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Nursing MNurs

Start date
4 years
UCAS code
Course Type
Undergraduate, Single Honours

Annual tuition fees for 2019/20 are:
£9,250 (Home/EU) 
More details on fees and funding

Ranked 7th in the Complete University Guide 2020, the School of Nursing at Birmingham is partnered with NHS Trusts at the heart of one of the largest healthcare regions in the UK, providing you with excellent learning opportunities for your development as a nurse. 

In 2019, the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) announced that all universities who offer nursing courses must implement new education standards. As part of this requirement, from 2020 entry, we are offering the following individual MNurs Nursing courses:

This innovative Masters of Nursing programme will supply you with the knowledge, skills and competencies required to become a registered nurse in adult, mental health or children’s nursing practice. Your development as a future leader in nursing will be enhanced through the development of clinical, research, leadership and quality improvement which are taken at Masters level. The School of Nursing has an active research programme and students undertaking the Master of Nursing will be aligned with one of our themes for the final year of the programme.

You will be able to develop, manage, evaluate and disseminate the findings of a clinical research or improvement project in conjunction with the clinical academic and nursing management team. Through your extended knowledge of physiology and physiological changes to the clinical assessment of patients you will be able to recommend the use of diagnostic techniques to inform clinical nursing decisions.

The programme is regulated by The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC). Students follow the University of Birmingham and NMC Code.

First year (Foundation year)

Your first year will provide you with the experience of nursing in Adult, Mental Health and Child and Public Health clinical settings before continuing on with your chosen speciality. As well as examining these areas through academic study, you will gain invaluable practical experience by completing 3 placements in each of these fields of nursing practice.

You will study what makes people healthy through the study of biological, psychological and social sciences and you will gain an appreciation of the physical, psychological and social needs of patients and their families. You will learn the core clinical and academic skills needed in order to gain an understanding of professional practice.

Second year

You will study clinical modules specific to your field of practice and core modules which support your development as a nurse, these include the study of evidence-based practice and healthcare in a social economic and political environment. There are 3 field specific clinical placements in hospital and community settings in your second year.

At the end of the second year you have the opportunity to undertake a 4 week elective experience, either overseas or in the United Kingdom. (UK) In the UK electives can be arranged in hospices, prisons and other specialist units. International electives can be in health care settings in any continent of the world. Examples of countries where students have visited recently include Australia, Sri Lanka, The Philippines, Thailand, Tanzania, Greece, Canada and the USA. The elective enables you to experience differences in culture, clinical practice, healthcare systems and languages, which will benefit you as a Registered Nurse when managing care for people from different backgrounds and also gives an understanding of nursing as a global profession. It gives you the opportunity to further develop your self-confidence and organisational skills, through arranging your own elective experience with the support and guidance of academic staff.

To progress onto year 3 of the Master of Nursing programme, you will need to have achieved an average of 55% or above in your assessed work at this stage. If you have passed all elements but your average grade is below 55% you will be transferred to the final year of the Bachelor of Nursing programme in order to complete your studies and achieve eligibility for nursing registration.

Depending on available places, academic and practice record, there may also be an opportunity for students on the BNurs to transfer onto the MNurs at the end of year two.

Listen to our podcasts on nursing students experiences on electives

Third year

In year three you will continue to study for your chosen field and will complete two specialist modules and assessed field placements. You will be able to explore future nursing careers in more depth including a negotiated short work based experience (up to four weeks) of your choice. This could include shadowing a relevant manager or management role, working in a research or clinical academic team or a short internship.  You will develop further your knowledge of pathophysiology to underpin the clinical assessment and diagnosis module in year four. The research governance module is taken at Masters level and will prepare you for the ethical study and practice of clinical nursing research in year four.

Fourth year

Year four is studied completely at Masters level and there is a strong focus on the development of research and leadership. You will work in student teams with a relevant clinical academic and with practice partners to refine and develop a research project which will take place throughout the academic year. This will be supported by teaching and supervision of research methodology and evidence critique.

To enhance your clinical development you will take a laboratory based module in clinical assessment and diagnostics that will develop your clinical examination skills and knowledge of related diagnostic testing.

Your final twelve week assessed management placement will be supported by your systematic development in leadership and management. The leadership module uses an action learning approach to help you evaluate and manage risk, consider safe delegation and supervision decisions, manage change and facilitate own and others learning.


You will be continually assessed on clinical placements and be supported by a Registered Nurse mentor who has undertaken a NMC approved mentor preparation course. At the University of Birmingham, you will have the opportunity to practice nursing in some of the country's leading healthcare trusts ranging from primary care, to acute care and also tertiary centres of excellence in the Birmingham and Solihull area. You will undertake a range of diverse and exciting clinical placements, gaining a variety of experiences with a wide range of client groups, under the guidance of skilled clinicians.

In order to maximise your learning experience on clinical placements, practice placement teams organise teaching sessions, student forums and provide on-going clinical support for mentors and nursing students. Clinical link tutors from the University of Birmingham also provide support and guidance for students and mentors, facilitating student forums on clinical link tutor visit days and visiting placement areas regularly.

Adult field of practice

You will have placements in hospital settings, with the opportunity to work in medicine, surgery, accident and emergency, critical care, rehabilitation and older adults. In the community you will work in hospices, intermediate care and with district nurses and other specialist healthcare professionals. More information on placement areas can be found on the following websites:

Mental Health field of practice

You will have the opportunity to work with children and adolescents through to older adults with mental health problems. You will work in community, residential and hospital settings, gaining a wide range of clinical skills. More information can be found on the Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health Foundation Trust website.

Child field of practice

Your placements will focus on the child and their family; you will work in local nurseries, communities and hospitals, as well as the internationally renowned Diana, Princess of Wales, Children's Hospital. More information can be found on the following websites:


Modules in the first year

The first year of the programme is unique in that it provides you with an introduction to the theory and the practice of Adult, Mental Health, Child and Public Health Nursing. As well as examining these areas through academic study, you will gain invaluable practical experience by completing 3 placements in each of these fields of nursing practice.

  • 30 credits - Biological Sciences and Clinical Skills for Nurses
  • 20 credits - Evidence Based Practice
  • 40 credits - Principles of Nursing
  • 30 credits - Public Health and Child Development

Modules in the second year

You will develop your clinical nursing and managerial skills further whilst studying clinical modules specific to your field of practice and core modules which support your development as a nurse, these include the study of evidence-based practice and healthcare in a social economic and political environment. There are 3 field specific clinical placements in hospital and community settings in your second year.

Core modules

  • 30 credits - Research for Professional Practice

Adult field of practice

  • 30 credits - Acute Adult nursing
  • 30 credits - Long-term conditions (Adult)
  • 30 credits - Principles of assessment in Adult Nursing

Mental Health field of practice

  • 30 credits - Assessment, framework, and interventions in Mental Health
  • 30 credits - Nursing older people 
  • 30 credits - Principles of Mental Health Nursing

Child field of practice

  • 30 credits - Children staying healthy
  • 30 credits - Children's planned care 
  • 30 credits - Principles of Children's Nursing

Modules in the third year

 You will continue to develop your specialist field knowledge and skills which will be linked to two specialist clinical placements. At the same time you will begin to prepare for Masters level study by furthering your knowledge on pathophysiology and you will complete a Masters level module in research governance. In the second semester you will further your knowledge of potential nursing career pathways through negotiated learning.

Core modules

  • 20 credits - Cultural diversity in nursing 
  • 20 credits - Pathophysiology for Nurses
  • 20 credits - Negotiated career development for Nurses
  • 20 credits - Project management and research governance 

Adult Field of practice

  • 20 credits - Care of the critically ill Adult
  • 20 credits - Supportive care for Adults

Mental Health field of practice

  • 20 credits - Promoting Mental Health recovery and wellbeing
  • 20 credits - The effective practitioner (MH)

Child field of practice

  • 20 credits - Long term conditions and supportive care for children
  • 20 credits - Children’s critical care

Modules in the fourth year

In year 4 all students will follow the same core modules. The aim and focus of this year is to develop your research and leadership knowledge at Masters level. You will also develop your clinical assessment and diagnostic skills further within a simulated clinical learning environment. You will complete the course with a 12 week long assessed clinical placement in your field of practice. During this placement your clinical assessment will focus on the development of your leadership and management competency and final achievement of all NMC standards.

  • 20 credits - Creating and applying evidence
  • 20 credits - Clinical assessment, diagnostics and decision making
  • 40 credits - Developing clinical enquiry
  • 40 credits - Leading and managing care teams (with 12 weeks of continuous practice in field of practice)

Please note: The modules listed on the website for this programme are regularly reviewed to ensure they are up-to-date and informed by the latest research and teaching methods. Unless indicated otherwise, the modules listed for this programme are for students starting in 2019. On rare occasions, we may need to make unexpected changes to compulsory modules; in this event we will contact offer holders as soon as possible to inform or consult them as appropriate.


We charge an annual tuition fee. Fees for 2019/20 entry are as follows:

  • Home/EU: £9,250

For UK students beginning their studies in September 2019, the University of Birmingham will charge the maximum approved tuition fee per year. The fees for your first year of study will therefore be £9,250. Visit our tuition fees page for more information.

For EU students applying for the 2020/21 academic year

The UK Government has confirmed that EU students will continue to be eligible for 'home fee status' for entry in September 2020, and will continue to have access to financial support available via student loans for the duration of their course. For more information take a look at the website.

Standard offer

International Requirements

Number of A levels required:
Typical offer:
General Studies:
Not accepted, but a good performance may be taken into account if you fail to meet the conditions of your offer

All applicants must meet in full both the GCSE and Level 3/higher qualification entry requirements for the Masters of Nursing programme. The only exception to meeting the GCSE requirements in full applies to some Access applicants, please see the relevant section below for more details.

Please note all previous academic study will be considered when assessing the suitability of applicants for interview.

GCSE requirements: 

5 GCSEs at grade C/4 or above which must include English, Mathematics and a Science subject. We do not accept level 2 equivalents e.g. BTEC, Key skills

Preferred subjects and grades: Biology, Psychology or Sociology A level, and two others. Welsh Baccalaureate at grade B can substitute one of the A Levels.

Edexcel Level 3 extended project: Grade A in the Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) is accepted in addition to 3 A Levels (of equivalent level 3 qualifications). You would be made a variable offer e.g. BBB or BBC plus A in the EPQ.

BTEC Extended Diploma in Health and Social Care or Applied Science accepted. Grades required - DDD
BTEC Diploma considered on a case by case basis when combined with an A level (typical offer DD plus A)
BTEC Subsidiary Diploma considered on a case by case basis when combined with 2 A levels

You must also meet in full the GCSE entry requirements for the programme (see above).

International Baccalaureate Diploma: 32 points with 3 subjects at higher level graded 6, 5, 5. You must also meet in full the GCSE entry requirements for the programme (see above).

Access to Higher Education (Health or Science): 60 credits with a minimum of 45 credits at level 3 at distinction (to include study of Physiology or Biology) and 15 credits at level 2. You must meet the GCSE entry requirements in full for the programme (as above). However, if it is more than 5 years since you took your GCSE’s and you also have 2 years full time paid work experience in health and social care, you are only required to have GCSE English, Mathematics and Science at grade C or above.

Graduate Entry Requirements: Bachelor degree minimum 2:1 or Masters or PhD. You must also meet in full the GCSE entry requirements for the programme (see above).

International students: We will consider overseas qualifications that are recognised and deemed to be equivalent to the above entry requirements.

Additional information

During 2014, the Department of Nursing has also reviewed its screening and selection processes to ensure that they are mapped against the NHS Values within the NHS Constitution. This work complies with the requirements of Health Education England’s  ‘National Framework for Values Based Recruitment’ which was published in October 2014 and includes a Case Study on work undertaken by the Department of Nursing at the University of Birmingham, which can be accessed on  Page 91 of this document.

Shortlisting takes place prior to candidates being invited to attend for a face to face interview. Shortlisting is based on consideration of your:

  • Personal statement 
  • Actual or predicted grades 
  • Reference

Both within your personal statement and at interview, we are looking for evidence of the following:

  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills 
  • A clear understanding of the University of Birmingham Masters in Nursing programme 
  • Enthusiasm for a career in nursing and having a desire to make a difference within healthcare 
  • Understanding of what a nurse does and the values and personal qualities that make a good nurse 
  • Skills and knowledge gained when undertaking relevant work experience or voluntary work 
  • Experience of working in a healthcare setting or experience of being a carer or a service user 
  • Knowledge of current national issues within nursing and healthcare 
  • Skills acquired whilst undertaking Edexcel level 3 extended project 
  • Capacity for independent study 
  • Awareness of equal opportunities and cultural diversity

Even though at the University of Birmingham you are not applying to study a specific field of nursing, we acknowledge that your personal statement on your UCAS form will state that you are applying for a specific field of nursing because you are applying to other universities. However, if you are shortlisted to attend for interview we will expect you to have a clear understanding of our common foundation year.

Please be aware that meeting the minimum requirements for entry, does not guarantee you an interview or an offer of a place on the programme.

Disability and dyslexia advice and support

The University of Birmingham has a positive view of what candidates with disabilities can achieve as future healthcare professionals and we take seriously our obligation to make reasonable adjustments to ensure that all students with disabilities can successfully complete their studies. All applicants will be assessed up to and including the interview, based on the criteria outlined above regardless of any disability. If you declare a disability we will invite you to work with us together with the disability team, clinical colleagues and specialist services to explore how best we can support your studies. Find out more about disability and dyslexia advice and support at the University of Birmingham.

Realising Opportunities programme

Realising Opportunities (RO) is a unique collaboration of 12 leading Universities, working together to promote fair access and social mobility of students from under-represented groups. Students are supported through a coherent programme of activities designed to raise their aspirations to progress to research intensive Universities.

Applications through UCAS to RO Partner universities from participating students will be given additional consideration with the potential to receive an alternative RO offer from many Partners.

Find out further information at the Realising Opportunities website. Ask your school or college if they are involved in this programme.

Access to Birmingham (A2B) scheme

The Access to Birmingham (A2B) scheme is designed to help students from families and communities in the West Midlands who have little or no experience of Higher Education find out about what studying at University involves.

A2B applicants:

  • Receive an offer 2 grades lower than the standard offer e.g. BBC 
  • If you achieve the standard offer grades, you may be eligible for an annual £1200 scholarship. This is awarded in addition to any other bursary or grant you are eligible for. 
  • Complete an on-line study support module and an assignment which is marked by the University

Find out more about the scheme and eligibility to apply at the Access to Birmingham website.

Conditions of offers and programme requirements

If you do decide to accept a place at the University of Birmingham you are required to comply with the following:

  • Achievement of the academic requirements for entry to the Masters of Nursing 
  • A satisfactory health declaration, including evidence of appropriate immunisations and Occupational Health clearance if required - details of this can be found on our Health and Immunisation Forms page
  • Clearance from the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS), previously known as Criminal Record Bureau. (CRB) checks.  
  • You sign and adhere to the ‘University Code of Professional Practice and Fitness to Practice’ thereby agreeing to certain levels of conduct, behaviour and health whilst studying on the Masters of Nursing programme. Details of which will be forwarded with an offer letter. 
  • On commencement of the course, provide original copies of academic certificates and photo identification. These will be photocopied and kept on your personal file, in order to comply with NHS fraud requirements 
  • Accept that your preferred field of practice choice at the end of Year 1 cannot be guaranteed 
  • Agree to travel to clinical placements in hospitals and the community, in the Birmingham and Solihull area 
  • Agree to undertake shifts including early morning, afternoon, evening and night duty on week days, weekends and bank holidays, both within hospitals and community settings 
  • Comply with uniform and infection control policy on clinical placement 
  • Holidays are fixed and not negotiable, students have 2 weeks at Christmas, 2 weeks at Easter and 6 weeks in the summer

International Students

We can only accept applications from those considered as home fee status.

At Birmingham, you’ll learn from learing experts in world-class settings, thereby receiving a rich diversity of academic knowledge and experience.

You will experience a blended learning approach. This will include face to face learning through lectures, workshops, simulation, laboratory practical sessions, group work, seminars and seminar presentations enquiry-based and action learning. Throughout your studies, you will have access to Nursing SCRIPT, an eLearning programme to support your knowledge acquisition around medicines management and optimisation.

You will also be expected to learn through directed learning and reflective activities on our virtual learning environment. You will need to extend your learning through your own independent study in which you develop your knowledge through your own reflection, reading, thinking and writing.

As you progress through the course there will be a greater emphasis on directed and independent learning in order to enable you to explore the knowledge of most relevance and interest to your developing professional practice. Time is given in the course for this through reading weeks and independent study days.

Over the period of the course you will spend a minimum of 2300 hours in allocated clinical practice placements where learning and practice will be supervised by a qualified nursing mentor and other registered nurses.  In years 2, 3 and 4, these will be field specific placements.  All allocated placements are assessed and must be passed in order to complete the course. 

Teaching staff for this course

Many of our teaching staff have published important works about their areas of expertise, whilst others have taught at international institutions and can offer unique perspectives of their subjects.

For more information about staff in the school, their qualifications, publication history and specific areas of interest, visit the School of Nursing staff profile page.

Student support

You will have access to a comprehensive support network that will assist and help you to deal with any problems that arise throughout your studies.

In addition, the Student Services Centre, which based in the Medical School on main campus, offers many services from drop in sessions for advice and guidance, referral to internal and external services and support regarding extenuating circumstances.

You’ll also be assigned a personal tutor for the duration of your time with us. Your personal tutor will be an academic staff member that teaches on the Nursing course.  If there are particular areas where you need support you will be able to address this with your tutors.

Our Academic Skills Centre also offers you support with your learning. The centre is a place where you can develop your mathematical, academic writing and general academic skills. It is the centre’s aim to help you to become a more effective and independent learner through the use of a range of high-quality and appropriate learning support services. These range from drop-in sessions with support with mathematics and statistics based problems provided by experienced mathematicians, to workshops on a range of topics including note talking, reading, writing and presentation skills.

Contact Hours

Through all four years of the MNurs programme you will be taught in study blocks. During these blocks, the teaching day will start between 9 and 10 am and end between 3 and 4pm, though lectures may take place outside of these hours – you are required to attend 100% of all face-to-face, timetabled sessions, and you will need to do directed and independent study throughout the course. Blocks of teaching are followed by clinical practice, and when in practice you will often work the same shift pattern as your mentor, including days, nights, weekends and bank holidays (if they occur during your allocated placement). 

Along with the University based study, 50% of the programme is undertaken in clinical placements in the first two years. In these settings you will work in a range of teams and apply your University studies to practice. You will have the opportunity to develop your clinical and leadership skills with the support of a Registered Nurse mentor. A mentor is a qualified nurse who has undertaken further training in order to help students learn about nursing. This blend of practice based and academic learning underpins the programme and focuses on the key elements of professional practice. The University of Birmingham has excellent links with a variety of local NHS trusts, ensuring that we can provide the best opportunities for your clinical training.

Assessment Methods

As a Nursing student, you will be assessed in a variety of ways, and these may be different with each module that you take. You will be assessed through exams, coursework assignments, placements, Objective Structured Clinical Examinations (OSCEs), dissertation and presentations.

Practice is assessed through a continuous assessment of practice (CAP) document in each placement. 

During your first year you will undergo a formal ‘transition’ review to see how you are getting on and if there are particular areas where you need support. This is in addition to the personal tutor who is based in your school or department and can help with any academic issues you encounter.

At the beginning of each module, you’ll be given information on how and when you’ll be assessed for that particular programme of study. You’ll receive timely feedback on each assessment, so that you can learn from and build on what you have done. You’ll be given feedback on any exams that you take; if you should fail an exam we will ensure that particularly detailed feedback is made available to enable you to learn for the future.

On graduation and qualification you will have a highly regarded degree and eligibility to register with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) to practice as a Registered Nurse.

This programme is designed to enhance your future career development in nursing. You will have a thorough grounding in the study and practice of nursing, including concepts of health derived from the study of the biological and social sciences, professional studies and communication skills, together with the professional disciplinary knowledge and understanding of your preferred field of practice of nursing (Adult, Mental Health or Child).

There is high local demand for graduate nurses and on gaining employment as a registered nurse, you will then undergo a period of preceptorship and practice development.

Our nursing graduates are highly valued and the majority seeking nursing positions have secured employment or pursued further career-related training on completing the programme. Many of our graduates stay in the Birmingham area and work in the NHS, others move on to take up appointments in the UK and overseas. There are many varied career opportunities for nursing in clinical practice, management, research and education. Extensive restructuring in nursing as a profession and within the NHS means that a good career structure is now in place.

If you wish to follow a research related career you will need to apply to a PhD and can gain further information about this during your Masters study. For those hoping to advance their clinical or management careers, the Masters level study may be helpful in supporting your future application to these roles. 

Our unique careers guidance service, Careers Network, offers a specialised team who can give you expert advice. Our team source exclusive work experience opportunities to help you stand out amongst the competition, with mentoring, global internships and placements available to you. Once you have a career in your sights, one-to-one support with CV’s and job applications will help give you the edge. In addition, our employer-endorsed award-winning Personal Skills Award (PSA) recognises your extra-curricular activities, and provides an accredited employability programme designed to improve your career prospects.

We also offer voluntary work which complements your studies by helping you gain practical experiences in occupational settings while contributing back to society. This can bring new skills that will be useful throughout your future and can make a positive impact on your learning whilst at university. Volunteering enables you to develop skills such as communication, interpersonal skills, teamwork, self-confidence and self-discipline all of which can be transferred into your studies.

Professional Accreditation

Satisfactory completion of the MNurs Nursing programme provides you with the eligibility to register with the Nursing and Midwifery Council as a Registered Nurse. (Adult, Mental Health or Child).

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