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Nursing Associate Higher Apprenticeship - FdSc

Currently viewing course to start in 2023/24 Entry.

The two year Foundation Degree Nursing Associate course was developed to support the introduction of a new nursing role and is a work based learning course aimed at experienced Health Care Assistants who want to develop themselves to become a Registered Nursing Associate (RNA).

  • Level Apprenticeship
  • Study mode Blended Learning
  • Location City South
  • Award FdSc
  • Start date October 2023, February 2024, April 2024
  • School School of Nursing and Midwifery
  • Faculty Faculty of Health, Education and Life Sciences

Explore this course


The two year Foundation Degree Nursing Associate course was developed to support the introduction of a new nursing role and is a work based learning course aimed at experienced Health Care Assistants who want to develop themselves to become a Registered Nursing Associate (RNA).

This course is not open to International students.

What's covered in this course?

The FdSc Nursing Associate  is a full-time course delivered at City South Campus.  You will attend university one day a week and also attend a placement in a variety of settings across the four fields of nursing, as well as working in your permanent work base area.

You will study four level 4 modules in the first year which cover key theory and practice knowledge and skills to include person and family-centred care, professional values, the parameters of an RNA’s role and safe administration of medication. The second year modules focus on leadership and mentoring skills, health sociology and health promotion and you will also study key elements of evidence based practice. You will also complete a portfolio of evidence that is compiled over the two years as part of the practice competencies assessments.

On successful completion of the course you will be eligible to apply to be registered on the NMC Nursing Associate register.

Accredited By

This course is accredited by:

  • Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC)

Why study an apprenticeship?

  • Apprenticeships offer work based learning – the opportunity to build on existing knowledge and skills
  • A wide range of placement opportunities to broaden your understanding of healthcare provision across the lifespan
  • Highly experienced tutors who are all professionally qualified to support you at university
  • Work based clinical educators to support you in practice
  • A wide range of support services available to you at university to support your learning journey.

How to apply

Your employer will advertise a Trainee Nursing Associate (TNA) position and you need to apply and be successful at interview before you can apply for our FdSc Nursing Associate course.

If you are successful in securing a TNA position your employer will contact our Course Leader and they will send an application link to you to enable you to apply for the course.

Entry requirements

GCSE grade C or new grade 4 or above in English Language and Mathematics. GCSE equivalents e.g. key skills level 2 or functional skills maths and English level 2 are currently accepted.

Plus one of the following:

  • One A level grade D or above
  • Two AS level grade D or above
  • BTEC National Award grade M
  • BTEC National Certificate grade PP
  • BTEC National Diploma grade PPP
  • Access to HE Diploma
  • NVQ level 3 full diploma
  • NVQ level 2 plus written paper – essay (1,500 words)
  • Portfolio of evidence if no level 2 qualification achieved.  A portfolio route has been devised for those applicants who are already working in a health or social care setting and who do not meet the formal entry requirements. To follow this route you are still expected to possess GCSE Maths and English or equivalent

The portfolio should include:

  • Two written testimonies (one of which must be from your employer) supporting your application
  • One reflective piece that draws on your current practice (1,500 words)
  • All pieces of work should be endorsed by your line manager

You will also be required to work 30 or more hours a week.

Why Choose Us?

We have excellent facilities, including a brand new building that offers state-of-the-art equipment that will support you in your studies. There are several study spaces and open access information technology support.  

We have been shortlisted for the Student Nursing Times Nursing Associate Training Programme Provider of the Year (pre-registration) 2022.

Studying with us during the Covid-19 pandemic

The University has put in place measures in response to Covid-19 to allow us to safely deliver our courses. Should the impact of the pandemic continue in future years, any additional or alternative arrangements put in place by the University will be in accordance with the latest government public health advice, health and safety legislation, and the terms and conditions of the student contract.

Facilities & Staff


Our Facilities

Our School of Nursing and Midwifery is based at our City South campus in leafy Edgbaston.

We’ve spent £41million expanding our facilities at City South. These facilities offer hands-on practical experience, replicating the spaces you will come across in professional practice.

In a sector where new techniques are constantly being discovered, we work hard to ensure that you learn using the most up-to-date equipment available. Alongside physical spaces such as a mock operating theatre and wards, we also make use of online and virtual technology, such as our virtual ward and virtual case creator.

See more of our skills facilities at City South

Centre for Skills and Simulation

The Centre for Skills and Simulation offers a range of different spaces which replicate situations that you will encounter in practice. These include hospital wards, an operating theatre and a home environment room.

Our mock wards enable you to get a feel of what a ward is really like before you head out for your first placement. The hospital wards can be adapted from low care to high dependency care environment with the necessary monitoring equipment.

The home environment room is the perfect space for teaching communications skills and allows us to simulate a community setting for our students. It is particularly useful for mental health nurses, learning disability nurses and midwives.

Simulation Manikins

We have several Simulation men (SIM men) and simulation babies (SIM babies) which are anatomically correct manikins used for teaching specific techniques such as advanced adult and paediatric life support skills, acute and high dependency clinical skills, first aid and communication skills. The manikins contain software which replicates real symptoms, and can manipulate indicators such as blood pressure, pulse and heart rate for extra realism. SIM man can even ‘talk’ to the students as they are treating him, to add another dimension to learning.

Computer Facilities

The Seacole building has two open-access IT Suites which offer PCs, printers, photocopiers and scanners. There is also an IT Helpdesk for quick and easy help with your computing or internet issues.

Our PCs utilise the latest Intel i5 core technology, all with:

  • Fast (unrestricted) internet connectivity
  • Ability to save files to USB, DVD & CD
  • Microsoft Office software
  • Research and statistical software
  • Storage space which can be accessed from any PC across the University and from home

Our PCs are also designed to support students who may have difficulties with reading and writing, featuring specialised software with zooming/magnification and screen reading capabilities, which may also be customised for individual student needs.

In addition to desktop PCs, we also offer a laptop loan facility, allowing students to borrow a laptop for up to six hours while on campus.

Our staff

Pamela Perks

Lecturer / Admissions Tutor

Pamela has worked in health care since the eighties starting her career on a children’s ward. The majority of her career though has been in Critical Care working in a variety of settings and specialties at Grimsby, Leeds and Papworth hospitals before coming to Birmingham’s Major Injuries Unit in the early nineties.

More about Pamela