Public Health Practice (SCPHN) (Health Visiting) MSc – 2023 entry

Key information

Start date: September 2023

Study mode and duration
Full-time: 4 years
Part-time: 5 years

Why choose this course

  • Study a hands-on, clinical curriculum to develop the knowledge and clinical skills needed to work with children, young people and families as a specialist community public health nursing (SCPHN) health visitor, and lead on innovation and change within public heath
  • Spend half of your training in clinical placements to practise your skills in healthcare settings, under the supervision of qualified practitioners
  • Learn from a multidisciplinary team of lecturers, who are all healthcare professionals with experience of working in the NHS
  • Register your qualification with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC).
Your health sciences facilities | University of Surrey

Five reasons to choose Surrey for your postgraduate studies

What you will study

You’ll develop the values that employers and the public need from modern healthcare professionals, such as compassion, advocacy, good communication, teamwork skills, and respect and understanding of patients.

You’ll critically examine and develop awareness of the key concepts of public health and health promotion. You’ll analyse data to identify health needs and develop health promotion interventions to address contemporary public health issues. We’ll teach you the fundamentals about safeguarding children, young people and adults, empowering you to play a pro-active role in their protection.

You’ll study topics, including community nurse practitioner prescribing (V100), early intervention work with families, leadership, mental health, public health, and safeguarding of children, young people and vulnerable adults. You’ll have the opportunity to complete a research dissertation in an area of personal interest, which we’ll match with the expertise of our academic staff, ensuring you get the best support.

Clinical placements

You’ll spend half of your training in clinical placements, allowing you to develop your knowledge, skills and practice within healthcare settings, under the supervision of qualified practitioners. You’ll complete 10 weeks of consolidated practice with your sponsoring organisation (please see the entry requirements section for further information about sponsorship).


You’ll benefit from our multi-million-pound facilities, including our lecture theatres and seminar rooms, designed to promote knowledge exchange and networking with other healthcare professionals.

Teaching staff

You’ll learn from lecturers who are qualified practitioners, which may include specialist community public health nurse Felicity Jones. You’ll also be taught by guest lecturers, including local doctors, nurses, midwives and other healthcare workers.

Throughout your placements, you’ll be supported by a community practice assessor and practice supervisor.

Research groups

You’ll be invited to join one of our research groups, where you’ll participate in discussions about research topics, findings and publications, and you’ll benefit from our links with renowned research institutions across the world. We also have a host of external speakers that visit us and present their work, and a collection of seminars and workshops, allowing you to network with like-minded individuals.


To study on this course, you’ll need to be sponsored by a healthcare provider organisation. Your sponsor will provide you with your clinical placement and a community practice assessor and supervisor. They’ll simultaneously support and evaluate your practice abilities throughout the course. You’ll need to negotiate with your sponsoring organisation whether your clinical placements can be full-time or part-time.

Advertisements for sponsorship will be on NHS jobs. There is a joint selection process between the providers and the University.

Study and work abroad

You’ll have the opportunity to complete an alternative clinical practice week that you can go abroad for.

Professional recognition

MSc - Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC).
Recognised by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) as an approved programme for the specialist community public health nursing part of the register.

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. Our graduates have lifetime access to Surrey Pathfinder, our online portal for appointment and events bookings, jobs, placements and interactive development tools.

This course is accredited by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC), which means you’ll be eligible to register your qualification with the NMC on successful completion of your studies.

91 per cent of our health sciences postgraduate students go on to employment or further study (Graduate Outcomes survey 2022, HESA). Our alumni typically take on specialist community public health visiting nursing roles within the NHS.

Visit the Institute of Health Visiting for further information on health visiting.

Academic year structure

This course can be taken either full-time or part-time. If you choose part-time, your teaching will take place across two academic years.

Course length


This course can take a minimum of 1 year – 2 years to complete, depending on what qualification you wish to attain.

After 1 year, you’ll have gained a PGDip Public Health Practice (SCPHN) (Health Visiting) qualification and you’ll be eligible to register this with the NMC.

If you wish to progress to a full MSc qualification, you must complete an additional 1 year of part-time study, during which you’ll write a dissertation. You must submit this within four years of starting the course.


This course can take a minimum of 2 years – 3 years, depending on what qualification you wish to attain.

After 2 years, you’ll have gained a PGDip Public Health Practice (SCPHN) (Health Visiting) qualification and you’ll be eligible to register this with the NMC.

If you wish to progress to a full MSc qualification, you must complete an additional 1 year of part-time study, during which you’ll write a dissertation. You must submit this within five years of starting the course.


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, 75 and 120 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:


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 Academic Hive. View our Code of practice for the scheduling of teaching and assessment (PDF).

Contact hours

Contact hours can vary across our modules. Full details of the contact hours for each module are available from the University of Surrey's module catalogue. See the modules section for more information.

Entry requirements

A minimum 2.2 UK honours degree, or a recognised equivalent international qualification. You must be currently registered as a healthcare professional to apply.

Do I meet the requirements for this course?

We require you to submit a full application so that we can formally assess whether you meet the criteria published. Unfortunately, we are unable to provide an outcome based on an enquiry (via email, webform enquiry, phone or live chat).

International entry requirements by country

English language requirements

IELTS Academic: 7.0 overall with 7.0 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 your experience exceeds the typical requirements for entry to the programme, 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. If you can demonstrate that you have met the learning outcomes for specific modules through your previous learning, it may be possible to exempt you from those modules, and for you to 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.

In some cases, prior knowledge and skills may allow applicants to join the start of a course without meeting the formal entry requirements.

Please see our code transfer and recognition of prior learning guide (PDF) and recognition of prior learning and prior credit web page for further information. Please email Admissions ( with any queries.

Fees per year

Start date: September 2023

Full-time - 4 years

To be confirmed
To be confirmed

Part-time - 5 years

To be confirmed
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 2023-24 only. Fees for new starters are reviewed annually
  • If you are on a two-year full-time 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
  • Annual fees will increase by 4% for each subsequent year of study, rounded up to the nearest £100, subject to any overriding applicable legislative requirements.

View the list of fees for all postgraduate taught courses.


Students who undertake Specialist Practice normally receive sponsorship from a provider of NHS Community Services.

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 Charter, Statutes, Ordinances, Policies, 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 registration terms and conditions (PDF) for the 2022/2023 academic year as a guide as to what to expect.

Please note: the offer terms and conditions and registration terms and conditions which you will be asked to agree to may be different from those detailed in the examples. Our offer terms and conditions will generally 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 be available at the start of each academic year and will vary to take into account specifics of your course and changes for the specific academic year.


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 our full disclaimer.

Course location and contact details

Campus location

Kate Granger Building

Our Medicine (Graduate Entry) BMBS degree, nursing and midwifery, and health science courses are taught at the Kate Granger Building (30 Priestley Road), on the Surrey Research Park.

Placement location

You’ll be expected to attend clinical placements with your NHS employer. Please see the placements and sponsorship sections for more details.

University of Surrey Admissions

Contact Admissions Team


University of Surrey
Surrey GU2 7XH