BSc Learning Disabilities Nursing


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Key facts

(Unistats, 2018)

Key facts

(The Complete University Guide 2019)

“My main reason for choosing to come to UEA was the combination of a university with a high academic reputation, a brilliant campus environment and a course that will help me make a real difference to the lives of people with learning disabilities.”

In their words

Matthew Webb, Learning Disabilities Nursing graduate

Learning Disabilities nursing is a fantastic career choice if you are committed, compassionate and keen to support and work in partnership with individuals of all ages, from children and young people, to the elderly. It’s a wonderfully rewarding profession, focused on helping people with Learning Disabilities maximise their potential, maintain their health and wellbeing, and – crucially – promote an increase their life expectancy. And through your theory and practice experience you’ll learn about the vital role a Learning Disabilities nurse plays in addressing issues such as social injustice and dealing with a complexity of health needs.

Study for a Learning Disabilities Nursing degree at UEA and you’ll benefit from service user contact from the very outset, plus a personal mentor to guide you throughout. Just two of the reasons we’re ranked 11th in the UK for nursing (The Complete University Guide 2020).


With the NHS Constitution at its core, our Learning Disabilities Nursing degree provides rigorous training and fantastic placement opportunities – and it’s fully-approved by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC).

As a qualified Learning Disabilities nurse, you’ll provide advice and support to help people navigate the many physical, mental and social challenges that they and their carers face. You’ll also work to ensure that people with Learning Disabilities experience equal and equitable access to services in order to meet their needs.

Our three-year BSc Learning Disabilities Nursing combines 50/50 theory and practice to equip you with the specific skills and experience you’ll need to take on both essential nursing practice and the more specialist areas intrinsic to Learning Disabilities nursing. As with our other nursing courses, you’ll learn alongside students from other areas of healthcare. And you’ll be taught about the importance of social inclusion and empowerment – key factors in the life of anyone with a Learning Disabilities.

Once you graduate, you’ll be ready to play a pivotal role within a multi-professional team. You’ll also provide a valuable and important contribution to enhancing the lives of people with a Learning Disabilities, as well as their carers.

Highlights of Learning Disabilities Nursing at UEA

  • Wide range of placements including community settings, hospitals and specialist care units
  • Regular group work with other health and medicine students
  • Opportunity to link theory and practice with enquiry-based learning
  • 50% theory, 50% practice – the best way to prepare for your career
  • Award-winning facilities, including our skills laboratories
  • A highly supportive culture

Course Structure

Our Learning Disabilities Nursing degree features clinical placements in each of its three years. Our learning programme combines small group teaching, lectures and self-directed study, typically scheduled between 9am and 7pm. Clinical practice placements, however, are designed to reflect the typical working patterns of a qualified nurse.


You’ll have access to placements in a wide variety of settings, using and developing your skills and knowledge in a clinical environment under professional supervision. You’ll work closely with adult patients, clients and their families. This will give you the confidence you’ll need to launch your career as Learning Disabilities nurse after graduation. Due to the nature of healthcare environments, you’ll also experience 24hr and seven-days-a-week work cycles, which can mean working nights and weekends.

By the end of your course you will have completed the number of assessed placement hours required by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) for professional registration.

Teaching and Learning

Our degree programme employs a range of learning methods, designed to support your ability to link nursing theory to nursing practice. Teaching will include large group lectures and smaller group-based activities, such as seminars, tutorials and workshops, to encourage peer-to-peer learning.

We’ll provide you with access to educational resources including presentations, workbooks and posters, as well as digital platforms such as virtual classrooms and online learning resources. You’ll also have the opportunity to learn directly from people who have experienced healthcare services.

One of our key aims is to promote your ability to learn autonomously and in partnership with others, including the wider healthcare team.

Independent study

We’ll encourage you to read – and engage with – a wide range of sources to inform your development. You’ll have access to resources to support your learning and to enable you to develop an effective approach to self-directed study.


You’ll be assessed using a range of methods, which have been carefully chosen to reflect your ability to apply the relevant theory to practice.

With guidance, you’ll build a portfolio of evidence to demonstrate your progression and reflect both your both theoretical and clinical skills. You’ll also need to maintain a portfolio throughout the course, to demonstrate your learning and competency in clinical skills.

Other assessment strategies include written assignments, unseen examinations, case studies, practical examinations and group presentations, plus a literature review, which should illustrate your deeper understanding of the relationship between the theory and practice of nursing.

While on clinical placement, you’ll complete a nursing attributes assessment and you’ll write up your reflections of the placement experience.

After the course

As a UEA Learning Disabilities nurse, you’ll be in huge demand with ever-expanding career options. Through your practice placements you’ll gain the practice time needed to register with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC). Which means that, as soon as you graduate, you’ll be ready to get to work making a real difference to people’s lives, working in challenging yet rewarding environments, such as:

  • Community environments
  • Residential settings
  • In-patient settings
  • Charities
  • Schools

Career destinations

Course related costs

You can find information regarding additional costs associated here

Teaching and Assessment

You will experience different assessment methods, which have been carefully considered to reflect the importance of being able to apply the relevant evidence base to practice. You will maintain a portfolio of evidence and with guidance and support, you will be expected to build a sound evidence base demonstrating progression, reflecting on your learning both theoretical and clinical skills. Other assessment strategies are utilised, such as written assignments, unseen examinations, case studies, practical examinations, group presentations and a dissertation of 10,000 words in order to illustrate deeper understanding of the relationship between the theory and practice of nursing.

Whilst in clinical placement you will complete various learning outcomes, a nursing attributes assessment as well as writing reflections based on your placement experience. You will also maintain a Regional Practice Document throughout the course to demonstrate your learning and competency in clinical skills.

Course Modules 2020/1

Students must study the following modules for 120 credits:

Name Code Credits


This module addresses the professionalism of nursing to enable students to deliver safe and effective person-centred care. Professional socialisation includes developing self-awareness and recognising the significance of this for nursing practice. This module promotes an understanding of positive professional relationships in various contexts which are person-centred and respect professional boundaries. Students will gain insight into the complexity of nursing and the values, legislation and ethics involved. The module fosters an understanding of evidence-based practice and sets out to provide students with the knowledge and skills to enable the development of academic skills whilst taking responsibility for their own learning. Content in this module will inform the students' learning in conjunction with the 'Facilitating Health and Wellbeing' module delivered this year. Consolidation of this theoretical learning will take place in the simultaneously delivered 'Nursing Practice and Simulation 1' module.




This module aims to provide knowledge and skills to enable students to take a lifecourse approach to the promotion of health, prevention of ill health and management of health challenges. The module will begin to develop students' exploration of the underpinning evidence-base in order to facilitate health and wellbeing at all stages of life. Students will be enabled to discover and implement skills to work effectively with people and their families, carers and wider multi-agency teams at individual, community and population levels. Content in this module will inform students' learning in conjunction with the 'Becoming a Professional' module delivered this year. Consolidation of this theoretical learning will take place in the simultaneously delivered 'Nursing Practice and Simulation 1' module.



Interprofessional Learning - Level 1

Interprofessional collaboration and working is proven to improve outcomes in health and social care. In this module you'll meet and work with others from across healthcare programmes at UEA in a 2 hour learning event. You will explore how teams can work in different scenarios where the focus is on cognitive impairment and communication difficulties across the lifespan. You'll begin to reflect on your personal and professional development, and begin to explore how you will collaborate and work with other professions to provide integrated person-centred care. In the 2 hour session you will also have the opportunity to become a Dementia Friend. You'll also have the option to complete a Reflective Workbook to guide your foundational learning on Dementia Awareness and Learning Disability Awareness. You will be assessed on this through a set of multiple choice questions.




Nursing Practice and Simulation 1 spans Year One (Part One) of the programme encompassing core and field specific learning centred on professional values. This will be achieved through blocks of practice experience and simulated practice. The module focuses on the delivery of care that is safe, compassionate, evidence-based and person-centred with people and their families across the life course. The importance of promoting health, health protection and prevention of ill-health will be explored during the module. Students will experience the practical realities of healthcare through the acquisition of identified proficiencies, skills and nursing procedures. Supernumerary status will be maintained throughout the module thus enabling students to work within interdisciplinary teams in order to provide safe, evidence-based care to people from different backgrounds, cultures and beliefs. This year-long module comprises: an initial eight weeks of practice experience and a subsequent nine weeks of practice experience (totalling 680 hours) and 120 hours of simulated practice learning.



Students must study the following modules for 120 credits:

Name Code Credits













Students must study the following modules for 100 credits:

Name Code Credits







Students will select 20 credits from the following modules:

Name Code Credits




















Whilst the University will make every effort to offer the modules listed, changes may sometimes be made arising from the annual monitoring, review and update of modules and regular (five-yearly) review of course programmes. Where this activity leads to significant (but not minor) changes to programmes and their constituent modules, there will normally be prior consultation of students and others. It is also possible that the University may not be able to offer a module for reasons outside of its control, such as the illness of a member of staff or sabbatical leave. In some cases optional modules can have limited places available and so you may be asked to make additional module choices in the event you do not gain a place on your first choice. Where this is the case, the University will endeavour to inform students.

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Entry Requirements

  • A Level BBC or BCC with an A in the Extended Project
  • International Baccalaureate 30 points
  • Scottish Highers ABBBB
  • Scottish Advanced Highers CCD
  • Irish Leaving Certificate 1 subject at H2, 5 subjects at H3
  • Access Course Pass with Merit in 36 credits at Level 3 and Pass in 9 credits at Level 3, in a Health, Care or Science subject
  • BTEC DMM in Health, Care or Science
  • European Baccalaureate 65%

Entry Requirement

We’d also encourage an application if you hold or are working towards one of the following qualifications:

Bachelor Degree (hons)


Certificate of Higher Education


Diploma of Higher Education


Foundation Degree in a Health, Care or Science subject


Foundation Year of an undergraduate degree programme at a UK university, in a Health, Care or Science subject


Open University (60 credits) in a Health, Care or Science subject


CACHE Level 3 Diploma in Child Care and Education (Early Years Educator)


CACHE Level 3 Extended Diploma in Children's Care, Learning and Development, or Children and Young People's Workforce, or Health and Social Care (including Technical Level)


City & Guilds Advanced Extended Diploma in Health and Care (Health or Care pathway)



UEA recognises that some students take a mixture of International Baccalaureate IB or International Baccalaureate Career-related Programme IBCP study rather than the full diploma, taking Higher levels in addition to A levels and/or BTEC qualifications. At UEA we do consider a combination of qualifications for entry, provided a minimum of three qualifications are taken at a higher level. Please email if you would like to check whether any particular combination of qualifications would be suitable for entry onto this degree programme.

Please note that we do not consider A levels in General Studies or Critical Thinking, Apprenticeships, NVQs (any level) or Work-based Level 3 Diplomas (previously NVQs) to meet the minimum academic entry requirements, although these can be used as evidence of recent study.

We’ll be unable to consider you for this course if you’ve obtained an academic fail from a previous health based degree programme, including where an exit award has been achieved.

Students for whom English is a Foreign language

Applications from students whose first language is not English are welcome. We require evidence of proficiency in English (including reading, writing, speaking and listening):

IELTS: 7.0 overall (minimum 7.0 in each component)

We will also accept a number of other English language qualifications to meet this requirement. Review our English Language Equivalences here.

INTO University of East Anglia 

If you do not meet the academic and/or English language requirements for direct entry our partner, INTO UEA offers progression on to this undergraduate degree upon successful completion of a preparation programme and an interview:

International Foundation in Pharmacy, Health and Life Sciences

INTO UEA also offer a variety of English language programmes which are designed to help you develop the English skills necessary for successful undergraduate study:

Pre-sessional English at INTO UEA

Academic English at INTO UEA


The strongest applicants will be invited to interview. Please note that meeting (or being predicted to meet) the minimum academic entry requirements will not guarantee that you will be selected for interview.

The interviews will explore a range of issues, including your suitability for the profession and the NHS values (as reflected in the NHS constitution). We’ll look to consider your motivation to study this course, as well as whether you have a clear understanding of the profession (ideally with relevant voluntary or paid work in health care), and an interest in people.

Please note that we do not disclose interview questions. You can find further information about the interview process here:

School of Health Sciences - Interviews

Gap Year

We welcome applications from students who have already taken or intend to take a gap year.  We believe that a year between school and university can be of substantial benefit. If you’re planning to apply with deferred entry, you are advised to indicate your reason for this on your UCAS application.

Special Entry Requirements

We’d prefer you to be able to demonstrate evidence of recent formal academic study within 5 years of the start of the course. This is to ensure that you’re equipped to succeed on this academically rigorous programme. If you have not studied for an academic qualification within the last 5 years please email to enquire further. 

Offers to successful applicants will be subject to a satisfactory occupational health check, an enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check and two satisfactory references.

If necessary, the Admissions Service will be happy to provide you with advice on further study that might help you to make a future application to the course. Please email with any questions or if you need any further information.


The annual intake is in September each year.

GCSE Offer

You are required to have Mathematics and English Language at a minimum of Grade C or Grade 4 at GCSE.

We can also consider Functional Skills Level 2 English, Essential Skills Wales L2 Communication or Essential Skills Northern Ireland L2 Communication instead of GCSE English, and Functional Skills Level 2 Mathematics, Essential Skills Wales L2 Application of Number or Essential Skills Northern Ireland L2 Application of Number instead of GCSE Mathematics.

Course Open To

UK, EU and Overseas applicants.

Fees and Funding

Undergraduate University Fees and Financial Support

Tuition Fees

Information on tuition fees can be found here:

UK students

EU Students

Overseas Students

Scholarships and Bursaries

We are committed to ensuring that costs do not act as a barrier to those aspiring to come to a world leading university and have developed a funding package to reward those with excellent qualifications and assist those from lower income backgrounds. 

You can find all of the Undergraduate Scholarships offered at UEA here, including information about eligibility, details of how to apply and closing dates.

How to Apply

Applications need to be made via the Universities Colleges and Admissions Services (UCAS), using the UCAS Apply option.

UCAS Apply is a secure online application system that allows you to apply for full-time Undergraduate courses at universities and colleges in the United Kingdom. It is made up of different sections that you need to complete. Your application does not have to be completed all at once. The application allows you to leave a section partially completed so you can return to it later and add to or edit any information you have entered. Once your application is complete, it is sent to UCAS so that they can process it and send it to your chosen universities and colleges.

The Institution code for the University of East Anglia is E14.

Further Information

Please complete our Online Enquiry Form to request a prospectus and to be kept up to date with news and events at the University. 

    Next Steps

    We can’t wait to hear from you. Just pop any questions about this course into the form below and our enquiries team will answer as soon as they can.

    Admissions enquiries: or
    telephone +44 (0)1603 591515