Undergraduate study - 2020 entry

BN Nursing Studies

UCAS code: B700

Duration: 4 years

Delivery: Full-time

School: Health in Social Science

College: Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences

Study abroad

Introducing BN Nursing Studies

We have been providing nursing education for 60 years. Our Bachelor of Nursing (BN) honours programme prepares you for a rewarding and varied career in healthcare. On graduation you will be eligible for registration with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) as an adult nurse.

We offer clinically based knowledge and practical skills, balanced with theoretical and research-based knowledge, ensuring our graduates are highly effective practitioners by the end of our four-year programme.

Nursing students require a strong interest in human relationships, well-developed social and communication skills, and a high degree of empathy.

Through academic study and clinical practice, our programme will help you to build on these skills and attributes as well as develop the leadership and analytical skills required to provide excellent nursing care.

You will not only learn about clinical and professional issues in nursing, but also the diverse social and cultural influences on health, research methods, and psychological perspectives on the experience of illness and care.

The opportunity to take two courses from the wider University in Year 1 allows you to broaden your understanding of the world and study a diverse range of topics. Additionally, the honours options in Years 3 and 4 offer you the opportunity to deepen your understanding in specialist areas of your choosing.

At the end of Year 3 you will undertake an elective placement, offering you the opportunity to experience healthcare in a different culture or to gain clinical experience in a specialist area of interest in the UK.


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 programme is currently being reviewed and revised in order to meet the new Nursing and Midwifery Council Standards for Education and prepare nurses to work in the changing context of healthcare.

The description of content provided below is for guidance only; course names and content will be updated. However the four pillars of life sciences, social and psychological perspectives on health and social care, research and professionalism which underpin the current curriculum will remain.

Year 1

Years 1 and 2 provide an introduction to nursing care and theory, and to the sociological and psychological aspects of healthcare.

You will study the compulsory courses Life Sciences (anatomy- and physiology-based), Healthy Communities (investigating the impact of society on health), Professionalism and Evidence and Research. You will also choose two option courses from subjects across the University.

You will gain clinical experience in Year 1 through community and medical ward placements.

Year 2

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.

Year 3

You will continue to deepen your study of Professionalism and Evidence and Research, as well as studying Management of Transitions which focuses on care of the older person and Cultural Diversity and Care: Immersion Experience which includes the elective placement. You will also choose two honours option courses.

Clinical experience includes care of the older person, and a clinical experience linked to one of your honours options.You will also organise your elective placement either in the UK or abroad.

Year 4

You will choose a further two honours options, study Professionalism 4 and complete your dissertation.

Your clinical practice will include an honours-linked placement and a 12-week placement consolidating your clinical competence.

Programme structure

Find out more about the compulsory and optional courses in this degree programme.

To give you an idea of what you will study on 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.

Programme structure (2019/20)

Our facilities

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 trained mentor on placement.

Study abroad

There are opportunities to complete a clinical placement abroad in Year 3. There is also an opportunity for two students to experience a semester-long exchange with an Australian university in Year 3.

What are my options for going abroad?

How will I learn?

All nursing programmes in the UK are 50 per cent theory and 50 per cent practice. The courses you take in this programme have both theoretical and clinical practice elements.

You will learn through a combination of lectures, tutorials, seminars, clinical skills sessions, problem-based learning, reflective diaries, group work and 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 in line with the Nursing and Midwifery Council Standards for Nurse Education 2010.

Programme details

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.

Programme details (2019/20)

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, for example, in intensive care, oncology, theatres, and accident and emergency, as well as in voluntary sector organisations.

You may choose to undertake further study for masters or PhD and go on to develop your career in higher education, research, management or policy development.

Standard entry requirement

The standard entry requirement is:

  • SQA Highers: AABB - ABBB by end of S5. If you haven't achieved this by the end of S5 we may consider your application based on a strong performance in S6. A minimum of BBB must be achieved in one year of S4-S6. (Revised 21/06/2019 from 'ABBB'. Revised 18/10/2019 from 'AABB'.)
  • A Levels: ABB. (Revised 21/06/2019 from 'ABB'. Revised 11/12/2019 from 'AAB - ABB'.)
  • IB: 36 points (grades 665 at HL) - 34 points (grades 655 at HL). (Revised 21/06/2019 from '34 (655 at HL)'.)

Minimum entry requirement

The minimum entry requirement for widening access applicants is:

  • SQA Highers: ABBB by end of S6, with a minimum of BBB achieved in one year of S4-S6.
  • A Levels: ABB.
  • IB: 34 points (grades 655 at HL).

More information for widening access applicants

Required subjects

The grades used to meet our entry requirements must include:

  • SQA: no specific Higher subjects required. National 5: Mathematics and English at grade C.
  • A Levels: no specific A Level subjects required. GCSEs: Mathematics and English at grade C or 4.
  • IB: HL: no specific subjects required. SL: English at grade 5 and Mathematics or Mathematical Studies at grade 4.

Additional requirements

" Some prior experience of working with people is advisable. Admission to this programme 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 programme.


Find out more about entry requirements

International applicants

We welcome applications from students studying a wide range of international qualifications.

Entry requirements by country

Mature applicants

We welcome applications from mature students and accept a range of qualifications.

Mature applicant 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.


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 Grade C
  • SQA Standard Grade 3
  • SQA Intermediate 1 Grade A
  • SQA Intermediate 2 Grade C
  • GCSE Grade C or 4
  • Level 2 Certificate Grade C
  • IB Standard Level Grade 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 100 or above with 25 in each section
  • Cambridge English: Advanced or Proficiency overall 185 with 185 in each component
  • Pearson Test of English (Academic): Total 67 with at least 67 in each "Communicative Skills" section
  • 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 programme you are applying to study, unless you are using IELTS, TOEFL, PTE or Trinity ISE, in which case it must be no more than two years old.

English language requirements

(Revised 05/06/2019 to provide more accurate/comprehensive information.)

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.

Health check

All students must undergo hepatitis B immunisation and TB status health check before starting the programme. 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: uniforms, occupational health appointments, and the fee for membership of the Protection of Vulnerable Groups scheme.

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.

Tuition Fees

Tuition fees for BN Nursing Studies

Additional costs

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 to clinical placement personally.

In Year 3 there is an opportunity to undertake a single semester exchange with La Trobe University, Australia for which you will be liable for visa, immunisation, travel and 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: uniforms, occupational health appointments, and the 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.

Fees and funding

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