Nursing Degrees

Nursing is a challenging but fundamental vocation, and during your degree you will learn the foundations that will nurture your ability to solve problems. As well as sharpening your practical skills and theoretical knowledge, the degree develops your compassion, patience and even humour, all of which are key skills which nurses rely upon on a day-to-day basis. You will also gain in-depth clinical experience via placements.

Studying Nursing

Different Types of Nursing Degrees

Nursing degrees are awarded as a BN Hons (Bachelor of Nursing) with lots of courses being offered with multiple variations and specialisations. Some common nursing courses include:

What modules will I study?

Throughout the course of a nursing degree you will be taught a range of skills and knowledge required to become a qualified nurse. It is common practice to be taught skills and then apply them directly throughout practical examinations and placements in teaching hospitals. Some examples of module titles can be seen below:

  • Health and Wellbeing
  • Foundations of Nursing Practice
  • Improving Public Health
  • Acute Care
  • Complex Care
  • Foundations of Physical and Human Science
  • Clinical Care


A Master’s degree in nursing is ideal for nursing graduates wishing to work in extended clinical practice roles or clinical leadership. The course is designed to give students the opportunity to gain many key skills such as leadership, management, and service development, promotion of health and wellbeing, and complex care.

Types of Nursing Degrees

A masters in nursing is always awarded as a MSc (Master of Science) and is usually completed over one year of full time study. Some universities also offer the degree on a part time basis over the course of two years.Students wishing to study a postgraduate nursing degree have the option to study nursing at a more advanced level and even learn new nursing skills by specialising within a specific area of nursing. Some common postgraduate nursing courses include:
  • Advanced Nursing
  • International Nursing
  • Child Nursing
  • Mental Health Nursing
Courses are taught through a variety of modules and the year is concluded with a written dissertation on a topic of the student’s choice. The main difference between an undergraduate and postgraduate nursing degree is that a Masters requires an increased level of independent working through essays, reports, case studies and presentations.

Topics Covered Throughout a Nursing Degree

Over the course of a Masters degree in nursing students will be required to study a range of core modules, optional modules and also write a dissertation. Some university also work on a credit system where modules are worth 20 credits and students must complete 180 credits worth of modules to pass the degree.Some modules that students can study include:
  • Research approaches in health care
  • Education for professional practice
  • Leadership in health care
  • Managing change
  • Women’s health and wellbeing
  • Clinical issues in stroke care
  • Critical care
  • Global health challenges
  • Cross cultural communication

Entry Requirements

In the UK there are 73 universities offering nursing degrees. To gain entry to a nursing degree program you will normally be required to achieve the following A Level Grades and UCAS Points:

  • A Level Grades: AAB - BBB
  • UCAS Points: 136 - 120

Required and Desired Subjects: Biology Sciences, Chemistry, Physics, Mathematics


Generally, universities will require applicants to hold an undergraduate degree in nursing at a 2:1 honours level or above. Some universities are known to have further entry requirements such as already being registered with the professional nursing body, or having sufficient experience in the nursing industry.Some postgraduate degrees in Nursing may require students to attend an entrance interview. To help you understand postgraduate interviews we have put together an article for the top 10 questions that are likely to pop up and the best ways that you can answer them: Top 10 Postgraduate Interview Questions.Applications from students that hold an undergraduate degree in a different medical discipline may also be considered if they have extensive experience. You are advised to contact the university you would like to study at for more specific entry requirements, as every university will have varying entry requirements.  

Career Prospects

Almost all nursing graduates choose to pursue a career in the nursing industry with some common roles and destinations including:

  • Intensive Care Unit
  • Oncology
  • Accident and Emergency
  • Physiotherapist
  • Occupational Therapist
  • Healthcare Assistant
  • Radiographer

95% of nursing graduates are either placed in further study or employment within 6 months of graduating, with an average earning of £22k.
Before embarking on a postgraduate degree in nursing, graduates should already be placed in nursing specific job roles. Gaining a Masters degree in nursing could be the key for a promotion to a more senior nursing role.As a Masters degree equips students with a range of varied skills in specialised nursing areas, students will have a wider perspective of healthcare and would have built up a useful network of professional healthcare contacts. Thus, students will have much more varied career options from undertaking a postgraduate degree in nursing. Generally, postgraduate nursing degree students gain senior roles within the public and private sector in both clinical nursing and nursing education.