Postgraduate Taught

PgDip Person-Centred Practice (District Nursing)

Do you want to build on your experience as a health or social care practitioner? Are you keen to develop an understanding of the knowledge and evidence that positively contribute to the health and wellbeing of persons, groups and populations? Our innovative Person-Centred Practice (PCP) Framework offers a flexible suite of course routes that will give you a valuable, career-expanding qualification in person-centred practice.

With part-time and full-time options, this Framework will appeal to health and social care professionals and graduates in health or social care who wish to develop their careers. We have carefully structured the Framework to be as flexible as possible, so you can study the route that best meets your professional background and future aspirations.

This MSc/ PgDip is for Registered Nurses already working in, or wishing to work in, the community in a district nursing capacity.

Why QMU?

  • You will engage with contemporary, creative and interactive learning approaches that are designed to help you thrive in your studies.
  • You will learn from passionate and internationally renowned person-centred practice academics including Professor Brendan McCormack and Professor Jan Dewing.
  • Flexible pathways, allowing you to personalise your learning to your own situation.

Course overview

This Framework is for graduates and practitioners who wish to develop their careers in the broad field of health and social care. You can personalise your learning to your own situation – for example mental health, social care, infection control, acute care or community health. You can also sign up to study single modules.

Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) registered nurses already working in, or wishing to work in, the community can undertake a specified group of modules that allows them to achieve a community qualification or registration recognised by the NMC in District Nursing, Health Visiting or School Nursing.

There are three core modules that enable you to obtain a PgCert. You will then study modules appropriate to your desired route.

The routes in the Person-Centred Practice Framework seek to influence and enable the transformative processes of personal and professional development through engagement, facilitation and evaluation of person-centred teaching and learning approaches. It is designed to meet the professional needs of practitioners from all disciplines working in a variety of different health and social care settings.

The Framework is innovative and interactive, emphasising application of theory to your practice context. It will enable you to critically engage with, evaluate and synthesise the evidence and research to promote the development and enhancement of person-centred culture and practice. This develops a pro-active, transformative and reflective approach to meeting the public health and social needs of individuals, families, groups and populations.

We are proud of the varied and progressive approaches to learning which we offer and international students are particularly welcome to apply.


Exit awards

PgDip (120 credits)/ PgCert (60 credits)

Teaching, learning and assessment

Our teaching, learning and assessment strategy is framed by our core philosophical concepts of personhood, person-centredness, human valuing, healthful relations, human potential and development, and supportive and enabling environments. Central to this strategy is the need for learners to engage in the learning experiences, a readiness to listen and explore, preparedness to be open to experiences and a resolve to keep going. This environment will generate an ethos of engagement and where students can explore and challenge theories, practices and different sources of knowledge creatively in an atmosphere of high challenge and high support.

We achieve this learning environment through a focus on three pillars of learning activity, namely:

  • Student-centred experiential and collaborative learning
  • Reflexivity and critical discourse
  • Sustainable and ethical evidence-based teaching.

Students will be supported to challenge their thinking, values and beliefs — through the posing of complex activities and questions — and develop resilient and sustainable approaches to their learning and practice in response to these. Critical to this process is the use of diverse knowledge, scholarly inquiry processes and evidence-informed materials to engage and enliven the processes of learning.

Assessment strategies will encourage application to practice. This will be achieved through the use of varied strategies which draw on the student’s own areas of practice such as portfolio development, practice proposals, annotated bibliographies, simulation events, games, seminar presentations and self-determined contextual assignment topics. Tutor, peer and self-assessment, including within virtual environments (eg HUB@QMU), will be an important component of approaches to formative and summative assessment.

For students undertaking NMC-recognised specialist qualification and registration (District Nursing, Health Visiting, School Nursing), the course is 50% practice-based and requires placement in an approved practice with a Practice Teacher or Sign-off Mentor or Health Visitor Mentor. Placement will be negotiated with your supporting NHS area.

Teaching hours and attendance

The course is 50% theory and 50% practice based. Your attendance at QMU will depend on the module selected.

Links with industry/ professional bodies

Students undertaking the Specialist Practitioner Qualification in District Nursing or registration as a Specialist Community Public Health Nurse (SCPHN) gain accreditation with the NMC.


Theory and Practice of Person-Centred Health and Social Care (30 credits)

Advancing Person-Centred Specialist Practice (30 credits)

Advancing Approaches to Clinical Assessment (30 credits)

Independent and Supplementary Prescribing for Health Care Professionals (40 credits)

Please check the entry requirements for the Independent and Supplementary Prescribing for Health Care Professionals which is an NMC approved qualification, requiring an up-to-date Criminal Records Check.

The modules listed above are correct at time of posting (Jan 2020) but are subject to change following revalidation in 2020. Please check the website for any updates. 


Single modules for CPD

If you are looking to complete a stand alone module prior to applying for the PgDip Person-Centred Practice (District Nursing), you can register as an associated student and apply to the MSc Person-centred Practice course noting that you wish apply to undertake one of the following single modules:

  • Independent and Supplementary Prescribing for Healthcare Professionals (40 credits)
  • Advancing Approaches to Clinical Assessment (30 credits)

Contact Bill Lawson for more information.


Graduates have taken up advanced specialist practice and leadership roles within their specialist field of practice.

Entry requirements

All applicants for District Nursing must be on part 1 of the NMC register Adult/ Children’s Nursing.

It is recommended that applicants have completed a period of experience of sufficient length to have consolidated pre-registration outcomes and to have gained a deeper understanding in relevant professional practice; have a degree and access to practice placement and Practice Teacher/Sign-off Mentor or Health Visitor Mentor.

International: Where your honours degree has not been studied in English, you will be required to provide evidence of English language competence at no less than IELTS 6.5 with no individual component score less than 6.0.<''>Interview: Interviews will take place in collaboration with partner Health Boards.

Criminal Records Check: For students undertaking NMC approved qualifications a satisfactory criminal records check will be required. Compliance with the terms of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act (1974) and mental health legislation for clinical placement and employability in statutory services, for work with children and in other sensitive areas of employment.  

Application deadline

Applications must be made to both QMU and the NHS Board. Monitor the NHS Jobs website ( or contact the relevant manager at your Health Board for more information.

NHS Lothian

Information is not yet available

NHS Fife

Information is not yet available

NHS Borders

Information is not yet available

More information and contacts

Admissions or Julie Churchill on tel: +44(0)131 474 0000

Please Note:

  • The delivery of this course is subject to the terms and conditions set out in our 2020/201 Entry - Terms and Conditions (Postgraduate).
  • There are intakes in September each year. Partner NHS Health Boards normally advertise their recruitment opportunities around March – April and joint interviews are normally held around May – June.  You will be required to submit an application to both your NHS Health Board and QMU.  Please visit our application area on the QMU website: or contact our Admissions Team:





 You will find case studies on students and graduates at the foot of this page.

Course Overview

At QMU and on placement
Full-time: 1 year (September start)/ Part-time: 15 months (January 2021 start)
Start Date
September 2020
January 2021
Study Abroad
School of Health Sciences
Fees & Funding

Related Professional Bodies