Apprenticeship Course

Registered Nurse Degree Apprenticeship BSc

Course details

Next course date

September and January 


3 years

Course description

For your first step into a rewarding career in nursing, look no further than a Registered Nurse Degree Apprenticeship; which has a strong track record in providing high quality, innovative nursing education. Through an apprenticeship, employers can grow their own professional staff and help committed staff to develop in their chosen career. 

The Registered Nurse Degree Apprenticeship leads to registration with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC), with course fees supported by the employer and apprenticeship funding. Apprentices will be employed full-time for the duration of the programme which cannot be studied without recognised employment as an apprentice.

This programme is a holistic learning experience, enabling students to become emotionally resilient and transformational Registered Nurses of the future. This is a full-time 3 -year course and students will complete a range of modules to develop the fundamental knowledge and skills for safe effective nursing practice where the interests of people using or needing nursing services are put first.

Students develop an in-depth and comprehensive understanding about their chosen field of practice and recognise the principles of nursing across all fields and across the lifespan.  Modules provide the foundation for students to develop a compassionate professionalism whereby they are trusted in the care they provide. Learning will be facilitated through a range of classroom-based activities, skills laboratories and by electronic means such as online learning, web-based training and technology-delivered instruction.  

Each student has a personal academic tutor and academic assessor who is part of the core lecturing team to provide guidance to the student throughout the three years of the course. Apprentices will have tripartite reviews with an academic and workplace supervisor at regular intervals to discuss the students' progress both academically and practically and identify any areas of additional support.

A compulsory part of the course is practice learning which equates to 50% of the overall programme in line with the NMC standards (NMC, 2018). Students must complete at least 2300 hours of practice learning to support the application of theory to practice. Practice learning is achieved through a variety of placement experiences arranged by your employer to enable you to gain essential practical experience by participating in 24-hour care. Throughout, you'll benefit from the support of Practice Assessors and Practice Supervisors who will help you get as much out of the experience as possible. The employer must be able to provide the range of placement experiences required for NMC registration and this must be evidenced prior to admission to the programme.

Expertise to inspire you

You'll be supported by enthusiastic and dedicated academic staff who are immersed in their areas of practice and committed to supporting you at every stage of your studies. All academic staff are current NMC registered professionals with some continuing to work in clinical practice alongside their teaching role.  The academic team includes renowned professionals whose work features regularly in leading journals and books and who help shape national policies.

This course is mapped against the NMC standards and nurse degree apprenticeship standard to ensure that your learning is up to date and relevant. In delivering the programme, we respond to national changes such as the latest government policies. As a result, some of the information about the course may change.

First-class facilities in Derby and Chesterfield

You can take this course at our Derby Campus or our Chesterfield site (subject to minimum cohort numbers). Both offer outstanding facilities, including clinical skills suites built to professional standards, with replica wards, counseling rooms and treatment rooms fully equipped with the latest resources.

As health care is increasingly delivered by multi-professional teams, we offer opportunities for you to learn with, and from, students from other disciplines. This is important in preparing you to work in more flexible ways after graduation. By learning to work together, you can help achieve the best outcomes for patients and service users.

Students also participate in learning that is specific to their field but is also co-taught across the four fields of nursing. There is an opportunity for students studying at different academic levels to learn with, and from each other. This provides an opportunity to meet the NMC standards whilst replicating professional relationships that students encounter in clinical practice. 


Who is this course for?

For apprentices

For organisations

A nursing student using a stethoscope to listen to a patients heart beat.
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Structure, certificates and assessment

Please note that our modules are subject to change - we review the content of our courses regularly, making changes where necessary to improve your experience and graduate prospects.

 Introduction to Nursing

  • 40 credits
  • Level 4
  • Core Module - This module will introduce students to the role of the nurse in contemporary evidence based professional practice. Legal, ethical, and professional frameworks which underpin practice will be explored to ensure care delivery is effective, safe, and patient focused.  Students will be supported to develop their communication, self-awareness, and reflective practice skills.

Health Sciences for Nursing Practice

  • 40 credits
  • Level 4
  • Core Module - Students will develop their knowledge and understanding of human physiology and pharmacology in relation to health and wellbeing over the lifespan. This module will introduce students to the psychological and sociological aspects of health and wellbeing.

Person centred nursing care for health & wellbeing

  • 40 credits
  • Level 4
  • Core Module - This module will introduce students to the key concepts for assessing and planning nursing interventions for person centred care.  Students will be required to evidence completion of MYEPAD to demonstrate achievement of the skills associated with Part 1 Future nurse: Standards of proficiency for registered nurses and Standards for education and training (NMC 2018).

 Research for health & wellbeing

  • 40 credits
  • Level 5
  • Core Module - Students will explore how evidence underpins nursing practice for safe and effective patient-centred care. They will develop the ability to apply evidence considering the wider implications of life context in promoting health and preventing ill health.

Pharmacological and psychosocial interventions

  • 40 credits
  • Level 5
  • Core Module - Students will examine the aetiology and pathophysiology of disease including pharmacological and psychosocial interventions within the context of evidence-based nursing care.

Developing nursing practice

  • 40 credits
  • Level 5
  • Core Module -This module will enable students to apply their developing knowledge and skills needed for person centred care.  Students will be required to evidence of completion of MYEPAD to demonstrate achievement of the skills associated with Part 2 Future Nurse: Standards of Proficiency for registered nurses and Standards for Education and Training (NMC 2018).

Leadership for nursing practice

  • 40 credits
  • Level 6
  • Core Module -This module will allow students to explore aspects of leading and managing care delivery within inter-professional teams.  Using a problem-based learning approach, students will critically examine near misses, critical incidents, major incidents and serious adverse events in order to learn from them and influence their future practice.

Innovation and improvement in nursing practice

  • 40 credits
  • Level 6
  • Core Module - Students will undertake an extended project which will lead to recommendations and innovation for nursing practice in their chosen field. Students will demonstrate their ability to critically apply the appropriate theoretical and investigative principles to a topic of their choosing.

Transition to autonomous practice

  • 40 credits
  • Level 6
  • Core Module - Students will demonstrate their ability to critically evaluate their role in the assessment, interventions, and evaluation of complex care in health and social care settings. Working towards becoming an autonomous practitioner for entry to the professional register.  Students will be required to evidence of completion of MYEPAD to demonstrate achievement of the skills associated with Part 3 Future Nurse: Standards of Proficiency for registered nurses and Standards for Education and Training (NMC 2018).

How you will learn

So that you are fully prepared for your career, we ensure that your skills and knowledge match current working practices in health and social care. The practical abilities you develop on placement will be underpinned and extended by the knowledge you gain through lectures, tutorials, workshops and simulated practice activities.

We harness latest technology in all aspects of the course. Modules are linked to the University’s Virtual Learning Environment (VLE), so that you have 24-hour access to relevant resources both on and off campus. We also capture ‘live’ lectures via Panopto which you can view at times that suit you via the VLE.

In addition, our students benefit from access to a range online resources such as Clinical Skills Net, an online resource offering video tutorials in essential clinical skills. The anatomy and physiology content of the programme is supported in a similar way through WhileyPLUS.

How you’re assessed

There are a diverse range of authentic assessments within the programme.  Assessments are aligned to module learning outcomes and support students to build academic skill and professional development.  Assessment feedback and feedforward mechanisms encourage dialogue, provide action plans, and utilise academic, student, and practice support staff where required.  This ensures that students are fit for practice, purpose, award, and professional standing on completion of the award.

Each assessment within the programme has the following underpinning characteristics:

Assessment of practice learning is recorded in the Practice Assessment Document (MYEPAD), which is designed to support and guide students towards successfully achieving the criteria set out in the Future nurse: Standards of Proficiency for Registered Nurses and Standards for Education and Training (NMC 2018).  The MYEPAD is a regionally validated document developed collaboratively with other local universities.  The University of Derby continues to work in partnership to support a consistent approach to student supervision and assessment. 

Who you'll meet

You will be taught by qualified health professionals with extensive experience of nursing and leadership roles. They have proven, sustained track records in higher education teaching, with most holding Fellowships of the Higher Education Academy.

Our staff keep up to date with latest developments in the sector by undertaking continuing professional development as part of their registration with the Nursing and Midwifery Council.

Personal academic tutoring

Your personal academic tutor will work with you to help you get the most out of your time at university. Having someone to talk to about your academic progress, your university experience and your professional aspirations is hugely valuable. We want you to feel challenged in your studies, stretched but confident to achieve your academic and professional goals.

A person wearing a headset while in a virtual call.

Request more information about our apprenticeship programmes

Want to talk to a member of the team about our apprenticeship programmes? Make an enquiry and a member of our team will get in contact with to provide you with more information about our apprenticeships, and how our programmes can up-skill your workforce.

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Entry requirements

It is important to note that apprentices can be either new or existing employees and that the required evidence of merit and potential to complete the programme successfully will be investigated and evidenced during the admissions process.

Individual employers will also set their own selection criteria and typical entry requirements and we will work with them concerning entry.

To apply for this apprenticeship you must currently be in paid employment of at least 37.5 hours per week. Your employer must cover the costs of the apprenticeship.

Fees and funding


Cost of the apprenticeship will normally be in line with the funding band of £26,000, but individual agreements will be considered depending on student numbers and the involvement of employers.


Fees will be paid by your employer with government funded support or through the apprenticeship levy.

How to apply

For more information call +44 (0)800 001 5500 or email

Applications to this apprenticeship will need to be made through the employer. If you are an individual who is not yet employed within this sector, you may find the following links useful:

Who will teach you

Lisa Maddox presenting a lecture

Lisa Maddox
Programme leader

Lisa Maddox is a lecturer in the BSc Adult Nursing programme, working mainly in the stage 2 team.

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Dr Fiona McCandless-Sugg
Course author

Dr Fiona McCandless-Sugg is a Lecturer in Mental Health Nursing based at the St Helena campus in Chesterfield. 

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Contact us

Apprenticeship Hub +44 (0)800 001 5500

If you want to find out more about studying a short course, please contact us and we will get back to you as soon as we can.

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