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A picture to illustrate studying nursing at The Open University

Entry to the pre-registration nursing programme at the OU requires you to be sponsored by your employer.

Nursing is a demanding and responsible profession, but it’s also a very rewarding one. You have the satisfaction of knowing that you’re making a real difference to people’s experiences of illness and in promoting the health of individuals and communities. Nursing adults in the NHS or a private hospital or clinic may appeal to you, or you may want to specialise in mental health nursing in any of these settings. The pre-registration nursing programme is an exciting, innovative, work-based learning programme but also a demanding one, leading to a BSc (Hons) in Nursing and registered nurse status.

Because we offer the programme in partnership with employers, you can’t register yourself. Your employer must register you as part of a group. To check if we are commissioned by your local health authority go to or contact our Student Registration & Enquiry Service for further information. Further information can also be found on the Faculty of Health & Social Care website.

At post-registration level, you can still develop your skills and knowledge while continuing to earn. If you already hold a nursing diploma, study the BSc (Hons) Nursing Practice for a great way of gaining a degree on a part-time basis while continuing to work. We also offer the postgraduate programme in Advancing Healthcare Practice.

Degrees ( More about Degrees
More about Degrees

Undergraduate or bachelors degrees are nationally recognised qualifications consisting of academic study designed to help you gain a thorough understanding of a subject.

For a degree in a named subject, such as business studies or humanities, you'll study mainly in your chosen subject, although you may be able to include some modules from other subjects.

With The Open University you could also study an Open degree where you can combine a range of modules from similar or different subjects to suit either your particular career or personal interests.

You can use a degree to:

  • change careers or progress your current career
  • gain an in-depth knowledge and understanding of a subject you are interested in
  • gain professional recognition
  • go onto postgraduate study, such as a diploma or masters degree.

  • Adult Nursing
    This degree in adult nursing is a work-based learning route to the professional qualification of Registered Nurse on the NMC register.
  • Mental Health Nursing
    This degree in mental health nursing is a work-based learning route to the professional qualification of Registered Nurse on the NMC register.
  • Nursing Practice
    If you’re a practising registered nurse, you can gain this honours degree while cultivating a person-centred approach to your work with patients, their carers and families.

Certificates of Higher Education ( More about Certificates of Higher Education
More about Certificates of Higher Education

A Certificate of Higher Education (CertHE) is a nationally recognised qualification focusing on either a particular job or profession, or academic study. Equivalent to the first year of a full honours degree, they are the most basic level of qualification that can be gained in higher education and show that you are capable of studying successfully at university level.

You can use a CertHE to:

  • gain confidence to study successfully at university level
  • change careers or progress your current career
  • build on your existing experience and gain new skills
  • gain a broad introduction to a subject you are interested in
  • achieve a foundation degree, DipHE or full honours degree through additional study.

Getting started with an Access module

There are two ways to start a qualification. If you haven’t studied for a long time or need to build your confidence, beginning your studies with an Access module may be the right choice for you.

Choose a qualification to find out more.

Study a module as a standalone course

You can study a single module on its own for personal interest or to improve your career prospects. See the list of all our individual courses in Nursing.

Postgraduate options

If you already have a degree, you may want to see postgraduate courses and qualifications in Health and Social Care.

Are you already an OU student ? Go to StudentHome for information on choosing your next module.

Studying outside of UK and Europe?

If you live outside of the UK, Republic of Ireland and Europe, please visit our website for international students.

Your questions

Try our frequently asked questions.

Come and meet us at an event near you.

Or contact an adviser by Email or call +44(0) 845 300 60 90 +44(0) 845 366 60 35

Employers' questions

Contact Corporate Enquiries
Visit our website for employers or Email us

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