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

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

2020/21 fees for this course

The Apprenticeship fee will be paid by employer from the Apprenticeship Levy.

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.

Successful completion of this course equips trainees to work as a Nursing Associate and to progress a career within the health and social care sector. 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.


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