Nursing Associate Higher Apprenticeship DipHE

Work-based undergraduate (24 months)

Chelmsford, Peterborough (Guild House)

January, September

(Subject to approval)


Train as a nursing associate - a new Band 4 role in the nursing workforce supporting registered nurses in primary, secondary, community and social care that will lead to registration with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC). You'll help to plan, coordinate and deliver care, and work to a nationally-recognised NMC code of conduct.

Full description


Completion of the L5 Nursing Associate course will now permit you to register with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) on a Band 4 salary with your employer. Further information can be found here.

In addition, your employer may support you to join the Registered Nurse Degree Apprenticeship (top-up). This allows you to apply up to 180 credits of Accredited Prior Learning (APL) from your Nursing Associate course, enabling you to study additional modules at Level 6 and specialise in adult, child or mental health nursing for a Band 5 role.

Modules & assessment

Year one, core modules

  • Fundamentals of Care for the Nursing Associate
    This first module aims to prepare Nursing Associate students for the knowledge and skills required to deliver fundamental, safe care. Understanding the importance of patient safety is a key strand, and students are introduced to their responsibilities in maintaining patient safety, safeguarding vulnerable people, and the underpinning key drivers and professional values. A range of practical, communication, team working, and leadership skills are explored, along with the development of knowledge in relation to human anatomy and physiology.
  • Supporting Person-Centred Health (Physical and Mental) and Wellbeing
    Building on knowledge of bioscience and clinical skills to further enhance delivery of safe and fundamental care, this module supports Nursing Associates in developing an understanding of the professional values and attributes expected in the delivery of person-centred care, as well as communication skills. Students explore health inequalities, health inequities, and health behaviours to gain an insight into the challenges faced by individuals in managing their health, and an understanding of the importance of patient involvement in health promotion.You will also explore the concept of empowerment, the factors influencing a person’s health choices and readiness for change, and the role of the Nursing Associate in supporting this.
  • Medicines Calculation for Safe Practice 1
    In this module students will develop their competence in basic medicines calculations relating to tablets and capsules, liquid medicines, and injections.

Year two, core modules

  • Delivery of Safe and Effective Person-Centred Care
    This module provides the opportunity to develop knowledge and understanding of the pathophysiology, legal and ethical issues, and challenges faced by those affected by common physical and mental health conditions. The importance of assessment, communication and partnership within a multidisciplinary framework of care will be emphasised as the basis for developing the skills, knowledge and attitudes required to meet the needs of service users and their families. Students will also gain the knowledge and understanding required to ensure safe administration of medicines, including pharmacokinetics, dynamics, and therapeutics, and legal and ethical issues.
  • Leadership and Supporing Learning for the Nursing Associate
    This module will enable students to make the transition to qualified Nursing Associate. This involves adjusting to a new and challenging role, accepting additional and different responsibilities, being aware of issues of accountability, and further developing the skills required of a Nursing Associate. This module consolidates the knowledge, skills and attitudes already gained in order to demonstrate competence in holistic, person-centred care within the parameters of practice, and support the registered nursing workforce. As they progress through the module, students will act as a coach and supporter for junior colleagues through promoting shared and peer learning, so they begin to acquire leadership skills while simultaneously engaging in a culture focused on learning, support and transparency.
  • Medicines Calculation for Safe Practice 3
    In this module students will develop their competence in basic medicines calculations relating to tablets and capsules, liquid medicines, and injections.


Module assessment
Each module has a theoretical and a practice-based assessment to meet the HEE Nursing Associate Curriculum Framework programme outcomes.

We'll assess you in a number of ways, including QMP multi-choice testing, written assignments, presentations, and an e-portfolio. Medicines calculations are also tested via electronic examination.

You'll also be assessed in practice during each module. A formative assessment at the mid-point of the placement provides feedback to you on your progress, and helps to inform an action plan for continued learning. This is completed using an e-practice assessment document which you can access off- or online, with support from University staff if you need it.

Endpoint assessment
The endpoint assessment to complete this Higher Apprenticeship has two elements.

1. A 60-minute observation including question and answer session as necessary. You'll be observed in the workplace and demonstrate skills, knowledge and behaviours in the following HEE Curriculum Framework areas:

  • person-centred approaches to care
  • delivering nursing care
  • communication and interpersonal skills
  • duty of care, candour, equality and diversity
  • teamworking and leadership.

2. A 90-minute professional discussion. We'll use scenarios to assess your skills, knowledge and behaviours in regard to the following HEE Curriculum Framework areas:

  • professional values and parameters of practice
  • person-centred approaches to care
  • delivering nursing care
  • communication and interpersonal skills
  • teamwork and leadership
  • supporting learning and assessment in practice
  • research, development and innovation.

You will be working towards these competencies throughout the course, and time is built in to prepare you for the endpoint assessment.

Where you'll study

Your faculty

The Faculty of Health, Education, Medicine and Social Care is the largest in ARU, with over 7,000 students. Our Faculty is teeming with expertise and primed to meet the demand for creating health professionals, teachers, doctors, scientists and educators for the three districts we serve: Chelmsford, Cambridge and Peterborough.

We have been training undergraduates for professional roles for over 25 years, with a reputation for quality, dedication and ambition balanced with student satisfaction.

We know that to give our students the very best experiential learning, prior to getting into the workplace, simulation is second to none, for safe, realistic, learning environments. We have invested heavily in purpose built simulated wards, science labs and skills space, to support our students through their learning.

Where can I study?

Tindal Building on our Chelmsford campus

Our striking, modern campus sits by the riverside in Chelmsford's University and Innovation Quarter.

Explore our Chelmsford campus

Peterborough (Guild House)
Guild House

Guild House is our dedicated healthcare campus in the historic city of Peterborough.

Explore our Guild House campus

Fees & funding

Course fees

Degree apprenticeships are funded by your employer and the Government


Entry requirements

Loading... Entry requirements are not currently available, please try again later.

Essential Requirements:

  • Employment in a suitable healthcare role/environment on a permanent contract exceeding 30 hours per week (ideally 37.5 hours per week)
  • Employer support to undertake this course
  • Confirmed eligibility to be funded as an Apprentice as set out within the ESFA’s Funding Rules
  • Evidence of level 3 study in a related subject e.g. A Levels, BTEC in Health and Social Care*
  • Level 2 qualifications in Maths and English e.g. GCSEs at Grade C/4 or above (or equivalent)**
  • An Enhanced DBS for the Adult and Child Workforce, updated within the past 12 months (ARU will fund new applications if you cannot provide this)
  • Occupational Health clearance from your employer

* Applicants without a Level 3 qualification but with at least six months healthcare experience will be considered on an individual basis for accreditation of prior learning (APL)/prior experiential learning (APEL).

** Applicants currently working towards a Level 2 qualification in either English or Maths must have gained the qualification prior to the start of the course. If you are unlikely to have evidence of either qualification before the start of the course, you should delay your application until you have these.

Please note: you will need to have the National Care Certificate (Health) to undertake the End Point Assessment. If you do not hold this, you will be able to complete this during your Degree programme to enable you to take the EPA.

Only on provision of the evidence to demonstrate that you meet the requirements listed above will you be invited to attend an interview. This will also involve a 30-minute numeracy test (non-calculator) and the submission of a personal statement, which you must be prepared to discuss in your interview.

You will be required to provide one reference from someone who knows you in your current (preferable), or most recent, healthcare role to identify your attitude to study and learning.

Applicants from outside the European Economic Area must provide evidence of achievement of the English Language Testing System (IELTS) test: at least 6.0 in the listening and reading sections, at least 6.0 in the writing and speaking sections, and at least an overall score of 6.0.