Degree Apprenticeship FdSc

Nursing Associate (Nursing Associate Higher Apprenticeship)




25 month

Next enrolment

September 2024


In a nutshell

The Nursing Associate is a highly trained support role to deliver effective, safe and responsive nursing care in and across a wide range of health and care settings. This role will bridge the gap between a support worker and a Registered Nurse, providing a workforce for future healthcare. The apprenticeship programme is approximately a two and a half year programme leading to a Nursing Associate Foundation Degree.

Nursing Associates will work independently, and as part of the healthcare team, delivering care in a range of primary, secondary, community and social care settings. In this role, you will deliver hands-on care, focusing on ensuring patients continue to get the compassionate care they deserve. 

You will:

  • Develop high quality, compassionate care under the direction of a Registered Nurse (or other registered health and social care professional).
  • Work as part of a designated team delivering care that focuses on the direct needs of the individual.
  • Learn in our purpose-built, state-of-the-art simulation suite facilities.

options available

This is for you if...


You are a healthcare assistant


You are a clinical support worker


You are looking for a new challenge


You are looking to develop and progress your career within healthcare


You want to make a real difference


You are hardworking and committed

Course details

All about the course

The Nursing Associate training programme combines and integrates both academic and work-based learning. A trainee Nursing Associate will be based, as an employee, in a particular organisation, in a specific setting, but will experience working in alternative settings in order to gain a wide appreciation of many health and care contexts and are able to fulfil all the requirements of the programme.

There are two distinct components to the higher apprenticeship – the academic programme and the work-based assessment. The University – as the lead provider – is responsible for delivering the academic programme. The employer is responsible for delivering the work-based assessment components. The University and employer work closely with each other to:

  1. Assure that knowledge you gain on the programme is successfully applied in the workplace.
  2. To ensure that the standards and practices required to meet the professional competencies contained in the apprenticeship standard are adequately evidenced by you. 

Apprentices will study six modules in total throughout the programme. The first year will comprise of modules such as; Foundations of Health and Wellbeing, Application of Skills to Support Health and Wellbeing 1 and Application of Skills to Support Health and Wellbeing 2. These modules will allow apprentices to develop their professionalism, interpersonal skills and find out more about human anatomy, person-centred care, safeguarding and public health and health promotion.

The second year of the programme will include modules such as; Introduction to Reflective Practice, Exploring Specific Health Issues and Developing and Changing Practice. These modules will develop knowledge of long-term conditions, medication management, mentorship, service improvement and nursing interventions.

Year one

Foundations of Health and Wellbeing

This module will enable you to display a commitment to professional values, standards and ethical practice within the parameters of practice for your role. You will examine the theories & principles that underpin health & social care and you will learn to apply and promote safe and effective, person-centred nursing care.

Application of Skills to Support Health and Wellbeing 1

In this module, you will explore the principles of public health and develop skills in health promotion and preventative healthcare for individuals across the lifespan, communities and populations. You will develop knowledge and skills in identifying and managing safeguarding issues and risk assessment and management across the lifespan and develop knowledge of key body systems and apply this to key skills in routine care delivery. 

Application of Skills to Support Health and Wellbeing 2

This module will enable you to advance your knowledge and skills of the principles of care delivery for the acutely ill person across the lifespan, whilst maintaining professional values, working within legal and ethical frameworks and parameters of practice. You will develop knowledge of how physical and psychological health are affected by ill-health and engage in holistic person-centred care planning. 

Year two

Exploring Specific Health ISsues

This module will provide you with the knowledge, clinical and care skills and attitudes & behaviours to provide holistic, patient centred care of mental and physical health across the life span. You will experience a range of opportunities to practice safe and effective nursing care for people with long-term conditions and you will develop the required knowledge and skills for the safe administration of medicines.

Preparation for Professional (NA) Practice

This module will enable you to explore your own role in relation to duty of care, equality & diversity and within the multidisciplinary team. You will understand and engage in the process of reflection for providing safe and effective nursing care across the lifespan and when faced with challenges. You will also explore clinical decision-making skills when prioritising care within a busy environment.

Developing and Changing Practice

This module will enable you to engage in research development & innovation to support evidence-based practice.  You will develop your leadership skills to support your own and colleagues learning and assessment in practice.

Please note that it may not be possible to deliver the full list of options every year as this will depend on factors such as how many students choose a particular option. Exact modules may also vary in order to keep content current. When accepting your offer of a place to study on this programme, you should be aware that not all optional modules will be running each year. Your tutor will be able to advise you as to the available options on or before the start of the programme. Whilst the University tries to ensure that you are able to undertake your preferred options, it cannot guarantee this.

What will I be doing?


The Nursing Associate will undertake a variety of placements. For some specialist/smaller organisations, apprentices may be required to undertake placements in a neighbouring organisation. The University of Salford will deliver the academic aspect of the programme. Nursing Associates will work clinically for 30 hours (pro rata part time) and attend University for 7.5 hours per week.


Throughout the apprenticeship, apprentices will be assessed in both clinical placements and in the University. Assessment will take place via a range of methods including; practice assessments, essays, objective structured clinical exam (OSCE), presentations and viva examinations. All apprentices will need to complete an End Point Assessment (EPA) as part of their apprenticeship. This can only be taken once the Level 5 Foundation Degree has been completed successfully. The EPA comprises of an observation including question and answer session as necessary and a professional discussion.

The School of Health and Society

The School of Health and Society recognises the importance of ensuring all our students are equipped with the knowledge and skills required to develop a fulfilling and successful career. The school offers a wide range of undergraduate courses for today’s challenging health and social care environment, incorporating clinical placement and work experience opportunities. At postgraduate and post-qualifying level, we offer the opportunity to specialise further in subjects including diabetes care, dementia care, advanced practice for nursing and social care, and leadership and management for healthcare practice.

Patient Simulation Suites

The patient simulation laboratory provides you with the opportunity to tackle real-life scenarios in a safe and supported environment. Set up like a hospital ward, the lab contains hi-tech patient simulators that can mimic everything from the common cold to a major heart condition.

The equipment includes:

  • Emergency Care Patient Simulators: Anatomically correct, feature-rich mannequins, which can be used for the physical demonstration of various clinical signs including bleeding, breathing, blinking eyes and convulsions.
  • iStan Patient Simulators: A step up from the ECS, the iStan adds an essential human element to patient simulation. It moves, breathes, can cry out or moan with pain, providing a realistic patient for you to practice on
  • Pedia Patient Simulator: A complete reproduction of a six-year-old child enabling you to practice paediatric scenarios
  • Baby simulator: This mannequin makes it possible to interact with our most vulnerable patients - in a safe, realistic learning environment

All the simulation equipment can be linked up to some very hi-tech computer and audio-visual aids. Groups of students get to role-play a wide range of different scenarios, with a lab co-ordinator observing, running and intervening in the scenario remotely.

Sophisticated computer equipment can also provide detailed physiological information for each of the simulators under observation. The lab will help you develop the clinical skills you need but also the high level communication skills that will make a real difference to your patients.


Employment and stats

What about after uni?

Completion of this course could enable you to develop and progress your career in healthcare.

A taste of what you could become

A Nursing Associate


What you need to know

The programme structure will be delivered to degree apprentices on a mix of part-time, day release and block delivery basis subject to agreement by the employer and the University.

In order to undertake this degree apprenticeship, you will need to be currently in full-time employment (minimum 30 hours a week), spending at least 50% of your time in England. You will need to be in a relevant role and your employer must be willing to support you through the programme. Search for degree apprenticeship roles with local employers.

The apprenticeship will run approximately over two years plus 1 month for EPA. A minimum of 20% of the apprenticeship will be spent off the job with the employer or in University and the rest of the time will be spent in clinical practice. Apprentices will be expected to work the shift pattern in place within the clinical area they are working in.

English language requirements 

Unfortunately, we are not able to recruit international students onto our Higher and Degree Apprenticeship programmes. 

Standard entry requirements


You will need GCSE Maths and English at grade C/ grade 4 or above or equivalent Functional Skills level 2. 

You must fulfil our GCSE entry requirements as well as one of the requirements listed below. 


You will also need to demonstrate an ability to study at diploma level with a commitment to complete a foundation degree programme and have experience working within healthcare and intermediate IT skills.

The Nursing Associate apprenticeship programme is for healthcare assistants/clinical support workers who are looking for a new challenge and an opportunity to develop and progress their career within healthcare.

Accreditation of Prior Learning

An applicant who meets the General Entry Academic Requirements as well as further study at Level 4 or above can apply for recognition of prior learning up to a maximum of 50% of the programme. This maximum limit of 50% does not apply to applicants to pre-registration nursing associate programmes who are currently an NMC registered nurse without restrictions on their practice.

An applicant who does not possess one of the qualifications which satisfies the General Academic Entry Requirement may be considered through the Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL) (both Certified Prior Learning and/or one Prior Experiential Learning) as per the University’s Admissions and Retention Policy.

Alternative entry requirements

Salford Alternative Entry Scheme (SAES)

We welcome applications from students who may not meet the stated entry criteria but who can demonstrate their ability to pursue the course successfully. Once we have received your application we will assess it and recommend it for SAES if you are an eligible candidate.

There are two different routes through the Salford Alternative Entry Scheme and applicants will be directed to the one appropriate for their course. Assessment will either be through a review of prior learning or through a formal test.

How much?

The cost of the full degree apprenticeship programme is £15,000. The cost of the apprenticeship will be covered by your employer and/ or the government. You will need to cover the cost of any study materials plus travel to and from campus if required. 

Apprenticeship Funding

The apprenticeship levy was introduced in April 2017 and requires all employers operating in the UK, with a pay bill of over £3 million each year to invest in apprenticeships.

The funding policy supports the changes to the way apprenticeships in England are paid for, underpinned by the apprenticeship levy of 0.5% of the annual pay bill for companies paying over £3 million per year.

There is also a co-investment model for companies who will not be paying into the levy. The government will cover 95% of the cost of the apprenticeship and the employer will only have to contribute the remaining 5%. Once payments have been declared to HMRC, employers will now have access to a digital apprenticeship account from which they will be able to access funding to pay for apprenticeship training.

The maximum amount of money allocated to each standard falls into one of 30 funding bands, ranging from £1,500 to £27,000. The Nursing Associate standard has been allocated the following funding band:

Funding band maximum: £15,000

Find out more about apprenticeship funding

Apply now


To apply for this programme, you must be employed in a relevant field (NHS, private Healthcare, etc.). Apprenticeship roles as Nursing Associates can be found on the links below:

The application process is two-stage - you must apply to the NHS or other relevant healthcare organisation for your role first. Following this, the organisation will put you forward to the university, where you will have to apply to the apprenticeship programme via our online application form. 

If you are already employed and want to apply for this apprenticeship, the first step is to speak with your organisation's apprentice lead. They will provide the funding and make initial contact with the Apprenticeship Services Unit at the university.

Information for employers:

If you want to support an employee on an apprenticeship programme, complete the contact form, or email

Enrolment dates

September 2024

March 2025

September 2025