University of Chester

Programme Specification
Professional Nursing BSc (Hons) (Level 6 only)
2014 - 2015

Bachelor of Science (Level 6 only)

Professional Nursing

Professional Nursing

University of Chester

University of Chester

Sites as determined by Faculty of Health and Social Care.

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

Full-time and Part-time

Classroom / Laboratory,

1 year

3 Years

Biannual - February - September



17a. Faculty

17b. Department

Health and Social Care Health and Social Care

Quality Assurance Agency.

Knowledge and Skills Framework.

Nursing and Midwifery Council.

University of Chester

Undergraduate Pre-registration Subject Assessment Board

Wednesday 1st June 2011

  • Enable students to be cognisant of the holistic and global nature of 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.
  • Offer a dynamic and quality educational experience for all students.
  • Develop and promote the skills of critical, analytical and reflective thinking in students.
  • Prepare students to be competent professional practitioners who are fit for practice through promotion of practice-centred learning and the integration of evidence-based theory and practice.
  • Prepare overseas nurses for professional registration with the NMC.
  • Contextualise students' educational experience within an international setting.
  • Prepare students to be fit for professional standing through the promotion of responsibilities regarding professional conduct, accountability, ethical and legal obligations, and respect for others.

Knowledge and Understanding

The ability to:

  • Critically discuss key concepts, principles, theories and policies in health and social care.
  • Critically review the uniqueness of their ownroleand 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 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 policy initiatives at individual, local and national levels.
  • Access, analyse and process evidence-based information applicable to practice.
  • Utilise analytical skills when evaluating professional work from both professional and service user perspectives.
  • Demonstrate a reflective approach to continuing professional development.
  • Appraise own learning needs as a reflexive practitioner.
  • Demonstrate innovative and creative thinking strategies.

Practical Skills

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

Key Skills
Studentsaccessing the programme will be autonomous learners and will already possess key skills required for the programme. This will be evident through the entry requirements, and also the level and nature of their present position as health professionals and the previous courses of study they have undertaken. The key skills will be developed further throughout the programme.
  • Communication:Effective communication skills will be inherent in all the modules.
  • Applicationof number:Students accessing the programme will be working at a level that requires them to be numerate. Examples in clinical practice are clinical measurements, audit and statistical analysis, and work load activities. These skills will be built upon throughout the programme, particularly in the research-based modules.
  • Information technology: The students' IT skills, gained from current clinical practice, should be such as to enable them to access the University intranet, bibliographical databases and the internet for academic and clinical studies, use the library effectively, and perform literature searches and reviews. Their existing skills will be enhanced in the library induction and information skill session at the beginning of the programme, which will be specific to the University resources. The facilities of the wider University will also be open to the student.Study skills sessions are held at the beginning of each academic year and the services of the Learning Support Tutor will be available at other times. The students' IT skills will normally be evidenced in the production of word-processed assignments.
  • Improving own learning and performance: The entire programme is designed to facilitate the student in their development on both a personal and professional level. This will be evidenced and assessed through written work.
  • Working with others:The student's ability to work with others will be demonstrated in both the classroom and clinical areas, and evidenced in the learning profiles within the learning portfolio.
  • Problem solving: This area will be developed in all modules and will be demonstrated through the reflective analysis of practice.

Transferable Professional Skills

The programme fosters many transferable skills. These may be consideredunder Key Skills above, but also from the range of professional practice which the practitioner on the programme experiences.

This programme is designed for nurses who are qualified overseas, and who wish to gain a degree in nursing.  It also facilitates registration on the NMC professional register for nurses who require this. Intrinsic within the programme is the Overseas Nurses Programme module, which prepares the applicant specifically for NMC registration.

The programme will normally be offered as a one year full time programme, and nurses will normally be expected to have an IELTS score of 6.5, with a score of at least 7 being required for the Overseas Nurses Programme module. Should students register for the ONP module, then there may be a requirement to extend the length of the full time programme beyond one year. This is dependent on the amount of time stipulated by the NMC that students are required to complete the practice element of the module.

All international students at the University of Chester will have access to the following resources as a means of enhancing their English language skills.

  • HEX English for International Students
    An online support module offering information and exercises designed to improve all four language skills.
  • One-to-one support
    Appointments with a qualified ESOL / EFL teacher to address any recurring language issues with your academic writing.
  • Free English lessons
    Weekly English classes on the Chester campus free of charge to all students whose first language is not English, or to students who have received their education in another language. The courses will help with developing language for writing academic essays, and also focus on the academic conventions and study skills used by the University of Chester.

Students who enter the programme with an International English Language Testing System (IELTS) score of 6.5, and who want to achieve a score of 7 in order to undertake the Overseas Nurses Programme module, can make full use of the above resources. In addition, English language and IELTS courses are widely available with the following local Further Education partners and independent education providers:

  • English in Chester offer programmes in Academic English, Study Skills and IELTS preparation for undergraduate and postgraduate students.
  • Wirral Metropolitan College.
  • West Cheshire College.

The programme has three core modules of 20 credits each, with option modules being available from other degree programmes within the Faculty. The Overseas Nurses Programme module is specific to this programme and is an option module. This is the only module within the programme which has an integrated practice element. All other modules are theoretical in nature.  The Clinical Context of Care module is designed to provide students with clinical nursing skills. These skills will be developed in the classroom environment via simulation, rather than in the practice setting. A practice component for the remaining option modules in not applicable. Option modules are provided in line with University guidance on viability, and as such are not guaranteed to run. Students who do not achieve an IELTS score of 7 may not access the Overseas Nurses Programme module, but may still complete the degree programme using other option modules.

Option module selection

Please note that all option modules are worth 20 credits. These may be selected from the approved list of undergraduate programmes and other free standing modules. At the time of registration and in association with the programme leader, combinations or clusters of modules approved for compatibility will be selected.

Mod-Code Level Title Credit Single
NM6117 6 Overseas Nurses Programme 20 Optional
NM6145 6 Evidence Based Practice in Health and Social Care 20 Comp
NM6148 6 Management of Care for the Older Person 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
NM6162 6 Empowering Healthy Communities 20 Optional
NM6169 6 Enhancing Interpersonal Skills 20 Optional
NM6197 6 Clinical Context of Care 20 Comp
NM6198 6 Management of Clinical Care 20 Comp
NM6302 6 Leadership and Management in Health and Social Care 20 Optional
NM6304 6 Public Health for Health and Social Care 20 Optional
NM6305 6 Rehabilitation and Reablement 20 Optional

Students willneed to achieve 120 credits at level 6 to receive the award.

Admissions process

Initial stage

  • Student expression of interest.
  • Registry departments to forward correspondence to programme leader for BSc.

Screening stage

Application received

  • International Office to screen application forms for suitablity for programme including equivalence of academic status.
  • Application pack forwarded to programme leader, where a decision on suitablity is made.
  • Offer pack sent to successful applicants by the International Office.

Offer accepted

  • Student indicates acceptance of a place.
  • Initial course deposit paid.
  • The University applies for a student number from the Borders Agency.
  • The student is sent the Confirmation of Acceptance to Study Form (CASF) and Border Agency student number.
  • Student applies for visa using the CASF and identification number.
  • Unsuccessful visa applicants have their deposit returned minus an administration fee.
  • Successful applicants are enrolled on the programme.


  • For students undertaking the ONP module, CRB checks are commenced.

Students must:

  • Be registered as nurses overseas.
  • Have at least one year's post-qualifying experience.
  • Have academic qualifications to diploma level (120 credits at level 4 and level 5 equivalents).
  • Meet UK Border Agency requirements for all students to have the appropriate visa.
  • Where appropriate, meet the NMC requirements for the ONP.

The following benchmarks have been mapped into the Overseas Nurses programme to ensure that Nursing and Midwifery Council standards have been met: the NMC Standards of Proficiency ( and QAA nursing subject benchmarks ( They represent the general expectations of standards for the award of qualifications at a given level, and articulate the attributes and capabilities that should be demonstrated by a registered nurse.

All modules will meet the core dimensions of the Knowledge and Skills Framework (DH 2004).

Level HE6 (Level 6/ Honours H Level)

In undertaking studies at this credit level, students are able to:

  • 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 into account.

The composition of the 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 Institutions (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, tutorials, seminars, presentations and debates, reflection, practice-based workshops, directed study, private study sessions, and e-learning packages.

The student experience will be enhanced by the use of reflection. Students will thus be placed at the centre of the learning experience and are expected to assume responsibility for their own educational development. 

Scenario-based learning is included as a teaching and learning strategy within the BSc Professional Nursing programme. This strategy is used for learning and teaching within the programme through the use of real scenarios from healthcare settings, which facilitates integration of theory and practice, and promotion of decision-making and problem-solving skills, and encourages lifelong learning. The Clinical Context of Care  and the Overseas Nurses Programme modules will incorporate skills laboratory-based learning utilising an educational scaffolding approach. It is anticipated that the use of clinical simulations will provide a rich opportunity for students to develop culturally sensitive nursing skills within a controlled and safe learning environment. This will ensure student centred learning and assessment of clinical competence takes place within a structured framework. 

The 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.

Inter-professional learning is addressed within the programme. Visiting lecturers and expert professionals will be utilised in order to facilitate this process, and to ensure that examples and scenarios are drawn from a range of professional areas.

Students will be exposed to a variety of assessment methods designed to ensure that the content, outcomes and level of the modules are measured in a fair and transparent manner. Examples include assignments, examinations, seminar presentations, individual case studies, coursework assignments, portfolios, research critique, and practice assessment. 

Knowledge and understanding will be tested through the above assessment strategies. Intellectual skills will be assessed normally through coursework, and students will be asked to demonstrate thinking and cognitive ability through the assessed work. 

The Overseas Nurses Programme module is assessed in clinical practice and by an OSCE.

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 professional 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 setting.

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

Throughout the programme students will be offered careers guidance and support, from both the programme team and the University's Careers and Employability department. This will be cognisant of the UK Border Agency laws and will take a global perspective.

Professional suitability

All students undertaking the ONP will need to complete a Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) check prior to attending a clinical placement. Throughout the programme it is the responsibility of all staff in contact with the nurse to report any incidents or allegations of misconduct to the line manager and programme leader, who have responsibility for instigating the University's Professional Suitability procedures. If the allegations are upheld by the Professional Suitability panel, this may result in discontinuation from the course. All cautions and criminal convictions must be reported immediately and all information must be shared with the programme leader.

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