• Childrens Nursing

Nursing (Children's)

BSc (Hons) - single

Oxford School of Nursing and Midwifery

Approved by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC)

Children's nurses need to be able to demonstrate competence in the fundamentals of nursing care across people's lifespan, with a particular focus on meeting the needs of children and families.

We recognise that as the context of healthcare delivery is changing, it is essential for nurses to be able to work flexibly, inter-professionally and collaboratively in a way that is meaningful and relevant.

This new and exciting curriculum is designed to give graduating Children's Nurses the knowledge, skills and attitudes required to influence improvements in practice, and support them to develop their own professional responsibility towards advancing the profession.

This three-year pre-registration BSc (Hons) degree gives you the chance to undertake a Children's Nursing course leading to registration with the Nursing and Midwifery Council. The course is available part-time and full-time on the Oxford campus.

This course is open to International students from Sept 2018. More information can be found on our What You Need to Know page.

Typical offers

UCAS Tariff points: 120 - including a science subject, preferably Biology or Human Biology. *Please note due to the competitive nature of this course, meeting the tariff alone does not guarantee shortlisting to interview as applications are assess holistically.

Available start dates

September 2019 / September 2020

Teaching location

Headington Campus, Marston Road site

Course length

  • Full time: 3 years; previously qualified, post-experience nurses (except children's nurses) may complete in a shorter period, depending on entry credit
  • Part time: 8 years maximum

UCAS code


For full application details, please see the 'How to apply / Entry requirements' section.

The Children’s Nursing course prepares you to be a confident, professional practitioner, able to care for children and families within an ever changing health and social care environment.
  • We offer a wide variety of practice experiences in hospital and community settings with children and young people with many differing health care needs and their families
  • We are a modern University with a very friendly and supportive environment in which to learn. We offer excellent teaching facilities, including dedicated space for simulated learning within clinical skills suites.
  • Our teaching is strengthened by the involvement of service users and carers and expert lecturers from clinical practice.
  • At Brookes, we teach the skills for evidence-based practice and encourage our students to develop a problem-solving approach to clinical practise. We instil confidence in our students to enable them to use their own clinical and professional judgement in order to influence practice.
  • We have an excellent track record of high levels of student satisfaction, low student attrition rates and high graduate employability.
  • We provide a range of support services for students, such as academic advisors, who support your academic development, and student support co-ordinators who provide a drop-in service to help answer any queries you may have about any aspect of student life, covering both academic and personal welfare.
  • Information technology plays an increasingly important role in health care courses and an extensive range of learning resources can be accessed through ‘Brookes Virtual’ - an online repository of lectures, handouts, information and learning exercises.
  • We offer full-time, part-time or mixed mode patterns of study. 

The nursing curriculum has been developed in partnership with students, clinical partners, mentors, service users and carers. The design has taken account of key local, national and international policies and priorities. It follows a 'spiral' design to ensure that your learning in both practice and the University is structured incrementally from one year to the next, with a specific focus for each year. Early in the programme, the same modules are taken by all three fields of nursing (Children’s, Mental Health and Adult), with some shared learning with students on the MSc Nursing (Adult / Children’s / Mental Health) pre-registration programmes. In each year of the programme, you will have placements in your field of practice, with some taught content specific to your nursing field. However, there is increasing nursing field specialisation as the programme progresses to completion. There is also a progressive shift in focus on levels of complexity of nursing interventions, as indicated below.

  • Year 1 focuses on communities (local and national), health and wellbeing, lifespan and values. 
  • Year 2 enables you to explore specific nursing interventions, working in partnership with patients and their families to meet care outcomes.
  • Year 3 focuses on care of people with complex health needs, including those who may have numerous problems; this requires health and social care services to be integrated to promote optimal health outcomes. The focus in this year of study is primarily in the students’ designated field of nursing practice.

The BSc Nursing (Children’s) award aims to help students make a successful transition from applicant to registered nurse with a professional identity. Practice learning is a central theme to the programme. Children’s nursing students are supported to develop the skills necessary to deliver evidence based care. The ability to question practice, critically appraise and use clinical and professional judgement to influence practice is developed throughout the programme. We believe that this is fundamental to achieving high quality care. Students will learn to work both independently and collaboratively in teams, with individuals, families and communities. Students are supported to manage academic and professional development and identity.

Study modules

Some modules will be taught alongside students in other fields of nursing and on other health and social care courses to enable you to develop your understanding of multi-professional working. Note that although there is some scope for flexibility in module choice, this is restricted in pre-qualification courses owing to the demands of the professional requirements for registration.

If you are a qualified nurse (other than in children's nursing) and you wish to undertake a course leading to a second nursing registration, you will be asked to submit evidence of prior learning (theoretical and practical) in order to identify a suitable selection of modules and practice to meet your needs for professional development and the award.

Year 1

These core modules are taken by all pre-registration nursing students, with content applied to children's nursing:

Education in Nursing Practice 1

This module will give students an introduction to nursing practice. Students will have an introduction to foundation nursing knowledge and skills prior to starting their first practice placement.

Education in Nursing Practice 2

This module introduces further knowledge and skills to facilitate increased participation in the assessment, planning, implementation and evaluation of care. Students will be encouraged to consider the health of people within their practice population, and factors that impact upon the uptake of health promotion and prevention strategies within that population.

Nursing Fundamentals: Family Health and Wellbeing 1

This module introduces the student to the values, beliefs and factors that influence and underpin health and wellbeing from an individual, family and societal perspective, recognising diversity. It will consider how self-awareness and professional responsibility contribute to the development of the nurse and nursing.

Nursing Fundamentals: Family Health and Wellbeing 2

It introduces the underpinning frameworks and responsibilities for the organisation, assessment, planning, implementation and evaluation of holistic family/person-centred and compassionate nursing care in a variety of settings. It will explore physiological, psychological, societal, political and global influences on health and social care across the lifespan, recognising inequalities.

Years 2 and 3

Over years 2 and 3, the focus on specific children's nursing elements increases as the course progresses.  The core modules are:

Year 2

Education in Nursing Practice 3
This module aims to give students the opportunity to develop knowledge and apply a range of theoretical principles to practice that will promote effective communication and interpersonal relationships to enhance clinical decision making and evidence-based nursing practice.

Education in Nursing Practice 4
This module aims to give students the opportunity to build upon and acquire new knowledge and skills for clinical practice that will further explore ethical concepts and professional standards to support the care and self/family management of people within varied clinical settings.

Collaborative Nursing Practice
This practice-related module enables students to gain insight into how the diverse experiences of people and their families inform all stages of the nursing process in the delivery of physical and mental health care.

Research Methods and Analysis 
This module will teach you about the research process, the associated research methods, data analysis and the ethical considerations associated with health and social care research. 
It provides you with advanced skills to critique research and determine its usefulness for evidence based practice in preparation for honours degree dissertation 

Year 3
Education in Nursing Practice 5
This module will give students the opportunity to prepare for independent practice, considering strategies that promote teaching and learning; service improvement; safe staffing and delegation of care within a range of complex practice situations across the range of patient pathways experiences.

Education in Nursing Practice 6
This module aims to provide students with the opportunity to consolidate the skills, knowledge and strategies required to be an effective independent registrant.

Students will explore how effective leadership qualities can be used to work in partnership within diverse teams/agencies across professional and organisational boundaries. In collaboration with others they will develop their nursing practice through direct involvement in the assessment, management, planning and evaluation of care. Anatomy and physiology relevant to syllabus content will be explored though field specific skills based scenarios. By completion students will competently prioritise the care of a caseload of people with complex needs and /or in complex practice situations, across the range of patient pathway experiences.  

Nursing Children requiring complex care
Through enquiry-based learning, this practice-related module will enable students to identify and analyse issues related to the nursing care of children with complex health care needs in acute and community settings.

In this module students undertake an independent project under the guidance of an academic member of staff. Students will identify a research question and attempt to answer this research question by systematic study of the literature. 

Optional Modules available include:
Independent study
Health and Social Care Elective
The therapeutic use of touch
Global health
The sick neonate

Please note: our courses are reviewed regularly by the Nursing and Midwifery Council and, as a result, the list of modules may vary from that shown here.

Work placements

In the Children’s Nursing programme, 50% of learning is in clinical practice. We enjoy an excellent working partnership with our local health providers, collaborating closely with our clinical colleagues to plan and deliver your programme of learning. Students gain experience in a wide range of community and acute placement settings for the care of children and their families.  Placement areas have excellent national and international reputations for innovation and the quality of care offered.

Students are expected to work alongside their mentor and are required to work both day and night shifts, according to the shift pattern used within the practice setting. This allows the student to experience care as it is provided 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This is in accordance with NMC (2010) standards for pre-registration nursing education.

The course offers a very strong simulated practice experience, providing opportunities for students to practise professional skills in a simulated environment.

We offer a range of support mechanisms, within both the University and the placement areas. While on placement, you will be supported by a named member of staff from the placement known as a mentor, as well as a link lecturer from the University.

We have a dedicated Practice Education Unit (PEU) that provides administrative and academic support for placement learning/practice education for all pre-qualifying programmes. The PEU organises and allocates individual practice placements throughout your course of study.

Study abroad

As part of the optional health and social care elective module, students may spend part of the summer of their second year abroad, making up part of the requirements for a module credit.

Free language courses for students - the Open Module

Free language courses are available to full-time undergraduate and postgraduate students on many of our courses, and can be taken as a credit on some courses.

Please note that the free language courses are not available if you are:

  • studying at a Brookes partner college
  • studying on any of our teacher education courses or postgraduate education courses.

Additional costs

Further information on additional costs for healthcare courses can be found here.

Programme changes

On rare occasions we may need to make changes to our course programmes after they have been published on the website. For more information, please visit our Changes to programmes page.

Teaching and learning

We offer a very friendly and supportive environment in which to learn and we consistently receive very high satisfaction ratings for student support and learning resources in student surveys. All our courses adopt a student-centred approach to teaching and learning and are strongly focused on encouraging you to attain your full potential as a lifelong learner. 

The educational approach of this curriculum is based on how learners come to education courses with sets of established beliefs and values and how through critical reflection on these beliefs, students’ perspectives can be changed and transformed.

You will learn with students from your own and other fields of nursing (adult nursing, children’s nursing and mental health nursing) at the start of the course, with learning becoming more complex and field specific as you progress through the course. In health and social care, no professional group works in isolation. Learning to work collaboratively with others is a key component of the course, as it is essential in developing your teamwork skills and your understanding of others with different roles, who you will encounter in practice.

Your learning will be facilitated in partnership with practice and academic staff who meet professional standards and guidance. They will value you as an individual, enhance your strengths and challenge you in order that you can develop academically, personally and professionally. 

You will be encouraged to learn by discovery, helping you to identify your strengths and areas for development. You can then reach your personal and professional potential and become a confident, safe and effective professional registered nurse. 

Learning will be facilitated by a range of approaches during both the practice and university experiences such as:

  • Experiential learning eg practice learning, simulation, action-learning, debate and discussion, reflection.
  • Mentoring, coaching and supervising eg questioning, challenging, supporting, observing, giving and receiving feedback
  • Active learning eg projects, role-play, educating others such as patients, the public or peers.
  • Student-centred learning eg self-assessment, reading, finding evidence, production of resources
  • Blended and on-line learning: eg using digital resources such as ”virtual family‟, quizzes, specialist lectures
  • Use of technology and informatics eg social media and networking, mobile health (mHealth), Electronic Patient Records (EPR), big data and the professional boundaries required when using such technology.
  • Collaborative learning with other disciplines, interprofessional learning, cultures and agencies e.g. multi-professional team working and simulation, exploring global perspectives
  • Problem-based/solution-focussed learning eg small group working using complex, multi-faceted scenarios, prioritising or decision making in practice.
  • Simulation Based Education (SBE) is defined as any educational activity that utilises simulation aides to replicate clinical scenarios. The SBE activities will take place in the safe learning environment of the clinical skills suites, which replicates both community and acute settings. During SBE sessions you will have the opportunity to learn and refine both technical and non-technical skills including situational awareness and human factors.

Information technology plays an increasingly important role in health care courses, and a very extensive range of learning resources can be accessed through Moodle, an online repository of lectures, handouts, information and learning exercises. Several modules will utilise a virtual family as part of the learning experience. This consists of an imaginary family and uses a range of vignettes to provide interactive case studies for exploration at different points in the modular course.

As a BSc (Hons) Student, you will work alongside other undergraduate students as well as students undertaking the post graduate MSc or PG Cert Nursing award in some of the profession-specific modules. The differences between the programmes are clearly defined by your own specific course curricula and assessment strategies, with the level of attainment expected as indicated in the university level-specific marking criteria. The dual level teaching will afford you the opportunity to learn the core skills and specific attributes of nursing alongside the MSc/PG Cert students. 

The practice learning component of your course is comprised primarily of direct care experiences with children and families, complemented by a well-established clinical skills simulation programme which enables you to learn about and consolidate practice learning. In placement areas, you work with experienced children's nurses (known as mentors), also supported by link lecturers and other placement-related staff.

Each year, you will have ‘hub placements’ in hospital or community settings as well as shorter related ‘spoke’ placements. Whilst on your ‘hub’ placements, you will become part of the clinical team and gain valuable insights into the functioning of the practice areas and nursing career opportunities. Our students highly rate this placement approach, as it helps them feel more confident and competent as the year progresses. 

Your practice experience will include placements in a diverse range of settings.  These may include working within community health care teams (supported by a health visitor or school nurse), child and family mental health, children’s respite care, special-care baby unit, children’s intensive care or high-dependency care, community children’s nursing and emergency care.

Approach to assessment

As with all pre-registration nursing courses, the BSc Nursing (Children's) course is made up of 50% theory and 50% practice. Although the hours are separate, the assessments usually require integration of theory and practice learning. Assessment methods include essays, case studies, reflective assignments and other coursework, as well as individual and group presentations and a dissertation.

We fully engage in the University's Assessment Compact, which aims to collaborate with students to support their academic skill development needs (for example through providing formative feedback on draft assignments).

The practice component of the course is assessed through verification of achievement of practice competencies on your placements, grading of practice and annual assessments of competency in calculating drug dosages and sometimes IV fluid rates through ‘Safe Medicate’ online assessments.

Tuition fees

Home/EU - full time fee: 2018/19: £9,250. 2019/20: £9,250.

Home/EU - part time fee: 2018/19: £750 per single module. 2019/20: £750 per single module.

International - full time: 2018/19: £13,800 2019/20: £14,080

Please note tuition fees for Home/EU students may increase in subsequent years both for new and continuing students in line with an inflationary amount determined by government.

Oxford Brookes University intends to maintain its fees for new and returning home and EU students at the maximum permitted level.

Please be aware that some courses will involve some additional costs that are not covered by your fees. Specific additional costs for this course, if any, are detailed in the 'This course in detail' window above.

Questions about fees?
Contact Student Finance on:
+44 (0)1865 483088

Funding and scholarships

For general sources of financial support, see:

The Tessa Jane Evans Bursary for Nursing is designed to assist trainee student nurses with living expenses. You can find out more and fill in the application form here.

For general sources of financial support, see:

Typical offers

UCAS Tariff points: 120 - including a science subject, preferably Biology or Human Biology. *Please note due to the competitive nature of this course, meeting the tariff alone does not guarantee shortlisting to interview as applications are assess holistically.

A-Level: BBB or equivalent, normally including at least 1 science subject, with a preference for Biology or Human Biology

Wherever possible we make our conditional offers using the UCAS Tariff. This combination of A-level grades would be just one way of achieving the UCAS Tariff points for this course.

IB Diploma: 30 points with 5 at a higher grade

BTEC: DDM Health and Social Care or Science, with 5 GCSEs at grades A-C, including English, Mathematics and Science at grade B preferred

Access course: Pass the Access course with 60 credits overall; 45 at level 3 which should include 12 credits in Biology/Human Biology. English and maths level 2 credits will no longer be accepted as GCSE equivalencies. GCSE English and Maths are now required as separate qualifications.

Post-experience: registration as a first-level nurse (excepting Children's Nursing).

Specific entry requirements

GCSE: 5 GCSEs at Grade 4 (C), or above, including Mathematics, English Language and a Science subject.

Learning to become a children’s nurse is very rewarding but it can also be a demanding academic and professional pathway, as you need to meet both the university requirements for an award and the requirements for professional registration. Your course will involve longer periods of study and practice than are required for some other awards.

Caring for vulnerable children and their families is very fulfilling but it is important to recognise that it can be emotionally challenging too. We find that students enjoy their course and are more successful if they have carefully considered these factors and reflected on their personal readiness to embark upon a children's nursing career prior to starting the course. We are happy to talk through any individual concerns or queries you may have.

Securing a place is subject to both a satisfactory DBS and an Occupational Health clearance. If neither clearance has been completed prior to enrolment or a DBS issue has been declared on application, then enrolment may not be possible.

If enrolment has been agreed, then continuation on the programme will be contingent on satisfactory clearances.


All applicants will be screened for fitness for practice and a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check will be made.

Please also see the University's general entry requirements.

Selection process

All Oxford Brookes University Health and Social Care Programmes conduct Value Based Recruitment (VBR). We recognise that values and attitudes have the greatest impact on the quality of people's care and their experiences.

VBR is a way of helping our Programme recruitment teams to assess the values, motives and attitudes of those who wish to work with people in health and social care settings. When we refer to values we mean, for example, the values included in the NHS constitution.

VBR focuses on 'how' and 'why' an applicant makes choices in how they act and seeks to explore reasons for their behaviour. Further details about the VBR framework can be found here.

All shortlisted applicants will be invited for an interview.

English language requirements

An IELTS score of 7.0 in all areas is required for ALL applicants whose first language is not English.

NMC English language requirement advice 

Please also see the University's standard English language requirements

English requirements for visas

If you need a student visa to enter the UK you will need to meet the UK Visas and Immigration minimum language requirements as well as the University's requirements. Find out more about English language requirements.

How to apply

Note: This is a very popular course and is regularly oversubscribed. Therefore an early application is advised.

Second nursing registration applicants (post-experience): September entry through UCAS.

International applicants

Terms and Conditions of Enrolment

When you accept our offer, you agree to the Terms and Conditions of Enrolment. You should therefore read those conditions before accepting the offer.

Credit transfer

Oxford Brookes operates the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS). All undergraduate single modules are equivalent to 7.5 ECTS credits and double modules to 15 ECTS credits. More about ECTS credits.

Why Oxford is a great place to study this course

Many of the hospital and community settings in which  you will be learning have national and international reputations for excellence, and will give you access to up-to-the-minute practice in patient care and support. For example, the Oxford Children's Hospital, part of the Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust, has the resources of a large teaching hospital and facilities which have been designed specifically for the welfare of children and young people. Children are treated here for a range of conditions including heart disease, respiratory diseases, childhood cancer, neurological disorders and those requiring general or specialist surgery.

Our students rate the course very highly, with high NSS student satisfaction scores. Our attrition rates are very low, and there is 100% employment of graduates soon after course completion who are employed in a wide range of children’s nursing posts.

One of the world's great academic cities, Oxford is a key centre of debate, with conferences, seminars and forums taking place across education, science, the arts and many other subjects. It is a vibrant city with plenty of attractions for its large student population, from theatres and cinemas to museums, art galleries and music venues. Bustling and cosmopolitan, Oxford has excellent shops, restaurants, cafes, pubs and clubs. It offers students a clean and safe environment less than an hour from London and international airports.

Support for students studying Nursing (Children's)

A range of people offer support to our students, including:

  • academic advisers, who facilitate students’ academic development
  • student support co-ordinators, who provide a drop-in service for questions about any aspect of student life, covering both academic and personal welfare.

The University’s support services include Upgrade, which provides advice on study skills, such as planning and writing essays, assignments and dissertations, research, and preparing for exams.

There is a dedicated Student Disability and Dyslexia Service, which provides support for students with disabilities including sensory and mobility impairments, dyslexia and other specific learning difficulties, mental health problems and medical conditions. The service's staff offer advice and support on a range of issues, including physical access, funding, alternative assessment arrangements and liaison with teaching staff to ensure that they are aware of your requirements.


We offer specific accommodation for Nursing students to suit the longer duration of the course - this also means you will be living with other Nursing students. See our accommodation page for more information.

Specialist facilities

We offer a very friendly and supportive environment in which to learn and we consistently receive very high satisfaction ratings for student support and learning resources in student surveys. We have excellent teaching facilities including:

  • a 280-seat lecture theatre
  • dedicated clinical skills suites and simulation resources, which include a very well-equipped movement laboratory and a family of computerised simulation manikins, including a sim-man, sim-babies (newborn and an older baby under six months old) and birthing mother
  • an extensive range of anatomy models
  • fully networked computer rooms
  • excellent library resources, accessible through both the web and a range of locally based facilities on university and NHS sites.

General support services

Supporting your learning

From academic advisers and support co-ordinators to specialist subject librarians and other learning support staff, we want to ensure that you get the best out of your studies.

Personal support services

We want your time at Brookes to be as enjoyable and successful as possible. That's why we provide all the facilities you need to be relaxed, happy and healthy throughout your studies.

Professional accreditation

The course meets the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) Standards for Pre-registration Nursing Education (2010) and the requirements for the professional award.

Please note: NMC approval of this course is subject to review and can be withdrawn at any time

Career prospects

Students usually obtain a post within children's health care, shortly after graduation.  The course is designed such that students are supported to gain relevant theory and practice learning in areas of particular interest towards the end of the course.  For example, having a high dependency base placement in their final year has led to some students gaining employment in a neonatal or children's intensive care as their first destination post.

With a professional qualification as a Registered Nurse (Child), you will be well prepared for employment and will have the ability to work as a staff nurse in a range of settings. As you progress, you will have a wide range of options open to you, whether you choose to pursue a career in clinical practice in hospital or community, management, nurse education or research.

Many students who take the course to gain a second registration are seconded from their employer and, after completing the course, either return to their posts or pursue new options with their children's nursing qualification.

Further study

A wide range of courses is available at Oxford Brookes for continuing professional development (CPD).

Course downloads

  • Additional costs for healthcare courses 2018 entry