School of Nursing and Midwifery

MSc Pre-registration Nursing (Child Health)

Nursing is one of the most varied and challenging careers anyone can undertake. Nursing is frequently described as exciting and fulfilling; no two days are the same. Our MSc is your entry route through to nurse registration with the Nursing and Midwifery Council as a nurse in the child health field. Graduates in any discipline with recent health care experience can apply for our two year programme.

Postgraduate student funding

New pre-registration postgraduate nursing, midwifery and allied health students will have access to the same student loans system as other students. 
In addition the NHS Learning Support Fund provides additional funding for eligible healthcare students. It is supplementary financial support to the mainstream student loans system and is intended to support students whilst they train and gain professional registration. The training grant is for at least £5,000.

Careers with this subject

Children’s or paediatric nurses care for new-borns through to adolescents with acute or long-term illnesses. They are experts in interpreting children’s feelings, thoughts and behaviour to identify when a child’s health takes a turn for the worse. They support families and children during periods of great change and stress, by utilising scientific research to inform treatment.
Children’s nurses work with a wide range of conditions to help to improve a child’s health and their development into adulthood, where possible. These can be grouped into five main categories:
  • Babies
    Children’s nurses work with new-borns that can be very poorly and need urgent medical assistance in a neonatal unit. Some babies may need short-term intervention or long-term care. You’ll also work with bereaved parents.
  • Children with eating disorders
    You’ll work with children up to the age of 18 that may be suffering from an eating disorder or weight management issues.
  • Minor ailments
    Children’s nurses treat children with a range of minor conditions such as cuts, broken bones, bruises and many more.
  • Serious conditions 
    You work with children who may be suffering from cancer, congenital disorders, burns, infections, inherited diseases, organ failures, rare conditions and many more. You may see children that are in hospital for months at a time, or those that are admitted on a frequent basis. Children’s nurses work with children in intensive care, who have come out from surgery, and those requiring end of life care.
  • Developmental conditions
    You’ll work with children that may have mental or physical developmental conditions that may impact their transition into adulthood. You may also work with children with learning difficulties or special needs.
Child nursing is a broad discipline, you could work with children up to the age of 18 such as:
  •  children who are frightened or anxious
  •  children who are separated from their parents
  •  children that cannot communicate
  •  children in pain
  •  children with mental health conditions
  •  parents or carers who might be distressed
  •  children who might be under child protection.
Within the nursing profession there are a multitude of job opportunities across a variety of sectors:
  •  NHS hospitals
  •  Specialist departments such as neonatal, A&E, children’s and cancer wards
  •  Public health and policy making
  •  Communities
  •  Patient’s homes
  •  Clinics
  •  Private practice
  •  GP surgeries
  •  School health education
  •  Events
  •  Education and academia
  •  Research
  •  Leadership roles
  •  Voluntary roles

Key features

  • Access a range of child-specific placements across Devon, Cornwall and Somerset spanning the health, social and educational sector.
  • Engage with a curriculum focusing on the acute and community care of children, young people and families.
  • A 40-credit systematic review module prepares you to perform as a capable and autonomous practitioner, fit for registration in the child health field of nursing practice.
  • Students in Plymouth can train and practice professional healthcare skills in an inspiring purpose-built environment, InterCity Place. 
  • Once graduated you are eligible to apply for registration with the NMC as a 'Registered Nurse – Child Health'.

Course details

  • Year 1

  • The first three modules will equip you with a range of knowledge and skills designed to settle you into the role of the student nurse. Following these three modules your programme will be integrated with other pre-registration nursing students in their second year of study. 

    Core modules

    • Assessing Needs and Planning Care (NRS703)

      This module introduces students to assessing and planning nursing care. It explores different models of understanding health, ill health and the interconnection between physical and mental health.

    • Pharmacology and Medicines Optimisation (NRS704)

      This module will advance student knowledge of medication, pharmacology and support of complex care medication optimisation.

    • Developing Nursing Practice (NRS706)

      This module develops the students' values, knowledge and skills required for nursing practice in a range of settings.

    • Nursing Care in Context (NRS711)

      This module will introduce students to the nursing profession, specifically broad aspects of professionalism, communication, and the development of knowledge and skills in relation to public health and health promotion.

    • Human Biology and Pathophysiology (NRS712)

      This module will develop students' understanding of human development, key body systems, pathophysiological processes involved in commonly encountered health conditions and their relationship to nursing care.

  • Final year

  • Core modules

    • Care of the Highly Dependent Child (CHN701)

      This module will refine the knowledge and skills of students in the care of critically ill infants, children and young people and their families.

    • Care of the Child and Family in the Community (CHN702)

      This module will enable students to evaluate the skills and knowledge required to undertake holistic assessment and critically analyse the management and support and care of individuals and families in a variety of community settings. The challenges of multidisciplinary and multiagency agency working in a community environment will be critically examined.

    • Developing Competence in Child Health Nursing Practice (CHN704)

      This module will further develop the student's competence in a range of clinical, professional and transferable skills considered essential for safe practice and ensure that the NMC competencies are achieved.

    • Systematic Review (NRS708)

      This module focuses on the appraisal and synthesis of evidence from research literature and documentary sources. Students' develop an understanding of systematic review methodology and will produce a systematic review of studies relating to an area of interest.

    • Nursing Leadership, Management and Team Working (NRS710)

      This module critically explores the concepts of management, leadership and working in teams. It examines the role of the nurse to act as a change agent in response to professional practice challenges.

Every postgraduate taught course has a detailed programme specification document describing the programme aims, the programme structure, the teaching and learning methods, the learning outcomes and the rules of assessment.

The following programme specification represents the latest programme structure and may be subject to change:

MSc Pre-registration Nursing (Child Health) programme specification_6645

The modules shown for this course or programme are those being studied by current students, or expected new modules. Modules are subject to change depending on year of entry.

Entry requirements

Student selection is via UCAS and includes:
  • A personal statement
  • References
  • Confirmation of academic attainment
Applicants are initially screened to ensure you have the required academic qualifications, and given information on how to make a Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) claim. The Faculty has well-established mechanisms and procedures for approving RPL. Programme outcomes and requirements are mapped following QAA Guidelines, and NMC requirements prior to acceptance on the programme.
When applying through UCAS you should:
  • Have a strong GCSE profile of five GCSE or O level subjects at grade C/4 or above (or equivalent).
  • Have taken subjects that include English, Mathematics and a Science.
  • Have a Bachelor (honours) degree from an Institution of Higher Education usually at a 2:2 or above.
  • Usually have an A level or equivalent in a science or social science.
  • Be currently employed in a relevant clinical practice area with achievement of a minimum of 750 verified hours in this role. Individuals with recent healthcare experience will be considered in some circumstances. Relevant experience includes, for example hospitals, GP surgeries, hospices, and other community settings (subject to RPL). Evidence of clinical hours are to be confirmed by a registered nurse and will be mapped against the stage one values and proficiencies for the Nursing programme.
  • A copy of the your job description will be obtained to establish the appropriateness of the clinical experience.
  • If the individual confirming practice hours is not registered as a nurse in the UK, additional evidence of the verifier’s registration credentials will be required.
  • Evidence of academic study within the last 5 years.
  • Please note you will be asked to provide a CV at the assessment stage of this process
If you have not achieved mathematics GCSE at grade C/4 or above on application you may be offered a free online mathematics support package and an examination equivalent to C grade/grade 4 or above GCSE to enable the achievement of appropriate entry requirements prior to commencing the programme. This examination is offered during the recruitment cycle to all eligible candidates. 
If you have have not been educated in the UK or if English is not your first language will be required to undertake a recognised English language qualification which must include reading, writing, speaking and listening skills.
IELTS: 7.0 overall with at least 6.5 in all sections. 
Recruitment of international students will comply with UKVI Compliance Tier 4 requirements in line with the University Internationalisation Strategy.

Deferred entry

Unfortunately we cannot permit deferred entry. However, if you have a query please contact the admissions team who will be able to explain the application process in more detail at

Fees, costs and funding

Student 2023-2024 2024-2025
Home £9,250 £9,250
International £17,500 £19,000
Part time (Home) £770 £770
Full time fees shown are per annum. Part time fees shown are per 10 credits. Please note that fees are reviewed on an annual basis. Fees and the conditions that apply to them shown in the prospectus are correct at the time of going to print. Fees shown on the web are the most up to date but are still subject to change in exceptional circumstances. More information about fees and funding.

Tuition fee discount for University of Plymouth graduates

If you studied your undergraduate degree at Plymouth, you may be eligible for a fee discount if you complete your postgraduate studies here as well.
  • 10% or 20% discount on tuition fees for home students 
  • £2,000 discount on tuition fees for international students 

Postgraduate Merit Scholarship for international students

Scholarship value: £2000 off your tuition fees in year one. 
You may also receive:
  • 10% off the successive years tuition fee if an overall grade of 60% or above is maintained
To be eligible you must:
This scholarship will be offered automatically, providing you meet the eligibility criteria. A separate application will not be required.

Additional costs

This course is delivered by the School of Nursing and Midwifery and more details of any additional costs associated with our courses are listed on the following page: Additional costs for nursing and midwifery students

How to apply

Information required by UCAS

Institution code
Campus code
There is no campus code
Application deadline
See UCAS website for deadline dates. The deadline for the receipt of international applications is 31 May 2023 for entry in September 2023.
The School of Nursing and Midwifery at the University of Plymouth recognise that people may act out of character in times of trouble or distress. However, we will not tolerate inappropriate behaviour or language towards any of our staff during the admissions process. Hostile, aggressive, or otherwise inappropriate behaviour or language, whether expressed verbally or in writing, will be viewed seriously and may adversely affect the consideration of an application, appeal, or complaint. We reserve the right to reject an application from, or withdraw an offer to, an applicant who has behaved in an inappropriate manner.

Information required by UCAS

Institution code

Campus code
There is no campus code

Application deadline
See UCAS website for deadline dates

Apply now

Entry interviews

Once your application has been received, we will consider your application to help us reach a decision. If successful at the initial screening stage, you will be invited to an interview. The majority of health courses interview applicants, as this is a requirement of many health regulatory bodies. This applies to all Universities and is vital to the progression of applications. 
Interviews enable: 
  •  you to give the best account of your skills, experience and character.
  •  us to decide whether you will thrive in the University of Plymouth’s culture.
  •  us to explain more about the University, programme and how we work with our students.
Find out more about interview days: pre-work tasks, what to expect on the day of the interview and what happens after. 
Nursing interviews

Clinical Skills Resource Centre

Placement experience and simulated practice will work hand-in-hand to enable you to become the best professional you can be. At Plymouth, you’ll have access to state-of-the-art clinical simulation wards and equipment to allow you to develop a range of skills that are specific to the profession you are entering, in addition to a variety of basic health related skills, including: 
  • physical examinations
  • patient and family interviews
  • diagnostic skills
  • washing hands
  • manual handling
  • observing and monitoring
  • blood pressure reading
  • injections
  • medication administration.