Course outline and modules
This course aligns to the key principles of the NHS Constitution, derived from extensive discussions with staff, patients and the public. These principles inspire passion in the NHS and provide a common ground for cooperation in achieving shared aspirations, at all levels of the NHS. Upon successful completion of the course, you can apply for registration with The Nursing and Midwifery Council as a Registered Nurse (Adult).
You will study topics that are fundamental to nursing, ensuring you have a solid foundation upon which to build your knowledge and skills over the course of three years. You will develop the skills needed to care compassionately for patients, and explore theories and concepts to boost your understanding of patient nursing needs.
You will be kept up to date with the leading improvements in health and social care which will prepare you for professional practice.
A large amount of your learning will be the application of theory into practice, such as delivering care to people and their families at home, in the community, or in the hospital environment. The programme will help you to understand the key health priorities for adults, to consider how you can enable people to live healthily, manage acute illness, and adapt to living with long-term health conditions.
Practice learning placements are a large part of your study experience. You will spend 50% of your study time in practice, which will be undertaken in various clinical environments. This will support you in gaining experience in different clinical areas in organisations that offer specialist services. You will also have the opportunity to experience a placement in an alternative setting in the UK, or abroad. We also partner with high-level NHS Trust clinical environments in the West Midlands, which provides a collaborative approach to learning, clinical placements, and quality assurance.
This three-year course runs over 45 weeks each year. There are 3 year-long modules, incorporating both theory and practice.
- Year 1
In your first year, you will focus on the fundamental needs of people with a diverse range of health and dependency needs, including physical and emotional care requirements. You will study topics such as anatomy, physiology and pharmacology, health and well-being across the lifespan, assessing needs and planning care, evidence-based practice, communication and professional, ethical and legal values. You will work collaboratively with the inter-professional team, service users and their families and will be supported to reflect on your knowledge, skills and practice experiences to progress into year two.
Module: The Fundamentals of Nursing Practice: This gives you the knowledge and competencies needed to deliver safe and effective care. You will get hands-on experience during practice exercises, and we link this to the theories that underpin contemporary nursing.
- Year 2
During your second year, you will develop your knowledge and skills to provide care for long-term conditions, and for patients in different healthcare settings. You will gain an appreciation for managing transition in care needs, developing your decision-making skills, and explore the underpinning theories that influence the way patient care is provided.
Module: Developing Adult Nursing Practice: You will build on your knowledge by engaging with research, and explore how it informs nursing practice, applying knowledge in simulated situations, and attending placements in areas that meet the complex needs of patients.
At the end of year 2, you will undertake a student experience placement of your choice which is negotiated with your programme academics.
- Year 3
In your third year, you will learn how to effectively assess and manage patients with increasingly complex conditions, analysing and debating a range of options and evidence to inform treatment and management decisions. Year 3 focuses on consolidating your knowledge and building your confidence for practice, to be ready for professional registration.
You will prepare for the role of the Registered Nurse by consolidating your knowledge of care provision, leading teams and supervising others. You will have the opportunity to practise your clinical approaches within simulated scenarios and placements in order to develop your confidence in line with the NMC Future Nurse Standards (2018).
You will spend 50% of your time in practice which will be undertaken in community and hospitals setting within the NHS, local authority, independent and voluntary organisations. Practice settings will be drawn from our placement locations across the region. You will be supported by a practice placement assessor and supervisor. While on practice placement, you will be supported in the development of the application of knowledge and skills, leading to the assessment of related proficiencies.
Placements include weekend, early morning, evening and night work to ensure access to a full range of practice experiences across 24-hour care. You will be responsible for travel and parking costs while on placement. There is also an opportunity to undertake a practice learning experience outside the region, either within the United Kingdom or internationally.
Your annual leave is scheduled throughout the year. You must complete 2300 hours of practice learning over 3 years. Placements are allocated to ensure that the hours required to register are completed within the programme.
After graduating from our course, you'll be a confident, autonomous practitioner, driven and committed to advocate and meet the needs of patients and their families.
The Learning Support Fund enables nursing students to claim travel expenses whilst on practice placement:
The hub for student nurses is designed in collaboration with students to help support you in your studies and journey into your healthcare career.
Five GCSEs all at grade C/4 or above and must include Maths and English Language/Literature. A Pass in Maths/English Functional skills Level 2 will be accepted in lieu of GCSE Maths/English.
- A Levels
- BBB in any three A Levels
- BBC in any three A Levels for contextual offer students.*
We welcome applications from students who have tried to improve their examination grades by taking resits and only your latest grades will be accepted. We treat these applications in exactly the same way as other applications.
BTEC Qualification Name BTEC grades required A Level Requirements Extended Diploma (QCF/National) Distinction,
The BTEC subject must be Health and Social Care or Science subjects, with which you do not require an additional A Level. Diploma (QCF)National Diploma Distinction, Distinction (DD) The BTEC subject must be Health and Social Care or Science subjects, with which you must also achieve a grade B one A Level subject
Subsidiary Diploma (QCF)
National Extended Certificate
Distinction (D) The BTEC subject must be Health and Social Care or Science subjects, with which you must also achieve grades BB in two A Level subjects
90 Credit Diploma (QCF)
Distinction, Distinction (DD) The BTEC subject must be Health and Social Care or Science subjects, with which you must also achieve grades BB in two A Level subjects National Foundation Diploma Distinction (D) The BTEC subject must be Health and Social Care or Science subjects, with which you must also achieve grades BB in two A Level subjects
- T Levels
We accept grade Distinction in any of the below subjects:
- Healthcare Science
- International Baccalaureate Diploma
31 points overall and must include grades 5, 5, 5 in Higher Level subjects. You must also have Standard Level grade 5 in both Mathematics and English Language.
29 points overall, three Higher Level subjects at 5 5 4. You must also have Standard Level grade 5 in both Maths and English Language for contextual offer students.*
- CACHE Qualifications
NCFE CACHE Level 3 Extended Diploma in Health and Social Care – Grade B.
- Access to Higher Education
We accept the QAA-recognised Access Diploma which must consist of 45 credits at Level 3. You must obtain a minimum of 30 distinction and the rest must be at merit or distinction.With this qualification, you must also have GCSE Maths and GCES English Language/Literature grade C/4. A Pass in Maths/English Functional skills Level 2 will be accepted in lieu of GCSE Maths/English.
- External Foundation Programmes from another University
We consider applicants for year 1 entry who are undertaking a foundation programme elsewhere on a case-by-case basis. However, applications will only be considered where you meet the GCSEs and A Level (or equivalent) requirements as listed. Alongside this you must have gained (or be expected to gain) 60% overall and 120 credits with no fails at another recognised university. In order to be considered you will need to submit a UCAS application as we do not accept direct applications, and this must include an academic reference.
We consider applicants for year 1 entry who are undertaking a degree elsewhere. You must meet the GCSEs and A Level (or equivalent) requirements as listed. Alongside this you must have gained (or be expected to gain) 60% overall and 120 credits with no fails at another recognised university. In order to be considered you will need to submit a UCAS application as we do not accept direct applications, and this must include an academic reference.
We are not accepting applications for second year transfers for 2023.
Year 3/final year:
We do not accept any transfers into year 3 or final year of this programme
View our Transfers Policy
For further information regarding the transfers policy and Student Transfer Arrangements please see here.
- Age of qualifications
Applicants presenting qualifications between 3 - 10 years will be considered on a case-by-case basis by the Academic Admissions Lead.
Applicants who meet our minimum requirements will be invited to a small panel interview. Interviews last 30-45 minutes and typically involve a nursing academic tutor and a practice partner. The interview is a compulsory element of the selection process and we cannot issue offers to applicants who haven’t had a satisfactory interview.
- International Applicants
Unfortunately, we cannot accept applications for our BSc Nursing Studies (Registered Adult Nurse) programme from international fee payers for 2024 entry. If you apply with an unknown fee status and you meet all requirements for an offer, your fee status will be assessed before any offer can be made.
- Further Requirements
Due to the nature of this course and in line with national requirements, you will be required to complete a series of checks and screenings, in addition to adhering to a number of regulations and policies. Full details can be found here.
Enhanced Level Criminal Records Bureau check (known as a DBS check) and Fitness to Practise Regulations Health screening assessments: Before starting the nursing programme at Aston, you will be invited to complete an online health questionnaire. This is part of the clearance process, and you will not be allowed to commence your programme if you have not completed your health questionnaire. Following the completion of the questionnaire and the health screening process, we may review students identified as having a long-term health condition during the first term to establish any additional support and/or adjustments both when in theory and also during practice placements. As a nursing student, you must comply with the Department of Health guidelines on immunisations and screening to protect you and your patients during the course of your work. We therefore require you to be vaccinated for some infectious diseases before you commence your practice placement if you do not already have immunity. All accepted candidates to the nursing programme will be required to provide appropriate evidence of immunisation against rubella, measles, tuberculosis, varicella and hepatitis B.
During your time on your programme, there may be a requirement for you to contact occupational health for example if you sustain a needle or splash injury. Some students may experience changes to their health and need to be reviewed by occupational health. As well as supporting you for any health conditions, occupational health will also be able to assess whether any further adjustments are necessary to help support you in your practice placements.
View our Admissions Policy under the 'Respect' tab on our Principles and Policies page.
Whilst the grades listed here are our entry requirements, we understand that predicted grades are only an estimate. We will therefore consider applicants with predicted grades that fall below these entry requirements if the application is of a high standard (however, initial offers will not be lower than stated above).
*For details on our Aston Ready contextual offer scheme, please see here.
The information contained on this website details the typical entry requirements for this course for the most commonly offered qualifications. Applicants with alternative qualifications may wish to enquire with the relevant admissions teams prior to application whether or not their qualifications are deemed acceptable. For less commonly encountered qualifications this will be judged on a case-by-case basis in consultation with the academic admissions tutor.
Learning, teaching and assessment
This course is delivered by seminars, lectures, work-based learning, tutorials, and technology enhanced learning environments such as our new highly advanced clinical simulation suite.
You will learn from a multidisciplinary team of lecturers, who are all healthcare professionals with experience working in the NHS. You will study a hands-on, clinical curriculum, where you’ll learn to meet the diverse needs of people and you will have access to our clinical simulation environments to practise real scenarios on lifelike adult manikins and actors.
You'll spend 50 per cent of your time on placement in the community, in hospitals, and in our skills and simulation areas, developing valuable hands-on skills. You will work with patients, carers, and other healthcare students and healthcare professionals. Placement opportunities include district nursing, GP practice nursing, integrated community teams, medical and surgical wards, oncology, Intensive Care Units, Accident and Emergency Units, coronary care, and operating theatres.
You will be assessed through a combination of written and oral examinations, class tests, individual and group coursework, projects, presentations, and practical assessments.
The assessment strategy is designed to match the module aims and learning outcomes and will provide you with the opportunity to demonstrate practical skills, knowledge, and written and verbal communication skills. Assessments follow the same approach in years 1, 2 and 3 so that you can understand what assessment to expect, and be able to prepare accordingly. Our approach to assessments increases opportunities for employability, as it maximises the opportunity to practise skills that are expected in the working environment, such as presenting information and performing clinical skills competently.
Academic assessment will be completed alongside practice-based proficiencies, in order to achieve the criteria set by the Nursing and Midwifery Council, (NMC 2018). Progression will be confirmed by the practice assessor and the assigned academic assessor.
Students must pass all summative assessments and professionalism to pass the course. Professionalism will include assessment of attendance, engagement and professional conduct.
On successful completion of the programme, you will be able to apply for registration with The Nursing and Midwifery Council as a Registered Nurse (Adult). We prepare you to be a confident, autonomous practitioner, driven and committed to advocating and meeting the needs of patients and their families.
Key staff: Jayne Murphy
Senior Teaching Fellow in Nursing.
Fees and scholarships
UK students (2024/25)
Annual tuition fees: £9,250
Tuition Fee Loan and Training Grants
Subject to eligibility, UK students joining this course can apply for a Tuition Fee Loan from the Government to cover the full cost of tuition fees. UK students enrolling on the course may also be eligible to apply for additional funding to help with living costs. This includes a training grant of at least £5,000 a year for Nursing students.
The Nursing Studies (Registered Nurse, Adult Nursing) BSc (Hons) programme is approved by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC), which means that on successful completion of your studies, you’ll have the academic requirements needed to register to work as an adult nurse.
The field of adult nursing is very diverse so there’s a range of career paths. Adult nurses play a vital role in providing, leading and coordinating care for a variety of patients in different healthcare settings such as in people’s homes, the community, GP surgeries and hospitals. There are also specialist areas that offer opportunities for registered nurses, in social care, schools, mental health agencies, hospices, the military and in industry. You may also want to explore alternative paths, including education, management, and research.
You can also use your qualification to work outside the UK.
To help you continually develop and reflect on your practice, the NMC expects registrants to revalidate every three years. Revalidation is about promoting good practice, as well as strengthening public confidence in the nursing and midwifery professions. It helps to encourage a culture of sharing, reflection and improvement. As part of this process, all registered nurses in the UK are encouraged to engage in continuous professional development to maintain their registration and keep their skills and knowledge up-to-date, ensuring safe and effective practice.
Frequently asked questions
- Why choose Aston University?
Students from over 120 countries choose to study at Aston University. Our safe and friendly campus sits in the heart of Birmingham – one of the UK’s most diverse and vibrant cities – and our teaching, facilities and commitment to an outstanding student experience are what really sets us apart.
You will learn from a multidisciplinary team of lecturers, who are all healthcare professionals with experience of working in the NHS. You will study a hands-on, clinical curriculum, where you’ll learn to meet the diverse needs of people and you will have access to our clinical simulation environments to practise real scenarios on lifelike adult manikins and actors.
We prepare you to apply for registration as an adult nurse with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) to work as an adult nurse once you’ve graduated.
- What is covered during placement?
You will spend 50 per cent of your time on placement in the community, in hospitals, and in our skills and simulation areas developing valuable hands-on skills. You will work with patients, carers and other healthcare students and healthcare professionals. Placement opportunities include district nursing, GP practice nursing, integrated community teams, medical and surgical wards, oncology, Intensive Care Unit, Accident and Emergency, coronary care and operating theatres.
- Will I learn with students from other health care programmes within Aston?
As Aston offers a range of health care programmes including medicine, pharmacy, optometry, audiology and biomedical sciences, you have the opportunity to learn alongside other health students. This enhances your understanding of holistic care, the importance of communication and recognition of how different professional roles contribute to the individual patient/client experience.