This course is closed for September 2020 entry

Online course details

Study options

Part-time: 1-2 years

UK/EU fee

£5,040 (2020/21)

International fee

£5,040 (2020/21)

Course level



BSc (Hons)

Start dates

January, September, May



Online course description

This part-time online Nursing Studies (top up) degree is intended for Registered Nurses who already hold a Diploma or Advanced Diploma in Nursing Studies and wish to top up that qualification to a full BSc Honours degree. If you are a Nursing Associate, this programme will not enable you to become a Registered Nurse and you should contact the lead where you studied your Foundation degree nursing associate programme or the College of Health and Social Care for advice.

Accredited by the RCN

Royal College of Nursing (RCN) Centre for Professional Accreditation logo

This programme has been accredited by the RCN Centre for Professional Accreditation until 31 August 2022.

If you do not have a Diploma, Advanced Diploma or meet the academic entry requirements but are still registered and in practice as a nurse, you may be eligible to complete our Certificate of Credit in Health and Social Care studies to gain 20 credits to achieve a level 5 qualification and academic skills that will allow entry onto the online BSc (Hons) Nursing Studies Top-Up degree programme, providing you meet all additional entry criteria.

To ensure you are continuing to meet the requirements to practice safely and effectively we have updated our online learning materials and modules so you can demonstrate good practice and knowledge, using transferable skills needed for you to provide the right care when it’s needed most.

We've developed cutting edge online learning materials for areas of practice that include; Care of the Surgical Patient; Asthma; Diabetes; Leadership and Management in Health and Social Care; Minor Injuries; Advanced Concepts in Palliative Care; Infection Control and Partnerships in Dementia Care, that can be taken as part of the online BSc (Hons) Nursing Studies Top-Up degree, or studied independently as part of your continuing professional development (CPD).

NMC revalidation and CPD for nursing

If you are preparing for Nursing Midwifery Council (NMC) revalidation you’ll also be aware that you need to complete 35 hours of CPD which needs to include 20 hours of participatory learning. Our online course can be taken as independent modules which counts as participatory learning that will help you to meet the requirements for nursing re-registration.

96%agree that the course has provided them with opportunities to explore ideas or concept**UDOL Survey 2019

Learn practical transferable skills

The practical application of this online course allows you to develop transferable skills effectively that can be applied directly within your care setting. Through studying this course you will be able to: demonstrate a critical, evidence based approach to practice; be motivated towards continuous and progressive learning, become a lifelong learner who can evaluate the teaching and support of colleagues in clinical practice; demonstrate critical competence in clinical practice, care and programme management, clinical practice leadership and clinical practice development.

This online course also aims to develop your skills so you can identify and propose recommendations to enhance service delivery and provision of care, and engage in critical reflection on clinical practice reflective of contemporary nursing practice.

A valuable online learning experience

Our tutors have many years’ experience in nursing and they understand the pressures of balancing study around work and family commitments.

Dementia Action Alliance (DAA) member

Dementia Action Alliance (DAA) logo

We are proud that our positive impact to Dementia through our online courses has been recognised by Dementia Action Alliance (DAA) and we are now an active member of the Alliance.

An online nursing course with high professional standards

Our online BSc (Hons) Nursing Studies Top-Up degree has been specifically designed by experienced professionals, with internationally renowned contributors such as:

Our close relationships with employers in the health and social care sector contribute to the design and updating of this course. There has been significant consultation with Strategic Health Authorities, stakeholders and regulatory bodies. That means you can rely on this online course to refresh your skills and keep you up-to-date with current practice, as well as enhancing your employability.

Enhance your nursing professional development plan (PDP)

This online course will also allow you to integrate personal development planning (PDP) into your workload. Opportunities throughout the online course for PDP are included through the application of learning materials to current practice within health and social care, as well as the use of critical reflection within modules. This online course will incorporate a variety of skills that will enable you to develop critical evaluation, appraisal and reflection skills in relation to your clinical and evidence based practice. The content of the online course will be contextualised, allowing you to take the skills forward into clinical and academic practice.

There’s room in your life for online study

Our range of innovative teaching materials gives you a varied and enjoyable learning experience and our expert online tutors will support you all the way. Studying online gives you the flexibility to study at the most convenient time and place for you. Course modules still operate within a fixed trimester but you can choose to study during the day, in the evenings or at the weekend rather than having to attend fixed lectures. As a nurse it would be very difficult to work any other way due to the demanding nature of the profession, so this type of study is ideal.

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Helping Phil emigrate to Australia

Online student Phil Richardson set his sights on emigrating to Australia. For him gaining a degree would help him to achieve his goal.

Read Phil's storyRead Phil's story

What you will study

We will advise you of your study plan - the running order and availability of the modules - when you are invited to enrol.

If you have a Diploma in Nursing Studies, then you will need to choose four optional modules, as well as the Independent Study (double module).

If you have an Advanced Diploma in Nursing Studies, then you will only need to choose one optional module, as well as the Independent Study module (double module).

Please note: due to high demand, some modules may be subject to a cap in the number of students who can be enrolled per trimester. This is particularly likely to be the case for Managing the Acutely Ill Patient module.


Code: 6NU995

Independent Study

This module runs over two trimesters and will enable you to develop skills of rapid evidence review/rapid evidence synthesis. This is a method of reviewing a range of evidence available on a specific topic using a systematic and clear methodology. They differ from systematic reviews as rapid evidence syntheses are designed to be conducted over 3-6 months. However, they provide a far more robust, high quality assessment of evidence than a literature or scoping review of evidence. They are also very relevant to practice areas where change, innovation and implementation of services needs to happen quickly and be responsive, yet based on evidence.

The first 6 weeks of this module guides you through an induction process and enables you to plan and propose the systematic search and appraisal methods to be used in your rapid evidence synthesis.

The processes in this module will enable you to develop your ability to work independently through the research process. You will enhance your critical analytical and appraisal skills but also digital skills such as internet, searching digital databases along with your organisational skills.

Module learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module, you will be able to:

  1. Independently construct and manage a project
  2. Critically appraise and analyse evidence in relation to an area of practice

Module content

The module will consist of a taught component followed by a self-directed independent component with the support of an allocated supervisor.

The taught component will include:

  • Analysis of the practice environment
  • The steps in selecting a topic
  • Focusing a research question
  • Rapid evidence synthesis/methodology
  • Preparation of a project proposal/protocol

Academic skills

  • Sourcing and referencing literature evidence
  • Critical appraisal of literature and evidence
  • Academic writing

Graduate skills

  • Communicating using a range of written and verbal formats
  • Developing the self-awareness and reflection activities you have undertaken
  • Considering change and change management
  • Developing a leadership capacity
  • Intellectual skills such as literature searching and use of the library will also be developed
  • Planning and organising
  • Critical evaluation and reflection on professional practice

Digital skills

You will also be given the opportunity to develop digital skills through the use of interactive technology e.g. discussion forums, personal blog. This module will enable you to:

  • Find, interpret, manage and share information
  • Participate in academic and research practices online
  • Study effectively in technological environments
  • Use digital devices, applications and services
  • Participate in digital networks for learning and research
  • Critically read and produce academic communications in a range of media
More information
40 Credits

Code: 6CL514

Relationships Informed by Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

This module is located within health and social care-related programmes. Thus, the module may be studied by a wide range of practitioners and professionals involved in different caring roles.

In studying this module you will learn some important components of what it is to be a practitioner who can integrate knowledge and skills from cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) approaches into your current practice. In short, you are becoming a CBT informed helper who can make safe decisions about when to work using knowledge and skills from CBT and when not to. You will learn about how CBT practitioners make sense of and also the use of therapeutic relationships and skills. In addition, you will analyse in interviewing and assessment skills. You will then go on to determine how you may integrate this knowledge and skills into your current professional practice.

Module learning outcomes

On completion of this module, you will be able to:

  1. Evaluate your participation in self-development and peer supervision activities
  2. Identify how the learned skills and insights from CBT approaches can be integrated safely within your current practice
  3. Critically analyse the use of relational and interviewing skills in work with others that is informed by CBT approaches

Module content

During this module you will work with other learners in order to explore the importance of the therapeutic relationship within CBT approaches. You will discover the crucial role that your own self-awareness and self-development has in this. You will learn about the different skills (informed by a CBT approach) that may be employed in forming and developing therapeutic relationships and also in interviewing, assessing and formulating with people. In addition, you will have the chance to work with peers to critically reflect on your own practice and assess how the above ideas and skills maybe appropriately and safely integrated within your own current practice.

More information
20 Credits

Code: 6CL515

Working with People with Distress and Disorder

This module is located within health and social care-related programmes. Thus, the module may be studied by a wide range of practitioners and professionals involved in many different caring roles.

In studying this module you will learn about how all people can experience a range of different forms and degrees of emotional and psychological distress and disorder. There is an even wider range of historically, politically and socially, and culturally informed ways of making sense of this experience. You will study a range of the issues and debates in how we have, and now do, diagnose and then treat people. In addition, the module will also enable you to critically reflect on your work role and your workplace and on how you and your colleagues can work with people who experience distress and disorder in a facilitating way.

Module learning outcomes

On completion of this module, you will be able to:

  1. Critically analyse a range of different ways of making sense of complex forms of emotional, physical and psychological distress
  2. Critically evaluate the possible causes of, and treatments for people who experience specific distress, disorders or psychopathologies
  3. Critically reflect upon your role, when using insights from CBT approaches to therapeutically support people who are considered to have a mental disorder

Module content

During this module you will work with learners from different health, nursing and social care courses in order to study a range of what we may currently term mental and emotional distress or disorder. You will pay particular attention to a range of historical and cultural ways in which humans have identified and categorised these areas of experience, and reasons why we may have done so. You will study mainstream approaches such as DSM (APA 2013) and ICD (WHO 2010), alongside ideas from critical psychology and anti-psychiatry. Within these, you will consider issues around power, diversity, equality and personal (as opposed to just clinical) recovery. You will analyse a wide range of ideas about what may cause different disorders and distress and an even wider range of possible treatments, medications and therapies that may treat, help and support people in different ways. Finally, you will make sense of what you have learnt in terms of a specific workplace setting. You will focus on information sharing, risk assessment and management, and also referral and signposting.

More information
20 Credits

Code: 6HC507

Leadership and Management in Health and Social Care

This module will introduce you to a variety of leadership and management theory and models that can be implemented into your practice.

You will participate in ongoing reflection of your own leadership and management style/approach and consider how theory influences this or might improve your leadership and management strategy in the future. You will also discuss the role of leadership and management in maintaining and improving the quality of services.

Module learning outcomes

  1. Critically reflect on the role of leadership and management theory in your health and social care practice
  2. Synthesise leadership and management theories or models in into your own practice

Module content

This module will cover a range of leadership and management theories and models along with methods to reflect on your leadership/management practice (including some of the following):

  • Microsystems
  • Adaptive leadership
  • Team dynamics and culture
  • Change, eg Lewin’s model
  • Professional accountability and quality care
  • Conflict management and negotiation
  • Models of reflection
  • What kind of leader are you? What does this mean?
  • Process mapping
  • Lean approach and PDSA
  • Political astuteness
  • Understanding emotions
  • Stakeholder analysis

You will be encouraged to reflect on your practice and apply some of these theories to analysis of situations and your leadership development.

More information
20 Credits

Code: 6HC514

Educating in health and social care

This module prepares you the practitioner with a remit for education to develop the skills and knowledge to facilitate effective learning and holistically assess the total performance of a range of learners in their health or social care workplace. Development of an interprofessional learning culture underpinned by evidence based practice and reflection on the role of a practitioner educator will be integral to this module.

Module Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of the module, you will be able to:

  1. Analyse a range of teaching and learning theory and apply to your own practice
  2. Identify barriers to assessment in your workplace and critically review assessment theory related to practice based assessment
  3. Develop a learning culture in your workplace supporting colleagues and learners to achieve their goals.

Module Content

This module will focus on the following areas:

  • The role of the practitioner educator in learning and assessment in the workplace
  • Reviewing the range of learning theory and application to adult learning in health and social care
  • Analyse findings from literature and research on current issues in practice based assessment
  • Development of a quality learning environment where learners thrive
  • Reflection on current policy issues and opportunities for practitioner educators within an interprofessional health and social care team
More information
20 Credits

Code: 6NU503

Ethical and Legal Issues in Healthcare Policy and Practice

The current policy agenda and developing culture in health care increasingly encourage the exposure and debate of ethical and legal issues. The development of mechanisms for ethical review within the machinery of Clinical Governance, and the changes in ethical governance of professions have highlighted the importance of ethical issues and are contributing to a culture of more open discussion. In an increasingly litigious culture, the interface between health care and law is also becoming increasingly important. Professional practitioners need to be able to engage with these issues in a coherent and confident way. Such issues arise at all levels, policy, organisation, team and individual patient care, and the module programme also seeks to address all these levels. This module will assist you the practitioner to recognise and engage with these issues by application of the principles to the practice situation.

Module learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module, you will be able to:

  1. Critically analyse ethical and legal issues relevant to health care practice and policy, incorporating critical application of selected theoretical perspectives relevant to ethics in health
  2. Understand and apply relevant ethical arguments and legal perspectives to a specific practice situation

Module content

  • Theories of ethics
  • Professional and interprofessional ethics
  • Legal principles relevant to health care
  • Autonomy, consent and confidentiality
  • Duty of care
  • Quality of life
  • Decisions at the beginning and end of life
  • Rationing of health care
  • Organisations in health care
  • Professional standards and guidance

Graduate skills

  • Decision making
  • Responsibility
  • Accountability
  • Adherence to laws

Digital skills

You will also be given the opportunity to develop digital skills through the use of interactive technology, eg discussion forums, personal blog. This module will enable you to:

  • Participate in online discussion forums and activities
  • Share information safely and appropriately online
More information
20 Credits

Code: 6NU506

Negotiated Module

To reflect the overall aims of the programme you will be able to propose, through a process of negotiation, an element of study equivalent to one module. This allows the opportunity to study an area of interest not covered in the curriculum, or to enhance the application of previous learning to the workplace.

Module learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module, you will be able to:

  1. You will, by negotiation, agree with the supervisor appropriate learning outcomes and assessment method for the piece of work, and then complete and submit the work along with the learning contract

Module content

Undertaking this module, you will negotiate a contract of learning with the module leader or delegated supervisor. This will be a written agreement dated and signed by both parties who will each have copies.

The contract will contain the following elements:

  • Title
  • Rationale
  • Learning outcomes (approx. 3-5)
  • An outline of how the outcomes are to be met
  • References indicating an appropriate literature search
  • Proposed schedule of work
  • Criteria for assessment
  • Methods of assessment including weightings if appropriate

Graduate skills

  • Independent working
  • Personal responsibility
  • Accountability
  • Project management

Digital skills

You will also be given the opportunity to develop digital skills through the use of interactive technology e.g. discussion forums, personal blog.

This module will enable you to:

  • Use online resources to develop self-awareness and reflection
  • Use online blogs to track progress
  • Share information online safely and productively
More information
20 Credits

Code: 6NU511

Therapeutics and Diagnostic Reasoning

There is a growing need for nurses in both primary and secondary care to address the issues of drug administration, basic therapeutics and the use of drugs in clinical conditions. Newly qualified nurses and their managers have acknowledged that pre-registration education does not equip them with the confidence or knowledge to take responsibility for drug administration within care settings. With the advent of independent prescribing it is important that all nurses maintain a sound knowledge base in contemporary pharmacology and therapeutics in order to contribute successfully to care in a multidisciplinary environment. In addition to this, increased public awareness of and demand for alternative and complimentary therapies together with already potent arguments for social and psychological models of health require that nurses critically reflect upon other perspectives and approaches to care.

This module will be delivered online using a variety of learning packages to explore aspects of diagnostic reasoning, pharmacology and medicines management to enable you to develop a sound knowledge base to support your clinical practice. The use of a case study within the assessment will facilitate application of the relevant evidence base within your own clinical area so enhancing links between theory and practice.

Module learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module, you will be able to:

  1. Identify and critically analyse the practical, legal, ethical and administrative issues relating to drug administration
  2. Explore and critically discuss aspects of diagnostic reasoning and pharmacokinetics relevant to a range of medications used in patient care
  3. Critically analyse how therapeutics impact on patient care through exploration of a range of common clinical conditions
  4. Critically review alternative approaches and perspectives to care

Module content

Drug administration
  • Accountability
  • Roles and responsibilities
  • Safe storage and disposal of drugs
Diagnostic reasoning
  • Modes of consultation and health history taking
  • The use and interpretation of investigations to inform drug choice
  • Absorption
  • Side effects and interaction of drugs
  • Distribution
  • Elimination
  • Routes of administration
The use and effect of drugs in clinical conditions
  • Cardiovascular disorders
  • Hypertension
  • Chronic obstructive airways disease
  • Gastroentereological disorders
  • Pain Control
  • Antibiotics
The use of drugs in mental health
  • Anti-depressants
  • Psychotrophics
  • Anxiolytics
Alternative perspectives on health and care
Mathematics applied to the administration of drugs

Graduate skills

  • Calculations and mathematics applied to health
  • Team participation and leadership
  • Accountability
  • Responsibility

Digital skills

You will also be given the opportunity to develop digital skills through the use of interactive technology, eg discussion forums, personal blog.

This module will enable you to:

  • Participate in online discussion forums
  • Use online simulations
  • Use a variety of online resources
More information
20 Credits

Code: 6NU518

Minor Injuries

The aim of this module is to develop knowledge and understanding of the assessment, diagnosis and management of people presenting with minor injuries. This will provide you the healthcare professional with a solid theoretical foundation to inform future practice. Whilst the module does include examination techniques it is not possible to assess the application of this knowledge within your own clinical setting. As with all aspects of clinical practice, this would need to be agreed with your employer, in line with regulatory body guidance and other national and local guidelines.

Module learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module, you will be able to:

  1. Critically apply the relevant anatomy, physiology and pathophysiology to the care of patients with minor injury
  2. Formulate a diagnosis, treatment and appropriate referral plan for patients presenting with minor injury

Module content

  • Clinical history taking examination and documentation
  • Anatomy and physiology relevant to minor injuries
  • Musculoskeletal examination
  • Assessment of neurological function related to the limbs
  • Assessment and management of common minor injury presentations e.g. minor wounds, burns, minor head injuries, soft tissue injuries, eye injuries, analgesia relevant to minor injuries

Graduate skills

  • Assessment, planning and evaluating interventions
  • Reflection
  • Self-awareness
  • Personal development planning

Digital skills

You will also be given the opportunity to develop digital skills through the use of interactive technology e.g. discussion forums, personal blog. This module will enable you to:

  • Develop an e-portfolio
  • Using videos and digital media
  • Participate in online simulation
More information
20 Credits

Code: 6NU519

Public Health: UK and International Perspectives

Although there have been improvements in public health across the globe there still remain great inequalities within regions and countries of the world.

Social, environmental and medical determinants of these inequalities impact on the health of communities and environment. Public Health activities play a key part in improving the health of families, communities and neighbourhoods. You will gain a critical understanding of health surveillance, key public health initiatives, health protection, governance and legislature. You will explore and examine the issues that relate to public health through an international lens in terms of determinants of health and through reflection on your own practice. Using essential elements of public health as a framework, you will be able to compare activities between regions and countries to apply your own knowledge in relation to your own area of public health.

Module learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module, you will be able to:

  1. Discuss and critically reflect on how key public health initiatives may impact on the wider determinants of health to control or remove health effects
  2. Propose further recommendations to an identified global health issue

Module content

  • Definitions and scope of public health
  • Foundations of modern public health
  • Communicable disease
  • Public health and the new public health agenda Individual, Community and Population level approaches
  • Reflection for learning and public health practice
  • Disposal of the dead and welfare funerals
  • Pest control and zoonosis
  • The organisation of public health nationally and internationally
  • Accessing and using demographic and epidemiological data and information for public health
  • Exploring inequalities in health – the socioeconomic determinants of health
  • Multidisciplinary public health
  • Exploring global public health activities
  • Barriers to public health practice
  • Public health in a digital world
More information
20 Credits

Code: 6NU520

Asthma: Basic Mechanisms and Clinical Management

This module is designed to enable you the healthcare practitioner to meet the current challenges of modern asthma care and management. It offers a logical and systematic journey from the understanding of associated anatomy, pathophysiology and mechanisms of asthma through to present and contemporary perspectives of management.

Clinicians management of asthma can only be applied when the patient is present. This is usually a few hours per year at most in contact with the health care professional. Patients then need to self-manage for over 8000 hours/year on their own. The modern practitioner needs to know how to facilitate that process with the individual and family members. They cannot do this without knowing the patients' motivation, self-efficacy, knowledge of illness, perceptions of severity and vulnerability etc. Without this kind of knowledge the practitioner would potentially face countless re-admissions using crisis management as the main strategy. An international focus will be adopted in reviewing current policy relating to patient management and self-management practices in addition to close scrutiny of national and local policies impacting on the students current arena of practice.

Module learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module, you will be able to:

  1. Recognise key aspects of professional knowledge and competence in asthma management that promotes logical decision making in normal, complex and unpredictable contexts
  2. To evidence the ability to deploy accurately established techniques of analysis and treatment within the realms of asthma management
  3. To reflect on and critically evaluate your own professional role in understanding and facilitating self-management of the person with asthma

Module content

  • Epidemiology, incidence and prevalence
  • Aetiology, natural history, genetics and atopy
  • Anatomy and pathophysiology
  • Signs and symptoms/clinical manifestations
  • Assessment of the patient
  • Differential diagnosis/comorbidities
  • Management of the condition
  • Acute/chronic asthmas
  • Current treatment options/pharmacology, therapies
  • Policy and guidelines
  • Monitoring review and audit
  • Rehabilitation
  • Multi-disciplinary working
  • Holistic impact on patient family and carers - bio psychosocial aspects
  • Psychology of breathlessness
  • Patient knowledge skills and attitude - facilitating self-management
  • Consent, choice and concordance
  • Public health
  • Health economics
  • Professional ethical and legal issues

Graduate skills

  • Sharing best practice
  • Presenting
  • Using case studies to share issues

Digital skills

You will also be given the opportunity to develop digital skills through the use of interactive technology e.g. discussion forums, personal blog. This module will enable you to:

  • Develop and use presentations
  • Collaborate and present online
  • Develop a personal study guide based on e-resources
More information
20 Credits

Code: 6NU521

Diabetes: A Contemporary Approach

Diabetes type 2 is a major priority for public health. Not only is the incidence of type 2 diabetes increasing but it is doing so across the globe. The medium and long term impact of diabetes on the individual, public health, primary and secondary care services, financially, physically and practically is of international concern. Type 1 diabetes is typically diagnosed in childhood but there is currently no cure and hence, there are many adults with this condition. Other types of diabetes may be more rare but when working in health and social care it is likely that you with come across a person with gestational or pancreatogenic diabetes.

This module aims to discuss diabetes in relation to public health but also the care cycle: assessment, diagnosis, treatment and management. You will relate this to a specific area of your experience and there will be use of real life case studies to illustrate key points throughout the module. This module assumes that you have a basic knowledge of the anatomy and physiology of the endocrine and digestive system.

Due to the rapidly changing nature of the health and social care landscape much of this module relies upon guided, self-directed study. This intends to facilitate the development of skills to enhance your ability to source high quality sources of evidence and apply them in practice with specific reference to diabetes care. You will be provided with case studies and examples for you to propose evidence based care.

Module learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module, you will be able to:

  1. Critically analyse the evidence base relating to local, national or international approaches to a chosen type of diabetes
  2. Interpret data, evidence and the role of public health in the prevention and management of diabetes

Module content

This module will cover the primary, secondary and tertiary prevention and management of diabetes. Included in this will be the basics of anatomy and the physiological changes associated with diabetes. You will be encouraged to source, appraise, analyse and evaluate public health data and the role of public health in the prevention and management of diabetes on a local, national and international level. It will also consider the social determinants of health and well-being in implementing evidenced based prevention strategies, assessment, management and evaluation of integrated care packages.

The module emphasises the role of current and credible evidence in practice and develops the skills and knowledge in order to source, appraise and apply such evidence. Real life case studies will be used to facilitate learning and application of knowledge.

Topics will include:

  • Diabetes and public health
  • Anatomy and physiology
  • Type 1 and 2 diabetes
  • Gestational and pancreatogenic diabetes
  • Assessment, diagnosis, treatment and management
  • Self-care
  • New technologies and the changing landscape

Graduate skills

  • Developing and sharing case studies
  • Wider knowledge of international issues related to health
  • Leadership in practice
  • Using evidence in practice

Digital skills

You will also be given the opportunity to develop digital skills through the use of interactive technology e.g. discussion forums, personal blog.

This module will enable you to:

  • Use technology in health
  • Finding and appraising evidence
  • Communicate through various media
More information
20 Credits

Code: 6NU527

Evidence Based Practice

The requirement for evidence-based practice is dominant in today’s healthcare especially in light of recent government policy and international drivers. The need for improved clinical effectiveness dictates that healthcare practitioners’ respond to the ever increasing body of knowledge and scientific rationale in order to practice on a foundation of best available evidence, whilst meeting government and international agendas for clinical governance and greater expectations from patients.

This module explores evidence-based practice; the practical skills and knowledge required in searching for the best available evidence and the critical understanding of different sources of evidence, in order to promote and implement clinically effective care and decision-making.

The focus of this module is on the critical evaluation of evidence and how this evidence can be used to increase clinical effectiveness. It has relevance for all health care professionals, but is particularly useful for those who have an interest in developing their skills of using research in practice, those who participate in clinical decision making and for students who require grounding in the essential elements of evidence based practice prior to undertaking a work based project or service improvement.

Module learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module, you will be able to:

  1. Critically debate the origins, impact and key components of evidence-based practice including its political and economic context
  2. Demonstrate critical analysis and evaluation of sources of evidence
  3. Demonstrate a critical understanding of the knowledge and skills required to successfully implement evidence into practice

Module content

  • The context of evidence-based practice including policy and guidelines, health economics and professional, ethical and legal issues
  • Types of evidence and knowledge including research methodologies
  • Finding and reviewing the evidence including literature search strategies
  • critical appraisal skills/use of critical appraisal tools
  • Decision making and implementation of evidence based practice
  • Dissemination and facilitation of change through EBP in practice development
More information
20 Credits

Code: 6NU537

Partnerships in Dementia Care

The module introduces the professional, ethical and legal dilemmas within the context of quality of life, age and culture surrounding dementia.

Through collaborative exploration of leadership structures, models of practice, management, efficiency, effectiveness and consistent quality and performance you will propose interventions to enhance dementia care within clinical practice. The theme 'person centred care' will underpin the module and you will explore cognitive and behavioural methods of intervention for the client.

Module learning outcomes

On completion of this module, you will be able to:

  1. Evaluate frameworks for effective, collaborative high-quality interventions based on person-centred care
  2. Demonstrate an understanding of multidisciplinary perspectives of dementia and approaches to care

Module content

  • The professional, ethical and legal dilemmas associated with the care of individuals living with dementia in relation to context, quality of life, age and culture
  • Leadership structures
  • Models of practice management
  • Person-centred care including cognitive and behavioural methods of intervention
  • Underpinning practice and use of evidence in dementia care
  • Communication and compassion
  • The impact and involvement of caregivers and their families
  • How a town 'social network organisation' could become a supporter of dementia care
More information
20 Credits

Code: 6NU538

Social Consequences of Dementia Care

Recognition of the trajectory of the disease and the challenges associated with assisting people to maintain as much independence as possible, through the stages of dementia, is a key focus of a modern health and social care system. The module aims to develop skills required of an advanced practitioner capable of autonomous working within your practice setting. You will build on your understanding of dementia as an ‘impairment’, differentiate between approaches and models of care, understand the barrier to the maintenance of personhood and apply evidence to practice appropriate to your health or social care context. This module is suitable for a range of staff from health and social care settings such as adult nurses, mental health nurses, social workers and occupational therapists, but also including those who work in nursing homes and community settings, those who provide integrated services, Prison services and care for people with a diagnosis of dementia.

Module learning outcomes

On completion of this module, you will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate a systematic understanding of the context of local and national health and social care initiatives in dementia care and explore the implications for practitioners
  2. Critically evaluate barriers to maintaining personhood
  3. Critically reflect on your own role in developing a service improvement project/initiative

Module content

  • Models of reflection
  • Communication, compassion and courage
  • Introduction to dementia, diagnosis trajectory and treatment
  • Different approaches, eg bio-medical explanations of dementia as an 'impairment' and social model of disability
  • Understanding dementia from a socio-cultural perspective/psychological perspective
  • Factors influencing a loss of personhood
  • The impact of stigma and attitudes towards individuals, their families and care givers
  • Different models of care, eg person-centered care/recovery model
  • The role of the professional in developing and applying best practice standards and the application of evidence and research
  • Consider the measures of control and release of control over the quality of life.
  • Maintaining independence
  • Self determination
  • Right to life
  • Government legislation, eg Mental Capacity Act (2005) and European Union Charter of Fundamental Rights (2013)
More information
20 Credits

Code: 6NU545

Advanced Concepts in Palliative Care

In this module you will consolidate your learning, drawing on previous knowledge and skills to develop confidence and competence in holistic support of a patient and their carers at the end of life. Within all health care environments, practitioners are at the forefront in caring for the dying patient. Practitioners are required to work closely with family members in order to support them through the process of the illness and subsequent bereavement. Managing symptoms, supporting client and carers and utilising one’s own and others' expertise to the benefit of the client are all important aspects of the role of the palliative care practitioner. Contemporary frameworks demonstrate the need to provide the right level of care at the right time and in the right place, which is of paramount importance to all concerned.

Module learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module, you will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate a critical understanding of external influences which have a direct effect on end of life care, and the strategies employed by the practitioner to facilitate the delivery of quality palliative care services
  2. Critically evaluate a variety of physical, psychological, spiritual and social factors which impact on the client’s experience in relation to palliative care

Module content

Module content will include:

  • Concepts of loss and bereavement assessment in palliative care
  • Holistic care delivery strategies
  • Ethical and professional issues at the end of life
  • Contemporary frameworks and evidence in palliative care
  • Methods of relieving pain
  • Stages of grief
  • Symptom management
  • Anticipatory grief
  • Communication
  • Physical, psychological and social factors
  • Supporting family and carers
  • Co-ordination of care

Graduate skills

  • Using case studies
  • Identifying and sharing best practice
  • Consideration of influences and factors
  • Communication skills
  • Dealing with difficult or unexpected events

Digital skills

You will also be given the opportunity to develop digital skills through the use of interactive technology, eg discussion forums, personal blog. This module will enable you to:

  • Using a digital learning environment
  • Managing confidential or sensitive information
  • Using technology to provide a peer support network
More information
20 Credits

Code: 6NU547

Care of the Surgical Patient

Care of surgical patients begins in the pre-operative phase, and is continued into the perioperative and intraoperative phases through to recovery and post-operative care. This continuing journey is complex and involves many people and departments underpinned by interprofessional working and collaboration.

This module adopts a wide approach to this surgical journey and is suitable for anyone working with surgical patients or who may have an interest in surgery as a health and social care practitioner. You will be encouraged to not only see your involvement in surgery and perioperative practice as application of a range of technical skills but also to place the person undergoing surgery at the centre of your focus, challenging existing techniques and practices.

Module learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module, you will be able to:

  1. Critically appraise your own role in relation to care of the surgical patient
  2. Critically examine contemporary issues and challenges in surgical care
  3. Synthesise theory and practice in relation to surgical care

Module content

Module content will include:

  • Pre-operative assessment
  • Patient information
  • Documentation
  • Patient preparation
  • Preparing the environment
  • Consent
  • Assessment tools including mortality and morbidity calculation
  • Elective versus emergency surgery
  • Regional, local and general anaesthesia
  • Managing adverse reactions to anaesthesia
  • Scientific principles of anaesthesia
  • Surgical access and positioning
  • Immediate postoperative care
  • Day surgery
  • Recovery
  • Perioperative stress
  • Wound healing and infection
  • Nutrition and surgery
  • Body image and surgery
  • Concepts of pain
  • Managing nausea and vomiting
  • Discharge following surgery
  • Issues in specific types of surgery
  • Technology in surgery
  • Roles and interprofessional working
  • Patient safety and communication
  • Pharmacological interventions
  • Fluid therapy and fluid replacement
  • Monitoring and observations
  • Emergency planning
  • Resource management
  • Role of critical care

Graduate skills

  • Reflection
  • Portfolio-building
  • Self-awareness
  • Theory: practice synthesis

Digital skills

You will also be given the opportunity to develop digital skills through the use of interactive technology e.g. discussion forums, personal blog. This module will enable you to:

  • Study effectively in technological environments
  • Use digital devices, applications and services
  • Participate in digital networks for learning and research
More information
20 Credits

Code: 6NU548

Infection Prevention and Control

Emerging life-threatening infections such as SARS and Ebola have highlighted the need for effective and consistent prevention, control and management of infection within healthcare environments. Failure to implement appropriate control and management of infection can lead to the increased spread of diseases, which may ultimately lead to the loss of life and increased burden on health and social care resources.

Using the chain of infection as a guide, this module will adopt a holistic approach to infection prevention and control (IPC) in 21st century health and social care. Healthcare-associated infections are major causers of morbidity and mortality, however this module will also cover common microorganisms and their pathogenesis. Emerging tropical diseases, pandemics, epidemics and endemics will also be discussed.

You will learn about the causes of infection and pre-disposing conditions increasing susceptibility, but also challenge existing legislation, auditing and surveillance techniques to bring about effective management and control of outbreaks in a diverse range of contexts. The module is suitable for all health and social care professionals with an interest in infection prevention and control.

Module learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module, you will be able to:

  1. Critically appraise existing knowledge and understanding of infection prevention and control
  2. Critically analyse the need for strict infection prevention and control within any care environment
  3. Examine current and future issues and debates around infectious diseases, epidemiology, prevalence and morbidity

Module content

Module content will include:

  • Cause and spread of infection
  • Preventing and control of infection
  • Legislation relevant to infection
  • Auditing and surveillance
  • Prevalence and epidemiology
  • Roles, responsibilities and boundaries
  • Managing outbreaks
  • Controlling the environment
  • Waste management
  • Specimen collection
  • Personal protective equipment
  • Managing work-related injuries
  • Vascular access devices and bloodstream infections, ANTT
  • Chain of infection
  • Hand washing and hygiene
  • Fundamentals and aims of infection prevention
  • Microorganisms and specific activity related to them: MRSA, TB, Norovirus, C.difficile, HIV, Hepatitis, new and emerging infections
  • Healthcare-associated infections
  • Emerging tropical diseases, pandemics, epidemics and endemics including Zika, Ebola, Malaria, Dengue
  • Relation of the immune system and pathogenesis of infection
  • Use and misuse of antibiotics
  • Management of infection prevention and control locally, regionally, nationally and internationally
  • Collaborative working to reduce burden of infection across health and social care
  • Information sharing
  • Antibiotic resistant organisms
  • Decontamination of medical devices
  • Incident investigation and root cause analysis

Graduate skills

  • Awareness of global issues
  • Development as a global citizen
  • Lateral thinking and innovation
  • Presenting

Digital skills

You will also be given the opportunity to develop digital skills through the use of interactive technology e.g. discussion forums, personal blog. This module will enable you to:

  • Use online networks
  • Appraise online information
  • Share case studies related to their own environment
  • Develop resources for presentations
More information
20 Credits

Code: 6NU550

Managing the Acutely Ill Patient

Due to advances in medicine, patients are presenting to care environments with increased levels of illness, many of which are acutely unwell and require immediate interventions to preserve life. This module is aimed at all health and social care professionals, including nurses, physiotherapists and others who work with acutely unwell patients either in or out of hospital. There is a recognition that all patients have the potential to become acutely unwell at any time. This module aims to develop learners with a holistic approach to acute illness surveillance, monitoring, treatment and subsequent recovery. It includes both a ‘back to basics’ approach to assessment and treatment, in addition to developing specialist and expert practice required for the enhanced future capability of students, underpinned by a desire to start learners on a ‘novice to expert’ journey becoming lifelong learners with an interest in acute illness.

Module learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module, you will be able to:

  1. Critically appraise assessment, planning, monitoring and subsequent treatment of patients presenting with acute illness
  2. Critically evaluate their own professional practice in relation to the management of acutely ill patients
  3. Critically reflect upon, and demonstrate competence in, the theory and practice related to acute illness

Module content

This module will involve the broad-based study of acute illness, its management and strategic interventions which can be undertaken by you in practice.

Module content will include:

  • Identification and management of deteriorating patients
  • Common interventions and equipment used in acute illness
  • Prioritisation of care
  • Systems-based assessment, care and treatment
  • Resuscitation
  • Airway management – ventilation, intubation, tracheostomies
  • Fluid assessment and treatment
  • Substance use and misuse, and altered consciousness
  • Major issues in critical career: sepsis, major trauma, burns
  • Local, national and international policy and governmental directives
  • Care organisation for acute illness and teamworking
  • Inter-agency and interprofessional working
  • Psychosocial care and working with families
  • Autonomy and decision making, developing specialist and expert practice
  • Bereavement and dignity in acute illness
  • Ethics and consent as related to acute illness

Graduate skills

  • Self-awareness
  • Reflection
  • Peer-support and networking

Digital skills

You will also be given the opportunity to develop digital skills through the use of interactive technology, eg discussion forums, personal blog. This module will enable you to:

  • Find and use evidence
  • Create, save and share videos
  • Use digital simulation
More information
20 Credits

Please note that our modules are subject to change - we review the content of our courses regularly, making changes where necessary to improve your experience and graduate prospects.

How you will learn

Pace of study

We recommend about 20 hours of study per week to complete one 20-credit module over a 10-week trimester. If you aim to study two modules in one trimester, we recommend 40 hours of study per week.

Assessment method

This course is assessed through 100% coursework with a range of methods, such as essays, research reports, presentations, group work and practical reports.

Who will teach you

Alan Williams standing with hands clasped, wearing a red and white striped shirt

Dr Alan Williams
Programme leader

Academic Lead for Nursing, Dr Alan Williams, commenced as Academic Lead for the Nursing and Perioperative Practice programmes in April 2019. Alan is a Registered Nurse (Adult and Mental Health) with over twenty years' experience in the NHS before becoming an academic.

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How you will learn online

Our Nursing Studies BSc (Hons) Top-Up course taster will give you an idea of how online learning works. It includes a selection of content from a course module so you can see what some of our learning material looks like.

You will need to complete a short form to access the course taster.

Try our course tasterTry our course taster
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Discovering Online Learning Webinar

Tuesday, 17 November 2020 16.00 - 17.00

During this hour-long webinar, we’ll take you through the basic principles of how online learning works and what you can expect as an online learner with the University of Derby Online Learning.

Book your webinarBook your webinar

Entry requirements

You'll need all of the following:

English language qualification

You'll also normally require one of the following English language qualifications:

If English is not your first language, or you have not successfully completed your highest level of qualification in English, you will need an English language qualification. For this course you will need at least one of the following:

We may accept other equivalent English Language qualifications with supporting evidence so please provide full details with your application.

Pre Diploma/International qualifications

You may still be eligible for the BSc (Hons) Nursing Studies Top-Up if you have a pre-Diploma qualification (eg RGN, RMN, RSCN, RNLD, EN) or if your international qualification (diploma or degree) in Nursing does not equate to UK Higher Education Level 5. This is subject to meeting the following requirements:

If the above applies, there is an access route at level 5 (Diploma level) which requires you to successfully complete the Certificate of Credit in Health and Social Care Studies in order to gain entry to the BSc (Hons) Nursing Studies Top-Up.

Fees and funding

2020/21 Fees for new entrants

Starting between September 2020 and August 2021.

 Per 20 creditsModulesCost
If you have a Diploma (UK/EU/International) £840 6 £5,040
If you have an Advanced Diploma (UK/EU/International) £840 3 £2,520

About your fees

This figure would be the total cost of this course in the current academic year. However, please note that fees normally increase in line with inflation and the University's strategic approach to fees, which is reviewed on an annual basis. The total fee you pay may therefore increase if your course lasts longer than one year.

However, please also note that you can receive a 5% discount if you either:

Learning Beyond Registration (LBR) for health professionals

If you are employed by the NHS in the East Midlands (Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire or Northamptonshire) you may be eligible for fee-free access to our LBR modules and/or programmes.

Flexible payment plans available

Choose from three payment plan options:

Undergraduate funding options

Depending on where you are from in the UK or EU, and on your pace of study, you may be eligible for an undergraduate student loan. Accessible through Student Finance, this is a non-income based loan to meet the cost of tuition fees.

If you already hold an honours degree, and you are looking to re-skill or up-skill, you may still be eligible for a loan to study this course.

How to apply

Students should apply directly to the University.

Apply now

Documents to support your application

You'll need to provide:

*Documents not in English or Welsh must be accompanied by a certified translation by a professional translator/translation company. Each translation must contain:

A list of approved translators can be found on the UK Government website

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Short courses and CPD

You can easily fit your continuing professional development (CPD) around shift patterns with our online short courses and modules. Keep up-to-date with current practice without attending college or university.

View online short coursesView online short courses

Application deadlines

All of our online courses have set start dates throughout the year. We require time to review your application and get back to you with a response before your course starts. Take a look at information regarding applying for an online course to see full details of deadlines and term dates.


You'll gain organisational and management skills that will enhance your clinical practice, nursing management or research, enhancing your competency in your role. This places you at the heart of health and social care, enabling you to assess, diagnose and treat both acute and chronic conditions.

Once you’ve gained your BSc (Hons) Nursing Studies degree you can progress to a Masters level qualifications such as our MSc Advanced Practice, available to study on campus at Derby, which may open up further developmental opportunities, eg research in nursing.

An Honours degree will help you to compete in a contentious market, particularly when applying for international positions. It does not affect your NMC or provide access to other parts of the register but will broaden your horizons, improving your self confidence and competences in teaching and mentoring work colleagues.

Contact us

Contact the University of Derby Online Learning:

Contact usContact usFrequently asked questionsFrequently asked questions

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