Entry requirements (adult nursing)

This page has information on the entry requirements for adult nursing.

Academic entry requirements for an adult nursing degree are set by individual universities. Typically you will need a minimum of five GCSEs at grade C or above (possibly in English language or literature and a science subject), plus two A levels or equivalent level 3 qualifications. Some universities may ask for three A levels or equivalent.

You should check with each university directly before applying to see if your qualifications meet their entry standard.

Alternatives to A Levels

If you’re applying for a university course, be aware that each university sets its own entry requirements. It is vital to check the individual entry requirements of the universities you plan to apply to as they can vary.

You can use our Course finder to find out which universities run approved clinical courses. The university websites provide detailed entry requirements, and you can always phone admissions departments for more information.

Various qualifications may be accepted as alternative qualifications to A levels. These include:

You may be asked to achieve a certain level in these alternative qualifications, for example a merit or distinction in the case of BTEC.

In some cases it is possible to combine academic qualifications with vocational qualifications. For example, you might have an A level and a BTEC qualification and this combination may be accepted by universities, depending on the subjects and grades.

Other alternative academic and vocational qualifications may also be acceptable – in all cases contact your chosen universities for more advice.

Before starting an Access course, always check with universities to ensure that the qualification is an acceptable entry requirement.

Other routes into adult nursing

Nursing degree apprenticeships are being developed. Increasing opportunities for current healthcare support staff to apply for nursing associate apprenticeships are also expected. This may lead to nursing degrees or nurse degree apprenticeships. 

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