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Becoming an autonomous practitioner: learning disabilities

Qualification dates
Start End

Becoming an autonomous practitioner: learning disabilities (KYN328) is a 60-credit practice module that sits alongside Assimilating nursing: knowledge and theory (KYN325) to form Stage 3 of the BSc (Honours) Nursing (R39). It builds on field-specific content from Stage 2 and allows you the opportunity to put into practice the knowledge you’ve acquired, and to develop this during Stage 3 for your development as a nearly qualified registrant with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC). You’ll study theoretical content related to nursing leadership and management of complex care. This includes safeguarding, medicines management, reflexive practice, and gaining a wider appreciation of the impact nurses and nursing leadership can have in healthcare. You will undertake this study alongside practice placement in clinical settings where you will be expected to complete your Practice Assessment Document.

What you will study

In this module, you will undertake 770 hours of practice learning. Alongside this you will also study five topics which will cover the following:

Topic 1 – Being a reflexive practitioner

  • Critical reflection
  • Critical awareness
  • Supervision and mentoring others

Topic 2 – Medicines management and optimisation

  • Medicines calculations
  • Complexity in medicines management, long term conditions and polypharmacy
  • Clinical trials
  • Preparation for becoming a registrant, accountability in practice

Topic 3 – Safeguarding across the lifespan

  • Safeguarding and the family context
  • Serious case reviews and public inquiries

Topic 4 – Global nursing leadership

  • Influential leadership
  • Impact on healthcare policy

Topic 5 – Preparing for graduate practice

  • Becoming autonomous
  • Political awareness
  • Leadership and managing complexities

Professional recognition

For students pursuing the BSc (Honours) Nursing (R39), this module is one of a set that together lead to the professional qualification of Registered Nurse (Part 1: NMC).

Entry requirements

This module is not available for standalone study. To study this module, you should be registered on the BSc (Honours) Nursing, and have:

  • satisfied the entry requirements for the qualification
  • normally completed the following OU level 1 modules: Introducing health and social care (KYN102) and Introduction to healthcare practice (KYN104), and the OU level 2 modules Understanding nursing: knowledge and theory (KYN210), and Developing nursing practice (KYN211) or demonstrate equivalent.
  • met the NMC entry requirements; demonstrated good character and health status through self-declaration; enhanced criminal disclosure; occupational health screening; review of previous sickness and absence; two references, including one from your current employer.
If you have any doubt about the suitability of the module, please speak to an adviser.

What's included

Online learning materials and resources. You will have access to a module website, through which teaching and library resources are available that provide links to current information and relevant research-based materials relating to module content.

Computing requirements

You’ll need broadband internet access and a desktop or laptop computer with an up-to-date version of Windows (10 or 11) or macOS Ventura or higher.

Any additional software will be provided or is generally freely available.

To join in spoken conversations in tutorials, we recommend a wired headset (headphones/earphones with a built-in microphone).

Our module websites comply with web standards, and any modern browser is suitable for most activities.

Our OU Study mobile app will operate on all current, supported versions of Android and iOS. It’s not available on Kindle.

It’s also possible to access some module materials on a mobile phone, tablet device or Chromebook. However, as you may be asked to install additional software or use certain applications, you’ll also require a desktop or laptop, as described above.

Teaching and assessment

Support from your tutor

Online tuition will be via synchronous Adobe Connect meetings with monthly 90-minute tutorials. Learning materials will be labelled as Core and Optional, but you'll be expected to study outside OU learning materials by seeking further information from the internet, as well as drawing on local trust and national policies to inform your tuition and practice.

Tutorials will run with groups of 20 students. Students seeking individual support will be able to do so with their tutor. You will also be supported in practice by a Practice Supervisor and a Practice Tutor who will act as your Academic Assessor. Your practice tutor may meet with you face-to-face or online.

Contact us if you want to know more about study with The Open University before you register.


The assessment details can be found in the facts box.

If you have a disability

The OU strives to make all aspects of study accessible to everyone and this Accessibility Statement outlines what studying KYN328 involves. You should use this information to inform your study preparations and any discussions with us about how we can meet your needs.

Future availability

Becoming an autonomous practitioner: learning disabilities starts three times a year – in April, July and November.

This page describes the module that will start in November 2024, April 2025 and July 2025. We expect it to start for the last time in July 2029.

Course work includes:

2 Tutor-marked assignments (TMAs)
2 Interactive computer-marked assignments (iCMAs)
End-of-module assessment