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Nursing (Learning Disabilities) BSc (Hons)

UCAS code: B761

Do you want to help children and adults with learning disabilities reach their potential? Gain eligibility to register as a qualified learning disability nurse with the Nursing and Midwifery Council.


Course length: 3 years full-time
Start dates: September 2024
Location: Edge Hill University
Example offers: BCC-BBC (A Level) or DMM (BTEC) View full entry criteria
Subject(s): Nursing
Faculty: Health, Social Care and Medicine
Department: Nursing and Midwifery
Seven students sit around three tables in a seminar room in the Faculty of Health, Social Care and Medicine.

Be a brilliant advocate. Meet health and social needs. Break down barriers as you help people with learning disabilities live independently. To prepare you to work with individuals of all ages, you’ll learn how to support individuals and their families, whatever hurdles they face.

You’ll deepen your understanding of the needs of those with learning disabilities, as well as your awareness of changes and challenges in the healthcare world.

Learn how to conduct physical, psychological, mental, social and emotional need assessments of adults and children with learning disabilities. You’ll get valuable hands-on experience during simulated scenarios and working placements.

You’ll graduate as a professional and compassionate learning disability nurse. Completing this course means you’ll be eligible to register as a qualified learning disability nurse with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC).

Nursing and Midwifery Council logo.

Course features

  • Professional accreditation

  • Professional practice placements

What you'll study

This course adheres closely to the six core values of the NHS. These values, enshrined within the NHS Constitution, have been developed by patients, the public and staff to inspire passion in the NHS, guide it in the 21st century, and provide common ground for cooperation in achieving shared aspirations.

In Year 1 of our BSc (Hons) Nursing (Learning Disabilities), you’ll explore The Foundations of Nursing Practice. Learn how to deliver safe and effective care within the field of learning disability nursing. You’ll start to build the communication skills, personal resilience and emotional intelligence required for a career in nursing. Get hands on experience in our Clinical Skills and Simulation Centre to prepare for your placements, where you’ll care for people with learning disabilities.

Build on your knowledge with Developing Proficiencies for Nursing in Year 2. We’ll focus on the practice of planning, implementing and evaluating the care you deliver, and identify ways that nurses can lead and improve care quality. Engage with research and how it informs nursing practice. Apply your knowledge in simulated situations, and take on placements where you’ll provide care which meets the complex needs of clients with a learning disability, and their families and carers.

In Year 3, Preparing for the Role of the Registered Nurse helps prepare you for life as a learning disability professional. You’ll add to your knowledge by focusing on clinical reasoning in care provision, leading teams, and supervising others, to ensure the best care for your clients. We’ll delve into the political, legal, organisational and prescribing frameworks, and you’ll get hands on experience of clinical approaches during simulated scenarios and placements.

How you'll study

Seminars, lectures, work-based learning and tutorials will be used to deliver this programme. Some modules also include enquiry-based and technology enhanced learning. While the majority of classes will take place at Edge Hill University, some modules may involve studying at sites other than Ormskirk in which case you will be responsible for travel and parking costs.

You will spend 50% of your time in practice which will be undertaken predominantly in community settings within NHS, local authority, independent and voluntary sector organisations. Practice settings will be drawn from our network of more than 600 placement locations across Merseyside, Cheshire and Lancashire. You will be supported by a practice placement assessor and supervisor.

Placements will include weekend, early morning, evening and night work to ensure access to a full range of practice experiences across 24-hour care. You will be responsible for travel and parking costs while on placement. There is also an opportunity to undertake a practice learning experience outside the region, within the United Kingdom or internationally.

Timetables for your first week are normally available at the end of August prior to enrolment in September. You can expect to receive your timetable for the rest of the academic year during your first week. Please note that while we make every effort to ensure that timetables are as student-friendly as possible, scheduled teaching can take place on any day of the week. Wednesday afternoons are normally reserved for sports and cultural activities.

How you'll be assessed

In each year, you will be assessed by written coursework, an oral task, a simulated practical exercise and an online time-limited assessment.

While on practice placement, you will be supported in the development of the application of knowledge and skills, leading to the assessment of related proficiencies.

Who will be teaching you

All lectures are delivered by professionals within the field of nursing as well as specialists in other areas.

The programme team represent a range of qualified, research-active professionals with extensive experience of working within the health and/or social care sector.

Most importantly, service users, carers and their families will be involved in facilitating your learning so that you gain an understanding about the impact care has on individual groups.

Entry criteria

Entry requirements

Typical offer 104-112 UCAS Tariff points, for which no specific subjects are required, plus GCSE English Language and GCSE Mathematics at Grade C or Grade 4 or above (or equivalent).

An interview forms part of the selection process.

If you accept an offer from Edge Hill you will need to satisfy the requirements of the Nursing & Midwifery Council in respect of physical and mental fitness and will be required to apply for a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) Enhanced Disclosure indicating that you meet the mandatory criteria of ‘Clearance to Work with Children and/or Vulnerable Adults’. Further information will be sent to you after you have firmly accepted an offer.

Example offers

Qualification Requirement
A Level BCC-BBC.
BTEC Extended Diploma (or combination of BTEC QCF qualifications) Distinction, Merit, Merit (DMM).
T Level Overall grade of Merit.
International Baccalaureate (IB) We are happy to accept IB qualifications which achieve the required number of UCAS Tariff points.
Access to Higher Education Diploma 45 credits at Level 3, for example 9 credits at Distinction and 36 credits at Merit or 15 credits at Distinction and 30 credits at Merit. The required total can be attained from various credit combinations.

Please note, the above examples may differ from actual offers made. A combination of A Level and BTEC awards may also be accepted.

If you have a minimum of two A Levels (or equivalent), there is no maximum number of qualifications that we will accept UCAS points from. This includes additional qualifications such as Extended Project Qualification (EPQ), AS Levels that haven't been continued to A Level, and General Studies AS or A Level awards.

How to apply

Apply full-time

Apply online through UCAS

Read our guide to applying through UCAS to find out more about the application process.


EU/EEA and Swiss students who have settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme, as well as Irish nationals, are eligible to apply for this course.

Unfortunately this course is not available to other international students. Please see our A-Z of courses for alternative options.

Should you accept an offer of a place to study with us and formally enrol as a student, you will be subject to the provisions of the regulations, rules, codes, conditions and policies which apply to our students. These are available at

Did you know?

If you join a full time undergraduate degree at Edge Hill University, we will guarantee you the offer of a room in our halls of residence for the first year of your course.

Discover our accommodation


Faculty of Health, Social Care and Medicine

The Faculty of Health, Social Care and Medicine offers outstanding facilities for the education and training of health and social care professionals.

The contemporary teaching and learning resources include leading edge clinical skills facilities, an 860-seat lecture theatre, and a variety of teaching rooms and social learning spaces.

Where you'll study

Clinical Skills and Simulation Centre

Faculty of Health, Social Care and Medicine

Learning resources

The Clinical Skills and Simulation Centre offers a variety of simulated environments from home, through primary and emergency care, to secondary care and beyond. The flexible and adaptable facilities include a ward environment, operating theatre, an anatomy and ultrasound resource centre, a ‘Better at Home’ suite, clinical skills area and consultation rooms.

You will benefit from access to a wide variety of healthcare equipment, as well as a range of full-body patient simulators that can breathe, talk, have pulses and can simulate a wide range of symptoms and clinical conditions. This will enable you to undertake practical scenarios in realistic settings, providing ideal preparation for professional practice placements and future employment.


Tuition fees

UK Full-Time


a year

The University may administer a small inflationary rise in tuition fees, in line with Government policy, in subsequent academic years as you progress through the course.

EU/EEA and Swiss students who have settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme, as well as Irish nationals, may be eligible for the UK tuition fee rate.

Financial support

Students on this course may be entitled to the NHS Learner Support Fund if eligible. Visit the NHS Business Services Authority website for further information.

Subject to eligibility, UK students joining this course can apply for a Tuition Fee Loan from the Government to cover the full cost of tuition fees. UK students enrolling on the course may also be eligible to apply for additional maintenance loan funding to help with living costs. Please view the relevant Money Matters guide for comprehensive information about the financial support available to eligible UK students, together with details of how to apply for potential funding.

EU/EEA and Swiss students who have settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme may be eligible to apply for financial support. Irish nationals can ordinarily apply to Student Universal Support Ireland (SUSI). Please see our EU student finance page for further details.

Your future career

When you graduate from our nursing degree specialising in learning disabilities, you’ll be eligible to register as a qualified learning disability nurse with the Nursing and Midwifery Council.

Learning disability nurses are found in all areas of health, social care and education, as well as prisons and the criminal justice system. With the skills and knowledge developed through our degree, you’ll be able to support people in roles like:

  • community learning disability nurse
  • nurse specialist in learning disabilities
  • learning disability acute liaison nurse
  • positive behaviour support practitioner
  • specialist practitioner

Following registration with the Nursing and Midwifery Council, you can search for roles in settings such as:

  • residential homes (children and adult)
  • supported living accommodation
  • assessment and treatment units
  • specialist community learning disability teams
  • acute hospitals
  • criminal justice
  • prisons

Some students may wish to specialise with further study. You could investigate career paths for school nurses or health visitors. You may prefer to work as a specialist practitioner, or choose to undertake specific training with CAMHS (Child Adolescent Mental Health Service), such as cognitive behaviour therapy or other therapeutic programmes.

Course changes

Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this information, however our courses are subject to ongoing review and development. Changing circumstances may necessitate alteration to, or the cancellation of, courses.

Changes may be necessary to comply with the requirements of professional bodies, revisions to subject benchmarks statements, to keep courses updated and contemporary, or as a result of student feedback. We reserve the right to make variations if we consider such action to be necessary or in the best interests of students.

Track changes to this course

Discover Uni: Full-Time Study

Download our course leaflet