Jump to accessibility statement Skip to content

The benefits of starting a healthcare course in April

Home / Student experience / Discover Sunderland blog / Health Sciences and Wellbeing / Benefits of starting a healthcare course in April

While many of our courses begin in September, some of our undergraduate healthcare degrees also have intakes in April, meaning you can start studying sooner. Our healthcare courses that offer April starts are:

In this article, we're exploring why it can be beneficial to start your healthcare course in April. If you’re interested in hearing from our current students, you can chat to them about their experiences. You can also read our Nursing and Midwifery student stories and Allied Health Professions and Public Health student stories.

1. Enjoy a quieter time on campus

If you’re worried about the hustle and bustle of Freshers’ Week, starting your course in April lets you enjoy university life at your own pace. There will still be activities to get involved in, so you'll have the opportunity to make friends and settle into life on campus when it's a bit quieter. There are several helpful guides on our Student Journey website and our social media channels so you can find your new favourite places at Sunderland.

Joining us in April also means that you’ll be able to experience living in Sunderland just as summer is about to start, and there's plenty to do and see in both the city itself and beyond. Read more about some of our favourite things to do in Sunderland.

Students on Roker Beach

2. Get to know your peers

There aren't usually as many students starting their course in April as there are in September, meaning your classes are likely to be smaller and more intimate. This is a great way to make friends quickly, as well as get the most out of your lectures and seminars.

If you’re looking to make friends outside of your course, there are lots of clubs and societies you can join including academic clubs, cultural societies, sports teams, and many more. Getting involved in a society can also be an excellent way to boost your CV!

"I felt that the April start date was beneficial as it put us in the best possible position for employment – we don’t have a lag over the summer while we wait for registration and we’re graduating at a different time to all the other local universities, so in terms of job competition, this is a huge bonus!"

Verity Cox
Nursing student

3. Benefit from one-on-one time with tutors

Your course tutors will always be there to offer academic and wellbeing support, but even more so when their office hours are quieter! Being part of a smaller cohort means you can really benefit from some dedicated one-on-one time from your lecturers, and you can be assured you'll feel fully supported when you begin your student journey.

Associate Head of School for Paramedic Practice Mark Willis says "We love to welcome our April cohort and always ensure all applicants receive the same experience despite this start time not falling within standard semester frameworks. April students have the benefit of campus being at a pace of activity that will support a smoother transition into full-time Higher Education and this can benefit many applicants. We really look forward to welcoming all April students and hope you're excited for your forthcoming adventures."

4. Get involved with some social events

Freshers’ Week isn’t the only time you can have fun on campus – as well as joining in with societies, our Students’ Union regularly runs events throughout the year in areas like CitySpace, such as celebrations of international days, and even visits from farm animals!

Your lecturers may also arrange social activities for students to encourage team building. Previous visits have included an Army Reserve Base in Seaburn for Nursing students, and the annual students versus staff dodgeball tournament for our Paramedic recruits.

A close up of two llamas on city campus as part of an event for the students

5. Enjoy an earlier finish

If you’ve finished high school and are interested in taking time off, a gap year can seem daunting. Starting in April can offer you the opportunity to take a shorter gap year, meaning you can still enjoy freedoms such as travelling and relaxing, but for a shorter, more manageable time. This means your learning will still be present in your mind for when you begin university, but you’ll feel relaxed and refreshed.

As well as this, because you've started your course earlier, you'll also graduate earlier. For healthcare courses in particular, the graduate job market can be extremely competitive, but getting your degree in April could mean there's less competition when it comes to seeking employment.


Find out more about starting a degree in April, as well as more about Nursing and Midwifery and Allied Health Professions and Public Health.

Published: 13 November 2023

Related Downloads