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What makes Nursing Associate at Worcester special?

Nursing associates work with healthcare support workers and registered nurses to provide care and treatment in a wide range of health and care settings. This two-year foundation degree is a flexible, practice-based course, which will enable you to provide high quality, person-centred care across the lifespan.

As well as being a professional role in its own right, it is also possible to progress on to graduate-level nursing.

The University of Worcester was one of the first Universities in England to develop a Nursing Associate programme in 2017, as one of the Health Education England test site courses. This exciting FdSc Nursing Associate programme builds on this and has been developed in collaboration with partner organisations, students and service users, in response to the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC 2018) Standards of Proficiency for Nursing Associates.



Key features

  • Emphasis is on learning in diverse, supportive learning environments with 50% of the course embedded in the practice setting.
  • Develop knowledge and understanding of providing safe and effective, person-centred care for people across the lifespan.
  • Skills and simulation centre providing outstanding facilities to safely practice nursing associate interventions in a supportive environment.
  • Opportunities for shared learning with BSc (Hons) Nursing students, through shared modules, skills and simulated learning and in the practice setting.
  • Visiting lecturers including experienced and senior clinical nurses and patients, their families and carers, providing a unique insight into their experiences of healthcare.
  • On successful completion of the FdSc Nursing Associate, eligible to apply for Registration with the Nursing and Midwifery Council. You may also be eligible to apply for year 2 of our BSc (Hons) registered nurse programme.

Register your interest

Enter your details below and we will keep you up to date with useful information about studying at the University of Worcester.

Location of teaching

Teaching is delivered at University of Worcester, with practice placements provided by our local NHS Trust partners across Herefordshire, Worcestershire, Gloucester and Dudley, as well as placements in the independent and voluntary sector.


Accredited by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC)

Entry requirements

Entry requirements

UCAS tariff points

Entry requirements

32 UCAS Tariff Points

From a minimum of 1 A level and a maximum of 3 A Levels


Equivalent Level 3 qualifications e.g. BTEC National Diploma or Access to Higher Education Diploma.


GCSE grade C/4 or level 2 equivalent in Maths and English (Language or Literature). Please see below for acceptable alternatives.

Acceptable alternative Maths qualifications

  • Functional Skills Level 2 Maths
  • Essential Skills Level 2 (Wales) Maths
  • NARIC approved GCSE C/4 or above International qualification
  • University of Worcester GCSE Equivalency Exam in Maths

Acceptable alternative English qualifications

  • Functional Skills Level 2 English
  • Students whose first language is not English must have a minimum standard of English at IELTS level 6.0 (with no less than 5.5 in any component), other equivalent English qualifications will be considered (see UW Language Requirements and Support)
  • NARIC approved GSCE C/4 or above International qualification
  • University of Worcester GCSE Equivalency Exam in English
  • Essential Skills Level 2 (Wales) English 

It is desirable that applicants have evidence of study undertaken within the last 5 years. Students are required to demonstrate health and character sufficient to ensure safe and effective practice. This includes a satisfactory enhanced DBS and occupational health assessment.

Additional information

T Levels may be used to meet the entry tariff requirements for this course. Find out more about T levels as UCAS tariff points here.


The University will consider each application on its individual merits and will recognise a range of qualifications not currently included in the Tariff. If you do not meet the minimum entry requirements outlined above, please contact the Admissions Office for advice.

Further information about the UCAS Tariff can be obtained from

Selection Event

Shortlisted candidates will be invited to attend a selection event, and will be expected to demonstrate that they have an understanding of the requirements of the nursing associate role. Information about this day will be sent to all invited applicants.

Disability information

If you are worried that your disability or physical/mental health problem will affect your nursing application, please refer to our disability concerns document for more information.

Course content

Course content

Our courses are informed by research and current developments in the discipline and feedback from students, external examiners and employers. Modules do therefore change periodically in the interests of keeping the course relevant and reflecting best practice. The most up-to-date information will be available to you once you have accepted a place and registered for the course. If there are insufficient numbers of students interested in an optional module, this might not be offered, but we will advise you as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative. 

Year 1

  • Communication and Professional Values to Promote Health and Well-being across the lifespan
  • Human Anatomy and Physiology for Person Centred Care
  • Essential Skills and Nursing Associate Practice 1
  • Principles of Nursing Associate practice


Year 2

  • Evidence-Based Practice for Health and Care
  • Essential Skills and Nursing Associate Practice 2
  • Developing Integrated Person-centred Care
  • Working in Teams in Health and Social Care
  • End Point Assessment Gateway for Nursing Associate Apprentices
Teaching and assessment

Teaching and assessment


A blended learning approach to teaching is adopted and uses a range of strategies including interactive workshops, lectures, seminars, virtual learning environment, flipped classroom and e-learning packages.  Scenario-based approaches promote personalised engagement with learning and facilitate group activities, discussions, shared and individual problem-solving and decision-making.

Class contact time may be on campus or delivered virtually.

You will meet with your personal academic tutor 4 times in year one and 3 times in year 2.

The University places emphasis on enabling students to develop the independent learning capabilities that will equip you for lifelong learning and future employment, as well as academic achievement.  A mixture of independent study, teaching and academic support from Student Services and Library Services, and also the personal academic tutoring system enables you to reflect on progress and build up a profile of skills, achievements and experiences that will help you to flourish and be successful. Study skills embedded into the early stages of the course to help promote student achievement and confidence with learning and assessment.

At the core of the Nursing Associate programme is learning in a range of clinical settings, learning in the real world which facilitates work-readiness, personal and professional development. Mandatory practice learning equates to 50% of the programme credit for each year. Nursing Associate placements will be arranged by the Placement Support Team: Nursing, Midwifery, and Allied Health (PLAST) and will run throughout each semester across the year, with experiences normally in a minimum of two practice placements each year. The use of ‘spokes’ will also maximise the learning opportunities offered by diverse and non-traditional settings, offering exposure to opportunities to care for people across the lifespan, with mental and physical health needs and learning disabilities.  Enhanced learning days rooted in clinical practice, provide opportunities to consolidate learning, provide an opportunity for reflection, complete project activities and inter-professional learning opportunities and seek additional support as necessary to promote inclusive learning in the practice setting

While on placement you are supernumerary and are supported by a practice supervisor and assessed by a practice assessor, both having undergone appropriate preparation for their roles. You are also supported within the clinical environment by your academic assessor (who is usually your personal academic tutor) and a nominated person from the practice education team. You will have access to the internet and library resources whilst on placement.

You will be provided with the opportunity to complete skills and simulated learning activities. All skills and simulation activities involve a range of people including students, peers, service users/carers, practitioners, technicians, academics and includes role-play, hands-on practical skills sessions using a range of simulation manikins, video recording and playback. Formative feedback on performance is provided to facilitate safe and effective support for essential skills development, in state-of-the-art simulation suites, replicating hospital and community practice learning environments. You will be allocated 2 weeks (37 hours per week) each year for skills and simulation teaching.

Contact time

In a typical week, nursing associate students will have around 7.5 hours (over 1 day) of contact hours of teaching. Typically, students will complete 80% of these days on campus and 20% virtually.


On a typical campus-based day, contact time will be structured around:

  • Group and lead lectures
  • Interactive workshop or clinical skills and simulation
  • Seminar or tutorials


On a typical virtual day, contact time will be structured around:

  • Flipped classroom
  • Lead lecture available synchronously or asynchronous via the VLE
  • Asynchronous online discussion forum
  • Virtual tutorials

Whilst in placement, nursing associate students will be expected to attend placement for 22 hours per week, experiencing full range of hours expected of the nursing workforce. All practice learning hours, including skills and simulated learning must be formally recorded and signed for.

Independent self study

In addition to the contact time, you are expected to undertake around 7.5 hours of personal self-study per week.  Typically, this will involve reading preparation for assessments and e-learning activities.

Independent learning is supported by a range of excellent learning facilities, including The Hive and library resources, the virtual learning environment, and extensive electronic learning resources. 


2 years full-time.

45-week timetabled year, including 7 weeks pre-planned holiday each year.  The course is 50% theory and 50% practice learning.


Timetables are normally available one month before registration. Please note that whilst we try to be as student-friendly as possible, scheduled teaching can take place on any day of the week; and some classes can be scheduled in the evenings.

Teaching staff

You will be taught by a teaching team whose expertise and knowledge are closely matched to the content of the modules on the course. The team is made up primarily of Registered Nurses from different backgrounds, with expertise in their chosen field of practice/area of expertise. Teaching is also supported by the inter-disciplinary and multiagency team, when specialist knowledge is required. Contributions by service users, carers and their families, provides opportunity for them to share their lived experiences, with service users as appropriate having a role in the assessment process.

Teaching is informed by research and consultancy, with 87% of permanent lecturers on the course having a Higher Education teaching qualification, with 79% Fellows of the Higher Education Academy, including 15% Senior Fellows (January 2019). You can learn more about the staff by visiting our staff profiles.


Summative assessment activities include written assignments (essays/reports), exams (seen and unseen), scenario-based individual and group presentations, including posters. Practice learning assessment involves assessment of knowledge, skills, attitudes and values progression from guided participation in care (Year one) to leading to active participation in care (Year 2). Formative and summative assessment of practice is recoded in the England Nursing Associate Practice Assessment Document (NAPAD). Practice assessment also incorporates a summatively assessed structured e-workbook, providing opportunity for reflection on personal and professional practice learning. Numeracy and medicines management is assessed developmentally across the programme, culminating in a calculation of medicines test (using safe medicate), which must achieve a 100% score.

A typical formal summative assessment pattern for each year of the course is as follows:

Year 1

  • Group presentation
  • E-poster or patient leaflet with supporting paper
  • Unseen examination
  • Scenario based essay
  • Assessment of practice learning using England Nursing Associate Practice Assessment Document (NAPAD), with evidence of reflection on proficiencies and learning and evidence of medicines calculation test at 80%


Year 2

  • Written report
  • Individual presentation
  • Unseen exam
  • Scenario based essay
  • Assessment of practice learning using England Nursing Associate Practice Assessment Document (NAPAD), with evidence of reflection on proficiencies and learning and evidence of medicines calculation test at 100%. 

You will receive feedback on practice assessments and on formal assessments undertaken by coursework. Feedback on examination performance is available upon request from the module leader. Feedback is intended to support learning and you are encouraged to discuss it with personal academic tutors and module tutors as appropriate.

We aim to provide you with feedback on formal course work assessments within 20 working days of hand-in.  

Programme specification

For comprehensive details on the aims and intended learning outcomes of the course, and the means by which these are achieved through learning, teaching and assessment, please download the latest programme specification document.



All students who successfully complete the FdSc Nursing Associate will be eligible to apply for Registration with the NMC as a Nursing Associate. Registered Nursing Associates will be legible to apply for an Agenda for Change Band 4 role. All partner Trusts/ health and care employers support the implementation of Band 4 roles. 

Students acknowledge that the programme improves their career prospects and future career aspiration.

The most recent data for Nursing (2018), indicates 99.0% of leavers were in employment or further study, with 100% of leavers in employment, working in nursing roles. 

Many nurses are employed locally, with Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust employing 42% and Wye Valley NHS Trust employing 10% of nursing leavers.  Other employment destinations include, Worcestershire Health & Care Trust, 2gether NHS Trust, Gloucestershire Hospitals.

A number of initiatives are embedded to promote employment including mock interviews and support with CV writing during year 2, with Personal Academic Tutors offering support with career planning and writing personal statements.

The nursing associate teaching team and the Careers and Employability Service ensure details of Trust recruitment events and individual jobs are publicised.

Local employing organisations are invited to meet with finalists and discuss career opportunities and further professional development.

Further study and/linked Honours Degree progression routes

BSc (Hons) Nursing (Adult, Children’s or Mental Health)

BA (Hons) Applied Health and Social Science Top-up


Fees and funding

Full-time tuition fees

UK and EU students

The standard fee for full-time home and EU undergraduate students enrolling on BA/BSc/LLB degrees and FdA/FdSc degrees in the 2024/25 academic year is £9,250 per year.

For more details, please visit our course fees page.

International students

The standard tuition fee for full-time international students enrolling on BA/BSc/LLB degrees and FdA/FdSc degrees in the 2024/25 academic year is £16,200 per year.

For more details, please visit our course fees page.

Course-related costs included in the fees

We will provide initial uniforms (3 tunics, 2 trousers & epaulettes). We will also cover the costs of an enhanced DBS check and Occupational Health screen and vaccinations

Course-related costs not included in the fees

Day to day costs exist for printing, stationery and books.

As part of the course you will need to travel to placement and will therefore need to pay any associated costs. You may be able to reclaim these travel expenses depending on your individual circumstances.

Cost of NMC Registration on completion of the FdSc Nursing Associate programme.


Finding the right accommodation is paramount to your university experience. Our halls of residence are home to friendly student communities, making them great places to live and study.

We have over 1,000 rooms across our range of student halls. With rooms to suit every budget and need, from our 'Chestnut Halls' at £131 per week to 'Oak Halls' at £221 per week (2024/25 prices).

For full details visit our accommodation page.

How to apply

How to apply

Applying through UCAS

Nursing Associate FdSc - B745

UCAS is the central organisation through which applications are processed for entry onto full-time undergraduate courses in Higher Education in the UK.

Read our How to apply pages for more information on applying and to find out what happens to your application.



Get in touch

If you have any questions, please get in touch. We're here to help you every step of the way.

Linda Bale

Admissions tutor