2024/25 entry Applications also open for 2025/26

FDSc Nursing Associate

Start date:
September, March
Study mode:
Course duration:
2 years
General enquiries:
0151 231 5090
International admissions

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Why study Nursing Associate at Liverpool John Moores University?

  • The Nursing Associate Apprenticeship programme supports widening access participation in healthcare education and to support the development of the nursing Associate workforce.
  • The programme aims to develop Nursing Associates who are accountable, safe, and proficient practitioners who are able to safely deliver holistic person-centred, evidence based and effective care across the lifespan.
  • Learners will be able to complete a Foundation Degree whilst in employment. 
  • Contemporary modules to reflect current workforce development needs.
  • A varied assessment model that prepares the learner for practice. 
  • Simulated learning supports development of Nursing Associate practical skills.
  • University with a recent OFSTED inspection rated as GOOD with EXCELLENT in behaviour and attitudes.  

About your course

The FdSc Nursing Associate apprenticeship route programme supports the learner to achieve a Foundation Degree whilst in employment.

The programme is delivered over 24 months and is full time.

Each year consists of 6 modules each 20 credits. Year 1 is 120 credits at level 4 and year two 120 credits at level 5. The programme delivers an equal balance of theory and practice learning. The programme consists of a two day a week theory delivered at LJMU. Learning in theory will be facilitated using a variety of methods including seminars, workshops and simulated learning.

In each academic year students will have to undertake five theoretical assessments in addition to being assessed in practice. They will be assessed utilising a variety of assessment methods utilising  a range of assessment styles. Learning in theory 

On completion of the programme learners will complete with a Foundation Degree and be eligible to apply for an NMC registration as a Nursing Associate.

This apprenticeship programme is aligned to the Institute of Apprenticeships and Technical Education (IFATE) Nursing Associate NMC (2018) standard ST0827 (IFATE, 2018). This programme is also approved by the Nursing and midwifery Council.

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    Apprenticeship week celebration


    " The degree apprenticeship is an amazing opportunity because you get to work as well as go to university at the same time."

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Professional accreditation/links

This programme is accredited by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) and aligned to the Standards for pre-registration nursing associate programmes (NMC, 2023).

Fees and funding

There are many ways to fund study for home and international students


The fees quoted above cover registration, tuition, supervision, assessment and examinations as well as:

  • library membership with access to printed, multimedia and digital resources
  • access to programme-appropriate software
  • library and student IT support
  • free on-campus wifi via eduroam

Additional costs

Although not all of the following are compulsory/relevant, you should keep in mind the costs of:

  • accommodation and living expenditure
  • books (should you wish to have your own copies)
  • printing, photocopying and stationery
  • PC/laptop (should you prefer to purchase your own for independent study and online learning activities)
  • mobile phone/tablet (to access online services)
  • field trips (travel and activity costs)
  • placements (travel expenses and living costs)
  • student visas (international students only)
  • study abroad opportunities (travel costs, accommodation, visas and immunisations)
  • academic conferences (travel costs)
  • professional-body membership
  • graduation (gown hire etc)


There are many ways to fund study for home and international students. From loans to International Scholarships and subject-specific funding, you'll find all of the information you need on our specialist funding pages.

Degree Apprenticeships are funded courses, with learning costs being paid to the university by the employer, through the Degree Apprenticeship levy, if a large company, or with the help of the government’s co-investment model, if a smaller company.

If you aren’t already employed by a company that is willing to sponsor you through an apprenticeship, you’ll need to find one. You can do this by regularly checking the Government’s Find an apprenticeship website.

You can also approach an employer yourself to find out whether they would be interested in offering Degree Apprenticeships and ask them to contact us. Our team will be able to explain to them how they can access the correct funding and the next steps.

Information for potential employers

If an employer has a wage bill of over £3 million, it would automatically pay the Government levy and would use this to fund learning via the company Apprenticeship Service Account.

Non- Levy companies can access funding via the Government co-investment model, whereby the Government will fund 95% of the learning costs and the company will fund the remaining 5%.

To access the Government funds, non-levy paying employers are required to set up an account on the Apprenticeship Service and reserve funding for apprentices, no earlier than three months before the course start date.  Information regarding setting up an account can be found here. LJMU will still invoice non-levy paying companies for their contribution, but without this account LJMU will be unable to draw down the Government co-investment funding for the apprentices. 


Employability and career development

Following successful completion of the programme learners will be able to gain employment as a Nursing Associate in a variety of settings. There is also the opportunity for registered Nursing Associates to enter year 2 of a BSc Pre-registration Nursing Programme in their chosen field of Adult/Children's/mental Health or Learning Disabilities Nursing) 

Student Futures - Careers, Employability and Enterprise Service

A wide range of opportunities and support is available to you, within and beyond your course, to ensure our students experience a transformation in their career trajectory. Every undergraduate curriculum includes Future Focus during Level 4, an e-learning resource and workshop designed to help you to develop your talents, passion and purpose.

Every student has access to Careers Zone 24/7, LJMU's suite of online Apps, resources and jobs board via the LJMU Student Futures website. There are opportunities for flexible, paid and part-time work through Unitemps, LJMU's in-house recruitment service, and we also offer fully funded Discovery Internships.

One-to-one careers and employability advice is available via our campus-based Careers Zones and we offer a year-round programme of events, including themed careers and employability workshops, employer events and recruitment fairs. Our Start-Up Hub can help you to grow your enterprise skills and to research, plan and start your own business or become a freelancer.

A suite of learning experiences, services and opportunities is available to final year students to help ensure you leave with a great onward plan. You can access LJMU's Careers, Employability and Start-up Services after you graduate and return for one-to-one support for life.

A life-changing experience 

There's so much more to university than just studying for a degree.

What you will study on this degree

Please see guidance below on core and option modules for further information on what you will study.

All modules are core modules there are no optional modules in this programme.

Level 4 modules:

  • The Nursing Associate as a professional
  • Introduction to the Provision and Monitoring of Effective Care
  • Promoting Health and Preventing Ill Health
  • Principles of Law and Ethics for Nursing Associate Practice
  • Establishing Effective Communication
  • Principles of Nursing Associate Practice

Level 5 modules:

  • Improving Safety and Quality of Care
  • Developing Provision and Monitoring of Effective Care 
  • Evidence based practice and Preventing Ill Health
  • Complex Care and the Role of the Nursing Associate
  • Effective Interdisciplinary Team Working
  • Developing Nursing Associate Practice

Further guidance on modules

Modules are designated core or optional in accordance with professional body requirements, as applicable, and LJMU’s Academic Framework Regulations. Whilst you are required to study core modules, optional modules provide you with an element of choice. Their availability may vary and will be subject to meeting minimum student numbers.

Where changes to modules are necessary these will be communicated as appropriate.

Level 4

Core modules

The Nursing Associate as a Professional
20 credits

This module will enable you to understand, consider and demonstrate the professional principles that underpin your practice, specifically the NMC Code, your personal and others’ expectations as an ambassador for the role.  The module will explore how you care for and manage yourself and the impact that has on your ability to undertake your nursing associate role. 

Introduction to the Provision and Monitoring of Effective Care
20 credits

This module will facilitate you, the Nursing Associate, to understand key anatomy and physiology across the lifespan.  The module will explore the impact of medicines, develop your understanding of pharmacology, and how these link to your ability to deliver effective care.  

Promoting Health and Preventing Ill Health
20 credits

This module will enable you to develop your understanding of the evidence related to factors which impact upon health. The module will explore the complexities relating to public health and how adapting care to the needs of the individual can aid in the prevention of ill health and promote a healthy lifestyle within the population. 

Principles of Law and Ethics for Nursing Associate Practice
20 credits

This module will enable you to develop the knowledge and understanding of the legal frameworks for the delivery of care, how they apply to you and how they support the most vulnerable in society.  The module will explore inclusivity and diversity and your responsibility as a health professional.  

Establishing Effective Communication
20 credits

This module will enable you to explore how key communication approaches are developed, understood, and applied within the practice setting. This module requires you to look at yourself and develop your communication skills within the boundaries of your professional role. 

Principles of Nursing Associate Practice
20 credits

This module will introduce and develop the principles of professional practice and introduce the scope of competencies for the nursing associate role guided by the NMC Standards of Proficiency for the Nursing Associate. This module will run alongside your practice placements and will introduce the skills required for Nursing Associate practice enabling you to engage with care of individuals across different health and care settings. 

Level 5

Core modules

Improving Safety and Quality of Care
20 credits

This module enables you to examine the relationships between quality, safety and safe and effective person-centred care.  You will apply your knowledge of frameworks and legislation to an awareness of assessing and managing risks and maintaining a safe patient environment.

Developing Provision and Monitoring of Effective Care
20 credits

This module enables you to develop your underpinning knowledge of commonly encountered conditions, health monitoring and working in partnership with others to provide safe and effective care.

Evidence based practice and Preventing Ill Health
20 credits

This module enables you to develop your understanding of the principles of research and how this informs evidence-based practice in relation to public health and the prevention of ill health.

Complex Care and the Role of the Nursing Associate
20 credits

This module will enable you to develop your understanding of the role of a Nursing Associate within end-of-life care, providing you with an overview of the legal frameworks. You will explore the challenges and complexities of providing safe and effective nursing care for patients with complex co-morbidities and care needs.

Effective Interdisciplinary Team Working
20 credits

This module enables you to consolidate your identity as a Nursing Associate and your role working in partnership with others. You will explore how you act as a role model within the healthcare team, through support and supervision and reflect on your future progression.

Developing Nursing Associate Practice
20 credits

This module will support you to develop your professional practice an preparation to meet the requirements of the Nursing Associate role as guided by the NMC Standards of Proficiency for Nursing Associates. 

Teaching and work-related learning

Excellent facilities and learning resources

The programme utilises a variety of teaching and learning approaches that are designed to engage and inspire apprentice learners. These include lectures, seminars, group work activities, simulation and tutorials. LJMU’s Learning and Teaching Strategy 2023-2030 has guided the programme delivery to ensure that learners develop and utilise progressively higher level academic skills throughout the modules, as well as subject specific knowledge and skills as they become inquiring and confident apprenticeship learners.

The range of learning and teaching strategies that are applied across the programme seek to develop and foster independence in the acquisition of knowledge and facilitate the application of theoretical knowledge. Learners will therefore:

  • Be enabled in acquiring knowledge through supported on-the-job learning. This will include being directed to scholarly activities that will prepare them for scheduled teaching activity that is provided directly by members of staff in real time, either face-to-face or synchronous online. This may take the form of lectures, seminars, tutorials and webcasts.  
  • Be supported in engaging in online asynchronous activity. Examples include asynchronous tutorial discussions, tutor-facilitated discussion boards, and tutor-facilitated collaborative or individual projects such as wikis, padlets, blogs and e-portfolios. While they may not be present at the same times as the learners, academic staff actively, iteratively, and directly engage with learners to facilitate and guide learning, and are visible, engaged and active in the virtual learning environment and will contain an activity which contributes towards the development of the Knowledge Skills and Behaviours (KSB’s).
  • Consolidate theoretical learning in the practice learning environment whilst being supported and assessed by practice supervisors and assessors and academic assessors as per the requirements of the NMC Standards for Supervision and Assessment (2023).

Support and guidance

Dedicated personal tutor, plus study skills support

All apprentice learners will commence their programme of study with a timetabled induction period. The primary purpose of this induction period will be to foster a sense of community and identity and to enhance their readiness and develop peer support networks for learning before the programmes begin. The importance of group support and the availability of a range of university-wide support services for all apprentice learners will ensure that individuals are aware of the diverse range of support mechanisms available to them for the duration of their programme and beyond. This includes health and wellbeing services, learning support and the careers service who can support their transition into employability and professional life.

LJMU has a range of support mechanisms that support apprentice learners in making the transition to higher education and subsequently across academic levels of study. At programme level, transition year two of study will commence prior to the end of the previous year. Specifically, there will be a focus on empowering apprentice learners to identify their own individual needs relating to both theory and practice. The academic assessor, personal and tripartite tutor will be key to the transition process in offering both academic and pastoral support and helping apprentice learners to identify their individual goals for the forthcoming year.

Apprentice learners have access to the programme team, Personal Tutors, Practice Supervisors, Practice Assessors, Academic Assessors, Cohort Leads and Lecturers in Practice Learning for guidance in their learning throughout the course of their programme. Working together, in their distinct roles this team provide a coherent structure of support with open channels of communication, to provide support and help apprentice learners achieve in both theory and practice. 


Assessment varies depending on the modules you choose, but will usually include a combination of exams and coursework.

Learners will usually undertake one assessment for every theoretical module. Assessment methods will be authentic to practice to demonstrate knowledge and competency, and replicate or further advance of ‘real-world’ tasks that learners are expected to experience in their professional careers.

Formative assessment will take place both within the theoretical module delivery and learning environment. To prepare for theoretical assessment apprentice learners will be given the opportunity to practice the appropriate skills that relate to the variety of assessment methods that are utilised throughout the programme. This will enable them to adequately prepare for written, verbal, practical and examination forms of assessment in each year of study.

Course tutors

Our staff are committed to the highest standards of teaching and learning

Entry requirements

Please choose your qualifications below to view requirements

Grades/points required from qualifications:

Qualification requirements

A levels

A minimum of 32 UCAS points which can be achieved through A level or BTEC National Extended Diploma. A minimum of two GCSE's which must include Maths and English at grade C or above OR level 2 Equivalency in Numeracy and Literacy. 

Additional requirements

  • Interview required

    An interview will be conducted involving the prospective learner and the employer prior to offering a place on the programme.

International requirements

  • Other international requirements

    Evidence of proof of equivalency from UK ENIC can be used where an individual has an international qualification. To access the apprenticeship, the individual must have a valid and eligible status. Non-UK nationals are eligible for funding if they have been resident in the UK for at least the previous three year period on the first day of the apprenticeship.

Further information

  • DBS, Occupational Health requirements
  • RPL

    Recognition of prior learning is permitted where this can be mapped to the programme learning outcomes in line with University Recognition of Prior Learning policy and only up to a maximum of 50% of the programme (NMC standards for Nursing Associate Programmes 2023). 

    This maximum limit of 50 percent does not apply to applicants to pre-registration Nursing Associate programmes who are currently a NMC registered nurse without restrictions on their practice.

International entry requirements

Find your country

Please Note: All international qualifications are subject to a qualification equivalency check.

Application and selection

Securing your place at LJMU

To apply for this programme, you are required to complete an LJMU Degree Apprenticeship form. You will need to provide details of previous qualifications and a personal statement outlining why you wish to study this programme.

The university reserves the right to withdraw or make alterations to a course and facilities if necessary; this may be because such changes are deemed to be beneficial to students, are minor in nature and unlikely to impact negatively upon students or become necessary due to circumstances beyond the control of the university. Where this does happen, the university operates a policy of consultation, advice and support to all enrolled students affected by the proposed change to their course or module.
Further information on the terms and conditions of any offer made, our admissions policy and the complaints and appeals process.