MSc Adult Nursing / Course details

Year of entry: 2024

Course unit details:
Knowledge & Skills for Nursing 1

Course unit fact file
Unit code NURS70011
Credit rating 45
Unit level FHEQ level 7 – master's degree or fourth year of an integrated master's degree
Teaching period(s) Semester 1
Available as a free choice unit? No


This is an introductory unit in which students will learn about the ‘person’ in the patient whose health is impacted by their social circumstances. They will be introduced to a holistic approach to nursing care with the patient and family firmly at the centre, which is supported by theory and research evidence. Students will learn about the:

  • Context of care including epidemiology and public/population health, social determinants of health/health inequalities, settings for health care, the NHS Long Term Plan
  • Biosciences  for nursing including anatomy, physiology, pathology and pathophysiology of the main body systems, and pharmacology
  • Skills for nursing (with underpinning evidence) including reflection, communication skills, health promotion/illness prevention, person-centred care, key clinical skills, safeguarding, nursing people with learning disabilities and common mental health problems

In addition, students will be exposed to another field of nursing:  Learning Disabilities


  • Prepare students for Level 7 study and introduce them to the foundations of adult nursing. This is an introductory unit that will prepare students for their first practice placement, and life-long learning.

Knowledge and understanding

  • Knowledge, critical understanding and application of the proficiencies associated with accountable professional practice within the discipline of adult nursing.
  • Ability to critique and evaluate the philosophies, models and frameworks for legal, ethical, safe and competent adult nursing care.
  • Critical understanding of the application of sociological theories to adult nursing, and a critical awareness of how health and social care philosophy and policy translate into ethical and evidence-based nursing practice.
  • Ability to critique the application of the principles of public health and health promotion both to their own wellbeing and to the wellbeing of service users in the context of the wider determinants of health and ill health, and the needs of the population of Greater Manchester and the UK.
  • Knowledge and critical understanding of the concepts of human anatomy, physiology, pathophysiology, pathology and pharmacology that underpin the assessment of health needs and the planning, implementation and evaluation of person-centred care from conception to death.
  • Ability to effectively retrieve and critically appraise a range of data/information that underpins and informs the evidence base for adult nursing practice. 
  • Critical understanding and application of a variety of research methodologies and methods. 

Intellectual skills

On successful completion of this unit students will demonstrate:

  • Skills in critical evaluation, synthesis and application of knowledge and research evidence from a range of sources and disciplines.
  • Originality in the application of knowledge and research evidence whilst appreciating its limits and having the confidence to challenge orthodoxy.
  • Logical and systematic thinking and the ability to draw reasoned conclusions and sustainable judgements, engaging effectively in debate about current research and advanced scholarship in the discipline.
  • Ability to critically reflect on their own professional development to identify abilities, limitations and opportunities to improve their performance as practitioner, supervisor and educator in a range of practice settings. 
  • Ability to act with professional integrity, demonstrating fitness to practice, purpose and achievement of the NMC (2018) standards for pre-registration nursing. 

Practical skills

On successful completion of the unit graduates will be able to:

  • Effectively communicate and manage relationships with individuals of all ages with a range of mental, physical, cognitive and behavioural health challenges.
  • Undertake systematic, holistic assessment and accurate recording of the health and social needs of individuals, groups and communities, drawing on evidence from the forefront of the discipline.
  • Create and maintain safe environments of care through the effective use of quality assurance and risk management strategies.
  • Demonstrate the ability to deal with complex issues both systematically and creatively, make sound judgements in the absence of complete data, and communicate their conclusions clearly to specialist and non-specialist audiences.
  • Adapt and respond appropriately to changing situations of care, demonstrating commitment to the principles of inter-professional learning and working whist acting independently where appropriate.

Transferable skills and personal qualities

On successful completion of the unit graduates will be able to:

  • Exercise initiative and demonstrate the academic skills and curiosity required for continued professional development, for entering higher-level study, or for scholarly output.
  • Manage both independent study and the demands of professional practice effectively.  
  • Demonstrate excellent digital literacy to develop fundamental skills for life-long learning.
  • Demonstrate advanced verbal, non – verbal and written communication skills in a variety of settings with a range of individuals.
  • Demonstrate competent public speaking and presentation skills to accurately and reliably communicate information to a live audience that may include peers or practice colleagues. 
  • Work co – operatively, effectively and equally with colleagues as a member of a team.
  • Critically reflect on their academic and professional performance, individual leadership, communication, negotiation and interpersonal skills.

Assessment methods

Method Weight
Other 19%
Written assignment (inc essay) 44%
Report 37%

The 'Other' assessment is a VLOG (videoed 10-minute presentation) focused on how social determinants impact on an individual with a long-term condition.

Feedback methods

Students will normally have the opportunity to receive feedback on formative work submitted prior to the summative assessment. Other feedback opportunities will also be available in class and online discussion boards. Online feedback is provided in Grademark. Provisional feedback based on internal marking will be made available prior to the Exam Board on the basis that these marks are yet to be ratified at the Exam Board and therefore may be subject to change. A standard feedback mechanism in Grademark is utilised across all postgraduate programmes within the School which provides detailed and constructive feedback on each component and aspect of assessment and identifies areas of strength and those aspects which could be enhanced.

Student feedback is obtained through open discussion forums on blackboard, in class discussions, via formal University unit evaluation forms and also qualitative, in house evaluations at the end of the unit. 

Recommended reading

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Lectures 160
Independent study hours
Independent study 290

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Brendan Garry Unit coordinator

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