How to Study Nursing in the United Kingdom for International Students

In recent years, nursing has become one of the most appealing careers in the world. In fact, it is currently the most employable profession in the United Kingdom. Statistics show that one has a very high chance of being employed within the first six or so months after graduation. As if that’s not enough, every eligible nursing student is subject to about £8,000 financial support from the government and other organizations.

The U.K.’s nursing field is subdivided into four: adult’s, children’s, learning disability, and mental health nursing. Therefore, before you start sending your applications, you will need to decide which section appeals to you the most. The best part is that you can apply for dual degrees, which allow you to study two of these disciplines. Remember, all of these areas will allow you to make an impact on people’s lives and society at large.

Are you an international student looking to study nursing in the United Kingdom? Well, the country’s education system accepts international students into their programs, including your favorite course. There is, however, a criterion that should be followed, and one must meet the minimum requirements. In this article, we will cover some of the main factors you should know about studying nursing in the UK before embarking on your application process.

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What Degrees are there for Nursing in the United Kingdom?

There are four main routes you could take into nursing. The most common one is via an undergraduate degree offered by famous nursing schools in the United Kingdom. For instance, you could start your career by studying Bachelor of Nursing (with Honours) at the University of Glasgow.

However, if you don’t meet the minimum requirements for this course, you can opt for a Nursing Degree Apprenticeship or Nursing Associate Training as your starting point. The University of Derby, Keele University among others offer these programs to both local and international students. Postgraduate nursing degrees are also available, and this is a route taken mostly by those who have studied an undergraduate degree in a different field. You can either study Master’s degree or Postgraduate Diploma (PGDip) for anywhere between one and three years.

Cost of Studying Nursing

Of course, before you begin your application, the main thing to consider is the cost of studying in this country. Apart from being world toppers in matters of education, the U.K. universities also rank among the most expensive in the world. As such, commencing studies without any financial support could be a nightmare for any international learner.

For instance, tuition fees at the University of Liverpool are £9,250 and £21,300 for EU-based and non-EU students respectively. On average, you might be looking at between £10,000 and £14,000 for undergraduate courses and up to £21,000 for postgraduate programs. You will need to be able to finance the cost in order to study nursing in the United Kingdom.

The cost of living is equally high for foreign students in the UK. Of course, the exact amount of money required will depend on your spending habits, lifestyle, and budget. You might need approximately £990 to service your monthly bills and other expenses. Therefore, to get a Visa you must have at least £820 per month or £1,020 for those planning to live within London.

Fortunately, international students are allowed to attend apprenticeships as a way of sharpening their skills while also earning some cash. However, there are some governmental restrictions that you must adhere to since they are considered regular jobs.

Students from EU countries enjoy the same benefits as home students. As such, one is eligible to student loans and other financial support available to local students. Non-EU-based students don’t enjoy these benefits. However, the UK government offers a certain amount of tuition fee and maintenance loans to these learners. The amount you can access may vary with the university and the academic level chosen.

Requirements to Study Nursing

Every university sets its entry criteria, which means there is no standard set of requirements that applies to all institutions. Nevertheless, you are likely to need three A-levels and supporting GSEs (math, English, and science).

For instance, EU-based applicants (educated under a non-British system) to the University of Liverpool must submit qualifications that include a science component that would qualify them for a degree program in their country. In addition, you must complete a Declaration of Criminal Background form given that you’ll be handling vulnerable individuals.

The requirements may vary for those who are residents of non-EU countries. Therefore, make sure to consult your university of choice first before making any further progress. You will definitely need to meet the requirements to study nursing in the United Kingdom as an international student.

If you feel lost in the process, we made a guide on How to Study in the United Kingdom for International Students. I highly recommend you to check out the guide!

In What Languages Do You Study Nursing in the United Kingdom?

As you would expect, English is the official and main language used across all institutions. Therefore, you’ll need to understand both written and spoken English if you want a great experience. The University of Glasgow, for instance, demands that you provide IELTS results with an overall score of 7.0 (6.5 in writing and 7.0 in oral sections) or equivalent scores in the Occupational English Test (OET).

Best Nursing Schools in the United Kingdom

1. University of Liverpool

The nursing programs offered at the University of Liverpool are aimed at equipping the students with the necessary skills to face various challenges in the field. The knowledge and attributes gained from these courses are up-to-date and relevant in the current context of health care.

The Bachelor‘s degree at this nursing school in the UK takes three years to complete within which you’ll also get a chance to gain clinical experience both within the U.K. and abroad. Postgraduate programs are designed to nurture professional practitioners ready to advance their knowledge in the field. If you opt for full-time studies, you could complete your postgraduate course within 12 months.

2. University of Glasgow

The University of Glasgow is not only among the leading institutions but also is one of the best nursing schools in the United Kingdom. The Bachelor’s degree is designed to instill necessary knowledge into students who are just starting off their career in nursing. The course takes four years and learners get a chance to practice their skills in clinical settings such as hospital wards. The university requires a 100% attendance rate for one to successfully complete their studies.

Postgraduate nursing programs at the University of Glasgow include MSc and Ph.D. The former takes about one year while the latter requires up to four years for full-time students. Part-time studies are also available and you could spend two and five years for masters and doctorate programs respectively. The primary objective of postgrad programs is to nurture a student’s research skills.

3. Keele University

Keele University’s School of Nursing is one of the top nursing schools in the United Kingdom, and it offers several programs designed to help grow students on various fronts within the field. The Bachelor’s degree has four different disciplines (adult, children, mental health, and midwifery nursing). The overall objective of all four fields is to equip students with the required skills in the modern healthcare setting. Each program runs for three academic years.

The skills acquired from the bachelor’s program or any other undergrad course are strengthened through postgraduate programs such as MSc in Adult Nursing. The aim is not only to assess and plan but also to implement ideas. All postgraduate nursing programs also focus on person-centered service delivery, hence ensuring that students understand how to meet the needs of each patient.


I hope that this article was helpful. If you are interested, visit the UK Scholarships Page.