Nursing Associate FdSc Apprenticeship

Why choose this course?

As a nursing associate, you will deliver hands-on care to patients and will work alongside healthcare support workers (holding a care certificate) and fully qualified registered nurses, bridging the existing gap between the two roles. You will play a key part in the multi-disciplinary workforce that is needed to respond to the future needs of the public and patients.

This course is available as a 2 year full-time apprenticeship (employment based, with part-time university attendance). To apply for the apprenticeship route you will need to be in full-time employment as a health care support worker or a similar health or social care role. Your placements will be external to your usual place of work. Your employer will need to agree to release you from the workplace for protected practice and theoretical learning. This includes protected time for external placements, identified protected learning within your usual place of work, simulation, study days and guided learning. Employers usually pay the apprentice's course fees.

Successful completion of the course will equip you to work as a Nursing Associate and to progress your career within the health and social care sector. Through a combination of theoretical learning and practice placements you will develop a wide range of specialist and transferable clinical, care and interpersonal skills (including medicines management). Practice placements will also give you the opportunity to gain a wide range of experiences through exposure to different health and care settings.

To apply for this apprenticeship, application forms are available from your employer or NHS Practice Education Lead.

Please note: the content and structure of the course may change in line with the standards set by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC).

Attendance Apply Year of entry
2 years full time (employment based, with part-time university attendance) Application forms available from your employer or NHS Practice Education Lead 2020
Location St George's, University of London

2020 entry

If you are planning to join this course in September 2020, please view the information about changes to courses for 2020/21 due to Covid-19.


Continuing students

Students who are continuing their studies with Kingston University in 2020/21 should refer to their Course Handbook for information about specific changes that have been, or may be, made to their course or modules being delivered in 2020/21. Course Handbooks are located within the Canvas course page.

Reasons to choose Kingston University

  • The Kingston and St George's Nursing Associate course won two Student Nursing Times Awards in 2019, including Nursing Associate Training Programme Provider of the Year.
  • You'll develop a range of specialist and transferable skills (including medicines management) through clinical placements in a variety of settings.
  • This apprenticeship has two entry points in each academic year, September and March, and is designed and delivered in partnership with local employers and service users.

What you will study

This programme is designed to meet the NMC requirements for Nursing Associates. You will be supported to achieve the competencies, communication, relationship management skills and nursing procedures specified in the Standards of Proficiency for Nursing Associates (NMC 2018).

Year 1

Year 2

Year 1 develops a broad understanding of the nursing associate knowledge base and enables the student to provide reasoned explanations of relevant issues.

Core modules

Personal and Professional Development 1

15 credits

This module addresses professional and personal development and runs longitudinally throughout Year 1. It integrates and applies skills, knowledge and values acquired in other modules and provides academic skills support and development for students throughout their first year of study. The principles and skills of reflection are introduced and practised. The module also addresses wider issues known to influence successful study outcomes, such as wellbeing, resilience and support networks.

Applied Anatomy and Physiology

30 credits

This module explores the foundations of human anatomy, physiology and pathophysiology relevant to healthcare practice. The content covers the body's key systems and processes, the mechanisms for maintaining homeostasis and an introduction to human development across the lifespan. The module also introduces selected pathophysiology associated with common disease processes in order to assist students contextualise their learning to their clinical settings.

Skills for Healthcare Practice 1

30 credits

This module will enable the student to develop and apply a range of skills to the holistic assessment and monitoring of people within their care, documenting progress and reporting outcomes. Students will be introduced to the required skills and underpinning knowledge so that they can contribute to the ongoing assessment and recognise when it is necessary to escalate findings to other members of the multidisciplinary team for reassessment.

Professionalism in Practice

15 credits

This module explores the application of the NMC Code (NMC, 2018) and the professional principles, values and skills required to safeguard vulnerable people, optimise the quality of care and enhance the experience of people accessing health and social care. The content explores the domains of ‘prioritising people', ‘practising effectively', ‘preserving safety' and ‘promoting professionalism and trust', as applied to a range of user groups.

Promoting Health and Wellbeing

30 credits

This module will set healthcare in its wider social context, providing participants with an understanding of the various influences on health outcomes and inequalities, the relationship between mental and physical health, and their roles in promoting wellbeing. Effective communication skills for supporting people to manage their health and care will be explored.


Year 2 promotes a more detailed understanding of the subject matter covered in Year 1, related theories and concepts, enabling students to provide substantiated arguments applied to relevant issues.

Core modules

Personal and Professional Development 2

15 credits

The module will continue the development and consolidation of students' academic practice skills and will support their professional growth as they transition to Registered Nursing Associates. The range of learning, teaching and assessment activities undertaken in the module will allow students to demonstrate acquisition of reflective practice and lifelong learning skills, together with the knowledge and insights necessary for professional practice. The module also covers career development, employability skills and job-seeking preparation.

Skills for Healthcare Practice 2

30 credits

This module builds on the Year 1 module: Skills for Healthcare Practice 1. The module will enhance students' knowledge of the different approaches used to assess and promote a person's health and wellbeing, and to identify those who are at risk. Students will continue to develop the knowledge and core skills required for safe, effective assessment and care management within the practice setting.

The Acutely Unwell Person

30 credits

This module enables students to develop the knowledge and skills necessary to deliver safe, effective, compassionate, evidence-based, person-centred care when a person's condition is deteriorating. The module builds on students' knowledge of anatomy and physiology. It will equip them to recognise people who are at risk of deteriorating mental and physical health, undertake timely structured assessments, provide appropriate interventions and care across the lifespan and in a variety of settings.

Long Term Conditions

30 credits

This module will introduce students to the principles of working with people across the lifespan who live with complex and/or long-term conditions (LTC's) in primary and/or secondary care settings.

Leadership for Nursing Associates

15 credits

This module is aimed at final semester nursing associate students. It focuses on the acquisition of knowledge and skills for promoting the delivery of high-quality person-focused care. The content will include: leadership and management; supporting learning and assessment in practice; research, development and innovation; policies and frameworks that support effective care.

The information above reflects the currently intended course structure and module details. Updates may be made on an annual basis and revised details will be published through Programme Specifications ahead of each academic year. The regulations governing this course are available on our website. If we have insufficient numbers of students interested in an optional module, this may not be offered.

Entry requirements


Typical offer

As an apprentice, you need to be employed for a minimum of 37.5 hours per week, see additional requirements below. You will also need to have evidence of Right to Work in England for the duration of your course and endpoint assessment.

  • GCSE at grade 4 or above (or grade C or above for GCSEs taken before 2017) in English Language and Mathematics or equivalent qualification e.g. Functional/Key skills level 2 in numeracy and literacy
  • Learning at level 3 by qualification (normally 56 UCAS points) or two years of verifiable and relevant work experience

Additional requirements

Admission is subject to:

  • occupational health screening
  • an Enhanced Disclosure Barring Service (DBS) check including checks against the Adult and Child Workforce Barring Lists
  • completion of a digital and technological literacy questionnaire.

All applicants who meet the minimum requirements are required to attend an interview and selection day. The day will include an appraisal of current digital literacy skills which will assess applicants' level of confidence with selected aspects of digital literacy and provide a baseline from which to develop capability in digital and technological literacy during the programme.

As an apprentice, you should be employed at NHS Agenda for Change Band 2 or 3 as a healthcare support worker (or equivalent). At the point of entry onto the course, you should be working within a health or care setting where you can be appropriately supervised by a Registered Nurse or other appropriate health or care professional. You will need to have agreed with your employer that you can attend one day of study release each week and attend placements external to usual place of work throughout the course. Employers usually pay a Trainee Nursing Associates's course fees.


This programme is not suitable for international applicants without the Right to Work in England.

Nursing and Midwifery interview tips

Teaching and assessment

This course enables you to develop a broad understanding of care needs, relevant to all fields of nursing. It equips you to identify holistic needs and deliver care to a diverse range of individuals. There is an emphasis on the relationship between physical and mental health care throughout the lifespan, and the wider influences on health and wellbeing.

The integration of theory and practice is achieved through learning, teaching and assessment strategies which require you to reflect on your experiences in practice. Nursing knowledge and evidence are applied to these experiences, with an increasing depth of discussion and analysis as you progress through the course.

Guided independent study

When not attending timetabled sessions, you will be expected to continue learning independently through self-study. This typically will involve reading journal articles and books, working on individual and group projects, undertaking preparing coursework assignments and presentations, and preparing for exams. Your independent learning is supported by a range of excellent facilities including online resources, the library and CANVAS, the online virtual learning platform.

Academic support

Our academic support team here at Kingston University provides help in a range of areas.

Dedicated personal tutor

When you arrive, we'll introduce you to your personal tutor. This is the member of academic staff who will provide academic guidance, be a support throughout your time at Kingston and who will show you how to make the best use of all the help and resources that we offer at Kingston University. 

Your workload

Year 1

Year 2

Year 1
  • Scheduled teaching: 315 hours
  • Guided independent study: 260 hours
Year 2
  • Scheduled teaching: 277 hours
  • Guided independent study: 298 hours


  • Year 1 - 55% of your time is spent in timetabled teaching and learning activity
  • Year 2 - 48% of your time is spent in timetabled teaching and learning activity

    Contact hours may vary depending on your modules.

How you will be assessed

There are a range of assessment types including examinations, coursework and practical assessments in both the Clinical Skills and Simulation Suite and the workplace. The assessments are staged throughout the academic year to ensure coherence and an even, manageable workload.

Practice is assessed through successful completion of the practice assessment document and objective structured clinical assessments (OSCAs), in conjunction with successful sign-off in practice by a practice assessor and an academic assessor at the end of Years 1 and 2. Students require a pass in both theory and practice to achieve their final award.

Year 1

Year 2

Year 1
  • Coursework: 50%
  • Practical: 25%
  • Written exam: 25%
Year 2
  • Coursework: 50%
  • Practical: 25%
  • Written exam: 25%

Feedback summary

We aim to provide feedback on assessments within 20 working days.

Your timetable

Your individualised timetable is normally available to students within 48 hours of enrolment. Whilst we make every effort to ensure timetables are as student-friendly as possible, scheduled teaching can take place on any day of the week between 9am and 6pm.

Who teaches this course?

We share our main campus with one of the largest teaching hospitals in the UK, so you will be integrated into a professional healthcare environment from day one. Taught in partnership with St George's, University of London. You will benefit from a large, multi-faculty experience combined with the health science of St George's.

Course fees and funding

2021/22 fees for this course

This degree apprenticeship programme is funded through the Government's Apprenticeship Levy within the approved funding band.

Additional costs

Depending on the programme of study, there may be extra costs which are not covered by tuition fees, which students will need to consider when planning their studies.

Tuition fees cover the cost of your teaching, assessment and operating University facilities such as the library, IT equipment and other support services. Accommodation and living costs are not included in our fees.

Where a course has additional expenses, we make every effort to highlight them. These may include optional field trips, materials, security checks such as DBS, uniforms, specialist clothing or professional memberships.

Text books

Our libraries are a valuable resource with an extensive collection of books and journals as well as first-class facilities and IT equipment. You may prefer to, or be required to, buy your own copy of key textbooks.

Computer equipment

There are open-access networked computers available across the University, plus laptops available to loan. You may find it useful to have your own PC, laptop or tablet which you can use around campus and in halls of residences. Free WiFi is available on each of the campuses.


In the majority of cases coursework can be submitted online. There may be instances when you will be required to submit work in a printed format. Printing and photocopying costs are not included in your tuition fees.


You may need to pay additional travel costs for placements. If you are an apprentice, you can apply for an apprenticeship oyster card.


This degree confers both an academic award and a professional qualification in nursing. On completion of the programme, students are recommended to the Nursing and Midwifery Council for professional registration.  

After you graduate

This course will equip you to work as a Nursing Associate and enhance your career in the health and social care sector. You may be able to progress to a shortened nursing degree course.

The course will enable you to develop a wide range of specialist and transferable clinical, care and interpersonal skills (including medicines management).

Visit NHS Careers for more information about the role of Nursing Associates working in the NHS.


Changes to courses for 2020/21 due to Covid-19

Changes detailed here are for students who will be starting the course in September 2020.

Course information (changes for 2020 entry)

Composition of the course

We do not anticipate making any changes to the composition of the course, i.e. number of modules or credits in a year, as a result of the pandemic.

Changes can be made to courses as part of normal enhancement processes in order to keep our courses up to date with current developments in that subject area and to provide a high quality student experience. Any such changes made to the composition of the course will be highlighted to students during the induction period.


We do not anticipate making any changes to module titles and summaries or to the availability of modules as a result of the pandemic.

Changes can be made to modules as part of normal enhancement processes in order to keep our courses up to date with current developments in that subject area and to provide a high quality student experience. Any such changes made to module titles and/or availability of modules will be highlighted to students during the induction period.

Length of course

We expect to deliver the course within the planned timescales to enable successful students to progress through and graduate from the course without delay.

In exceptional circumstances the sequence of learning and teaching activities may be changed, for example re-sequencing those modules that can be delivered more effectively under the current restrictions with those which would be more difficult to deliver, such as practical modules and placements.

If the current pandemic situation continues into the next academic year and beyond, the University may be unable to offer suitable placements which may then impact the length of the course. In these circumstances the University will provide students with appropriate alternative options and ensure that support will be available to them so that they are able to make informed choices.

Entry requirements (changes for 2020 entry)

We have not changed entry requirements as a result of the pandemic. However, the range of accepted alternatives have increased as has the way in which we select students, which now includes virtual interviews and online portfolios.

Entry requirements for international students

We have not changed entry requirements for international students as a result of the pandemic. However, in response to the pandemic, we now accept a much broader list of English language exams for entry to the course; the level of these exams remain the same.

Teaching (changes for 2020 entry)

Changes to the way the course will be delivered

Due to the current pandemic the course's teaching and learning activities will be delivered through both online and on-campus methods (blended learning) in 2020/21. In order to provide all students with a comparable on-campus experience, the University has committed to ensuring that all courses provide at least 30% of their teaching and learning activities on-campus.

While physical distancing measures remain in place, you will receive your learning and teaching via a blend of on-campus and on-line activities. Should your circumstances prevent your attendance at on-campus sessions, you will still be able to engage with your course in a way that allows you to progress. Where this is not possible, support will be available to consider what options are open to you.

Changes to teaching in the event of a further lockdown or adjustments in government advice

The University will continue to closely monitor government announcements and advice in relation to the current pandemic and, where required, will take any necessary action in order to comply with such advice.

In the event that a further lockdown is enforced the University will aim to deliver the course fully online. This may require some additional changes being made to planned teaching and learning activities, including assessments. The majority of our courses are prepared to be delivered fully online if the situation requires it. Where the quality of the student experience may be compromised significantly, or the course is unable to be delivered fully online, the University may need to suspend the delivery of that course until a time that it can be delivered appropriately. Students will be supported in these situations to ensure they are able to make the right choices for their particular circumstances.

In the event that the current social distancing restrictions are fully lifted and the University is able to resume normal delivery of teaching and learning activities, courses will assess whether it is in the students' interest to resume normal delivery. In some cases it may be better to continue and complete modules under the planned blended delivery mode.

In the event of a new lockdown, simulation weeks may need to be rescheduled to later in the course. This will be communicated to students through Canvas and email.

Changes to the overall breakdown of scheduled teaching hours, placements and guided independent study hours for Year 1

Changes to the overall breakdown of scheduled teaching hours, placements and guided independent study hours will not be made as a result of the pandemic. However, it is possible that some adjustments might be made at module level, e.g. a few more scheduled activities, in order to help ensure student engagement with blended learning.

Any changes made to the overall breakdown of scheduled teaching hours, placements and guided independent study hours for year 1 of the course will be highlighted to students during the induction period.

'Scheduled teaching' includes teaching that is online either live or recorded / on demand.


Your individualised timetable for teaching block 1 (i.e. up to December 2020) should be available by the end of August. Timetables for teaching block 2 (i.e. from January 2021) will not be available until the autumn. Whilst we make every effort to ensure timetables are as student-friendly as possible, scheduled teaching can take place on any day of the week between 9am and 9pm. To accommodate smaller group sizes and social distancing, we will need to maximise the time available for teaching. This means, we may have to use Wednesday afternoons and enrichment week for additional teaching slots. Timetables for part-time students will depend on the modules selected.

Changes to class sizes

On campus classes may be delivered in smaller groups to enable social distancing.

Assessment (changes for 2020 entry)

Changes can be made to modules, including how they are assessed, as part of normal enhancement processes in order to keep our modules up to date with current developments in that subject area. Due to the current restrictions in place, i.e. social distancing, it is anticipated that many formal on-campus examinations, including practical examinations, will be replaced with alternative assessments which can be completed online. These changes will be considered and approved through the University's processes to ensure that student assessments will be able to demonstrate they have achieved the expected learning outcomes. The approval process will also assess whether the change impacts the status of any professional body accreditation the course benefits from.

Any changes to the overall methods of assessment for Year 1 of the course will be highlighted to students during the induction period.

Staff (changes for 2020 entry)

No changes are expected to the general level of experience or status of staff involved in delivering the course.

As a result of the social distancing restrictions in place, on-campus teaching activities may need to be split into smaller groups which may require the support of teaching assistants and student mentors, who will be managed by experienced staff.

Fees, funding and additional costs (changes for 2020 entry)

Tuition fees

There will be no changes to published tuition fees for 2020/21.

Additional costs (e.g. field trips, materials, equipment, etc.)

As a result of the blended delivery of courses in 2020/21, where a significant proportion of the teaching will be done online, students will need a personal laptop or computer and access to the internet to participate in online teaching and learning activities. Students who are able to travel will have access to computers on campus, however, it should be noted that access to on-campus facilities will be restricted due to social distancing requirements.

The University is considering how best to provide support to students who do not have access to suitable hardware and software requirements and access to the internet. Identifying students who require this type of support is an important milestone for the University in our journey to ensure equity of access while we continue to deliver our blended approach. Information about the support that will be available will be provided to students during the induction period.


There will be no changes to any existing University funding arrangements for 2020/21. Currently there are no indications from the UK government that there will be any changes to government funding arrangements.

Fees and funding for international students

There will be no changes to published tuition fees or funding arrangements specifically relating to international students for 2020/21.

Work placements and field trips (changes for 2020 entry)

Placements (including work and clinical placements) and field trips included as part of the course will go ahead as planned. However, to ensure students are able to gain maximum value from these activities, it may be necessary to reschedule them to later in the year, or to a different year when current restrictions have been lifted. We acknowledge that this year it may be more difficult for students to secure appropriate placements. In those situations, students will be guided and supported through the various options that will be available to them, including switching courses or interrupting their studies until a time when they can complete their placement.

Any proposed changes to placements or field trips would go through the University's agreed processes where the impact of the change will be carefully considered. Students will be advised of any changes that may become necessary and appropriate support will be available to guide them through the various options that may be available to them.

In the interest of the health and wellbeing of our students, the University will ensure that appropriate risk assessments are made before students are sent on a placement.

Courses which require placements or field trips to be completed in order to pass relevant modules will have contingency plans in place in the event that a placement or field trip cannot be completed due to another lockdown or more stringent social distancing measures.

Voluntary placements or field trips may be rescheduled, or, as a last resort, cancelled if it becomes difficult to deliver them and doing so is in the interest of the health and safety of our staff and students.

No changes to placements or placement providers. If there was a further lockdown some placements may need to be re-scheduled to later in the course, and this will be communicated to students through Canvas and email.

Award, qualification and accreditation (changes for 2020 entry)


No changes will be made to the qualification awarded, e.g. BSc (Hons), as a result of the pandemic.

Changes can be made to courses, including the qualification awarded (although very rare), as part of normal enhancement processes in order to keep our courses up to date with current developments in that subject area. Any changes made to the qualification awarded for the course will be highlighted to students during the induction period.


During the pandemic, the University has been working closely with all its associated professional bodies to establish where flexibility/changes can be applied without undermining their professional standards. This will ensure that any changes made to courses which have professional, statutory or regulatory body (PSRB) accreditation do not negatively impact the accreditation status.

In the very exceptional circumstance that professional bodies do not agree with changes proposed, it may be necessary to defer relevant modules until those modules can be delivered as required. Students will be informed of this during the induction period and appropriately supported so that they can consider all options available to them.

Additional (changes for 2020 entry)

International students

International students should maintain awareness of the UK government's and their home country's government advice on possible travel restrictions. The University will closely monitor advice and guidance published by the UK government and assess its impact on our international students. Appropriate advice and guidance will be provided as and when required.

Students who are unable to attend on-campus learning and teaching activities

The University will ensure students who are unable to attend on-campus learning and teaching activities are able to effectively engage with their studies remotely. For certain courses an inability to attend on-campus learning and teaching activities may not be in the students best interest, as it may impede their chances of succeeding in the course or lead to them receiving a poor learning experience. In such cases students will be advised and guided through the various options available to them, such as deferring their studies until they can engage fully with the course.

Specific requirements

The Nursing and Midwifery Council implemented changes to their Standards and have retained some of these during the recovery period of the pandemic to enable flexibility in programme delivery; e.g. on-line delivery of modules and ensure students are not unfairly disadvantaged.

Additional risk assessments will be undertaken prior to apprentices commencing practice placements to take account of current, relevant public health guidelines to ensure the health and wellbeing of individual apprentices. Apprentices on these courses must adhere to their employer's Covid-19 guidance, whilst at their work setting.

Related courses