School of Nursing and Midwifery

BSc (Hons) Professional Development Nursing

Advance your career with our top up degree for registered diploma nurses. Created with input from colleagues working in the health sector and the School of Nursing and Midwifery, this course builds on your current experience and skills. You will graduate not only with a degree but with the expertise and confidence to enhance your professional nursing practice and move your career forward.

You will have the option to graduate with a standard degree or continue your studies further and achieve an honours award. You’ll fast track your progress through the course with Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL). You’ll bring up to half of your current credits with you to speed you on your way to success. You’ll also further your experience and combine with partnership modules in local trusts.

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This programme is part of the largest range of healthcare study options in the South West.

Key features

  • Take the option to graduate with a standard degree or continue your studies further and achieve an honours award.
  • Fast track your progress through the course with Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL). Bring up to half of your current credits with you to speed you on your way to success.
  • Learn and earn with our work-friendly timetable. Each day of the programme is delivered between the same hours, at the same location, allowing you make plans well in advance.
  • Access a student loan. As a part-time student you can apply for non means tested funding at a very favourable rate of interest from Student Finance England.
  • Choose a part-time option that suits you. You can choose to study one or two modules a year and can take up to four years to complete the course.
  • Further your experience and combine with partnership modules in local Trusts.

Course details

  • Year 1
  • Gain the knowledge and skills to develop your professional nursing practice. Expand on your existing expertise by developing the critical thinking skills to enhance your future as a safe and reflective nurse, able to communicate the principles of effective practice and demonstrate a compassionate approach. Enhance your accountability, decision making and analytic skills and develop an informed understanding of the sustainability agenda and its relevance in the health sector.
    Core modules
    • PDN302 Clinical Decision Making in Nursing Practice

      This module draws on knowledge, skills and experiences you have gained through your work as a registered nurse and further develops your clinical reasoning ability. This module takes place in January.

    • PDN305 Dissertation

      This module extends your knowledge of primary and secondary research and develops your critical appraisal skills. You will construct an 8,000-word literature review of a practice focused research topic. This dissertation module runs throughout the length course.

    Optional modules
    • PDN301 Contemporary Issues in Health and Social Care

      This module gives you the opportunity to examine a contemporary issue within the field of health and/or social care. You will explore the issue, with a consideration of policy, research and service provision aspects, and suggest recommendations for practice. This module takes place in October.

    • PDN303 Ethical and Legal issues in Healthcare Practice

      This module builds on your existing knowledge of legal and ethical frameworks. You will explore and debate ethical and legal concepts, issues and theories relating to health and social care. This module takes place in January.

    • PDN306 Practice Based Learning

      This module enables the student to undertake an individual work based project and meet a set of agreed learning outcomes for a specified programme of study.

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 Professional Development Nursing 4712

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.

Entry requirements

To apply for this course you will need:

  • A Diploma of Higher Education DipHE (Nursing) or equivalent
  • A current registered qualification with the Nursing and Midwifery Council on part one of the register
  • To be employed in a health and social care setting.  You will need to provide verification of your employment.
  • Accredited Prior Learning (AP(E)L) should be within the last five years (except for preceptorship modules which will need to be within the last two years)
  • If English is not your first language you must have evidence of a minimum overall IELTS 7.0, with a score of at least 6.5 in each element, or equivalent and level 2 numeracy. For further information about English language requirement please view our English language requirements page.
  • For a full list of all acceptable qualifications please refer to our tariff glossary.

Fees, costs and funding


Home/EU (part time) International (part time)
£750 per 20 credits N/A
Full time fees shown are per annum. Part time fees shown are per a number of credits. Fees are correct at the time of publication and may be subject to change.

How to apply

When to apply

Applications for this programme can usually be made throughout the year. Please check the closing date and apply as early as possible as our programmes are popular.

Apply for this programme

To apply for this programme please contact the Professional Development Unit:

Professional Development Unit
4th floor, Rolle Building
Plymouth University
Drake Circus
Plymouth PL4 8AA

Tel: +44 1752 586951

What happens after I apply?

You will normally receive a decision on your application within four weeks of us receiving your application. You may be asked to provide additional information, to take part in an interview (which in the case if you are an overseas student may be by telephone or video conference) or you will be sent a decision by letter or email.

If you have a disability and would like further information about the support provided by Plymouth University, please visit our Disability Assist website.

Support is also available if you an overseas students applying to the University from our International Office.