Foundation Degree in Nursing Associate Practice in partnership with Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust

We’ve partnered with Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust to offer our Foundation Degree in Nursing Associate Practice which will help you to develop the knowledge and skills needed to deliver high quality, safe and compassionate care. 

This new partnership provides an exciting opportunity if you are looking to start your career in nursing.
Nurses walking down hospital corridor

What are nursing associates?

The nursing associate is a new support role in England that bridges the gap between healthcare support workers and registered nurses to deliver hands-on, person-centred care as part of the nursing team. Nursing associates work with people of all ages in a variety of settings in health and social care.

Details of the role can be found on the Health Education England website and on the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) website.

How you’ll learn

If successful in your application, you will be supported to complete the practice learning elements of this qualification by Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust in London.

The theory elements of the Foundation Degree are delivered online through tutor-supported distance learning, giving you the flexibility to fit these parts of the programme around your life.

Imperial College Trust logo

Who can apply?

To register for this qualification, you'll need to:

nurse talking to patient

What you'll study

This foundation degree has two stages, 120 credits are studied at Stage 1 and a further 120 credits at Stage 2. There is one theory module and one practice module per stage. To support work force planning, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust are anticipating that students normally study this qualification over two years.

  • You’ll begin your studies at Stage 1 with a 60-credit module introducing health and social care, studied in parallel with a longer 60-credit module that focuses on healthcare practice where you'll be required to complete 770 hours in practice as part of your studies.
  • In Stage 2, you’ll complete your foundation degree with a 60-credit theory module, and a 60-credit practice module where you will need to complete a further 770 hours in practice.  

Key features of the course

  • Builds a solid foundation for further study and potential progression to study to be a registered nurse.
  • Essential preparation/underpinning knowledge and skills for the role of nursing associate.
  • Covers all fields of nursing practice across the lifespan including long term conditions, mental health, children and young people, end of life care, learning disabilities, primary, secondary, community and acute care.
  • Upon successful completion, secure a role as a nursing associate with Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust as a nursing associate practitioner.  

How much time do I need?

  • For this programme, you’ll study full time completing 120 credits a year.
  • This will usually mean studying for 25 hours a week, plus work-based learning.
You can find out more about studying with The Open University and our Foundation Degree in Nursing Associate Practice by watching this video.

How to apply

Applications for the October 2022 start date are now open and will close on 30 June 2022
To apply, complete this application form, referring to the application guidance notes, and return to by noon on 30 June 2022.

If you have any queries and would like to speak to an advisor about this programme, please email or call 0300 303 0529.

If you plan to fund your studies through a Tuition Fee Loan, this should be done alongside your application, as this funding needs to be in place by the final enrolment date of 9 September 2022.  

Credit transfer

If you have previously studied either nursing, or a closely related subject at the higher education level within the last 5 years, you may be eligible to apply for credit transfer towards this degree. To apply for credit transfer complete this application form and email it to

Male nurse sitting at computer

Fees and funding

For the first stage of this programme, you will need to fund your own studies. After successful completion of Stage 1, Stage 2 will be funded by Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust.

  • The price of the Foundation degree is £7,500 per year, £15,000 in total.
  • Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust will fully-fund second year tuition fees.
We offer a wide range of flexible payment options to help make study more affordable, including: 

  • Tuition Fee Loan – the most popular way to pay for university study in England.
  • Open University Student Budget Account – A convenient ‘pay as you go’ option to pay your OU fees.
  • Credit/Debit card – You can pay part or all of your tuition fees upfront with a debit or credit card when you register for each module.
  • Mixed payments – Where you might want to combine payment options.
The fee information provided here is valid for modules starting before 31 July 2023. Fees normally increase annually in line with inflation and the University's strategic approach to fees.

Additional costs

There may be extra costs on top of the tuition fee, such as the cost of a computer and internet access.

If your income is lower than £25,000 or you are in receipt of a qualifying benefit, you might be eligible for help with some of these costs after you start studying.

If you have a disability or specific learning difficulty, a Disabled Students’ Allowances (DSAs) can help with additional study costs that result directly from your disability, on-going health condition, sensory impairment, mental health condition or specific learning difficulty. For further information, visit our Disability support website.

On completion

Upon successful completion of this programme and registration with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) as a Nursing Associate, you will be offered a role as a Nursing Associate with Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust.