Nursing Associate Foundation Degree 2021/22 entry

Course code:


Study options:

2 years full-time



CU Scarborough (Scarborough)


March 2022
May 2022
July 2022


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For questions regarding study and admissions please contact us:

01723 336700

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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.

The Nursing Associate foundation degree is designed to meet the educational requirements necessary for the newly created nursing associate role, enabling successful graduates to register as a Nursing Associate with the Nursing and Midwifery Council, 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 therefore further enhancing career options. 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.

Coventry University has a large and successful School of Nursing, Midwifery and Health and we are ranked 4th in the Guardian University Guide 2020 for Nursing and Midwifery. 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. 

In response to a high demand for the nursing associate role, CU Scarborough is now offering a route on to this course at its North Yorkshire campus.

Why CU Scarborough

We offer a style of education which is flexible and designed to fit around your life, allowing you to benefit from a modern, forward-thinking higher education institution, reinforced by the quality and reputation of Coventry University. We aim to provide career-focused courses, wherever possible, coupled with placement opportunities to help prepare you for the world of work. We are dedicated to making higher education accessible and enjoyable to everyone, so we keep our fees low and made it a policy to cover one module at a time, allowing you to become a specialist in each topic before moving onto the next.


The University may deliver certain contact hours and assessments via emerging online technologies and methods across all courses. In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, we are prepared for courses due to start in or after the 2020/2021 academic year to be delivered in a variety of forms. The form of delivery will be determined in accordance with Government and Public Health guidance. Whether on campus or online, our key priority is staff and student safety.

Due to the ongoing restrictions relating 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.


Dedicated Careers & Employability department who will assist you in finding employment

Top Quality Courses

Taught by industry professionals, awarded by Coventry University

No End of Year Exams

Our modern teaching techniques mean no last-minute cramming and less stress

Professional Recognition

Specific courses contain additional industry recognised qualifications from awarding bodies

Accreditation and Professional Recognition

This course is recognised by the following professional bodies:

Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC)

Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC)

The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) will be regulating the Nursing Associate role and approving Nursing Associate courses. 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 will be available on the NMC website.

Health and social care employers

The course was developed in collaboration with health and social care employers in Coventry & 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.

Coventry University has a process for assessing any claim for recognition of prior learning (RPL). The admissions team can provide advice to individual applicants.

Course information

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.

Course Specification
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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 CU Scarborough. 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

    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

    This module aims to introduce you to the concept of health and well-being, 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.

  • Foundations in Communication and Professional Practice (Practice Placement 1)

    This mandatory* 10 week placement module, which is sourced by CU Scarborough, aims to enable you to demonstrate and promote professional values, attitudes and behaviours in a practiced-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

    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 health care 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.

  • Promoting Health and Wellbeing Preventing Ill Health (Practice Placement 2)

    This mandatory practice-based learning module* which is a 10 week placement module sourced by CU Scarborough, 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 well-being. 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 well-being including 'Making Every Contact Count' (MECC) during care delivery.

Thought about a different campus?

CU Coventry, CU London and CU Scarborough come together to form CU, part of the Coventry University Group. Students who study at CU will graduate with a degree awarded and accredited by Coventry University.

All CU students have the opportunity to move between each campus after completing an academic year. This means you can study in the vibrant city of Coventry, the UK’s capital, or on the stunning Yorkshire coast. Find out more about the CU offering.


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 CU Scarborough.


  • Therapeutic Approaches in Nursing Care

    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.

  • Evidence Based Nursing Practice

    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)

    This mandatory practice-based module* which is the third 10 week placement on this course and sourced by CU Scarborough 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

    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 & Ethical Aspects of Care

    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)

    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 CU Scarborough, 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.

In more detail...

  • Nursing at Coventry University is ranked 4th overall and joint first for career prospects in the UK by the Guardian University Guide 2020.
  • Fully accredited by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) providing eligibility for registration as a Nursing Associate on successful completion of the course.
  • Well established clinical placements, teaching and research links with local partner Trusts within the National Health Service (NHS) and other healthcare providers, such as private hospitals, hospices and community settings and commended by the NMC for our partnership working.

The course is designed to ensure you fully meet the six platforms of the NMC Standards of Proficiency for Nursing Associates. The learning outcomes for each module are mapped to the platforms so you can progressively develop the knowledge, skills and attributes needed to achieve these.

Platform 1. Being and accountable professional: Nursing associates act in the best interests of people, putting them first and providing nursing care that is person-centred, safe and compassionate. You will learn about the NMC Code and how to act professionally at all times. Your learning will be structured so that you learn how to use their knowledge and experience to make evidence based decisions and solve problems. They recognise and work within the limits of their competence and are responsible for their actions

Platform 2. Promoting health and preventing ill health: Nursing associates play a role in supporting people to improve and maintain their mental, physical, behavioural health and wellbeing. You will learn about a range of conditions and how to be actively involved in the prevention of and protection against disease and ill health. You will be supported to engage in public health, community development, and in the reduction of health inequalities.

Platform 3. Provide and monitor care: Nursing associates provide compassionate, safe and effective care and support to people in a range of care settings. You will develop the knowledge and skills to monitor the condition and health needs of people within your care on a continual basis in partnership with people, families, and carers. In the classroom and practice setting you will learn how to contribute to ongoing assessment and recognise when it is necessary to refer to others for reassessment.

Platform 4. Working in teams: During the course you will learn with and from others in the classroom and placement areas. You will develop the skills and confidence to play an active role as members of interdisciplinary teams, collaborating and communicating effectively with nurses, a range of other health and care professionals and lay carers.

Platform 5. Improving safety and quality of care: From the outset of the course you will encouraged and supported to understand the importance of the patient/service users experience. Service users and carers will input to a range of activities to aid your understanding and learning about their journey. You will learn how to improve the quality of care by contributing to the continuous monitoring of people’s experience of care. You will develop the knowledge and skills to identify risks to safety or experience and take appropriate action, putting the best interests, needs and preferences of people first.

Platform 6. Contributing to integrated care: Nursing associates contribute to the provision of care for people, including those with complex needs. You will experience a variety of placements which will help you understand the roles of a range of professionals and carers from other organisations and settings who may be participating in the care of a person and their family.

During your theory modules your learning will be supported by interactive lectures, workshops and seminars where you learn with and from other students. You will have clinical skills teaching in laboratories and skills-related tutorials. A wide range of online resources including videos, quizzes, games and workbooks will be available for you to undertake guided and self-directed learning and help you with your assignments.

Placements will take place with one of our partner settings, which will normally be in the Scarborough region, however to ensure you have a breadth of placement experiences you may be required to travel to attend placements.

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 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. A Practice Facilitator will also support you during your placements.

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 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.

On successful completion of the course you will be eligible to apply to join the UK 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

Teaching contact hours are made up of lectures, tutorials and online learning. Developing independent learning capabilities and using digital learning resources are essential to equip you for lifelong learning and further study. During your placement weeks you will be supported and supervised by a Practice Assessor and Practice Supervisor and should be supernumerary at all times.

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 trips will be shared (which may be subject to additional costs and application).

What our students say

I have benefited from the wide variety of teaching styles utilised within this course from the standard lecture formats with engaging lecturers, games and online activities. Coventry University have presented this education programme so that it is accessible to all students willing to learn.

Emma Shankland, Nursing Associate Apprenticeship Route student 2020

Entry Requirements

  Vaccination requirement

The Government has announced its intention that from 1 April 2022 all those working in health and social care settings will need to provide evidence that they have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, unless they are medically exempt.
These measures are being put in place to protect all patients and staff, and subject to the Parliament’s approval in Spring 2022, will be mandatory.

As this course is conditional upon you completing a practical placement in a health and social care setting, you will need evidence that you have been fully vaccinated after 1 April 2022 (unless you have certified proof of a government-approved medical exemption). Please note that the Government is considering whether the flu vaccine should also be mandatory for those working in health and social care settings.

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Applicants should have GCSE Maths and English (grade C / grades 4-9) or equivalent such as Functional Skills level 2 and academic attainment at Level 3 (normally 32 UCAS points).   UCAS points can be achieved through level 3 qualifications including Access to Higher Education Diploma or Access to Nursing, A Levels, NVQ Level 3, or BTEC National Diploma.  

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.

CU Scarborough has assessed that you can achieve the required grades and we have demonstrated this belief by making you an offer. This is our commitment to you so then we ask that you reciprocate this commitment by selecting us as your ‘firm’ choice and activating your offer.

We will consider other qualifications for a pre-result unconditional offer if you have an appropriate proven performance at GCSE (or equivalent) level and predicted grades in line with grades that we expect to see at A-level. Other qualifications that we may consider for a pre-result unconditional offer include: The International Baccalaureate Diploma, BTEC Level 3 qualifications, Cambridge Pre-U and combinations of qualifications (e.g. BTECS plus A-levels).

An unconditional offer is what it says it is. So, if you don’t meet your predictions then your place is still guaranteed. However, we would hope and expect that you continue to work hard to make the most of your potential and be best prepared to study at university level.

No, the unconditional offer is only available to those who will take up their place in the year for which they applied.

If you don’t meet the entry requirements for this course, we have a number of programmes which upon completion, automatically qualifies you onto a place on this degree course, such as Foundation Years or Access to Higher Education Diplomas.

What our students say

I can honestly say that the team at Coventry University have helped me in achieving my dream. They have supported me when things overwhelm me, they have guided me when I have lost my way, they have motivated me to keep going and they have above all encouraged me and believed in me, even when I have doubted myself.

Emma Shankland, Nursing Associate Apprenticeship Route student 2020

Tuition Fees

We pride ourselves on offering competitive tuition fees which we review on an annual basis. Course fees are calculated on the basis of what it costs to teach each course and we aim for total financial transparency.



March 2022

£9,250 (per year)

May 2022

£9,250 (per year)

July 2022

£9,250 (per year)

This course may incur additional costs associated with any field trips, placements or work experience, study abroad opportunities or any other opportunity (whether required or optional), which could include (but is not limited to) travel, accommodation, activities and visas.

As part of your course you will need to travel to placements and will need to pay any associated costs. You will therefore need access to a laptop (or equivalent) and an internet connection to complete online learning and assessments.

EU student fees

EU nationals and their family members starting in the 2019/20 academic year remain eligible for the same fees as home students and the same financial support. Financial support comes from Student Finance England, and covers undergraduate and postgraduate study for the duration of their course, providing they meet the residency requirement.

For tuition fee loans:
EU nationals must have resided in the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland for the three years prior to the start of their course. The purpose of that three year residency should not have been mainly for the purpose of receiving full time education.

For maintenance loans:
EU nationals must have resided in the UK and Islands for the five years prior to the start of their course. The purpose of that five year residency should not have been mainly for the purpose of receiving full time education.

What our students say

The nursing associate course is challenging but so rewarding and I have enjoyed every moment of it and would encourage anyone interested in the role to apply.

Donna Blacker – Nursing Associate Apprenticeship Route graduate 2020

Career prospects

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 students say

The course has given me exposure to working with so many teams and learn about roles that I might be able to take on.


The tuition fee for the course that is stated on the course webpage and in the prospectus for the first year of study will apply. We will review tuition fees each year. For UK and EU students, if Parliament permit an increase in tuition fees, we 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. Following the UK’s planned exit from the European Union, EU students should be aware that there may be a change to UK laws following the UK’s exit, this may change their student status, their eligibility to study part time, and/or their eligibility for student finance. We will act in accordance with the UK’s laws in force in relation to student tuition fees and finance at that time. For international students, we may increase fees for each subsequent year of study but such increases will be no more than 5% above inflation.