BN Nursing Studies
UCAS code: B700
Duration: 4 years
School: Health in Social Science
College: Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences
Introducing BN Nursing Studies
The Bachelor of Nursing (BN) with Honours programme reflects global, UK and Scottish perspectives of health care. The transfer between health environments and the acute primary care interface is key to understanding the health needs of different populations.
Throughout the four years of the programme, you will be introduced to a range of inpatient and community placements and other health-related learning experiences.
Nursing and Midwifery Council education standards
This programme adheres to the new Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) education standards. These standards are designed to embrace the range of nursing practice. This will help prepare you for life at the forefront of the dynamic healthcare environment of the 2020s and beyond.
The Bachelor of Nursing with Honours degree prepares nurses for the evolving healthcare landscape. Gain key skills in:
- critical thinking
- teamwork and leadership
- an ability to innovate and work in interdisciplinary settings
- clinical skills and proficiency across the required range
On graduation you will be eligible for registration with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) as an adult nurse.
The programme combines theoretical and skills learning within the University (50%) with practice learning experiences (50%). The equal weighting of theory and practice is a defining feature of the structure of this degree and is required by the NMC.
There are three strands of the curriculum which lead you from Year 1 to Year 4, building on previous learning as part of a spiral curriculum. Life sciences, research skills and social sciences are introduced in Year 1 and then build in complexity and depth into year 2 and over the course of the programme.
The Honours option courses in Years 3 and 4 allow you to personalise the programme, following your particular interests in different care contexts, approaches or conditions.
Clinical skills are developed across all four years, working in the clinical skills laboratory, in nurse-led groups and in a programme of inter-professional learning with medical students.
Practice learning is integral to the programme and students learn in a range of practice settings including community, care homes, acute hospital and specialist services.
In Year 3 there is an opportunity for all students to undertake an elective placement which may be abroad or within the UK. In addition, there is usually an opportunity to apply to study abroad as part of a semester long exchange with La Trobe University, Australia.
Student support at The University of Edinburgh is excellent and includes:
- a Personal Tutor system
- a University wide student support infrastructure
- accessible academic staff
- personalised support in the practice learning environment
This programme is validated by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC).
Achievement of the required clinical and academic outcomes leads to eligibility for registration with the NMC as an Adult Nurse.
The description of content provided below is for guidance only; course names and content may be updated.
Years 1 and 2
Years 1 and 2 provide an introduction to the evidence base for nursing. This includes:
- anatomy and physiology
- nursing care
- mental health
- technical innovations in healthcare
- sociological and psychological aspects of healthcare
- approaches to research
In addition to the compulsory courses, you will also choose two option courses from subjects across the University during Year 1.
As well as progressing your study of life sciences in Nursing Care and Decision Making, Healthy Communities, Professionalism and Evidence and Research, you will also study Mental Health and Wellbeing.
Your placements build on the Year 1 experience with a further community placement, mental health placement and surgical or outpatient experience.
You will develop leadership skills and deepen your understanding of the evidence base for nursing. You will also develop your critical thinking abilities and clinical decision making.
You will choose two Honours option courses in Years 3 and 4, learning as a mixed group of Year 3 and 4 students. This allows you to personalise your programme, pursuing nursing courses which address your own disciplinary interests. Skills acquisition continues and develops with further inter-professional opportunities.
The final year allows students to work on a topic of their choice to produce an Honours dissertation. Dissertation work is supported by close academic supervision.
Teaching takes place in the Central Area of the University. You will have access to teaching and learning facilities, including libraries and computer labs.
Clinical skills teaching takes place at the Chancellor's Building Clinical Skills Centre, at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh.
Clinical practice placements are provided by NHS Lothian and NHS Borders. You should expect to be placed across these two health boards during your programme. You will work with a suitably prepared supervisor and assessor on placement.
There are potential opportunities to complete a clinical placement abroad in Year 3.
There is also an opportunity for two students to apply for a semester-long exchange with an Australian university in Year 3.
How will I learn?
All nursing programmes in the UK are 50% theory and 50% practice. The courses you take in this programme have both theoretical and clinical practice elements.
You will learn through a combination of:
- clinical skills sessions
- problem-based learning
- reflective diaries
- group work
- computer-assisted learning
You will also undertake learning in practice learning environments during clinical placements in each year.
How will I be assessed?
We use a range of approaches to assessment including coursework, multimedia presentations, group work, group presentations, exams and clinical practice profiles.
This programme has progression points at the end of each academic year where you must demonstrate clinical competence as well as academic excellence. This is jointly assessed by a Practice Assessor and an Academic Assessor. This is in line with the Nursing and Midwifery Council Standards for Nurse Education and the Standards for Students Supervision and Assessment (2018).
Find out more about this programme's aims, what you will learn, how you will be assessed and what skills and knowledge you will develop.
To give you an idea of what to expect from this programme, we publish the latest available information. However, please note this may not be for your year of entry, but for a different academic year.
Career prospects are excellent for nursing studies graduates from the University of Edinburgh.
Our graduates have gone into careers in a range of clinical settings in both community and hospital contexts, specialising in areas such as:
- intensive care
- accident and emergency
- voluntary sector organisations
You may choose to undertake further study for masters or PhD and go on to develop your career in areas such as:
- higher education
- policy development
Standard entry requirement
The standard entry requirement is:
- SQA Highers: ABBB by end of S5 or AABB/ABBBB by end of S6. BBB must be achieved in one year of S4-S6.
- A Levels: ABB.
- IB: 34 points with 655 at HL.
Minimum entry requirement
The minimum entry requirement for widening access applicants is:
- SQA Highers: ABBB by end of S6. BBB must be achieved in one year of S4-S6.
- A Levels: ABB.
- IB: 34 points with 655 at HL.
The grades used to meet our entry requirements must include:
- SQA: Highers: no specific Higher subjects required. National 5s: Mathematics and English at C.
- A Levels: no specific A Level subjects required. GCSEs: Mathematics and English at C or 4.
- IB: HL: no specific subjects required. SL: English at 5 and either Mathematics or Mathematical Studies at 4.
Some prior experience of working with people is advisable. Admission to this degree includes an interview process. Further details on the process will be sent to candidates shortlisted for interview.
Fitness to practice
There is fitness to practice guidance for people who wish to become nurses, we strongly advise you to make yourself aware of this before you apply. Please consult the Higher Educational Occupational Physicians/Practitioners (HEOPS) website for fitness to practice guidelines for this degree.
We welcome applications from students studying a wide range of international qualifications.
We welcome applications from mature students and accept a range of qualifications.
You must demonstrate a level of English language competency at a level that will enable you to succeed in your studies, regardless of your nationality or country of residence.
SQA, GCSE and IB
For SQA, GCSE and IB students, unless a higher level is specified in the stated entry requirements, a pass is required in English at the following grades or higher:
- SQA National 5 at C
- SQA Standard Grade at 3
- SQA Intermediate 1 at A
- SQA Intermediate 2 at C
- GCSE/IGSCE at C or 4
- Level 2 Certificate Grade C
- IB Standard Level at 5 (English ab initio is not accepted for entry)
English language tests
We accept the following English language qualifications at the grades specified:
- IELTS Academic module overall 7.0 with 7.0 in each component
- TOEFL iBT (including Special Home Edition)100 or above with 25 in each section. We do not accept TOEFL MyBest Score to meet our English language requirements.
- Cambridge English: Advanced or Proficiency overall 185 with 185 in each component
- Trinity ISE: ISE III with a pass in all four components
We also accept a wider range of international qualifications and tests.
English language qualifications must be no more than three and a half years old from the start date of the degree you are applying to study, unless you are using IELTS, TOEFL, or Trinity ISE, in which case it must be no more than two years old.
Protecting Vulnerable Groups
All successful applicants will be required to join Disclosure Scotland's Protecting Vulnerable Groups (PVG) Scheme before starting the programme. In addition, all applicants who don't live in the UK, or who have spent more than a year abroad, will need to provide equivalent verification from the relevant national authority.
All students must undergo hepatitis B immunisation and TB status health check before starting the degree.
This information is part of a government initiative to enhance the material that higher education institutions provide about their degree programmes.
It is one of many sources of information which will enable you to make an informed decision on what and where to study.
Please note that some programmes do not have Discover Uni data available.
If you are eligible for a SAAS bursary, you should be able to reclaim travel expenses incurred during clinical placements. Those who are ineligible will bear the cost of travel and accommodation related to clinical placement personally.
In Year 3 there is usually an opportunity to undertake a single semester exchange with La Trobe University, Australia. Exchange students may be liable for additional costs such as:
- visa costs
- travel costs
- living costs
In Year 3, you will also undertake an elective clinical placement, either abroad or elsewhere in the UK. All visa, immunisation, travel and living costs associated with this placement will be borne by you.
Students from the rest of the UK and overseas, whose fees are not paid by the Scottish Government, will be liable for the cost of the following mandatory items:
- occupational health appointments
- membership fee for the Protection of Vulnerable Groups (PVG) scheme
For more information on how much it will cost to study with us and the financial support available see our fees and funding information.