MSc Community Health Care Nursing (top-up)

If you already have a PgDip in Community Specialist Practice (District Nursing) this course allows you to extend your studies to master’s level. We’ll support and guide you as you undertake the substantial piece of independent inquiry involved in completing the MSc Community Health Care Nursing (top-up) qualification.

Community Health Care Nursing (top-up)

Key information



Mode of Study:



12 months


University of Bolton

Start date:


Course Details

If you’ve successfully completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Community Specialist Practice (District Nursing), and are seeking to complete a master’s degree, you can top-up your existing qualification with the University of Bolton. Our MSc Community Health Care Nursing (top-up) course allows you to continue your professional development, gaining higher-level academic skills that will help you make effective use of your learning and improve service delivery in your workplace.

You’ll have the opportunity to undertake a substantial independent study into a specific aspect of health and social care practice. We’ll match you with an expert academic supervisor who will encourage and support you to choose a topic where you can undertake research that advances the boundaries of your knowledge and enhances your professional practice. This may involve the collection and analysis of empirical data or library-based research, and culminates in you writing and producing a dissertation. With our guidance, you’ll complete a thorough analysis and synthesis of theory and practice, generating new understanding and knowledge in relation to health and social care.

  • Our dedicated academic team has extensive health and social care experience. Along with their passion for service excellence in health and social care settings, they’re also currently engaged in highly relevant research, which means they can add valuable context and insight to your learning.
  • The course is designed to provide the flexibility to fit in with busy home and working lives.
  • As you study this course, we’ll encourage you to develop knowledge and understanding of the ethical principles, values and moral concepts inherent in health and social care practice.
  • We’ll also support you to gain a strong appreciation of the evidence-based concepts that underpin modern health and social care, and the value of research in advancing theory and practice in the field.
Key Features
  • The University of Bolton has been offering high-quality courses designed to meet the health and social care sector’s needs for over 30 years, so we have the knowledge and experience to anticipate and respond to changes in the health and social care sector.
  • You’ll have access to a well-stocked library and our subject librarian can help you with any queries. Many of our library resources can be accessed online so you can work at a place and time that is convenient to you.

  • You must have already successfully completed the Postgraduate Diploma in Community Specialist Practice (District Nursing). You must also have appropriate work experience.
  • You’ll be required to attend an interview and may be asked to provide a portfolio of work evidence.
  • We'll consider applications where appropriate work experience can be demonstrated in lieu of, or in addition to, the published academic qualifications in line with the University’s Recognition of Prior Experiential Learning (RPEL) procedures.
  • If English isn’t your first language, you’ll also need IELTS 7.0 with normally no less than 6.5 in any band (or equivalent). We also accept a range of other English language qualifications – please visit our English Language Requirements web page for more details.
  • Please note that this course is subject to the University of Bolton's Fitness to Practise procedure.

Where changes are made to material information contained in this course description or a decision is taken to suspend a course between the offer of admissions and enrolment, we will inform applicants at the earliest possible opportunity and will outline the various options available to the applicant.

On successful completion of your studies, you’ll be able to synthesise practice and theory, in decision-making within practice, service delivery and leadership, and demonstrate competence, autonomy and professional accountability in the development of higher level skills. You should also be able to enhance service delivery and outcomes for service users and the community, in conjunction with other professionals.

The course aims to develop professionals who can independently access information and use that information to critically assess, evaluate and disseminate the evidence base for community nursing care. It’s designed to help you develop problem-solving skills and prepare you to take a leadership role in the community context.

What can I do with this qualification?

The context of community healthcare nursing practice, both within and outside of the NHS, is constantly changing and offers opportunities for career development and innovative approaches to service provision. This course can support your progression towards becoming a nursing leader for the future.

While most graduates are expected to work in the NHS, the knowledge and skills achieved can also be applied to a wide range of community nursing or public health roles in various settings. Opportunities include roles such as NHS clinical nurse manager, practice education facilitator or manager of a care home. You could also consider careers in advanced clinical practice, public health practice or government.

Students can become engaged in a range of research projects that focus on advancing nursing knowledge, skills and expertise as well as improving health outcomes for patients and families. This may fuel your ambition to continue your studies and gain a professional doctorate or PhD.

Alternative career options

Graduates can also use the qualification as a stepping stone to enter a range of other careers. For some of these roles relevant experience and postgraduate study may be required. Some of these careers include:

  • Teaching and education
  • Policy research
  • Children and families social work
  • Journalism
  • School nursing
  • Voluntary sector
  • Health promotion
  • Health service management
  • Community development
  • Counselling
  • Mental health

Course fees

Important note regarding tuition fees for the 2021-2022 academic year: EU nationals who meet residency requirements (have settled or pre-settled status) may be eligible for 'Home' fee status. If you do not meet these residency requirements, overseas fees will apply. Irish citizens living in the UK or Ireland will be eligible for 'Home' fee status under the Common Travel Area arrangement. Please read the student finance eligibility 2021-2022 policy on for information.

The fees for a student's course of study will be set for the normal duration of that course subject only to inflationary increases – measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI) recorded in March each year to take effect for subsequent start dates.


Click here for more information on our Master's Bursaries.

For details of how to apply for this course, please choose your status from the options below:

You may apply directly to the University using the University's online application form. Please select your chosen start date from the list below:

You should have to hand:

  • Details of the educational establishments you attended and dates

  • Your certificates for the qualifications you are using to gain entry to the course – you will need to enter the completion date and upload copies

  • Details of any employment history including name, address, dates and role

  • Personal statement – this can be either input into the relevant field or uploaded separately

  • Details including e-mail addresses of two referees, at least one of which should be someone who can provide an academic reference

Please make sure any documents you wish to upload in support of your application are in pdf or jpeg format. Personal statements may be word documents.

Please ensure your data is correct at each stage of the application before you proceed to the next page. If you use the back button at any time during the application, you should check the validity of the data you have already input.

If you experience difficulties during the application process, contact the Admissions Team on 01204 903394 or

International applications are not possible for this course

As an international student you are not allowed to study this course because of the restrictions on your visa.

We offer a wide range of full-time courses in lots of different subjects, many of our courses start in September and January. If you would like to see what courses are available please visit our Course Search.

To successfully complete this course, you’ll need to self-direct and manage your own independent learning experience with guidance from one of our supportive academic supervisors. As far as possible, we’ll work to match your area for investigation with the interests, expertise and existing research projects of your supervisor.

In the early stages of the course, we’ll work with you to identify potential topics for investigation. Topics will need to offer scope for research that advances the boundaries of your knowledge, balanced with a realistic opportunity for completion.

Your supervisor will help you to clarify the terms of your project, establish a timetable for the project, and agree dates for subsequent meetings. They will also support you to identify learning opportunities, advise you regarding the study design and methodology, assist you to gain ethical approval (where necessary), and help you identify the analytical strategy and methods appropriate for your study. While supervisory support will form a key part of the teaching method throughout the project, you will ultimately be responsible for initiating most of your learning.

Summative assessment will be based on your 15,000 word dissertation. Your supervisor will offer you informal feedback on drafts of this document before you submit it for formal assessment.

  • Dissertation
Assessment methods
LevelAssesment method
Level oneCoursework 100%
Learning activities
LevelLearning activity
Level oneGuided independent study 98%, Scheduled learning and teaching activities 2%


The university will use all reasonable endeavours to deliver your course as described in its published material and the programme specification for the academic year in which you begin your course. The university considers changes to courses very carefully and the university will minimise any changes. Please be aware that our courses are subject to review on an ongoing basis and changes may be necessary due to legitimate staffing, financial, regulatory and academic reasons. The content of course modules and mode of associated assessments may be updated on an annual basis. This is to ensure that all modules are up-to-date and responsive to employment and sector needs. The published course material and the programme specification contain indicative ‘optional modules’ that may be subject to change due to circumstances outside of our control. For this reason, we cannot guarantee to run any specific optional module.

Meet the team

The academic staff detailed above teach across a range of courses in this subject area and may not teach on this course specifically.

Programme Contacts

Russell Gurbutt
Programme Leader

+44 (0)1204 903707

Sue First
Dissertation Module Leader

+44 (0)1204 903755

Enquiry Team
University of Bolton

+44 (0)1204 903903

Related courses

PgDip Community Specialist Practice (District Nursing)

Mode of study
12 Months

University of Bolton


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Help Centre

We have the answers to your questions, find all the advice and support in one place.

Part of the University of Bolton Group

Bolton college
Alliance learning
Anderton centre2
RiSE pos rgb logo
QQA Scheme Participant