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  • Nursing/Registered Nurse (Learning Disability) BSc (Hons)

Nursing/Registered Nurse (Learning Disability) BSc (Hons)

Why choose this course?

This course is for is for students that want to make a difference to the health and wellbeing of people with learning disabilities. It will give you the knowledge and skills to become a registered learning disability nurse.

You'll study the factors affecting the health and wellbeing of individuals in our society, health inequalities and the promotion of improved health outcomes for people with a learning disability.

You'll explore the management of complex conditions across the lifespan from children to the older person and those with dementia, or other mental or physical health needs.

You'll gain hands-on experience in our award-winning simulation suite and develop your skills and confidence in caring for people by working with the famous Baked Bean Theatre Company.

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 Learning Disability Conference.

This course is designed for a small and enthusiastic 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.

Reasons to choose Kingston University

  • The course is taught in partnership with St George's, University of London. You'll get combined expertise, facilities and interprofessional learning.
  • 100 per cent of students from this course are in highly-skilled employment or further study six months after graduating (DHLE 2016/17).
  • You'll get both an academic award and a professional qualification in nursing and be recommended to the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) for professional registration.

What you will study

Please note that this is an indicative list of modules and is not intended as a definitive list. These modules will be subject to change in accordance with the new pre-registration education standards from the Nursing and Midwifery Council for 2020.

Year 1

Year 2

Year 3

You will develop your skills in caring for people with a learning disability, learning alongside students of adult, child and mental health nursing.

Core modules

Science for Nursing

30 credits

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.

Nursing in Context

30 credits

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.

Foundations of Learning Disability Nursing

30 credits

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.

Nursing Practice Part 1

30 credits

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.

In Year 2, you can develop your community nursing skills on our Alternative Practice Programme. Working in teams, you will explore topics such as mental health and wellbeing and nutrition and sustainability, and prepare a presentation.

Core modules

Person-centred Care

30 credits

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.

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 3 you will explore the management of complex conditions across the lifespan (e.g. children, transition, adulthood, the older person and those with dementia or other mental or physical health needs).

Core modules

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.

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.

Developing 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 their 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

The typical requirement for entry for this course is 112 UCAS points, Health and Science subjects preferred:

  • A Levels BBC (General Studies not accepted)
  • BTEC Extended Diploma Distinction Merit Merit
  • Access to HE course to value of 112 UCAS points normally achieved with 21 Distinctions and 18 Merits

Additional requirements

  • GCSE at grade 4 or above (or grade C or above for GCSEs taken before 2017) in English Language and Mathematics (Science also preferred) or equivalent qualification e.g. Functional/Key skills level 2 in numeracy and literacy; Level 2 Applied Science. GCSE Science grade 4 or above (formerly A*-C) is not required from Access students undertaking a science or health based access course.
  • Wherever possible candidates are encouraged to gain practical work experience in a care setting prior to undertaking the programme.
  • Our selection process includes an interview.
  • Admission is subject to Occupational Health screening and an Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check if you are offered and accept a place on the course.

Alternative routes

We welcome a wide range of qualifications and qualification combinations to the value of 112 UCAS points. We assess each application individually, taking in to account any experience and skills you may have in your chosen field. Typical other routes include:

  • Foundation degree in related programmes 60%
  • International Baccalaureate 26 points
  • FETAC Level 5 Merit in all modules

International students

We welcome applications from International Applicants. Non-native speakers who do not have the equivalent of GCSE English at grade 4 (formerly grade C) (e.g. Functional Skills Level 2 Literacy) require an IELTS score of 7.0 overall with 6.5 in writing and 7.0 in all other elements.

Teaching and assessment

Teaching methods include lectures, clinical skills sessions, seminars, tutorials, workshops, guided study and independent project work. Kingston University has well-equipped simulation suites where you can use clinical equipment and practise on mannequins and teaching models. In addition, you'll take part in simulated events with actors from ACT Too and the Baked Bean Company as well as with role players, clinical partners and high-fidelity mannequins.

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.

Academic support

Our academic support team here at Kingston University provides help in a range of areas. 

Dedicated personal tutor

When you arrive, we'll introduce you to your personal tutor. This is the member of academic staff who will provide academic guidance, be a support throughout your time at Kingston and who will show you how to make the best use of all the help and resources that we offer at Kingston University. 

Your workload

Type of teaching and learning Year 1 Year 2 Year 3
% of your time is spent in timetabled teaching and learning activity: 56% 58% 62%
Scheduled teaching and learning: 920 hours 1048 hours 1193 hours
Guided independent study: 734 hours 744 hours 742 hours

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/assessors in practice placements. 

The approximate percentage for how you will be assessed on this course is as follows, though depends to some extent on the optional modules you choose: 

Type of assessment Year 1 Year 2 Year 3
Coursework 50% 50% 75%
Practical exam 25% 25% 25%
Written exam 25% 25% 0%

Feedback summary

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

Your timetable

Your individualised timetable is normally available to students within 48 hours of enrolment. Whilst we make every effort to ensure timetables are as student-friendly as possible, scheduled teaching can take place on any day of the week between 9am and 6pm. For undergraduate students Wednesday afternoons are normally reserved for sports and cultural activities, but there may be occasions when this is not possible. Timetables for part-time students will depend on the modules selected.

Who teaches this course?

Our academic team of highly skilled nurses, lecturers and researchers are known for innovation in teaching and learning. 

Course fees and funding

2019/20 fees for this course

 Fee category  Amount
Home (UK and EU students) £9,250*
International £14,600
Islands (Channel Islands and Isle of Man) To be confirmed by the Island Authorities

* These fees are annual and may increase in line with inflation each year subject to the results of the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF).

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, security checks such as DBS, uniforms, specialist clothing or professional memberships.

Text books

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.


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 costs are not included so you will need to budget how you will travel to university, and to placements. You may be able to claim reimbursement of some of your expenses for travel to practice placements each day for costs incurred over and above your usual daily travel costs to attend university. Visit here for more details.

Uniform and equipment

We provide you with a uniform. You will need to purchase appropriate shoes (£20 - £60) and a fob watch (£5 - £20) for practice. If you want additional uniform items, they are available for purchase.

DBS Check

The University pays for the processing of the application which is £51 but students are expected to pay a small fee (approximately £7) to the Post Office to get their ID documents verified and £13 per year for subscribing to the Update Service. This subscription allows universities and potential employers to view any changes to students' DBS.

Occupational Health

As part of the conditions of your place you will need to get your GP to complete a routine screening form. All GPs have their own policies on charging fees for completion of these reports. The minimum fee recommended by the BMA is £30. Some GPs will not charge you for completion of the form but some GP surgeries are unable to make exceptions and will charge you the standard rate for their practice (in some cases this can be £50 or more). Neither the Faculty nor Occupational Health will be able to reimburse students for fees charged by their GP.

The majority of the required vaccinations should be free from your GP or via the NHS. Our Occupational Health Service will see you in the first two weeks of the course to ensure you have obtained the necessary vaccinations and will undertake any vaccinations/screening tests you have missed. Neither the Faculty nor Occupational Health will be able to reimburse students for any fees charged by their GP or other vaccination providers for vaccinations incurring a cost. If you are being charged for a vaccination we would suggest that you wait until you start the course where you will be able to obtain the vaccination at no cost to yourself.

Membership and registration fees

  • Professional body membership fees whilst on course approximately £10.
  • Nursing and Midwifery Council registration fees, once qualified, currently £120 for the year.


Subject to eligibility and approval by the Faculty, students are able to arrange their own elective clinical placements either in the UK or overseas. Students are required to make the necessary arrangements for any electives, including costs such as travel, accommodation, visas and additional vaccinations.

Note for EU students: UK withdrawal from the European Union

EU students starting a programme in the 2019/20 academic year will be charged the same fees as those who began in 2018/19 (subject to any annual increase in accordance with the applicable terms and conditions and the Kingston University fees schedule).

They will also be able to access the same financial support for the duration of their course as students who began in 2018/19, even if their degree concludes after the UK's exit from the EU.

No assurances have yet been made regarding 2020/21 and beyond. Updates will be published here as soon as they become available.


You will be taught by the Simulated Learning and Clinical Skills team, clinical skills fundamental to deliver high quality care to patients in all fields of nursing within clinical, community and practice health settings.

You will take part in award winning innovative simulations with role players and full body manikins that provide unprecedented opportunities to acquire, develop and maintain the knowledge, skills, values and behaviors needed for safe and effective patient care.


Links with business and industry

We have 18 practice partners for learning disability nursing from the NHS and private sector including:

  • South West London and St George's Mental Health Trust
  • London Boroughs of Sutton and Merton
  • The Children's Trust
  • Surrey and Borders Partnership NHS Foundation Trust
  • Your Healthcare
  • Royal Hospital for Neuro-disability
  • Oxleas NHS Foundation Trust
  • Haringey Community Team

After you graduate

Our graduates have gone on to posts as specialist nurses (e.g. epilepsy), nurse therapists, as senior managers and leaders of the profession as well as community, clinical liaison and consultant nurses. Many go on to gain higher degrees and study clinical specialisms e.g. in Positive Behavioural Support, Autism, etc.

Type of jobs on qualifying

  • Staff nurse learning disability
  • Clinical health team for people with a learning disability
  • Community nurse learning disability

Types of organisations

  • London Borough of Sutton
  • The Children's Trust
  • Surrey and Borders Partnership NHS Foundation Trust
  • South West London and St George's Mental Health NHS Trust
  • St George's University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  • Your Healthcare
  • The Royal Hospital for Neuro-disability, Putney


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

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).

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