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Foundation Degree - Nursing Associate

2025-26 (also available for 2024-25)

Start date

19 January 2026

8 June 2026


2 years full-time

Places available (subject to change)


About the course

Reasons to study

  1. You’ll hear first-hand experiences and viewpoints from service users and carers, who are part of the Public Partnership Group to enhance your learning.
  2. You’ll be taught and supported by experienced team who really understand the role of a nursing associate.
  3. You’ll have the opportunity to apply and develop your skills on placement in a range of statutory, private and voluntary services, in order to prepare you to pursue your career.

The Nursing Associate role developed by the Department of Health, aims to deliver high quality, holistic, person-centred safe and effective nursing care in and across a wide range of health and care settings.

Nursing associates work across all fields of nursing including adult, children, mental health and learning disability, alongside healthcare support workers and registered nurses to deliver care for patients and the public. In the role you'll discuss and share information with registered nurses on a patients’ condition, behaviour, activity and responses. You’ll support individuals and their families and carers when faced with unwelcome news and life-changing diagnoses. You’ll also undertake and record clinical observations including blood pressure, temperature, respirations and pulse, as well as recognising issues relating to safeguarding.

This Nursing Associate Foundation Degree course is a full-time two year undergraduate course consisting of Foundation (Year 1) and Intermediate (Year 2) Level study at Framework for Higher Education Qualifications Levels 4 and 5 respectively, which is in keeping with the Framework for Higher Education in England, Wales and Northern Ireland (Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education, 2008). The course is designed to be progressively demanding between levels. Once qualified, Nursing Associates will be regulated by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC).

Why study Foundation Degree - Nursing Associate

On this course, you’ll learn how to respond to the physical, cognitive, and mental health needs of all patients and service users across their lifespan. You’ll have the opportunity to practice and develop your skills through clinical placements in a range of statutory, private and voluntary services, helping to prepare you to pursue your career.

You’ll be taught and supported by experienced team who really understand the role of a nursing associate. You’ll have the opportunity to learn through face to face and online lectures, seminars, group work, simulation and role play. You’ll also have the opportunity to hear the experiences and viewpoints from service users and carers, who are part of the Public Partnership Group.

Course detail

Core modules:

Foundations for Nursing Associates 1

This module provides the opportunity for you to develop the foundation knowledge required in relation to policy, professional values and communication. You’ll learn theory and practical skills, allowing you to develop the professional behaviour required as a Trainee Nursing Associate, connected to safety, safeguarding and protection of people of all ages. You’ll also have the opportunity to reflect on the communication skills used in your practice learning experience, policy and professional practice.

Foundations for Nursing Associates 2

You’ll have the opportunity to develop the knowledge and understanding required to care for patients’/service users across the lifespan focusing on physical and mental health needs. You’ll explore normal anatomy and physiology. You’ll also study how to deliver person centred care safely whilst monitoring health and promoting health and wellbeing. Fundamental nursing associate skills will also be practised in our simulation labs, including hand washing, nutrition, basic life support and administration of medication.

Learning to Learn

This module provides the opportunity for you to develop the academic skills required to progress in higher education and successfully complete your academic studies. This will include a variety of transferable skills, as well as life-long learning skills and reflective practice. You’ll also learn about essay and report writing, referencing, IT skills and the use of the University search engine in searching for information. You’ll be encouraged to evaluate your strengths, limitations and identify areas for development, and be introduced to concepts research design and the research process.

Nursing Associate Practice 1

This module provides you with the opportunity to gain fundamental skills of nursing associate practice including personal hygiene, infection control and undertaking observations. You’ll complete a practice learning experience, normally in two blocks, where you’ll put the theory you’ve learnt into practice. You’ll be using the ‘All England Nursing Associate Practice Assessment Document’, where you’ll record the standards you’ve achieved and your practice assessor and practice supervisor will document your progress and skills/standards gained.

Entry requirements

You must:

  • Have GCSE English Language or English Literature and Maths at grade 4 or above, or grade C or above if awarded under the previous GCSE grading scheme, or Ofqual regulated Level 2 Functional Skills in Maths and English.
  • Be 17 years old or above at enrolment (minimum age for placements).

Please note that applicants to this course should not be working towards or have any Level 3 qualifications.

Offers will be subject to an interview and references.

You must also complete a Rehabilitation of Offenders form and will need a satisfactory enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) and Occupational Health Clearances prior to registration on the course. We arrange these as part of the application process. You'll be required to sign a self-declaration at the start of each year and at the end of the course. All police contact during the course must be reported to the course leader as a matter of urgency and may lead to suspension or termination.

Placement providers for this course may require you to have received a number of vaccinations, unless medically exempt, and provide evidence of these. As a student on a course with a clinical or healthcare placement, we strongly recommend that you complete any courses of vaccinations required under current guidelines for your future profession. Failure to do so may result in your inability to undertake a placement in certain clinical settings, therefore impacting upon your academic progression, and may result in academic failure of your course.

You may be eligible to gain accreditation for your prior learning towards this course. Please note that the course you are applying for is regulated by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) which permits recognition of prior learning that is capable of being mapped to the Standards of proficiency for nursing associates and programme outcomes, up to a maximum of 50% of the programme. This maximum limit of 50% does not apply to applicants to preregistration nursing associate programmes who are currently a NMC registered nurse without restrictions on their practice.

If your first language is not English, you will need to meet the minimum requirements of an English Language qualification. The minimum for IELTS is 6.5 overall with no element lower than 6.0, or equivalent. Read more about the University’s entry requirements for students outside of the UK on our International Entry Requirements page.


Placements are a compulsory element of the course where you'll experience 24 hours and 7 day care. You'll spend over 50% of your time on the course on placement in a variety of settings providing care across the lifespan. Each year you'll undertake three clinical placements where you'll work alongside qualified supervisors and assessors who will provide any help and support you require. For more information visit our placements page.

"Attending placements has provided me with additional knowledge and expanded my experience as a Trainee Nursing Associate. It is very important to understand the knowledge underpinning practice and to enjoy your time on placement."

Nursing associate

Vicky Atkinson, Newly qualified Nursing Associate

Your career

Once qualified the course offers you a wide variety of career opportunities to work within the NHS and wider sector. This could include working in GP surgeries, hospitals, primary care, hospices and nursing homes. In addition you could also undertake further study and join the second year of the Nursing BSc(Hons) course and specialise in a particular field of nursing include adult, child, learning disability and mental health.


Student support

At the University of Huddersfield, you'll find support networks and services to help you get ahead in your studies and social life. Whether you study at undergraduate or postgraduate level, you'll soon discover that you're never far away from our dedicated staff and resources to help you to navigate through your personal student journey. Find out more about all our support services.

A wide range of resources are also offered within the School of Human and Health Sciences, which provides you with support in a variety of areas. These include:

Student Hub: a one stop shop for students, studying within the School. Their services include offering advice on extenuating circumstances, extension requests, course progression, suspension and welfare support, organising appointments with academic staff and signposting to other support networks.

Academic Skills Development Team: support students to develop their academic skills and build their confidence in order to improve their grades. The team provide support with academic skills including essay writing, being critical, reflective writing, numeracy, research skills, presentations and group work skills; as well as personal development for example time management.

Learning Technology Support Unit: helps students with any problems they experience with the University’s Brightspace Learning System, including logging on or difficulties experienced when accessing and using modules, and with the PebblePad platform, which is used by students when they go out on placements.

Important information

Although we always try and ensure we deliver our courses as described, sometimes we may have to make changes for the following reasons

When you enrol as a student of the University, your study and time with us will be governed by our terms and conditions, Handbook of Regulations and associated policies. It is important that you familiarise yourself with these as you will be asked to agree to them when you join us as a student. You will find a guide to the key terms here, along with the Student Protection Plan.

Although we always try and ensure we deliver our courses as described, sometimes we may have to make changes for the following reasons

Changes to a course you have applied for but are not yet enrolled on

If we propose to make a major change to a course that you are holding an offer for, then we will tell you as soon as possible so that you can decide whether to withdraw your application prior to enrolment. We may occasionally have to withdraw a course you have applied for or combine your programme with another programme if we consider this reasonably necessary to ensure a good student experience, for example if there are not enough applicants. Where this is the case we will notify you as soon as reasonably possible and we will discuss with you other suitable courses we can transfer your application to. If you do not wish to transfer to another course with us, you may cancel your application and we will refund you any deposits or fees you have paid to us.

Changes to your course after you enrol as a student

Changes to option modules:

Where your course allows you to choose modules from a range of options, we will review these each year and change them to reflect the expertise of our staff, current trends in research and as a result of student feedback or demand for certain modules. We will always ensure that you have an equivalent range of options to that advertised for the course. We will let you know in good time the options available for you to choose for the following year.

Major changes:

We will only make major changes to non-optional modules on a course if it is necessary for us to do so and provided such changes are reasonable. A major change is a change that substantially changes the outcomes, or a significant part of your course, such as the nature of the award or a substantial change to module content, teaching days (part time provision), type of delivery or assessment of the core curriculum. For example, it may be necessary to make a major change to reflect changes in the law or the requirements of the University’s regulators or a commissioning or accrediting body. We may also make changes to improve the course in response to student, examiners’ or other course evaluators’ feedback or to ensure you are being taught current best practice. Major changes may also be necessary because of circumstances outside our reasonable control, such as a key member of staff leaving the University or being unable to teach, where they have a particular specialism that can’t be adequately covered by other members of staff; or due to damage or interruption to buildings, facilities or equipment, or pandemics.

Major changes would usually be made with effect from the next academic year, but may happen sooner in an emergency. We will notify you as soon as possible should we need to make a major change and will carry out suitable consultation. If you reasonably believe that the proposed change will cause you detriment or hardship we will, if appropriate, work with you to try to reduce the adverse effect on you or find an appropriate solution. Where an appropriate solution cannot be found and you contact us in writing before the change takes effect you can cancel your registration and withdraw from the University without liability to the University for future tuition fees. We will provide reasonable support to assist you with transferring to another university if you wish to do so.

In exceptional circumstances, we may, for reasons outside of our control, be forced to discontinue or suspend your course. Where this is the case, a formal exit strategy will be followed in accordance with the student protection plan.

The Office for Students (OfS) is the principal regulator for the University.

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