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Nursing Degree Courses in UK

If you’re an EU student, studying for a Nursing degree in UK is the best decision to become a fully qualified nurse. Nursing is a rewarding job with a wide range of career paths and opportunities for advancement. It’s also a highly employable field, as 94% of nursing students in the UK get a job within six months of finishing their nursing degree course. While it’s a challenging job, most nurses report a high level of job satisfaction as they can help people and make a difference. There is lots of choice in terms of specialisations, and working for the NHS comes with many benefits.

Nursing Degree Career and Salary

In the UK there are four main fields of Nursing, adult, children’s, learning disability and mental health. Even within these fields, you can become specialised with further training, advancing your career and salary. Nurses must register with NMC and continue to stay up to date with training throughout their careers. Students need to pass an NMC-approved course to become a registered nurse and start work for the NHS or private sector. A nursing degree typically takes 3-4 years full time to complete, depending on which type of Nursing you choose to study. NMC approved courses consist of half practical training and half theoretical training.

The average Nurse earns approximately £33,000 £-35,000 per year. For NHS nurses, salary depends on their current “band”. For example at band 5, the level of a qualified nurse after graduation, a nurse can start earning around £24,907. After a nurse has moved up to the top of band 5 through experience, they can move up to band 6 by completing further training and qualifications, becoming a Senior Nurse or a Specialist, where the salary starts at £31,365. The highest is band 9, the highly specialised position of nursing consultant, with an earning potential of over £100,000. Working for the NHS has many benefits including the NHS pension scheme, increased pay for “unsociable hours” (weekends, night shift, holidays) and paid training opportunities.

Advancement of career is similar in the private sector, but the average salary is difficult to calculate and compare due to lack of regulation. It is typically considered to be similar to the salaries of NHS workers, sometimes being higher. Promotions are based on training and experience, but salaries are not determined by government-regulated bands. Many nurses also work through agencies, earning a high hourly rate and enjoying more flexibility, but this is without sick pay or annual leave.

Nursing Degree Entry Requirements

Applications for most UK degrees, including Nursing, can be made online through UCAS (the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service).  Make sure you check the requirements of your chosen University before applying, as some may vary in their specifications. The first requirement is a high level of English, which is usually an IELTS total score above 7.0, or equivalent. Grade entry requirements are equivalent to around AAB – ACC for A levels. Check the equivalent grade in your country through an online calculator, or in the university’s application guide. Most nursing degrees also require you to have studied a science subject, such as Biology.

You will need to provide a transcript of your grades and evidence of your level of English, so make sure you have it ready.  Before your application is accepted it’s likely that you will also be interviewed. Some Universities will require an occupational health check and a background check (DBS) as you will take part in practical training and placements throughout your degree.

Nursing Degree Fees and Scholarships

In the UK, EU students pay the same fees as UK citizens and can apply for up to £9,250 per year in student finance. On average, it costs approximately £9,250 per year to study nursing in the UK. Some courses can start as low as £1,820 per year, such as at Edinburgh or Glasgow Universities in Scotland, where EU students are eligible for the same fees as local students.
Each university has separate scholarships and bursaries, so be sure to check the college website and eligibility requirements.

Tuition fees are not the only costs of studying abroad. Remember to consider other course costs, such as clinical equipment, textbooks, uniforms, travel costs for nursing placements and along with local living costs such as food and accommodation.

If you are already resident in the UK, then you may also be eligible for a bursary through the NHS.

Best Universities to Study Nursing Degree

Students can choose an area of Nursing (or two) when studying BN Nursing or BSC Nursing. The degree will take three or four years to complete, with a balance between practical and theoretical training. All of these colleges are NMC approved and follow their educational requirements, so success in one of these degrees will result in the ability to register as a nurse with the NMC.  There are many great universities in the UK where you can study nursing, but here is a quick guide to the top five universities:

University of Edinburgh

Course: BN Nursing studies

Duration: 4 years

Location: Edinburgh, Scotland

Entry requirements: IELTS score of 7.0 or above, A levels AAB-ABB or equivalent. Students must also take the University Clinical Aptitude Test (UCAT) before applying through UCAS. They have a useful guide on their website detailing the academic requirements specific to each country

Tuition Fees for EU students: £1,820 per year.

Liverpool University

Course: BN nursing (Hons)

Duration: 4 years

Location: Liverpool, (West) England

Entry requirements: 74% overall grade including the subject of Biology. IELTS 7.0 or above

Tuition Fees for EU students: £9,250 per year.

University of Glasgow

Course: BN (hons) Nursing

Duration: 4 years

Location: Glasgow, Scotland

Entry requirements: A high score in two of these subjects Chemistry, Biology, Physics, Mathematics, English. IELTS score of 7.0 or above. Interview.

Tuition Fees for EU students: £1,820 per year. Scholarships are available.

Coventry University

Course: BSC (Hons) Learning Disabilities Nursing, BSC (Hons) Mental Health Nursing, BSC (Hons) Midwifery, BSC (Hons) Adult Nursing, BSC (Hons) Children and Young People’s Nursing

Duration: 3 years

Location: CU Scarborough, England.

Entry Requirements: A level BCC, IELTS 6.5 or above.

Tuition Fees for EU students: £9,250 per year

University of Portsmouth

Course: BN (hons) Nursing (adult), BN (hons) Nursing (mental health).

Duration: 3 years

Location: Portsmouth, England.

Entry Requirements: IELTS 7.0 or above, A levels ABB or equivalent. Pre-sessional English course available to international students struggling to meet the language requirement.

Tuition Fees for EU students: £9,250 per year.

Testimonials from Nursing Degree Students

My degree has given me the experience and knowledge that I need to be a success in my new role. The lectures have been really interactive and engaging covering subjects ranging from how the NHS works to learning about the vulnerability of our patients.

Ewout Van Sabban

I am currently completing my preceptorship which takes six to eight months and has been a really great experience so far in helping me make the transition from student to qualified nurse. At the moment I’m keeping my options open in terms of next steps. That’s one of the best things about choosing nursing, the fact that there are so many different options I can take and it’s so flexible. Who knows what the future holds!

Aisha Thabet

On my pre-nursing course at college, the surgical nurses really inspired me with their expertise, pioneering work and dedication. Even the patients encouraged me!”  “The best thing about nursing is it opens up doors you’ve never even thought of. I love being able to try out new things and discover what I like best. A lot of people say nursing is a vocation, but I don’t agree – I see it as a career, one I really enjoy and get a lot of personal satisfaction from.

Paul Malone

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