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Advanced Practice (District Nursing) PG Dip

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Have clinical experience but want to take the next step in community nursing? Build on your existing skills and learn to lead and manage a responsive district nursing service. Clinical knowledge is essential to your work. But to reach your full potential you need to build on that foundation with high quality research and the latest thinking.

At King’s our expert tutors will help you support care closer to home. You’ll learn to manage increasing complexity of care, working towards becoming a leader or manager. Explore the latest developments in your lectures at King’s. Then put them into practice straight away in your district nursing placement.

This District Nursing specialist practice qualification is linked to the PG Diploma which can be taken full-time. Students then have the option to return to complete the dissertation and gain the MSc award.

Applications for this course are currently closed until September 2019.

Key benefits

  •  We’re the number one nursing faculty in the UK and 2nd in the world (2019 QS World University Subject Rankings)

  •  Our links with renowned hospitals and other leading schools provides an incredible range of opportunities

  • Our central London campuses have top-of-the-range facilities and resources 

  • We provide extracurricular seminars and lectures by experts from around the world.

Key information

Application status Closed

Duration Typically students study one year full time, two years part-time (max of six years)

Study mode Full-time, Part-time

Credit value UK 180/ECTS 90

Programme accreditations NMC accreditation

Course intake Maximum 45

Course leaders

Irene Zeller, irene.zeller@kcl.ac.uk

Further details

Course contact for further information

Postgraduate Admissions Team, Admissions Office
tel: +44 (0)20 7848 7000
fax: +44 (0)20 7848 7200

Course contact form Postgraduate admissions

Awarding institution King's College London

Faculty Florence Nightingale Faculty of Nursing, Midwifery & Palliative Care



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Course detail


We designed the course around three important benefits: advancing your clinical skills, developing your career, and improving your knowledge of research- and evidence-based care. All three of these elements are essential for clinical leadership.

The practice side of your work gives you the chance to face challenging situations with the safety and support of skilled district nurses behind you. When you’re in teaching sessions, you’ll learn everything from evaluation methodologies to management skills to help you progress in the field.

The latest research at King’s will feed into your course. For example, we’re home to the Older Persons Fellowship (sponsored by Health Education England) which works towards innovation in older people’s care. Through these kinds of initiatives, we’re helping to transform healthcare, and you’ll be right in the heart of our pioneering academic community.

We cover each of the four areas of the QNI/QNIS (2015) Voluntary Standards: clinical care, leadership and management, facilitation of learning, and research and development. Our goal is to make sure you can deliver safe, effective, person-centred care.

The course fits the Royal College of Nursing competences for advanced nursing practice. It’s also mapped to the Queen’s Nursing Institute’s The Value of the District Nurse Specialist Practitioner qualification.

Depending on your experience, there are two routes on the course. If you’ve been qualified for three years, and your secondment organisation agrees, you can take the Independent Prescribing path. If not, you’ll need to join Prescribing from the Community Formulary.

The District Nursing Specialist Practitioner Qualification is linked to the course. You also have the option to progress on to a Masters. Many students choose to join us for the Diploma then come back later to complete the dissertation for the MSc.



Teaching happens at our London campuses, including:

  • Guy's
  • St Thomas’
  • Waterloo

Your placement locations will vary depending on the trust you’re working with, and the areas they cover

Course purpose

For experienced practitioners who wish to advance their clinical practice, develop their professional career and enhance their knowledge of research and evidence-based healthcare in community nursing.

Course format and assessment

The programme is 50% theoretical and 50% practical. The theoretical and practical components will be split as follows:

Lectures, seminars and feedback: Approximately 150 hours (12.5% of total hours) in a combination of lectures, seminars, tutorials, project supervision and workshops.

Self-study: Approximately 450 hours (37.5% of total hours) of independent study such as preparing for scheduled sessions, follow-up work, wider reading and completion of assessment task or revision. This will vary according to the optional modules chosen. Students are expected to undertake on average 14.5 hours of self-study a week.

Practical Learning: Approximately 600 hours (50% of total hours) of practical work. The entire practical component will be spent in clinical practice with support from a practice teacher.

Contact time is based on 49 academic week course.

Typically, 1 credit equates to 10 hours of work.

Because of the varied nature of your work, we’ll assess you in a number of different ways. There could be coursework, exams, and other methods like presentations. Assessments are matched to the module content, so they may vary.

The clinical side of the course will involve a competency assessment.

The study time and assessment methods detailed above are typical and give you a good indication of what to expect. However, they may change if the course modules change.

King’s College London is regulated by the Higher Education Funding Council for England.



Year 1

Half of your time will be spent learning at King’s and the other half in practice. For most of the year, this means roughly two days on the job and two days in teaching sessions. Towards the end of the course, this will shift. The final term involves more practice to prepare you for life after King’s.

On your placement, you’ll develop a thorough understanding of your role, and experience situations first hand. You’ll be supported by a qualified district nurse who will act as your mentor or practice teacher throughout the course. And your assigned tutor from King’s will visit to make sure everything’s going smoothly.

While at King’s you’ll have access to expert teachers. They’ll provide the cutting-edge knowledge and research to support your practical experience. They’re all leaders in their fields, helping to shape policy and the profession through committees, steering groups, and editorial boards.

Required Modules
  • Prescribing from the Community Formulary OR Independent Prescribing
  • District Nursing Skills Compendium
Optional Modules
  • Advanced Assessment Skills For Non Medical Practitioners

  • Leadership in Health and Social Care
  • Mentorship


Entry requirements & how to apply

Entry requirements
Minimum UK requirements 2:1

The normal entry requirement for graduate study is a Bachelor's degree with minimum 2:1 honours (or overseas equivalent). 

Applicants with other backgrounds or qualifications, including those without a first degree, can be considered. If you do not meet the normal entry requirements or you have only the minimum academic standard you should pay particular attention in preparing your supporting statement and CV to ensure that you draw attention to evidence of potential success at graduate level. This might include publications, preparation of substantial reports or active participation in service development initiatives or funded research. 

International requirements   Visit our admissions webpages to view our International entry requirements.
English Language requirements Band D Visit our admissions webpages to view our English language entry requirements.
Other requirements  

Applicants wishing to enrol on this pathway must have secured sponsorship from a primary care provider in an appropriate district nursing setting for the duration of the programme. 

Applicants must have a minimum three years’ clinical experience as a registered nurse (adult).



Application procedure

Applications for District Nursing sponsorship will be made through NHS Jobs. A link to the application form will be posted here as soon as it is available.

If you wish to apply to study at King's, and you are a registered nurse (level 1) with a first degree at 2: 1 or above, you also need to complete our application form.

Your KCL application is made in addition to the application for Trust sponsorship through NHS Jobs. You may complete the KCL application form at any time but you can only obtain a place on the programme of study if you have obtained sponsorship from a Trust.

Personal statement and supporting information

You will be asked to submit the following documents in order for your application to be considered:

Document checklist
Personal Statement Yes A personal statement of up to 4,000 characters (maximum 2 pages) is required. Indicate the pathway/options you are interested in studying. Give details of any King's College modules that you have already studied which you wish to incorporate into the programme (including module name and course code, date completed, grade and credits gained). Identify any modules that you wish to be considered through the Accredited Prior Learning process.
Previous Academic Study  Yes A copy (or copies) of your official academic transcript(s), showing the subjects studied and marks obtained. If you have already completed your degree, copies of your official degree certificate will also be required. Applicants with academic documents issued in a language other than English, will need to submit both the original and official translation of their documents.
 References Yes Two references are required with at least one academic. Professional references will be accepted if you have completed your qualifications over five years ago.
Other Optional You may also wish to include a CV (Resume) or evidence of professional registration as part of your application


Application closing date

We recommend that you submit your application as soon as possible.  Applications will remain open if places are available and programmes will be closed as soon as they are full. 

Help and support

If you don't have a suitable qualification for direct entry to a UK university, or if English isn't your first language, our academic preparation courses can help you get ready for study in the UK.

Preparation courses

Fees and funding

  • Full time Home/EU fees: NHS Funded
  • Full time overseas fees: N/A
  • Part time Home/EU fees: NHS Funded
  • Part time overseas fees: N/A

Staff from contracted Trusts are eligible to have their study funded, subject to agreement by their manager. Students not sponsored by their employer may wish to pursue other sources of funding. Some scholarships may be available. Prospective students may also wish to consult the Directory of Grant-making Trusts and Charities (available in local libraries). 

Please note: further details about NHS funded courses and bursaries, including eligibility criteria, are available here.

Additional costs/expenses

In addition to your tuition fees, you can also expect to pay for: 

  • Books if you choose to buy your own copies 
  • Clothing for optional course related events and competitions 
  • Library fees and fines 
  • Personal photocopies 
  • Binding costs
  • Printing course handouts 
  • Society membership fees 
  • Stationery 
  • Travel costs for travel around London and between campuses 
  • Graduation costs

Please visit our web pages on fees and funding for more information.

Financial help and support

Visit the fees and funding webpages to find out more about bursaries, scholarships, grants, tuition fees, living expenses, student loans and other financial help available at King's.

Career prospects

Further information coming soon.

Career destinations

Graduates typically work with district nursing teams and manage district nursing provision.


Next steps

View our postgraduate guide

Learn more about postgraduate degree programmes at King's. Download or view our guide in PDF format.

Download guide

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