Nursing Associate Higher Apprenticeship

Download the apprenticeship factsheet

Level: 5 (Foundation degree apprenticeship)

Course duration: Typically 28 months (27 months practical training plus 1 month EPA)

Next start date: September 2024

Mode of delivery: Classroom study (1 day per week)


The Nursing Associate Higher Apprenticeship broadens available routes into the healthcare profession, and helps both new and existing healthcare employees take the next step in their career by developing their skills, knowledge and experience.

The Nursing Associate standard is mapped against the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) standards for Nursing Associates (2018). Upon successful completion, apprentices will also achieve a foundation degree (FdSc) in the subject.

UK Partnerships and Apprenticeships

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Who is it for?

This apprenticeship is ideal for new and existing healthcare support workers (HCSWs), and healthcare employers interested in forming collaborative partnerships to be at the forefront of evidence-informed clinical practice.

Entry criteria and costs

The cost of the Apprenticeship for 2024/25 entry (drawn down from the monthly employer levy): £15,000 (subject to annual review)

Apprentices should be employed in a suitable role with direct application of patient or client care. This can be in varied health and social care settings - but all applicants must demonstrate understanding of expected professional behaviours & values, in accordance with the NMC Code.

As a norm, entrants should hold one of the following:

  • a work-based level 3 qualification relevant to health & social care (such as an advanced apprenticeship); or
  • a Level 3 NVQ or other vocational award relevant to health & social care; or
  • BTEC / A-Level qualifications in relevant human biology / health & social care subjects

as well as:

  • hold English and Maths Level 2 equivalent to GCSE A*-C or 9-4
  • be eligible to join the Apprenticeship scheme in England

How to apply

We welcome employers and individuals to contact the Apprenticeships Team by completing the expression of interest form below. Once submitted, we will be in touch to outline your next steps and/or arrange a meeting with the Faculty.

Learning outcomes

  • FdSc Nursing Associate awarded by Oxford Brookes
  • Professional registration with the Nursing and Midwifery Council
  • Enhanced care delivery across health and care settings
  • Skills required for evidence-based practice
  • A problem-solving approach to clinical practice
  • Professionalism and accountability
  • Communication and interpersonal skills
  • Teamwork and leadership

Teaching overview

Core learning is typically delivered over 27 months. Apprentices attend campus for one day- a-week, and combine classroom study with their ongoing job role. Apprentices also complete 480 hours of contrasting placements across the programme duration.

Study modules

Year 1

  • Study skills for foundation degrees
  • Practice-Based Learning 1
  • Science for Health and Social Care
  • Specialist Care Skills Therapeutic Caring
  • Practice Based Learning 2
  • Applied Social Science for Health Care Professionals

Year 2

  • Social Policy and Welfare Systems
  • Specialist Care Skills Therapeutic Caring 2
  • Practice-Based Learning 3
  • Applied Evidence to Practice
  • Legal and Ethical Aspects of Care
  • Practice-Based Learning 4

End Point Assessment

On successful completion of the modules above and the required work-based placements, apprentices are entered for the End Point Assessment (EPA).

This programme has an integrated EPA, so there are no additional assessments as part of this apprenticeship route. The final examination board, the oversight of an external examiner and finally informing the NMC of successful completion are defined as stages of the EPA.

The Oxford Brookes experience

  • The Oxford School of Nursing and Midwifery (OSN+M) is an innovative partnership that seeks to be at the forefront of research-driven education, clinical practice and high-quality healthcare research.
  • In collaboration with other universities and healthcare providers, OSN+M enjoys an international reputation in healthcare research, with the majority of it considered world-leading (Research Excellence Framework assessment 2014).
  • The programme team are all registered professionals who all hold extensive healthcare and teaching experience in their field.
  • Integration of the teaching, learning and support that the University offers alongside mentoring and training offered within your healthcare setting.

Employers we work with

Below are some of the employers we are pleased to work with to deliver our Nursing Associate Higher Apprenticeship. We also welcome the opportunity to work with new organisations who may be interested in partnering with Oxford Brookes.