Primary and Community Care (District Nursing) (SPQ) MSc

Key information

Start date: September 2020

Full-time: 4 years

Part-time: 5 years

Why choose this course

Our MSc Primary and Community Care (District Nursing) course gives you access to our forward-thinking research in this field, as well as our strong links with practice.

This course is completely up-to-date with the changing healthcare industry, so you’ll graduate into a professional environment with a level of knowledge which will give you a competitive edge with prospective employers.

What you will study

To become a district nurse, you will be expected to cope with multiple responsibilities such as visiting people in their homes and providing continuous complex patient support. Our course will provide you with the high-level clinical skills and in-depth understanding which prospective employers want in the fields of primary and community care.

Drawing on our pioneering research into healthcare, our course offers you the chance to learn from practitioners in other specialties, assisting you in enhancing your knowledge-base and professional prowess.

Benefitting from our strong practice links, we will help develop the values that employers and the general public need from modern healthcare professionals such as, compassion, good communication skills, teamwork and treating patients with dignity and respect.

Course length

Our full-time course runs for 52 weeks or 12 months. In this time, you will be able to achieve a recordable Specialist Practitioners Qualification (SPQ) qualification of District Nurse (DN). An additional 16 months part time is required so you can complete the dissertation module and achieve the MSc. 

Our part-time course runs for 104 weeks or 24 months. An additional 16 months part time study is required so you can complete the dissertation module and achieve the MSc.

Further course information

Growing your knowledge and experience, our course will transform you into a critical and discerning practitioner capable of driving innovation and change in health and social care. We will also give you the opportunity to develop excellent clinical leadership skills, while enhancing your critical decision making abilities. 

Our programme operates on a 15 credit modular structure over two semesters. All taught modules are semester based and are worth 15 credits, which is indicative of 150 hours of learning, comprised of student contact, private study and assessment. Project and dissertation modules can be either 15, 30, 45, 60 or 90 credits.

We’ve tailored this course so you can meet the Nursing and Midwifery Council’s (NMC) (2001a) Standards for Specialist Practice within 52 weeks for full-time students and 104 weeks for part-time students. By this time, you will have met the requirements of the NMC and be able to record your SPQ with the NMC. You’ll also have the option to exit with a post graduate diploma after 52 weeks. Equally, you could also continue and complete the dissertation module over a further 16 months’ part-time study and gain the full MSc. 

Our course makes use of a 50 per cent split between theory and practice, and you will need to be sponsored by an NHS provider. This is done to make sure the course coheres with the NMC’s requirements. The sponsor will provide the placement and your associated practice teacher and or an appropriate mentor for the placement. They’ll simultaneously support and evaluate your practice abilities throughout the course. 

You will need to complete the MSc within five years of commencing the course. 

Professional recognition

MSc - Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC).
Recognised by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) as an approved programme for the recordable qualification of District Nurse.

Careers and graduate prospects

We offer careers information, advice and guidance to all students whilst studying with us, which is extended to our alumni for three years after leaving the University.


Modules listed are indicative, reflecting the information available at the time of publication. Please note that modules may be subject to teaching availability, student demand and/or class size caps. 

The University operates a credit framework for all taught programmes based on a 15-credit tariff. Modules can be either 15, 30, 45 or 60 credits, and additionally for some masters dissertations, 90 credits.

The structure of our programmes follows clear educational aims that are tailored to each programme. These are all outlined in the programme specifications which include further details such as the learning outcomes:

Optional modules for Year 1 (full-time) - FHEQ Level 7

Students must complete all core modules and take Specialist Practice Portfolio OR Specialist Practice Portfolio with V100.
Students must choose one optional module. Information on CPD modules can be found at:…

Optional modules for Year 1 (part-time) - FHEQ Level 7

Students must complete all core modules and take Specialist Practice Portfolio OR Specialist Practice Portfolio with V100.
Students must choose one optional module. Information on CPD modules can be found at:…

Optional modules for Year 2 (part-time) - FHEQ Level 7

Students must complete all core modules and take Specialist Practice Portfolio OR Specialist Practice Portfolio with V100.
Students must choose one optional module. Information on CPD modules can be found at:…


Course timetables are normally available one month before the start of the semester. Please note that while we make every effort to ensure that timetables are as student-friendly as possible, scheduled teaching can take place on any day of the week (Monday–Friday). Wednesday afternoons are normally reserved for sports and cultural activities. Part-time classes are normally scheduled on one or two days per week, details of which can be obtained from the course administrators. View our Timetabling Policy (PDF).

Entry requirements

A minimum of a 2:2 in a relevant UK honours degree. You must be currently registered as a healthcare professional to apply.

View entry requirements by country

English language requirements

IELTS Academic: 7.0 overall with 6.5 in each element.

View the other English language qualifications that we accept.

If you do not currently meet the level required for your programme, we offer intensive pre-sessional English language courses, designed to take you to the level of English ability and skill required for your studies here.

Selection process

Application link is provided to apply post internal trust interview with University of Surrey representative. Applicants should apply through NHS jobs initially.

Credit transfer

The University of Surrey recognises that many students enter their higher education course with valuable knowledge and skills developed through a range of professional, vocational and community contexts. If this applies to you, a process called recognition of prior learning (RPL) may allow you to enter your course at a point appropriate to your previous learning and experience, or to join the start of a course without the formal entry requirements. This means that you may be exempt from certain elements of study in the course for which you have applied and be awarded credit based on your previous qualifications/experience. There are restrictions on RPL for some courses and fees may be payable for certain claims. 

Please see the code of practice for recognition of prior learning and prior credit: taught programmes (PDF) for further information. Please email Admissions with any queries.


Start date: September 2020

Full-time - 4 years

UK/EU To be confirmed

Overseas To be confirmed

Part-time - 5 years

UK/EU To be confirmed

Overseas To be confirmed

Students will pay fees on a module-by-module basis, please see our modules for further information.

Please note:

  • These fees apply to students commencing study in the academic year 2020-21 only. Fees for new starters are reviewed annually.
  • If you are on a two-year full-time Euromasters or MFA programme, or a two-year or three-year part-time masters programme (excluding modular/self-paced/distance learning), the annual fee is payable in Year 1 and Year 2 of the programme.

View the list of fees for all postgraduate taught courses.


You may be able to borrow money to help pay your tuition fees and support you with your living costs. Find out more about student finance.

How to apply

Applications should initially be made via NHS jobs. Eligible applicants will be given further information on how to submit an application to the University following a successful interview with the Trust. If you have any questions please email

Admission information

Our postgraduate admissions policy provides the basis for admissions practice across the University and gives a framework for how we encourage, consider applications and admit students. You can also read our postgraduate applicant guidance.

Terms and conditions

When you accept an offer of a place at the University of Surrey, you are agreeing to comply with our policies and regulations, and our terms and conditions. These terms and conditions are provided in two stages: first when we make an offer and second when students who have accepted their offers register to study at the University. View our offer terms and conditions and our generic registration terms and conditions (PDF) as a guide as to what to expect.
Please note: our offer terms and conditions will be available in the September of the calendar year prior to the year in which you begin your studies. Our registration terms and conditions will vary to take into account specifics of your course.


This online prospectus has been prepared and published in advance of the academic year to which it applies. The University of Surrey has used its reasonable efforts to ensure that the information is accurate at the time of publishing, but changes (for example to course content or additional costs) may occur given the interval between publishing and commencement of the course. It is therefore very important to check this website for any updates before you apply for a course with us. Read more.

Course location and contact details

Campus location

Kate Granger Building

The School of Health Sciences has now moved to the Kate Granger Building located on 30 Priestley Road on the Surrey Research Park. This is where our nursing, midwifery, paramedic science and operating department practice courses are taught.

Additional information

Some modules on this course will be taught on Stag Hill campus.

University of Surrey

University of Surrey
Surrey GU2 7XH