Entry requirements

Please note that this qualification is available in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland. It may be possible to study the OU nursing programme in Wales but interested individuals need to check with their Health Board.

Employer partnership

The University offers this practice-based qualification in association with partnering employers. You must be working in healthcare practice in a caring role where registered nurse mentors are available. You will need to discuss the opportunity with your employer and with a member of the nursing academic team in your location. 

Education and personal attributes

Currently the programme entry requirements include:
  • literacy (Functional skills level 2 or equivalent e.g. GCSE Grade C or above in English)
  • numeracy (Functional skills level 2 or equivalent e.g. GCSE Grade C or above in Maths)
  • good character, evidenced through self-declaration, an enhanced criminal record disclosure, and two references – one of which must be from your current employer
  • good health, evidenced through self-declaration of health status, occupational health screening, review of previous sickness and absence record, and two references – one of which must be from your current employer
  • Successful completion of interview and assessment of your personal values with the nursing requirements for your health education body

If you think you meet the criteria you’ll need to speak to a member of the nursing academic team in your location. Spaces are limited and the timeline for your application will depend on where you and your employer are in terms of readiness to join / support the programme. See How to apply to find out more.

Preparing for study with an Access module

If your study skills are a bit rusty or you want to try out Open University study before committing yourself, don’t worry! The OU offers Access modules designed to introduce the subject area, build your confidence and prepare you for further study, and you may be eligible to study an Access module for free! You'll get:

  • a personal tutor providing regular feedback with one to one telephone tutorials
  • support from a dedicated team throughout your study
  • detailed written feedback.
For this qualification we recommend:

Your next step

Call us on +44 (0)300 303 0529 or book a call back. Our friendly team of advisers will discuss your study options with you, and help you decide on the best starting point for you. 

How much will it cost?

We believe cost shouldn’t be a barrier to achieving your potential. That’s why we work hard to keep the cost of study as low as possible and have a wide range of flexible ways to pay to help spread, or even reduce, the cost.

The total cost of your qualification will be £27,000* based on our current fees.

  • Practice-based modules cost £5,500    
  • Theory modules (60 credits) cost £3,500
  • Theory modules (30 credits) cost £1,750

*The fee information provided here is valid for new students starting the programme after 1 August 2019. Fees normally increase annually in line with inflation and the University's strategic approach to fees.

Additional costs

Study costs

There may be extra costs on top of the tuition fee, such as a computer, travel to tutorials, set books and internet access. If you're on a low income you might be eligible for help with some of these costs after you register.

Ways to pay for your qualification and other support

We know there’s a lot to think about when choosing to study, not least how you can pay. That’s why we offer a wide range of flexible payment and funding options to help make study more affordable. Options include Full-Time Tuition Fee Loans (also known as student loans), monthly payment plans and employer sponsorship. We’re confident we can help you find an option that’s right for you.

Full-time Tuition Fee Loans

As a student on the Pre-Registration Nursing Programme you may need to apply for a Full-Time Loan of £9,000 per year. You pay nothing up front and only start to repay a Full-Time Tuition Fee Loan when you’re earning over the income threshold, currently £25,000. Repayments are linked to your income to ensure they’re affordable, and are deducted automatically by your employer through the UK tax system. On a salary of £27,000, for example, repayments would be £15 a month.

If you think a Full-Time Tuition Fee Loan is right for you, find out How to apply for a loan.

Open University Student Budget Account

The Open University Student Budget Accounts Ltd (OUSBA) offers a convenient 'pay as you go' option to pay your OU fees, which is a secure, quick and easy way to pay. Please note that The Open University works exclusively with OUSBA and is not able to offer you credit facilities from any other provider. All credit is subject to status and proof that you can afford the repayments. You pay the OU through OUSBA in one of the following ways:

  • Register now, pay later – OUSBA pays your module fee direct to the OU. You then repay OUSBA interest-free and in full just before your module starts. 0% APR representative. This option could give you the extra time you may need to secure the funding to repay OUSBA.
  • Pay by instalments – OUSBA calculates your monthly fee and number of instalments based on the cost of the module you are studying.

Read more about Open University Student Budget Accounts (OUSBA).

Employer Sponsorship

It may be possible for you to secure sponsorship from your employer who will cover your tuition fees.

Credit/debit card

You can pay part or all of your tuition fees upfront with a debit or credit card when you register for each module. We accept American Express, Mastercard, Visa and Visa Electron.

Mixed payments

We know that sometimes you may want to combine payment options. For example, you may wish to pay part of your tuition fee with a debit card, and pay the remainder in instalments through an Open University Student Budget Account (OUSBA).

Please note: your permanent address/domicile will affect your fee status and therefore the fees you are charged and any financial support available to you. The fees and funding information provided here is valid for modules starting before 31 July 2020. Fees normally increase annually in line with inflation and the University's strategic approach to fees.

How to apply

If you have the support of your employer and meet the requirements on the ‘Entry requirements’ tab then you can apply to study. Your employer must contact us to discuss whether it will be possible to deliver the programme in partnership and what preparations must be made to support students. Please note not all employer contexts are suitable for the study of this qualification.

The pre-registration nursing programme is not available in all areas although where it is not currently available it may be possible to introduce the programme if there is sufficient demand.

Application timeline

The timeline for your application may vary, depending on where you and your employer are in terms of readiness to join / support the programme. The following table offers an indication of the typical timeline for recruitment of students where it has been established that the employer is ready to support students, or where the programme is already in place:

Oct–Dec Presentation to prospective students,employers and mentors
Dec–Jan Submission of application forms, including discussion task for service user review
Feb–Mar Shortlisting of applications and invitation to interview
Mar–May Interviews take place and conditional offers made to successful candidates
May–Jul Submission of completed registration forms and Occupational Health / DBS checks undertaken

Registration in August for study starting in September subject to satisfactory completion of pre-registration checks.

If you are using a Tuition Fee Loan to pay for your studies, you will need to have your loan in place before your registration can be completed. Failure to do so may mean you lose your place.

If you’re interested in this qualification and meet the entry requirements above, or if you are an employer looking to develop your staff, please contact us.

Skills for career development

In addition to meeting the NMC competencies the practice learning part of this degree develops skills that are highly transferable in the labour market – including critical analysis, numeracy, literacy, communication, team working, problem solving/solution finding, ICT proficiency, leadership, management and innovation.

Career relevance

The learning outcomes for this degree course have been mapped to (and fully comply with) the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) standards for pre-registration nursing programmes, and to subject benchmarking statements for Nursing. On successful completion of your studies, you can apply to the NMC for registration as a qualified nurse (adult nursing).


On graduating from the BSc (Honours) Adult Nursing, you’ll be eligible to apply for entry to the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) register.

Other careers

Many graduate-level jobs are open to graduates of any discipline, particularly in business, finance, management consultancy and the public sector. Some careers may require further study, training and/or work experience beyond your degree.

Exploring your options

Once you register with us (and for up to three years after you finish your studies), you’ll have full access to our careers service for a wide range of information and advice. This will include online forums, website, interview simulation, vacancy service as well as the option to email or speak to a careers adviser. Some areas of the careers service website are available for you to see now, including help with looking for and applying for jobs. You can also read more general information about how OU study enhances your career.

In the meantime if you want to do some research around this qualification and where it might take you, we’ve put together a list of relevant job titles as a starting point. Some careers may require further study, training and/or work experience beyond your degree:

  • Staff nurse
  • Senior staff nurse
  • Ward manager
  • Community nurse
  • District nurse
  • Community team leader
  • Clinical nurse specialist
  • Practice nurse
  • Nurse practitioner
  • Practice educator
  • Practice development nurse
  • Clinical nurse researcher
  • Nurse lecturer 

Register for this course

Please see Entry requirements to register for this course as online registration is not available.

Applications are subject to the availability of suitable placements and your employer entering into a formal partnership with The OU for delivery of the qualification.

The next start date is February 2020. Applications must be received at least 6 months before the course starts.

Download a prospectus

Our prospectuses are your essential guide to studying with us, covering courses, fees and funding, career prospects and more.

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