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BSc (Honours) Nursing Practice

If you’re a registered nurse, this top-up degree offers a practical way to take your career forward, by enabling you to step up to an honours degree while continuing to earn. Its flexible, modular approach is designed to meet the needs of nurses working across a range of settings and specialities, in both the NHS and independent sectors. Study options focus on key areas for contemporary nursing – leadership; ageing and the life course; and public health.

Key features of the course

  • Enhances your professional expertise to meet the complex challenges of contemporary health care practice
  • Helps you reflect critically on your own nursing practice
  • Cultivates a person-centred approach to work with service users, their carers and families
  • Explores how your learning can contribute to evidence-based practice improvement
  • Allows you to study flexibly while you are working 

Course Summary

+Shortlist Course



  • Also known as an undergraduate or bachelors degree.
  • Internationally respected, universally understood.
  • An essential requirement for many high-level jobs.
  • Gain a thorough understanding of your subject – and the tools to investigate, think critically, form reasoned arguments, solve problems and communicate effectively in new contexts.
  • Progress to higher level study, such as a postgraduate diploma or masters degree.
Course code


  • Credits measure the student workload required for the successful completion of a module or qualification.
  • One credit represents about 10 hours of study over the duration of the course.
  • You are awarded credits after you have successfully completed a module.
  • For example, if you study a 60-credit module and successfully pass it, you will be awarded 60 credits.
How long it takes
Part time – 2 years
Full time – 1 years
Time limit – 16 years
Study method
Distance learning

Course details

This top-up version of our BSc (Honours) Adult Nursing degree and our BSc (Honours) Mental Health Nursing degree, allows you to enter the course directly at Stage 3, provided that you meet the entry requirements.

Your study route will depend on the amount of credit transfer you receive for your previous nursing qualification and relevant credited post-qualifying study. If you receive 240 transferred credits, you’ll start at Stage 3 and study 120 credits to complete your honours degree. If you receive fewer than 240 transferred credits, you’ll need to complete up to 120 credits at Stage 2, and 120 credits at Stage 3.

Stage 2 (120 credits)

Should you need to study Stage 2, you’ll choose from a wide range of modules depending on your interests and professional background.

Stage 3 (120 credits)

You’ll examine a project theme pertinent to your practice, developing your personal and professional learning in evidence-based practice, and exploring implications for change and practice improvement – culminating in detailed action planning. You’ll also study one of: the ageing process and work with older adults; promoting public health; or frontline leadership and management roles.

We regularly review our curriculum; therefore, the qualification described on this page – including its availability, its structure, and available modules – may change over time. If we make changes to this qualification, we’ll update this page as soon as possible. Once you’ve registered or are studying this qualification, where practicable, we’ll inform you in good time of any upcoming changes. If you’d like to know more about the circumstances in which the University might make changes to the curriculum, see our Academic Regulations or contact us. This description was last updated on 21 March 2018.


We make all our qualifications as accessible as possible and have a comprehensive range of services to support all our students. The BSc (Hons) Nursing Practice uses a variety of study materials and has the following elements:

  • studying a mixture of printed and online material – online learning resources may include websites, audio/video media clips, and interactive activities such as online quizzes
  • working in a group with other students
  • finding external/third party material online
  • some modules may require you to use specialist software 

For more detailed information, see the Accessibility Statements on individual module descriptions. If you feel you may need additional support with any of the elements above, visit our disability page to find more about what we offer. Please contact us as soon as possible to discuss your individual requirements, so we can put arrangements in place before you start.

Learning outcomes, teaching and assessment

This qualification develops your learning in four main areas:

  • Knowledge and understanding
  • Cognitive skills
  • Practical and professional skills
  • Key skills

The level and depth of your learning gradually increases as you work through the qualification. You’ll be supported throughout by the OU’s unique style of teaching and assessment – which includes a personal tutor to guide and comment on your work; top quality course texts; e-learning resources like podcasts, interactive media and online materials; tutorial groups and community forums.

Read the detailed learning outcomes here

Credit transfer

To study this qualification, you must be currently registered on the NMC Professional Register Part 1. 

You will need to provide official academic evidence of your previous study in the form of your academic transcript and certificate.  You will also need to provide your NMC PIN – there is a section for this on the credit transfer application form.

You should apply for credit transfer before you register, at least 4-6 weeks before the registration closing date. 

For more details of when you will need to apply by and to download an application form, visit our Credit Transfer website.

Classification of your degree

On successful completion of the required number and type of modules you will be awarded a Bachelor of Science (Honours) Nursing Practice entitling you to use the letters BSc (Hons) Nurs Prac (Open) after your name.

Your undergraduate honours degree will be classified either as first-class honours, upper second-class honours, lower second-class honours or third-class honours.


As a student of The Open University, you should be aware of the content of the qualification-specific regulations below and the academic regulations that are available on our Student Policies and Regulations website. 

Entry requirements

To register on this qualification, you must be registered on the NMC professional register Part 1. If you undertook a Diploma of Higher Education (Nursing) that led to professional registration with the NMC you must include the official transcript of this qualification. If you gained your registered nurse qualification before the point when preparation for nursing moved into higher education, you will need to provide your original certificate, and you also have the opportunity to provide evidence of any previous study that you have undertaken as a registered nurse for consideration against academic credit.

You'll need to apply for credit transfer before you can register on this qualification and provide your NMC PIN as part of your application.

If your Diploma of Higher Education in Nursing was awarded by The Open University, you can contact us now to register on this degree – you will not need to apply for credit transfer.

If you studied in an EU/EEA member state, and are a national of those states, you will be eligible to apply for NMC registration (subject to NMC regulations).

How much time do I need?

  • Most of our students study part time, completing 60 credits a year.
  • This will usually mean studying for 16–18 hours a week.
Find out if you have enough time to study with our time planner

Your next step

Call us on +44 (0)1908 659253 or book a call back. Our friendly team of advisers will discuss your study options with you, and help you decide on the best starting point for you.

In this section:
How much will it cost?
Ways to pay for your qualification and other support

How much will it cost in England?

We believe cost shouldn’t be a barrier to achieving your potential. That’s why we work hard to keep the cost of study as low as possible and have a wide range of flexible ways to pay to help spread, or even reduce, the cost.

  • Fees are paid on a module-by-module basis – you won't have to pay for the whole of your qualification up front.
  • A qualification comprises a series of modules, each with an individual fee. Added together, they give you the total cost.
  • If, like most OU students, you study part time at a rate of 60 credits a year, you'll take six years to complete an honours degree.
  • Our current fee for 60 credits is £2,928*.
  • Our current fee for 120 credits – which is equivalent to a year's full-time study – is £5,856*.
  • At current prices, the total cost of your qualification would be £17,568*.

*The fee information provided here is valid for modules starting before 31 July 2019. Fees normally increase annually in line with inflation and the University's strategic approach to fees.

Additional costs

Study costs

There may be extra costs on top of the tuition fee, such as a laptop, travel to tutorials, set books and internet access.

If you're on a low income you might be eligible for help with some of these costs after you start studying.

Skills for career development

This qualification will be of particular interest if you want to build on your current knowledge and experience in the setting in which you work. It will provide the understanding and skills you need to take the lead in practice development and innovation. You’ll also have the opportunity to improve your IT skills – particularly in relation to researching and analysing the evidence base for practice and collaborating with others to enhance your continuing professional development.

Career relevance

This qualification enables registered nurses to enhance their career prospects by moving to a degree-level qualification. As nursing careers move towards graduate-only entry, it will help you develop your understanding of the nursing role and strengthen your future employability.

Other careers

Many graduate-level jobs are open to graduates of any discipline, particularly in business, finance, management consultancy and the public sector. Some careers may require further study, training and/or work experience beyond your degree.

In addition to improving your career prospects, studying with the OU is an enriching experience that broadens your horizons, develops your knowledge, builds your confidence and enhances your life skills. 

Exploring your options

Once you register with us (and for up to three years after you finish your studies), you’ll have full access to our careers service for a wide range of information and advice – including online forums, website, interview simulation, vacancy service as well as the option to email or speak to a careers adviser. Some areas of the careers service website are available for you to see now, including help with looking for and applying for jobs. You can also read more general information about how OU study enhances your career.

In the meantime if you want to find out more about qualification and where it might take you, we’ve put together a list of relevant job titles as a starting point (note that some careers may require further study, training and/or work experience beyond your degree):

  • Health visitor
  • Clinical nurse specialist
  • Practice nurse
  • Practice manager
  • Counsellor
  • Further education lecturer
  • Health service manager
  • Health promotion worker.

Want to see more jobs? Use the career explorer for job ideas from the National Careers Service, PlanIT Plus in Scotland and Prospects across all nations. You can also visit GradIreland for the Republic of Ireland.


To register for this qualification, please refer to the entry requirements under Am I ready? and contact us (online registration is not available).

Next start date Oct 2018 - Registration closes 13/09/2018
Credit transfer: apply by 16/08/2018

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