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 the 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:

23/09/2024, 27/01/2025

Course Details

If you've already successfully completed the Postgraduate Diploma in Community Specialist Practice (District Nursing), you can build up to an MSc qualification by completing a 60-credit dissertation module at the University of Bolton. You'll explore the ethical principles, values and moral concepts in health and social care, and choose a specific topic to research in-depth for your dissertation, with the aim of developing both your theoretical knowledge and practical abilities.

During the programme, you'll be guided in making links between research, theory and practice, and have opportunities to use and enhance your skills in critical analysis, decision-making, service delivery and leadership. You'll be expected to use your discretion and judgement effectively, deal with complex issues systematically and creatively, and communicate your conclusions clearly. Throughout this course, you'll have the opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of professional practice and improve your skills in the workplace.

  • This programme allows you to advance your professional development by building skills and awareness in a health and social care discipline of your choice.
  • You can complete the MSc Community Health Care Nursing (top-up) around your day-to-day role with the support of an academic supervisor.
  • 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 MSc Community Health Care Nursing (top-up) programme is ideal if you wish to build on previous postgraduate studies to complete a master's degree.
  • 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.
  • You'll have access to University facilities, including our well-stocked library and 24/7 computer suite.
  • On successful completion of this course, you'll be awarded an MSc in Community Health Care Nursing.

  • You must have already successfully completed the Postgraduate Diploma in Community Specialist Practice (District Nursing). You must also have appropriate work experience.
  • You may be required to attend an interview and/or provide a portfolio of work.
  • 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.

Upon successfully completing your studies, you'll be able to synthesise practice and theory in decision-making within practice, service delivery and leadership. You'll also be able to demonstrate competence, autonomy and professional accountability in the development of higher-level skills. You'll be ready to use your skills to enhance service delivery and outcomes for service users and/or the community.

The course aims to develop professionals who can independently access information and use the information to critically assess, evaluate and disseminate the evidence base for community nursing care. It helps develop problem-solving skills and prepares 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.

As a graduate, you'll likely work in the NHS. However, you'll also be able to apply your knowledge and skills in a wide range of community nursing or public health roles. 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, or government.

Our students can become engaged in a range of research projects that focus on advancing nursing knowledge, skills and expertise and improving health outcomes for patients and families. Such experience 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 into a range of other careers. Some of these roles may require relevant experience and/or postgraduate study. Possible careers include:

  • Teaching and education
  • Policy research
  • Health service management
  • Community development

Course fees

Important note regarding tuition fees for the 2023-2024 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 for EU students web page 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.


The Royal College of Nursing may offer educational grants. Please visit for information.

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 your supervisor's interests, expertise and existing research projects.

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 clarify your project's terms, establish a timetable, and agree on dates for subsequent meetings. They will also support you in identifying learning opportunities, advise you regarding the study design and methodology, assist you in gaining 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

Amanda Costello
Programme Leader

Enquiry Team
University of Bolton

+44 (0)1204 903903


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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
QQA Scheme Participant