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Best Nursing Schools in the UK - 2023 Edition

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UniSearch - Best Nursing Schools in the UK - 2023 Edition

Nursing is a demanding profession that requires a strong work ethic and dedication to helping others. It's also a field that sees immense demand for qualified individuals. This growth in demand creates opportunities for international students to study nursing in the UK and pursue it professionally after graduation. The good news is that there are plenty of options for you as an international student when it comes to top-rated nursing schools in the UK. In this article, we will look into some important considerations to keep in mind when applying to nursing schools in the UK, as well as some of the best programs in the country to consider!


A Guide to UK Nursing Programs

If you have decided to move to the UK to study nursing, you get to choose from some of the best programs in the world for the field. The UK has a long history of providing excellent training for nurses and other health care professionals. Nursing schools in the UK offer a wide range of coursework, including practical and theoretical instruction.

Nursing is a profession that offers many opportunities for growth and development. There are several factors to consider when choosing which nursing school to attend, including cost. In this guide, we'll break down the average price of each school and provide some pointers on how to save money while getting a degree in nursing.


Nursing Degrees in the UK

Nursing degrees are available across the many universities of the UK. Many accredited nursing schools in the UK offer bachelor's and master's degrees. These programs typically take between 2-4 years to complete and can lead to jobs as nurses in hospitals and other healthcare facilities where patients require medical attention.

A BSc (Hons) Nursing degree generally focuses on clinical practice. This program includes courses such as pathophysiology and pharmacology. You'll have to complete a large number of assessments as well as practical placements throughout each semester.


The Benefits of Studying Nursing in the UK

Why study nursing in the UK rather than back home? There are plenty of reasons the UK stands out as the best opportunity for students in this field. From the advanced quality of learning and standards of excellence to enhanced career opportunities, a UK degree gives you a competitive edge you might not get at home.


Quality of Education

The UK has numerous world-class universities where international students may pursue various nursing programs. There are 100+ universities in the UK that provide 500+ nursing courses. The teaching techniques used in UK nursing schools are highly distinctive. Popular nursing disciplines to study in the UK include:

  • Learning Disability Nursing
  • Adult Nursing
  • Mental Health Nursing
  • Children's Nursing Care

Nursing schools in the UK also place great importance on practical knowledge. Most institutions reduce classroom learning in favor of more excellent practical training within universities, communities, and hospitals. Universities can offer hands-on learning opportunities anywhere from simulation labs to real healthcare settings.

This real-world experience you gain during your studies is invaluable in preparing you to enter the workforce as soon as you graduate.


Career Opportunities

After completing a nursing education in the UK, you can work as a nurse anywhere around the globe. Nursing is a rewarding and fulfilling career. It's also one of the most in-demand job roles in the UK.

Starting wages for a nurse in the UK is more than £23,500 annually. In contrast, if you pursue a Master's degree in the UK, you may expect to earn more than £43,500 a year.

A consultant nurse's annual salary might reach as high as £105,000. Aside from this, your nursing degree from the UK may create enhanced immigration opportunities to live and work in certain countries too.


UK Nursing School Costs

The cost of attending nursing schools in the UK for international students varies depending on the school and program. Most nursing schools in the UK are public universities with tuition rates ranging from £12,500 per year to £20,000 per year.

Private universities typically have higher tuition rates than public universities. The average cost of private nursing schools ranges from £26,000 to £52,000 annually for international students.

However, some private nonprofit universities offer scholarships to international students who qualify for them. This can help cover part or all of your tuition costs, along with allowances for your living expenses and more.


Qualifications to Become a Nurse vs Nurse Practitioner

If you are aiming to qualify as a nursing professional in the UK, a bachelor's degree in nursing is a standard prerequisite. If you plan on working as a nurse practitioner, you will generally need to have a master's degree in the field.

Typical requirements for a nursing degree in the UK vary from university to university and program to program. According to the NHS, standard requirements for a degree in adult nursing are as follows:

Undergraduate:

  • Minimum 5 GCSEs - Grade 4/C or higher (general requirements: 1 of English language/literature + 1 science subject)
  • 2 A levels or equivalent

Postgraduate: 

  • Bachelor's degree in nursing

Top Nursing Schools in the UK

Several of the outstanding nursing schools in the UK offer you quality education and prepare you for a successful career in nursing. We have compiled a list of some of the best nursing schools in the UK so that you may begin your journey to becoming a nurse.

University
QS Ranking 2022
Guardian Ranking 2022
King's College London (KCL)
249
The University of Manchester
617
University of Nottingham
3541
The University of Edinburgh
241
University of Glasgow
50-1003


1. King's College London

KCL is one of the top nursing schools in the UK. It is often ranked as one of the best nursing schools in Europe too. The university is known for its research into health care, nursing, and related fields such as human genetics and epidemiology.

Nursing Programs:

  • Affective Disorders
  • Clinical Nursing
  • Clinical Practice
  • Conscious Sedation for Dentistry
  • Nursing with Registration as a Mental Health Nurse
  • Nursing/Midwifery/Health Studies Research
  • Specialist Community Public Health Nursing/Health Visiting/School Nursing
  • Old Age Psychiatry

International tuition for 2023-2024 is £23,160/year.


Admission Requirements
  • A-Levels (biology, chemistry, physics, or psychology) Grading: ABB or High School Certificate from Standard XII with 80% overall
  • Preferred Subjects: Science subjects preferred, e.g. biology, physics, chemistry, and psychology
  • English Language Proficiency Tests: IELTS - 6.5 overall with a minimum of 6.0 in each band
  • Personal statement


2. University of Edinburgh

The university's nursing program aims to provide the information, skills, and traits you need to be a successful nurse in the contemporary NHS. It is among the top affordable nursing schools in the UK for international students.

Nursing Programs:

  • Critical Care
  • Foundation to Health and Veterinary Studies (Nursing)
  • Obesity and Endocrinology
  • Palliative Care
  • Cancer Care
  • Mental Health Nursing

The international tuition fee is £23,200/year.


Admission Requirements
  • A-Levels (Chemistry, Biology, or Physics) Grading: BBB or High School Certificate (must complete ULIC's Foundation program)
  • Applicants must have an honours degree for the graduate program.
  • English Language Proficiency Tests: IELTS - 6.5 with 6.0 in each band or PTE - 61 with 59 in each aspect
  • Academic transcripts
  • Personal statement
  • 2 letters of recommendation

3. University of Nottingham

The University of Nottingham's nursing program strongly focuses on international students. The curriculum is meant to help all students flourish and achieve their goals in a supportive atmosphere.

Nursing Programs:

The school offers four different pathways

  • Nursing - Adult
  • Nursing - Child
  • Learning Disability
  • Mental Health

The international tuition fee is £26,500/per year.

Admission Requirements
  • A level (biology, chemistry, physics, physical education, psychology, or sociology) grading: BBB or High School Certificate with 89-98%
  • English Language Proficiency Tests: IELTS - 7 (7.0 in reading, listening and speaking, and 6.5 in writing)
  • Personal statement

4. University of Manchester

The University of Manchester nursing program is a popular option for international students studying in the UK. The university's nursing program offers high-quality education, and its tuition fees are reasonable.

During this program, you'll work with globally recognized doctors and nurse consultants in wound care, digital health, emergency medicine, and infection control.

Nursing Programs:

  • Nursing
  • Midwifery and Social Work
  • Public Health
  • Speech and Hearing
  • Speech and Language Therapy

The international tuition fee is £25,000/year.


Admission Requirements:
  • A-Levels (Biology, Chemistry, Psychology, Sociology, Health and Social Care, Applied Science) Grading: BBC or an acceptable equivalent qualification
  • English Language Proficiency Tests: IELTS: 7 (7 in reading, listening, and speaking and 6.5 in writing)
  • Academic transcripts
  • Personal statement

5. University of Glasgow

The University of Glasgow's nursing department ranks in the top 100 in the world. You'll learn from some of the top names in healthcare and allied health sciences at this school. You'll get access to their world-class facilities, including the Glasgow Royal Infirmary hospital, one of the largest hospitals in Europe.

Nursing Programs:

  • Nursing
  • Advanced Practice in Health Care
  • Advanced Nursing Science
  • Advanced Lymphoedema Management
  • Health & Social Care Chaplaincy
  • Leadership in Health & Social Care

International student's tuition fee: £27,930/year.


Admission Requirements
  • A-levels (Chemistry, Biology, Physics, Mathematics) grade: ABB or BBB
  • 75% average in High School Certificate
  • English Language Proficiency Tests: IELTS - 7; PTE - 70; TOEFL - 100
  • Academic transcripts

Most Affordable Nursing Schools in the UK

The average cost of a nursing degree in the UK is £27,000. But that doesn't mean there aren't any affordable options out there! Some universities offer nursing courses at much more cost-effective ranges than others. If you're looking for a university with a more budget-friendly cost of living and relatively low tuition costs, this could be a good place to start looking.

UniversityTuition Fees
Teesside University
£14,500
Glasgow Caledonian University
£14,500
Middlesex University London
£14,700
Ulster University
£15,300
Swansea University
£16,500


1. Teesside University

Student satisfaction rates make Teesside University the top in the country for nursing programs. National Student Survey (NSS) results reveal that 97% of Teesside nursing students are happy with their education. This advanced nursing curriculum helps students develop a healthcare profession by enhancing their knowledge, skills, practices, and attitudes.

Nursing Programs:

  • Clinical Research
  • Nursing Studies
  • Nursing & Health courses
  • Learning Disabilities
  • Midwifery

International Students Tuition Fee: £14,500 per year.


Admission Requirements

  • Applicants must have passed class 12th
  • English Language Proficiency Tests: PTE - 52; IELTS - 6.0
  • Recommendation letter
  • Academic transcripts
  • Personal statement

2. Glasgow Caledonian University

The learning environment at GCU offers creative, adaptable, and efficient options to advance nursing knowledge and skills through techniques like a combination of online and in-person instruction and a cutting-edge inter-professional simulation lab.

You'll engage in several clinical settings and learn utilizing various methodologies. 50% of the course will be clinical experience in community, hospital, independent, and nonprofit settings.

Nursing Programs:

  • Nursing Studies (Mental Health)
  • Nursing Studies (Learning Disability)
  • Nursing: Advancing Professional Practice
  • Specialist Community Public Health Nursing (Health Visiting)
  • Diabetes Care and Management

International Students Tuition Fee: £14,500/year.


Admission Requirements
  • A level (Chemistry, Biology, Physics, Mathematics) grade: BC or an acceptable equivalent qualification
  • English Language Proficiency Tests: IELTS - 6; TOEFL-78; PTE - 54
  • Personal Statement
  • Letters of reference
  • Academic and Professional Certificates


3. Middlesex University London

Middlesex University is one of the most international universities in the world, with 140 different nations represented on its campus. You will interact with students from various cultures and backgrounds while studying. Middlesex University offers affordable international tuition.

Nursing Programs:

  • Mental Health Nursing (Professional Practice)
  • Nursing (Adult)
  • Nursing (Child)
  • Nursing (Mental Health)
  • Nursing (Professional Practice)
  • Professional Practice (Negotiated Specialism)
  • Advanced Clinical Practice
  • Midwifery Studies

Tuition Fees for International Students: £14,700/year.


Admission Requirements
  • A level (Chemistry, Biology, Mathematics) grade: ABB or an acceptable equivalent qualification
  • English Language Proficiency Tests: PTE - 58; IELTS - 7.0
  • Personal Statement
  • Letter of recommendation
  • Transcripts

4. Ulster University

The nursing school of Ulster University ranks in the top 50 worldwide. This department provides the opportunity for a range of diverse and immersive learning experiences, including large group lectures, simulated clinical skills practice, tutorials, group work, guided reading, and self-directed learning.

Nursing Programs:

  • Health and Wellbeing
  • Nursing (Adult)
  • Nursing (Mental Health)
  • Nursing Science
  • Paramedic Science
  • Specialist Community Public Health Nursing
  • Applied Health Studies
  • Advancing Care for People with Urological Disorders
  • Advancing Care for People with Stoma
  • Assessment of Perinatal Mental Health and Wellbeing
  • Autonomous Nursing Practice in Caring for People Presenting with Minor Injuries
  • Diabetes Management in Primary Care

Tuition Fees for International Students: £15,360/year.


Admission Requirements
  • A level grade: BBC or an acceptable equivalent qualification
  • English Language Proficiency Tests: IELTS score of 7.0 (minimum 6.5 in writing and 7.0 in reading, listening, and speaking)
  • Academic transcript
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Personal Statement

5. Swansea University

The nursing program at Swansea University is one of the best in the world and offers great support for international students. It's known for its research, teaching, and care. Accredited by the British Council, the programme offers a variety of courses and study abroad choices.

Nursing Programs:

  • Adult Nursing
  • Child Nursing
  • Mental Health Nursing
  • Nursing (Learning Disability)
  • Maternity Care
  • Midwifery

Tuition Fees for International Students: £16,500/year.


Admission Requirements
  • A level grade: BBC or an acceptable equivalent qualification
  • English Language Proficiency Tests: PTE - 67; IELTS - 7.0
  • Academic Transcripts
  • Personal statement
  • Two letters of recommendation


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is it possible to get scholarships to study nursing in the UK?

There is a broad variety of financial assistance universities offer in the form of scholarships for individuals who are interested in pursuing a career as a nurse. Academic excellence or financial situation may determine who will get the scholarship.

The Florence Nightingale Foundation, the National Health Service Nursing Bursary, the RCN Foundation, and several other organisations also provide nursing students with various types of financial assistance in the form of scholarships.


Our Concluding Thoughts

Given the high demand in the field of nursing in the UK, and the world-class programs its universities offer, the UK is an easy pick to pursue higher education for aspiring nurses and nurse practitioners. These universities have the right mix of programs and teaching staff to help you succeed as a nurse, as well as the right resources to give you that valuable hands-on experience. Hopefully, our breakdown of some of the top nursing schools in the UK helps you narrow your search down to find your ideal university!