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Best Nursing Courses in the UK for International Students

Nov 10, 2022

Study Nursing in the UK: Courses, Universities, Cost, and Eligibility for international students

The United Kingdom is well known as one of the frontrunners of medical education and innovation. But the UK also shares a rich heritage in allied fields, especially nursing. UK’s prominence in nursing was cemented by Florence Nightingale back in 1860 when she opened St. Thomas Hospital.

Today, the UK offers close to 500 nursing degrees focused on practical and professional training. With several specializations available, students have plenty of options to pursue in an area of their interest.

A degree in nursing from the UK prepares students for real-world challenges and opens up career opportunities. Learn more about the universities that offer nursing degrees, the cost, and admission criteria for international students.

Overview of nursing courses in the UK

Program offered BSc, BN, MSc, MNurs
Program duration 3-4 years (Bachelors) ; 1-4 years (Masters)
Accreditation Courses should be approved by Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC)
Annual Average Cost USD 24,960 (Bachelors) ; USD 23,440 (Masters) 
Eligibility Criteria HSC/Standard 12 with at least 60%
Entrance exams None
English proficiency IELTS 7.0 or equivalent
Application deadline January
Application fee USD 27-34

Bachelors programs for nursing in the UK 

Universities offer nursing degree bachelors courses in mainly three specializations: adult nursing, child nursing, and mental health care. These specializations are available as full-time courses spanning three years of duration. They are also available as a “Top-up,” with a few more months of study besides the usual degree course duration. Degree programs in nursing should be approved by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC).

  • BSc in Nursing (Adult)
  • BSc in Mental Health Nursing
  • BSc in International Nursing Studies
  • BSc in Child Nursing
  • Bachelor of Nursing

Masters programs for nursing in the UK 

Students can take graduate-level nursing courses as a Master of Science or a Master of Nursing degree. Postgraduate diplomas and certificates in nursing are available as well. The average duration of a master’s degree in the UK is two years. Some programs can range up to four years. Degree programs in nursing should be approved by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC).

  • MSc in Adult Nursing
  • MSc in Child Nursing
  • MSc in Clinical Nursing
  • MSc in Mental Health Nursing
  • MSc in Contemporary Nursing
  • Master of Nursing

Best universities for nursing courses in the UK

This list does not cover all universities. There are more than 500 nursing courses available in the UK. The below-listed universities offer nursing courses either as a Bachelor of Science or a Bachelor of Nursing degree.

Most universities accept international applications. But there may be some universities that may limit nursing programs to UK students. Students must check whether their preferred university accepts international students.

National Ranking 2022 (US News Ranking) University Bachelor’s Programs Master’s Programs
5 The University of Edinburgh Click here Click here
8 University of Glasgow Click here Click here
14 University of Sheffield Click here Click here
64 Keele University Click here Click here
30 Queen’s University Belfast Click here Click here
67 Coventry University Click here Click here
39 Swansea University Click here Click here
31 University of East Anglia UEA Click here Click here
58 Anglia Ruskin University Click here Click here
76 University of Hertfordshire Click here Click here
71 Middlesex University Click here Click here
83 University of Bradford Click here Click here

Admission requirements for international students

Admissions to nursing courses in the UK is based on academics. There are no entrance exams to be taken, as it is the case for medicine degrees in the UK. Students have to prove their English proficiency through IELTS, TOEFL, or other acceptable ones.

The admission requirements mentioned in this section are merely a guide. Students successful at securing admissions may have demonstrated higher qualifications.

Bachelor’s level 

  • HSC/12 standard certificate with at least 60%
  • Subject prerequisites: English, Maths, Biology, Chemistry, and Physics
  • English proficiency of 7.0 in IELTS or equivalent
  • Personal Statement
  • Reference Letters
  • Curriculum Vitae

Master’s level 

  • Successful completion of relevant bachelor’s degree with at least 60%
  • Proof of English proficiency (IELTS 7.0 or equivalent)
  • Personal statement documenting motivation to study
  • Reference Letters
  • Curriculum Vitae

Universities consider work experience during admissions at undergraduate or graduate levels. Work experience could include clinical practice or any volunteer work. Students who have experience in nursing or allied fields should mention it.

Application process for international students

Applications to nursing programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels are made through UCAS portal. Students can choose up to five universities.

Please note that applications for graduate programs is also done through the undergraduate portal of UCAS.

UCAS requires academic records, references, and personal statements to be uploaded with the application.

The application deadline is 25th January.

Application fee of UCAS ranges from GBP 22 to 26, or USD 27-34.

Apply through Gyanberry

Applying to universities abroad can be stressful. A perfect application that best represents students can open doors to the most prestigious universities in the UK. 

Gyanberry takes care of all that and more! With services for university admissions, counseling, scholarships, etc., students can experience a timely and hassle-free application process by applying via Gyanberry.

Tuition fees for nursing courses in the UK for international students

University Annual Tuition for Bachelors (USD)* Annual Tuition for Masters (USD)*
The University of Edinburgh 38,320 31,890
University of Glasgow 30,190 20,800
Keele University 30,500 30,500
Queen’s University Belfast 22,570 22,570
Coventry University 22,750 20,930
Swansea University 20,800 NA**
University of East Anglia UEA 22,690 23,320
Anglia Ruskin University 21,050 18,900
University of Hertfordshire 20,060 20,125
Middlesex University 18,030 17,650
University of Bradford 27,670 27,720

* Tuition fees for nursing courses are converted to USD at the current exchange rate of 1 GBP = 1.26 USD. Exchange rates are subject to change.

** Master’s level nursing courses at Swansea University do not accept international students. International students can only apply for bachelor’s nursing programs at Swansea.

Scholarships for International students

The United Kingdom, being a preferred study destination, offers quite a few scholarships for international students. These scholarships are available from the government and the university.

Chevening Scholarships

Chevening scholarships cover a wide range of nationalities. The scholarship is given towards a one-year master’s degree in the UK. Successful scholars show leadership qualities, ambition, and a desire to create a positive impact.

Eligibility for these scholarships is

  • must hold a bachelor’s degree
  • must be willing to return to the country of origin for at least two years
  • must have at least two years of work experience

The scholarship covers the full tuition fee and other costs related to travel and allowances.

Commonwealth Master’s Scholarships

Students from Commonwealth countries looking to study one-year masters in the UK can apply. Applicants must hold a bachelor’s degree. 

The scholarship covers tuition fees and provides a stipend of GBP 1,133-1,390 per month.

Apart from the above-listed government scholarships, students can avail several university-funded scholarships. Students at the undergraduate level can apply for entrance scholarships. Learn more about UK scholarships available for international students.

Careers after nursing courses in the UK

Nursing course graduates can find jobs in a diverse range of professions. These jobs are not limited to clinical work. Working as a nurse in the UK is conditional upon registering with the Nursing and Midwifery Council.

Typical employers in nursing include the NHS, private hospitals, schools, voluntary organizations, etc.

Popular careers include

  • Adult Nurse
  • Children’s Nurse
  • Mental health Nurse
  • Learning Disability Nurse
  • Midwife
  • Paramedic
  • Therapist
  • Counselor
  • Social Worker

The average annual salary of a registered nurse in the UK is GBP 25,800 or USD 32,620.

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The average annual tuition fee for an undergraduate nursing program is GBP 24,960. For Indian students, this approximates to INR 24,43,830 per year. This estimate does not include living expenses.

Unlike medical programs, nursing in the UK does not need entrance exams. Admissions are based on academic merit and applicants’ profile.

Undergraduate international students need a high school certificate with at least a 60% score. Graduate international students must have a relevant bachelor’s degree. Students must prove English language skills of at least 7.0 in IELTS or equivalent at both levels.

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