First year (Foundation year)
The first year is designed to develop your understanding of holistic healthcare and nursing practice with people across the lifespan in each of the fields of practice.
You will share learning with students from all fields of practice and undertake placements and simulated practice experience with children, adults and the elderly. As well as examining these areas through study and simulated practical skills, you will gain invaluable practical experience by completing a number of placements which expose you to different populations and fields of nursing practice.
You'll study the principles of nursing practice and nursing skills underpinned by relevant biological, pharmacological, psychological and social sciences and will gain an appreciation of the health and social needs of people and their families. You will also study core clinical skills and develop your academic and digital skills in order to gain an understanding of professional practice. The design of the course means that you may apply to change your field of practice at the end of the first year if you feel you have made a wrong choice, subject to availability.
You will study clinical modules specific to your field of practice and core modules which support your development as a nurse, these include the study of health promotion and healthcare in a social economic and political environment. There are 3 field specific clinical placements in hospital and community settings in your second year.
To progress onto year 3 of the Master of Nursing programme, you will need to have achieved an average of 55% or above in your assessed work at this stage. If you have passed all elements but your average grade is below 55% you will be transferred to the final year of the Bachelor of Nursing programme in order to complete your studies and achieve eligibility for nursing registration.
In year three you will focus on your academic development in research knowledge, leadership and on furthering career development. You will be able to explore potential nursing careers including a negotiated experience of your choice, either overseas or in the United Kingdom (UK). This aspect of the MNurs enables you to experience difference between clinical , academic and other nursing careers as well as potential for exposure to different healthcare systems. This will give you an understanding of the importance of leadership in nursing at a national and international level, its impact and potential for influencing health through leadership and/or research at a national and international level. Your experience could include for example, shadowing a relevant manager or management role, working in a research or clinical academic team or a short internship in a national or international healthcare or nursing related organisation or other related workplace setting. You could also be facilitated to consider a longer international or Erasmus placement.
You will also have the opportunity to undertake a 4 week elective experience, either overseas or in the United Kingdom (UK). In the UK electives can be arranged in hospices, prisons and other specialist units. International electives can be in health care settings in any continent of the world. Examples of countries where students have visited recently include Australia, Sri Lanka, The Philippines, Thailand, Tanzania, Greece, Canada and the USA. The elective enables you to experience differences in culture, clinical practice, healthcare systems and languages, which will benefit you as a Registered Nurse when managing care for people from different backgrounds and also gives an understanding of nursing as a global profession. It gives you the opportunity to further develop your self-confidence and organisational skills, through arranging your own elective experience with the support and guidance of academic staff.
You will also spend a further four weeks in a field related home placement to enable continuation of your clinical nursing skills. You'll futher develop your knowledge of pathophysiology to underpin the clinical assessment and diagnosis module in year four.
A research governance module is taken at Masters level and will prepare you for the ethical study and practice of clinical nursing research in year four.
Year four is studied completely at Masters level and there is a strong focus on the development of research and leadership as well as the transition of your nursing practice to becoming a registered nurse in your field of practice. You will work in student teams with a relevant clinical academic and with practice partners to refine and develop a research project, which will take place throughout the academic year. Further teaching and supervision of research methodology and evidence critique will support this.
To enhance your clinical development you will take an advanced assessment and diagnostics module that will develop your clinical examination skills and knowledge of related diagnostic testing. This module will support post registration preparation as a nurse prescriber if your future employment requires this.
A final assessed management placement will be supported with development in your leadership and management attributes within the clinical environment. The module will help you evaluate and manage risk, consider safe delegation and supervision decisions, manage change and facilitate own and others learning.
Your nursing practice is continuously developed and assessed throughout the programme by specially prepared supervisors and registered nursing assessors using the region wide Midlands, Yorkshire and East Practice Assessment Document (MYEPAD). At the University of Birmingham, you will have the opportunity to practice nursing in some of the country's leading healthcare foundation trusts gaining experience of a range of nursing environments and care settings including home, community and hospital settings in the Birmingham and Solihull area.
Throughout the programme your skill development will be supported through the simulated practice setting in the University. You will therefore undertake a range of diverse and exciting clinical placements, gaining a variety of experiences with a wide range of client groups, under the guidance of skilled clinicians.
In order to maximise your learning experience on clinical placements, practice placement teams organise teaching sessions, student forums and provide on-going clinical support for nursing students, practice supervisors and assessors. Lecturers from the University of Birmingham provide dedicated practice preparation and mid placement sessions to help you make the most of the practice experience. After each placement you are given the opportunity to evaluate your experience and this plays an important part in the ongoing quality assurance of the placement learning environment. Each year you will have a named academic assessor with responsibility for oversight of your overall progress and achievement.
Mental Health field of practice
You will have the opportunity to work with children and adolescents through to older adults with mental health problems. You will work in community, residential and hospital settings, gaining a wide range of clinical skills. More information can be found on the Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health Foundation Trust website.