Nursing BSc

What is special about this course?

If you are looking for an exciting and rewarding career, nursing could be for you.

The University of the Highlands and Islands offers you the opportunity to undertake a nursing degree in the Highlands or Western Isles of Scotland leading to professional registration as an Adult or Mental Health nurse with the Nursing and Midwifery Council.  Our BSc in Nursing Programme is an innovative programme that combines the best of teaching, technology, simulation and practice experience to prepare you for an exciting career in nursing. You will be able to experience nursing care in different hospital and community settings and to study at our Department of Nursing in Inverness (Adult and Mental Health Nursing) or Stornoway (Adult Nursing only). Our students will also have the opportunity to undertake international exchanges.

Nursing education in the Highlands and Western Isles has a long and successful history, more recently nursing degrees have been awarded by the University of Stirling and the experienced staff delivering these award-winning programmes will continue to do so with the University of Highlands and Islands.

Your programme will provide you with the knowledge and skills to gain entry to the Nursing Midwifery Council as a registered nurse. The primary purpose of the NMC is protection of the public. It does this through maintaining a register of all qualified nurses, midwives and specialist community public health nurses eligible to practise within the UK and by setting national standards for their education, training and conduct.

The aim of the programme is to support your development into a confident, and competent nurse who can provide effective compassionate care in a range of care settings. You will have the opportunity to develop skills of critical reading, appreciation and analysis, numeracy and literacy.

For more information come and see us at our open days.

Special features

  • Academic qualification (BSc) and gain NMC registration
  • Opportunities to experience and learn about nursing practice in different contexts including overseas placement opportunities
  • Dynamic career opportunities within Scotland, the UK and beyond
  • Study in the heart of the beautiful Highlands and Western Isles of Scotland
  • Internationally acknowledged academics
  • Exciting placement opportunities in hospital and community settings
  • Option to take an elective to study abroad
  • Opportunities to meet and work alongside student nurses from oversees
  • Innovative teaching and learning approaches
  • Student centred and student focused curriculum

Entry requirements

This programme is aimed at school or college leavers and mature entrants who have the desire and aptitude to care for patients, carers and their families. 
Minimum entry requirements are not subject specific:
3 Highers at grade B or above or
3 A levels at grade C or above
College access course eg. NC Health and Social care pass along with three externally examined Highers at grade B or above or
Access to Nursing pass with a profile grade of BBB or
Relevant HNC/D with B in graded unit
Additional desired requirements:
English: National 5 or Intermediate 2 at grade C or above; or Standard Grade (grade 2); or SQA Communications 3, or GCSE English Literature or Language (at C or above); or equivalent.
Mathematics: National 5 or Intermediate 2 at grade C or above; or Standard Grade (grade 3); or GCSE (at C or above); or equivalent.
Recognised European or international equivalent qualifications are considered. If English is not your first language you must have evidence of your English language skills:
Non-EU students must have IELTS with overall score of 7.0 with at least 7.0 in each skill; this is the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) prerequisite
EU Students must have an IELTS score of 6.0, with at least 5.5 in each skill or equivalent.
Qualifications over 5 years old are considered on an individual basis. 
As part of the recruitment process, selected applicants will be invited to a compulsory interview day which is designed specifically for entrants to nursing.  Full guidelines will be provided in advance of the interview day including required preparation for the event. It will be helpful for you at that stage to be familiar with the Nursing and Midwifery Code.

All successful applicants are subject to a Disclosure Scotland (PVG) check. This will show all spent and unspent criminal convictions. Previous criminal convictions need not exclude you, but all convictions must be declared on your application.

All successful applicants must be passed fit by Occupational Health. This will require a questionnaire and also a personal visit to the Occupational Health Department in addition to and on a separate occasion to the interview day

Access routes

Relevant access course eg. NC Health and Social Care or Access to Nursing.

Year 1 - CertHE

There are two programmes available - Adult Nursing and Mental Health Nursing. In the first year all students complete the same modules:

  • Learning to Learn for Nurses
  • Perspectives of Health and Wellbeing
  • Foundations in Nursing Practice 1
  • Communities of Practice 1
  • Health Sciences for Nursing
  • Foundations in Nursing Practice 2
  • Communities of Practice 2

Year 3 - BSc

Modules for both degrees are:

  • Leadership and Management in Health and Social Care
  • Communities of Practice 5
  • Transitions to Professional Practice
  • Communities of Practice 6

For adult nursing you will also study:

  • Managing Complexity in Nursing Practice 1
  • Managing Complexity in Nursing Practice 2

Mental health nursing also includes:

  • Managing Complexity in Mental Health Nursing Practice 1
  • Managing Complexity in Mental Health Nursing Practice 2

Year 2 - DipHE

Modules for both degrees are:

  • Legal and Ethical Issues in Health and Social Care
  • Communities of Practice 3
  • Prioritising People: Promoting Health and Wellbeing
  • Communities of Practice 4

Adult nursing students will also study:

  • Alterations in Health and Implications for Nursing Care 1
  • Alterations in Health and Implications for Nursing Care 2

Modules for mental health nursing also include:

  • Alterations in Health and Implications for Mental Health Nursing Care 1
  • Alterations in Health and Implications for Mental Health Nursing Care 2

How will I study my course?

  • Full Time

You will study the theoretical basis of nursing practice plus behavioural, social and biological sciences applied to health. Emphasis is placed on the importance of competence in clinical nursing practice combined with in-depth knowledge and evidence-based decision making skills

We aim for excellence in teaching and learning. The programme uses a range of teaching and learning experiences including lectures, small group work, skills, simulation lab and oral presentations. Theory and research-based practice are integrated in the classroom and the clinical setting. Student-centred learning is central to our core education philosophy and our teaching methods encourage and support self-development and professional and personal awareness through reflection on experience. You will be assessed by a range of methods including examinations, essays, reports, presentations, clinical skills assessments, presentations and assessments of practice.

The practice element of our course is afforded equal status to the theoretical work and practical placements are undertaken in a range of placement settings across NHS Highland and NHS Western Isles. During clinical practice students are supernumerary (not counted as part of the workforce numbers), although they are expected to participate in all appropriate levels of care delivery, and are mentored by an experienced nurse registrant who is also a registered mentor. Throughout the program students will learn what it is like to work within the NHS and with integrated care teams, developing clinical knowledge, skills and confidence as a key member of the multi-professional healthcare team.   

How long will my course last?

  • Full Time: 3 years @ 37.5 hours per week                 

This is a full-time programme which consists of 50% theory and 50% clinical practice.  During clinical practice allocations it is expected that all students will undertake an average of 37.5 hours of prescribed clinical practice each week.  Students are required to experience a variety of shift patterns, these shift patterns may be undertaken within a system which provides 24 hour 7 day a week care.

Where can I study my course?

  • Department of Nursing, Inverness

Start date

  • September

Our campuses in Inverness and Stornoway provide students with one of the most unique and picturesque settings to gain a degree in the UK. The Department of Nursing is based at the Centre for Health Sciences near Raigmore Hospital, in Inverness and the Western Isles Hospital in Stornoway, Isle of Lewis.  Nursing students undertake the adult nursing degree in Inverness and Stornoway and mental health nursing degree in Inverness.

The Centre for Health Sciences is home to world leading healthcare research.  Our academics at both campus sites are recognised for excellence in teaching and learning and their work is internationally recognised for being innovative and ground breaking.  We provide a supportive and friendly environment to learn and develop professional nursing skills. Simulation labs help to facilitate state-of-the-art skill teaching.  The Centre for Health Sciences library and Western Isles Hospital library provide access to the most current and up to date resources.

How much will my course cost?

For students normally domiciled in Scotland or the European Union/EEA (outside of the UK) and with a term time address in Scotland, the following fees apply:

Full-time (120 credit modules) per year £1,820 £1,820
Part-time (structured) (3 x 20 credit modules) per year £645 £645
Part-time (unstructured per module) (per 20 credit module) £215 £215

Rest of UK students

For students normally domiciled in the rest of the UK (England, Wales and N. Ireland) and with a term time address in Scotland studying this course full time, the following fees apply:

    Full-time Full-time
Year 1 CertHE £9,000 p.a. £9,000 p.a.
Year 2 DipHE £9,000 p.a. £9,000 p.a.
Year 3 Degree £9,000 p.a. £9,000 p.a.
Year 4 Honours free** free**

**4th year free only for students studying full-time who have paid for the previous 3 years at the University of the Highlands and Islands.

Part-time (per 20 credit module) -  £1,500 (2016-17 and 2017-18).

Fees are payable in advance each academic year unless otherwise agreed.

There are a number of funding options available to UK and EU students to help you pay for your studies and your cost of living whilst studying.

International students

For students who do not normally reside in the UK or European Union and with a term-time address in Scotland, the following fees apply:

Full-time per year (120 credit modules) per year £11,000 £11,550
Part-time (structured) (3 x 20 credit modules) per year*** £5,520 £5,775
Part-time (unstructured per module) (per 20 credit module)*** £1,840 £1,925

***There is no part-time study option for Tier 4 sponsored international. students.

Further information on international course fees.

A no fee increase guarantee is available for self-funding full-time and structured part-time RUK and International undergraduate students for continuous and contiguous study for the same award, up to the permitted standard time limit for the relevant award.

What funding can I apply for?

Scottish students who meet the residence criteria may be eligible for the Nursing and Midwifery Student Bursary, a non-repayable, non-income assessed bursary. Depending on your personal circumstances, you may be able to apply for additional allowances. Further details are available from the Student Awards Agency for Scotland (SAAS).
Authorised clinical placement expenses for accommodation and travel are reimbursed on receipt.

Authorised clinical placement expenses for accommodation and travel are reimbursed on receipt.

Students from the rest of the UK should apply to their home funding body for living cost loans. 

What can I do on completion of my course?

The majority of nursing graduates entering employment find roles within the NHS, the public sector, as well as with private healthcare providers and the voluntary sector. Following successful completion of your programme you will have a choice of practising as a nurse, going into a specialist or leadership role, undertaking further study, taking up research opportunities or teaching.

Career prospects are excellent with significant opportunities for further professional development and specialisation. A UK registered nursing qualification is recognised in many countries around the world, and therefore provides potential opportunities for travel and work abroad.

Can I progress into further study?

You can progress from the undergraduate BSc in Nursing programme once successfully completed to a Masters and PhD Programme within the university.

Is there more information available online?

You can use the above QR code to connect directly to the course details.

What our students are saying

I am a Registered Nurse (Adult) and also hold recordable qualifications in teaching and independent prescribing with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC). My background is in medical and high dependency nursing with a special interest in critical/acute care and resuscitation. I support the undergraduate programme teaching across all modules and provide support, both academic and technical, to all of the undergraduate students. I have presented at educational conferences on the subject of simulation in pre-registration nursing and have helped to develop a virtual reality module for teaching early recognition of deterioration in adult patients and helped to design and deliver a successful pre-nursing scholarship project in remote and rural Scotland. I take great delight in the dedication and determination of my students to succeed in being the best that they can be, and I know that they will be much more than that’.

Michael MacPhee, teaching fellow. Michael won the students’ Excellence in Teaching Award in 2015 and again in 2016.

Student comment nominating Michael for the award:

Michael is quite possibly the most inspirational teacher I have ever come across. His knowledge is vast and he has such a wonderful bubbly character. He is easily the most approachable teacher and it is evident how dedicated he is not only to his nursing profession but also to each individual student. He has taught me to love nursing and to strive for the best.

Apply for Nursing BSc

I want to start in Aug/Sep 2018

International applicants should apply using the UHI International application form. Please download and print the form, complete and return using the address indicated. More information is available for international applicants at our international student page

We are delighted that you are thinking about studying at the University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI). UHI operates a fair and open admissions system committed to equality of opportunity and non-discrimination. We consider all applications on merit and on the basis of ability to achieve, without discrimination on grounds of gender, age, disability, ethnicity and socio-economic background. We welcome applications from all prospective students and aim to provide appropriate and efficient services to students with disabilities.

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