Taught course

Nursing (Learning Disabilities)

University of West London · College of Nursing, Midwifery and Healthcare

Entry requirements

You need:

  • a first degree at grade 2:2 or above in any subject
  • GCSE English and Maths (grade 9 - 4 / A* - C) or Level 2 equivalents

Portfolio and independent study module

If you are successful at interview you will be required to complete a 6000 word portfolio (Recognition of Prior Learning module). You will need to achieve a pass mark of 40% at Level 6, to be offered a place on the course.

Guidance on how to complete this independent study module will be provided by the course leader. Candidates are usually given 4 weeks to complete the module.

Months of entry


Course content

Are you ready to make a difference and embark on a rewarding career in nursing? This course will prepare you to make a positive contribution to the health and wellbeing of people with learning disabilities. You will learn how to assess the often complex social and health care needs and support the delivery of robust, evidence-based care plans. On completion of the course you’ll be eligible to register with the Nursing and Midwifery Council as a Learning Disabilities Nurse.

This course is offered at our West London campus but it is also available at the Berkshire Institute for Health in Reading. As you will spend half your course gaining experience on placement, you should choose a course location that you can travel to easily. Please see the course detail below for our London placement partners.

You can find out more about careers in learning disability nursing in this video by the Royal College of Nursing.

This Learning Disability Nursing degree has been designed with input from students, service users and our partners in the NHS and voluntary and independent sectors. You will benefit from a combination of staff expertise, active learning resources and placement work that will prepare you for current nursing practice.

On this course you will learn how to deliver care to the new standards set by the Nursing and Midwifery Council Standards for Education and Training and the Future Nurse: Standards of proficiency for registered nurses (NMC). The aim is to equip you with the skills and knowledge to face the challenges of nursing in the twenty-first century, with a focus on caring for people with learning disabilities.

You will learn how to:

  • provide, lead and coordinate care that is compassionate and evidence-based
  • care for people with complex mental, physical, cognitive and behavioural care needs
  • care for people in healthcare settings including their own home, in the community and in hospital
  • help promote health, protect health and prevent ill health
  • empower people, communities and populations to take control of their own health decisions and behaviours
  • care for people of different ages, backgrounds, cultures and beliefs
  • care for people at the end of their life
  • work across health- and social care services
  • play a proactive role in multidisciplinary teams
  • think critically and apply your knowledge and skills
  • be emotionally intelligent and resilient, while managing your personal health and wellbeing

Practice learning

You will spend a significant amount of time in practice where you will be appropriately supported and assessed. This will include learning to care for people in hospitals, in their own homes or within a community setting. As you will be working with people who require care 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, you can expect to work days, weekends, bank holidays and night shifts. You will not receive payment for your practice learning.

Each year your course will divided into blocks:

  • Theory - this will include: induction, taught time, independent learning, assessment support and scheduled Personal Tutor meetings)
  • Practice - this will include preparation for practice weeks and placement learning)
  • Annual leave - these are set for the duration of the course and cannot be changed.

Facilities and support

We will provide a supportive learning environment to help you gain confidence as you develop your skills. You will learn using high-tech, innovative resources – including a fully equipped simulation centre – that help make your classes fun and engaging. In addition, you will have:

  • teaching staff who are highly committed and specialists in their subjects.
  • a personal tutor to guide you through your course as well as access to the University’s mentoring service.
  • regular personalised feedback on your progress in theory and practice components
  • access to a variety of practice placements, thanks to our many partners

Placement partners

Your placement is an essential part of your course and will take up an equal amount of time as your classroom studies at the University. It will give you practical experience so that you can apply what you learn in a real-world setting.

We currently partner with the following healthcare organisations in North West London for Learning Disabilities Nursing:

Fees and funding

For information please visit the UWL website.

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • PGDip
    full time
    24 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details

Course Information
0800 036 8888