Ranked 3rd in the Complete University Guide 2015, the BNurs Nursing programme is taught in a Medical School at the heart of the UK’s largest healthcare region and provides you with plenty of opportunities to gain experience treating patients from a wide range of different backgrounds and cultures.
Top Bachelors in Nursing in United Kingdom. Ranked 3rd in the Complete University Guide 2015, the BNurs Nursing programme is taught in a Medical School at the heart of the UK’s largest healthcare region and provides you with plenty of opportunities to gain experience treating patients from a wide range of different backgrounds and cultures.
You will experience inter-professional working alongside pharmacy, medicine, dentistry and physiotherapy students on a course which involves 50% academic and 50% practical study, in accordance with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC 2010) Standards for pre-registration nursing education.
The foundation year allows you to gain broad experience in Adult, Mental Health and Child and Public Health clinical settings, before expressing a preference about the field of nursing practice you wish to study in years 2 and 3.
In 2016, the results of the National Student Survey (NSS) showed that 93% of our students were satisfied with the teaching on this course.
From the 1st August 2017; students commencing an undergraduate nursing degree programme in England will pay tuition fees and apply for student loans under the Student Support System. Information on these changes can be found on a new website produced by the Council of Deans of Health.
The programme is regulated by The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC). Students follow the University of Birmingham and NMC Code.
With a thorough grounding in concepts of health derived from the study of the biological and social sciences, professional studies and communication skills, you will develop the professional disciplinary knowledge and understanding of your preferred field of practice of nursing (Adult, Mental Health or Child). This is underpinned by the acquisition of the professional leadership and research skills you will need to practice and manage evidence-based person centered care as a Registered Nurse.
First year (Foundation year)
The first year of the programme is unique in that it provides you with an introduction to the theory and the practice of Adult, Mental Health, Child and Public Health Nursing. As well as examining these areas through academic study, you will gain invaluable practical experience by completing 3 placements in each of these fields of nursing practice.
The focus is on health and through the study of the biological, psychological and social sciences you will gain an appreciation of the physical, psychological and social needs of patients and their families. You will also study core clinical skills and academic skills in order to gain an understanding of professional practice.
On completion of the first year, you express a preference for the field of nursing practice you would like to study in Years 2 and 3. The fields of nursing practice offered are: Adult Nursing, Mental Health Nursing and Child Nursing.
Please note your preferred field of nursing practice cannot be guaranteed, as commissioned places in some fields are limited. So accepting a place at the University of Birmingham is on the basis that you are prepared to be flexible.
You will develop your clinical nursing and managerial skills further whilst studying clinical modules specific to your field of practice and core modules which support your development as a nurse, these include the study of evidence-based practice and healthcare in a social economic and political environment. There are 3 field specific clinical placements in hospital and community settings in your second year.
At the end of the second year you have the opportunity to undertake a 4 week elective experience, either overseas or in the United Kingdom. (UK) In the UK electives can be arranged in hospices, prisons and other specialist units. International electives can be in health care settings in any continent of the world. Examples of countries where students have visited recently include Australia, Sri Lanka, The Philippines, Thailand, Tanzania, Greece, Canada and the USA. The elective enables you to experience differences in culture, clinical practice, healthcare systems and languages, which will benefit you as a Registered Nurse when caring for people from different backgrounds. It also gives you the opportunity to further develop your self-confidence and organisational skills, through arranging your own elective experience with the support and guidance of academic staff.
In the final year you will extend your academic, managerial and clinical skills in order to be able to work as a safe, compassionate, effective and autonomous practitioner upon qualifying as a Registered Nurse. You study 2 field specific clinical modules and learn about leadership in nursing, along with completing a research dissertation.
Field specific clinical placements are in hospital and community settings and at the end of the course there is a ‘Leadership in nursing’ placement, followed by a 4 week ‘sign off’ placement. The ‘sign off’ period is when you work with a ‘sign off’ mentor who will assess your proficiency and will ‘sign off’ the completion of the practice part of your programme, confirming that you have achieved the standards of competence required for entry to the NMC register.
Why study this course
The University of Birmingham is a research focused institution and this shapes the curriculum of the Bachelor of Nursing (BNurs) degree. The Department of Nursing has formed a partnership with local NHS trusts and we are working closely to ensure that the Bachelor of Nursing is up to date and clinically focused. Both academic and clinical staff at all levels work together, to ensure the programme is patient focused and meets your learning needs.
The theory and practice of nursing are studied in the context of cutting edge research in the University and on clinical placements in a variety of NHS and non-NHS health care organisations, in the vibrant multicultural city of Birmingham. This rigorous programme will appeal to you if you are looking for a degree which demands a high level of commitment and intellectual attainment, leading to a rewarding career as a nurse.
Our degree programme is distinctive in that it provides you with experience of nursing in Adult, Mental Health and Child and Public Health clinical settings in Year 1, before making a decision about the field of nursing practice you wish to study in Years 2 and 3. This ensures you are able to make an informed choice about becoming an Adult, Mental Health or Children’s Nurse.
The Bachelor of Nursing at the University of Birmingham incorporates an international focus including a 4 week elective experience which you can arrange overseas. This experience will provide you with knowledge and skills which will be beneficial in your future career working as a Registered Nurse in the UK or in any other country in the world.
In 2015, the results of the National Student Survey (NSS) showed that 92% of our students were satisfied with the teaching on this programme and 93% were satisfied with their personal development on the programme.
You will be continually assessed on clinical placements and be supported by a Registered Nurse mentor who has undertaken a NMC approved mentor preparation course. At the University of Birmingham, you will have the opportunity to practice nursing in some of the country's leading healthcare trusts ranging from primary care, to acute care and also tertiary centres of excellence in the Birmingham and Solihull area. You will undertake a range of diverse and exciting clinical placements, gaining a variety of experiences with a wide range of client groups, under the guidance of skilled clinicians.
In order to maximise your learning experience on clinical placements, practice placement teams organise teaching sessions, student forums and provide on-going clinical support for mentors and nursing students. Clinical link tutors from the University of Birmingham also provide support and guidance for students and mentors, facilitating student forums on clinical link tutor visit days and visiting placement areas regularly.
Adult field of practice
You will have placements in hospital settings, with the opportunity to work in medicine, surgery, accident and emergency, critical care, rehabilitation and older adults. In the community you will work in hospices, intermediate care and with district nurses and other specialist healthcare professionals.
Student comments from adult clinical placements in 2013:
‘It offers a wide range of clinical skills at an appropriate level for a first year. Students are encouraged to visit other wards including the surgical theatres. The Practice Placement Manager is very involved with the student experience and was swift to try to resolve problems that arose. Every Monday the students are provided with a training session – I think this is an excellent help for students.’
‘The knowledge and clinical skills I gained will be invaluable in the future, as I got the chance to observe things that unqualified nurses rarely have the opportunity to experience e.g. following a patient from admission, watching their pre-operative assessments, watching the operation and discharging them. The staff on the ward were kind and supportive, as were most of the clinical staff in the adjoining theatres.’
‘I really enjoyed this placement, it was the most challenging but I enjoyed every shift, my mentor was great and all the nurses I worked with were friendly and helpful.’
Mental Health field of practice
You will have the opportunity to work with children and adolescents through to older adults with mental health problems. You will work in community, residential and hospital settings, gaining a wide range of clinical skills. More information can be found on the Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health Foundation Trust website:
Some student comments from mental health clinical placements in 2013:
‘Excellent team employing a variety of treatment methods from varying schools including holistic medicine (massage, acupuncture, herbal medicine, and aromatherapy) cognitive behavioral therapy, (CBT) solution focused therapy (SFT) and medical approaches. Each Friday afternoon was set aside for a teaching session delivered by an outside speaker or by a member of the multidisciplinary team with a particular specialty.’
‘My mentor was fantastic. I felt integrated within the team and felt I had an important role. The placement was enlightening and has helped me make my decision to branch into mental health.’
Child field of practice
Your placements will focus on the child and their family; you will work in local nurseries, communities and hospitals, as well as the internationally renowned Diana, Princess of Wales, Children's Hospital.
Number of A levels required: 3
Typical offer: BBB - You must also meet in full the GCSE entry requirements for the programme.
General Studies: Not accepted, but a good performance may be taken into account if you fail to meet the conditions of your offer
All applicants must meet in full both the GCSE and Level 3/higher qualification entry requirements for the Bachelor of Nursing programme. The only exception to meeting the GCSE requirements in full applies to some Access applicants, please see the relevant section below for more details.
Please note previous academic study will be considered when assessing the suitability of applicants for interview.
GCSE requirements: 5 GCSEs at grade C or above which must include English, Mathematics and a Science subject at grade B or above. We do not accept level 2 equivalents e.g. BTEC, Key skills
Preferred subjects and grades: Biology, Psychology or Sociology A level, and two others. Welsh Baccalaureate at grade B can substitute one of the A Levels.
Edexcel Level 3 extended project: From 2016 a grade A in the Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) is accepted in addition to 3 A Levels (of equivalent level 3 qualifications). You would be made a variable offer e.g. BBB or BBC plus A in the EPQ.
BTEC Extended Diploma in Health and Social Care or Applied Science accepted. Grades required - DDM
BTEC Diploma considered on a case by case basis when combined with an A level
BTEC Subsidiary Diploma considered on a case by case basis when combined with an A level
You must also meet in full the GCSE entry requirements for the programme (see above).
International Baccalaureate Diploma: 32 points with 3 subjects at higher level graded 5, 5, 5. You must also meet in full the GCSE entry requirements for the programme (see above).
Access to Higher Education (Health or Science): 60 credits with a minimum of 45 credits at level 3 including 30 at distinction, 15 at merit (to include study of Physiology or Biology) and 15 credits at level 2. You must meet the GCSE entry requirements in full for the programme (as above). However, if it is more than 5 years since you took your GCSE’s and you also have 2 years full time paid work experience in health and social care, you are only required to have GCSE English, Mathematics and Science at grade C or above.
Graduate Entry Requirements: Bachelor degree minimum 2:2 or Masters or PhD. You must also meet in full the GCSE entry requirements for the programme (see above).
International students: We can only accept applications from those considered as home fee status.
On graduation and qualification you will have a highly regarded degree and eligibility to register with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) to practice as a Registered Nurse. Our graduates are highly valued and the majority seeking nursing positions have secured employment or pursued further career-related training on completing the programme. Many of our graduates stay in the Birmingham area and work in the NHS, others move on to take up appointments in the UK and overseas. There are many varied career opportunities for nursing in clinical practice, management, research and education. Extensive restructuring in nursing as a profession and within the NHS means that a good career structure is now in place.