University of Chester

Programme Specification
Community Health Studies BSc (Hons) (Level 6 only)
2014 - 2015

Bachelor of Science (Level 6 only)

Community Health Studies

Community Health Studies

University of Chester

University of Chester

As determined by the Faculty of Health and Social Care, including Wirral, Chester, Leighton, and Warrington campuses.

Professional/ Specialist/ Community/ Advanced Practice (Nursing & Midwifery)

Full-time and Part-time

Classroom / Laboratory,

4 years

3 Years

Biannual - February - September



17a. Faculty

17b. Department

Health and Social Care Health and Social Care

Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) Public Health Standards (2004)

University of Chester

Faculty of Health and Social Care, Post Registration Undergraduate Subject Assessment Board

Friday 1st April 2011

The overarching aim of this programme is to enable students to deliver appropriate health and social care within a dynamic and diverse community environment. 

 The specific programme aims are:

  • To enable students to be cognisant of the holistic nature of community health and social care, and to gain knowledge, skills, expertise and the individual qualities necessary to respond to the constantly changing environment in which health and social care services are being implemented.
  • To enable graduates to work in a critical, analytical and reflective manner, and to provide them with the opportunity to acquire lifelong learning skills.
  • To offer a dynamic and quality educational experience relevant to the community health and social care related workforce.
  • To enable graduates to innovate and apply contributions to the evidence base of community practice.
  • To further develop the students’ skills in collaborative practice and partnership delivery of services for community health and wellbeing, and to consider the impact of their role within their own organisation and wider context.
  • To enable students to understand the purpose and principles of public health in relation to the delivery of health and social care community services. 
  • To provide a framework which affords practitioners due credit from previous academic and experiential learning.

Knowledge and Understanding

The ability to:

  • Critically discuss key concepts, principles, theories and policies in community and public healthpractice.
  • Critically review the uniqueness of their owncommunity roleand the diversity of other inter-disciplinary roles, and how they can be utilised to empower individuals, groups and communities.
  • Demonstrate an evidence-based approach to the ongoing development of their community role and the dissemination of information.
  • Critically analyseprofessional, legal and ethical issues.

Thinking or Cognitive Skills

The ability to:
  • Demonstrateindependence of thought, and the ability to think logically and critically.
  • Recognise, evaluate and respond to community policy initiatives at individual, local and national levels.
  • Access, analyse and process evidence-based information applicable to community practice.
  • Utilise analytical skills when evaluating professional work from both professional and service user perspectives.
  • Demonstrate a reflective approach to continuing community professional development.
  • Appraise own learning needs as a reflexive community practitioner.
  • Demonstrate innovative and creative thinking strategies.

Practice Skills

The ability to:
  • Achieve a range of appropriate practice skills relevant to their community role.
  • Apply safely a range of relevant assessment, intervention and evaluation strategies in the community practitioner role.
  • Communicate effectively with individuals, groups and communities.
  • Demonstrate evidence-based practice.
  • Demonstrate collaborative, interdisciplinary working practices and partnerships.
  • Demonstrate effective community profiling skills.

Key Skills
  • Communication
  • Application of number
  • Information literacy and technology
  • Improving own learning and performance
  • Working with others
  • Problem solving

The ability to:
  • Demonstrate self-direction in both formal and informal learning environments.
  • Communicate effectively at both individual and organisational levels.
  • Be competent in the use of IT.
  • Work autonomously and collaboratively within an inter-professional environment.
  • Demonstrate literacy and numeracy skills.
  • Apply a problem solving approach to evidence-based decision making.

Transferable Professional Skills

The ability to:
  • Demonstrate self-direction in both formal and informal learning environments.
  • Communicate effectively at both individual and organisational levels.
  • Be competent in the use of IT.
  • Work autonomously and collaboratively within an inter-professional environment.
  • Demonstrate literacy and numeracy skills.
  • Apply a problem solving approach to evidence-based decision making.
  • Reflect on practice.

This Bachelor of Science undergraduate programme of study is a top-up degree which may be undertaken on either a full or part-time basis. Students who wish to access the programme must have 120 credits at level 4 (or equivalent) and 120 credits at level 5 (or equivalent). They can take a flexible approach to completion and normally have between one and four years to obtain the award. There is an option to exit the programme with a Graduate Certificate following successful completion of the three core modules.

All modules attract 20 credits at level 6. The programme is within the normal University 20 credit framework. To be awarded the BSc (Hons) Community Health Studies degree the student must successfully complete the appropriate 120 credits at level 6. This programme does not provide a professional qualification recognised by the Nursing and Midwifery Council and is therefore not exclusively intended for nurses alone. Applicants from all health and social care community practice are encouraged to enrol as this enables inter-professional learning opportunities to be undertaken. The programme is a combination of 50% core and 50% option modules, all of which are single (20 credits). Any combination of modules can be used to form a coherent, generic, community programme. However, selected option modules can be chosen to create subject clusters which can be formulated to fit specific community roles following consultation with the Programme Leader and the sponsoring organisation if applicable. It is anticipated that normally one of the three core modules Evidence Based Practice in Health and Social Care, Empowering Healthy Communities or Interventions for Promoting Health Lifestyle Change will be undertaken immediately following registration. Modules have internal integrity, and therefore can also be accessed on an individual basis to meet continuing professional development requirements.

A number of new modules have been developed to meet the requirements of this programme. Appropriate existing modules currently validated within the BSc (Hons) Professional Practice programme have also been utilised.

The programme is designed with the flexibility necessary to ensure that recruitment from the international market can be accommodated successfully.

Overall Framework of the Programme (All modules are rated at 20 credits unless otherwise stated.)

Three core modules (total of 60 credits):

  • Evidence Based Practice in Health and Social Care
  • Empowering Healthy Communities 
  • Interventions for Promoting Health Lifestyle Change

Plus a choice of three option modules (to equal 60 credits) taken from the table below, giving a total of 120 credits at level six.

Suggested examples of selected subject clusters

Practice nursing: Core modules plus:

  • Caring for People with Diabetes Mellitus
  • Enhancing Interpersonal Skills
  • Triage: Principles and Practice for Health Professionals

Public health practitioner: Core modules plus:

  • Enhancing Interpersonal Skills
  • The Safeguarding of Vulnerable Groups in Society
  • Cognitive and Behavioural Interventions

Adolescent health practitioner: Core modules plus:

  • The Safeguarding of Vulnerable Groups in Society
  • Cognitive and Behavioural Interventions
  • Healthy Youth

Community nursing: Core modules plus:

  • Palliative and End of Life Care
  • Caring for People withLong Term Conditions
  • Community Practitioner Nurse Prescribing (V150).

Learning disability practitioner: Core modules plus:

  • Healthy Youth
  • Principles of Forensic Learning Disability Practice
  • Physical Health Needs of People with a Learning Disability

Modules are designed and delivered in accordance with the Framework for Higher Education Qualifications (FHEQ). The module descriptors clearly demonstrate the competencies expected at each level and the amount of student effort required. The level characteristics, as described by the Quality Assurance Agency in the FHEQ, also relate closely to the overarching characteristics of learning as defined by the University. 


Please note, that having been granted derogation from the University Regulations, the following applies to this programme:

Students must pass every component and module with a minimum mark of 40%, with the exception of NM6166 Community Practitioner Nurse Prescribing (V150) which is an approved NMC module which needs to adhere to specified minimum pass marks in the NMC (2009) Standards of Proficiency for Nurse Providers without a Specialist Practice Qualification to Prescribe from the Community Practitioner Formulary. Accessed 7th February 2011 from 2009%20Annexe%201.pdf

Mod-Code Level Title Credit Single
NM6115 6 Independent Study 20 Optional
NM6119 6 Work Related Professional Skills (10 credits) 10 Optional
NM6124 6 Individual Work Based Learning 20 Optional
NM6125 6 Work Related Professional Skills 20 Optional
NM6130 6 Supporting the Deteriorating Child and their Family 20 Optional
NM6132 6 Optimal Nutrition for Healthy Childhood 20 Optional
NM6134 6 Caring for the Child and Young Person with a Life-limiting Disorder 20 Optional
NM6135 6 The Older Person with a Learning Disability 20 Optional
NM6136 6 Physical Health Needs of People with a Learning Disability 20 Optional
NM6137 6 The Person who has a Learning Disability and Mental Ill-health. 20 Optional
NM6138 6 Challenging Behaviour and Learning Disabilities 20 Optional
NM6139 6 Principles of Forensic Learning Disability Practice 20 Optional
NM6142 6 Mental Health issues in the Adult Population 20 Optional
NM6143 6 Physical Health Needs Assessment for Individuals with Mental Health Problems 20 Optional
NM6145 6 Evidence Based Practice in Health and Social Care 20 Comp
NM6147 6 Cognitive and Behavioural Interventions 20 Optional
NM6148 6 Management of Care for the Older Person 20 Optional
NM6149 6 Working with People with Dementia and Their Carers 20 Optional
NM6150 6 Caring for People with Long Term Conditions 20 Optional
NM6151 6 Caring for people with respiratory problems 20 Optional
NM6152 6 Caring for people with Diabetes Mellitus 20 Optional
NM6153 6 Principles and Practice of Infection Prevention and Control 20 Optional
NM6154 6 Principles of Pain Management 20 Optional
NM6155 6 Perspectives in Pharmacology 20 Optional
NM6156 6 Multi-professional Support of Learning and Assessment in Practice 20 Optional
NM6158 6 Primary Care and the Drug User 20 Optional
NM6159 6 Clinical Supervision 20 Optional
NM6161 6 Foundations of Health and Social Care Commissioning 20 Optional
NM6162 6 Empowering Healthy Communities 20 Comp
NM6163 6 The Safeguarding of Vulnerable Groups in Society 20 Optional
NM6164 6 Triage: Principles and Practice for Health Professionals 20 Optional
NM6166 6 Community Practitioner Nurse Prescribing V150 20 Optional
NM6167 6 Healthy Youth 20 Optional
NM6168 6 Tissue Viability in the Community Environment 20 Optional
NM6169 6 Enhancing Interpersonal Skills 20 Optional
NM6170 6 Interventions for Promoting Healthy Lifestyles 20 Comp
NM6997 6 Palliative and End of Life Care 20 Optional
NM6998 6 Cancer Treatments and Care 20 Optional
NM6999 6 Foundations in Cancer Care 20 Optional

240 credits at levels4 and5 (from previous study) plus 60 appropriate credits at level 6 entitle the student to a Graduate Certificate.
360 credits, including 240 credits at levels4 and5 (from previous study) plus120 credits at level6 from this top-up programme, entitle the student to a BSc(Hons) degree.

The student must be able to demonstrate achievement of 120 credits at level 4 and 120 credits at level 5 in health or social care related subjects.

All students have to be employed in community practice for at least 100 hours during a module, so that reflective practice activities can be utilised. AP(E)L/APL and advanced standing is available, according to University policy.

To form a coherent, generic, community programme selected option modules can be chosen to create subject clusters which can be formulated to fit specific community roles. Guidance will be given as to the most appropriate selection of modules contributing to the optional elements of the programme during a joint consultation with the individual student, organisational manager and the Programme Leader prior to the commencement of the programme.

Module descriptors were developed with full recognition of the national benchmark of 100 hours of student effort per 10 credits. The programme outcomes are commensurate with those expressed for the levels of study in the HE Qualifications Framework (HEQF) i.e.

Level 6/Honours H level

In undertaking studies at this credit level, students:

  • Critically review, consolidate and extend a systematic and coherent body of knowledge.
  • Critically evaluate new concepts and evidence from a range of sources.
  • Transfer and apply diagnostic and creative skills and exercise significant judgement in a range of situations.

The level of the module outcomes demonstrates appropriate levels of taxonomy for the level of study, as do the contact and study hours. The national initiative with regard to Key Skills is taken full account of below.

The composition of the programme planning team ensured that there were members with experience of external consultancy and external examining, which is invaluable in quality assuring the programme against national benchmarks and expectations. The validation process also ensures that experts from other Higher Education Institutes (HEIs) are fully involved in the scrutiny and validation process, further assuring the comparability of the programme with other HEIs.

Students will experience a variety of teaching and learning methods designed to facilitate the achievement of all learning outcomes within a student-centred approach, and to foster personal and professional development. Each module will utilise a mix of teaching methods, which take account of the subject matter, the student group size, the students’ previous experience and the resources available. Methods of learning and teaching will include formal lectures, scenario-based learning sessions, problem-based learning, tutorials, seminars, presentations and debates, reflection, practice-based workshops, practice in skills labs, learning through practice, directed study, private study sessions, and e-learning packages.

The student experience will be enhanced by the use of reflection. A number of modules are assessed by a learning profile, which builds to form a learning portfolio for the programme. The learning plans in the profiles will focus on the further development of the students’ reflective skills, with a specific section devoted to reflection on learning in and on practice. Students will thus be placed at the centre of the learning experience and are expected to assume responsibility for their own educational development. 

Problem-based learning is included as a teaching and learning strategy within the BSc (Hons) Community Health Studies programme. The approach adopted within the Faculty of Health and Social Care is termed ’scenario-generated learning’ and this will be used as a strategy for learning and teaching within the programme. For post-registration students, the use of real scenarios from the community setting will facilitate the integration of theory and practice, promote the development of decision-making and problem-solving skills, and encourage lifelong learning. Inter-professional learning will also be incorporated into the teaching.

The future aim is for all modules to be taught as a mixed mode, where students have access to learning materials through e-learning in varying proportions from fully taught with supporting materials to full use of electronic materials with minimal taught content.

Methods of learning and teaching will emphasise student-centred techniques. This will facilitate the student to become an increasingly autonomous learner, able to identify their own learning needs and goals within the parameters of the programme aims and outcomes, which will require the student to actively identify and negotiate specific learning outcomes pertinent to their area of community practice within the parameters of the module learning outcomes. The student will also be expected to identify and negotiate acceptable methods of evidencing the achievement of the learning outcomes.

Students will be exposed to various assessment methods designed to ensure that the content, outcomes and level of the modules are measured in a fair and transparent manner. Examples include portfolios, assignments, examinations, seminar presentations and poster presentations.

Formative assessment:

Formative feedback will be available on the following in accordance with Faculty Policy:

  • Feedback on participation in Problem/Scenario Based Learning and tutorial sessions.
  • Feedback on draft work.
  • Feedback on self-assessment exercises.

All aspects of the assessment strategy will be used to evaluate transferable/key skills and, where relevant, mapped against national benchmarks.

The programme offers students the opportunity to achieve the characteristics of a graduate, and it is assessment criteria based upon QAA and University of Chester documents which define these characteristics (see below).

Demonstrate reasoning with regard to complex issues, which shows an ability to explore and develop alternative solutions.

Apply the methods, techniques and modes of practice that they have learned and review, consolidate, extend and apply their knowledge and understanding.

Theory/practice link
Demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of relevant knowledge and applicable techniques enabling them to take initiatives and accept significant responsibility within organisations.

Demonstrate critical analysis and be able to deal with complex issues.

Consider abstract data, concepts and/or raw materials and frame appropriate questions to achieve a solution - or identify a range of solutions to a problem.

Evaluating evidence and argument
Ability to deploy accurately established techniques of analysis and enquiry.

Reaching sound judgements
Ability to critically evaluate current research, methodology and scholarship.

Ability to communicate information, ideas, problems and solutions, in a variety of formats appropriate to both specialist and non-specialist audiences.

The graduate will have developed skills associated with professional practice within their chosen community role. Knowledge and skills learnt through the core modules will be enhanced in option modules. Graduates will be able to demonstrate appropriate levels of decision making, and to monitor and improve standards of service delivery, within their chosen community setting.

On completion, these graduates will be equipped to deliver the highest quality evidence-based community practice appropriate to their work-based setting including, for example, occupational therapists, physiotherapists, nurses, occupational health practitioners, social workers, podiatrists, voluntary sector workers and public protection agency workers.

The University is committed to the promotion of diversity, equality and inclusion in all its forms; through different ideas and perspectives, age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation. We are, in particular, committed to widening access to higher education. Within an ethically aware and professional environment, we acknowledge our responsibilities to promote freedom of enquiry and scholarly expression.

Please note that, notwithstanding the contents of section 16 above, the maximum duration for this programme has been approved by the University Executive in 2008 to not exceed four years.

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