Course details

Study options

Full-time: 2 years

UCAS points

80 (September 2024 entry)

UCAS code


Course level




Start date



Kedleston Road, Derby Campus
St Helena, Chesterfield

What is a nursing associate?

Nursing associate is a relatively new role, which bridges the gap between health and care assistants and registered nurses. Nursing associates work in many health and social care settings, from hospitals to care homes, hospices, GP practices and community services.

Responsibilities vary depending on the care setting you work in, but your duties are likely to include:

Key benefits of this course

Is this course for me?

This is a two-year course that requires you to study full-time. If you would prefer to train while you are working, you could look for a Nursing Associate Apprenticeship with an employer, and then follow our equivalent apprenticeship programme.

People usually take this course for one of the following reasons:

These are all good reasons to take this course! After completing this foundation degree, you could join one of our full nursing degrees in year two and complete that within 18 months.

99% in professional occupations 15 months after graduationThe Guardian University Guide 2024 (Adult Nursing and Nursing Associate)
Top20Nursing subject area The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2022
Top15for student satisfactionComplete University Guide 2024

First-class facilities

Our Derby campus and Chesterfield site both offer outstanding learning environments. They include replica wards, treatment rooms, and a state-of-the-art Immersive Suite, which simulates the sights and sounds of different care settings - such as the inside of an ambulance, a busy A&E ward, or an operating theatre. It’s as close to the real thing as you can get, and will help prepare you for placements. You will use these facilities periodically throughout year one and two.

In tune with latest developments

This course is closely mapped against the needs of employers. In delivering the programme we respond to national changes, such as latest government policies, to ensure your learning is up-to-date and relevant.

As health care is increasingly delivered by multi-professional teams, we offer opportunities at each stage of the course for you to learn with, and from, students from other disciplines. This is really 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 your patients.

Higher Technical Qualification 

This programme has been recognised as a Higher Technical Qualification, which means it has been developed by awarding bodies in collaboration with employers, so you'll get the right training, knowledge, and skills to succeed in the workplace. 

A Nursing Associate student and academic using a breathing apparatus on a child mannequin
A group of Nursing Associate students with an academic and a patient looking at a drugs trolley
A Nursing Associate student and academic working with a mannequin

What you will study

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.

Kedleston Road, Derby Campus entrance

Undergraduate Open Days

The best way to find out if studying at Derby is right for you is to experience an Open Day. Get a feel for the city and campus, tour our first-class facilities and see where you could be living.

Book your Undergraduate Open DayBook your Undergraduate Open Day
Chesterfield students showing open day visitors around the nursing facilities.

Chesterfield Open Days

The best way to find out if studying at The University of Derby is right for you is to experience an Open Day. Get a feel for the campus, tour our first-class facilities and meet our academic team.

Book your Chesterfield Open DayBook your Chesterfield Open Day

How you will learn


At least 50% of your time will be spent on placement in both years. This is so you can build up the clinical skills required to meet the Nursing and Midwifery Council Standards of Proficiency for Nursing Associates. Placements happen throughout the course, so that you alternate between learning the theory at university and then gaining experience on placement.

We aim to provide a variety of placements. For instance, you could be placed in hospitals, GP practices, care/nursing homes, or with community-based teams, such as school nurses or mental health crisis teams. You will have a Practice Assessor and Supervisor on each placement who will provide guidance, support, and valuable feedback.

Please be aware that you are expected to travel up to 90 minutes each way to get to a placement, and to work the shift hours set by that organisation.

Other study

During your time at university, you will learn through lectures, scenario-based learning sessions, tutorials, seminars, debates, and practice-based workshops. You will be asked to consider different cases and say what you would do, share your own experiences, and listen and learn from other trainees.

How you are assessed

Assessment approaches are varied and include poster presentations, exam, essays, assignments, case based discussions and practical skills assessments.

Who you will meet

Our teaching team includes experts in all four areas of nursing. All are qualified health professionals, with years of experience in nursing and leadership roles within health and social care. They have strong links with the local NHS trusts as well as with smaller health and social care providers, and this will really benefit you when it comes to finding placements.

"I found the staff were very supportive and wanted everyone to thrive. I really feel like the staff took a great person-centred approach with students.” Emma Macukiewicz, Nursing Associate student

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.

Find out more about personal academic tutoring

Entry requirements

2024 entry

These are the typical qualification requirements for September 2024 entry. Contextual offers may apply to students who meet certain criteria.

RequirementWhat we're looking for
UCAS points80
A LevelCDD
T LevelPass (with C or above in the core)
GCSEGCSE Maths and English Grade 4/Grade C (or above) or equivalent qualification
Access to HEPass Access to HE Diploma with 60 credits: 45 at Level 3 with a minimum of Distinction: 0, Merit: 30, Pass: 15

*The University will accept the Senior Healthcare Support Worker Apprenticeship in lieu of UCAS points or level 3 qualification requirements.*

Additional entry requirements

English language requirements

IELTS: 6.5 (with at least 6.0 in each skills area)

How to apply

Please look at our application deadlines before you apply.

UK students

If you are in Year 13 and applying for a full-time undergraduate course (including our joint honours courses), we recommend that you apply through UCAS.

Apply through UCAS

If you are applying to study part-time, or already have your qualifications, or wish to join at Year 2 or 3, you should apply directly to the University.

Apply directly to the University

English language entry requirements must be achieved and evidenced as part of an application and before an interview can be offered for this programme.

Contact us

If you need any more information from us, eg on courses, accommodation, applying, car parking, fees or funding, please contact us and we will do everything we can to help you.

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Additional information about your studies

Teaching hours

Like most universities, we operate extended teaching hours at the University of Derby, so contact time with your lecturers and tutors could be anytime between 9am and 9pm. Your timetable will usually be available on the website 24 hours after enrolment on to your course.

Please note: Our courses are refreshed and updated on a regular basis. If you are thinking about transferring onto this course (into the second year for example), you should contact the programme leader for the relevant course information as modules may vary from those shown on this page.

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