FdSc Nursing Associate

Our Level 5 FdSc Nursing Associate programme allows you to develop the skills and knowledge to become an effective and essential part of the nursing team, contributing to excellent nursing care.

Nursing Associate

Key information



Mode of Study:



2 years


University of Bolton

UCAS code:


Start date:

To be confirmed

Course Details

Nursing associates support registered nurses to ensure service users and their families receive effective, compassionate, safe and responsive nursing care in and across a wide range of health and care settings.

Your studies will balance practice learning experience at one of our partner NHS trusts with study at the University. Attending the University will complement your learning in the workplace, and support you to develop the core knowledge, skills, values and behaviours that are required to work with patients of all ages in a range of settings covering pre-conception to end of life. Our dynamic and multi-disciplinary course team will support you as you learn to deliver high-quality person-centred care that takes account of the perspectives and pathways of individuals, their families and carers. We’ll help you learn to provide effective support to the registered nurse in the assessment, planning, delivery and evaluation of care.

To become a nursing associate, you’ll need to develop a breadth of knowledge and a flexible, portable skill set that will enable you to serve local health populations. We’ll support you as you learn to work across a range of fields of nursing, such as children and young people, adults and older people, mental health and learning disability nursing.

  • This programme is approved by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) and on successful completion, you’ll be eligible to register as a qualified nursing associate.
  • Your practice learning experience may be in a range of clinical environments within our partner NHS trusts. We’ll ensure you gain relevant experience working with patients of all ages in a range of settings covering pre-conception to end of life, supporting you to gain the core knowledge, skills, values and behaviours that are required to qualify as a nursing associate.
  • You’ll have access to facilities in the flagship £31 million Bolton One building, including our state-of-the-art Clinical Simulation Suites where you’ll be able to practice skills and develop knowledge using clinical equipment and simulators.
  • You’ll be guided by staff with extensive experience in nursing, healthcare and inter-professional education.
  • Our focus is on helping you learn to deliver nursing care safely, in areas such as administering medication within the scope of the nursing associate, using medical devices, using invasive and non-invasive procedures, and infection prevention and control.
  • We’ll support you to develop knowledge of human anatomy and physiology, common health conditions and the principles and practice of medicine management, as well as the appropriate decision making and problem-solving skills that are needed to support the registered nurse.
  • Our Nursing courses have been placed in the top ten in the UK and first in the North West of England for student satisfaction for the third year running by the Complete University Guide 2021.
Key Features
  • Our approach to teaching and learning is ‘student-centred’, so we’ll work with you on an individual basis, providing tailored help and support throughout your studies.
  • Course materials are available online, allowing you to prepare work at home and make the most of the highly interactive in-class tuition.
  • Essential values and behaviours are embedded within the programme. We’ll guide you as you learn the responsibilities and professional values of a nursing associate and the nursing profession, and encourage you to demonstrate a personal commitment to professional standards and ethical practice.
  • We’ll support you as you learn to treat people with dignity, respecting each individual’s diversity, beliefs, culture, needs, values, privacy and preferences.
  • We’ll encourage you to develop team working, leadership, communication and inter-personal skills, as well as a commitment to lifelong learning.
  • By choosing to study with us, you'll have the chance to enjoy Bolton's many shops, bars, restaurants and leisure facilities. Manchester, one of the UK's most multicultural and lively cities, is less than 20 minutes away by train. Not forgetting, the North West of England is renowned for its beautiful countryside, coastline and heritage. This makes Bolton an ideal base from which to explore some of the best cultural and outdoor activities the UK offers.
Professional recognition

The course is approved by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC).

On successful completion of the foundation degree you’ll be eligible to apply for professional registration with the NMC.

  • Please note that this course is only available to Home students.
  • A level 2 or level 3 qualification in health and social care is desirable, but not essential.
  • You must have GCSEs at grade C or above or grade 4 to 9 (or equivalent) including English Language and Mathematics and demonstrate the academic aptitude to undertake this programme. Functional Skills Level 2 in Literacy and Numeracy are accepted as equivalent to GCSEs. Please contact the University for other GCSE equivalent qualifications that would be accepted for entry onto this course.
  • Each candidate will be considered and selected on an individual basis by both the partner NHS trust and academic staff.
  • Qualifications gained outside England and Wales will be assessed on an individual basis according to guidance by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC).
  • If your application is successfully short-listed, then you’ll be asked to attend an interview. The interview process will involve face-to-face interviews with academic staff, practice staff and service users. You’ll also be assessed on your values, behaviours, communication and problem solving skills, and undertake a numeracy and literacy assessment. We’re seeking students who can demonstrate commitment to a career as a nursing associate, who have excellent communication skills and who are caring, compassionate and courageous.
  • If you’re successful at the interview stage, you’ll be asked to undergo occupational health screening and a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check.
  • You'll be required to satisfactorily pass occupational health screening.
  • You’ll need to demonstrate that you are of good health and good character prior to enrolment and on an on-going basis throughout your studies and career.
  • This course involves working unsupervised with children and/or vulnerable young people and adults and applicants must gain an Enhanced Disclosure certificate from the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) before starting their studies. Charges are payable to cover the cost of the DBS Enhanced Disclosure application and annual registration with the online Update Service.
  • If English isn’t your first language, you’ll also need IELTS 7.0 with normally no less than 6.5 in any band (or equivalent). We also accept a range of other English language qualifications – please visit our English Language Requirements web page for more details.
  • The University of Bolton recognises prior learning, whether gained through academic credit and qualifications or through your professional and employment experience. Previous learning may be used towards meeting the entry requirements for this programme or for exemption from part of this programme. It is your responsibility to make a claim for recognition of prior learning, and each claim will be considered in accordance with the University’s policy and regulations for the recognition of prior learning.
  • You'll need to ascertain if you're eligible for a student loan via Student Finance England or will need to be able to self-fund.
  • Please note that this course is subject to the University of Bolton's Fitness to Practise procedure.

Where changes are made to material information contained in this course description or a decision is taken to suspend a course between the offer of admissions and enrolment, we will inform applicants at the earliest possible opportunity and will outline the various options available to the applicant.

The nursing associate role is a support role that sits alongside existing healthcare support workers and fully-qualified registered nurses to deliver hands-on care for patients. After successfully completing the foundation degree you’ll possess a range of transferable skills, such as study skills, communication and interpersonal skills, self-awareness and team working. During your studies, you’ll also become familiar with ideas such as reflective practice, managing stress and change management and their application to healthcare contexts, ready for your future employment as a nursing associate.

Once qualified and registered, you’ll be well-prepared to gain employment as a nursing associate and give care to people of all ages in a range of settings across health and social care. Like nurses and other health professionals, you may expand your scope of practice through further education and experience.

What can I do with this qualification?

The nursing associate is a stand-alone role in its own right. It offers a route into nursing and bridges the gap between senior healthcare assistants who hold a care certificate and registered, graduate nurses. As a nurse associate, you’ll work alongside care assistants and registered nurses to deliver hands-on care, focusing on ensuring patients continue to get the compassionate care they deserve.

As a nursing associate, you’ll work under the direction of fully qualified registered nurses. Following your training as a nursing associate, you’ll be qualified to undertake some of the duties that registered nurses undertake. If you wish to take on further responsibilities and your ambition is to become a registered nurse, you’ll be able to apply for further study in pre-registration nursing. You could consider programmes such as the University of Bolton’s BSc (Hons) Nursing (Adult) or BSc (Hons) Nursing (Children) and you may be eligible to apply for year 2 entry.

Alternative career options

Graduates can also use the qualification as a stepping-stone into a range of other careers. For some of these roles, both relevant experience and/or postgraduate study may be required. Some of these careers include:

  • Counselling
  • Dietetics
  • Writing and journalism
  • Occupational therapy
  • Mental health
  • Social work
  • Teaching and education
  • Health promotion
  • Mentoring
  • Armed forces
  • Community support
  • Youth work
  • Care home management
  • Health services management
  • Child protection
  • Early years

Course fees
Home Fees Year of study Total
Entry year2022/232023/242024/25

Important note regarding tuition fees for the 2021-2022 academic year: EU nationals who meet residency requirements (have settled or pre-settled status) may be eligible for 'Home' fee status. If you do not meet these residency requirements, overseas fees will apply. Irish citizens living in the UK or Ireland will be eligible for 'Home' fee status under the Common Travel Area arrangement. Please read the student finance eligibility 2021-2022 policy on www.gov.uk for information.

The fees for a student's course of study will be set for the normal duration of that course subject only to inflationary increases – measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI) recorded in March each year to take effect for subsequent start dates.

For 2021-2022 entry, the maximum government approved undergraduate tuition fee for UK students is £9,250 per year. The University is able to charge this fee subject to an approved Access and Participation Plan for 2021-2022 and its current rating in the Teaching Excellence Framework.


Click here for more information about the scholarships and bursaries available to University of Bolton students.

For details of how to apply for this course, please choose your status from the options below:

If you wish to apply to multiple institutions or courses for September, then apply through UCAS

You can apply for up to 5 courses through UCAS (at the same or different institutions) for a fee of £27. Alternatively, if you only wish to apply for a single course at a single institution then a reduced applicant's fee of £22.50 is applicable.

The online application form and guidance notes are available on the UCAS website.

You will need the following information to complete your UCAS application form:

  • Institution Code Name: BOLTN

  • Institution Code Number: B44

UCAS - Universities and Colleges Admissions Service

Tel: 0870 1122211
Web: www.ucas.com

International applications are not possible for this course

As an international student you are not allowed to study this course because of the restrictions on your visa.

We offer a wide range of full-time courses in lots of different subjects, many of our courses start in September and January. If you would like to see what courses are available please visit our Course Search.

Please contact Admissions by telephone on 01204 903903 or email enquiries@bolton.ac.uk

University of Bolton
Deane Road
Bolton, BL3 5AB
United Kingdom

Tel: 01204 903903
Email: enquiries@bolton.ac.uk

The nursing associate role is diverse and multi-faceted, so we use a wide range of teaching and learning methods. These are designed to help you to develop the skills, knowledge, self-awareness, values and behaviours essential to become a nursing associate. Learning focuses on the workplace environment so that you build the competencies demanded by the role and learn to apply this expertise across a wide range of care settings.

Our tutors are research active and teaching is underpinned by rigorous research. Teaching methods will include lectures, presentations, simulations and practise of skills in our simulation suite, seminar discussions, small group workshops, small group tutorials and one-to-one tutorials.

As well as attending timetabled sessions, you’ll also be expected to allocate significant time to independent and self-directed studies. For example, background reading, preparing for seminars, working on assignments and revising for exams will support your timetabled learning and help you develop the skills required for lifelong learning. Our friendly and supportive tutors will be here to guide you, and will gladly help you devise an independent study regime focused on your individual development needs. Learning will also be supported by the University's virtual learning environment, Moodle.

The assessment strategy for the programme is designed to ensure that you can demonstrate your achievement of the overall aims and learning outcomes of the programme, as well as the learning outcomes for individual modules. The assessment of practice and theory contributes to the final award. All assessments in practice (practice assessment documentation (PAD) and portfolio) must be passed.

You’ll be assessed using a range of methods, including essays, reports, presentations, objective structured clinical examinations (OSCE), traditional examinations and assessment of practice within the practice setting. Some assessments will contribute to your final module marks, while others are designed to help you identify your strengths and weaknesses, and where you need to seek extra support from course tutors.


The modules listed below may be a mixture of compulsory and optional. You may not have the opportunity to study all the modules shown as part of the course.

  • Principles of Nursing Associate Practice
  • Anatomy and Physiology and the Foundations of Medicines Management
  • Wider Approaches to Promoting Health and Preventing Ill Health
  • Recognising Acute Physical and Mental Health and Illness for Nursing Associate Practice
  • Contributing to Integrated Care for People With Complex Needs and Associated Medicines Management
  • Enhancing Skills: Developing Leadership, Knowledge and Evidence Based Practice for the Nursing Associate
Assessment methods
LevelAssesment method
Level oneCoursework 60%, Practical exams 25%, Written exams 15%
Level twoCoursework 28%, Practical exams 62%, Written exams 10%
Learning activities
LevelLearning activity
Level oneGuided independent study 40%, Placement/study abroad 50%, Scheduled learning and teaching activities 10%
Level twoGuided independent study 40%, Placement/study abroad 50%, Scheduled learning and teaching activities 10%


The university will use all reasonable endeavours to deliver your course as described in its published material and the programme specification for the academic year in which you begin your course. The university considers changes to courses very carefully and the university will minimise any changes. Please be aware that our courses are subject to review on an ongoing basis and changes may be necessary due to legitimate staffing, financial, regulatory and academic reasons. The content of course modules and mode of associated assessments may be updated on an annual basis. This is to ensure that all modules are up-to-date and responsive to employment and sector needs. The published course material and the programme specification contain indicative ‘optional modules’ that may be subject to change due to circumstances outside of our control. For this reason, we cannot guarantee to run any specific optional module.

Meet the team

The academic staff detailed above teach across a range of courses in this subject area and may not teach on this course specifically.

Programme Contacts

Nursing and Midwifery Team
Email Enquiries


Zena Bleasdale
Programme Leader


Enquiry Team
University of Bolton


+44 (0)1204 903903

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Postgraduate Options

BSc (Hons) Nursing (Adult) [Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust]

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BSc (Hons) Nursing (Adult) [Bolton NHS Foundation Trust]

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We have the answers to your questions, find all the advice and support in one place.

Part of the University of Bolton Group

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Anderton centre2
RiSE pos rgb logo
QQA Scheme Participant