Postgraduate Taught

Graduate Diploma in Integrated Community 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, the Person-centred Practice Framework is suitable for international, United Kingdom and local practitioners who wish to further develop critical thinking, professional reasoning and research knowledge and skills to develop practice in a way that is informed by evidence and that is person-centred.

This programme will develop the core generalist knowledge, skills and competencies required for safe and effective practice across the range of community roles at practitioner level (Level 5 of the Career Framework for Health), to meet people’s physical, mental health, and social care needs.

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 personcentred practice academics including Professor Brendan McCormack and Professor Jan
  • Flexible pathways, allowing you to personalise your learning to your own situation.
  • More Person-Centred Practice routes may be available. Please check our website for updates.

Course overview

This program will be completed online. 

This framework is for graduates and practitioners who wish to develop their careers in the broad field of health and care systems. 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 two core modules that you undertake to enable you to work towards a PgCert. You then have the option to study modules that are appropriate to your desired option or professional background.

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 personcentred 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 care system 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 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.


To obtain a specific postgraduate award at QMU you must complete a number of credit-bearing modules. You can exit all routes with a PgCert or PgDip, and some courses also offer an MSc. You can also register as an associate student to complete a single module for CPD. On completion of a single module, you may wish to complete further modules and progress your studies to a named award.



Year One
Promoting Person-centred Ways of Working in Integrated Community and Primary Care Teams (20 credits): The module focusses on increasing self-awareness by being compassionate and creating conditions to humanising healthcare. You will explore the current political context of practice and draw on theories of personhood, person-centredness, with a particular focus on values and beliefs and shared decision-making. You will critically review and apply theories and frameworks of person-centred facilitation, reflecting on your own practice and that which exists in your workplace culture. You will also consider a range of quality improvement methodologies, methods, and tools available to you in practice. Reflexivity and critical creativity will be central threads running through the module.

Systematic Approaches in Clinical Assessment (20 credits): The content of the module will focus on developing the clinical competency of the learner to provide a systematic physical assessment. This will incorporate patient history taking, assessment and management relating to the cardiovascular, respiratory, gastro-intestinal, renal, and neurological- systems as well as pain assessment and management. Proactive care, supported self-management, anticipatory care, professional accountability, inter-professional working, problem solving, clinical decision-making and remote assessment will also be integrated into the learning within the module.

Learning from and with people and families living with long-term conditions (20 credits): This module will consider long term conditions from a healthcare, social care, and political context. Learners will engage with multiple professions and the third sector and develop their understanding and practice of the concept of interdisciplinarity and its influence on the experience of people who have a long-term condition. Learners will draw on theories of personhood, authentic engagement, interdisciplinarity, person centredness and the biopsychosocial model. Frameworks and theories used by other professional groups will also be considered. Critically analyse concept of personhood in anticipatory care and social determinants of health and apply in the management of long-term conditions

Year Two
Developing Professional Practice: work-based learning (40 credits): The principles of work-based learning will be introduced followed by a series of preparatory on-line activities.
The focus of these sessions will frame learner participation through:
 Development of a proactive approach to learning through debate and discussion on professional practice;
 Critiquing clinical expertise to enhance an area of practice relevant to your role;
 Developing personal outcomes in order to achieve identified areas of learning with reference to cognitive, psychomotor, and affective domains;
 Map these priorities for learning through a flexible learning action plan including the skills required to develop practice.
Six hours will be allowed for these on-line activities.
You will be supported in the development and implementation of LAP by an academic supervisor and employer/representative [where appropriate] throughout.


Independent and Supplementary Prescribing for Health Care Professionals (40 credit module): The aim of this module is to prepare healthcare professionals to prescribe safely and competently within the context of their professional role as Prescribers. The requirements and outcomes of the module are derived from prescribing standards set by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC 2018), and the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC 2019).

The module runs for 26 weeks, including 90 hours spent learning in practice. Teaching days fall mainly in the first third of the module, but you will engage with QMU throughout the duration. The assessment strategies within the module include a drug calculation and numeracy exam, pharmacology exam, and academic written work.

You will participate in a range of teaching and learning experiences both at university and in practice. In keeping with the Person-centred Practice Framework philosophy, you are encouraged to participate actively and take responsibility for your own learning. Throughout the module your learning will be supported by our Virtual Learning Environment and our Learning Resource Centre where you can access a wide range of on-line learning materials, books and journals.

The module will cover content as indicated as requirement by professional bodies:
Consultation, decision-making tools and therapy, including referral
Clinical decision-making
Influences on and psychology of prescribing
Prescribing in a team context
Clinical pharmacology, including the effectives of co-morbidity
Evidence-based practice and clinical governance in relation to prescribing practice
Legal, policy and ethical aspects of prescribing practice
Prescribing governance and patient safety
Professional accountability and responsibility including appropriate documentation
Prescribing in the public health context including out of hours contexts
Local prescribing formularies – development and utilisation
Completion of drug profiles for individual learning and clinical context
Critical reflection
Year two options must also include a 20-credit elective module

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 where students can explore and challenge theories, practices and different sources of knowledge creatively in an atmosphere of high challenge and high support.

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 that 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 (e.g. HUB@QMU), will be an important component of approaches to formative and summative assessment.

For students undertaking NMCrecognised specialist qualification and registration (District Nursing, Health Visiting, School Nursing), the course is 50% practice-based and requires placement in an approved practice. To support learners in their practice learning environment they will be assigned to a Practice Supervisor and a Practice Assessor. Placement will be negotiated with your supporting NHS area.

Teaching hours and attendance

Your attendance requirements at QMU will depend on the module you are studying and whether you are studying full-time or part-time.


Learners will complete the programme in their substantive clinical post


Upon successful completion of this programme band 5 nurses will be equipped to practice confidently and competently across a range of settings and then move on to more specific roles following additional specialised education to provide safe, effective, person-centred care to people with more complex health and care needs within a specialist are of practice.

Entry requirements

Standard entry: Graduate Diploma Integrated Community Nursing: All applicants must be Registered Nurses (Part 1- adult, mental health or learning disabilities) with the Nursing & Midwifery Council (NMC). A degree is not required. Normally be employed as a Band 5 nurse (Level 5 of the NES Career Framework for Health), working within a community or primary care context. Have access to a Clinical Guide to support their learning and development.

Non-standard entry: Graduate Diploma Integrated Community Nursing: In line with the university policy of seeking to offer opportunities to candidates regardless of their personal background and level of educational attainment, the programme team will promote entry to the programme for all learners. Practically this means that the programme team will consider: 

  • Candidates who have no formal degree level qualification but can demonstrate substantive professional experience and suitable CPD outcomes.
  • Applications for non-standard entry will be assessed by the Programme Team and will be based on the following criteria:
  • Evidence of appropriate work experience and supporting CPD activity which maps against the SCQF level descriptors for level 9; 
  • A statement of what the applicant has learnt from the above activity, showing how the learning has been at the equivalent of SCQF level 9;
  • Supporting statement from your employer.

It may be appropriate for applicants without academic qualifications to be admitted initially as an associate learner. Should they be successful in their first module as an associate learner, they may then transfer to the full programme.

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 and no individual component score below 6.0

Links with industry/ professional bodies

These routes allow you to gain the level  of knowledge and skills required for advanced practice. They do not receive accreditation with the NMC unless students are undertaking the Specialist Practitioner Qualification in District Nursing or registration as a Specialist Community Public Health Nurse (SCPHN).

Application deadline

  • 21st August for our September intake
  • 18th December for our January intake

Exit awards

PgDip (120 credits)/ PgCert (60 credits)

Associate student places

Associate students can apply to study any of the modules within this programme.


A number of places are funded by NES.

Professional registration / accreditation

The Graduate Diploma is not a professional award

More information and contacts

For further information on this course please contact Julie Churchill the Programme Leader 

Please Note:

The delivery of this course is subject to the terms and conditions set out in our 2021/22 Entry - Terms and Conditions (Postgraduate).