University of Chester

Programme Specification
Nursing (Second Registration Mental Health) DipHE
2014 - 2015

Diploma of Higher Education

Nursing (Second Registration Mental Health)

Nursing (Second Registration Mental Health)

University of Chester

University of Chester

As determied by the Faculty of Health and Social Care, including Wirral, Chester (Riverside), Leighton, Warrington and the Isle of Man campuses.

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

Full-time and Part-time

Classroom / Laboratory,

2 years

5 Years

Biannual - March - September




17a. Faculty

17b. Department

Health and Social Care Health and Social Care

Location within the National Qualifications Framework. 

Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) for Healthcare Programmes: Nursing (2001)

Nursing & Midwifery Council (NMC) Standards of Proficiency (2004)

Nursing & Midwifery Council (NMC)

Undergraduate Nursing Pre-registration Programme Subject Assessment Board

Sunday 1st March 2009

The programme aims to:

  • Offer a dynamic and quality educational experience for all students.
  • Develop and promote the skills of critical, analytical and reflective thinking in students.
  • Promote the ethos of lifelong learning and advance students' sense of personal responsibility and commitment to their ongoing education and development.
  • 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.
  • Develop students to be fit for purpose through reflection of all aspects of the constantly changing service delivery needs of modern healthcare within a holistic healthcare model.
  • Facilitate students to achieve fitness for award through flexibility in entry criteria, advanced standing recognition and clear competency outcomes for all levels of study.
  • 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

Demonstrate the ability to appraise the underpinning theoretical base of nursing using a reflective framework, including:

  • Professional legal and ethical issues.
  • Key concepts, principles and policiesrelated to healthcare.
  • The evidence-based approach and dissemination of information.

Thinking or Cognitive Skills

The ability to:
  • Demonstrate self management and direction, and the ability to think logically and critically.
  • Evaluate the delivery and management of care using reflective, problem solving and decision-making skills.
  • Access, analyse and process information applicable to their area of practice.

Practical Skills

The ability to:
  • Communicate effectively with individuals and groups.
  • Demonstrate the application of evidence-based practice.
  • Demonstrate effective fundamental caring skills.
  • Exercise responsibilitywhen undertaking a holistic and comprehensive nursing assessment.

Key Skills
  • Communication
  • Application of Number
  • Information Literacy and Technology
  • Improving own learning and performance
  • Working with others
  • Problem solving

The ability to:
  • Communicate effectively at both individual and group levels.
  • Be competent in the use of IT.
  • Work collaboratively within an inter-professional environment.
  • Demonstrate and apply literacy and numeracy skills.
  • Demonstrateself-directionin both formal and informal environments.
  • Demonstrate the ability to engage in problem-solving in a caring environment.

Transferable Professional Skills

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

The programme is informed by the validation requirements of the NMC and University of Chester. The standard shortened programme is 2 years (3066 hours) full time study however there is no required minimum length of a programme for those holding UK registration with the NMC as a nurse (level 1 or level 2) - the length of the programme should be determined following an assessment for AP(E)L (NMC 2004). The programme is 50% theory and 50% practice and comprises a two year branch programme. Each module is worth 20 credits with 200 hours of associated teaching and learning, except for the double modules which are 40 credits with 400 hours of teaching and learning.

Modules are designed and delivered in accordance with Framework for Higher Education Qualifications (FHEQ) using their stated level descriptors as a reference point. The programme is linked to a Higher Education accreditation system, with existing mechanisms for the award of credit for appropriate learning and prior experiential learning. No student may seek an award for completion of the modules comprising this programme without having been registered for the qualification aim and having engaged with all the appropriate programme admissions procedures. The holders of qualifications at this level will have developed a sound understanding of the principles in their field of study, and will have learned to apply those principles more widely. They will have the qualities necessary for employment in situations requiring the exercise of personal responsibility and decision-making and be fit for practice, purpose and award.

The modules have internal integrity and are linked together to form a coherent programme of learning and this denotes their 'normal' sequencing.

Years 1 & 2  of the programme are both delivered at academic level 5 and consist of a Branch Programme with six theory modules, two of which are non-credit bearing but which are included in order to provide opportunity and breadth of study. The non-credit bearing theory modules are optional but if omitted must be replaced by negotiated theory hours. The theory modules are supported by two compulsory non credit bearing, practice based modules which facilitate the application of theory to practice.

Year 1 consists of a total of three theory modules. Two of the modules are credit bearing, specifically related to the chosen branch of study and focus on altered health. The third, non-credit bearing module looks at the philosophy and diversity of different care environments.  Associated with this module is a 2 week elective placement with opportunities locally, nationally or internationally. All theory is applied through a fourth, year long, non credit bearing module comprising three placement experiences.

In year 2, there are two credit bearing modules focusing on public health and therapeutic interventions and a third non-credit bearing module which is centred on professional development. As an option the latter of these modules may be taken as an assessed module at level 6. All three modules incorporate shared learning and enable the student to work towards being a registered nurse with confidence. The module focusing on therapeutic interventions includes a range of branch specific skills directly related to the employability of the newly registered nurse. As with year 1, all theory modules are supported by a final year long practice module incorporating three placement experiences.

The minimum academic standard of pre-registration nursing programmes is that of Diploma of Higher Education.

Students should have experience of all of the designated branches during or prior to the programme


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%

Mod-Code Level Title Credit Single
NM5004 5 Nursing Management of Care Delivery and Therapeutic Interventions 40 Comp
NM5005 5 Public Health in Nursing Practice 20 Comp
NM5006 5 Personal and Professional Development 0 Optional
NM5031 5 Improving Outcomes for Service Users 40 Comp
NM5032 5 Putting Values into Practice 20 Comp
NM5033 5 Observing the Diversity of Care - Mental Health Branch 0 Optional
NM5550 5 Practice Learning 2 0 Comp
NM5551 5 Practice Learning 3 0 Comp

Diploma of Higher Education: 120 credits at level5 (120 credits accumulated).
Should a student fail the practice module, yet complete the 120 credits for the theory modules, then the above exit awards will still apply. However, students wil NOT be able to register on the NMC register at level 1

The admission criteria for student entry to the Second Registration Programme will be:


  • Registered as a level 1 nurse on part 1 of the NMC Register by virtue of examination (registration must be live).
  • Support of manager if employed.
  • Selection interview.
  • Evidence of appropriate knowledge and understanding of the chosen branch.
  • Evidence of appropriate continuing professional development within the last three years.
  • Demonstration of advanced standing equivalent to 120 credits at level 4.

Nursing is both mentally and physically demanding and the good character and health of all successful applicants will be assessed to establish fitness to undertake nurse education. A CRB is required for assessment of character. The Occupational Health department examines and assesses the health of all candidates to ensure that they are physically fit to commence nurse education.  In addition, each candidate must be declared 'fit' in accordance with the Clothier report recommendations.  This is normally done via a letter from the candidate's GP.

Students may be required to access level 4 or 5 study skills and/or modules to facilitate progression on to the programme.

The following benchmarks have been mapped into the modules to ensure that national quality frameworks have been met: The NMC Standards of Proficiency ( and QAA Nursing subject benchmarks which are available on the QAA website ( 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.

Students will experience a variety of teaching and learning methods designed to facilitate the achievement of all learning outcomes at level 5 within a student-centred approach, and to foster personal and professional development.

A variety of teaching and learning strategies will be used to meet the programme learning outcomes. Emphasis, however, will be placed on formal lectures, tutorials, group work, discussion, poster and seminar presentations, work-based learning, e-learning, problem-based learning, project work, case discussions, action-learning sets and experiential learning activities, demonstration and simulations, learning through practice. Self-directed, inter-professional learning and peer-learning will be encouraged throughout and, consistent with the philosophy of the programme, peer and self-assessment will be used in the formative assessment process to complement lecturer assessment.

Student support and direction will be provided by interactive discussion and individual feedback, which at level 5 will promote development of the reflective thinking skills required to address practice issues.


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, seminar presentations, individual case studies, Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE), unseen written examination, multiple choice examination, coursework assignments, care plans and reflective accounts.

 Knowledge and understanding will be tested through written assignments, seminar presentations, examination and individual case studies. Intellectual skills will be assessed normally through coursework, and students will be asked to demonstrate thinking and cognitive ability through written assignments, examinations, seminar presentations, individual case studies and reflective accounts. The main vehicle for assessing practice is the Practice Assessment Document (PAD). This is supported by the assessment of skills through OSCEs, the Skills Inventory and alternative branch Learning Logs. All aspects of the assessment strategy will be used to evaluate transferable/key skills and, where relevant, mapped against national benchmarks.

A detailed scheme of assessment may be found in the Programme Handbook.

The programme offers students the opportunity to achieve the characteristics of a diplomate. The relevant level statement guidance from the QAA are as follows:

Level 5


Acquisition of knowledge that illustrates and exemplifies the underlying concepts and principles of the subjects studied. Knowledge of the main methods of enquiry in those subject(s).


Ability to apply underlying concepts and principles outside the context in which they were first studied. Ability to evaluate the appropriateness of different approaches to solving problems in the field of study. Appreciation of the boundaries of the subject(s) studied, and of inter-relationships with other subjects.

The characteristics of the successful student would be that of a clinically able practitioner who demonstrates a professional attitude, is of good health and good character, and who is able to assess, plan, implement and evaluate the care of a patient or group of patients in their care. Students following this programme will typically gain employment as nurses within NHS Trusts (hospitals or community), the independent sector and the armed forces. Some students move away from the area once qualified, some are in employment abroad.

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.

Students undertaking this programme will be required to follow the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) Code of Practice Good Health Good Character Requirements to demonstrate Professional Suitability.

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