Female nurse speaking to elderly female patient in wheelchair

Nursing (Adult) BN (Hons)

Gain the nursing skills to become a qualified nurse through simulated learning and clinical placements in real healthcare settings on this NMC-approved degree.

Key information

UCAS code:


Typical offer:

112-120 UCAS points to include a minimum of 2 A levels

See full entry requirements
Study mode and duration
Start date

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Achieve your potential – become a qualified nurse with our BN (Hons) Nursing (Adult) degree.

Our degree in Adult Nursing is developed and delivered with NHS partners allowing you to get the most extensive, practical experience possible.

By training in our extensive simulation suite, you'll develop the knowledge and skills to be a confident and competent nursing student, before spending time on placement in real life healthcare settings.

Course highlights

  • Practise your technical skills on medical manikins and work on communication with simulated patients in our Centre for Simulation in Health and Care, one of the country’s leading healthcare teaching environments
  • Spend time on clinical placements in real hospitals, clinics and patient's homes, learning to confidently examine, assess and treat patients
  • Study on a nursing course approved by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) and endorsed by Skills for Care
  • Be eligible to register with the NMC as an adult nurse on graduation
Complete University Guide Top 10 Nursing 2022


Graduates in work or further study

(HESA Graduate Outcomes Survey conducted in 2019)

BN (Hons) Adult Nursing

Discover how you'll develop the knowledge and skills to become a confident and competent nursing student on our BN (Hons) Nursing degree course.

Lisa Hyatt: The course is Adult Nursing, three years in length and this leads to a degree so Bachelor of Nursing with honours.

The course also leads to registration with the Nursing Midwifery Council with a protected title, registered Nurse (Adult). It's important for our students when completing the course to register with the Nursing Midwifery Council because you can't practise as a registered nurse in the UK without that protected title.

We have lots of facilities available, we have the usual classrooms where we undertake the majority of our theoretical teaching. But I'm sitting here in our Centre for Stimulation and Health and Care, and this is really the crowning glory of our course here at the University of Portsmouth. We also have our community flat where we involve simulated patients. It's really important to have the simulation settings for students so they can practise their skills in a safe environment before they enter the world of real-life care.

We're undertaking a six week simulated placement with our third year students. We work with our NHS partners, prison services, community providers and charities. It's about interpersonal skills, communication, leadership and management as well.

I came here as a student myself from another city and I haven't moved. The city is amazing, but from a course perspective, we are the only facility accredited by the Association for Simulated Practice in Healthcare. That's an international organisation that accredits the quality of the simulation that we provide here at the University of Portsmouth and I think it's pretty unique. We're really proud of the course that we're offering to our students.

Entry requirements

Entry requirements

Typical offers

  • A levels - BBB-BBC
  • UCAS points - 112-120 points to include a minimum of 2 A levels, or equivalent, with 32 points from a Science or Social Science subject (calculate your UCAS points)
  • T-levels - Merit. Acceptable T Level Subjects: T Level in Health (Acceptable Occupational Specialisms: Supporting the adult nursing team, Supporting the mental health team), T Level in Healthcare Science (Acceptable Occupational Specialisms: Assisting with healthcare science), T Level in Science (Acceptable Occupational Specialisms: Laboratory sciences, Metrology sciences)
  • BTECs (Extended Diplomas) - DDM-DMM
  • International Baccalaureate - 25

You may need to have studied specific subjects – find full entry requirements and other qualifications we accept

Selection process

  • All shortlisted applicants will be invited to attend an interview in support of their application. 
  • If successful, applicants will be required to declare if they have been subject to any disciplinary procedures of fitness to practice by any other regulator, professional body, employer or educational establishment.
  • Applicants must pass Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) and Occupational Health checks before starting the course.

English language requirements

  • English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 7.0 with a minimum component score of 7.0 in reading, listening and speaking, and 6.5 in writing.

See alternative English language qualifications

We also accept other standard English tests and qualifications, as long as they meet the minimum requirements of your course.

If you don't meet the English language requirements yet, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course.

We look at more than just your grades

While we consider your grades when making an offer, we also carefully look at your circumstances and other factors to assess your potential. These include whether you live and work in the region and your personal and family circumstances which we assess using established data.

Explore more about how we make your offer

Values and the NHS Constitution

We embed the principles and values of the NHS Constitution in all our health and social care courses. When you apply for this course, we’ll expect you to demonstrate how your values align with the values of the Constitution.

Find out more about the values we look for.

Your facilities

SHSSW photo shoot, November 2018
Nursing, Operating Department Practice (ODP) and Paramedic Science students.

Before you join real paramedics on placement, you'll practise life-saving skills on manikins in our safe and supportive Simulation Centre.

These include:

  • ECGs
  • resuscitation
  • venepuncture
  • A to E assessment
  • Communication and relationship management skills

Adult Nursing at Portsmouth is amazing! The Simulation Centre simulates different health conditions, allowing us to assess patient manikins safely and explore clinical emergencies in a way that can't be done in the real world.

Darren Newman, BN (Hons) Nursing (Adult)

Careers and opportunities

Nursing is a vital role with healthcare services – nurses and midwives make up nearly half of the global health workforce.

There is high demand for nurses all over the world. Even before the pandemic, the World Health Organisation (WHO) reported that nurses and midwives accounted for more than 50% of the global shortage in health workers. In England alone, there's a need for more than 50,000 new nurses by 2024/5, according to the Health Foundation.  

This nursing degree will give you the skills and confidence to answer this call, and to begin a career making a real difference to people's lives. You'll cover the entire lifespan, exploring the care pathways of acutely unwell patients as well as those with long term conditions.

Part 1 registration

When you finish your Adult Nursing degree, you'll be eligible to apply for registration on part 1 (Adult) of the professional Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) register, which allows you to work as a Registered Nurse in the UK.

You'll also be ready to work as a nurse overseas, within a wide range of nursing roles in primary and secondary care (once you've registered with any applicable overseas nursing bodies).

What can you do with an adult nursing degree?

You could go on to work in:

  • nursing roles in primary or secondary care in the UK and overseas
  • charity and aid work
  • advanced practice nurse specialisms
  • nursing education and mentoring
  • healthcare management in ward sister or lead nurse roles

What jobs can you do with an adult nursing degree?

Job roles you could go on to include:

  • community nurse
  • critical care nurse
  • palliative care nurse specialist
  • practice nursing
  • care home manager
  • research nurse

The NHS is as great as it is because of the people that are in it. Every day is exciting, and the rewards are priceless. Since the lockdown, I feel so lucky that I get to spend time with patients – that’s an amazing feeling.

Charles Tick, BN (Hons) Nursing (Adult)

Potential salary

As an NHS nurse in 2021, you could expect a starting salary of £25,655 moving up to £31,534 (Band 5).

With more experience as a senior nurse, you could earn from £32,306 to £39,027 (Band 6) and with a role in management or consultancy, you could make up to £90,387 (Band 8d) as a chief nurse.

Female student at computer

Ongoing career support – up to 5 years after you graduate

Get experience while you study, with support to find part-time jobs, volunteering opportunities, and work experience.

Towards the end of your degree and for up to five years after graduation, you’ll receive one-to-one support from our Graduate Recruitment Consultancy to help you find your perfect role.

Clinical placements

You'll spend a large amount of your time during this course on clinical placements with partner Trusts in local community and hospital and GP practice environments, supported by clinical mentors and registered healthcare professionals.

Our placement partners span a large area, including Portsmouth, Brighton, Winchester, Isle of Wight, Southampton, Basingstoke, Surrey and Sussex.

Recent students have completed placements at the following locations, among others:

  • Portsmouth Hospitals University Trust
  • Fareham Community Team
  • East Surrey Hospital

Further work experience and volunteering

We can also help you find further relevant work experience, placements, internships and voluntary roles during your course.

This kind of work can really boost your nursing career prospects. In fact, a report by Health Education England, in partnership with the University of Portsmouth, found that NHS staff who volunteered either within the NHS or for external voluntary organisations benefited from acquiring new skills they could transfer into their working lives.

Building experience in a volunteering role while you're studying can enrich what you're learning and help you stand out to employers. 


Each module on this course is worth a certain number of credits.

In each year, you need to study modules worth a total of 120 credits. For example, four modules worth 20 credits and one module worth 40 credits.

What you'll study

Full-time core modules

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Identify your own learning needs and develop a personal development plan for your academic skills development.

  • Outline the concept of evidence based practice, including the different forms that evidence can take.

  • Demonstrate the ability to identify, retrieve and summarise evidence relevant to a specific aspect of practice, using appropriate resources.

  • Identify the roles and responsibilities of those involved in delivering health and social care in the UK and the systems they work in.

  • Describe the health of the population of the United Kingdom and offer explanations for health inequalities

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Meet the requirements of the 'Passport to Practice' as a pre-condition for attending placement.

  • Actively participate in personalised care in clinical placements.

  • Demonstrate the attitudes and values expected at the threshold level, at the end of year one.

  • Demonstrate the knowledge and skills required to confirm proficiency, as expected at the end of year one.

  • Reflect on a described episode of care, including assessment, delivery and evaluation of care.

  • Articulate own learning and development need for progression in an action plan.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Describe how to promote a person-centred approach to Nursing and care delivery.

  • Identify the legal, professional, ethical, and patient safety issues which relate to the scope and boundaries of practice as a Student Nurse.

  • Take responsibility for professional attitudes and behaviour towards others, including communication, maintenance of confidentialit and informed consent.

  • Explain key benefits and challenges of a person-centred approach to Nursing and care.

  • Demonstrate self-awareness through reflection upon own personal core values, key skills, attitudes and assumptions.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Obtain relevant clinical and health assessment information using best practice approaches.

  • Describe the structure and function of cells, tissues, organs and gross anatomy and functional physiology of the human body.

  • To develop knowledge and skills in performing essential healthcare.

Full-time core modules

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Undertake a prioritised clinical assessment of the acutely ill adult and identify appropriate initial interventions in the event of deterioration.

  • Recognise and respond appropriately to signs of deterioration in physical and mental health.

  • Demonstrate knowledge of pathophysiology underlying common acute causes of deterioration.

  • Explain the nursing management and holistic care of acutely unwell adult patients across care settings.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Maintain the requirements of the 'Passport to Practice' as a pre-condition for attending placement.

  • Actively participate in personalised care in clinical placements.

  • Demonstrate the attitudes and values expected at the threshold level, at the end of year two.

  • Demonstrate the knowledge and skills, including medicines management, required to confirm proficiency, as expected at the end of year two.

  • Reflect on two described episodes of person-centred care including assessment, planning, delivery and evaluation of care.

  • Maximise opportunity to extend own learning and development needs for progression in an action plan.

What you'll do

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Demonstrate knowledge of individual professional responsibilities in delivering safe and effective person-centred care as a healthcare professional.

  • Define and describe human and individual characteristics, which influence behaviour at work in a way that can affect health and safety.

  • Discuss and evaluate the challenges faced by interprofessional teams in providing safe and effective personalised care.

  • Analyse the role of organisations and professional, statutory and regulatory bodies in the quality improvement of safe and effective care.

What you'll do

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Discuss the strengths and weaknesses of published evidence that might inform practice.

  • Explore the stages involved in the design and planning of a project in health or social care, including consideration of ethical concerns, and selecting and justifying an appropriate approach and process.

  • Discuss the context, barriers and enablers for evidence informed decision-making.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Understand and discuss the underlying causes, pathophysiology and implications for nursing care of a range of long-term conditions, across the age continuum.

  • Identify the impact (psychological, physical and social) of living with a long-term condition and related treatments, including medicines and medicines management.

  • Analyse the evidence and local, national and international guidelines that should inform the delivery of person-centred care and promote self-management.

  • Evaluate the nurses’ role in promoting and facilitating self-care and empowerment, including end-of-life care and palliation

  • Examine the impact that making healthy choices can have on people with long term conditions.

Full-time core modules

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Critically evaluate the evidence for a focused aspect of contemporary nursing practice

  • Reflect critically on the impact of a wide range of influences that inform nursing practice.

  • Consider the central role of different public health approaches in addressing a key issue of health and illness and environment (either within the local community, nationally or globally).

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Critically discuss the application of legal ethical and professional frameworks and values for practice in the management, leadership and organisation of person centred care.

  • Identify and critically evaluate the characteristics of effective leadership and the methods used by organisations to develop these characteristics.

  • Critically explore the opportunities and challenges of partnership working and its impact on safe and effective care.

  • Justify approaches to decisions making in responding to legal and professional challenges.

  • Debate the importance of equality of opportunity in practice.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Maintain the requirements for the 'Passport to Practice' as a pre-condition for attending placement.

  • Demonstrate the attitudes and values expected of the registered nurse at the threshold level, at the end of year three.

  • Demonstrate the knowledge and skills, including medicines management, required to confirm proficiency as a registered nurse, as expected at the end of year three.

  • Reflect on two described episodes of person-centred care, including planning, supervision of juniors and shared decision-making.

  • Articulate own learning and development needs for future development, including revalidation.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Professionally plan and design a small scale service improvement project, demonstrating a proactive, independent attitude to learning and working with others.

  • Analysis of a problem or issue arising in clinical practice to identify an appropriate focus for improvement, with consideration of the complexity of service delivery.

  • Confidently engage with the evidence-based practice process, systematically analysing and synthesising evidence from a range of sources to generate ideas and a rationale for introducing a change in practice.

  • Apply the fundamental principles of quality improvement methodology to explore introducing an evidence-based change in clinical practice, understanding how measurement can be used to evaluate and improve practice and service delivery.

  • Understand and demonstrate the mechanisms that can be used to influence and lead change in practice, with consideration of collaborating effectively with key stakeholders.

  • Disseminate succinctly to a specific audience the key concepts of the impetus, rationale and strategy for implementing and evaluating an intervention.

Changes to course content

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. If a module doesn't run, we'll let you know as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative module.

How you're assessed

  • 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

You’ll be able to test your skills and knowledge informally before you do assessments that count towards your final mark.

You can get feedback on all practice and formal assessments so you can improve in the future.


Teaching methods on this course include:

  • lectures
  • simulation
  • seminars
  • independent study
  • work placement

You can access all teaching resources on Moodle, our virtual learning environment, from anywhere with a Web connection.

For more about the teaching activities for specific modules, see the module list above.

How you'll spend your time

One of the main differences between school or college and university is how much control you have over your learning.

We use a blended learning approach to teaching, which means you’ll take part in both face-to-face and online activities during your studies.  As well as attending your timetabled classes you'll study independently in your free time, supported by staff and our virtual learning environment, Moodle.

A typical week

You will be taking part in scheduled study blocks for up to 20 hours a week. You’ll also be in placement activities for roughly 40 hours a week. The rest of the time you’ll be involved in timetabled activities such as tutorials, lectures and workshops alongside independent study such as research, reading, coursework and project work, alone or in a group with others from your course. You'll probably do more independent study and have less scheduled teaching by your third year.

Term dates

The academic year runs from September to June. There are breaks at Christmas and Easter.

See term dates

The support from academic staff is brilliant. I've thoroughly enjoyed my training and feel I'm a better nurse because of it.

Darren Newman, BN (Hons) Nursing (Adult)

Supporting you

The amount of timetabled teaching you'll get on your degree might be less than what you're used to at school or college, but you'll also get support via video, phone and face-to-face from teaching and support staff to enhance your learning experience and help you succeed. You can build your personalised network of support from the following people and services:

Types of support

Your personal tutor helps you make the transition to independent study and gives you academic and personal support throughout your time at university.

As well as regular scheduled meetings with your personal tutor, they're also available at set times during the week if you want to chat with them about anything that can't wait until your next meeting.

You'll have help from a team of faculty learning support tutors. They can help you improve and develop your academic skills and support you in any area of your study.

They can help with:

  • improving your academic writing (for example, essays, reports, dissertations)
  • understanding and using assignment feedback
  • managing your time and workload
  • revision and exam techniques

As well as support from faculty staff and your personal tutor, you can use the University's Academic Skills Unit (ASK).

ASK provides one-to-one support in areas such as:

  • academic writing
  • note taking
  • time management
  • critical thinking
  • presentation skills
  • referencing
  • working in groups
  • revision, memory and exam techniques

Our online Learning Well mini-course will help you plan for managing the challenges of learning and student life, so you can fulfil your potential and have a great student experience.

You can get personal, emotional and mental health support from our Student Wellbeing Service, in person and online. This includes 1–2–1 support as well as courses and workshops that help you better manage stress, anxiety or depression.

If you require extra support because of a disability or additional learning need our specialist team can help you.

They'll help you to

  • discuss and agree on reasonable adjustments
  • liaise with other University services and facilities, such as the library
  • access specialist study skills and strategies tutors, and assistive technology tutors, on a 1-to-1 basis or in groups
  • liaise with external services

Library staff are available in person or by email, phone, or online chat to help you make the most of the University’s library resources. You can also request one-to-one appointments and get support from a librarian who specialises in your subject area.

The library is open 24 hours a day, every day, in term time.

If English isn't your first language, you can do one of our English language courses to improve your written and spoken English language skills before starting your degree. Once you're here, you can take part in our free In-Sessional English (ISE) programme to improve your English further.

Course costs and funding

Tuition fees

  • UK/Channel Islands and Isle of Man students – £9,250 per year (may be subject to annual increase)

This course isn't currently open to International and EU students.

Funding your studies

Find out how to fund your studies, including the scholarships and bursaries you could get. You can also find more about tuition fees and living costs, including what your tuition fees cover.

Applying from outside the UK? Find out about funding options for international students.

Additional funding – at least £5,000 a year

Students on this course may be eligible for additional funding through the NHS Learning Support Fund of at least £5,000 a year. The bursary is non-repayable and is in addition to any other support you are eligible for, including Government student loans.

For more information, including eligibility criteria, please visit our scholarships and bursaries page.

Additional course costs

These course-related costs aren’t included in the tuition fees. So you’ll need to budget for them when you plan your spending.

Additional costs

Our accommodation section show your accommodation options and highlight how much it costs to live in Portsmouth.

You’ll study up to 6 modules a year. You may have to read several recommended books or textbooks for each module.

You can borrow most of these from the Library. If you buy these, they may cost up to £60 each.

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


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.

Your uniform is included as part of your course fee, but you’ll need to pay £20–£50 for extra or replacement uniforms. You won’t need to pay for a replacement due to fair wear and tear. You’ll also need to supply your own suitable footwear for placements.

You’ll need to purchase clinical items over the course of your study. You should budget around £50 for this.

You’ll need to pay the travel costs associated with your placement, though the NHS may meet some of these costs.

You may have an opportunity to undertake a placement. There are several options for this placement, and you may choose to go abroad. If you want to go abroad or travel within the UK, you need to budget between £1000–£5000. You'll need to cover all your expenses for this placement.


How to apply

To start this course in 2024, apply through UCAS. You'll need:

  • the UCAS course code – B740
  • our institution code – P80

If you'd prefer to apply directly, use our online application form.

You can also sign up to an Open Day to:

  • Tour our campus, facilities and halls of residence
  • Speak with lecturers and chat with our students 
  • Get information about where to live, how to fund your studies and which clubs and societies to join

If you're new to the application process, read our guide on applying for an undergraduate course.

Interviews for September 2024 will take place between 11 January and 18 June.

Sorry, this course isn't currently open to international or EU students.

Admissions terms and conditions

When you accept an offer to study at the University of Portsmouth, you also agree to abide by our Student Contract (which includes the University's relevant policies, rules and regulations). You should read and consider these before you apply.

Contact information


+44 (0) 23 9284 5566

Contact Admissions

Common questions about this subject

Can't find the answer to your questions about this course or anything else about undergraduate life? Contact us

Adult nursing involves working with adults of all ages.

The role of a nurse includes promotion of health and prevention of illness. As an adult nurse, you'll care for adults who are sick or injured, disabled, or at the end of their life.

Adult nursing also includes being an advocate for people and their families when they can't speak up for themselves.

Adult nursing contributes to generating research and shaping health policy.

As well as meeting the course entry requirements, good communication and teamwork skills are useful.

Awareness of the 6Cs of nursing (care, compassion, competence, communication, courage, commitment) is also important.

You'll have the opportunity to get work experience during your degree, but it's helpful to get some work experience before you start the course.

Speaking to someone who works in health and social care is also useful for an insight into the role of a nurse.

For pre-registration nursing, the Nursing and Midwifery Council, (2018, Part 3: Standards for pre-registration nursing programmes, page 8), indicate that recognition of prior learning that is capable of being mapped to the Standards of Proficiency for registered nurses and programme outcomes, is permitted, up to a maximum of 50% of the programme.