School of Nursing and Midwifery

BSc (Hons) Nursing (Child Health)

Caring for children and young people with a wide range of needs is a challenging and fulfilling career. From newborns to adolescents and beyond, you’ll gain experience of supporting children and their families during periods of great change and stress. Early placement opportunities across the South West will develop your clinical and communication skills and your understanding of caring in hospital and community settings. You will graduate ready to start shaping the future of nursing.

Once graduated you are eligible to apply for registration with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) as a 'Registered Nurse – Child Health'. You’ll balance classroom learning with gaining experience in hospitals and communities, with equal weighting given to theory and practice. Your learning journey will take you through a variety of professional work with allied health professions and other fields of nursing.

Four year MNurs degrees

Our four year MNurs programme allows you to study at masters level and choose two fields of nursing to register within:

Nursing students to receive £5,000 payment a year

The government is issuing nursing and midwifery students on courses from 2020 a payment of at least £5,000 a year, which they will not have to pay back. A further £3,000 of funding a year is available for eligible students. 

Find out more about the bursary

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

What can you do with a nursing degree?

Key features

Achieve a bachelors honours degree and register as a nurse with the Nursing and Midwifery Council in child health enabling you to progress on to a rewarding career and work in a range of healthcare settings nationally or internationally.

  • Access a range of child specific placements across Devon, Cornwall and Somerset spanning the health, social and educational sector working across an inter-professional hub.
  • Engage with a curriculum focusing on the acute and community care of children, young people and families.
  • Get involved in national and international research around sustainability, breastfeeding and urban and community family projects.
  • Create a professional digital footprint allowing collaboration with the nursing and inter-professional communities. 
  • Be assessed by a range of innovative methods including essays, case work analysis, seminar presentation, practice portfolio and video role-play.
  • From 2023, students in Plymouth can train and practice their 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'.
  • 92% of students surveyed for Nursing (Child Health) were satisfied overall with their course in the 2020 National Student Survey (NSS). 
  • Learn from experienced Drs and Professors in their field.

Course details
  • Year 1

  • Your first year introduces you to being an accountable professional, whilst developing the knowledge and skills required to become a confident, academic and independent learner. You will gain an understanding of human development, key body systems and their relationship to nursing care. A range of effective therapeutic interpersonal skills to promote engagement and helpful collaborative person-centred conversations will be nurtured within the theory and the two practice components during the year. You will be introduced to the importance of assessing, planning, providing and evaluating health and wellbeing in a broad range of contexts. You will learn and develop the values, knowledge and skills required for the successful achievement of the standards of proficiency required for the first NMC progression point. Modules will have field specific application.

    Core modules

    • Being an Accountable Professional (NRS410)

      This module will introduce students to the nursing profession, professional standards, the use of evidence and the role of social media in health care practice.

    • Communication and Therapeutic Relationships (NRS411)

      This module supports students to develop basic, person-centred communication skills enabling them to engage effectively with individuals and their families/carers utilising a range of collaborative interpersonal skills and adopting therapeutic and ethical frameworks that can be applied in health and social care.

    • Applied Human Biology Across the Lifespan (NRS414)

      This module will develop students' understanding of human development, key body systems and their relationship to nursing care.

    • Assessing and Planning Nursing Care (NRS416)

      This module introduces students to assessing health and wellbeing, it explores different models of understanding health, ill health and the interconnection between physical and mental health. It enables the student to work in partnership to plan and evaluate nursing care for a variety of health conditions and needs.

    • Providing and Evaluating Care (NRS417)

      This module introduces the student to the values, knowledge and skills required for nursing practice in a range of settings.

  • Year 2

  • In your second year you will be introduced to research methodology and methods in order to develop their knowledge of the application of research-based evidence to professional practice. You will study the pathophysiological processes involved in commonly encountered health conditions to support nursing interventions. Your knowledge and understanding of co-ordinating care for complex health needs will be developed, as well as in relation to public health, policies and legislation. You will become a knowledgeable practitioner with an understanding of pharmacology and safe practice in the management of medicines. The theory and two practice components of the year will develop your values, knowledge and skills required for the successful achievement of the standards of proficiency required for the second NMC progression point. Modules will have field specific application.

    Core modules

    • Applied Pathophysiology (NRS501)

      Within this module, students will study the pathophysiological processes involved in commonly encountered health conditions.

    • Introduction to Evidence-Informed Decision Making (NRS502)

      The module introduces students to research methodology and methods in order to develop their knowledge of the application of research-based evidence to professional practice. The module is based upon the premise that knowledge and understanding of key research designs is an essential pre-requisite of evidence-informed decision making (EIDM).

    • Promoting Health and Preventing Ill Health (NRS503)

      This module aims to develop the student's knowledge and skills in relation to public health, policies and legislation. Students will explore the social, economic, political and ecological challenges that are faced in public health at an international, national and local level. The student will develop an understanding of their professional role in relation to public health.

    • Pharmacology and Medicines Optimisation (NRS504)

      This module will develop students' knowledge of medications, pharmacology and working to support medication adherence.

    • Developing Nursing Practice (NRS507)

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

  • Final year

  • Year three allows you to critically explore the concepts of management, leadership and working in teams. You will extend your knowledge around critical appraisal and the importance of research evidence to professional practice. With four specific field modules you will further develop your assessment skills to enable you to recognise and respond to the seriously ill child, by increasing your knowledge, understanding and application of relevant pathophysiology and other evidence to practice. You will develop the skills and knowledge required to undertake holistic assessment, plan and manage the support and care of individuals and families in a variety of community settings, and develop competence in nursing clients with complex needs. Your final module will provide you with the opportunity to demonstrate your ability to perform as a capable and autonomous practitioner, fit for registration in your field of nursing practice.

    Core modules

    • Care of the Highly Dependent Child (CHN601)

      This module will develop the knowledge and skills of students in the care of critically ill infants, children and young people and their families. Students will have the opportunity to apply their knowledge and skills in a range of settings.

    • Care of the Child and Family in the Community (CHN602)

      This module will enable students to develop the skills and knowledge required to undertake holistic assessment, plan and manage the 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 (CHN603)

      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.

    • Developing Knowledge and Skills for Evidence-Informed Decision Making (NRS602)

      The module is designed to extend students' knowledge around critical appraisal and the importance of research evidence to professional practice. This will be achieved through students identifying and evaluating a body of research-based evidence relevant to clinical practice.

    • Nursing Leadership, Management and Team Working (NRS604)

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

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

BSc Hons Nursing Programme Specification Standard Route 2022 23 6614

The modules shown for this course are those currently being studied by our students, or are proposed new modules. Please note that programme structures and individual modules are subject to amendment from time to time as part of the University’s curriculum enrichment programme and in line with changes in the University’s policies and requirements.

In light of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the changeable nature of the situation and any updates to government guidance, we may need to make further, last minute adjustments to how we deliver our teaching and learning on some or all of our programmes, at any time during the academic year. We want to reassure you that even if we do have to adjust the way in which we teach our programmes, we will be working to maintain the quality of the student learning experience and learning outcomes at all times.
Entry requirements

UCAS tariff

104 - 120


5 GCSEs at Grade C/4 or above to include Mathematics, English, and Science. Consideration may be given to Functional Skills Level 2 in Mathematics. Please note we do not accept Functional Skills Level 2 in English, or Key Skills in Maths or English, or Adult Literacy/Numeracy.

Plus one of the following:

A levels

104–120 Tariff points to include a minimum of two A levels. Science, Health, or Social Science profile is preferred but any subject considered. General Studies excluded.

Access to HE Diploma

Pass an Access to HE Diploma with 33 Level 3 credits at Merit and/or Distinction, including 15 in Science or Social Science.

BTEC RQF National Extended Diploma/QCF Extended Diploma 

DMM-DDM – Science, Health, or Social Science profile is preferred but any subject considered.

International Baccalaureate

26–30 points overall. Science, Health, or Social Science profile is preferred but any subject considered. English, Mathematics, and Science accepted within as GCSE equivalent at higher level = 4, standard level = 5

T level

Accepted pathway: Health. Typical offer will be confirmed once an application is received.


Previous degrees are considered at a 2:2 or above. Science, Health, or Social Science profile is preferred but any subject considered.

We welcome applicants with international qualifications. To view other accepted qualifications please refer to our tariff glossary.

If you are unsure whether you meet this criteria, or you have qualifications not listed here, please contact


Extended entry requirements

  • In addition to the above, evidence of academic study within the last five years is required. Ideally this should be one of the qualifications listed here, but the admissions team will assess on a case-by-case basis.
  • Meeting the academic minimum is the first stage of an application being considered. Applicants must also submit a strong personal statement in order to be considered further.
  • We will require an academic reference and an employer reference as part of the application process.
  • Attend an interview.
  • You must pass disclosure and barring service and occupational health checks satisfactorily in order to be able to start this course.
  • If English is not your first language and you do not have GCSE English grade C/4 or above you will have to achieve an IELTS (or equivalent qualification) at the grade of at least 7.0 (at least 6.5 in all elements sections). English language requirements.


All students who are aged 17 when starting the programme in September, must be 18 by Christmas of that same year.


Further information


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


Direct entry to year 2

If you have achieved certificated learning in addition to the entry criteria required for your programme of study, it may be possible to accredit this learning towards your chosen course. Full details on how to make an application are available on our open access MOODLE site (download details on how to access the site and submit your claim and supporting evidence). Your application will then be assessed and you will receive confirmation by email on the status of your claim. Please contact the admissions team in the first instance who will be able to advise whether you are eligible at

Fees, costs and funding
New Student 2022-2023 2023-2024
Home £9,250 £9,250
International £14,600 £16,300
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.

Undergraduate Merit Scholarship for international students

Scholarship value: £2000 off your tuition fees in year one. 
To recognise continued academic achievement, you may also receive:
  • 10% off the successive years tuition fee if an overall grade of 60% or above is maintained
  • 20% off the successive years tuition fee if an overall grade of 70% or above is maintained.
To be eligible you must:
  • achieve one grade above your academic offer.
  • meet our standard English Language requirements.
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

All applications for undergraduate courses are made through UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service).

UCAS will ask for the information contained in the box at the top of this course page including the UCAS course code and the institution code.

To apply for this course and for more information about submitting an application including application deadline dates, please visit the UCAS website.

The deadline for the receipt of international applications is 31 May 2023 for entry in September 2023.

Support is also available to overseas students applying to the University from our International Office via our how to apply webpage or email

Deferred entry

Unfortunately we cannot permit deferred entry. However, if you have a query please refer to an experienced admissions administrator who will be able to explain the UCAS application process in more detail

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.

Progression routes

International progression routes

The University of Plymouth International College (UPIC) offers foundation, first-year and pre-masters programmes that lead to University of Plymouth degrees. Courses are specially designed for EU and international students who are missing the grades for direct entry to the University, and include full duration visa sponsorship. You can start in January, May or September, benefitting from small class sizes, top-quality tuition and 24/7 student support.

Find out more at or contact our team at

What our students say

  • à “Staff are approachable, easy to contact and supportive, helpful as well as being passionate and experienced.”
  • à “My personal tutor has given excellent support when I have reached out. Help is also available from different areas of the uni for learning.”
  • à “Staff make the subjects interesting an empower you to do your best, and all are passionate about nursing.”
  • à “Good access to skills labs, that are well stocked and use lots of high quality equipment.”
  • à “Support from tutors and staff has always been great. They really do work hard to help with any problems.”
  • à “Personal tutor has been outstanding through supporting personal issues and getting me through the course.”
  • à “The course intellectually challenged me and I was able to gain in-depth knowledge.”
  • à “My lecturers have a real interest in my development. I could not have asked for a better place to study.”

The moment I realised... I wanted to be a children's nurse

Phoebe Wilson explains the moment she realised her dream to work with children in the clinical setting.

“I love working with children and I want to be a children’s nurse, so being told that you’re going to be good at it is fantastic feedback.”

Find out more about Phoebe's story

Nursing students working with qualified nurses and patients

Keeping the school running in troubled times

Our students have reached out to thank the teaching staff for continuing to deliver high-quality courses throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Thank you to the nursing and midwifery teaching staff for quickly turning around digital teaching and running the school at this time. We know you are working hard to do what is best and we appreciate the effort that you are all making.

We want you to know that we are proud to be student nurses and midwives of the University of Plymouth
- Emma, School Representative and first year Nursing (Child Health) student

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
Plymouth students working on a group project

Study sessions for students by students: Peer Assisted Learning Scheme (PALS)

To complement your formal learning we offer regular sessions that provide the opportunity for you to learn with and from your peers. Share knowledge, discuss ideas, and ask questions in a relaxed and friendly environment
If you are a first or second year take the opportunity to study in a relaxed environment, along with other students on the same programme.
<p>Nurse with a syringe</p>


Fifty per cent of your time will be spent learning on placements
You will gain a great range of experience by going on placements throughout the South West.
BSc (Hons) Nursing (Child health)  - recruitment days

Recruitment days

The nursing recruitment day is a compulsory part of the admissions process for child health nursing.
This guide will explain everything you need to know.

Let our graduates inspire you

Lydia Hartnell - BSc (Hons) Nursing (Child Health)

“I felt I was always destined to be a children’s nurse right from an early age due to my brother having CF. Plymouth Uni helped me become that children’s nurse I am today. And after being qualified for 2 years I still learn every day but also still love the job and enjoy going to work. I cannot see myself doing another job ever!" 
<p>Student Lydia Hartnell in a graduation gown and hat on Plymouth Hoe&nbsp;</p>
<p>Danielle Edge</p>

Danielle Edge - BSc (Hons) Nursing (Child Health)

Danielle Edge graduated from BSc (Hons) Nursing (Child Health) in 2009 and, after catching the teaching bug, now works as a Lecturer in Children's Nursing at London Southbank University.

"Plymouth gave me the opportunities to build my confidence as a student children's nurse and then a registered nurse. The lecturers taught and supported us throughout our training to be critical thinkers. I think this allowed me to have the confidence to question and reflect on my practice as a qualified nurse."

Learn more about Danielle's story, including how studying at Plymouth enabled her to move into teaching

<p>Elliott Tucker,&nbsp;BSc (Hons) Child Health Nursing graduate</p>

Elliott Tucker - BSc (Hons) Nursing (Child Health)

After graduating in 2011, Elliott Tucker has gained a wide range of experience in different roles, both in London and in the South West, leading to him finding his specialism in emergency care. Elliott is now working in a Band 7 role in the emergency department at Sheffield Children’s Hospital. 

"I believe the high quality of teaching from lectures and mentors in placements have made me the nurse I am today. If you want a quality course that can make you the best nurse you can be, then this is the one for you."

Discover more about Elliott's story, including the benefits of choosing Plymouth and the power of placements


</p><p>Hugo Reade BSc (Hons) Nursing (Child Health) graduate takes time out to visit Dartmoor.</p><p></p>

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.

<p>Nursing interviews<br></p>