Published on 18/09/2023
Some of the first cohort of nurses
Some of the first cohort of nursing students at Aston University
  • 39 nursing students started their studies at Aston University today
  • Nursing is the biggest workforce in the NHS with the most vacancies
  • The brand new programme is approved by the Nursing and Midwifery Council.

Aston Medical School has welcomed the first 39 students on its new Nursing Studies BSc (Hons) course.

The course was approved by the Nursing and Midwifery Council in September 2022 and began accepting applications in December 2022. The Nursing Studies team is delighted to have filled the course in the first year. The first cohort will graduate in 2026, and each successful graduate will be eligible to register with the Nursing and Midwifery Council as a Registered Nurse (Adult).

The programme director is Jayne Murphy, who explained that nursing is the biggest workforce in the NHS and has the biggest number of vacancies, with a large diversity of roles. Aston University is ideally placed to support the development of future nurses, with a dedicated academic team, modern facilities and many interprofessional learning opportunities with the other health programmes on campus – Medicine, Pharmacy, Biosciences, Optometry and Audiology.

Students will also benefit from a personalised approach to studies, assignments created to provide context to learning, and academic staff with significant experience in clinical practice and in education. Specialist backgrounds include hospital nursing, community nursing, advanced practice, medicine, surgery, critical care, orthopaedics, mental health and learning disability nursing. Honorary professors, including advanced practice expert Professor Julian Barratt and orthopaedic expert Professor Rebecca Jester, will further enhance studies.

Students will spend 50% of their time on work placements at various local hospital trusts including Sandwell and West Birmingham, the Royal Orthopaedic Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, University Hospitals Birmingham and Birmingham Community Healthcare Trust, as well as at nursing homes, hospices and GP practices. Placements will be in blocks so that students have the opportunity to consolidate their learning and feel part of the healthcare team in their placement areas.

Jayne says:

“We are so excited to welcome our first adult nursing students to Aston. We will make every effort to enhance the students’ experience of both the theoretical components and the practice components of the course so that they can connect the two together and develop into complete, fulfilled and enthusiastic future nurses who strive to make a difference to the communities they work with.”

Student nurse Sophia De La Rosa says:

“Aston University is a research university, it’s prestigious, and during my interview I really liked the tutors, so between all my options it was the best choice. I always wanted to get higher education, and now I’m here, I’m excited to get experience in my placements, gain knowledge, and make new friends.

"It was quite obvious to me to choose nursing. I’m a people person and I like helping people and nursing will be rewarding. When I was little, my mum was very ill and we had a nurse coming to our home. She inspired me to be like her. I wish I could contact that nurse and let her know what I am doing now. I came to the UK as an asylum seeker and the UK really helped me and supported me as my country never did, so I want to give something back to society.”

Professor Anthony Hilton, pro-vice-chancellor and executive dean of Aston University College of Health and Life Sciences says:

“I’m delighted to welcome our first cohort of student nurses to Aston Medical School. This new programme marks a significant milestone in the college’s established commitment to excellence in healthcare education. The programme will empower aspiring nurses with the knowledge, skills, and compassion needed to make a positive impact on the lives of individuals and communities. Fully integrated into our medical school with state-of-the-art clinical simulation facilities, I am confident that our new programme will produce the next generation of nurses with the knowledge and professional skills to work as part of multi-disciplinary clinical teams.” 

Notes to editors

About Aston University

Founded in 1895 and a university since 1966, Aston University is a long established university led by its three main beneficiary groups – students, business and the professions, and the West Midlands region and wider society. Located in Birmingham at the heart of a vibrant city, the campus houses all the University’s academic, social and accommodation facilities for our students. Professor Aleks Subic is the Vice-Chancellor & Chief Executive.

In 2022 Aston University was ranked in the top 25 of the Guardian University Guide, based on measures including entry standards, student satisfaction, research quality and graduate prospects. The Aston Business School MBA programme was ranked in the top 100 in the world in the Economist MBA 2021 ranking.

For media inquiries in relation to this release, contact Helen Tunnicliffe, Press and Communications Manager, on (+44) 7827 090240 or email:

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