The University of Wolverhampton

BNurs (Hons)Learning Disability Nursing

Why choose this course?

Nursing at the University of Wolverhampton provides exciting, challenging opportunities to work with people, providing care across a range of diverse health and social care settings. It is a demanding vocation which requires hard work, commitment, the ability to problem solve, work independently and as part of a team.

The BNurs (Hons) Learning Disability Nursing course will enable you to develop the knowledge and skills to provide safe and effective nursing care to people with learning disabilities and if successful register with the Nursing and Midwifery Council to practice as a Learning Disability Nurse in a variety of health and social care settings. This is a professional vocational award that carefully integrates theory and practice with 50% of the programme delivered in practice and 50% within the University.

It is designed from a person-centred, practice focused perspective to equip you with the increasingly complex practice skills required by today’s healthcare profession. We prepare you to practice in the 21st century by developing your skills in therapeutic communication and your understanding of the uniqueness of individuals. The course aims to provide a professional award that will provide students’ with the necessary knowledge, skills and values to enable people with Learning Disabilities to achieve their full potential.

When you successfully complete the BNurs (Hons) Learning Disability Nursing course you will be able to register with the nursing governing body, the Nursing and Midwifery Council. This allows you to use the title ‘Registered Nurse’ (RN).

You can find out more about careers in Learning Disability Nursing at our Learning Disability Nursing Careers Awareness Days.

What happens on the course?

In order to meet all of these requirements you will need to fulfil a set number of hours of study which are compulsory, this will include attendance both in the University and in your designated practice areas.

Your course has been specially designed to provide you with the opportunity to fulfill the requisite number of hours. These have been agreed as 4600 hours in three years. 50% of your course will be situated in the University and 50% in practice areas.

When you are working in placement areas you will be required to demonstrate professional conduct at all times. Your placement experiences will include providing nursing care to some of societies’ most vulnerable people, the elderly, those who are physically ill or have a physical disability, a learning disability, and those who have perhaps been through some very challenging situations. In order to ensure all the people you care for are protected and kept safe, you will be expected to abide by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) guidance for student nurses. In addition we will expect you to conduct yourself in a highly professional manner and this will form part of our assessment of you in practice.

Learning Disability field students study a range of academic core (all fields of nursing) and field specific (Learning Disability focused) modules based on theory and practice experiences. Your practice experiences will assist you in developing practical skills and professional awareness.

Your modules will also contain a range of key skills which are essential for lifelong learning, including numeracy (essential for medicines management), information technology, communication and working with others, problem solving and how to improve your learning.

The course aims to help you prepare yourself to adapt to new roles and the environments you will be working in. You will continuously learn in order to develop your nursing knowledge and skills as the start of your career progression. Theoretical material will reflect the requirements of the National Health Service and Social Care Services and the changing needs of today’s population.

Practice experiences will build throughout the course and will include a variety of settings such as hospitals, nursing homes, community placements and the independent/ voluntary care sector. There will be opportunities to learn with other fields of nursing and other health related disciplines. At the end of the third year you may opt to undertake a placement overseas.

Placements will be undertaken with one of five NHS Trusts; Wolverhampton, Walsall, Dudley, Sandwell and West Birmingham or Burton-upon-Trent.

By successfully achieving all components of the BNurs (Hons) Learning Disability Nursing course you will be entitled to register as a Nurse.

Why Wolverhampton?

Studying the BNurs (Hons) Learning Disability Nursing course enables you to experience:

  • Excellent opportunities for inter-disciplinary learning across all nursing pathways and with midwifery, social work and social care students.
  • Excellent placement opportunities across a range of health, education, day services and social care settings
  • Opportunities to contribute to national and regional Learning Disability conferences
  • Opportunities to publish in national learning disability journals
  • Opportunities to participate in national and regional research projects
  • International placement opportunities such as Spain, Finland, Norway

You are currently entitled to a NHS means tested bursary and your course fees are currently paid by the NHS

Who will teach you on this course?
All of the staff that teach you on this course are Registered Nurses. You will benefit from the team’s expertise, which draws on a wealth of experience. View Institute of Health Professions staff profiles

The Faculty of Education Health and Wellbeing series of seminars and lectures spans education, sport, care, psychology health and wellbeing, bringing you a variety of engaging speakers and experts from the University of Wolverhampton and many other UK universities, visit

What our students think

Student experiences video

Say hello to Sean Ledington

Sean LedingtonSean studied for the DipHE Learning Disability Nursing full-time whilst working part-time. He chose to study at the University of Wolverhampton because of its staff and facilities.

“From the first day of my course I was made to feel welcome by both the staff and my peers. I studied at Walsall Campus, where the School of Health and Wellbeing building is purpose-built and has an excellent lecture theatre and clinical skills lab.”

The course involved spending time on clinical placements away from the University for significant periods, but Sean found being able to keep in touch with tutors and colleagues easy.

“The support given by the tutors via the University’s WOLF blog was invaluable. You could send messages about any aspect of the course or placement and you knew you would get a quick reply. It was also a good way to keep in touch with fellow students and share experiences.

“I have had three years at University that will shape me for the rest of my life, met some fantastic people and been inspired to make a positive contribution to learning disability nursing. I currently work with parents who have a learning disability. The skills I have learnt on the course are used daily. I am loving every minute of my current job and every day enables me to use the skills I learnt whilst at University.”

Whilst on the course Sean won first place in the Centre for the Advancement of Interprofessional Education (CAIPE) annual student poster, the David Fisher Award for Outstanding Contribution to Learning Disability Nursing and was a finalist for the Positive Choices Fiona Law Practice Innovation Award at the National Network for Learning Disability Nurses at Bangor University. From this award Sean has taken part in a project and has been co-designer of an online portal for learning disability nurses, which you can visit at:

Career path

This course will build and develop upon your knowledge and skills as a practitioner working with people with learning disabilities in a variety of settings. The management and organisation of service provision is constantly changing and developing in line with health and social care policy and you are working with and being involved with such changes.

Hence you need to develop the knowledge and skills to enhance your employability and to accept the greater responsibilities that these changes will bring and to be prepared for such changes.

Employability’ is concerned with the development of skills aimed at enhancing your employment prospects in learning disability services throughout your time here at the University of Wolverhampton. Developing specialist subject and academic knowledge is important for employers but they also want to employ individuals who are able to:

  • Communicate effectively
  • Work in a team and have good interpersonal skills.
  • Solve problems
  • Work on their own using their own initiative and are able to adapt to changing situations
  • Be self-confident
  • Demonstrate flexible and transferable skills whilst working in a variety of settings

This course will assist you in developing your skills to analyse practice by using appropriate evidence to improve service delivery and to promote empowerment for life chances and healthy lifestyles for people with learning disabilities

What skills will you gain?

As a Registered Nurse you will:

  1. Meet the NMC Standards of proficiency for pre-registration nursing education.
  1. Provide nursing care that is safe, effective and ethical and assume full responsibility and accountability for your own practice as a Nurse registered on the NMC register within the legal framework of the country in which you are employed.
  1. Reflect upon and critically evaluate evidence to reach sound nursing judgements and exercise effective decision making in complex situations within the learning disability sphere of practice.
  1. Critically examine the impact of political, professional and social contexts on your provision of person centred learning disability nursing care within the context of a multidisciplinary team.
  1. Effectively apply your learning to identify, manage and lead enterprising innovations and service improvements in learning disability practice.
  1. Demonstrate competence in the use of advanced technologies to quality assure and enhance your learning disability nursing practice and maintain your life-long learning.

Who accredits this course?

Recognised by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) for the purpose of registration as a qualified nurse (learning disabilities).

Entry requirements

2017 Entry

GCSEs at grade C+ / 4 in an English-based subject and Maths or equivalent qualifications (e.g. Key Skills Level 2/ Learn Direct Level 2/ Functional Skills Level 2).


  • Gain BBC with a minimum of BCC from A Levels or equivalent
  • BTEC National Diploma at a DMM grade/ BTEC National Certificate at a D*D* grade
  • BTEC QCF Extended Diploma at grade DMM/BTEC QCF Diploma at grade D*D*
  • OCR National Diploma at a D grade / OCR National Extended Diploma at a M3 grade
  • CACHE Level 3 Diploma at a C grade
  • Access to HE Diploma Full award (60 credits) of which a minimum of 45 must be at Level 3 with at least 24 of these Level 3 credits at Merit or Distinction. You are also required to achieve 12 credits at Level 2 or 3 in English and 12 credits at Level 2 or 3 in Mathematics if you have not already achieved GCSE English and Maths at grade C.
  • Successful completion of the Foundation Year of Learning Education and Progression guarantees interview opportunity
  • Undergraduate or Postgraduate degrees
  • Foundation degrees /HND/ HNC

If you've got other qualifications or relevant experience, please contact The Gateway for further advice before applying.

Year 2 entry

Other Requirements

Applicants will also be required to provide satisfactory personal statement and reference (academic or employer).

Those meeting the entry requirements may be shortlisted for interview and will be subsequently required to meet a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) Check and Occupational Health requirements.

Read further information regarding interview preparation

During the Nursing course you will be required to attend placements, when you are asked for your choice of placement area we will endeavour to meet your request however we must emphasise that this cannot be guaranteed and therefore you must ensure you are able to travel to the final placement area you are allocated.

This course is not available at present to international applicants.

Course fees and finance

2016/7 Entry Funding Information

The funding information for the BNurs (Hons) Nursing and BSc (Hons) Midwifery courses is summarised as follows:

  • Course Tuition Fees will be paid in full by the NHS.
  • Students are eligible to apply for an NHS Grant (not means-tested).
  • Students are eligible to apply for an NHS means–tested Bursary (45 weeks per year) - These figures may be reduced according to the income of parents, spouse or partner.
  • NHS Dependants Allowance is available to students with dependent children and/or dependent partner – this is means tested very tightly against family income.
  • NHS Childcare Grant is available to students with dependent children who require OFSTED registered childcare – this is means tested very tightly against family income.
  • Students are eligible to apply for a Student Loan

Students apply for their Bursary, Grant and additional allowances (dependants allowance and childcare grant) through the NHS Student Grants Unit at but must apply for their Student Loan at

2017/8 Funding Information

The Government is proposing a change to funding for courses in nursing, midwifery and allied health subjects which, if accepted, will take effect from August 2017.
This means that students offered a place on a course commencing after this date will no longer receive an NHS bursary. Instead, they will have access to the same student loans system as other students. The present suggestion is that students studying nursing, midwifery and the allied health subjects as a second degree may also be able to access student loans and that the change will only affect new students starting their courses from 1 August 2017. There will be a consultation in early 2016 and more information will be available following this.

Should you wish to discuss this further please contact our staff in Gateway via or telephone (01902) 321032 and they can offer further advice and guidance.

Contact us


01902 32 22 22



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