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Building A Career In Nursing In The UK

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Nursing In The UK

Nursing is currently among the most employable course in the UK as most graduates of nursing are likely to get a job within six months of concluding their degree programme. The shortage in the nursing workforce in the UK has led to increasing demand for trained nurses in the UK, and as such, has attracted more international students to the nursing profession.

Typically, an undergraduate degree in nursing in the UK would take about three to four years, during which students are expected to cover a variety of courses in the field.

Mandatory courses in health and sciences, as well as hands-on internships in various community and medical centres, would be included in the student’s curriculum during the course of their study.

Students applying to study nursing in the UK would have to research the different specializations in nursing and then decide what area to specialize in.

There are universities, however, that offer “dual field” degree programmes to allow students to specialize in two fields of nursing during their course year. For this reason, it is necessary to understand these specialities and how they align with your interest before choosing an aspect to train in.

Four major fields of nursing offered at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels are:
• Adult nursing
• Children’s nursing
• Mental health nursing
• Learning disability nursing

Nursing in the UK

Career Paths To Nursing In The UK

There are other options for international students to study nursing in the UK that do not involve enrolling for a three or four-year nursing degree, one of these options is a top-up programme.

Top up programmes offer a flexible route for international students who have a diploma in nursing from outside the UK, to convert to a nursing degree in an accelerated programme that could last for about 12 -18 months, depending on the university’s policy.

Nursing in the UK

There is also the option of getting a postgraduate degree in nursing. Graduates from fields related to nursing, especially life sciences, can apply for a postgraduate course in nursing through a process called Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning – APEL. This program enables them study for a postgraduate degree in any of the fields in nursing in two years rather than three.

International students studying nursing at the undergraduate and postgraduate level are required to complete the Overseas Nursing Programme (ONP) during their course of study. This programme allows international students studying nursing to become certified as registered nurses in the UK, to work in either the National Health Service (NHS) or the private sector.

The ONP may be included as a part of undergraduate or postgraduate courses in International Nursing Studies and involves 400 hours of supervised practice placement.

After obtaining a nursing degree, a registered nurse in the UK is expected to earn an annual salary that ranges between £24,970 and £30,615 as a trainee. This annual pay will rise with more experience and qualifications.

Nursing in the UK

Entry Requirements For A Nursing Degree In The Uk

The increase in demand for nurses in the UK, coupled with the need for qualified nurses, has made nursing degree a very competitive area of study. This requires students to have a passion for the profession, acquire impressive numeracy and literacy skills for academic excellence, as well as great personality skills to offer the best care to patients.

Entry requirements for a degree in nursing in the UK vary depending on what speciality and university you choose to study.

Prospective nursing students would have to check the university’s entry requirements before applying to study.

For students who do not meet the necessary entry requirements, there are some courses offered in universities with a foundation year added to it to prepare the students on areas that would be covered in the degree course.

The typical requirements for nursing in the UK usually include the following:

• IELTS 7.0 overall, with no lower than 6.0 in any one component.
• At least three A-levels or their equivalent qualifications.
• A minimum of 5 GCSEs with none lower than a grade C, including Maths, English and science.
• An International Baccalaureate score of 30 points.

It is also necessary to have some work experience in caregiving roles, this would help emphasize one’s interest in the profession.

Many universities would include an interview stage with prospective students during their application. During these interviews, prospective students are likely to be questioned on their understanding of the nursing profession and the duties involved. This further emphasizes the need to have experiences in the healthcare sector.

International students applying to study nursing full time would have applied through the Universities and Colleges Admission Service (UCAS), while students applying for part-time courses would have to contact their university of choice to find out the application process.

Cost Of Studying Nursing In The UK

The cost of studying nursing in the UK as an international student ranges from £14,000 – £30,000 per annum, depending on the programme and university of choice.

The UK, however, introduced a financial support scheme for undergraduate and postgraduate student nurses effective from 2021 entries, where eligible students can receive at least £5,000 up to £8,000 every year during the course of their degree programme.

Top Universities To Apply To For Sept. 2021 and January 2022 Admission

If you are considering applying for a nursing degree in the UK, here are a couple of universities offering nursing degrees that are accepting applications for September 2021 and January 2022.

Coventry University: Coventry’s School of Nursing, Midwifery and Health is one of the largest Schools in the University and delivers undergraduate, postgraduate and doctoral courses for a range of health professions including nursing, midwifery, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, dietetics, paramedic science and operating department practice. Applications for January 2022 admissions are currently open for undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in nursing.

University of Hertfordshire: The School of Health and Social Works offers pre-registration and post-registration courses for nursing that provides a solid foundation in nursing practice. The University of Hertfordshire is currently taking applications for nursing courses for January 2022 admission.

University of Lincoln: The University of Lincoln offers three distinct nursing programmes, specializing in adult, child and mental health, recognizing the challenges facing current and future healthcare and nursing practices. Applications for undergraduate and postgraduate entries for January 2022 are open.

University of Dundee: The School of Health is accepting applications for undergraduate and postgraduate admissions into nursing degrees in Adult Nursing, Child Nursing and Mental health Nursing for September 2021.

De-Montfort University: De-Montfort University offers a variety of undergraduate and postgraduate courses in nursing where students are provided excellence in teaching and research with innovative approaches to learning. Application for September 2021 admissions are still open for some nursing courses.


For more insights on universities that you can apply to for a degree in Nursing in the UK and guidance regarding your application, please click here to chat with our education counsellors.



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