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Foundation Degree - Nursing Associate (Apprenticeship)

2024-25 (also available for 2023-24, 2025-26)

Start date

18 January 2025

16 June 2025


2 years full-time

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.

This apprenticeship course has been designed to enable Healthcare Assistants to become Nursing Associates, in order to bridge the gap in care delivery as identified by the Shape of Caring Review (Willis, 2015). This new 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.

  • You’ll learn how to respond to the physical, cognitive and mental health care needs of all patients and service users across their lifespan.
  • Supported by an academic and practice placement team who really understand the nursing associate role, you’ll learn through face to face and online lectures, seminars, group work, simulation and role play as well as within your practice placements.
  • You’ll have the opportunity to hear the experiences and viewpoints from service users and carers, who are part of the Public Partnership Group.

In line with the apprenticeship model, the course is designed to support a training in practice approach. Whilst undertaking the course you will remain employed by your host organisation and will spend 60% of your time in your current workplace, 20% of your time will be spent accessing alternative placements and the remaining 20% will be spent undertaking theory work.

This Nursing Associate Apprenticeship 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).

If you’re thinking of studying an apprenticeship course or are an employer looking for an apprenticeship for your employees, you’ll also find useful information on our Degree Apprenticeship webpages.

Course detail

Core modules:

Foundations for Nursing Associates 1 (NMC 2018)

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, enabling 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 (NMC 2018)

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 (NMC 2018)

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, as well as be introduced to concepts of research design and the research process.

Nursing Associate Practice 1 (NMC 2018)

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 equivalent to 11 weeks, where you’ll put the theory you’ve learnt into practice. Using the ‘All England Nursing Associate Practice Assessment Document’, 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:

  • Be employed and meet the entry requirements of your employer
  • 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 Level 2 Functional Skills in Maths and English
  • Complete a Rehabilitation of Offenders form and have an Enhanced Disclosure and Barring (DBS) check

If your first language is not English, you will need to meet the minimum requirements of an English Language qualification. The minimum of IELTS 6.5 with no element lower than 6.0, or equivalent.

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 pre-registration nursing associate programmes who are currently a NMC registered nurse without restrictions on their practice.

Ofsted Outstanding courses

The University’s apprenticeship provision was awarded an outstanding rating by Ofsted in a recent inspection.

Huddersfield is only the second university to be awarded Ofsted’s outstanding rating for its apprenticeship provision in the last four years.

It is also the only university in the Yorkshire and Humber region and the north-west of England to have both an outstanding Ofsted rating for apprenticeships and to be a TEF Gold-rated university.

The University was awarded outstanding in all five categories:

  • Quality of education
  • Behaviour and attitudes
  • Personal development
  • Leadership and management
  • Apprenticeships

The apprenticeship provision was praised by Ofsted for the positive experiences of the apprentices, the research-informed knowledge of teaching staff, and for the strong relationships between the University’s leaders and employers.


Placements are a compulsory element of the course where you will experience 24 hours and 7 day care. You will spend 60% of your time in your current workplace and 20% in an alternative placement provider, covering a variety of settings and care delivered across the lifespan. Whilst undertaking your clinical placements you will work alongside qualified supervisors and assessors who will provide any help and support you require.

"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

This course provides the opportunity for Healthcare Assistants to become Nursing Associates, in order to bridge the gap in care delivery as identified by the Shape of Caring Review (Willis, 2015).

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.

Support Services will also be available from your employer.

Important information

When you enrol as an apprentice learner of the University, your study and time with us will be governed by a framework of regulations, policies and procedures, which form the basis of your agreement with us. These include regulations regarding the assessment of your course, academic integrity, your conduct (including attendance) and our disciplinary procedure. It is important that you familiarise yourself with these as you will be asked to agree to them when you join us as an apprentice. You will find a guide to the key terms here, along with the Student Protection Plan, where you will also find links to the full text of each of the regulations, policies and procedures referred to.

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 not yet started

If we propose to make a major change to an apprenticeship course that you have applied for, then we will tell you and your employer as soon as possible so that you can decide whether to withdraw your application prior to enrolment.

Although we always try and run all the courses we offer, we may occasionally have to withdraw a course you have applied for or delay your course start date if we consider this reasonably necessary, for example if there are not enough applicants to ensure you have a good learning experience. Where this is the case we will notify you and your employer as soon as reasonably possible. In such instances, we will work with you and your employer to agree a deferred start date, or cancel your application and, if appropriate, provide information regarding other local apprenticeship providers.

Changes to your course after you enrol as an apprentice

We will only make major changes to the core curriculum of a course or to our services if it is necessary for us to do so and provided such changes are reasonable. A major change is a change that materially changes the services available to you, or 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, classes, 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; to meet the requirements of an updated version of the apprenticeship standard relevant to your course; to meet the latest requirements of a commissioning or accrediting body; to improve the quality of educational provision; in response to student, examiners’ or other course evaluators’ feedback; and/or to reflect academic or professional changes within subject areas. Major changes may also be necessary because of circumstances outside our reasonable control, such as damage or interruption to buildings, facilities or equipment.

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 and we will notify you and your employer as soon as possible about what your options are, which may include being provided with individual teaching to complete the award for which you were registered or claiming an interim award and exiting the University.

If a major change affects your course, we will notify you and your employer as soon as possible and will carry out suitable consultation with affected apprentices. If you and your employer reasonably believe that the proposed change will cause you detriment we will work with both of you to try to find an appropriate solution. Where one cannot be found we will provide reasonable support to assist you with transferring your remaining apprenticeship learning to another training provider if you and your employer wish to do so.

Termination of employment

As your employer is funding your apprenticeship course, you must remain in relevant employment for the duration of the course until you have completed your end point assessment. Under the apprenticeship rules, if you are made redundant and you have completed 75% of the practical period or have less than 6 months left, then you may complete the course. Otherwise, unless you find alternative relevant employment within 12 weeks of the date you are made redundant, then you will be withdrawn from the course.

The Office for Students (OfS) is the principal regulator for the University. The ESFA is the principal regulator for your apprenticeship course.

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