Nursing Associate Foundation DegreeStudy level: Undergraduate
The Nursing Associate role gives you the chance to make a real difference to the quality of life and care of people in a wide range of healthcare settings.
Year of entry
Coventry University (Coventry)
Coventry University (Vauxhall, London)
CU Scarborough (Scarborough)
2 years full-time
Fully accredited by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) providing eligibility for registration as a Nursing Associate on successful completion of the course (additional costs may apply).
- Ranked 7th in the UK for Nursing and Midwifery in the Guardian University Guide 2021.
- Well-established clinical placements, teaching and research links with local partner NHS trusts and other healthcare providers, such as private hospitals, hospices and community settings.
- CU Scarborough start date: only September 2023.
- May 2024 start date, Coventry University London only.
Joint Top Modern University for Career ProspectsGuardian University Guide 2021 and 2022
5 QS Stars for Teaching and FacilitiesQS Stars University Ratings
Top 5 UK Student City (Coventry)QS Best Student Cities Index 2023
Why you should study this course
Development of the health and social care workforce is pivotal to building the capacity and capability needed to deliver compassionate, high quality evidence-based care to a diverse and ageing population. This course gives you the opportunity to develop a range of practical skills and the underpinning knowledge to allow you to make a real difference to quality of life and care of people of all ages and in a wide range of healthcare settings.
The Nursing Associate foundation degree is designed to meet the educational requirements necessary for the nursing associate role, enabling successful graduates to register as a Nursing Associate with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) (additional costs may apply), and work supporting registered nurses delivering hands-on care in a wide variety of clinical settings.
It also offers a pathway to other nursing roles, including that of a graduate nurse through progression onto a pre-registration programme. After successfully completing this course it may be possible to transfer on to the second year of a BSc Nursing degree, but this would depend on NMC requirements and standards and your chosen field of nursing, therefore this cannot be guaranteed.
Equal time and weighting is given to the practical and theoretical components of the course. The course is taught by experienced nurses and healthcare professionals who will support you in your journey to becoming an NMC-registered Nursing Associate.
We have well established clinical placements, teaching and research links with local partner NHS trusts and other healthcare providers, such as private hospitals, hospices and community settings and commended by the NMC for our partnership working.
Placements will take place with one of our partner settings, which will normally be in the same region as your chosen campus, however, to ensure you have a breadth of placement experiences you may be required to travel to attend placements. In your placements you will be supernumerary (not counted in the staff numbers) and will have an allocated Practice Assessor and Practice Supervisor to facilitate and assess your learning in practice.
In response to a high demand for the nursing associate role, we offer a route on to this course at the Coventry, Scarborough and London campuses. The course was developed in collaboration with health and social care employers in Coventry and Warwickshire, Scarborough and Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust in London. Our practice learning partners provide clinical learning placements for students and input to the ongoing development and evaluation of the course.
The programme was shortlisted for a Student Nursing Times and Apprenticeship award in 2019 and over 10% of students who completed the first programme have secured places on the prestigious Florence Nightingale Leadership course. This course is a direct entry (i.e. not part of an apprenticeship) version of the nursing associate foundation degree apprenticeship course.
in the UK for Nursing and Midwifery
Guardian University Guide 2021
Accreditation and Professional Recognition
This course is recognised by the following professional bodies:
Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC)
The course is currently accredited by the Nursing and Midwifery Council and on successful completion of the course you will be eligible to apply to join the Nursing and Midwifery Council Nursing Associate register. Registration is subject to meeting good health and character requirements and payment of a registration fee. Further details about the registration fee and process are available on the NMC website.
Nursing Associates are important members of the nursing team, contributing significantly to patient care. Watch our video to find out more.
Studying to become a Nursing Associate brought with it some amazing opportunities. I had exposure to all areas of nursing including Mental Health Nursing, Child Nursing, Learning Disability Nursing and of course Adult Nursing. I now work as a registered nursing associate in a busy respiratory unit. Little did I know that when I qualified, I would be in the middle of a pandemic, supporting and advocating for patients in ways I would have never imagined. But I feel thankful every day that I am in this role and have the opportunity to support patients and families. The support from the Nursing Associate team both within the university and the team in practice has been amazing.
What you'll study
This course gives you the opportunity to develop a range of practical skills and the underpinning knowledge to allow you to make a real difference to quality of life and care of people of all ages and in a wide range of health care settings.
Equal time and weighting is given to the practical and theoretical components of the course. The course is taught by experienced nurses and healthcare professionals who will support you in your journey to becoming an NMC registered Nursing Associate.
On commencing the course, you will study two modules. This will be an introduction to science and a clinical skills module spanning 13 weeks before you start your first 10-week mandatory placement, which is sourced by the university. You will then undertake a module to develop more advanced clinical skills and underpinning knowledge before your second 10-week placement of year one.
Introduction to Nursing Science - 20 credits
The aim of this module is to introduce you to the scientific foundations of nursing which apply to holistic care across the lifespan. You will develop your knowledge of relevant human anatomy and physiology, microbiology, psychology, sociology and pharmacology and learn to appreciate how this applies to care delivery in a variety of settings. You will also be introduced to the topic of maternal health and care related to childbirth and key concepts that underpin nursing practice.
Foundation Skills for Nursing Care - 20 credits
This module aims to introduce you to the concept of health and wellbeing, enabling an understanding of the bio-psychosocial needs of the patient group across the life span. It introduces a number of models, concepts, frameworks and theories of assessment, and helps you to identify personal attributes and professional skills that facilitate the interpersonal relationships used during the assessment process, enabling you to contribute to the delivery of care.
Assessment: coursework, OSCE (Objective Structured Clinical Exam)
Foundations in Communication and Professional Practice (Practice Placement 1) - 30 credits
This mandatory 10-week placement module, which is sourced by the university, aims to enable you to demonstrate and promote professional values, attitudes and behaviours in a practice-based learning setting. You will develop your communication and interpersonal skills working within multidisciplinary teams providing safe holistic compassionate patient-centred care.
Applied Nursing Science - 20 credits
This module is designed to develop your ability to apply relevant physiological and psychological knowledge to the assessment and management of care across the lifespan. Successful completion of the module will enable you to provide appropriate physical and mental healthcare as informed by a person-/family-centred assessment of the individuals’ care requirements. Health needs and provision of care will be explored across primary, secondary and third sector care environments and the role of Nursing Associates in assessing physical and mental health risks to promote health and wellbeing will be explored.
Assessment: coursework, OSCE (Objective Structured Clinical Exam)
Promoting Health and Wellbeing and Preventing Ill Health (Practice Placement 2) - 30 credits
This mandatory practice-based learning module which is a 10-week placement module sourced by the university, aims to further develop your knowledge and understanding of the patient journey with emphasis on social, economic, cultural and environmental factors that influence individual and community health and wellbeing. You should develop skills in recognising health inequities locally, nationality and internationally and recognise indicators of unhealthy lifestyle and apply your knowledge of health promotion and wellbeing including 'Making Every Contact Count' (MECC) during care delivery.
In year two, you will learn about the evidence base underpinning nursing care and develop your knowledge of drugs and therapies for all age groups and fields of nursing. This will equip you for your first clinical placement of year two. You will then go on to develop your knowledge of legal and ethical aspects of care and advance your teaching skills prior to your final 10-week clinical placement of year two. As in year one all placements are sourced by the university.
Therapeutic Approaches in Nursing Care - 20 credits
The module aims to introduce you to a range of therapeutic approaches/models that underpin nursing practice. You will be encouraged to examine how these approaches are reflected within the role, responsibilities and functions of the nursing associate.
Assessment: Tests, poster presentation
Evidence-Based Nursing Practice - 10 credits
In this module you will be introduced to evidence-based practice and research in nursing. You will develop understanding of your usefulness and importance in contributing to underpinning nursing knowledge and decisions. You will gain a fundamental understanding of various methodological approaches and the research process. The skills of appraising evidence and research will be explored and developed.
Providing and Monitoring Safe Care (Practice Placement 3) - 30 credits
This mandatory practice-based module which is the third 10-week placement on this course and sourced by the university, aims to provide you with opportunities to build on your foundation skills for practice gained in year one. It will enable you to work more independently with increasing competence in the role of a nursing associate student, including the ability to contribute to the evaluation of quality holistic person-centred care.
Supporting Learning and Assessment - 10 credits
Successful completion of this module enables you to demonstrate the skills, attitudes and behaviours that support personal development and lifelong learning. You will examine the principles and evidence that underpin approaches to learning and the contribution of learning theory will be explored to illustrate application in the assessment, planning and delivery of teaching.
Foundations in Legal and Ethical Aspects of Care - 20 credits
This module will introduce you to the underlying principles of healthcare ethics, legislation and social policy. This will include the protection of vulnerable people across the lifespan including those with complex needs. It is designed to equip you with the ability to recognise ethical challenges relating to people's choices and decision-making about their health and wellbeing across care settings. The ability to act within the law to help service users, families and carers to manage needs will be explored.
Effective Teamwork and Transition to Nursing Associate (Practice Placement 4) - 30 credits
The aim of this module is that you will be able to identify the principles of team working. On this course’s final 10-week mandatory placement which is sourced by the university, you will be provided with the opportunities to display a range of competencies, attitudes and behaviours required of a Nursing Associate. This module also aims to provide you with additional opportunity to display your ability to work independently with distant supervision, in a safe and increasingly confident manner to deliver quality holistic person-centred care. It will provide you with the opportunity to extend and apply the knowledge and skills you gave gained on the course.
We regularly review our course content, to make it relevant and current for the benefit of our students. For these reasons, course modules may be updated.
How you'll learn
This course offers a blended mode of delivery combining a wide range of online resources including videos, quizzes, games and workbooks with contact teaching time which includes workshops, seminars and clinical skills teaching in laboratories.
You will be allocated an Academic Personal Tutor (APT) for the duration of the course who will support and guide you to manage your study time, maximise learning opportunities and meet assignment submission dates. As digital literacy and technology is such an important factor in the delivery of healthcare, you will be supported to develop your digital literacy from the outset of the course.
In a typical 30-hour week, you will have around 15 hours of teaching contact hours which is made up of lectures and tutorials supplemented by online learning. This will lessen as you progress through the course and become better equipped to use the online learning resources. Developing independent learning capabilities and using digital learning resources are essential to equip you for lifelong learning and further study.
A wide variety of assessment are used throughout the course with half of the assessments taking place in your clinical placement areas. All of the assessments are designed to integrate theory and practice and to build on previous learning experiences. As you will be working 30 hours each week on your university studies or placement, this has been taken into account during the scheduling of the assessments to ensure a balanced and manageable assessment load both within modules and for the duration of the course.
Assessments include case study-based essays, presentations, reflections, practical clinical examinations, teaching Service Users or peers, and exams such as drug knowledge and calculations. Resources such as interactive workbooks and online quizzes are provided to help you assess your own learning as well as preparing you for assessments. Compassionate and caring attitudes and values are central to the role and will be assessed throughout the course.
The Nursing Associate foundation degree includes a comprehensive range of modules which were developed in collaboration with health and social care employers. This helps ensure our graduates are equipped for employment in a wide range of health and social care settings both locally and nationally.
International experience opportunities
As nursing associate students will be caring for service users from diverse populations, the course content will reflect this to include information and discussions to ensure cultural awareness and understanding of a range of topics such as societal influences, organ donation, end of life care, genetic conditions and other lifestyle factors. Opportunities to take part in international events on the campus and locally will be shared (which may be subject to additional costs and application).
The Nursing Associate role is unique to England. However the course will give you a wide range of placement learning experiences caring for people from diverse cultural backgrounds and can offer you a great foundation for working in an international care setting.
Typical offer for 2023/24 entry.
|Requirement||What we're looking for|
|A level||32 UCAS points|
|GCSE||Minimum GCSE English and Mathematics graded 9-4 / A*- C or equivalent such as Functional Skills Level 2|
|BTEC||32 UCAS points|
|Access Diploma||32 UCAS points from an Access to Higher Education Diploma, Access to Nursing or NVQ Level 3|
We recognise a breadth of qualifications, speak to one of our advisers today to find out how we can help you.
Other requirements include commitment to completing a Foundation Degree programme, intermediate IT skills, evidence of time management skills and ability to prioritise. An ability to work within multidisciplinary teams, escalate concerns, and show initiative are essential requirements for the role.
In line with the National Health Service constitution we use a values-based recruitment approach in seeking candidates with the appropriate values to support effective team working in delivering excellent patient care. You will also be required to attend a selection event, which provides detailed information about the course and assesses numeracy, literacy and aptitude as part of the selection process. Satisfactory health clearance and criminal records disclosure required.
All applications are considered on an individual basis and the whole application is reviewed which includes previous and predicted qualifications, experience, reference and your motivation to study the course.
We pride ourselves on offering competitive tuition fees which we review on an annual basis and offer a wide range of scholarships to support students with their studies. Course fees are calculated on the basis of what it costs to teach each course and we aim for total financial transparency.
For more information, please visit our Finance pages.
|UK||£9,250 per year||Not available|
How do you know if you need to pay UK or international tuition fees?
We carry out an initial fee status assessment based on the information you provide in your application. Your fee status determines your tuition fees, and what financial support and scholarships may be available to you. The rules about who pays UK (home) or international (overseas) fees for higher education courses in England are set by the government's Department for Education. The regulations identify all the different categories of student who can insist on paying the home rate. The regulations can be difficult to understand, so the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) has provided fee status guidance to help you identify whether you are eligible to pay the home or overseas rate.
If you meet all the criteria required by any one category, including any residence requirements, your institution must charge you the home rate. You only need to find one category that you fit into.
Our multi-million-pound Alison Gingell Building features a range of mock healthcare settings, including hospital wards, ambulance, therapy suites and community houses, giving you the opportunity to replicate real-life situations before you go on placement.
You’ll have the opportunity to make use of our extensive simulation facilities – from basic life support manikins to high tech simulation manikins, which emulate patient responses and test resuscitation skills. You will also use healthcare devices found in the real world of practice.
Mock hospital wards
Our mock hospital wards and critical care settings give you the chance to experience patient scenarios in a real-world environment.
Learn how to work with patients outside of a hospital setting in our simulated, two full-size community homes, specifically built for teaching.
Mock operating theatre
Our Alison Gingell building includes a full-size mock operating theatre, containing scrub sinks and theatre lights.
You will use equipment found in the real world of practice, such as medical devices to assist with all elements of care including medication administration, to help build confidence before you go on placement.
You’ll be able to make use of our extensive simulation facilities – from basic life support mannequins to high tech simulation dummies, which emulate patient responses and test resuscitation skills.
Mock hospital ward
Gaining experience using simulation across a range of care settings is aimed at building your confidence and knowledge about how to act in these situations. You can practise and develop your clinical and interpersonal skills in a safe but realistic environment.
We use actors to enhance your experience, giving you the opportunity to replicate real-life situations including breaking bad news, demonstrating emotional resilience, conflict, aggression, teaching and child protection conference.
The facilities available to you during the face-to-face teaching at our London campus in the new Hudson Building include a mock ward, high dependency unit and clinical skills centre with state-of-the-art equipment and simulators.
This range of mock healthcare settings, which also include therapy suites and a community apartment, give you the opportunity to replicate real-life situations before you go on placement.
You’ll make use of our extensive simulation facilities – from basic life support mannequins to high tech simulation dummies, which emulate patient responses and test resuscitation skills. You will also use equipment found in the real world of practice, such as medical devices to assist with all elements of care, particularly medication administrations.
Careers and opportunities
Throughout the course you will have opportunities to experience a variety of clinical placements and visits to different care settings which will help you decide where you would like to apply to work on completion of the course.
Where our graduates work
Our graduates are employed in acute care organisations, community care settings and within general practice and social care.
What our alumni say
The course has given me exposure to working with so many teams and learning about roles that I might be able to take on.
How to apply
Full-time students applying to start in September should apply for this course through UCAS. Part-time students should apply directly to the university. Read our application pages to find out your next steps to apply.
If you'd like further support or more information about your course get in touch with us today.
Chat with our admissions team
Complete our contact form.
If you’d like to apply for this course at our CU Scarborough campus then visit our application pages for further information. Find out what life is like as a CU Scarborough student on our dedicated website.
To apply for this course at Coventry University London visit our application guidance pages for further advice. Explore our dedicated website to find out what life as a student is like in the capital city of London.
Coventry University together with Coventry University London Campus, CU Coventry, CU London, CU Scarborough and Coventry University Online come together to form part of the Coventry University Group (the “University”) with all degrees awarded by Coventry University.
The majority of our courses have been formally recognised by professional bodies, which means the courses have been reviewed and tested to ensure they reach a set standard. In some instances, studying on an accredited course can give you additional benefits such as exemptions from professional exams (subject to availability, fees may apply). Accreditations, partnerships, exemptions and memberships shall be renewed in accordance with the relevant bodies’ standard review process and subject to the university maintaining the same high standards of course delivery.
2UK and international opportunities
Please note that we are unable to guarantee any UK or International opportunities (whether required or optional) such as internships, work experience, field trips, conferences, placements or study abroad opportunities and that all such opportunities may be subject to additional costs (which could include, but is not limited to, equipment, materials, bench fees, studio or facilities hire, travel, accommodation and visas), competitive application, availability and/or meeting any applicable travel COVID and visa requirements. To ensure that you fully understand the visa requirements, please contact the International Office.
The University will charge the tuition fees that are stated in the above table for the first Academic Year of study. The University will review tuition fees each year. For UK (home) students, if Parliament permit an increase in tuition fees, the University may increase fees for each subsequent year of study in line with any such changes. Note that any increase is expected to be in line with inflation.
For International Students, we may increase fees each year but such increases will be no more than 5% above inflation. If you defer your course start date or have to extend your studies beyond the normal duration of the course (e.g. to repeat a year or resit examinations) the University reserves the right to charge you fees at a higher rate and/or in accordance with any legislative changes during the additional period of study.
Due to COVID-19, some facilities (including some teaching and learning spaces) and some non-academic offerings (particularly in relation to international experiences), may vary from those advertised and may have reduced availability or restrictions on their use.
By accepting your offer of a place and enrolling with us, a Student Contract will be formed between you and the university. The 2023/24 Contract is currently being updated so please revisit this page before submitting your application. The Contract details your rights and the obligations you will be bound by during your time as a student and contains the obligations that the university will owe to you. You should read the Contract before you accept an offer of a place and before you enrol at the university.