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BSc (Hons) Nursing (Learning Disabilities)

  • New government grants available from September 2020 for new and continuing degree-level students. You may be eligible for additional support of at least £5,000 a year which you won't need to pay back.
  • This course may be eligible for an additional £1,000 on top of this. You may also be eligible for an additional £1,000 towards childcare costs to help balance your studies with family life.

Due to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic, examinations may be replaced by an alternative form of assessment during the academic year 2020/2021. Please refer to the Programme Specification on these pages for further details.

Opportunities to learn across a diverse range of placements
Opportunities to learn across a diverse range of placements
Academic support rated highly by 94% of students (NSS 2019)
Academic support rated highly by 94% of students (NSS 2019)
Maximise the potential of people with learning disabilities
Maximise the potential of people with learning disabilities

Why choose this course?

The Learning Disability Nursing degree pathway offers students the opportunity to take up the challenge of ensuring that the health care needs of people with learning disabilities are addressed using using a holistic approach, both within mainstream and specialist services.

  • Enhance the person's health and well-being.
  • Improve or maintain a range of complex developmental, physical, psychological and mental health needs.
  • Work in partnership with people with a learning disability, their families / carers and other health and social care professionals.
  • Reduce barriers to disability and promote social inclusion.
  • Support people with a learning disability to achieve a life which is as fulfilling as possible by maintaining their rights, choice and independence.

What's the course about?

As a learning disabilities nurse, you’ll have the challenging yet rewarding job of caring for people with a range of special needs. This pre-registration course gives you the knowledge, skills and attitudes to enhance a person’s health and wellbeing, and improve or maintain a range of complex developmental, physical, psychological and mental health needs. You’ll work in partnership with people with learning disabilities, their families, carers and other health and social care professionals. Ultimately, you’ll help people with learning disabilities to live a life that’s as fulfilling as possible. As with our other nursing courses, you’ll take a variety of clinical work placements.

What will I study?

The Learning Disability field programme comprises both theory and practice in a range of experiences in a diversity of settings. The aim is to enable you to develop the knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary to assess, plan, implement and evaluate the total nursing care of individuals who have learning disabilities in partnership with their families/carers and other professionals.

A range of teaching and learning approaches will be used. Teaching approaches will include; lectures, seminars, group work/projects, role play, tutorials, practice experience, course work, problem-based learning, internet technologies and reflection as an integrating technique between theory and practice.

'The best thing about studying at the University is the level of support we receive. The staff are very supportive and want everyone to succeed so they invest their time to enable us to achieve our goals. In addition, the resources and facilities are world class.'

Jamila Noah Foissang

BSc (Hons) Nursing (Learning Disabilities)

Student Blogs

Rosemary - Week at a glance

My typical day

As I am balancing university with raising a family, I always try to keep up a good routine. I normally get up every day at 5:45 am and make myself some coffee to wake me up as I am not a morning person. Before another exciting day at university, I do a few house chores like taking out the meat from the freezer for supper and just taking note that all the ingredients are there if not, I will then make a list to pick those up on my way from university in the evening.

About 7 am I am ready to embrace my beautiful day. It takes me about forty-five minutes to reach the university campus. So, it is a long commute for me, but I do enjoy this ride every day. I usually start my lessons at about 9 am. Lunch is a big thing for most of us as students we need to keep healthy. There are several food shops/restaurants within the campus and their food is excellent and delicious, at times I try to bring my own home-cooked food too as it is a good way of keeping healthy as well as saving some pounds each day.

After lunch, if we do not have a lesson, I usually go to the library with my classmates to do some research or just to study for the next lesson. University lessons usually end at about 5 pm. In the evening, I sometimes assist my teenage son with his homework and prepare the family meal. After the meal, my elder daughter does the washing up. During the times that I do not cook, I use my time to do my research and to prepare for the following day of university and relax a bit. I do watch TV as a relaxation time before I go to bed. I also use this time to call my family. I am usually in bed at about 11 pm at the latest so that I can be well-rested and up in time the following day. This seems like a hard day but the rewards are priceless.

Student Blogs

Rosemary - About my course

About my course


I had applied to 3 universities and had my interviews at the University of Hertfordshire and Aston University. I was offered a conditional offer at herts and at Aston University it was an unconditional offer. The condition was that I had to pass my access to nursing with certain grades to meet the UCAS points that were needed. The night before the results day I was in a panic as most of my friends had already been granted unconditional offers.

This made me more nervous as these results were more important in my educational life. Failing meant I was not going to make it to university. I remember getting agitated and restless the whole day. I tried to sleep but I couldn't. I kept on checking my clock just to make sure I wouldn't oversleep and miss out on the important day of my life. Time went by and before I blinked it was already the special day everyone was waiting for. "Fingers crossed, fingers crossed, fingers..." I kept repeating the words as I got dressed and ready for the challenge. On one hand, I was excited and on the other, I was a nervous wreck. It didn't mean as much to the others because they already had their places at university. I couldn't eat my stomach was aching from panic.

I arrived at college very early that day and it was sunny and beautiful. Everyone looked busy and excited. We waited in the queue to collect our results and this took forever making me even more nervous. I could hear my heartbeat and my breathing getting intense. One of my college tutors came to have a talk with us and to reassure us that we had all passed. As soon as I collected my results, I took myself to a quiet place to check my results. It turned out that I was worrying myself for no reason as I had passed with flying colours. I was able to choose the university of my choice.

Herts was my dream university as I had heard so many good things about it. Most of my friends and relatives have been at this university and they had had a great experience. I can say that for the past few months that I have been here I can gladly say this is the best of my days at university and I know my years of education here will be the best.

Student Blogs

Rosemary - Why I chose Herts

Why I chose Herts

I have chosen Learning Disability Nursing because I am passionate about helping people who have learning disabilities, to be their voice and their helper. I love to make a difference in their well-being so that they can live their lives fully and independently as possible. This nursing group has smaller numbers than other fields of nursing. There is a shortage of learning disabilities nurses, therefore, I chose to be one so that I can be part of the community that helps people with learning disabilities and their families.

I love the positive changes that I know learning disability nurses can bring about. It makes me so happy to see the faces of parents lighting up when they can actively access the community activities with their children. It is a rewarding profession for me as at the end of the day I can look back and see what I have done, like putting a smile on someone's face or held someone's hand and be lost in their world. I love to spend time with someone and their family to feel how they are feeling and to be able to assist in knowing the best way to do the job. At the University of Hertfordshire. I am very lucky as I have the best of everything.

The resources are plentiful, we have 2 large Learning Resource Centres (LRCs) across both campuses and all the people who work in the LRCs are all so helpful. All the tutors are so happy to help even those who are not your actual tutors. Our class is small so it feels like a family. I really appreciate our personal tutor. She is an amazing lady. She makes us feel at home, makes learning funny and interesting. The University of Hertfordshire is the best thing that has happened to me as I am stress-free since I started my educational journey here. There is all the help that one needs here, whether it is financial, well-being or academic all you need to do is to ask for it. I would not change it for the world, I am loving here at the University of Hertfordshire.

Student Blogs

Fraser - Unibuddy

Please note that some of the images and videos on our course pages may have been taken before social distancing rules in the UK came into force.