Oxford School of Nursing and Midwifery

  • Thinking about a career change?
    Think of the Oxford School of Nursing and Midwifery!

    Careers in healthcare are rewarding and challenging - and you can start at any time in your working life. Are you ready to start a new path? Make use of your existing skills and experience in a career where you can make a difference.


    Christine Sennett

    I had been volunteering on an elderly medicine ward at my local hospital whilst studying Health and Social Care with the Open University and was finding these more rewarding than my business career. I called the NHS Health Career line, and they talked through options for a career in healthcare. Having discussed my volunteering experience and my enjoyment in caring for patients, nursing was a good fit to achieve my goals. I was really happy to be accepted by Oxford Brookes for the Adult Nursing course.

  • Both the BSc and MSc routes for Adult and Mental Health Nursing can be undertaken full-time and part-time over a period of up to eight years. Meanwhile, for both Midwifery and  Children’s Nursing there is only a full time route. To help plan your programme, you can start a degree part-time and then swap to full-time or vice versa to allow for maximum flexibility.

    If you have previous healthcare experience and relevant academic qualifications, there is the opportunity to apply for accreditation for your prior experience and learning (APL) which may mean you can undertake the BSc or MSc course in two years rather than three years.



    Anne-Marie Faulkner

    As a mature student who has young children, Brookes University was an option for me as I needed to stay local. Brookes has an excellent reputation within the healthcare community, so when I was offered a place I was over the moon. I chose nursing as a career change after spending a large amount of time in hospital with my disabled son and saw how all the staff where so supportive and caring; it inspired me to become a nurse and give something back. So far I have thoroughly enjoyed my degree. It has taken a lot of adjustments and organisation but I have felt supported every step of the way and I’m very proud of how much I have grown already.

    You will be in blocks of either campus-based study, in practice or self-directed study during your programme.

    In each semester you have to undertake approximately 10 weeks in practice.

    Full-time students must expect to undertake approximately 37 hours of effort each week. This will take the form of lectures, seminars, simulation experience in our skills laboratories, self-directed study and practice experience. There are approximately seven weeks of holiday each year but there is no flexibility in when leave is allocated, so it is essential you do not book any holidays until you know your annual timetable and when your leave has been allocated. 

    If you undertake the programme part-time you will undertake approximately two modules per semester. However, although the programme is part-time, you do not undertake a module part-time. When there is campus-based work you need to attend every session. When you are undertaking a practice module the hours need to be undertaken within the allocated timescale, which may be longer than a semester in some cases to give more flexibility.


    Christine Sennett

    I have gained far more out of studying as a mature student than I did earlier in my life. Both the academic studies and nursing placements in hospitals and the community have been very valuable and interesting, and this is partly because I really enjoy learning about healthcare and caring for patients.

    The nursing course is quite demanding, and it helps that I have a supportive family and partner. Also the lecturers and other students are very helpful and encouraging. In addition, I was also able to plan my finances before I started my studies, so that I did not have additional financial stress while studying.

    Your personal statement gives you an opportunity to tell us about you as a person, your prior experience and about any transferable skills you have, as well as what you understand about nursing.

    When writing your personal statement you need to share with us:

    • why you want to move into nursing at this stage of your career
    • what skills you will bring to the nursing degree and to your new career
    • what jobs or experiences you have had and why in particular these will be valuable to nursing

    You don't have to pay for tuition fees up front. The government provides loans to cover your full tuition charges. These are only repaid from the April after you graduate and only once you earn over £25,000. This equates to a band 5 nurse midway up the incremental scale and so, as a newly qualified nurse, you will not be eligible to pay any of your loan back on the bottom increments of your band 5 salary.

    While on the programme you will need to pay for items such as books, printing, library loans etc.  

    For more information about tuition fee loans and other funding please see our financial support pages for 2018 entrants

    Full-time students can apply for funding for up to 85% of the childcare costs from Student Finance England. More information can be found here

    You may also be eligible for a Parent’s Learning Allowance, or an Adult Dependents’ Grant, depending on your circumstances. 

    Full-time students who enroll on a new Midwifery or Nursing (Adult, Child, Mental Health, Learning Disability, joint Nursing/Social Work) course from 1 August 2017 are eligible to apply to the NHS Learning Support Fund for financial assistance. This fund offers support for students with dependent children, travel and accommodation expenses and extreme financial hardship funds.

    In Oxford there is a nursery for use by students and staff. 

    In Swindon, a day care nursery is located a few minutes’ walk from the campus. Great Western Hospital also has its own nursery open to staff and the general public (01793 605861).

    You will gain all your experience of caring for patients, their families and learn how to work in interprofessional teams in your practice placements.

    Your placements will be in blocks and you will have six placement blocks in the three-year programme. For Oxford students, your placements may be in acute hospitals and community settings throughout Oxfordshire . For Swindon students, your placements may be in hospitals and community settings in Swindon, Wiltshire, South Oxfordshire, Gloucestershire and Berkshire.  

    We make every effort to give you placements near to your home, although you will have to travel to some of your placements. You are able to give preferences for your final year placements.


    Emma Blakey

    The placements I had were fantastic - It was wonderful to have such a range of experiences including specialist clinical areas.

    At the moment I am thoroughly enjoying working with patients and building my experience in different roles across the Trust - I have worked on a ward and am now in endoscopy. I have also been on the OUH Trust preceptorship programme for newly qualified nurses which I have found very valuable.

    Nursing and Midwifery students from Oxford Brookes have between 98-100% employment six months after graduation 

    Local NHS Trusts in Oxford ( Oxford University Hospitals, Oxford Health) and Swindon ( Great Western Hospitals) are very keen to employ Oxford Brookes graduates. So, to help to smooth your transition, they are currently offering jobs at the end of year two, ready to start upon graduation.

    Nursing and midwifery are so varied and have such great opportunities that you can have your whole career in Oxfordshire or Wiltshire, allowing you to stay living locally, if you wish, and yet still have great and diverse career opportunities.


    Raluca Vagner

    A nursing career offers more than anyone can imagine, from working in a hospital, GP practice, theatres, recovery, etc to even running your own clinics or research project. The sky is the limit!

    You may be eligible for a Brookes bursary of up to £3,500. Over 40% of nursing students starting in 2017 have received a bursary.  

    Please click on this link to access the application form for the Tessa Jane Evans Bursary for Adult Nursing students, designed to assist trainee student nurses with living expenses. The Bursary is open to mature, Home/EU Adult Nursing students who are in financial need and without other funding, and would find it difficult financially to undertake the three-year Pre-Registration course for the University’s BSc (Hons) or MSc (Hons) programme in Adult Nursing Degree.


    Emma Blakey

    It isn't always easy starting again. You leave behind better paid roles and friends who are advancing in their careers, but what you gain by being a nurse definitely makes up for it. Nursing is my way of putting my values into practical action and I am just so happy I have made this change.