MSc in Early Years Practice Health Visiting

University of Stirling

Program Description

MSc in Early Years Practice Health Visiting

University of Stirling

This programme aims to equip nurses and midwives to develop an enhanced and applied knowledge base in Health Visiting Practice allowing you to exit with the required Nursing & Midwifery Council (NMC) recordable qualification as a Specialist Community Public Health Nurse (SCPHN)-Health Visiting (NMC 2004). The programme is delivered in collaboration with NHS Health Board and local authority partners in the Western Isles, Highland, Tayside and Forth Valley, combining academic teaching and practice learning throughout the programme. On successful completion of the programme, you will be able to respond to the demands of contemporary public health practice in the community and to work to influence and improve the standard of care for children, young people and their families.


Early Years Practice is an 'Approved programme' of the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC).

Top Reasons To Study With Us

  1. You will gain a Masters degree or Postgraduate Diploma from a multi-award winning Faculty of Health Sciences and Sport, led by a group of world-leading academics, with strong and established research records, real nursing experience and a wealth of world-class publications who will support you both personally and academically.
  2. This programme has been developed in close partnership with our practice partners, NHS Forth Valley, Highland and the Western Isles. User and carer, student and alumni representation have ensured the process of bringing together a curriculum that is fit for purpose and one that addresses the needs of both service providers and users.
  3. The Faculty of Health Sciences and Sport has considerable experience in developing integrated health services for families across Scotland and is recognised for its world-leading maternal care and public health research.
  4. This programme has been approved by the Nursing and Midwifery Council by passing Quality assurance standards on maintaining public protection and safety.
  5. Following graduation, you will be working towards the Scottish Government's vision of making Scotland "the best place to grow up". We have initiated and expanded our 'Getting it Right for Every Child' (GIRFEC) education in light of the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014.

Course objectives

The programme curriculum is designed to equip nurses and midwives to deliver safe and best practice in the role of Health Visitor as defined in the NMC Standards of Proficiency for Specialist Community Public Health Nurses (NMC 2004), the Report from the Education Sub Group of the Children, Young People and Families National Advisory Group (CYPFNAG 2014) and key legislation from the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014 (Scottish Government 2014). The key duties identified within current legislation are to promote, support and safeguard children’s wellbeing (Scottish Government 2014). Thus, the programme focuses on the following three key themes:

  1. A focus on wellbeing.
  2. Assessing and Analysing Children’s Needs including the impact of children’s experiences on their wellbeing.
  3. Improving Outcomes for Children and their Families.

What makes us different?

Entry requirements

Academic requirements All entrants to the MSc/PgDip in Early Years Practice (Health Visiting) Programmes must meet the following requirements (NMC 2004):

  • Valid registration on the Professional register maintained by the NMC;
  • The registrant must have developed their own knowledge, skills and competence beyond NMC registration, i.e. normally two year’s post registration experience as a registered nurse or midwife however other relevant professional experience can be considered.
  • In order to protect the public, the NMC registrants are required to have an up-to-date membership of the Disclosure Scotland: Protection of Vulnerable Groups scheme
  • Arrangements made to have a Practice Teacher allocated to the student for the duration of the Programme (allocated by the relevant health board area following successful interview).
  • Students must demonstrate the ability to study at degree level (minimum academic SCQF Level 9) (NMC 2004; Standard 5);
  • Understand the programme requirements regarding length of programme;
  • Support from Senior Practice Line Manager.

English language requirements

If you don’t meet the required score you may be able to register for one of our pre-sessional English courses. To register you must hold a conditional offer for your course and have an IELTS score 0.5 or 1.0 below the required standard.

Application procedure

Students require a Practice Teacher to supervise and assess their placement learning. At this time in Scotland, Practice Teachers are supplied by NHS Health Boards and local Authority partners. Recently Health Boards have advised that they are only able to provide this support to students that they are fully seconding onto the programme. As a result, we are not in a position to recruit any independent students. To apply for a trainee health visitor post applicants are encouraged to access the recruitment pages of the NHS SHOW website for Health Board and the MyjobScotland website for Local Authority student Health Visitor adverts.

Structure and content

The programme will comprise 50% practice learning and 50% theory as prescribed by the NMC (2004: Standard 3). All programme content has undergone detailed mapping to ensure compliance with the Standards of Proficiency for Specialist Community Public Health Nurses (NMC 2004) and the Scottish Government Report from the Education Sub Group of the Children, Young People and Families National Advisory Group (CYPFNAG) (Scottish Government 2014). This mapping exercise by the CYPFNAG has ensured that there is clear articulation between the Standards of Proficiency (NMC 2004) and contemporary Health Visiting practice which is fit for purpose in line with the Scottish Governments aspirations for the future workforce (Scottish Government 2013; 2014a). The core curriculum has been reviewed for relevance and suitability for the Health Visiting programme by Community Nurse Leads and the CYPFNAG (Scottish Government 2014) The Programme is designed to integrate both academic and practice learning simultaneously to allow students to have the opportunity to apply their learning and connect theory and practice knowledge. The curriculum will be delivered through a combination of academic teaching days, which may be direct teaching or virtual learning; protected learning time, which comprises self-directed study using e-learning materials and individual materials; and practice learning time. The programme is studied at SCQF Level 11 and completion of the programme will allow students to graduate with either a:

  • Postgraduate Diploma in Early Years Practice (Health Visiting)
  • Masters (MSc) in Early Years Practice (Health Visiting)

Students who enrol on the MSc programme will have the ability to exit following successful completion of the 6 core modules with the award of Postgraduate Diploma in Early Years Practice (Health Visiting) and will register with the NMC as a Specialist Community Public Health Nurse (Health Visiting). Those who wish to gain the full masters qualification must complete the dissertation module EYPP10. Both programmes are available on full-time (1 year) or part-time (2 years) routes. Modules Students take the following SQCF Level 11 modules:

  • EYPP01: GIRFEC A Multi-Agency Approach to Practice (20 credits)
  • EYPP02: Principles and Practice of Child and Family Health and Wellbeing (20 credits)
  • CWPPA2: Understanding Children and Young People’s Experiences: Assessment and Decision Making (20 credits)
  • CWPPA3: Improving Outcomes for Children and Young People (20 credits)
  • EYPP03: Contemporary Leadership in Early Years Practice (20 credits)
  • NURU236: Health Visiting in Practice (20 credits)
  • EYPP10: Action Research (Dissertation Module) (60 credits)

Programme Tutor

Each student is assigned a personal tutor who can provide advice and guidance on the submission of assignments and on the participants' overall progress on the programme.

Delivery and assessment

Programme Delivery

The programme utilises a blended approach to learning with the content being supported by web-based materials including podcasts and discussion forums. In addition to e-learning, students will attend face to face seminars, small group work and lectures. A unique feature of the programme is the provision of master classes. These classes are delivered by keynote speakers recognised for their expertise in the field of child health and wellbeing. The study days will be delivered at various locations:

  • Stirling Campus
  • Highland Campus
  • Ninewells Hospital, Dundee


A combination of assessment methods will be used across the modules of the programmes reflecting the SCQF level of the programme of study.

Career opportunities

On completion of the course, graduates will be eligible for employment as a qualified Health Visitor/ Specialist Community Public Health Nurse.

Cost & Fees

From 2016/7 onwards, the fees for all taught postgraduate courses are to be held at the level set upon entry. Please note there is an additional charge for the conferral of your degree. This will be charged at the rate applicable when you complete your studies.

This school offers programs in:
  • English

Last updated January 17, 2018
Duration & Price
This course is Online & Campus Combined
Start Date
Start date
Jan. 2018
1 - 2 years
Part time
Full time
United Kingdom - Stirling, Scotland
Start date: Jan. 2018
Application deadline Request Info
End date Request Info
Jan. 2018
United Kingdom - Stirling, Scotland
Application deadline Request Info
End date Request Info