Nursing (Adult Nursing)

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About this course

Accreditations and partnerships:



What is nursing?

Nursing is primarily a practice based discipline, which values human beings. At its best it enables people to reach and maintain their health and social goals in order to achieve their optimum quality of life. Nursing is founded on the premise that human beings should have dignity, are worthy of respect and have individual rights, responsibilities, needs and beliefs. Nursing is not confined to boundaries of alleviating sickness and suffering but is also concerned with the whole person and the promotion of health and wellness in individuals and the public.

Adult Nursing

Adult Nursing is a challenging profession due to the range of situations encountered. Adult Nurses will assess the needs and manage the care of patients and their families whilst also being alert to changes in their presentation. The practice of nursing involves complex partnerships with a variety of people and agencies; working with carers, families, friends, and members of other professions.

The demand for continuing care services for older people is growing due to an increasing ageing population, recent changes in healthcare delivery, and other demographic and social trends. Surgical day cases have increased markedly and the development of care in the community is on-going. These changes are acknowledged and reflected throughout the Adult Nursing course, where you will gain experiences in both community and hospital settings.

The Course

The underpinning philosophy of the course is to develop nurses who have the core values of courage; kindness; sensitivity and compassion; who are committed to provide care skilfully and competently using excellent communication skills. 

Through a carefully integrated balance of theory and practice, the course aims to provide you at the point of registration with the knowledge, expertise and competence required of a registered practitioner.

After successful completion of the course you will be awarded registration as a nurse on the Professional Register held by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC).

Flexible Learning

The Department has adopted technology enhanced learning methods for many modules, making it easier for you to do some of your studying off-campus at a time that suits you.

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>> Structure

Student's view

"To be a nurse it takes something more. Glenside is the best UWE campus; it's so beautiful and amazing. It's such a family here, everybody supports you and it's easy to get to know new people."
Aled, Adult Nursing student



You can choose to study the course at either the Glenside Campus in Bristol or Gloucester Campus.

Central to the core subjects of nursing theory and practice you will also study supporting topics of biology, psychology, sociology and information technology, all applied to health care in a professional setting.

Throughout the course you will find a strong emphasis on the development of inter-professional and interpersonal skills essential to establish effective working relationships with service users, carers, their families and other health and social care professionals.

Year 1

You will study the following compulsory modules:

  • Communication in a Diverse World
  • Understanding Adult Nursing
  • Appreciating Evidence for Practice
  • Physiology and Pharmacology
  • Participating in the Practice of Adult Nursing

Year 2

You will study the following compulsory modules:

  • Planning and Delivering Nursing Care
  • Service Improvement a Collaborative Approach
  • Evidence-Based Practice for Nursing and Midwifery
  • Implementing the Practice of Adult Nursing

Year 3

You will study the following compulsory modules:

  • Leadership in Adult Nursing
  • Managing the Practice of Adult Nursing
  • Nursing and Midwifery Dissertation

Plus one of the following:

  • End of Life Care
  • Public Health and Health Promotion for Professional Practice
  • Nursing in a Diverse World
  • Evidencing in Work-Based Learning
  • Family and Carer Work for Serious Mental Illness
  • Motivational Interviewing
  • Principles of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
  • Mental Health and Well-being of Children and Young People
  • Person-Centred Care with People with Dementia

Please note course content and structure can change from year to year. As a result there can be variation between the information shown here and the course when it is delivered.

Learning and Teaching

The course runs on a modular basis and theory is delivered full-time between the hours of 09:00 and 18:00, Monday to Friday, excluding bank holidays. There may be a requirement to travel to other campuses.

You will spend half of the course on placement within a range of acute and primary care settings. You will be required to take part in the full range of shifts over a 24 hour period, including nights and weekends, from the start of your first year.

How you'll learn

We expect you to take a great deal of the responsibility for your own learning as many of the modules may be taught using distance learning materials. This method relies heavily on your self-direction and it is important to develop this aspect to ensure life-long interest in the pursuit of knowledge.

Learning and teaching methods range from lectures, seminars, technology enhanced learning, simulation, student-led presentations and case studies. Support for studying is provided by academic staff and during practice placements by registered nursing staff.

For more details see our full glossary of learning and teaching terms.

What you'll learn

Study themes running through the course include:

  • Nursing theory and practice
  • Nursing management
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Development of professional practice
  • Bio-psychosocial development of the individual across the lifespan
  • Sociology of health, wellness and illness
  • Health care systems
  • Interprofessional working
  • Research and evidence-based practice

A number of these themes will be developed and taught alongside other Nursing and Midwifery student groups.

Study time

Computer skills are vital for your academic studies and future employment. At UWE Bristolcomputing is an integral part of your course. Many lecturers make lecture notes and materials available online, and some modules will require you to use Information Technology (IT) to help you undertake and present your work.

IT facilities are available on all campuses. There are multimedia facilities at both Glenside and Gloucester Campus and you will have access to 24 hour computing facilities at the main Frenchay Campus. .

Before starting your course you may find it helpful to familiarise yourself with the following core IT skills:

  • Basic word processing
  • Storing and retrieving files
  • Communicating via e-mail
  • Searching the web for information


Assessment methods are varied and include essays, written assignments, presentations, Objective Structured Clinical Examinations (OSCEs), case studies and project work as well as timed, known topic examinations.

For more details see our full glossary of assessment terms.

>> Features

Special Features

Professional accreditation

Successful completion of the course also leads to registration as a nurse on the Professional Register held by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC).


The practical part of the course will take place in a variety of NHS and other health and social care organisations across the South West, there will be travelling in order to gain practice experiences.

What is a placement?

A placement is a period of time within your course that is spent in a clinical practice setting. The intention of practice placements is to build on the knowledge you gain at University and to acquire and develop new skills working with service users, carers and their families.

Placements are compulsory, and provide you with the unique opportunity to integrate theory and practice.

Whilst on placement you will have an identified mentor who will advise, counsel and provide feedback on your progress based on your work with service users, carers, and their families as well as other health and social care professionals.

You will participate in the full range of shifts. An early shift in some clinical areas may start as early as 06:30 and a late shift may end at 22:00. You will also need to work nights and weekends. These times need to be considered when travelling to and from a placement alongside any personal responsibilities you may have.

Where are the placements?

Throughout the course you can expect to undertake placements within NHS Acute and Primary Care Trusts, social services, voluntary services, care homes and practices within the independent sector. You may be based within a wide geographical area across the South West including Swindon, Wiltshire, Gloucestershire, Bath, Bristol, South Gloucestershire, Weston Super Mare and Somerset.

Further placement opportunity

In your final year, there is also an opportunity to undertake an elective or Erasmus placement outside the geographical areas covered by the University, giving you the opportunity to experience nursing in Europe or further afield.

Placement Details and times of year (for the Full-time September student intake):

Year 1 - 19 weeks placement

  • Mid January to mid March (9 weeks)
  • Early May to mid July (10 weeks)

Year 2 - 22 weeks placement

  • Late October to mid December (7 weeks)
  • Early March to mid April (7 weeks)
  • Early June to late July (8 weeks)

Year 3 - 24 weeks placement

  • Early September to mid November (10 weeks)
  • Mid March to late June (14 weeks, including 1 week annual leave)

Placement Details and times of year (for the Full-time March student intake):

Year 1 - 19 weeks placement

  • July (5 weeks)
  • October (4 weeks)
  • Mid December (2 weeks)
  • January to February (8 weeks)

Year 2 - 21 weeks placement

  • May to June (7 weeks)
  • October to November (7 weeks)
  • January to February (7 weeks)

Year 3 - 26 weeks placement

  • March to mid May (11 weeks, including 1 week annual leave)
  • Mid October to mid January (15 weeks, including 2 weeks annual leave)

Study facilities

The Department is superbly equipped with an extensive range of teaching and learning resources.

Facilities at Glenside Campus, Bristol

The library on the Glenside Campus is one of the best health care libraries in England with a huge selection of books, journals, and audio-visual materials including access to specialist health software packages.

The Interprofessional Simulation Suite provides excellent opportunities for the demonstration and practice of professional competencies. You will be given the opportunity to practice clinical skills to build your confidence and competency before actually applying these to real patients in placement settings.

Facilities at UWE Gloucester

UWE Gloucester is located at the Alexandra Warehouse in Gloucester Docks.

The Campus has a high standard of teaching facilities and a well-stocked library. You will have full use of Information Technology facilities including multimedia laboratories and various health and social care databases, as well as access to a full  Interprofessional Simulation Suite.

Find out more about the facilities and resources UWE has to offer.

>> Careers

Careers/further study

Once registered, nurses can work within hospitals or the community for either the NHS, armed forces, prison service or a private sector employer. There is work available in all parts of the UK and in a wide range of specialities. Many opportunities exist for the nurse to develop their career, through the ethos of life-long learning, at a pace that suits the individual.

Graduate destinations

Find out what our graduates are doing six months after graduating- includes examples of careers, employers and further study. Download a PDF from graduate destinations.

Key employer partnerships

We work closely with the NHS as the main employer for our graduates. See NHS Careers for more information about becoming a nurse in the NHS.

Creating employable students

UWE places strong emphasis on employability and skills development at every level. Through work placements, volunteering, study abroad and UWE initiatives which nurture talent and encourage innovation, students gain valuable real world experience and graduate with diverse career opportunities and a competitive place in the job market.

See great graduate prospects for further information.

Be inspired

Want to learn more?  Watch this video about the nursing profession.

Read about Aled's experience of studying Adult Nursing at UWE.

Read about A day in the life of an Adult Nurse

Useful links

NHS jobs:

Nursing Standard:


NHS Jobs

UWE careers service provides guidance and support throughout your studies in addition to useful resources, CV checks, career coaching and details of current job vacancies.

>> Fees


Fee information

Applicants accepted for an NHS funded place on this course will need to apply for their tuition fees to be paid by the NHS.  If you are a UK student you may be entitled to living cost support. 

For more details please see our guidance on NHS funding for UK students or our guidance on NHS funding for EU students.

We are unable to accept applications from international students (overseas fee status) due to funding arrangements.

>> Entry


Joining instructions

For students starting this course in September 2014, view your joining instructions. For more information about joining the University, please see our New Students pages.

Typical offers

  • Tariff points: 300
  • GCSE: A minimum of 5 subjects at grade C or above, to include English Language and Mathematics
  • A-level subjects: Grade C or above in a Science or Social Science subject.Points from A-Level General Studies and AS-Level subjects (not taken on to full A-Level) can be included towards overall tariff. You must have a minimum of two A-Levels.
  • Specific subjects: Subjects that meet the science/social science requirement for this course: Biology, Applied Biology, Human Biology, Chemistry, Design and Technology: Food Technology, Environmental Science, Geography, Geographical Science, Geology, Health and Social Care, Mathematics, Physical Education, Physics, Psychology, Applied Science, Science (Biology route), Science (Chemistry route), Science (Physics route), Science in Society, Sociology, Sport and Physical Education, Sports Studies.

    For further information and advice on acceptable science/social science subjects please contact

  • EDEXCEL (BTEC) Diploma: A minimum of DDM from the BTEC Diploma, to include 6 units in a Science or Social Science subject
  • Access: Achievement of the Access to HE Diploma; to include 30 level 3 credits at merit, of which 15 credits must be in a Science or Social Science subject; achievement of level 2 credits giving GCSE equivalence (where appropriate) in English Language and Mathematics.
  • Baccalaureate IB: 26 points, to include a minimum grade of 5 in a higher level science or social science subject

Entry requirements

Please note we do not accept deferred entry applications for this course.

We require evidence of recent assessed academic study within the last three years.

Students who do not meet the minimum academic entry requirements but have significant life and/or work experience will be considered on an individual basis. However, you still need to meet the GCSE English and Maths requirements, and should have evidence of recent study in a science/health related subject area recognised as equivalent academically by the University.

We frequently accept the completion of further or adult education courses as an appropriate entry qualification. Completing an Access or Foundation course (please take a look at the Department's Foundation course) may be a good move for people who have been away from formal education for a number of years.

Alternatively, you may be eligible for our FdSc Healthcare Practice. Upon successful completion of this course you will be eligible to apply for Year 2 entry of the BSc(Hons) Adult Nursing.

Applicants whose first language is not English should have a minimum IELTS score of 7.0 or above with a minimum of 7.0 in all sections of the test. Full details of this language test can be obtained from the British Council. Please note the University's published list of alternative English Language qualifications does not apply to this course.

Additional selection criteria

As well as meeting the academic entry requirements, applicants should meet the following selection criteria:

Health assessment/declaration - applicants must be in good health. Those offered a place are required to complete a questionnaire and be prepared to undergo a medical examination if necessary.

Disclosure of criminal background - the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 does not apply and all convictions, including those which are spent, must be disclosed. This is in accordance with the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (Exceptions) Order 1975. Applicants who are offered a place must undergo a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check and will be required to complete a disclosure application form. All information will be treated in confidence and only taken into account when absolutely necessary.

Selection Event - shortlisted applicants will be invited to a selection event where they will undertake a literacy and numeracy test; group activity and individual interview.  On successful completion of all of these criteria, applicants will be offered a place.

Completing the application form - we will be looking for applicants committed to Adult Nursing. This must be clearly demonstrated in the 'personal statement' section of the application form by saying why you want to study Adult Nursing and any relevant work experience that you have gained to date.

We are unable to accept applications from international students (overseas fee status) due to funding arrangements.

For further information

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