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Nursing Studies: Child Nursing

There are two intakes per year:

  • April - Medway Campus
  • September - Canterbury Campus


The University offers a three year full-time programme in Nursing Studies for those wishing to become children’s nurses. The pathway prepares students for the award of BSc (Hons) Child Nursing and for eligibility for entry to on to the NMC register as a Registered Nurse (Child).

The aim of the Child Nursing Pathway is to produce children’s nurses who are able to deliver high quality care to children, young people and their families. This care may be delivered in hospital, in the child’s home or in the wider community such as schools and clinics, in collaboration with other health and social care professionals.

Content and Structure

The Child Nursing Pathway in the Interprofessional Learning Programme is 156 weeks and is only offered as a full time route.

The first year of the programme is designed to provide a foundation to children’s nursing with a focus on professionalism and interprofessional practice. To enhance this, there is some shared learning across the other nursing and health and social care pathways. There is also a focus on learning the essential basics in children’s nursing which will be built on in the subsequent years.
Year two builds on the essential skills developed in year one, and in the four child focussed modules, the child nursing student develops an understanding of children’s physical, psychological and cognitive development. They also learn about childhood illnesses and disability and how these affect the child and their families. The remaining two modules in year two are about personal and academic development, as the student is encouraged to develop more critical thinking around how research is used to evidence nursing care. As this is an interprofessional programme, there is a further module where the child nursing students are taught alongside other health and social care professions, developing ways of working collaboratively with these other professions.

Year three provides additional opportunities for the development of child nursing competence within neonatal and high dependency care, and caring for the child with life limiting disorders. These are challenging areas in which to work and will enable students to develop the competencies necessary to support children and families at times of stress/distress. Year three also offers the student the opportunity to work as part of an interprofessional team in practice through the introduction to leadership and management within children’s healthcare. The personal and professional development modules also studied in year 3 prepares the child nursing student to make the transition to a registered nurse with confidence. 


Experience in practice constitutes 50% of the programme and links directly with the taught modules. Placements will take place in a variety of settings both in hospital and the community. Students will be allocated to a children’s ward which will normally be their base ward for the whole of the programme. During their placements students will be provided with a named supervisor(s) who will support them during their practice placements. Initially students will observe qualified practitioners and will gradually begin to participate in care delivery as their knowledge and competence increases.

The expectation will be that students normally work the same shifts as their supervisors, which will involve working in the evening and some weekends. Since placements are widespread throughout Kent travelling to placements is inevitable and unavoidable.

Learning and Teaching

Whilst in University, a variety of teaching methods are used throughout a student’s programme. These range from taught sessions to independent, self- directed learning using PowerPoint presentations; group discussions; debates, seminar groups; clinical/nursing skills practice; student/peer presentations and technology enhanced learning (TEL). In each of their clinical placements, students learn by observation, under supervision and through practice. They are allocated an experienced registered children’s nurse/ specialist nurse. This nurse will be their “mentor” whose role is to work with them and guide their learning and development in their clinical practice. Their “mentor” will have undertaken a course, validated by the NMC, to prepare them for their role as a mentor.


Students are assessed throughout their three-year programme. They need to pass both the theory and the clinical practice for every module in order to pass through each progression point. The theory is assessed in a variety of ways. These include written essays, presentations, examinations and the development of a WIKI (online). Clinical practice is assessed by students’ mentors throughout each placement and by the end of each year they need to have passed each of the skills that are itemised in a document they are given called the Assessment of Practice Tool (APT). Throughout their three years, feedback on their clinical skills is also taken from the people they are caring for and their families when appropriate.


This Interprofessional Learning Health and Social Care programme is not subject to the new higher education fee system.  

To find out about bursary entitlements for students studying Interprofessional Health and Social Care programmes visit our Financial Information page.  

What our students say

Matthew Newman

Matthew Newman
Child Nursing

I knew Canterbury had a good reputation for nursing courses from friends who had studied here. It seemed the ideal place to come because it isn’t too far from home back in London and Canterbury is a beautiful city to live in.

> Faculty of Health and Social Care

> Department of Health, Wellbeing and Family

About the course

BSc single honours


3 years full-time



Typical entry requirements

280 UCAS points, including BBC at A2 Level, or equivalent, are required (see here) plus five separate GCSEs at grade C, or above, including English and Mathematics.

Additional entry requirements

Applicants are interviewed and offers of a place are subject to health clearance and Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check before starting the programme. For information about the DBS process please see here.

How to apply


Please note: Opportunities to transfer into years 2 and 3 of the programme may be restricted due to Placement capacity 

How will I be assessed?

Coursework, examination, presentations, practical examination


Telephone: +44 (0)1227 767700 Prospectus: +44 (0)1227 782900
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