Foundation Degree - Nursing Associate (Apprenticeship)

2022-23 (also available for 2021-22)

Start date

21 January 2023

10 June 2023


2 years full-time

About the course

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 an employer looking for an apprenticeship for your employees, you’ll also find useful information on our Degree Apprenticeship webpages.

“This course has been designed by academics, local employers and service users and is validated by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC). On graduation, successful trainees will apply to register with the NMC and work as a Nursing Associate.

"Practical and work based learning combined with the theoretical underpinning provided by the academic element of the course will prepare trainees to work with patients in a variety of settings, including their base placement area, within this challenging healthcare role. The practical element of the course provides the opportunity for trainees to apply and refine the skills and knowledge they have learnt in the classroom, to real world situations, supported by qualified supervisors and assessors.

"The academic team work closely with supervisors and assessors in practice to ensure that excellent teaching and learning environments are provided for our trainees.”

Paula Elliott

Paula Elliott, Nursing Associate Lecturer

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, will be considered.

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.


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.

“The placements have offered a chance to increase our knowledge through practical, hands on experience and have given me invaluable exposure to other ways of working and snap shots of specialties outside of my base placement.”

Samantha Shepherd, Nursing Associate student

Samantha Shepherd, Current Foundation Degree-Nursing Associate (Apprenticeship) student

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, attendance and welfare support, organising appointments with academic staff, signposting to other support networks, loan of Dictaphones and uniform fitting.

Academic Skills Development Team: provides guidance about how students can develop their academic skills in order to improve their grades. The team provide support with general academic skills including essay writing, time management, presentations and group work skills; information technology and numeracy; research skills, as well as personal development for example confidence building and assertiveness.

Learning Technology Support Unit: helps students with any problems they experience with the University’s Brightspace System, including logging on or difficulties experienced when accessing modules.

Support Services will also be available from your employer.

Important information

We will always try to deliver your course as described on this web page. However, sometimes we may have to make changes as set out below.

Changes to a course you have applied for

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.

Changes to your course after you enrol as a student

We will always try to deliver your course and other services as described. However, sometimes we may have to make changes as set out below:

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 a range of options to choose from and 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 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 in this context 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 (part time provision), 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 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 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.

Major changes would usually be made with effect from the next academic year, but this may not always be the case. We will notify you as soon as possible should we need to make a major change and will carry out suitable consultation with affected students. 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.

Termination of course

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 as soon as possible about what your options are, which may include transferring to a suitable replacement course for which you are qualified, being provided with individual teaching to complete the award for which you were registered, or claiming an interim award and exiting the University. If you do not wish to take up any of the options that are made available to you, then you can cancel your registration and withdraw from the course without liability to the University for future tuition fees and you will be entitled to a refund of all course fees paid to date. We will provide reasonable support to assist you with transferring to another university if you wish to do so.

When you enrol as a student 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 disciplinary procedure, fees and finance and compliance with visa requirements (where relevant). It is important that you familiarise yourself with these as you will be asked to agree to abide by them when you join us as a student. 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.

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

You may also be interested in...

Foundation Degree - Nursing Associate

This two year course provides the opportunity for those who do not have level 3 qualifications to train to be a healthcare professional and register with the Nursing and Midwifery Council as a nursing associate.

Find out more How to apply