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Study Nursing Courses in the UK for International Students

A UK nursing degree will provide you with the clinical skills and experience you need to be a professional nurse

Nursing courses in the UK provide the knowledge, values and skills you will need to pursue a career in a healthcare setting. If you thrive on the unexpected and want to make a difference in people’s lives, a career in nursing is for you.

UK nursing degrees are respected worldwide, with an international reputation for practice-based research and courses that benefit from the input of researchers and academics who are experts in their field. As a nursing student, you will study across a broad base of transferable knowledge and skill areas, becoming skilled in critical analysis and problem-solving, supporting you in understanding how to manage, support, and drive forward healthcare services and organisations.

Nursing UK application

Most nursing degrees last for four years, and students will cover various aspects of nursing study during this time. Compulsory courses in life sciences will take place, while placements in various community and medical centres will enable students to gain firsthand experience of their profession. Lectures, tutorials, practical sessions and group work will cover each aspect of Nursing during the study. Nursing degrees at UK universities also provide access to state-of-the-art medical facilities where you can practise in a live, simulated environment.

Specialist nursing courses are also available for nurses who are qualified outside the UK and wish to top-up their existing Diploma of Higher Education to a nursing degree in the UK. For students interested in postgraduate study, a master's degree in nursing provides advanced knowledge and training in your preferred field of practice. Nursing master's degrees are becoming increasingly popular as students look to get ahead in crowded job markets.

In the UK, nursing courses are regulated by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC), which sets nursing education and practice standards. Any nursing degree in the UK must meet the NMC's requirements to be accredited.

- Becoming a nurse in the UK

To become a nurse in the UK, you typically need to complete a nursing degree, which usually takes three to four years. There are several nursing fields to choose from, including adult nursing, mental health nursing, learning disability nursing, and children's nursing.

Once you have finished your course, you must register with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) to become a registered nurse. You must provide proof of your qualifications and pay a registration fee. Once you're registered with the NMC, you can start your career as a nurse working in various healthcare settings such as hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, and community centres.

Nursing Course Duration

In the UK, nursing degrees typically last for three to four years. The exact duration of the course can depend on factors such as the degree level (e.g. BSc or MSc), whether the course is taken full-time or part-time, and any breaks or interruptions in the study.

Nursing Course Tuition Fees

The tuition fees for an international student studying a full-time Bachelor of Science (BSc) in Nursing can range from £16,000 to £28,000 per year. Each UK university sets different tuition parameters, but you can speak to an SI-UK consultant to find out what nursing course fits your budget.

Scholarships for Nursing

There are a variety of nursing scholarships available to students studying nursing in the UK, including:

  • The NHS Learning Support Fund: This government-funded scholarship offers financial support to nursing, midwifery, and allied health professional students. It covers expenses such as tuition fees, travel, and living costs.
  • The Burdett Trust for Nursing: This charitable organisation offers scholarships and grants to support nursing education and research. The organisation offers several funding opportunities for nursing students, including the Burdett Trust for Nursing Student Scholarship.
  • The RCN Foundation: The Royal College of Nursing Foundation offers a variety of scholarships and grants to support nursing education, research, and leadership. These include the RCN Foundation Education Bursary and Research and Innovation Grant.
  • The Florence Nightingale Foundation: This foundation offers scholarships to support leadership development in nursing and midwifery. The scholarships cover tuition fees, travel, and living costs.
  • The Cavell Nurses' Trust: This charity assists nursing students experiencing financial hardship. The trust offers several types of support, including hardship grants, educational grants, and travel grants.

Types of Nursing Courses

  • Bachelor of Nursing (BN) or Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BScN): These courses are designed for students with no nursing experience and who want to become registered nurses. They typically last three to four years and include theoretical and practical training.
  • Master of Nursing (MN): This nursing master's degree is designed for registered nurses who want to advance their careers in nursing. It typically takes one to two years to complete and focuses on developing leadership and management skills.
  • Postgraduate Diploma in Nursing: This course is designed for registered nurses who want to specialise in a particular area of nursing, such as neonatal care, mental health, or critical care.
  • Nurse Associate Apprenticeship: This is a new nursing course that combines both academic study and on-the-job training. It is designed for healthcare support workers who want to become registered nurses.
  • PhD in Nursing: This research-based course prepares nurses for careers in academia or research.

Careers after Nursing

Nursing graduates can focus on four areas during their studies – adult, child, learning disability, and mental health – which will shape their future careers.

No two days for a fully qualified nurse are the same, and choosing what to focus on at the beginning of your career does not mean you are held permanently in that particular environment.

Salary after Nursing

The average salary for a new nursing graduate in the UK varies depending on the specific role and location. Still, according to the National Health Service (NHS), the starting salary for a newly qualified nurse is currently between £24,907 and £30,615 per year. This is based on a 37.5-hour work week.

The average salary for an experienced nurse in the UK also varies depending on the role and location. According to the NHS, the average salary for an experienced Band 5 nurse (which includes most registered nurses) is £25,655 to £31,534 per year, based on a 37.5-hour work week.

Entry Requirements for Nursing in the UK

The entry requirements for international students to study nursing in the UK vary depending on the level of study and the institution. International students must have completed secondary education equivalent to UK qualifications, such as A-levels or International Baccalaureate (IB). All international students are required to demonstrate proficiency in the English language.

International students must meet the health and character requirements set by the UK government, and some nursing departments may require relevant work experience in a healthcare setting before admitting students to their nursing degrees.

Nursing is a very competitive area of study, and it is important to show academic excellence when applying and have the right personality to take on such a demanding role.

  • Typical International Baccalaureate requirements: 32 points.
  • Typical A-level requirements: ABB.
  • Typical IELTS requirements: 7.0 overall, with no lower than 6.0 in any one component.

Where can I study Nursing in the UK?

To learn more about the best nursing universities in the UK, find details on the top ten ranking General Nursing schools in the Guardian University Guide 2024 below:

  1. University of Edinburgh
  2. University of Glasgow
  3. Kingston University
  4. University of Sheffield
  5. University of Liverpool
  6. Queen Margaret University
  7. University of West London
  8. University of Roehampton
  9. University of Hertfordshire
  10. University of York

Study Nursing in the UK

If you are interested in studying a Nursing course in the UK, arrange your free consultation today. Don't forget the Premium Service will guarantee you at least one offer from a UK university.

Nursing Degree FAQ

The tuition fees for nursing courses in the UK vary depending on the institution and the level of study. On average, international students can expect to pay between £15,000 and £25,000 per year for undergraduate nursing courses.

The requirements to study nursing in the UK include academic qualifications equivalent to UK qualifications, such as A-levels or IB, proficiency in the English language, meeting the health and character requirements set by the UK government, and relevant work experience in a healthcare setting (in some cases).

Typically, undergraduate nursing courses take three to four years, while postgraduate nursing courses take one to two years.

IELTS or another recognised English language test is usually required for international students studying nursing in the UK. The minimum required scores may vary depending on the institution, but a score of at least 6.5 on the IELTS exam is commonly required for nursing courses.

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