One of the most rewarding careers you can consider, nursing offers a challenging and stimulating course. Today’s nurses are required to assess patients’ needs, care for them and support both the patients and their families, while playing a full and crucial role in the wider healthcare team. Our nursing course is designed to give you the skills and confidence necessary to fulfil that role in the healthcare teams of tomorrow. Careers in nursing are dynamic as the healthcare sector responds to developments in health and emerging health priorities, rising expectations among users and carers and changing societal attitudes. Through the use of clinical scenarios and extensive skills training, we will prepare you for working in an ever-changing healthcare environment.
Study at one of our 3 campuses at Stirling, Highland campus at Inverness or Western Isles campus at Stornoway.
The course is approved by the Nursing and Midwifery Council.
BBC - one sitting.
BBB - two sittings.
Students who meet the residence eligibility criteria may be eligible for the Nursing and Midwifery Student Bursary. Further details are available from the Student Awards Agency for Scotland (SAAS):www.saas.gov.uk
Modes of study
Full-time (theory and practice learning in each semester).
Access courses and other UK/EU and international qualifications are welcomed.
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What other criteria are considered for BSc Nursing
Other qualities and interests are carefully considered largely through your personal statement. Explaining why you’re choosing a course is essential and your knowledge of and interest in nursing, and the field you are applying for should be evident. Voluntary or paid experience in a care setting is welcomed and the applicant is strongly advised to make links between the knowledge, values and skills gained in these experiences and the course being applied for. Other experience, which demonstrates your commitment and your ability to work in a team, is also valuable. References are also required. Provide an academic reference if possible, but failing this, an employer’s reference. Friends as referees are not usually accepted. You will be asked for a second reference. You must be committed to accessing practice learning experiences anywhere within the local Health Board area where you are studying, which may cover a wide geographical area. You should also be aware that holiday periods are pre-determined within the course.
As well as the entry requirements stated for the course, students applying to nursing should be aware of the following:
Will there be an interview?
There is a compulsory Applicant Day which is designed specifically for entrants to nursing. The day will consist of:
- Registration - personal identity and educational qualifications check
- An overview of the course
- Question and answer session
- Clinical Practice Information
Applicant Day guidelines will be provided in advance of the Applicant Day.
What other factors are involved?
All applicants are subject to a Disclosure Scotland check. This will show all spent and unspent criminal convictions including (but not limited to) cautions, reprimands, final warnings, bind over orders or similar and to the extent relevant to this course may also show details of any minor offences, fixed penalty notices, penalty notices for disorder.
Previous criminal convictions need not exclude you, but all convictions must be declared and some occurrences may result in an unsuccessful application. A panel may be convened to determine the applicant’s fitness for accessing practice placements.
All applicants must be passed fit by Occupational Health. This will require a questionnaire and also a personal visit to the campus in addition to and on a separate occasion to the Applicant Day.
To protect your privacy, neither of these checks will normally be carried out until an offer has been made.
Can I visit the University?
The selection process is part of a much wider Applicant Day which gives full information on the course and facilities specifically designed for nursing students.
The course is structured so that you spend 50 percent of your time gaining practice experience in a clinical setting, underpinned by blocks of theory to support your development. Your clinical learning will be developed in a range of health and social care settings, from acute to community, rural to urban. The course is delivered to both Adult and Mental Health fields of practice. However, as you progress through the three years of the course there will be an increasing focus on your chosen field of practice (i.e. Adult or Mental Health nursing).
On successful completion of the course, graduates are eligible for registration with the Nursing and Midwifery Council in either the Adult or Mental Health field.
Adult Field of Nursing
Students undertaking the adult field of practice must practise autonomously and be responsible and accountable for safe, compassionate, person-centred, evidence-based nursing care that respects and maintains dignity. They must show professionalism and integrity, working in partnership with other health and social care professionals including service users, their carers and their families.
The adult nursing course develops your clinical skills and knowledge to work within the full spectrum of health and social care settings. A wide range of clinical skills are embedded throughout the course to help you acquire key skills in assessment, diagnosis and decision making. Adult nurses develop skills to meet the physical, psychological, spiritual and social needs of patients, supporting them through care pathways. This is achieved through working in clinical practice with other health and social care professionals to maximise opportunities for recovery, rehabilitation, adaptation to ongoing disease and disability, and raising public health awareness.
Your clinical experience will focus on the care pathway of a number of different settings including community day hospitals, ambulatory care and intensive care, as well as working with patients and their families in their own homes.
Mental Health Field of Nursing
Mental health nursing is an area of nursing that has as its focus the promotion of mental health, the prevention of mental illness, and the care of people experiencing mental health problems.
As a mental health nurse, the focus of your practice will be the establishment of relationships with service users and carers to help bring about an understanding of how they might cope with their experience, thus maximising their potential for recovery. These relationships are characterised by trust, respect, choice, control and partnership; the aim being for service users to lead as meaningful and fulfilling a life as possible in the presence or absence of symptoms. The course encourages you to take a values-based approach towards the service user and their family, and provides you with a well developed and evidence-based range of interpersonal and psychosocial skills to allow you to do this. Mental health nurses work as part of multi-disciplinary and multiagency teams that involve service users and their carers in all aspects of their care and treatment.
- Learning to Care
- Professional Practice
- Nursing Health and Wellbeing
- Care Partnerships
- Care Pathways and Management
- Shared Decision Making
- Managing Care Partnerships
- Managing and Leading Care
- Practice-based Learning
Teaching and assessment
A wide range of approaches to teaching and learning is adopted by the School. Central to this is a student-centred approach which uses small group teaching (enquiry-based learning or EBL) in combination with lectures, seminars, group work and clinical skills teaching. You will be assessed by a range of methods including examinations, essays, reports, clinical skills assessments, presentations and assessments of practice.
The timetable below is a typical example, but your own timetable may be different.
BSc in Professional Practice
These degree courses are intended for:
- Registered Nurses or Registered Midwives who have successfully completed a Diploma in Higher Education at Stirling or an equivalent academic award at another institution.
- Experienced Registered Nurses and Midwives who qualified prior to 1992.
- Other Health Professionals registered with Health Professions Council
Recognition of Prior Learning
It is recognised that individuals will apply for the course with varying levels of prior certificated or experiential learning. Applicants will be assessed on an individual basis, according to the current University of Stirling Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) Policy. Normally the maximum credit that may be granted is 286 credits.
Period and mode of study
From the date of first registration the maximum period of study either on a full-time or part-time basis is 27 months.
Programme of study
For the award of the BSc in Professional Practice, students must successfully complete at least 352 credits in total, with a minimum of 66 credits having been completed at the University of Stirling.
In order to graduate with a named award, students must complete a minimum of 66 credits from the specialist modules listed for that award. Students who do not complete one of the designated pathways will be awarded the BSc in Professional Practice. Examples of named awards are available on the School of Nursing, Midwifery & Health website at www.stir.ac.uk/nmhealth
Enquiry-based learning groups are a key feature of our course. These groups allow you to develop the personal and professional attributes which will enhance your employability at the end of your three-year course.
It may be possible to spend a period studying abroad.
1st in Scotland and top 10 in the UK (in the most recent Research Assessment Exercise).
We have excellent relationships with each of the main partner NHS Boards associated with our campuses – NHS Forth Valley, NHS Highland and NHS Western Isles – which means that we work together to ensure that our course remains clinically excellent and that our students get the best possible experience while they are studying.
Our curriculum is informed by research and encourages students to take an evidence-based approach to nursing care. There is also a strong articulation between our course and the Scottish Government’s Healthcare Quality Strategy for NHS Scotland.
Feedback from our clinical partners indicates that, as newly-qualified nurses, our students are seen as committed, enthusiastic and adaptable; confident and with the flexibility required to meet current service needs.
I chose to study at Stirling as the course has an excellent reputation, a fantastic campus and exceptional facilities – I relocated from London especially to join this course! It has the advantage of being based over three campuses, which means you have easy, online access to a wealth of learning material.
The teaching methods helped guide and structure my learning in a stimulating and innovative way. I particularly enjoyed the clinical skills sessions as they provided an opportunity to practice skills in small groups, creating a safe and supportive environment in which to learn. The staff are all experts in their field and there were opportunities to learn from my peers as well.
During my final year of study, I contributed to a group book review with fellow nursing students. This exciting opportunity certainly helped distinguish my CV and I successfully found a job almost immediately on graduating. It is opportunities like these that I feel make the course unique.
Nursing at Stirling has definitely prepared me for the demands of the profession. The course has greatly increased my confidence and equipped me with the core knowledge, skills and competencies expected of a newly registered mental health nurse. All my time at University and on clinical placements has been a valuable learning experience, and I would recommend the course to anyone considering a career in mental health nursing.
John Sarsfield, Diploma in Mental Health Nursing, graduated 2011.
The School of Nursing, Midwifery and Health at the University of Stirling provided me with the essential skills and knowledge base to become a fully competent Staff Nurse. The course covers a broad spectrum of teaching methods including lectures, tutorials and seminars, which fully prepared me for practical placements and academic assignments.
The Teaching Fellows / Personal Tutors encourage and support students, and assist in maintaining academic grades. Not only has it prepared me for my chosen career, it has also given me opportunities to become involved in live projects where I devised my own tool in how to prevent Catheter Associated Urinary Tract Infections.
Within my final placements in the Intensive Care Unit I was given the opportunity to test my proposal. I then proceeded to present my work at the Reducing Harm, Improving Healthcare Conference at the University of St. Andrews in 2010. I was also given the chance to present this work to the current students of the School and have delivered presentations on how it feels to be a newly-qualified practitioner.
I fully recommend the School to prepare you in becoming a Staff Nurse. I have been very fortunate in my success and I am grateful to the tutors at the University for giving me the fundamental tools to achieve my goals.
Kimberley Begg, BSc Nursing, graduated 2010. Now working as Staff Nurse, Intensive Care Unit, Forth Valley Royal Hospital.
I chose to study Nursing as a mature student at Stirling because of its excellent reputation and strong commitment to one of my personal interests; Health Research and Nursing. The course has allowed me to maintain a comfortable work-life balance and meet a variety of people from all ages.
My confidence has grown throughout the course due to the infinite amount of support structures in place both academically and personally; and the staff are friendly and always willing to help.
I believe the progress in my personal development has been due to the variety of clinical settings that the University have offered and feel confident that my skills and knowledge are of a broad range.
Students studying at Stirling are treated as equals and are encouraged to contribute their thoughts and ideas regularly; I think this mutual respect is what creates the positive student experience and warm atmosphere on and off campus.
Lorraine Armstrong, Diploma in Higher Education (Nursing) Adult Branch, due to graduate 2013.
I decided to pursue a career in Nursing after having my children, which was my only real experience of care, and chose to specialise in Mental Health. Stirling was the best choice for me as it has both the city and country feel, the surroundings are second to none!
The lecturers are fantastic, each with their own nursing background, they are knowledgeable, approachable, helpful and caring.
Since becoming a student nurse, I have made lots of new friends and have had the opportunity to get involved in student life in other ways such as being a class representative. I like the way the course is split into chunks of theory and clinical practice – it can be challenging and hard work but is extremely fulfilling. I can’t believe I’m in Year 2 already! To become a Mental Health Nurse is one of the best decisions I’ve ever made!
Siobhan Campbell, Diploma in Higher Education (Nursing) Mental Health, due to graduate 2013.
I’d always wanted to study nursing and after seeing the beautiful campus and meeting some of the staff, I knew that the University of Stirling was the right place for me.
The skills and experience gained studying an academic course mixed with practical nursing placements were second to none, and I made many new friends who will remain friends for life.
My studies started in 2001 and now they can’t get rid of me! I am still here, progressing in my career with excellent support and supervision. Looking back, I can’t imagine studying anywhere else and I would do it all again!
Vivianne Crispin, Bachelor of Science with Honours in Nursing 2007, School of Nursing Midwifery and Health