits

This module will be delivered in part one of the Masters nursing programme. The module prepares the novice student for their 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.

Learning Disability: Identifying and Meeting Health Needs

30 credits

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.

Learning Disability: Promoting Improved Health Outcomes

30 credits

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.

Nursing Practice Part 2

30 credits

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.

In year 2 you will explore the management of complex conditions across the life span (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

Complexities of Learning Disability Nursing

30 credits

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 

Transition to Professional Practice in Learning Disability Nursing

30 credits

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.

Developing and Analysing Evidence-Based Practice

30 credits

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 your field-specific areas of practice.

Nursing Practice Part 3

30 credits

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.

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. Health and science-related degrees could include health studies, psychology, physiology, biology, social sciences, or related studies to the above.
  • 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 the achievement of 650 hours of recent experience. Successful achievement of this form, along with a testimony, are 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.


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

When you arrive at Kingston, 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: 184 hours
  • Guided independent study
  • Placement
Year 2 (part three)
  • Scheduled teaching: 164 hours
  • Guided independent study
  • Placement

Year 1

  • 10% of your time is spent in timetabled teaching and learning activity
  • 52% of your time will be spent in a clinical placement
  • 38% of your time will be spent in guided independent study

Year 2

  • 9% of your time is spent in timetabled teaching and learning activity
  • 49% of your time will be spent in a clinical placement
  • 42% of your time will be spent in guided independent study

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

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


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 per cent 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.


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


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

Postgraduate study
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