Frequently Asked Questions- Nursing

I am an international student. Can I apply for a nursing course at Aberystwyth?

Due to the funding arrangements, this course is not currently available to international applicants who are ordinarily resident outside of the UK.  

However, if you have appropriate visa status (Indefinite Leave to Remain) and have resided within the UK for 3 years prior to the start of the course, your application can be considered.

How are applications processed and shortlisted?

After receiving your application, the Healthcare Education Centre’s Admissions Tutors will read through your documents in order to assess if you meet the continuation criteria of our admissions process. Please note that the places to study on this programme are extremely competitive, and if you fail to be invited to the next stage of the admissions process at this attempt, we would strongly urge you to apply again in the future. Initial shortlisting will be based upon information supplied in your application, including your personal statement and supporting reference. Applications which lack key information (such as details of qualifications achieved/pending, personal statements, references) will not be considered for shortlisting.

If your application meets the next stage of the admissions criteria, you will be invited to attend one of our Student Selection Events. All applicants attending Student Selection Events will be assessed in line with All-Wales Student Recruitment and Selection principles. Once all of these events are completed, we will identify and agree our prospective student cohort as soon as possible, and we will aim to provide provisional offers soon after.

How is the programme set out?

The course is divided into 50% theory and 50% practice placements throughout the duration of the programme.

As a full-time student undertaking the three-year nursing programme (adult or mental health field), you will be expected to undertake 37.5 hours weekly study during theory weeks, and 37.5 hours per week when attending practice placements. 

The full-time programme is divided equally into theory and practice learning weeks with a total of 4,800 hours of learning. 

Do I have to choose my field of nursing before applying?

Yes, you will need to choose your field of nursing (Adult or Mental Health nursing) before applying. Your personal statement should demonstrate your commitment to your chosen field of nursing.

Will I undertake all my lectures in a classroom environment?

All theoretical lectures are delivered in a variety of ways as a blended approach, through face-to-face lectures, self-directed study, pre-recorded lectures and live streamed lectures. You will be expected to be on campus for clinical skills education sessions.

Where will I undertake my practice placements?

Students will be expected to experience a variety of practice placement opportunities, from hospital to community and third sector placements. Aberystwyth University has agreements with Hywel Dda University Health Board, Powys Teaching Health Board, Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board and Swansea Bay University Health Board. Students will be expected to undertake a variety of practice placement opportunities and these can often be located rurally.

How many nursing intakes does Aberystwyth University have per year?

Aberystwyth University has one intake per year in early September, and the academic year finishes at the end of July each year for both adult and mental health fields of nursing.  Nursing term times do not follow normal University term times. The number of places available in each field of nursing is limited.

What is a Student Selection Event?

Student Selection Events are used to select individuals undertaking healthcare courses and will reflect a values-based assessment approach to determine who will receive a provisional offer of a place on one of our Nursing courses. Our Selection Events are supported by Healthcare Education Centre staff, some of our colleagues from clinical practice, which may include social care/third/voluntary sector partners, service users, carers, public representatives and students. This is considered best way to select healthcare candidates for university places. 

Selection Events will normally last for around half a day, and will either be a morning or afternoon event.

Your Selection Event will consist of:

  • An introductory talk and overview of the course
  • Group debate/discussion
  • Unseen teamwork activity
  • Individual scenario
  • 1:1 interview
  • An opportunity to meet staff and ask questions.*

* Please note that our forthcoming Student Selection Events will be facilitated in line with current University/Welsh Government Covid-19 regulations and may therefore be different to what is outlined here.

The Student Selection Event is an essential part of the selection process and no offers will be made until all suitable candidates have been interviewed. A combination of factors from your application will be assessed when deciding whether to invite you to a Student Selection Event. These can include your academic performance, your personal statement, any nursing or care-related work experience, your personal and professional attributes and qualities, and any extra-curricular activities.

As well as being asked questions about yourself, you will be given a scenario and asked what you would do in that situation. This will help the selection panel to see how you might react under pressure, and determine your capacity to think on the spot.

Top tips for the Student Selection Event:

  • Make sure you know how to get to the place where the Student Selection Event is being held and arrive in good time
  • Dress appropriately in smart clothes and act professionally
  • Re-read your Personal Statement and application form beforehand as you may be asked to elaborate on something you have written in them
  • Expect to discuss your chosen course and field of nursing at Aberystwyth
  • Be prepared to discuss the core professional beliefs, behaviours and values that apply in the field of nursing. You are advised to find out about registering with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) and read the Code, which sets out professional standards of practice for nurses
  • Research employment options so that you can talk about your future career aspirations.

How to write a personal statement for nursing

Writing a personal statement may seem like a daunting task, but it can make all the difference when it comes to being selected for interview. Therefore, it pays to do your research and think carefully about the most important points to include that will demonstrate your passion and commitment for your chosen course to the admissions panel.

It is vital to give real examples and provide strong evidence to support the claims that you make in your personal statement and not simply list your achievements.

Important things to include:

  • Explain why you have chosen to focus on either adult or mental health nursing at Aberystwyth University and how this fits with your future career plans
  • Explain what personal qualities or values you could bring to your chosen nursing course and provide evidence of these; examples might include compassion, dedication or good time-keeping (important for shift-working). For instance, if you care for a family member, this can indicate a caring nature and responsible disposition
  • Transferrable skills (such as teamworking, communication skills, organisational skills, customer service skills, being able to deal with difficult people) are really important in nursing, so mention these
  • Mention any work experience - paid or volunteering. This is especially important if it was in a nursing or care setting, though other types of work experience can evidence other skills
  • Mention any hobbies or interests that provide evidence of your personal qualities, your drive, passion and ambition or your transferrable skill set
  • Demonstrate that you understand the realities and responsibilities of a career in nursing, such as working shifts or being on call
  • Show that you understand the course content and the division between classroom theory and practical placements.

Things to avoid:

  • Using ‘txt’ language – you will be rejected! You are applying for a professional course so write in full sentences
  • Unaccounted periods of time in your application. If you were not in education or in employment, you should explain what you were doing during that period
  • Using quotes from famous people – they don’t tell us anything about you as a person, so are best avoided.

Remember to read through your statement carefully before submission to check for spelling or grammar errors. Ask your teachers, parents or friends to look over it to make sure it makes sense and help detect any errors.

What are the typical entry requirements?

Full-time study:

The Healthcare Education Centre at Aberystwyth University promotes an inclusive admission criterion. Applicants who are unsure of their admission qualifications are encouraged to discuss their academic achievements and experiences with the Healthcare Education Centre’s Admissions Tutor (nrsstaff@aber.ac.uk).

UCAS Tariff 104 – 96

This includes Level 3 qualifications such as:

  • 3 A-Levels – BCC/CCC
  • The Welsh Baccalaureate Skills Challenge Certificate will be accepted in lieu of one A-Level (at the grades listed above)
  • BTEC Extended Diploma – DMM-MMM
  • BTEC Diploma – D*D-DD
  • Access to HE Diploma – Merit overall
  • International Baccalaureate – 26-28
  • European Baccalaureate – 26% overall
  • Or any other equivalent qualifications.

And

  • GCSE (or recognised alternative) at a minimum grade C/4 in: English/Welsh Language and Mathematics
  • 3 A levels – BCC/CCC
  • Welsh Baccalaureate - Skills Challenge Certificate will be accepted in lieu of one A level (at the grades listed above)
  • BTEC Extended Diploma – DMM-MMM
  • BTEC Diploma – D*D-DD
  • Access to HE Diploma – Merit overall
  • International Baccalaureate – 26-28
  • European Baccalaureate – 26% overall
  • Or any other equivalent qualifications.

Part- time study:

The part-time course is open to applicants currently employed in caring/healthcare roles within the Healthcare Sector in Mid Wales. Applicants may hold academic qualifications as listed below, but the entry requirements to the part-time course for everyone (including those without academic qualifications) will include submission of the evidence outlined under the APeL/RPL (contextual admissions) process.  

UCAS Tariff Points 104 – 96

This includes Level 3 qualifications such as:

AND/OR

Applications via APeL/RPL (contextual admissions) process:

  • Submit a portfolio of evidence which maps your prior experience and learning to the module learning outcomes (modules 1, 2, 3 and 4 of Part 1 of the programme)
  • Provide confirmation of practice hours (800 hours over the last two years)
  • Evidence of EC directive mapping for general care (Adult field only)
  • Mandatory training compliance as stipulated by your employer which meets programme skills mapping for Part 1 
  • Application and approval for study leave, and line manager agreement.

AND

  • GCSE (or recognised alternative) at a minimum grade C/4 in:
  • English/Welsh Language and Mathematics.

APeL applications normally incur a charge for academic support and assessment. This will be agreed in accordance with the number of credits to be APeL’d.

Are there any scholarships / bursaries available?

f you are a UK student who can commit to working in Wales for two years after graduating, your tuition fees could be fully covered by the NHS Wales Bursary Scheme. You could also receive maintenance funding of up to £4,491 and a reduced rate loan from Student Finance. For further information see theNHS Funding webpage.

EU students must have settled or pre-settled status in the UK under the EU Settlement Scheme to receive funding under the NHS Bursary Scheme.

For information on other scholarships and bursaries available at Aberystwyth University, please see our Scholarships page

Can I study part-time?

Part-time study is available for our nursing courses, providing you meet the entry criteria for part-time study. The duration of the part-time course is 2 years and 7 months, which will span across 4 academic years. You will study 37.5 hours per week during theoretical modules and 22.5 hours per week during practice placement modules.

Our part-time Adult Nursing degree course, accredited by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC), is aimed at current Healthcare Support Workers and will give you the skills and experience to launch a rewarding career in this diverse and essential profession.

Can I study through the medium of Welsh?

You can study 50% of your nursing degree through the medium of Welsh and you may be eligible for financial support from the Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol. Our practice-based module is supported by Welsh-speaking Practice Supervisors and Practice Assessors. You can also choose to complete your clinical assessments through the medium of Welsh. All Welsh speakers will be allocated a Welsh-speaking personal tutor. If you’re a non-Welsh speaker and wish to learn Welsh, we offer basic conversational health-related Welsh lessons. 

Can mature students apply for your courses?

Aberystwyth University encourages applications from anyone over the age of 18 years, and all applications are treated on an equal basis. All applicants must meet the entry requirements to be eligible to receive an offer of a place on one of our courses.

Can I choose to live on campus to undertake my studies?

Yes, there are accommodation options available to you on campus. You may need to travel further to undertake practice placements, and if the commute is more than an hour, we can support you with funding accommodation whilst you are on your practice placements.

Will I need a DBS check?

You will need a DBS check and Occupational Health Clearance to study nursing. You may be referred to a fitness to practise panel if any issues are presented.

Can I apply to work anywhere in England or Wales post-registration?

When you apply for nursing commissioned places in Wales you enter into an agreement with Health Education and Improvement Wales (HEIW) that you must practice as a registered nurse within Wales for a minimum of two years after registeringas a nurse with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC). Appointments into posts are managed by Shared Services through student streamlining for all newly registered nursing posts within Wales.

Do I have to pay my tuition fees for Aberystwyth University?

If you are a resident of the UK and apply for commissioned nursing places within Wales, Health Education and Improvement Wales (HEIW) will fund your place at Aberystwyth University. You may also be entitled to additional bursaries through Student Finance Wales.

Will I receive feedback if my application is unsuccessful?

We receive a high volume of applications for our degrees and are therefore unable to provide detailed feedback to applicants. In the event that your application is unsuccessful, limited feedback will be displayed in UCAS Track.

What if I am rejected? Can I reapply the following year?

We would strongly encourage you to reapply the following year. However, nursing is a competitive field and it is important that you improve upon your previous application to increase your chances of proceeding to the next stage the next time.

Make sure that you supply all the key information required (including details of qualifications achieved/pending, personal statement, references). Applications which lack key information will be rejected.

Ensure that you already have the required qualifications in Mathematics/Numeracy and English Language in place before you apply, or you are working towards them. Evidence of competence in English and Mathematics is a requirement of the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) and applications that do not evidence these will be rejected.

Consider rewriting your personal statement and take the opportunity to gain some relevant or additional work experience or undertake a training course.

If you were previously shortlisted to attend a Selection Event, but did not receive an offer following your interview, reflect on your interview performance and individual scenario and think how you could improve upon them. Could you have answered the questions differently? Take the opportunity to develop your interview technique to help you feel more prepared and confident for your next interview.