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Postgraduate Diploma Public Health (Specialist Community Public Health)

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  • Objectives
    -Promote public health practice centred learning. -Develop students evidence based public health knowledge, and skills to inform practice. -Promote the development of lifelong learning through reflection, and personal development planning. -Promote inter-professional learning, collaborative and partnership working within the context of public health.
  • Entry requirements
    All students must have the following: -Active 1st level registration on the NMC professional register -Acquired a practice teacher employed by a NHS Trust, usually a Primary Care Trust -It is recommended that there is one year's post-registration experience
  • Academic Title
    Postgraduate Diploma Public Health (Specialist Community Public Health)
  • Course description

    The programme has been designed to produce knowledgeable and skilled practitioners who are responsible for the health needs of various client groups across different settings in public health practice working within the NMC Professional Code of Conduct: Standards of Conduct Performance and Ethics. This knowledge and skill development will be reflected in your ability to demonstrate practice centred achievement of the NMC (2004) Standards of Proficiency for Specialist Community Public Health Nurses. Ten key areas of public health practice and domains require a practitioner to search for health needs; stimulate an awareness of health needs; influence policies affecting health and facilitate health enhancing activities in different public health settings.

    This means a challenge to current ways of working in order that a family/child centred public health role with individuals, families and populations may be embraced. The focus will be on improving health and tackling inequalities in health which will require working across traditional boundaries, networking and developing services in conjunction with service users, other professionals and voluntary workers and collecting data that straddles the social and health needs of the public.

    Specialist Community Public Health Nurses must participate actively in public health provision for populations and defined social groups starting from a health-focused perspective within an overall socio-cultural context. This involves the capacity to lead, assess, participate and work collaboratively, evaluating public health provisions, accepting responsibility and accountability for the safe, effective and efficient management of that provision.

    This programme is for people who wish to register on the third part of the NMC register as a Specialist Community Public Health Nurse: Health Visitor/School Nurse. For health visiting this will also include nurse prescribing which is optional for school nursing. The programme is predicated on registration Part 1 (nursing) or Part 2 (midwifery) of the NMC register.


    During the programme you will gain experiences in a range of different settings and areas of professional practice through collaborative working and inter-professional learning covering the following areas:

    -In settings and with age groups that are central to the responsibilities for that defined area of practice (minimum of 6.3 weeks - 224 hours).
    -Working with disadvantaged or vulnerable populations, health inequalities and factors that contribute to health and well being.
    -Working with age groups considered as either important or that may be a potential area of responsibility even if not central to the areas of responsibility.
    -During Part 2 you will complete 12 weeks (350 hours) of consolidated practice within your defined area of practice.

    The practice element of the programme is divided into 2 parts, Taught (Part 1) and Consolidated (Part 2).

    A period of consolidation provides an opportunity for you to focus on your specific profession, building on the previous experiences developed through the programme and in practice. This period allows time for prioritisation of workload, development of proficiency, and fitness for practice as a safe, accountable and effective practitioner. In order to achieve this it is recommended that you should complete consolidated practice on a full time basis over 12 weeks. However, if you enter on a part time basis, you will be offered the opportunity to complete consolidated practice over 24 weeks.

    The NMC requirements (2004/2006) is that a practitioner has three years to complete the programme full time and four years to complete the programme part time. The programme is 50 per cent theory to practice with designated time in the University as well as in practice with a coordinating Practice Teacher.

    Module Title
    -Public Health and Health Promotion
    -Leadership and Change
    -Synoptic Module
    -Evidence Based Public Health
    -Evidence Work Based Learning

    Optional module M 20

    Students will already be working in appropriate placement settings.

    Teaching and learning
    A range of teaching and learning methods is used including formal lectures, seminars, project work, enquiry-based and online learning, individual self-directed study and assignment preparation. Students are encouraged to make use of their own and colleagues' existing experience in the learning process.

    Study facilities
    The Faculty is superbly equipped with an extensive range of teaching and learning resources across four campuses.

    The library on the Glenside Campus is one of the best health and social care libraries in England with a huge selection of books, journals and audio-visual materials including access to specialist health and social care packages.

    The Interprofessional Simulation Suite provides excellent opportunities for the demonstration and practice of professional competencies for health and social care students.

    Information Technology provision is in the form of multimedia laboratories, smart boards and innovative projects such as 'multicasting' to deliver teaching material.

    Study time
    To facilitate learning and teaching in practice you will be allocated a practice teacher by the seconding or sponsoring Trust and work with mentors in the Trust. The practice teacher will meet the audit criteria, holding qualifications and have experience relevant to the area in practice in which they are supporting you.

    The programme is based on a framework that has the following shared aims and will:

    -encourage you to reflect on the variety of skills, knowledge, attitudes and experiences that you bring with you to the programme, both professional and personal
    -enable you to share and contribute as well as identify and develop the knowledge, skills and attitudes applicable to your role
    -enable the assessment and recognition of your strengths and learning needs
    -enable you to work effectively as members of multi-disciplinary teams and in close liaison with other agencies and as leaders where appropriate
    -enable you to synthesise and apply knowledge and critical insights to the planning, provision and evaluation of community health care nursing
    -further develop your ability to assess, plan and implement strategies that are applicable in your caring role with clients
    -further develop your critical thinking skills, utilisation of research, encouraging a problem-solving approach leading to evaluation and independent judgement
    -develop the competencies required to fulfil your role as a specialist practitioner, enabling you to be proactive as well as reactive in practice
    -contribute to the wider public health arena
    -be cognisant of your own and colleagues' roles within the context of community health care nursing
    -Computer skills are vital for your academic studies. At UWE computing is an integral part of your programme - many lecturers make lecture notes and materials available online, and some modules will require you to use information technology (IT) to help you undertake and present your work. IT facilities are available on all campuses. At the main Frenchay Campus there is 24-hour access to computing facilities, and the Faculty offers help and support throughout your programme.

    Prior to commencing your programme of study you may find it helpful to familiarise yourself with some core IT skills:

    -Basic word processing
    -Storing and retrieving files
    -Communicating via e-mail
    -Searching the web for information, eg online shopping, booking a holiday

    There is also a range of information and resources that includes interactive exercises to support study skills on the Faculty of Health and Social Care website.

    Modules are assessed by a wide range of methods including coursework, professional practice assessment, oral presentations, practical and written examinations.

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