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Diplomas in nursing

Pre registration nursing diploma courses are available on a full and part time basis at a variety of educational institutions. This page gives an overview of the options available.

It is intended that nursing will move to a degree level qualification leading to registration for new entrants to the profession. The earliest possible date this would happen would be Sept 2011 and the details are being worked through at the moment. Courses in 2009 and 2010 will run as planned with no structural changes.

DipHE (full time)

Pre-registration nursing diploma of higher education (DipHE) programmes provide both an academic and professional qualification through integrated study of theory and supervised nursing practice.

Pre-registration nurse education programmes take place in higher education institutions. Diploma programmes begin with a common foundation programme (CFP) which provides a general introduction to nursing, in particular it develops your observational, communication and caring skills. The CFP also includes an introduction to the four branches of nursing and to maternity care.

Supervised nursing practice is 50% of the programme and takes place in both hospital and community settings. The programmes are three years in length, beginning with a 12 or 18 month common foundation programme (CFP) followed by an 18 or 24 month branch programme in one of the four nursing branches: adult, mental health, learning disabilities or childrens nursing.

DipHE (part time)

A number of institutions offer the diploma on a part-time basis. For further information on course structure, hours of study and length of course you are advised to contact the universities offering the programmes directly.

Advanced diplomas (full-time)

A number of HEIs offer advanced diploma courses, which like diploma and degree courses, lead to registration with the NMC. The advanced diplomas give more credits at level 3, therefore to top up to degree level is faster, and whilst an advanced diploma requires AS/A2’s, the number of UCAS points required for entry is usually lower than those required for a degree. HEIs usually offer the advanced diploma and degree.