BSc (Hons) Nursing Practice (Top-up)

Course details

Online application

January, March, September

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If you are a Registered Nurse, looking to top-up your Nursing Diploma to a degree, then our top-up degree is perfect for you! We offer a variety of bespoke module options which can be tailored to your individual needs, encouraging your personal and professional development to help you progress your career. You'll have the ability to study at a pace that suits you, in a supportive environment with friendly and knowledgeable tutors. You can choose to study at one of our campuses or complete the course entirely by distance learning, the choice is yours.

Don't miss out on exciting career opportunities! Improve on your qualifications and show that you have the skills needed to advance to the top levels in your field.

If you have studied at degree level before, either with us or at another University, you can bring your credit with you. We have generous allowances for the accreditation of prior learning (APL).

You will need to complete an induction prior to commencement of your first module. We have a comprehensive online induction package for distance learners to welcome you to both the university and your programme of study. Alternatively, classroom-based induction days take place at our Lancaster and Carlisle campuses and are usually scheduled just before the start of each semester.

Our top-up degree is designed specifically for registered nurses (from all branches of nursing) and has only one compulsory module, HLLG6018 Evidence Based Practice, which underpins the programme as a whole and incorporates key skills such as literature searching. You will need to study a total of 120 credits to complete the course, but how you do that is up to you - choose the modules you're most interested in and ensure that your top-up degree is focussed on your career goal. You can opt to study a 40 credit dissertation as part of your course. Your personal tutor will discuss the modules available with you so that you can be confident you're on the right track.

Module choices

Compulsory modules

  • Evidence Based Practice (20 credits)

This module starts in September, January and March each year and can be studied entirely online, via distance learning.

Optional modules (subject to availability and demand) listed below are 20 credits unless indicated. Please check the module information pages for entry requirements, pre-requisite and co-requisite modules:

  • Acute and Critical Care: Foundations for Practice
  • Acute Care: Contemporary Issues (Independent Study)
  • Acute Pain Management
  • Acute Stroke Management: Contemporary Perspectives
  • Acutely Ill Child
  • Advances in Cardiology
  • Advancing Mental Health Across the Health Care Spectrum
  • Anticoagulation Therapy
  • Aromatherapy: Using Essential Oils to Promote Health and Wellbeing
  • Asthma Management
  • Asymptomatic Screening for Sexually Transmitted Infections and HIV
  • Autistic Spectrum Disorder
  • Case Management of Long Term Conditions
  • Cervical Cytology Screening: Theory and Practice
  • Chemotherapy
  • Childbirth: Promoting and Facilitating Normal Birth
  • Child Health
  • Children and Young People with Long Term Conditions
  • Children and Young People's Mental Health - Understanding and Managing Trauma
  • Clinical Judgement and Decision Making (40 credits)
  • Clinical Supervision
  • Common Childhood Conditions
  • Communication and Collaborative Working
  • Community Cardiology in Practice
  • Consultation and Physical Examination Assessment Skills
  • Consultation Skills for Pharmacists
  • Contemporary Issues in Pre-hospital Care
  • Contraception and Reproductive Sexual Health
  • COPD: Diagnosis and Management
  • Critical Care: Contemporary Issues
  • Cultural Competence
  • Current Issues in Cardiology
  • Dementia: Assessing and Meeting Care Needs
  • Dementia: Contemporary Approaches
  • Dementia: Negotiated Learning
  • Dementia: Practitioner Values
  • Dementia: Self Awareness and Relationship Building for Practitioners
  • Dementia: Understanding Key Concepts
  • Developing Clinical Skills for Non-medical Prescribing through Work Based Learning
  • Diabetes Management of Type 1
  • Diabetes Management of Type 2
  • Diabetes: Promoting Self Management
  • Dissertation (40 credits)
  • Emergency Care: Care of Minor Illness / Trauma
  • Emergency Care: Management of Acute Illness / Major Trauma
  • Ergonomics in the Workplace
  • Examination of the Newborn
  • Facilitating Health Behaviour Change
  • Fitness for Work
  • Health Surveillance at Work
  • Heart Failure Management
  • Human Health and Pathophysiology
  • Infection Prevention and Management
  • Leadership and Change
  • Leg Ulcer Management
  • Legal and Ethical Aspects of Occupational Health
  • Long Term Condition Care
  • Management: Managing Information
  • Management: Managing Self and Others
  • Management of Insulin Initiation
  • Managing Finance and Resources in Health and Social Care
  • Managing Risk
  • Medicines: Therapeutics and Pharmacology
  • Menopause Management (10 credit)
  • Mental Health across the Lifespan
  • Mental Health in the Workplace
  • Mental Health: Contemporary Issues
  • Multiprofessional Support of Learning and Assessment in Practice
  • Negotiated Learning (5 credits)
  • Negotiated Learning (10 credits)
  • Negotiated Learning (20 credits)
  • Non-medical Prescribing (40 credits) with pathways for Nurses & Midwives, AHPs & Pharmacists
  • Pain and Symptom Management in Palliative Care
  • Palliative Care Practice
  • Personal, Social, Health and Economic Education (40 credits)
  • Practice Innovation
  • Prescribing for Community Practitioners
  • Prevention of Pressure Ulcers
  • Reflexology: Evidence and Practice
  • Rehabilitation: Collaborative Working
  • Rehabilitation: Improving Practice
  • Respiratory Health Assessment
  • Risk Assessment and Health and Safety Management
  • Sickness Absence Management
  • Solution Focussed Brief Therapy
  • Somatic Bodywork: Therapeutic Touch and Massage
  • Stress Management
  • Supporting Children and Young People through Bereavement and Loss
  • Therapeutic Relationships: Assessment and Treatment Planning
  • Tissue Viability
  • Toxicology
  • Travel Health
  • User/Carer Perspectives in Health Care
  • Work Based Learning
  • Work Based Learning (40 credits)

Programme specification

For a detailed summary of all course content please read our programme specification for this course.

Download the programme specification (PDF)

120 Level 4 and 120 Level 5 credits.

Selection criteria

You must be a qualified nurse and hold active registration with the NMC Nursing Register, or equivalent. You will need access to an appropriate practice setting if a module with an attached Qualificatory Practice Unit (QPU) or a work-based learning module in taken. Applications should be accompanied by one professional reference.

Applicants must have achieved 240 credits, 120 each at levels 4 and 5 (or equivalent) in a cognisant subject. Applicants who do not hold 120 level 5 credits, but who can demonstrate at interview, and through submission of a portfolio of evidence, an equivalent level of knowledge gained through relevant qualifications and / or experience, may be allowed entry to the programme. This decision will be at the discretion of the programme leader.

Applications will be reviewed on an individual basis and potential students will be offered advice by an academic tutor on the suitability of the award and their module choice within the award, dependent on factors such as currency of prior learning, and their personal and professional development needs. Students should be able to show potential benefit from studying for the award and offer a rationale for their module choices.

Making your application

Applications should be made online directly to the university using the apply button above. If you need more details or guidance, please contact There is no official closing date but we would encourage you to apply as early as possible, as many courses are competitive.

Please specify in your application which month and campus you wish to carry out your study - available options: January, March, September 2017 at either our Carlisle Fusehill Street campus, Lancaster campus or via Distance Learning.

* Most part-time students are invoiced by module in each semester. Modular billing enables you to study at a rate you can afford, and over a period of time which suits you. Please note that some course fees may be subject to inflation.

What makes a good application?

We consider all aspects of your application, not simply your qualifications and grades. We look at your academic background and performance, relevant experience (particularly for professional courses where some voluntary or paid experience is required) and your reference. Above all, we look for motivation, commitment and potential-evidence that you can benefit from study at higher education level.

Make sure you include:

  • Relevant qualifications/evidence of ability: check our website for the specific entry requirements required for each course. Tell us your previous academic results and your projected grades.
  • A supportive reference, from an employer or your school or college.
  • A good personal statement.
  • Explain clearly what attracts you to the course and tell us about your wider interests and experience. If you are applying for a course that incorporates professional training and placements, you should include any relevant experience or visits you have made in the workplace. Highlight your individual strengths and qualities, personal skills, capacity for teamwork, contribution to the community and your enterprise, originality and determination. Select some activities which bring out these qualities.

What next?

When we receive your application, we will send you an acknowledgement and if you are successful at this stage you will get either an offer (with an invitation to visit the campus to which you have applied), or an invitation to interview on a particular date. If we are not able to offer you a place on your chosen course we will usually try to offer you a place on a similar course and will contact you to discuss this. Alternatively, if we think you are suitable, but cannot offer you a place on your preferred campus because of the level of competition, we will offer you a place at another campus if one is available.

And if I accept?

The admissions team will contact you and send further information from February onwards about accommodation, and from May/June onwards about preparing to join the university. If you have any other queries, please telephone the admissions offices for information and advice on 0845 6061144.

Deferred entry

We welcome applications for deferred entry on some courses. If you have specific plans during your year out, indicate these on your personal statement as they may be relevant to your course and could enhance your application.

International students

Please see the international pages of our website for full details of our entry requirements (including English-language skills) as well as contacts for advice and support.

From 2009 the UK Border Agency introduced a Points-Based Immigration System (PBS) for students coming to the UK from outside the European Economic Area (EEA). Students entering higher education will need to obtain a Confirmation of Acceptance (CAS) plus finance confirmation to obtain a Tier 4 student visa. UK education providers are licensed by the UK Border Agency. When students apply for their visa (or entry clearance) they will need a valid Certificate of Acceptance of Studies from the university. Please note that a CAS is not a guarantee that a visa will be issued.

See the following websites for further details:

International applicants need to be qualified registered nurses, with current registration with the UK Nursing Midwifery Council (NMC) or equivalent registration with an overseas nursing board. Applicants can apply to be on the NMC Register, providing they meet its standards. The NMC will compare the training in your country with that required in the UK.

We also offer a BSc (Hons) Nursing (International) (Top-up) which has been specially designed for international students.

Completing this top-up degree will allow you to study further at a masters level, such as an MSc in Advanced Practice, a PgC, PgDip or MSc in Practice Development.

As one of the UK's leading health departments, we are proud of the high support we offer our students through high-quality courses supported by expert academic and clinical practice staff. You'll enjoy access to fantastic facilities and be well-prepared to take your nursing career to the next level.