Adult Nursing Practice BSc (Hons)

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Learn from an enthusiastic team of skilled professionals. Regularly meet and work with patients and carers. Graduate with the qualifications needed to register with the Nursing and Midwifery Council as a Registered Nurse (Adult).

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We have developed this exciting degree in collaboration with Sunderland CARE Academy partner organisations including South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust, The Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust, North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust and Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, along with Clinical Commissioning Groups and our Patient, Carer and Public Involvement (PCPI) participants.

On successful completion of the course, you will be eligible to register with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) as a Registered Nurse (Adult).

This course is one of the new initiatives supporting increasing availability and access to nursing education and is not NHS funded.

We also have an intake in September 2020. Start dates will be advertised shortly.

Why us?

  • Our Nursing courses are in the top five in the UK according to The Guardian University league tables 2018
  • Winner of Nurse Education Provider of the Year (Post-registration) at the Student Nursing Times Awards 2018
  • In collaboration with local Trusts, this exciting and innovative undergraduate pre-registration nursing programme supports the growth of nursing in the region
  • Our Nursing courses were ranked 1st overall in the UK in the 2018 UK Engagement Survey
  • Our Nursing courses were ranked 3rd in the UK for Assessment and Feedback, 1st in the UK for Retention and Progression, and 1st in the UK for Employability in the 2018 UK Engagement Survey
  • Our Nursing courses are ranked in the top 10 in the UK for Students' Union representing students' academic interests, according to the National Student Survey 2019
  • Opportunities to collaborate in an interprofessional learning capacity with other healthcare courses including pharmacy, paramedic science, medicine, biomedical science, physiotherapy and occupational therapy.
  • The Sunderland School of Nursing and Health Sciences has superb facilities; our Living Lab supports interactive simulation and the development of tomorrow’s nurses
  • Undertake a range of clinical placements with your selected partner trust 
  • Adult nurses in the NHS will usually start at band 5, with a current starting salary for a registered general nurse of £22,128
  • Experienced senior nurses who have achieved additional qualifications can earn significantly more, depending on their role. In the NHS a Senior Nurse can earn between £40,428 and £48,514 per year (Band 8)
  • We have a unique relationship with our Patient, Carer and Public Involvement Group who take part in a variety of activities to support learning

Course structure

During your first year, you will be introduced to the requirements of becoming a registered nurse through studying and completing modules in professional practice and nursing practice. This combined with learning about physical and human science will prepare you for your first clinical placements which will be held in local NHS Trusts.

Fifty percent of your time over the duration of the course will be in clinical practice under the supervision of registered practitioners, in a range of clinical settings in and out of hospital. A key aspect of our course is patient involvement and patient centred care, and you will have regular contact with our Patient, Carer and Public Involvement (PCPI) members throughout the course, who all have experience and expertise as patients or carers.

As a nurse, you will need to demonstrate compassionate and caring approaches to patients and interprofessional working in the healthcare workforce and the programme provides you with opportunities to learn and work alongside other students and staff from a range of disciplines, as part of the School of Nursing and Health Sciences.

Year 1 (national level 4):

Critical Inquiry (10 credits)

  • Develop evidence-based practice from day one
  • Gain an insight into how best to approach the learning, teaching and assessments you will encounter on the course

Foundations of Nursing Practice (30 credits)

  • Get an introduction to models of reflective practice, together with an overview of interprofessional working and the need for capacity building for the nursing profession

Foundations of Physical and Human Science (30 credits)

  • Use patient journeys as illustrations to provide systems based approaches to anatomy, physiology, psychology and microbiology

Introduction to Professional Practice (20 credits)

  • Gain essential knowledge and skills in professional practice from the earliest stages of your interactions with patients and their families and carers as a pre-registration nurse

Nursing Practice Placement Year 1 (30 credits)

  • Take part in a series of interactive workshops to learn about the need to translate learning into practice at the front line of patient care
  • Placement orientation sessions will also act as a bridge between theoretical and clinical learning in the initial stages of the course
  • There are two block placements of eight and ten weeks


Some modules have prerequisites. Read more about what this means in our Help and Advice article.

Year 2 (national level 5):

In this year you build on your foundation skills in nursing and nursing practice and learn more about evidence based nursing practice and policy. You will deepen your clinical knowledge and skills through learning about nursing practice for altered health and apply this in a number of placements including community and non-adult settings.

Evidence Based Practice and Policy (30 credits)

  • Develop an understanding of the issues around ensuring that health care practice is informed by the best available evidence

Nursing Practice for Altered Health (40 credits)

  • Gain knowledge of major pathological and physiological changes in the human body, occurring as a result of common diseases/disease processes

Nursing Practice Placement Year 2 (50 credits)

  • Develop your knowledge and application of nursing practice interventions, enabling you to provide evidence-based, safe and compassionate, physical and psychological care
  • There are three block placements of seven weeks each

Final year (national level 6):

In your final year, your journey to registration moves you into learning and experiencing more about working as members of an integrated healthcare team through understanding interprofessional working and integrated practice placements, developing your awareness of your leadership and management.

Leadership and Management (20 credits)

  • Gain an overview of the defining characteristics of leadership and how these can best be applied in practice
  • Recognise the distinction between leadership and management within the context of healthcare provision, and the impact and significance both have to a functioning and dynamic workforce

Interprofessional Working (20 credits)

  • Take an introductory look at the concept of interprofessional working and the facilitating and restraining forces influencing interprofessional working in practice

Dissertation (30 credits)

  • Explore the evidenced base of nursing practice, and research a particular area in the field of adult nursing
  • Carry out a structured systematic literature review including a critical analysis of the reported literature and in particular the ability to make recommendations for nursing and nursing practice

Integrated Nursing Practice Placement (50 credits)

  • Further develop your knowledge and application of nursing to practice in a range of clinical settings
  • Incorporate experience of care provision across the lifespan and health and wellbeing continuum.
  • There are three block placements of eight, four and eleven weeks

More about BSc (Hons) Adult Nursing Practice at Sunderland

Discover more articles
  • The University boasts a collection of more than 430,000 books in total, with many more titles available through the inter-library loan service. There are nearly 9,000 journal titles, mostly in electronic format. Each year the University invests around £1 million in new resources. As a student, you will have access to a huge range of online databases such as:

    British National Formulary:
    Compiled with the advice of clinical experts, the British National Formulary (BNF) provides up-to-date guidance on prescribing, dispensing and administering medicines.

    The British Pharmacopoeia:
    The British Pharmacopoeia (BP) is the authoritative collection of quality standards for UK medicines and is an essential reference for anyone involved in pharmaceutical R&D, manufacture, testing and regulation.

    CINAHL with Full Text is the world’s most comprehensive source of full text for nursing & allied health journals, providing full text for more than 600 journals indexed in CINAHL.

    The Cochrane Library:
    The Cochrane Library is a collection of databases that contain high-quality, independent evidence to inform healthcare decision-making.

    PubMed Central:
    PubMed Central is a service of the US National Library of Medicine that includes over 25 million citations from MEDLINE and other life science journals for biomedical articles and includes links to full text articles and other related resources.

    ScienceDirect is a leading full-text scientific database offering journal articles and book chapters covering physical sciences, life sciences, health sciences, and social sciences and humanities.

    Library Services - pharmacy, health and wellbeing
  • This course is based in the Sciences Complex in our City Campus, which has benefited from a multimillion pound investment over the last 5 years. Teaching takes place in multi-media classrooms with state-of-the-art resources for learning.

    The Living Lab boasts the region’s only immersive simulation room allowing participants to experience events in simulated environments. An adjacent task trainer room which can be used flexibly can aid with the development of clinical and non-technical skills. Integral cameras enable participants to view live or recorded footage in our dedicated debrief room. The Lab also has a 7 bedded ward and Point of Care Testing (POCT) facility along with an OSCE suite and seminar rooms.

    The facility currently has 2 SimMan 3Gs, a SimNewB, a SimMom birthing simulator and 2 TraumaFX simbodies. A range of other clinical equipment and part task trainers as well as a pop-up ambulance are available to complement the facilities.

    IT facilities at the University are excellent with hundreds of workstations available as well as wireless internet access. If you have any computer problems, just ask the friendly helpdesk team.

    Sciences Complex - Living Lab
  • Map and directions


The University of Sunderland offers modern and well-equipped facilities at our Sciences Complex.

Entry requirements

Our typical offer is 112 UCAS points from a minimum of two A Levels or equivalent, which should preferably include a Health or Science related subject. Please note we do not accept General Studies AS or A Level.

Find out how many points your qualifications are worth using the UCAS Tariff calculator.

We also require at least five passes at GCSE grade C or above which must include Mathematics and English Language or equivalent. If you have studied for a GCSE which has a numerical grade then you will need to achieve a grade 4 or above.

Please note we are unable to accept applications from outside of the EU. You can find other acceptable qualifications in our Applying help and advice articles.

Your completed application form will be reviewed by our Admissions Team to ensure that you have the required entry qualifications. If you meet these requirements, then your application will be individually assessed by the Adult Nursing Practice Admissions Tutor and if successful you will be shortlisted for interview.

The selection process will include an individual interview and two group activities which will assess you on your values, problem solving and communication skills. 

Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL): This is available to applicants who meet the course specific APL requirements. It may apply to applicants who wish to transfer their NMC approved nursing studies from another university where they have achieved 120 credits at Level 4.

If you are interested in the APL route, please contact the admissions tutor for further information:

Yvonne Hindmarsh 
0191 515 2890

Access: We would be looking for a combination of merit and distinctions in your level 3 units which should preferably include some units in a Health or a Science related subject. We also require a minimum of grade C in maths and English language or equivalent. If you have studied for a GCSE which has a numerical grade then you will need to achieve a grade 4 or above.

Fitness to Practise: Nursing is a registered health care profession for which the ability to practise safely and effectively and professionally is essential, so all nursing applicants will be subjected to Fitness to Practise procedures.

This means you are required to complete two self-declaration forms, one about your health and the other about your conduct. For UK students you will also be required to obtain a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check. If you are successful, you will also need to complete these self-declaration forms on an annual basis for the duration of the course.

A Fitness to Practise information pack containing the relevant documents will be sent to you by the University of Sunderland once you hold a conditional firm offer with us. These forms are then reviewed alongside your application, and you must meet both the academic and fitness to practise requirements before you will be given an unconditional offer.

These checks enable us to make safer recruitment decisions by identifying candidates who may be unsuitable for certain activities including the nursing practice placements. The University will take into account current NMC regulations and do all it can to accommodate the needs of undergraduate adult nursing candidates who declare a specific learning difficulty.
In addition you will also be required to attend a full occupational health screening.

If English is not your first language, please see our English language requirements.

For April 2020 entry:

You will undertake your placements with one of our partner Trusts below. When you apply for the course through UCAS, you will apply for the Trust you wish to work with by using one of the following UCAS codes:

  • City Hospitals Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust and South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust (B7R6)*
  • The Newcastle Upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (B7R8)
  • North Tees and Hartlepool Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (B7R9)
  • County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust (B7R1)* 
  • Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust (B7R4)

*Please note you will be expected to undertake placements at either site.

For September 2020 entry:

Please apply via UCAS using the UCAS code B7S7. At interview, you will be asked to rank your preferred Trust, which will then be confirmed once you start the course.

Fees and finance

This course is one of the new initiatives supporting increasing availability and access to nursing education and is not NHS funded.

The annual fee for this course is:

  • £9,250 if you are from the UK or EU

We are unable to accept international applicants.

If you are not sure whether you qualify as a UK, EU or international student, find out more in our Help and Advice article.

If you currently serve (or have recently served) within the Armed Forces, then the Ministry of Defence's ELCAS scheme may be able to help cover your funding for this course. For more information, see our Funding for Armed Forces personnel page.

Take a look at the Your Finances section to find out about the scholarships and bursaries that may be available to you.

Use our scholarships calculator to see what you may be entitled to.

Scholarships calculator

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This information was correct at the time of publication.

City Campus by night


Adult nursing is a rewarding and challenging career where you have a real chance to make a difference to people's lives. The completion of this course will lead to registration as an adult nurse.

Career options

Adult nurses make up the largest part of the NHS workforce with over 176,000 working in just acute settings. In the future, more adult nursing jobs will be based in the community rather than hospitals as more care is delivered outside of acute settings, including hospital wards, outpatient units or specialist departments, the community or nursing homes and the prison service.

Adult nurses are a key part of the multidisciplinary teams that look after patients. You will be at the centre of teams that can include physiotherapists, occupational therapists, pharmacists, radiographers and healthcare assistants. You'll also work closely with patients' families and carers.

Start your nursing career at the University of Sunderland with one of our partner Trusts and develop life-long nursing skills in a collaborative and supportive environment.  Many career opportunities are available post-qualification and with additional qualifications, nurses have the potential of earning £40K plus.


At all levels of the course, you will undertake unpaid clinical placements in hospitals and the community. The placements occur in blocks of varying duration, there are two blocks in year 1 and three blocks in years 2 and 3.

You will undertake your placements at one of our partner trusts: City Hospitals Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust and South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust, The Newcastle Upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, North Tees and Hartlepool Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust and Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust.

During your placements, you will be assigned a Clinical Mentor who will directly supervise you as well as acting as a means of support and guidance.

As you may be expected to travel long distances, start your shift in the early hours, or finish your shift late at night, you could be entitled to Travel and Dual Accommodation Expenses (TDAE) which allows you to make a retrospective claim for excess travel costs and/or expenses for temporary accommodation near to the location of your placement. Find out more from the Learning Support Fund (LSF).

Meet the students

  • I have always felt valued at the University, and the support was always there.
    Amy Conway Square

    Amy Conway

  • The facilities are so the state of the art that they really help prepare you for the real world.
    Hannah Scrafton Square

    Hannah Scrafton

  • You learn so much, the lecturers are brilliant – they'll give you any amount of time that you need.

    Leah Carr

  • It's great that I am able to apply what I've learned at the University into clinical practice.
    Stacy Humphrey Square

    Stacy Humphrey

Meet the team

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