Thinking of studying nursing in the United Kingdom? Well, that is a good choice. The UK is known to be an expert when it comes to the field of nursing, and in general, the courses in nursing are focused on adult health, child health, learning disability, and mental health. In order to land a job, students are expected to have in-depth theoretical knowledge and hands-on experience in private and public hospitals.

When it comes to salary, the pay is not too bad. For new nurses, the starting salary can be around USD $30,000 per year, and for nurse assistants/trainees, the annual salary could be around USD $23,000. When you complete the Bachelor of Science in Nursing in the UK, your starting salary would be around that of a trainee. However, with more years of experience, you can expect your salary to increase by nearly 40%.

After finishing your undergraduate coursework, you can further your career with a master’s degree in the UK, which can widen your job opportunities. However, if you are an international student, you still have to undergo the Overseas Nursing Programme (ONP) to get the qualification to work in the UK.

Can International Students Study Nursing in the UK?

The answer is yes since international students are invited to study nursing in the UK. Unlike other countries that might discriminate against applicants due to their nationality, the nursing schools in the United Kingdom offer equal chances of admissions to both domestic and international applicants.

Check Also: United Kingdom Programs for International Students

How Much Is Studying Nursing in UK for International Applicants?

In order to study nursing in the UK, the range of tuition fees goes from USD $14,000 to USD $52,000 per year, and the living costs in the UK is around USD $18,000 per year. Combined with the tuition fees and living costs, your monthly expenses might take a heavy toll if you are financially prepared beforehand. Make sure to research the financial side of studying abroad in the UK before travelling overseas.

Steps to Studying Nursing in the UK

1. Know the Nursing Requirements in the United Kingdom

If you wish to study nursing in the UK as a foreign student, you must complete the Overseas Nursing Programme (ONP). With ONP, you can become a licensed nurse in the country which enables you to work in a private hospital or National Health Service (NHS). In order to be eligible to take the ONP, you must first study for a bachelor’s degree in nursing.

When it comes to academic programs in the United Kingdom, most universities offer bachelor’s, master’s, and Ph.D. programs. To give you a few examples, you can study Bachelor of Nursing (Honours) and Masters in Advanced Practice in Health Care at the University of Glasgow. Whereas, at the University of Bradford, you can study several bachelor’s and master’s programs such as BSc Clinical Nursing Practice and Masters in Advanced Care of the Older Person.

In order to get into a nursing program in the UK, the applicants are commonly required to obtain at least two A-levels or equivalent criteria at level three and an IELTS score of 7.0. However, keep in mind that each university has its own entry requirements since at King’s College London, they require A-Level Required grades of BBB, International Baccalaureate: 32 points, and five GCSEs grade 4/C including varying subjects.

If you really don’t like the undergraduate and graduate programs offered by institutions here, you also have the option to take nursing degree apprenticeships where you study at an approved education institution of the hospital.

If you are interested in the universities mentioned above, take a look at King’s College London Scholarships. There are also various scholarships available at the UK for those interested in nursing.

2. Research the Nursing Schools in UK

Before stepping into foreign soil to continue your studies, you have to do a thorough research of the school that you want to attend. Keep in mind that only approved educational institutions (AEIs) are allowed to offer nursing degrees in England, and also realized that this country is known for having top nursing schools, which are taught by prominent nurses due to high demand.

When choosing a school to study nursing in the United Kingdom, pick the one that has many suitable facilities, several courses to choose from, and a good social environment. Since you will be studying for many years at the university, it is best to choose a nursing school that you are most comfortable with. If you don’t mind living anywhere in the UK, try to pick a school that fits your financial budget. There are some affordable universities in the UK for those with a tight budget, so check them out!

3. Fulfill English Proficiency Requirements

Even though they have their own distinct accent, the UK is still an English-speaking country. Thus, all of their classes are taught in English, which is great news for international students. If you are an international applicant, you have to present an English proficiency certificate that requires a certain level of scores such as IELTS or TOEFL. For example, at the University of Glasgow, they require an IELTS score of 7.0, a minimum of 6.5 in writing, and 7 in reading, listening, and speaking parts.

If you don’t want to take an IELTS or if IELTS is not available in your country, you can also present an Occupational English Test (OET) with a minimum of a B grade in all sections. However, take note that these English tests have an expiration date, which might be a problem for applicants who have already taken their IELTS or OET several years ago.

4. Know the Tuition for Studying Nursing in the UK

Studying nursing in the United Kingdom requires financial preparation, which means that you have to be financially capable of sustaining your daily needs, school fees, and also for emergencies. Going on a tight budget can be difficult for international students since living in the UK can be quite expensive. When it comes to numbers, the average cost of living in the UK is around USD $18,000 per year.

In addition to your living costs, the tuition fees charged by universities can be around USD $14,000 to USD $52,000, and the fees can vary depending on your country of origin and the courses that you decide to take. To give a brief overview, King’s College London charges around USD $13,000 for UK citizens, but for international students, the tuition fees are around USD $43,000 per year, which tends to increase to mandatory fees.

5. Prepare Your Application Materials

Once you have chosen the universities you want to apply for, you can prepare your application requirements. Each nursing school has its own criteria to follow for you to get accepted into the program. For example, at the University of Edinburgh, they require documents that include your grades that meet a certain level such as A-Levels: AAB – ABB, IB: 34 points with 655 at HL, English proficiency tests such as IELTS, TOEFL, and Cambridge.

Aside from grades, it is also required to present a certificate that shows that you are fit and healthy to study nursing in the UK. Nursing demands a lot of physical work and a strong immune system for you are dealing with different illnesses every day. You can check out the Higher Educational Occupational Physicians/Practitioners (HEOPS) for guidelines. Moreover, professionals with working experience are also preferred. Once the documents have been reviewed, you can be shortlisted for an interview and offered the program.

6. Submit Your Application to Nursing Schools in the United Kingdom

When you have prepared your documents, start applying by filling out the form. You will send your educational qualifications, a motivational letter, reference, and other materials, but please remember to submit them before the deadline. It will be reviewed thoroughly whether you are fit for the program or not. When you are accepted, you will be interviewed and offered the degree program.

If you accept their offer, you will have to go through their acceptance process on what to do upon accepting offers. You can expect some schools to ask candidates to take an examination as well, and this is also the time to consider the tuition fees, scholarships, and housing accommodation. Moreover, you may be asked to have a criminal record check.

After getting accepted, the universities usually do a certificate check to see if your documents are legitimate, and of course, do make sure that you are submitting real and authentic documents to avoid future problems.

7. Submit Student Visa Application

Getting accepted into a university is only the beginning. Obtaining a UK student visa is the most crucial part of studying nursing in the United Kingdom. Even if you have a university already, you may still get rejected from having a visa. Thus, always be prepared with the necessary requirements in obtaining a visa, especially financial requirements. According to UK Government Website, you can apply for a student visa online. If you are an international student outside the UK, you need to give your fingerprints and photographs.

To apply, it is required to present your current passport, a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) from your course provider, proof of income, a valid ATAS certificate depending on nationality. You may be wondering how much money you should have for your proof of income. As a rule of thumb, your bank account should show enough money to pay for one academic year, which will be shown on your Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS), and enough money for your daily needs. For example, if you are studying in London, it is recommended to have an allowance of USD 1,803 a month, whereas if you are outside London you should have USD 1,383 a month.


I hope that this article on studying nursing in the United Kingdom was helpful. If you are interested to know more information like this, check out the United Kingdom Programs for International Students!