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BSc (Honours) Applied Nursing (Learning Disability) and Generic Social Work

Let our expert lecturers, practice partners and users of services transform you into a competent and compassionate health and social care professional.

Course length 3 Years
Location Collegiate Campus
UCAS B761 Course code

Course description

Study to become a learning disability nurse and social worker in facilities described by the Nursing and Midwifery Council as ‘a beacon for the future development of health education in this country’. Students who leave the course as qualified nurses and social workers go on to work in a wide area of health and social care settings.

What you study

Each year you study one interprofessional module. These are designed to offer you the opportunity to experience learning alongside a range of other health and social care professionals in the faculty of health and wellbeing. This shared learning experience allows you to develop team working and to understand the contribution of other professionals.

The course is a mix of health and social care modules, based around the central learning disabilities theme. Topics include • assessment, planning evaluation and review • managing risk • preparing for learning disabilities practice • understanding health and social care • policy and law • meeting complex care needs • anti-oppressive practice • working with vulnerable and marginalised groups • professional ethics.

Additional to this are nursing skills days which are specific to learning about nursing interventions and procedures and social work skills day, during which you apply social work theory to simulated practice situations/scenarios. These are delivered by lecturers, practice staff and service users.

Course design

People with learning disabilities often have a wide range of physical and mental health conditions. Learning disability nurses, social workers and joint practitioners work in partnership with them and family carers to provide specialist health and social care. The aim is to support the wellbeing and social inclusion of people with a learning disability. Having a joint award qualification which combines Learning Disability Nursing with Social Work gives you the skills and knowledge to facilitate this.

You develop the skills and expertise to support people with learning disabilities from a joint health and social care perspective. This combination fits well with the government’s modernising agenda to integrate health and social care and make sure professionals and agencies work together.

Placements and work experience

Practice-based learning is central to your development, and you spend 50% of each year on clinical and social care placements.

You experience nursing and social work practice placements over three years in a range of environments, such as health trusts, advocacy organisations, local authorities, nursing homes, community teams, secure environments and assessment and treatment centres. The range of placement opportunities is very diverse and reflects the changes to health and social care services.

These culminate with a 20-week integrated placement in your third year, where you take on your own case load of patients or service users. During your placement you have a professional nursing mentor or social work practice assessor to help guide you and support you. You build up practice learning portfolios containing evidence of your personal and professional development.

Professional mix

Each year you will undertake an inter professional learning module with other health and social care students across the faculty. This experience helps prepare you for the complexity and challenges of working in current services.


We provide modern facilities to help you develop clinical skills and specialist knowledge for your career. Our clinical suites include simulated clinical environments and replicated community settings in which you learn and work. This makes it easier to take what you’ve learnt in the University out into the real world with confidence.

Student conferences

In order to support you to become lifelong independent learners, we keep you informed about local and national study days and conferences which are available to nursing and social work students.

Professional recognition

This course is approved by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) and the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC). Graduates are eligible to apply to register with them. You must be registered with the NMC in order to practise as a nurse in the UK and with the HCPC to practise as a social worker in England.

Entry requirements

2017 entry requirements

You must have some experience of delivering care in a professional or voluntary capacity, and a reference from a current or recent employer or educational institution.

Normally five GCSEs at grade C or grade 4 or above, including English language or literature and mathematics plus one from the following

• 120 UCAS points from A levels or equivalent BTEC National qualifications. We do not accept AS levels. We accept A level General Studies.

New UCAS tariff points system for courses starting from September 2017. This is significantly different to the current points system and uses an alternative method of calculation. You can find information about these changes on the UCAS website and use the UCAS tariff calculator to work out your points.

• Access – Access to HE Diploma for a QAA recognised Access to HE course in health studies, health science, social sciences or nursing. Normally we require 15 credits at level 2 and 45 at level 3 of which at least 15 level 3 credits should be graded at distinction level.

• other equivalent qualifications, including degrees in other subjects

• FdSc Professional Practice in Health & Social Care - If you are in the process of completing or have successfully completed the above programme at one of our partner colleges (The Sheffield College, Barnsley College, Chesterfield College, North Lindsey College & Dearne Valley College) and are looking to progress your career as a registered professional within the Health & Social Care sector, we would welcome an application from you via UCAS

*GCSE alternatives

• equivalency test from

This course is only open to home or EU students. We are currently not accepting applications from international students.


If English is not your first language you will need an IELTS score of 7.0 with a minimum of 5.5 in all skills, or a recognised equivalent. If your level of English language is currently below IELTS 7.0 we recommend you consider an appropriate Sheffield Hallam University Pre-sessional English course which will enable you to achieve the required level of English.

Care experience

Before you apply for health courses, we require you to have gained some practical experience relating to your subject area. Download our applicant experience guidelines for information about the kinds of experience we expect you to have and the best places to gain it. Evidence of the experience gained, understanding of the profession and a genuine, reasoned commitment to studying a professional course must be explicit in your personal statement to be selected for interview.

Personal qualities

You must be able to demonstrate your potential to be caring and compassionate and the ability develop meaningful professional relationships with service users, families and carer. You should be able to demonstrate NHS core values and behaviours as outlined in the NHS constitution.

Skill requirements

You need to demonstrate an ability to

• study academic subjects at degree level

• debate topics and issues

• draw on conclusions from written material

• study independently as well as a member of a group

• use computers and technology associated with contemporary teaching, learning and assessment methods

• successfully complete a range of assignments including researched essays and practical examinations

• manage your time/workload and meet deadlines

This is normally achieved by completing academic study at level three or above within the last four years.

The selection event

If you are shortlisted, we will invite you to a selection event, and you should bring a passport or photo driving license with you. You can bring other forms of photo ID for the selection event, but if you do, you will still need to present valid identity documents required by the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) at your pre-course day.

View our selection event guidance to ensure you understand the selection process.

Course enrolment – professional requirements

Before enrolling you must fully declare during the admissions process any

• unfiltered criminal convictions, cautions, reprimands or warnings. For further information on unfiltered offences please see the Disclosure and Barring Service website.

• involvement in disciplinary proceedings during paid or voluntary employment or education establishments

• involvement with safeguarding proceedings, social services or related organisations

In addition

• you must attend a Pre-Course Day event to undertake the professional requirements of your course

• you must undertake an Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) criminal record check prior to or during the enrolment week of your course.

• where your DBS Enhanced Disclosure certificate contains any recorded information you must present this to the professional issues team within five working days of receipt of the certificate.

• your full enrolment on your course will not be confirmed until the professional issues team have confirmed that your DBS Enhanced Disclosure indicates that you are suitable to work with vulnerable people.

• You must undertake occupational health screening to determine your suitability to undertake the course. This will be provided by the University free of charge.

• You must undertake a programme of immunisations as required by the Department of Health. This will be provided by the University free of charge

If your personal circumstances change in relation to any of the professional requirements – from when you apply to the end of your course – you must tell the professional issues team immediately by calling 0114 225 5637.

Disability support

We strongly recommend that you tell us about any long term health conditions, learning difficulty or disability you may have. This is so we can assess whether we can deliver the course in such a way that you can meet the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) standards for education and training and take part without disadvantage both in University and on placement.

You can contact our nursing and midwifery disability co-ordinator on 0114 225 2470 to explore any issues you may have, or you can contact our university disabled student support team on 0114 225 3964 (voice and Minicom).

The Disability Disclosure booklet provides information for students on health and social care courses and will help you understand the importance of disclosing your disability at the earliest possible stage. This is so you can be assessed for the support you may require to succeed on the course.

Open day

As nursing and social work can involve strenuous physical, psychological and emotionally taxing work, we recommend that you come along to a University open day to learn more about the general expectations of the course.

Course structure

Three years full-time

Typical modules may include

Course design

Each year there is an interprofessional education module which is shared with a range of other healthcare professionals in the faculty.

Year one modules

• essentials of nursing and social work: science and practice • essential sciences for nursing and social work practice • introduction to relationship centred care in nursing and social work: science and practice • understanding the person centred approach in relationship centred care • fundamentals of public health: science and practice • foundation for effective collaborative practice

Year two modules

• integrating the science of nursing and social work • developing relationship centred care in nursing and social work : science and practice • application of the science and practice of public health • developing capability for effective collaborative practice • evidence informed nursing and social work

Year three modules

• consolidation of the science of nursing and social work • leadership and management for excellence in relationship centred care: science and practice • managing public health: science and practice • enhancing quality of services through effective collaborative practice • research for nursing and social work practice

  • essays
  • examinations
  • practice learning portfolio
  • poster presentations
  • report writing
  • assessment of practice on placement


You can find career opportunities in specialist health and social care teams in local authorities and the private and voluntary sector working as specialist nurses and social workers.

You may be responsible for areas including • assessment • treatment and continuing care • promoting access and social inclusion • service development at the strategic level.

Further education can lead to you becoming a clinical nurse specialist or consultant and an expert in your chosen area. You can also move into more senior management roles such as a unit manager or modern matron. You may consider research or education as you progress through your career. Starting salaries for newly qualified nurses and social workers are approximately £22,000.

Further information is available on the NHS careers website at


Home / EU student

Please note tuition fees may increase in each subsequent academic year of your course, subject to government regulations on fee increases and in line with inflation. More information can be found in the ‘Tuition Fee Increases’ section of our Fees Regulations (PDF, 2.10 MB)

For the course fee and further information on scholarships and bursaries please visit our fees and funding pages.

2017/18 academic year

Please visit our health and social care funding pages for more information.

International student

Additional course costs

This link allows you to view estimated costs associated with the main activities on specific courses. These are estimates and, as such, are only an indication of additional course costs. Actual costs can vary greatly depending on the choices you make during your course.

Additional costs information

How to apply

You apply for this course through UCAS.

Any offer of a place to study is subject to your acceptance of the University’s Terms and Conditions and student Regulations.

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