BN (Hons) Nursing (Adult) - University of Portsmouth
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BN (Hons)

Nursing (Adult)

UCAS codeB740

full time3yrs

Developed with local healthcare providers

Course Overview

Why take this course?

This course focuses on developing competent, skilled Adult Nurses and has been designed to meet the requirements of the pre-registration curriculum in partnership with the local National Health Service Trusts. Work-based learning is a key component and you will develop practical skills in safe, simulated teaching environments, before being supervised in using these skills in practice in one of our placement providers. Find out more about our placement partners.

The BN (Hons) course will prepare students to be eligible to apply for registration with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) as safe, competent and knowledgeable practitioners by enabling them to gain knowledge, skills and experience in the healthcare environment and related fields, specific to adult nursing. In particular, there will be an emphasis on teaching and learning that promotes evidence informed patient care; in addition the advanced skills necessary for care of patients with acute and/or long term conditions, in a variety of settings.

Our February intake offers you the opportunity of a break between studying and commencing the course providing you with time to undertake independent travel and to gain further work experience or paid work to support your studies. On completion of the programme you would be eligible to seek registration with the NMC as a registered nurse in January and to pursue employment at this busy time.

Please be aware our February intake has bespoke deadlines. All applications for this intake are to be submitted by the ​1st December. Should you be successful in receiving an offer, the conditions must be met and your acceptance must be confirmed by the 1st January​.

Values and the NHS Constitution

We endeavour to recruit students to our health and social care courses who have the right values base and demonstrate appropriate behaviours. We embed the values of the NHS Constitution throughout our admissions processes and they are an essential part of the curricula. Find out more about the values we look for.

What will I experience?

On this course you will:

  • Observe, examine, assess and engage with patients and service users in both community and hospital settings
  • Develop skills in evidence based decision making to support and deliver best practice
  • Use the latest simulation facilities to develop and refine your clinical skills and competence
  • Develop critical thinking, resilience and leadership skills

What opportunities might it lead to?

On successful completion of this 3 year programme you will be eligible to seek admission to part 1 (Adult) of the professional (Nursing and Midwifery Council - NMC) register. This qualification also meets the EU requirements for employment as a Registered Nurse abroad. The NHS careers website offers a wealth of information to help you explore your future in nursing.Our local placement partners are keen to retain new graduate Adult Nurses so read what they say about supporting Newly Qualified Nurses.

Here are some routes our graduates may pursue:

  • Nursing roles in primary or secondary care both in the UK and overseas
  • Charity and aid work
  • Advanced practice nurse specialism
  • Nurse education and mentoring
  • Healthcare management (Ward Sister, Lead Nurse roles)


Dr Isobel Ryder, Programme Lead for Nursing

The health needs of the population are changing at an unprecedented rate. Our new programme has been co-designed with local trusts, so that our graduates will be confident and empowered to make a valuable contribution to the workforce of the future

Dr Isobel Ryder, Programme Lead for Nursing

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Structure & Teaching

Year one

Adult Nurses are caring, compassionate, highly skilled individuals able to competently work in a variety of settings meeting the health needs of the local community.

On this course you will:

  • Observe, examine, assess and engage with patients and service users in both community and hospital settings 
  • Develop skills in evidence based decision making to support and deliver best practice 
  • Use our state of the art simulation facilities to develop and refine your clinical skills and competence
  • Develop critical thinking, resilience and leadership skills

Subjects studied in year 1 include:

  • Human anatomy and physiology for adult nursing
  • Foundations of nursing knowledge
  • Essential clinical skills
  • Person-centred practice
  • Foundations of nursing practice (placement)

Year two

In your second year, you will develop knowledge and skills (level 5) focusing on the NMC domain ‘Nursing practice and decision making’.

Subjects studied in year 2 include:

  • Evidence based decision-making
  • Acute care across care settings
  • Engaging with service improvement 
  • Nursing adults with long term conditions
  • Developing nursing practice (placement)

Year three

In this year you will be preparing for professional practice (level 6) consistent with the NMC domain ‘Leadership, management and team working’.

Subjects studied in year 3 include:

  • Complexities of adult nursing (including the opportunity for an elective)
  • Leading safe and effective care 
  • Service improvement project
  • Professional nursing practice (placement)

We use the best and most current research and professional practice, alongside feedback from our students, to make sure course content is relevant to your future career or further studies.

Therefore, some course content may change over time to reflect changes in the discipline or industry and some optional units may not run every year. If a unit doesn’t run, we’ll let you know as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative unit.


The course offers a blended approach to learning and a variety of assessment methods. We use lectures, self-directed study and simulation to support your learning. The course content will be delivered at the University and in placement host organisations to help embed theory in practice.

The time you spend in teaching activities may depend on the units you select. As a guide, students on this course last year typically spent their time as follows:

  • Year one students: 10% in lectures, seminars and similar learning activities, 33% studying independently and 57% on work placement
  • Year two students: 25% in lectures, seminars and similar learning activities, 25% studying independently and 50% on work placement
  • Year three students: 20% in lectures, seminars and similar learning activities, 30% studying independently and 50% on work placement


There will be assessments of theory and practice throughout the course. These include:

  • Academic work including essays, reports, case studies and reflective accounts.
  • Performance based clinical practice assessments including portfolios and simulation
  • In-class tests and examinations
  • Presentations and scientific posters
  • Work-based projects
  • Online learning activities

The way you’re assessed may depend on the units you select. As a guide, students on this course last year were typically assessed as follows:

  • Year one students: 17% by written exams, 8% by practical exams and 75% by coursework
  • Year two students: 10% by written exams, 70% by practical exams and 20% by coursework
  • Year three students: 0% by written exams, 90% by practical exams and 10% by coursework

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Facilities & Features

Specialist Training

You will be part of the next generation of healthcare professionals so it is important that you practise your skills and gain relevant experience first-hand.

Supernumerary clinical experience will be offered in a variety of settings within the local community and hospital environments. These will act as your base (or hub) with the opportunity to have shorter related placements (spokes) to facilitate your understanding of the patient journey. During each practice placement, you will return to your hub on a regular basis, to consolidate your learning.

Centre for Simulation in Health and Care

Our aim is to enhance your learning and experiences through the use of innovative technologies.

You will practise profession-specific skills on medical mannequins and experience clinical situations in a safe and supportive environment. The Centre is used to simulate real-life scenarios – a great way to prepare you for the real thing.

See a fly through video of our facilities.

University Library

Modern, comfortable and a great learning environment, our library offers a wealth of information including 400,000 books, DVDs, maps and thousands of online ejournals and newspapers.

Many electronic resources are available anywhere, 24/7 and our friendly staff are always on hand to help.

Budgeting for your studies

There are extra costs associated with studying, which you will need to consider when planning your expenditure.

Recommended texts:
If you wish to purchase recommended texts, rather than borrow from the University Library, the average price is £50-£60. You may be studying up to 6 units a year, each with a standard recommended text.

General costs:
We recommend that you budget £75 a year for costs of photocopying, memory sticks, DVDs and CDs, printing charges, binding and specialist printing.

Final year project:
If your final year includes a major project, there could be cost for transport or accommodation related to your research activities. The amount will depend on the project you choose to develop.

Other costs to consider

Initial uniform is provided free of charge. Extra or replacement uniform (not due to fair wear and tear) can range between £25 - £30.You will also be expected to wear your own suitable footwear for placements.

We recommend you allow around £50 for the purchase of clinical items. You will be expected to pay travel costs to and from your placements. The NHS may meet some of the costs incurred.

From 1 August 2017 students in England on nursing, midwifery and most allied health professional pre-registration courses will have access to the standard support package of tuition fee loans and support for living costs, rather than getting an NHS grant. More details: Health Education Funding in England from 2017/18

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Careers & Opportunities

Career prospects

Career prospects
Where next?

The role of nursing has changed with nurses being active facilitators of emergency and complex care.

Roles our graduates could take include:

• Community nursing
• Charity/voluntary sector
• Hospital based nursing
• Critical Care Nurse
• Palliative Care Nurse Specialist
• Practice nursing
• Care home manager
• Resuscitation Training Officer

Work experience

Work experience
Practice Experience units

You'll spend 50 per cent of your time in clinical practice, observing, examining and engaging with patients and service users in community and hospital settings.

Working together with our partner Trusts, we will prepare you to become a confident, professional Adult Nurse, able to deliver and lead adult care within an ever changing health and social care environment.

This experience will enable you to apply the theoretical knowledge and wide-range of skills that you will have learnt in your academic modules. 

Career planning

Career planning

To make sure you take the right steps on your career path, we’re here to give you help, support and advice throughout your study. Even after you’ve graduated, we continue to give you support for up to five years.

Employers tell us that they want graduates to be able to demonstrate certain skills when they come out of university. Our courses take account of this. We make sure we prepare you for employment through work-related learning, projects, placements and working in simulated environments that are designed to prepare you for the working world.

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Apply now or visit us

Apply for 2018 entry

To apply, you'll need this course's UCAS code, which is at the top of this page, and the University of Portsmouth institution code – P80.

Apply now

After you apply, we'll invite you to an Applicant Experience Day where you’ll get to speak to lecturers and meet your future classmates.

Open Days for courses starting in 2019

Come to an Open Day and explore our course facilities, tour the campus and have a look around our halls of residence.

Book your Open Day

Admissions terms and conditions

When you accept an offer to study at the University of Portsmouth, you also agree to our terms and conditions as well as the University’s policies, rules and regulations. You should read and consider these before you apply.

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