Student nurse
If you have an enquiry about any of the apprenticeships at the University of Plymouth, please complete the below form.
Enquiry Form
You can also call us on +44 (0)1752 583625.
Office hours are Monday–Friday, 08:30–16:30
  • Must be employed for 30 hours or more in a health care setting.
  • Satisfactory Enhanced DBS Check.
  • Level 2 Functional Skills in English and maths, or GCSE grade C or above.
  • 56 to 72 UCAS points or;
  • Access to HE: Pass a science or health related related access with 15 level 3 credits at Merit and 30 at Pass
  • Students must be 18 years old or over at the start date of this programme.
Equivalent qualifications may be considered, including workplace delivered NVQs and Apprenticeships at Level 3 or higher.
Science or health related subjects preferred, but other subjects will be considered by Programme Lead.

How to apply

The potential apprentice will be required to complete an Initial Needs Analysis (INA) with the support of their employer and the University to ensure the Apprenticeship programme is an appropriate solution to their skills development needs. On completion of the INA the University will assess the information provided and determine the next steps.
The employer must request the Initial Needs Analysis by emailing
Applications for March 2024 are now open.
Deadline to apply for March 2024 is Friday 19 June 2024.
Applications for September 2024 will open on Monday 8 January 2024.
Deadline to apply for September 2024 is 30 June 2024
For more information or to express your interest please complete our online enquiry form.

Apprentices do not pay any course fees – costs are covered by the government and/or employer.

Funding models for employers

We can support employers in accessing funding via the apprenticeship levy or provide alternative funding options to minimise or eradicate any up-front cost to the organisation. 

There are currently two funding models: 

  • Fully-funded: Levy paying organisations
  • Co-funded: Non-levy organisations and levy who have exceeded their levy contribution. 


If the annual pay bill of your organisation exceeds £3 million you will pay for your apprenticeship training through your levy account. If you have exceeded your levy contribution you will fund apprenticeship training through the co-funded model – to better understand how this will work please contact us.

Employer contribution: Employee salary only

Apprentices contribution: £0


If you are a non-levy paying organisation (the annual pay bill of your organisation is less than £3 million) or you are a levy organisation who has exceeded their pot, the government will financially co-support your apprenticeship training – they will contribute 95 per cent of the costs and the employer will contribute 5 per cent.

Government contribution £14,250

Employer contribution £750

Apprentice contribution £0


This popular University of Plymouth Pre-registration Nursing Associate FdSc Programme is approved by the Nursing & Midwifery Council (NMC) and leads to eligibility for entry to the NMC professional register upon successful completion of the programme. 
The programme is delivered as an apprenticeship and also meets the requirements of the Institute for Apprenticeships & Technical Education for the Nursing Associate (NMC, 2018) Standard (2019). 
Our programme gives both new and existing healthcare staff the opportunity to study for a fully-funded FdSc, and obtain a professional qualification and registration with the Nursing & Midwifery Council (provided all requirements are met).
The programme also helps employers with workforce planning to meet current and future healthcare needs. Through the Nursing Associate higher apprenticeship, new and existing staff substantially increase their clinical knowledge, skills and professional attributes by meeting the NMC (2018) Standards of proficiency for nursing associates and practising within The Code (NMC, 2018). Through their increased capability and capacity, they positively contribute to nursing teams and patient care.
Delivered by experienced Registered Nurses, the flexible, work-based programme provides apprentices with the clinical knowledge and skills to support the provision of safe, quality care across a range of healthcare settings. 
Apprentices will become an important part of the nursing family, supporting registered nurses and helping to make a difference to individuals, their families and communities.

Programme overview

  • Two-year (2,300 hours) professional programme with attendance at University one day a week.
  • Designed for employees working a minimum of 30 hours per week, apprentices remain part of the workforce and continue to contribute to patient/client care whilst working towards their FdSc and professional qualification.
  • Apprentices maintain a Practice Assessment Document (PAD) and work in clinical practice under direct/indirect supervision of qualified RN/NA Practice Supervisors in accordance with the NMC (2018) Standards for student supervision and assessment. 
  • Apprentices gain experience in a variety of placements, including hospital, community, at home and others.
  • Apprentices must also gain some experience across the four branches of nursing including child health; mental health; learning disability and adult nursing. 
  • All placements are organised and managed by the employer.
  • Apprentices are continually assessed in clinical practice by qualified RN/NA Practice Supervisors.
  • Apprentices are formally assessed twice each academic year by qualified RN/NA Practice Assessors, and an Ongoing Achievement Record (OAR) is maintained to monitor progression.
  • Assessments include Episodes of Care and Medicines Management.
  • The programme is delivered on our Plymouth Campus; our Knowledge Spa Campus in Truro and at our School of Nursing in Exeter.
  • Once qualified, Nursing Associates may work across a wide range of healthcare settings and clinical areas, including acute or community hospitals, community nursing teams and GP practices.
Programme specifications

Key benefits

Bridie Kent
“These new ways of entering nursing offer some really exciting opportunities for people wanting to have a rewarding career but who can’t afford to study for a degree in the traditional way. The University of Plymouth is building on its established close relationships with NHS and private healthcare partners to create a ‘win-win’ for all – offering employment support, work-based learning, and the ability to gain a nursing registration in two years for healthcare employees who show talent and want to develop their nursing career.” 
Professor Bridie Kent, Health and Human Sciences, University of Plymouth

Student insight

Billy Patterson, first year Nursing Associate Apprentice, explains how his studies are benefitting the residents he cares for at Sanctuary Care’s Fernihust Nursing Home in Exmouth.
“It’s great for Fernihurst because the nurses can focus on their role, with me picking up these clinical tasks. It’s about having that clinical knowledge to be able to interpret results myself which I love.”
One of the highlights of our apprenticeship is that students can continue to learn while working. Modules covered include anatomy and physiology, holistic assessment and managing medicines. Students learn key clinical skills such as wound dressing, taking vital signs and administering medication.
“My experience so far has been excellent. I would say to anyone considering an apprenticeship to do it! It gives you the opportunity to progress your career.”
Toby Patterson, Nursing Associate Apprentice

Degree Apprenticeship: BSc (Hons) Nursing

On successful completion of the Nursing Associate Foundation Degree, employees may be interested in becoming a registered nurse. The Nursing Degree Apprenticeship is a flexible, work-based route for both new and existing healthcare practitioners.

The BSc (Hons) Nursing apprenticeship provides the opportunity to remain in employment whilst studying for a degree in adult or mental health nursing

Find out more about degree apprenticeships in nursing
Adult Nursing students