Apply now for May

Online course details

Study options

Part-time: 1-2 years

UK fee

£5,040 (2022/23)

International fee

£5,040 (2022/23)

Course level



BSc (Hons)

Start dates

September, January, May



Online course description

If applying for the May 2023 intake:
Application deadline is 19 April and term starts 30 May, so apply now.

Please note that due to the popularity of this online course we urge you to apply early to avoid disappointment as places are limited.

This part-time online Nursing Studies (top up) degree is intended for Registered Nurses who already hold a Diploma or Advanced Diploma in Nursing Studies and wish to top up that qualification to a full BSc Honours degree. If you are a Nursing Associate, this programme will not enable you to become a Registered Nurse and you should contact the lead where you studied your Foundation degree nursing associate programme or the College of Health, Psychology and Social Care for advice.

Accredited by the RCN

This programme has been accredited by the RCN Centre for Professional Accreditation until 19 December 2023. Accreditation applies only to the educational content of the programme and does not apply to any product.

The University of Derby's accreditation with the RCN is based on the quality of the programme content however does not confirm the competence of practitioners completing the programme.

If you do not have a Diploma, Advanced Diploma or meet the academic entry requirements but are still registered and in practice as a nurse, you may be eligible to complete our Certificate of Credit in Health and Social Care studies to gain 20 credits to achieve a level 5 qualification and academic skills that will allow entry onto the online BSc (Hons) Nursing Studies Top-Up degree programme, providing you meet all additional entry criteria.

To ensure you are continuing to meet the requirements to practice safely and effectively we have updated our online learning materials and modules so you can demonstrate good practice and knowledge, using transferable skills needed for you to provide the right care when it’s needed most.

We've developed cutting edge online learning materials for areas of practice that include; Care of the Surgical Patient; Asthma; Diabetes; Leadership and Management in Health and Social Care; Minor Injuries; Advanced Concepts in Palliative Care; Infection Control and Partnerships in Dementia Care, that can be taken as part of the online BSc (Hons) Nursing Studies Top-Up degree, or studied independently as part of your continuing professional development (CPD).

NMC revalidation and CPD for nursing

If you are preparing for Nursing Midwifery Council (NMC) revalidation you’ll also be aware that you need to complete 35 hours of CPD which needs to include 20 hours of participatory learning. Our online course can be taken as independent modules which counts as participatory learning that will help you to meet the requirements for nursing re-registration.

92%agree that overall, they are satisfied with the quality of the course**University of Derby Survey 2022
96%agree that as a result of the course, believe they are improving their career prospects**University of Derby Survey 2022
94%agree that they feel that they are achieving to their academic potential**University of Derby Survey 2022

Tailor your course with module options or build your CPD

The course features an array of optional modules so you can tailor your studies around your practice and professional interests. Module options include clinically focused modules such as asthma, care of the surgical patient, diabetes or relationships informed by CBT, as well as professional modules such as education, leadership and management, evidence-based practice or public health.

Many of these modules can also be studied independently as short 20 credit courses for your continuing professional development (CPD) towards your re-validation and career development.

Learn practical transferable skills

The practical application of this online course allows you to develop transferable skills effectively that can be applied directly within your care setting. Through studying this course you will be able to: demonstrate a critical, evidence based approach to practice; be motivated towards continuous and progressive learning, become a lifelong learner who can evaluate the teaching and support of colleagues in clinical practice; demonstrate critical competence in clinical practice, care and programme management, clinical practice leadership and clinical practice development.

This online course also aims to develop your skills so you can identify and propose recommendations to enhance service delivery and provision of care, and engage in critical reflection on clinical practice reflective of contemporary nursing practice.

A valuable online learning experience

Our tutors have many years’ experience in nursing and they understand the pressures of balancing study around work and family commitments.

Dementia Action Alliance (DAA) member

Dementia Action Alliance (DAA) logo

We are proud that our positive impact to Dementia through our online courses has been recognised by Dementia Action Alliance (DAA) and we are now an active member of the Alliance.

An online nursing course with high professional standards

Our online BSc (Hons) Nursing Studies Top-Up degree has been specifically designed by experienced professionals, with internationally renowned contributors such as:

Our close relationships with employers in the health and social care sector contribute to the design and updating of this course. There has been significant consultation with the health and social care sector and professional associations. That means you can rely on this online course to refresh your skills and keep you up to date with current practice, as well as enhancing your employability.

Enhance your nursing professional development plan (PDP)

This online course will also allow you to integrate personal development planning (PDP) into your workload. Opportunities throughout the online course for PDP are included through the application of learning materials to current practice within health and social care, as well as the use of critical reflection within modules. This online course will incorporate a variety of skills that will enable you to develop critical evaluation, appraisal and reflection skills in relation to your clinical and evidence based practice. The content of the online course will be contextualised, allowing you to take the skills forward into clinical and academic practice.

There’s room in your life for online study

Our range of innovative teaching materials gives you a varied and enjoyable learning experience and our expert online tutors will support you all the way. Studying online gives you the flexibility to study at the most convenient time and place for you. Course modules still operate within a fixed trimester but you can choose to study during the day, in the evenings or at the weekend rather than having to attend fixed lectures. As a nurse it would be very difficult to work any other way due to the demanding nature of the profession, so this type of study is ideal.

What you will study

We will advise you of your study plan - the running order and availability of the modules - when you are invited to enrol.

If you have a Diploma in Nursing Studies, then you will need to choose four optional modules over the course of your study, as well as the Independent Study (double module).

If you have an Advanced Diploma in Nursing Studies, then you will only need to choose one optional module, as well as the Independent Study module (double module).

Please note: due to high demand, some modules may be subject to a cap in the number of students who can be enrolled per trimester. This is particularly likely to be the case for the Minor Injuries, Care of the Surgical Patient, Advanced Concepts in Palliative Care and Public Health: UK and International Perspectives modules.

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.

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Discovering Online Learning Webinar: April 2023

Wednesday, 5 April 2023 13.00 - 14.00

During this hour-long webinar, we'll take you through how online learning works and what you can expect as an online learner with the University of Derby Online Learning.

Book your webinarBook your webinar

How you will learn

Pace of study

The academic year is made up of three 10-week terms, known as trimesters. We recommend about 20 hours of study per week to complete one 20-credit module over a 10-week trimester.

If you opt to undertake the accelerated study plan whereby you will study two modules in one trimester, we recommend 40 hours of study per week.

Should you decide to study on the accelerated rate you should ensure that you have the capacity to fully engage with your studies and achieve the best grades and final award. If you choose to study on the accelerated rate, you will need to balance approximately 40 hours of study per week alongside your professional and personal life and commitments.

It may be useful to consider studying one module at the standard rate of study before deciding whether to then increase to the accelerated rate of study.

Assessment method

This course is assessed through 100% coursework with a range of methods, such as essays, research reports, presentations, group work and practical reports.

Student support and guidance

Whilst we encourage our students to become independent, life-long learners, we also recognise that offering the right support and guidance will help you to achieve your goals. There is a wealth of support available to you at the University, from your dedicated Personal Tutor and Online Learner Advisor, through to our:

All these services, and more, are available to you as an online student at the University of Derby.

Who will teach you

Rachel Spink sitting at a table

Rachel Spink
Programme leader

Lecturer in Nursing, Rachel Spink, has a wealth of experience in her career as a Registered Nurse Orthopaedics, Research Nurse, Practice Nurse, District Nurse, Health Visitor, Specialist Public Health Nurse, Nurse Prescriber and mentor for pre and post registration students.

View full staff profileView full staff profileExplore all staff on this courseExplore all staff on this course

Get a taste of the course content

Our Nursing Studies BSc (Hons) Top-Up course taster will give you an idea of how online learning works. It includes a selection of content from a course module so you can see what some of our learning material looks like.

You will need to complete a short form to access the course taster.

Try our course tasterTry our course taster

Entry requirements

You'll need all of the following:

*If you have an International Nursing qualification or Pre-Diploma Nursing Qualification and depending on your level of experience working as a registered nurse, it may be possible for you to join the BSc (Hons) Nursing Studies (Top Up) degree upon passing our Certificate of Credit in Health and Social Care Studies. See details below.

English language qualification

You'll also normally require one of the following English language qualifications:

If English is not your first language, or you have not successfully completed your highest level of qualification in English, you will need an English language qualification. For this course you will need at least one of the following:

We may accept other equivalent English Language qualifications with supporting evidence so please provide full details with your application.

Find out more about our English language requirements

What if I have a pre-Diploma or an International Nursing Qualification?

You may still be eligible for the BSc (Hons) Nursing Studies (Top Up) degree if you have a pre-Diploma qualification (eg RGN, RMN, RSCN, RNLD, EN) or if your international qualification (diploma or degree) in Nursing does not equate to UK Higher Education Level 5. This is subject to meeting the following requirements:

If the above applies, and you have ten years or more experience as a registered nurse, the programme leader may be able to admit you onto the course subject to seeing evidence of this on your application form.

Alternatively, there is an access route at level 5 (Diploma level) which requires you to successfully complete the Certificate of Credit in Health and Social Care Studies to gain entry to the BSc (Hons) Nursing Studies (Top Up).

The Certificate of Credit in Health and Social Care Studies is a 20-credit standalone module which is completed over one ten-week trimester. The short course is designed to help you to develop your professional development skills as well as your academic skills at level 5, preparing you for study at level 6 (degree level). You’ll learn to engage in self-assessment, evaluation and reflection whilst producing a continuous professional development (CPD) plan to enable you to be an effective practitioner in today’s complex health and social care environment.

Whether you apply direct for the Certificate of Credit in Health and Social Care Studies, or are offered a place on the 10 week course as a condition of entry to the BSc (Hons) Nursing Studies (Top Up) degree, please be advised that it is additional study and does not offer any exemptions to the BSc (Hons) Nursing Studies (Top Up) degree.

Fees and funding

2022/23 for new entrants

Starting between September 2022 and August 2023.

 Per 20 creditsModulesCost
If you have a Diploma (UK/EU/International) £840 6 £5,040
If you have an Advanced Diploma (UK/EU/International) £840 3 £2,520

2023/24 for new entrants

Starting between September 2023 and August 2024.

 Per 20 creditsModulesCost
If you have a Diploma (UK/EU/International) £875 6 £5,250
If you have an Advanced Diploma (UK/EU/International) £875 3 £2,625

About your fees

This figure would be the total cost of this course in the current academic year. However, please note that fees normally increase in line with inflation and the University's strategic approach to fees, which is reviewed on an annual basis. The total fee you pay may therefore increase if your course lasts longer than one year.

However, please also note that you can receive a 5% discount if you either:

Flexible payment plans available

Choose from three payment plan options:

Undergraduate funding options

Depending on where you are from in the UK or EU, and on your pace of study, you may be eligible for an undergraduate student loan. Accessible through Student Finance, this is a non-income based loan to meet the cost of tuition fees.

If you already hold an honours degree, and you are looking to re-skill or up-skill, you may still be eligible for a loan to study this course.

How to apply

Please look at our application deadlines before you apply.

Students should apply directly to the University.

Apply now

For support with completing your application, view our guide to the application process.

Documents to support your application

In order for your application to be assessed, you will need to provide the following documents when you apply:

*Documents not in English or Welsh must be accompanied by a certified translation by a professional translator/translation company. Each translation must contain:

A list of approved translators can be found on the UK Government website

Please note: failure to submit any documentation when requested, may result in your application being withdrawn.

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Short courses and CPD

You can easily fit your continuing professional development (CPD) around shift patterns with our online short courses and modules. Keep up-to-date with current practice without attending college or university.

View online short coursesView online short courses

Application deadlines

All of our online courses have set start dates throughout the year. We require time to review your application and get back to you with a response before your course starts. Take a look at information regarding applying for an online course to see full details of deadlines and term dates.


You will gain organisational and management skills that will enhance your clinical practice, nursing management or research, enhancing your competency in your role. This places you at the heart of health and social care, enabling you to assess, diagnose and treat both acute and chronic conditions.

Once you’ve gained your BSc (Hons) Nursing Studies degree you can progress to a Masters level qualifications such as our MSc Advanced Practice, available to study on campus at Derby, which may open up further developmental opportunities, eg research in nursing.

An Honours degree will help you to compete in a contentious market, particularly when applying for international positions. It does not affect your NMC or provide access to other parts of the register but will broaden your horizons, improving your self confidence and competences in teaching and mentoring work colleagues.

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Helping Phil emigrate to Australia

Online student Phil Richardson set his sights on emigrating to Australia. For him gaining a degree would help him to achieve his goal.

Read Phil's storyRead Phil's story

Contact us

Contact the University of Derby Online Learning:

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