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Undergraduate study
  • Course changes for 2020: for a safe environment and a great student and learning experience.

Course overview

Developed in consultation with senior managers and employers to meet the education and training needs of care support workers, this course can lead to employment as a nursing associate, and eligibility to register with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC). The higher apprenticeship recognises the workplace as a centre of knowledge building, and supports you by combining opportunities within the workplace and the University learning environment.

Through a range of modules, we support you in your continuing personal and professional development. Alongside your own workplace, you experience placements within a variety of settings covering the four fields of nursing, care across the age continuum and care in a variety of settings.

You study this full-time course over two years. The taught component of the course, delivered at the University, includes an induction period followed by one day a week university time. In addition to the one day a week at the university there are four block weeks of teaching over the two years.

Professional approval

Outstanding provision for higher apprenticeships
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Where you study

Centre for Professional and Executive Development (CPED): Teesside University’s Darlington Campus


Supporting information for applicants

Our School feedback policy (word - 278kb)
Our School reference policy (word - 276kb)


Course details

You develop the knowledge and understanding of the role of the nursing associate to promote person-centred care in a diverse range of health and care settings and enhance the underpinning rationale of your current practice. You go on to develop your skills and understanding, promoting evidence-based practice and professional nursing care. The subjects you study inform your practice, such as the nursing associate role, professionalism, consent and confidentiality, communication skills, infection control, anatomy and pathophysiology, specialist skills and knowledge relating to nursing care management.

A variety of modules help you to develop your knowledge, skills, professional conduct, values and attitudes that are relevant and important to your work-based role as a nursing associate. You complete a module which helps you develop your study skills and gives you an introduction to learning in the University. This module also helps you to prepare for your assessments within the course.

In addition to completing assessments as part of the course, your employer also assesses your professional competencies on an ongoing basis.

Course structure

Year 1 core modules

Anatomy, Physiology and Pathophysiology

Introduction to Public Health for Nursing Associates

Person-centered Care – the service user experience

Study Skills and Professionalism


Year 2 core modules

Caring for People with Acute and Long-term Conditions and Co-morbidities

Developing Public Health in Practice for Nursing Associates

Enhancing Professional Practice for the Nursing Associate

Investigating Evidence and Contributing to Change

Working in Teams


Modules offered may vary.


How you learn

The course is delivered through either a standard delivery pattern (typically one day a week in the University) or block delivery pattern (five block weeks in each year at the University). The remainder of the working week is spent in clinical practice and clinical placements.

The course combines and integrates both academic and work-based learning through close collaboration between employers and the University. You are encouraged to take responsibility for your own learning from the start of the course with support from the teaching team and within practice. You learn in a range of ways including lectures, seminars, practical skills sessions, group work, and an IT skills laboratory. You can also access our virtual learning environment, allowing you to engage with the learning and tutors whilst in the workplace.

How you are assessed

Each module is assessed individually and we use a wide range of approaches including essays, exams, presentations and work-based competencies. You can access academic support through the course and you also have a support in practice.

To be awarded the higher apprenticeship you are required to successfully complete all assessment elements and undertake an end point assessment.

Our Disability Services team provide an inclusive and empowering learning environment and have specialist staff to support disabled students access any additional tailored resources needed. If you have a specific learning difficulty, mental health condition, autism, sensory impairment, chronic health condition or any other disability please contact a Disability Services as early as possible.
Find out more about our disability services

Find out more about financial support
Find out more about our course related costs


Entry requirements

Entry requirements

You should be highly motivated towards a career as a nursing associate within the health and care setting. You should have excellent communication skills and be able to demonstrate evidence of literacy and numeracy.

Applicants must:

  • have completed a Level 2 maths and Level 2 English Language qualification
  • be currently, or on entry to the course, employed as a nursing associate apprenticeship in a health or care role (full-time)
  • demonstrate the appropriate values and attitudes for the programme in line with The NMC values and behaviours.

All candidates are interviewed by representatives from Teesside University and the organisation within which they are to be employed.

All candidates must have a satisfactory enhanced DBS disclosure.

IELTS requirements:
International applicants must demonstrate an IELTS score of 7.0 with a minimum of 6.5 in writing alongside a minimum of 7.0 in reading, listening and speaking.

For additional information please see our entry requirements

You can gain considerable knowledge from work, volunteering and life. Under recognition of prior learning (RPL) you may be awarded credit for this which can be credited towards the course you want to study.
Find out more about RPL



Work placement

Trainee nursing associates experience placements within a variety of settings. Your primary placement area is the place where you are employed. You will undertake a minimum of 450 hours in placement external to your area of employment.

Career opportunities

Nursing associate roles and career progression for those who wish to access future pre-registration nursing courses.



Entry to 2020/21 academic year

Fee for UK/EU applicants

More details about our fees

What is included in your tuition fee?

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  • Not available part-time

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