Learning Disabilities Nursing BSc (Hons)Study level: Undergraduate
In modern health and social care settings nursing students are increasingly required to work towards becoming autonomous practitioners, taking a leadership role in decisions regarding patient care within multi-professional settings.
Year of entry
CU Scarborough (Scarborough)
3 years full-time
The information on this page is for 2022-23 entry and should be used as guidance for 2023-24 entry. Please keep checking back on this course page to see our latest updates.
They routinely have the most frequent and intense contact with patients and must be competent in recognising changes in patient condition so that appropriate action can be taken.
This curriculum has been developed as a spiral curriculum with assessment at its core. Placing equal value on practice and theory, undertaking 800 hours of both per year, you will have the opportunity to study a wide range of subjects, including anatomy and physiology, pharmacology, psychology, sociology and research methods. This course will give you the opportunity to become immersed in learning about the needs of populations, individuals, related health and nursing services with an emphasis on using research to enhance and improve services.
You will have the opportunity to learn the value of people with learning disabilities as equal citizens and people who have a real contribution to make to your development as a caring professional nurse in this unique ﬁeld of practice. You will have the opportunity to study and develop specialist skills in communication, comprehensive health assessment, equality and issues related to professional practice. This includes complex health needs, profound and multiple needs, care packages and therapeutic approaches to service users with learning disability, their families and carers.
The collaborative curriculum, which you’ll study alongside students from other health-related courses, has been developed in response to the need to produce professionals who are effective communicators, caring and compassionate, with good relationship building skills. It recognises the importance of inter-professional working within the health and social care workforce and comprises five core modules in the areas of: the foundations of communication and professionalism; the social determinants of health and wellbeing; evidence informed practice and decision making; working together to lead service improvement; and enhancing practice through evaluation and research.
Your degree culminates with a literature review related to one aspect of nursing practice, equivalent to the standard dissertation, for which you will write a 5,000-word report. Past students have covered topics as diverse as effects of antipsychotic medication, uptake of annual health checks, treatment of people with LD in acute hospital settings, experiences of parents with LD and experiences of offenders with LD, for example.
Why CU Scarborough
We offer a style of education which is flexible and designed to fit around your life, allowing you to benefit from a modern, forward-thinking higher education institution, reinforced by the quality and reputation of Coventry University. We aim to provide career-focused courses, wherever possible, coupled with placement opportunities to help prepare you for the world of work. We are dedicated to making higher education accessible and enjoyable to everyone, so we keep our fees low and most of our courses cover one module at a time, allowing you to become a specialist in each topic before moving onto the next.
Coventry University has been rated the 4th best UK university for nursing and midwifery
Guardian University Guide 2020
Accreditation and Professional Recognition
This course is accredited and recognised by the following bodies:
Nursing and Midwifery Council
The course is fully accredited by the UK Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) and, providing you also meet the NMC requirements, on successful completion you will be eligible to apply for registration with the Nursing and Midwifery Council. The Nursing and Midwifery Council is the regulator for nursing and midwifery professions in the UK. The NMC maintains a register of all nurses, midwives and specialist community public health nurses eligible to practise within the UK. Students are awarded a membership of the NMC, which puts them in the same arena as industry professionals.
Royal College of Nursing
Learning Disability Nurses are activists, advocates, investigators and carers. We are proud to support the Royal College of Nursing in celebrating this wonderful profession.
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What you'll study
In modern health and social care settings nursing students are increasingly required to work towards becoming autonomous practitioners, taking a leadership role in decisions regarding patient care within multi-professional settings. They routinely have the most frequent and intense contact with patients and must be competent in recognising changes in patient condition so that appropriate action can be taken.
This curriculum has been developed as a spiral curriculum with assessment at its the core. A spiral curriculum is when the same topics are studied throughout the duration of study but each time they are encountered they increase in complexity and reinforce previous learning. Placing equal value on practice and theory, undertaking 800 hours of both per year, you should study a wide range of subjects, including anatomy and physiology, pharmacology, psychology, sociology and research methods. You’ll become immersed in learning about the needs of populations, individuals, related health and nursing services with an emphasis on using research to enhance and improve services.
The course focuses on integrated care for people with learning disabilities in a variety of settings. You should develop skills in communication, health assessment, professional practice, evidence based practice, knowledge of public health and policy, and legal and ethical issues.
The collaborative curriculum, which you’ll study alongside students from our other health-related courses, has been developed in response to the need to produce professionals who are effective communicators, caring and compassionate, with good relationship building skills. It recognises the importance of inter-professional working within the health and social care workforce and comprises five core modules in the areas of: the foundations of communication and professionalism; the social determinants of health and wellbeing; evidence informed practice and decision making; working together to lead service improvement; and enhancing practice through evaluation and research.
The Scientific Foundations of Nursing Practice
Fundamental Skills for Person and Family-centred Care
Study Skills for Evidence Based Practice
Foundations of Evidence Informed Practice
Health and Wellbeing in the Community
Ethical and Legal Decision Making in the Context of Nursing
Assessing Needs and Planning Care Across the Lifespan
Advancing Therapeutic Care in Learning Disability Nursing
Developing Evidence Informed Decision Making in Nursing
Facilitation of Teaching and Learning in Practice
Application of Complex Care in Integrated Care Settings
Leadership Management for Healthcare Professionals
Conducting an Evidence Based Project
Specialist Issues in Learning Disability Nursing
Transition to the Accountable Practitioner
We regularly review our course content, to make it relevant and current for the benefit of our students. For these reasons, course modules may be updated.
How you'll learn
Learning disability nurses play a critical role in improving their patients’ physical and mental health, reducing barriers to them living an independent life and supporting them to lead a fulfilling and healthy life where they can relate to others on equal terms. A hugely rewarding profession, it is a great career choice if you are compassionate and keen to support individuals of all ages through the many physical, mental and social challenges facing people with learning disabilities.
This course aims to prepare you for the dynamic and fast changing health and social care system, developing you into an adaptable, flexible, reflective, competent and compassionate practitioner. Actively engaging with people with learning disabilities, their families and carers from the outset, you’ll have the opportunity to gain hands-on experience under supervision from qualified mentors, spending up to 50% of your time on clinical practice placements in a range of healthcare environments within the NHS in hospitals and community placements, at private hospitals and independent care providers.
While the course has a clear focus on people with learning disabilities, a key benefit of our curriculum is the notion of collaboration across all areas of health and social care. Your studies will be complemented with signiﬁcant insights into a range of potential challenges to health and wellbeing throughout the lifespan, such as mental health, complex care and life limiting conditions. Some modules are also studied in conjunction with other health and social care professionals; looking at specific issues and challenges they face to broaden your knowledge and expertise.
The course can be studied full-time over three years, offering a start date in September.
This course uses a wide variety of stimulating approaches to teaching and learning to suit individual learning styles. This includes a series of interactive lectures with associated seminars, skills lab activities and practical placements. All modules are mandatory to enable you to exit the programme with the knowledge, values and skills to be able to work within integrated care settings and enhance the delivery of care for service users, their families and carers.
The course is underpinned by an approach to professional care which is characterised by empathy, respect, dignity and kindness towards patients and their families. We will encourage you to develop an in-depth understanding of the organisation and culture of modern health care systems, equipping you with the confidence to be able to take a stronger role in the leadership and management of resources in delivering treatment and healthcare options to patients.
Throughout your studies, in groups and individually, you will undertake profession specific health and social care related projects and case studies. These may, for example, include an appraisal of the role of the nurse in ethical and legal decision making, considering service improvement bids or complex care planning and delivery via the multi-disciplinary team. You will also participate in a group poster presentation demonstrating your understanding of research underpinning patient care.
You’ll make use of our extensive simulation facilities – from basic life support mannequins to high tech simulation dummies, which emulate patient responses and test resuscitation skills. You will also use equipment found in the real world of practice, such as medical devices to assist with all elements of care, particularly medication administrations.
Gaining experience using simulation across a range of care settings is aimed at building your confidence and knowledge about how to act in these situations. You can practise and develop your clinical and interpersonal skills in a safe but realistic environment. We also use actors to enhance these experiences in scenarios which include breaking bad news, demonstrating emotional resilience, conflict, aggression, teaching and child protection conferences.
The learning outcomes of modules, assignments and projects will be clearly stated. Your work will be marked according to how well you achieve these learning outcomes and your final feedback will refer to each outcome, as well as providing an overall percentage grade.
Assessment methods vary and include, practical class and project performance, written practical reports, project thesis, laboratory experiments, tutorial tasks and assessments, which take place at the end of each six-week block.
- Practical Placement
- Formal Examinations
Typical offer for 2023/24 entry.
A Level - BCC, academic subjects only (excludes general studies).
DMM in a Health or Applied Science subject.
IB Diploma - 27 points with 14 at Higher Level.
GCSE requirement - minimum 5 GCSEs at grade A*–C including English Language, Mathematics and Science, or specified equivalents.
Caring experience, either paid or voluntary is essential. You will also be required to attend a selection event, which provides detailed information about the course and assesses numeracy, literacy and aptitude as part of the selection process. Satisfactory health clearance and criminal records disclosure required. Skills in digital and technological literacy are considered vital and there is opportunity to develop these throughout the course.
In line with the National Health Service Constitution we use a values-based recruitment approach in seeking candidates with the appropriate values to support effective team working in delivering excellent patient care.
Applicants must have GCSE certificates at point of interview. Evidence of recent study is desirable.
The nursing courses recognise that prior learning from previous study or practice may be transferable into our programmes. Each application is considered on a case by case basis. Therefore teams also consider accreditation of prior learning (APL) or significant work based learning (APEL), for example from a Foundation Degree or partly completed degree please contact our admission tutors for further information.
Applicants are expected to show academic attainment at the required level within 3 years of the course proposed start date, and will also be required to attend an interview. All offers are subject to satisfactory health clearance, disclosure and barring service/criminal conviction checks and a successful interview.
In line with the National Health Service Constitution we use a values based recruitment approach in seeking candidates with the appropriate values to support effective team working in delivering excellent patient care.
A-Level applicants are required to have three A2 Levels. Coventry University may include AS grades within an offer for certain courses, but we are not able to accept two AS Levels in place of one A2 Level. In some courses it may be necessary for entrants to have passed specific A2 Levels in nominated subjects. Please see the course pages for more information.
The Access to HE Diploma to include 15 Level 3 credits at Distinction in Health units, plus GCSE English Language and Mathematics at grade A*-C, or specified equivalents
Coventry University welcomes applicants who have completed, or who are studying, the Access to HE Diploma developed by the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA). Successful completion of the course will require you to gain 60 credits with at least 45 to be achieved at Level 3 (with the remainder at Level 2). In some cases we will require you to have gained Merit or Distinction grades in a number of units or in nominated subjects. For more information on the entry requirements for your chosen course please see the relevant course pages.
BTEC Level 3 Diplomas
The University will accept the BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma for entry to most courses. In some cases we will require applicants to have studied either certain named modules or a specific named Diploma. The appropriate course page will have full information on the entry requirements. The University also accepts the BTEC Level 3 Subsidiary Diploma and BTEC Level 3 Diploma for entry to degree programmes, provided that they are studied in combination with other qualifications that provide a total volume of study that is equivalent to three A2 Levels. For example, you could be studying a BTEC Level 3 Diploma plus an A2 Level, or a BTEC Level 3 Subsidiary Diploma plus two A2 Levels. Where a specific A2 or BTEC subject is required for entry then you must be offering this as part of your combination of qualifications.
Are you eligible for the CU Support Scheme?
We believe every student should have the opportunity to dream big, reach their potential and succeed, regardless of their background.
We pride ourselves on offering competitive tuition fees which we review on an annual basis. Course fees are calculated on the basis of what it costs to teach each course and we aim for total financial transparency.
|UK||£9,250 per year||Not available|
How do you know if you need to pay UK or international tuition fees?
We carry out an initial fee status assessment based on the information you provide in your application. Your fee status determines your tuition fees, and what financial support and scholarships may be available to you. The rules about who pays UK (home) or international (overseas) fees for higher education courses in England are set by the government's Department for Education. The regulations identify all the different categories of student who can insist on paying the home rate. The regulations can be difficult to understand, so the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) has provided fee status guidance to help you identify whether you are eligible to pay the home or overseas rate.
If you meet all the criteria required by any one category, including any residence requirements, your institution must charge you the home rate. You only need to find one category that you fit into.
We’ve spent £14 million on a brand new campus building. It’s a purpose-built, state of-the-art development that is one of the most modern facilities in the UK.
It includes a library, IT suites, mock law court, engineering and science labs, cafe and lots of individual and group study spaces. Next to us is Scarborough’s new leisure village. The complex includes an Olympic legacy swimming pool, sports hall, fitness suite, all weather pitches and the new Scarborough Athletic football ground.
Careers and opportunities
There are over 3,500 learning disabilities nurses within the NHS and demand for these specialist nurses is high.
You will have opportunities to support people of all ages with learning disabilities in a range of settings, including: hospital wards such as epilepsy and palliative care; mental health trusts; adult education; residential and community centres; patients' homes; workplaces; and schools. This can lead to specialist areas such as education, sensory disability or service management or move into areas such as management, teaching or clinical research.
During your three years on the programme you will have the opportunity to undertake at least six placements in a range of service settings, working with and alongside qualiﬁed learning disability nurses, and therefore potential local and regional employers. On graduating successfully from this course, you can apply for registration with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC), which enables you to practise immediately.
As well as helping you to find suitable work placements and give you advice on how to get the most out of them, the Faculty of Health and Life Sciences’ Employability and Placements Unit will support you when you are ready to begin your professional career.
Where our graduates work
The majority of our graduates ﬁnd employment as qualiﬁed nurses in the NHS with a growing emphasis on community settings, in acute hospitals, military nursing or within the private and independent healthcare sector, in private hospitals, nursing or care homes. As your career progresses, a number of options are open to you as a lecturer or specialist practitioner, advanced nurse practitioner, consultant nurse or manager.
Recent graduates have gone on to roles such as working in forensic services, generic and specialised children’s services, end of life care (adults and children), neurology services, dementia services, prison and court diversion, police diversion, schools, research and many more.
How to apply
Full-time UK undergraduate students apply through UCAS. Otherwise, you will need to apply to CU directly. Read our application pages to find out your next steps to apply.
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Coventry University together with Coventry University London Campus, CU Coventry, CU London, CU Scarborough and Coventry University Online come together to form part of the Coventry University Group (the “University”) with all degrees awarded by Coventry University.
The majority of our courses have been formally recognised by professional bodies, which means the courses have been reviewed and tested to ensure they reach a set standard. In some instances, studying on an accredited course can give you additional benefits such as exemptions from professional exams (subject to availability, fees may apply). Accreditations, partnerships, exemptions and memberships shall be renewed in accordance with the relevant bodies’ standard review process and subject to the university maintaining the same high standards of course delivery.
2UK and international opportunities
Please note that we are unable to guarantee any UK or International opportunities (whether required or optional) such as internships, work experience, field trips, conferences, placements or study abroad opportunities and that all such opportunities may be subject to additional costs (which could include, but is not limited to, equipment, materials, bench fees, studio or facilities hire, travel, accommodation and visas), competitive application, availability and/or meeting any applicable travel COVID and visa requirements. To ensure that you fully understand the visa requirements, please contact the International Office.
The University will charge the tuition fees that are stated in the above table for the first Academic Year of study. The University will review tuition fees each year. For Home Students, if Parliament permit an increase in tuition fees, the University may increase fees for each subsequent year of study in line with any such changes. Note that any increase is expected to be in line with inflation.
For International Students, we may increase fees each year but such increases will be no more than 5% above inflation. If you defer your course start date or have to extend your studies beyond the normal duration of the course (e.g. to repeat a year or resit examinations) the University reserves the right to charge you fees at a higher rate and/or in accordance with any legislative changes during the additional period of study.
Due to COVID-19, some facilities (including some teaching and learning spaces) and some non-academic offerings (particularly in relation to international experiences), may vary from those advertised and may have reduced availability or restrictions on their use.
By accepting your offer of a place and enrolling with us, a Student Contract will be formed between you and the university. The 2023/24 Contract is currently being updated so please revisit this page before submitting your application. The Contract details your rights and the obligations you will be bound by during your time as a student and contains the obligations that the university will owe to you. You should read the Contract before you accept an offer of a place and before you enrol at the university.