The programme is full-time and extends over a period of three calendar years (156 weeks) inclusive of holidays. The overarching framework of design is known as the programme. The individual pathway that a student follows to an award is known as a course.
The curriculum is modular and comprises 4,600 hours of theory and practice as required by the professional body and a holiday requirement of seven weeks per year.
The programme is designed to incorporate a balance (after annual leave) of 50% theory and 50% practice - full course plans for current students are available here.
Practice experience begins early in the programme and students will also gain periods of a minimum of four weeks practice experience close to the end of years one and two. A practice experience of at least twelve weeks will take place at the end of the course in order to enable students to consolidate their education and their competence in practice.
Practice experience is gained within both hospital care and community settings and will include a range of experiences in order to satisfy Professional Statutory and European Union Directives.
The key tenet of the new NMC standards for pre-registration nursing education is that students will commence their field specific study from year one with an increasing amount of field specific study as the programme progresses. Generic modules common to all fields are offered in all years of the programme.
The primary aim in the pre-registration nursing programme is to ensure that students are prepared to practise safely and therefore protect the public. In accordance with this principle, the programme is practice-centred and directed to achievement of professional competence.
The overall aims of the practice learning opportunities are:
- To provide relevant experience in the chosen field of nursing to meet the practice component of the curriculum.
- To provide a structure for support and facilitation of practice learning outcomes.
- To enable students to acquire and demonstrate the competencies as required by the NMC.
- To facilitate integration of theory and practice.
- To enable students to identify with a specific NHS Trust.
Field specific course guides