This three-year degree programme integrates theory and practice, preparing our students to be world-class practitioners in the area of Learning Disability Nursing. Students in this programme will begin in September 2022.
Students will spend 50 per cent of their time in class learning the latest nursing theory and clinical skills, and 50 per cent of their time with one of our internationally-recognised training partners in a wide variety of clinical and community settings throughout Northern Ireland.
Our highly-trained lecturing staff are actively engaged in areas of speciality practice. Our personal tutor system for student support is very well regarded, and we were awarded the Best Student Experience award in the 2021 Student Nursing Times Awards.
On successful completion of this programme of study, you will become a Registered Nurse in Learning Disabilities (RNLD) possessing a distinct set of knowledge, skills and expertise of the health and wider education and social care needs of people with learning disabilities and their families and carers in the context of person-centred care and co-production that promotes and maintains health and well-being.
The Learning Disability Nurse adopts a life span approach to nursing assessment, treatments, interventions, education and care and support across a diverse range of settings, including, home, in-patient assessment and treatment units, nursing homes, secure settings, schools, day care, residential care homes and community-based teams to contribute to meeting the care needs of people with learning disabilities and their families and carers.
On successful completion of this programme of study, you will be able to
o Provide person centred care for people with Learning Disability and their families across the lifespan.
o Deliver effective care to people with learning disabilities who may have multiple health morbidities and additional interrelated physical, psychological, emotional, social, and educational needs.
o Be respectful, kind, caring, compassionate knowledgeable and skilled nurse practitioners.
o Be effective communicators
o Act as advocates for people with learning disabilities their families, health care professionals and other stakeholders within dynamic health and social care contexts
This programme is fully funded by the Department of Health for Home students, including full fees and a bursary. Students on this programme are ineligible to apply for funding from the Student Loans Company. It is not available as a part time programme.
If you have previously commenced or completed a DoH paid place/bursary for a pre-registration nursing, midwifery or AHP course in Northern Ireland you will not be eligible for a funded place on this programme.
Already have a degree? Why not consider joining our Masters in Professional Nursing programme? This new and innovative 2 year programme that prepares graduates from any subject with experience in caring for a Nursing career.
Professional Nursing Learning Disabilities Nursing Degree highlights
Students may be eligible to have their fees paid by the Department of Health, (DoH), and may receive a bursary
- Student exchange programmes enrich your ability to critically compare the diverse delivery of health care and practice from a more global perspective. As globalisation becomes increasingly important, the opportunity to study abroad, and experience another culture is a rewarding and meaningful experience. Final year students have the opportunity to apply for an international elective placement with the guidance and support from International co-ordinators in midwifery and each field of nursing.
- Professional Registration with the NMC (2020) as a Learning Disability Nurse
- Nurses and Midwives learn to be an integral part of a healthcare team. Within this School, multidisciplinary teams of medical students and nursing students work together using interprofessional learning scenarios.
World Class Facilities
- Learn and test your clinical skills through the use of state of the art simulation equipment. Our revolutionary facilities, opening in 2020, allow our educators to role play scenarios in response to the students' actions. This activity often takes place behind a one way mirror and provides the teaching team with the opportunity to observe and monitor the students' responses to the specific scenarios.
Students work in multidisciplinary teams in our state-of-the-art simulation centre, using the latest technology for learning.
Stage 1 You will be introduced to professional working alongside foundational knowledge and skills in Learning Disability Nursing to support you in implementing safe and effective person centred care. You will learn about the systems of the body, pharmacology and caring communication, as well as Public Health.
You will support people with Learning Disabilities to manage their health and wellbeing across the lifespan, and develop critical thinking skills to apply to decision making in clinical practice.
Stage 2 You will consider the needs of people with learning disabilities across the lifespan and develop knowledge of positive behaviour support. You will develop and apply skills in assessing and planning care to manage mental ill health in people with learning disabilities. You will also gain insight into the criminal justice system and the ethical issues for people with learning disabilities. You will deepen your knowledge of bioscience and pharmacology, and develop the skills required to analyse and critically appraise evidence with a focus on quality improvement. Stage 3 Leadership will be a key focus in this final year whilst managing complexity in sustaining the health and wellbeing of adults and older adults with learning disabilities and complex health needs. This will include the coordination of care to improve quality of life for the person with learning disabilities. You will have the opportunity to consolidate your learning in practice preparing you to enter the register as a Learning Disabilities Nurse
People teaching youDr Karen McCutcheon
Director of Education
School of Nursing & Midwifery
Contact Teaching Times
Large Group Teaching 4 (hours maximum)
Lectures are used to introduce new concepts and theories to large groups. 100% attendance is mandatory for all timetabled classes.
Personal Study 60 (hours maximum)
Students are expected to spend a considerable amount of time reading around the concepts so that they can come prepared to workshops and tutorials, able to debate and roleplay issues.
Small Group Teaching/Personal Tutorial 9 (hours maximum)
Students will engage in workshops and tutorials to explore the concepts introduced in lectures in greater detail, and apply them to real life scenarios
Learning and Teaching
At Queen’s, we aim to deliver a high quality learning environment that embeds intellectual curiosity, innovation and best practice in learning, teaching and student support to enable student to achieve their full academic potential.
On the BSc (Hons) in Professional Nursing we do this by providing a range of learning experiences which enable our students to engage with subject experts, develop attributes and perspectives that will equip them for life and work in a global society and make use of innovative technologies and a world class library that enhances their development as independent, lifelong learners. Examples of the opportunities provided for learning on this course are:
- E-Learning technologies
A range of e-learning experiences are embedded in the degree using the Learning Management system, Canvas. Other examples include: interactive group workshops in a flexible learning space, podcasts and interactive web-based learning activities.
Introduce basic information about new topics as a starting point for further self-directed private study/reading. Lectures also provide opportunities to ask questions, gain some feedback and advice on assessments (normally delivered in large groups to all year group peers).
- Personal Tutor
Undergraduates are allocated a Personal Tutor who meets with them on several occasions during each year to support their academic development.
- Practical and Simulation Based Education
Where you will have opportunities to develop technical skills and apply theoretical principles to real-life or practical contexts. All nursing students have opportunities to engage in interprofessional education (IPE) activities. You will be expected to attend 100% of classes within your nursing modules.
- Self-directed study
This is an essential part of life as a Queen’s student when important private reading, engagement with e-learning resources, reflection on feedback to date and research work for assignments is carried out.
Significant amounts of teaching are carried out in small groups (typically 15-20 students). These provide an opportunity for students to engage with academic staff who have specialist knowledge of the topic, to ask questions of them and to assess your own progress and understanding with the support of peers. You should also expect to make presentations and other contributions to these groups.
- Work Practice placements
Students will undertake clinical placements regularly throughout the programme. This enhances the link from theory to practice in nursing and provides students with a wide variety of opportunities and experiences across a range of health and social care contexts. It is an essential component of the programme ensuring that the student has sufficient opportunities to develop skill and competence in care provision and decision making, meeting the requirements for professional registration as a Learning Disability Nurse with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC 2020).
Placements in Learning Disability Nursing can be anywhere in Northern Ireland; students should expect to travel to placements. When on placements every student is assigned a supervisor, who is trained in teaching within the clinical setting, and will work alongside them regardless of that person’s shift pattern. Students should expect to work night shifts and/or long days on a regular basis while on placement.
Details of assessments associated with this course are outlined below:
- The way in which you are assessed will vary according to the learning objectives of each module. Modules are assessed through a variety of assessments that may include assignments, project work, presentations or examinations. Details of how each module is assessed are shown in the Module Handbook which is provided to all students at the start of each module.
As students progress through their course at Queen’s they will receive general and specific feedback about their work from a variety of sources including lecturers, module co-ordinators, placement supervisors, personal tutors, advisers of study and peers. University students are expected to engage with reflective practice and to use this approach to improve the quality of their work. Feedback may be provided in a variety of forms including:
- Feedback provided via formal written comments and marks relating to work that you, as an individual or as part of a group, have submitted
- Face to face comment. This may include occasions when you make use of the lecturers’ advertised “office hours” to help you to address a specific query
- Placement employer comments or references
- Online or emailed comment
- General comments or question and answer opportunities at the end of a lecture, seminar or tutorial.
- Pre-submission advice regarding the standards you should aim for and common pitfalls to avoid. In some instances, this may be provided in the form of model answers or exemplars which you can review in your own time
- Feedback and outcomes from practical classes
- Comment and guidance provided by staff from specialist support services such as Careers, Employability and Skills or the Learning Development Service
- Once you have reviewed your feedback, you will be encouraged to identify and implement further improvements to the quality of your work.
Students have access to our cutting edge simulation and clinical skills suite, where they can learn and practice skills in a safe environment.
- E-Learning technologies
In addition, to the entrance requirements above, it is essential that you read our guidance below on 'How we choose our students' prior to submitting your UCAS application.
Our country/region pages include information on entry requirements, tuition fees, scholarships, student profiles, upcoming events and contacts for your country/region. Use the dropdown list below for specific information for your country/region.
English Language Requirements
An IELTS score of 7.0 with a minimum of 7.0 in Listening, Speaking and Reading, and a minimum of 6.5 in Writing or an equivalent acceptable qualification, details of which are available at: http://go.qub.ac.uk/EnglishLanguageReqs
If you need to improve your English language skills before you enter this degree programme, INTO Queen's University Belfast offers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability for admission to this degree.
- Academic English: an intensive English language and study skills course for successful university study at degree level
- Pre-sessional English: a short intensive academic English course for students starting a degree programme at Queen's University Belfast and who need to improve their English.
International Students - Foundation and International Year One Programmes
INTO Queen's offers a range of academic and English language programmes to help prepare international students for undergraduate study at Queen's University. You will learn from experienced teachers in a dedicated international study centre on campus, and will have full access to the University's world-class facilities.
These programmes are designed for international students who do not meet the required academic and English language requirements for direct entry.
INTO - English Language Course(QSIS ELEMENT IS EMPTY)
Studying for a BSc (Hons) Professional Nursing degree at Queen’s will assist you in developing the core skills and employment-related experiences that are valued by employers, professional organisations and academic institutions. Graduates from this degree at Queen’s are well regarded by employers both nationally and internationally.
Employment after the Course
Around 99% of graduates from this programme go on to pursue a career in nursing which is an interesting, rewarding and challenging career where work can be in a variety of health care settings, with people of all ages and backgrounds. Nursing can also offer a diverse range of post registration opportunities to specialise in areas such as counselling; public health and health promotion; acute care, as well as education and research
Students who join our Learning Disability Nursing course will graduate from the same programme; there is no opportunity to move between fields after you commence the course. Graduates, therefore, are specialists in their field and go on to excel in the area of Learning Disability Nursing.
Additional Awards Gained
All students entering this programme are required to undergo an enhanced disclosure check with Access NI which costs £33.
In Year 1 students must buy a uniform from a QUB approved uniform supplier (approximate cost £180), a name badge (£10) and an e-portfolio (£10) from the University.
All students on this program will undertake clinical placements; students are responsible for funding travel, accommodation and subsistence costs. These costs vary depending on the location and duration of the placements. Some reimbursement may be available.
International and non-commissioned students are required to pay a placement charge of £3,000.
In Year 3 students may wish to undertake an international elective placement; students are responsible for funding travel, accommodation and subsistence costs. These costs vary depending on the location and duration of the placement.
Students may wish to buy a Fob Watch, approximate cost £15.
Prizes and Awards(QSIS ELEMENT IS EMPTY)
Degree plus award for extra-curricular skills
In addition to your degree programme, at Queen's you can have the opportunity to gain wider life, academic and employability skills. For example, placements, voluntary work, clubs, societies, sports and lots more. So not only do you graduate with a degree recognised from a world leading university, you'll have practical national and international experience plus a wider exposure to life overall. We call this Degree Plus. It's what makes studying at Queen's University Belfast special.
Fees and Funding
Northern Ireland (NI) 1 No Fee Republic of Ireland (ROI) 2 No Fee England, Scotland or Wales (GB) 1 £9,250 EU Other 3 £17,900 International £17,900
1 EU citizens in the EU Settlement Scheme, with settled status, will be charged the NI or GB tuition fee based on where they are ordinarily resident. Students who are ROI nationals resident in GB will be charged the GB fee.
2 EU students who are ROI nationals resident in ROI are eligible for NI tuition fees, in line with the Common Travel Agreement arrangements.
3 EU Other students (excludes Republic of Ireland nationals living in GB, NI or ROI) are charged tuition fees in line with international fees.
All tuition fees quoted are for the academic year 2022-23, and relate to a single year of study unless stated otherwise. Tuition fees will be subject to an annual inflationary increase, unless explicitly stated otherwise.
NI, GB and ROI fees for 2022 entry will be published soon. International fees for 2022 entry can be viewed here: www.qub.ac.uk/International/International-students/International-tuition-fees
Tuition fee rates are calculated based on a student’s tuition fee status and generally increase annually by inflation. How tuition fees are determined is set out in the Student Finance Framework.
GB students (England, Scotland, Wales) are not entitled to a commissioned place with associated funding (tuition fees, and maintenance allowance from the NI Department of Health) and a decision as to whether or not we can admit GB students with funding from the Student Loans Company has not yet been decided. Clarification on this position is currently being sought and further information will be available in due course.
Additional course costs
Depending on the programme of study, there may be extra costs which are not covered by tuition fees, which students will need to consider when planning their studies.
Students can borrow books and access online learning resources from any Queen's library.
If students wish to purchase recommended texts, rather than borrow them from the University Library, prices per text can range from £30 to £100. A programme may have up to 6 modules per year, each with a recommended text.
Students should also budget between £30 to £75 per year for photocopying, memory sticks and printing charges.
Students undertaking a period of work placement or study abroad, as either a compulsory or optional part of their programme, should be aware that they will have to fund additional travel and living costs.
If a final year includes a major project or dissertation, there may be costs associated with transport, accommodation and/or materials. The amount will depend on the project chosen. There may also be additional costs for printing and binding.
Students may wish to consider purchasing an electronic device; costs will vary depending on the specification of the model chosen.
There are also additional charges for graduation ceremonies, examination resits and library fines.
Professional Nursing Learning Disabilities Nursing costs
All students entering this programme are required to undergo an enhanced disclosure check with Access NI which costs £33.
In Year 1 students must buy a uniform from a QUB-selected uniform supplier (approximate cost £180), and a name badge (£10).
All students on this programme will undertake clinical placements, which can be anywhere in Northern Ireland. Students are responsible for funding travel, accommodation and subsistence costs. These costs vary depending on the location and duration of the placements. Some reimbursement may be available for funded students.
Students may wish to buy a Fob Watch or Pinard Horn, approximate cost £15.
Non-funded students pay a placement charge which is for facilitating the clinical placement. It is collected by the Student Finance Office and is passed on to our placement provider partners. The cost for 2022-23 is currently £4,500 per year.
Please note that students on an NHS funded place cannot apply for loan funding from Student Finance NI.
To be eligible for a commissioned (funded) place, students must normally be resident in NI or RoI for at least 3 years before the start of the programme. More information is available in the Bursaries Booklet, available here: https://hscbusiness.hscni.net/services/2662.htm
Link to website with information: https://www.qub.ac.uk/Study/Feesandfinance/doh-funded-courses/
How do I fund my study?
There are different tuition fee and student financial support arrangements for students from Northern Ireland, those from England, Scotland and Wales (Great Britain), and those from the rest of the European Union.
Information on funding options and financial assistance for undergraduate students is available at www.qub.ac.uk/Study/Undergraduate/Fees-and-scholarships/.
Each year, we offer a range of scholarships and prizes for new students. Information on scholarships available.
Information on scholarships for international students, is available at www.qub.ac.uk/International/International-students/International-scholarships/.
How and when to Apply
1. How to Apply
Application for admission to full-time undergraduate and sandwich courses at the University should normally be made through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS). Full information can be obtained from the UCAS website at:
2. When to Apply
UCAS will start processing applications for entry in autumn 2022 from 1 September 2021.
Advisory closing date: 26 January 2022 (18:00).
Applications received after this date will not be considered.
Applicants are encouraged to apply as early as is consistent with having made a careful and considered choice of institutions and courses.
The Institution code for Queen’s is QBELF and the institution code is Q75.
Further information on applying to study at Queen's is available at:
3. Terms and Conditions
After an offer is made this will be notified to applicants through UCAS. Confirmation will be emailed by the Admissions and Access Service and this communication will also include Terms and Conditions which applicants should read carefully in advance of replying to their offer(s) on UCAS Track.
4. International (Non- EU) Students
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION FOR INTERNATIONAL (NON-EU) STUDENTS
Applying through agents and partners
The University’s in-country representatives can assist you to submit a UCAS application. Please consult the Agent List to find an agent in your country who will help you with your application to Queen’s University.
4.1 Applying through UCAS
Most students make their applications through UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service) for full-time undergraduate degree programmes at Queen's.
4.2 Applying direct
The Direct Entry Application form is to be used by international applicants who wish to apply directly, and only, to Queen's or who have been asked to provide information in advance of submitting a formal UCAS application.
4.3 Applying through agents and partners
The University’s in-country representatives can assist you to submit a UCAS application or a direct application. Please consult the Agent List to find an agent in your country who will help you with your application to Queen’s University.
Fees and Funding