FdSc Nursing Associate (Direct Entry Route)




Two year

Next enrolment

September 2023


In a nutshell

Please note, the next intake after April 2023 will be September 2023.

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 programme is a two-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 work alongside qualified practice assessors and supervisors in practice learning areas where you will experience a wide variety of care-giving settings. You will be expected to work the same shift patterns as your practice supervisor (including weekends and night duty) and will need to be able to travel to and from clinical placements.

You will spend half of your time at the University and the other half working in hospital and community settings, within the NHS and independent sector. These practice learning opportunities will be across the Greater Manchester area. 

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 want to care for patients in all fields of practice (physical and mental health)


You want a qualification which will allow you to work in a variety of healthcare and social care settings


You want to provide excellent fundamental nursing care to patients


You are looking to develop your career within healthcare


You want to make a real difference


You are hardworking and committed

Course details

All about the course

You will spend 50% of your time at university, studying 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 students to develop their professionalism, interpersonal skills and find out more about human anatomy, person-centred care, safeguarding, public health and health promotion.

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

You will spend the remaining 50% of your time working in healthcare settings alongside qualified practice assessors and supervisors. you will be expected to work the same shift patterns as your practice supervisor (including weekends and night duty) and will need to be able to travel to and from clinical placements. To be able to successfully complete the programme, you will be required to evidence 2300 programme hours. 

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?


At university a blended learning approach will provide the foundation to the teaching and learning strategy by way of lectures,  seminars, masterclasses, action learning, guided independent study, simulation and workshops. 
The course has an equal split between time spent in theory and time spent in practice.


Throughout the programme, you 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.

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. As a graduate and qualified nursing associate you will be able to apply for a job in either an acute setting such as a hospital or in the community. You may want to work within the NHS or in the public and private sectors. 

A taste of what you could become

A Nursing Associate


What you need to know

Healthcare is not a nine-to-five job. Neither is being a student nursing associate:

You will be expected to work the same shifts as your practice supervisor in hospital and community settings

You do not get long holiday breaks. Our course has fixed non negotiable annual leave weeks.

Considerable travelling may be required for both hospital and community placements

As part of the application process, you may be invited to complete an assessment / attend an online activity. If this is the case, we will contact you with further details. 

The programme structure will be delivered on a mix of part-time, day release and block delivery basis.

Standard entry requirements


You will need GCSE Maths and English at grade C/ grade 4 or above or equivalent Functional Skills level 2 and demonstrate the academic aptitude to undertake the programme by providing evidence of study or professional development within the past 3 years. 

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 of intermediate IT skills.

Previous experience as a healthcare assistant/clinical support worker is desirable but not essential, however you will need to demonstrate the commitment to undertake the challenge of a career in 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.

Additional Costs

For more information about uniform, DBS, Occupational Health clearance and immunisations, visit our page of Information for students.

You should consider further costs which may include immunisations, books, stationary, printing, binding and general subsistence on trips and visits.

If you are not from a majority English speaking country, you will need IELTS 7.0 with no element below 7.0. We also accept a range of other English language qualifications. If you do not have the English language requirements, you could take the Pre-Sessional English course to gain entry onto this degree.

How much?

Type of study Year Fees
Full-time home 2023/24 £9,250per year

Additional costs

You should also consider further costs which may include books, stationery, printing, binding and general subsistence on trips and visits.

Apply now


Enrolment dates

September 2023

April 2024

September 2024

UCAS information

Course ID B713

Institution S03