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Higher Apprenticeship Undergraduate: FdSc Nursing Associate Nursing Associate

Approved by the Nursing & Midwifery Council (NMC)


Enhance your nursing skills and confidence to meet a wide range of healthcare needs with our Nursing Associate Higher Apprenticeship. Study for a nursing associate foundation degree while you work, with no tuition fees.

A smiling woman nursing associate

Course highlights

  • Successful completion will meet the education requirements for registration with the Nursing & Midwifery Council (NMC)
  • Work-based approach allows you to deliver impact in the workplace as you learn
  • Study while you work, with no tuition fees

Ideal if you’re a current Band 2/3 healthcare assistant/support worker looking to develop your career in Nursing and play a key role in supporting registered nurses in primary, secondary, community and social care.

The Nursing Associate Higher Apprenticeship is open to all those who are interested in a career in nursing (providing you meet eligibility and entry requirements). That includes school leavers who have just finished their A Levels, as well as adults looking for a career change.

Key facts

Logo for Student Nursing Times Awards 2023 finalist

Nurse Education Provider of the Year

We’re proud to have been shortlisted for the Nurse Education Provider of the Year award in 2023.

Still from an animation of a Nursing Associate attending to a patient who's in a hospital bed Find out more about the role of Nursing Associates

The role of a Nursing Associate

If you’re interested in our Nursing Associate Degree Apprenticeship, we recommend you watch this video from the Nursing & Midwifery Council. Although targeted at healthcare patients, it gives a valuable insight into the important role Nursing Associates play in delivering excellent patient care.

An apprenticeship is a job with training, combining practical experience with academic learning.

At least 20% of your contracted working hours will be classed as 'off-the-job'. This time will be dedicated to developing the knowledge and skills needed to meet the requirements of the apprenticeship, and therefore are not part of your usual work duties.

The off-the-job learning will be set out in a block plan that details when you will attend full days of university teaching, the dates you will be assessed or need to submit an assignment, and the weeks you will be putting your new learning into practice in your usual work setting, or in external placements to meet the Nursing and Midwifery Council requirements.

The off-the-job learning for our Nursing Associate Higher Apprenticeship is delivered from our Peterborough, Chelmsford or College of West Anglia (CWA) campuses.


You will be assessed at the end of each module you undertake (on-programme assessments) which will contribute towards the final award of your qualification.

The assessments have been designed to enable you to demonstrate your knowledge, skills, and behaviours using a range of strategies that reflect activities you will carry out through your professional career. These include reflective writing, clinical and non-clinical exams, presentations and practice assessments.

You will also undertake an End Point Assessment (EPA) to complete your apprenticeship.

The EPA for this apprenticeship is integrated into the on-programme assessments. Therefore, on successful completion of your degree, you will also complete the apprenticeship and be ready to apply for registration with the Nursing and Midwifery Council.


Two student nurses working in the skills lab

Nursing skills labs

Our Cambridge, Chelmsford and Peterborough campuses all offer purpose-built nursing skills labs. The labs simulate many aspects of a working hospital ward and allow you to use sophisticated healthcare equipment.

Our partnership with the College of West Anglia also offers The School of Nursing Studies (SoNS) - a brand new, state-of-the-art facility in Kings Lynn.

You'll benefit from working in small groups to practise skills such as bed making, hand-washing, bandaging, communicating with patients, and applying and interpreting basic monitoring.


Nursing & Midwifery Council logo

Approved by the NMC

This course is approved by the Nursing and Midwifery Council which demonstrates that the skills, knowledge and attributes you’ll develop are aligned to the NMC professional standards. This means that on successful completion of the apprenticeship you’ll be able to register as Registered Nursing Associate.


Successful completion of the Level 5 Nursing Associate course will now permit you to register with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) on a Band 4 salary with your employer. Find out more about how the NMC regulates Nursing Associates.

In addition, your employer may support you to join the Registered Nurse Degree Apprenticeship for Adult Nursing, Child Nursing or Mental Health Nursing. This allows you to apply up to 180 credits of Accredited Prior Learning (APL) from your Nursing Associate course, enabling you to study additional modules at Level 6 and specialise in adult, child or mental health nursing for a Band 5 role.

Entry requirements

In addition to the person specifications that have been set out by your employer, these are the entry requirements for the course.

  • Employment in a suitable role on a permanent contract exceeding 30 hours per week
  • Employer support to undertake this course
  • Confirmed eligibility to be funded as an apprentice as set out within the ESFA’s Funding Rules
  • A completed Skills Scan and Initial Assessment discussion, post interview
  • Evidence of Level 2 qualifications in Maths and English e.g. GCSEs at Grade C/4 or above, Functional Skills, or ESFA-approved equivalents*
  • Evidence of Level 3 study in a related subject e.g. A Levels, BTEC in Health and Social Care

Current vacancies

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Apprenticeship vacancies

To be eligible to apply for one of our apprenticeships, you’ll first need to be in a full-time position with one of our partner employers. Find out about current vacancies.

Browse current vacancies

Apply now

How to apply

To apply for an apprenticeship, you need to have the support of your employer. If you already have the support of your employer or have any questions before talking to them, please do not hesitate to contact one of our apprenticeship experts who will be happy to help.

For employers

If you have any questions or would like to discuss any aspect of degree apprenticeships, then our dedicated Degrees at Work team are here to help. Get in touch today on the details above.