Best UK Universities For Nursing – 2023 Guide
Pursuing a nursing degree is a rewarding and fulfilling career choice, and selecting the right university is crucial to ensure a solid foundation for your professional journey. In this article, we will explore the best nursing universities in the UK, known for their exceptional education programmes, experienced faculty, and state-of-the-art facilities. Whether you’re a prospective student or considering a career change, join us as we delve into the institutions that provide outstanding nursing education and equip you with the skills to make a difference in the healthcare field.
Table of Contents
Why Get A Nursing Degree?
Getting a nursing degree can be a significant step towards a rewarding and fulfilling career in healthcare. Here are several reasons why you should consider pursuing a nursing degree:
Nursing is a profession that allows you to directly impact and improve the lives of others. You can make a positive difference in their health outcomes and overall well-being by providing care, support, and compassion to patients. The relationships you build with patients and their families, the impact you have on their lives, and the gratitude you receive can create a deep sense of personal satisfaction.
Secondly, the demand for qualified nurses continues to grow, both nationally and globally. With a nursing degree, you open yourself up to a wide range of job opportunities in various healthcare settings. This includes hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, community health centres, and more. The increasing demand is expected to continue with an aging population, advancements in healthcare technology, and an increasing focus on preventive care.
Nursing offers a wide range of specialisations and career paths. A nursing degree provides you with the foundation to pursue your specific interests and goals within the field. You can decide between pediatric nursing, critical care, mental health, oncology, or any other area.
Nursing is a profession that challenges you intellectually, emotionally, and physically. You will certainly develop critical thinking skills, resilience, problem-solving abilities, and the capacity to handle complex situations. This personal and professional growth can enhance your confidence and contribute to lifelong learning. Nurses also have the opportunity to expand their knowledge, pursue advanced degrees, and take on leadership roles within their organisations.
Why Study Nursing in the UK?
The UK is renowned for its excellent education system, including its nursing programmes. UK universities and colleges often have a strong reputation for providing high-quality education. A crucial element is by combining theoretical knowledge with practical training in clinical settings. They are also recognised globally, ensuring that your qualification holds value wherever you choose to work.
The UK is home to many prestigious universities and institutions that offer nursing programmes. In addition, the curriculum is designed to meet the standards and requirements set by regulatory bodies, such as the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) in the UK.
The National Health Service (NHS) in the UK is one of the largest employers of nurses and offers a wide range of job prospects in various specialties and healthcare settings. Studying nursing in the UK gives you access to cutting-edge research facilities, participate in research projects, and contribute to advancements in nursing practice. This also allows you to engage with experienced nursing professionals and experts in the field.
Top 5 Nursing Universities in the UK
Here is our list of the best universities for nursing degrees in the UK entering 2024. Do note that this list is non-exhaustive and in no particular order.
1. The University of Edinburgh
The nursing programme at the University of Sheffield offers a comprehensive and rigorous curriculum designed to prepare students for a successful career in healthcare. The programme provides a strong theoretical foundation combined with practical skills and hands-on experience. Students have access to state-of-the-art facilities. This includes simulation labs and dedicated nursing practice areas, which enhance their learning experience. The programme also places a strong emphasis on clinical placements, allowing students to gain valuable practical experience in various healthcare settings. Graduates of the programme are eligible to register with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) in the UK. This directly enables them to practice as registered nurses and make a positive impact on the lives of individuals and communities.
The nursing faculty at the University of Sheffield consists of experienced educators and researchers who are dedicated to providing high-quality education and mentorship to students. They bring a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the classroom, ensuring that students receive the latest evidence-based education. The university’s supportive learning environment and resources contribute to the success of students, helping them excel academically. Upon completion of the programme, graduates will be well-prepared to enter the healthcare profession and contribute to the health and well-being of society.
2. University of Glasgow
The Bachelor of Nursing (Honours) programme offered by the University of Glasgow has consistently achieved top rankings in various university league tables. In the recent 2023 rankings, the nursing programme at UofG has secured remarkable positions, affirming its excellence in the field. According to the Complete University Guide, the programme holds the prestigious 1st rank in the UK for nursing. Similarly, The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide also recognised the programme’s exceptional quality, awarding it the top position in the UK for nursing. Additionally, the Guardian University Guide ranked the programme as the 2nd best in the UK for nursing, further solidifying its impressive standing. These consistent top rankings reflect the programme’s commitment to delivering a high-quality education and its outstanding reputation among both students and professionals in the field of nursing.
You can also follow the programme updates here.
3. Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh
Queen Margaret University in Edinburgh consistently ranks in various internationally recognised league tables. This nursing programme stands out for several reasons. Firstly, students benefit from specialist facilities, including a Clinical Simulation Suite and practical experience in diverse health and social care settings. The programme also provides a supportive learning environment with small classes and individual support from experienced faculty. Additionally, the university employs creative teaching methods to foster personal development and effective communication skills. Notably, the programme is approved by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC), enabling graduates to register as a Registered Nurse (Adult) and pursue a fulfilling nursing career.
4. University of Sheffield
The nursing degree programme offers excellent preparation for students to become Registered Adult Nurses, while providing support to help them excel. They are taught by a team of experts from diverse healthcare backgrounds who share best practices and introduce current nursing concepts.
The programme emphasises practical experience. Students will spend half of their education in clinical placements within the same local area, including community, primary care, and hospital settings. Students also have the opportunity to visit and evaluate potential community partners before choosing their placement.
To enhance learning, the programme features a state-of-the-art Clinical Skills Centre equipped with mock wards, resuscitation suites, simulation theatres, homes, classrooms, and advanced equipment. This facility enables students to apply their knowledge and refine their clinical abilities in a realistic environment, ensuring they gain valuable hands-on experience.
5. Cardiff University
Cardiff University’s Bachelor of Nursing (Adult) programme is highly esteemed, ranking 5th in the UK and 1st in Wales according to the Complete University Guide 2023. Located within Wales’ largest hospital, students are immersed in a genuine healthcare environment from day one. The programme boasts high-tech simulation suites and equipment that mirror real healthcare settings, ensuring students receive comprehensive training and preparation for their future careers as qualified professionals. Cardiff University offers a compelling combination of academic excellence, immersive learning experiences, and modern facilities, making it an excellent choice for aspiring Registered Adult Nurses.
Nursing University League Table 2024
Here is a list of the best UK universities for nursing as we enter 2024:
|Rank||Institution||Entry Standards||Student Satisfaction||Research Quality||Continuation||Graduate prospects outcomes||Graduate prospects on track||Overall Score|
|1||University of Sheffield||151||4.04||3.49||100||100|
|2||University of Glasgow||204||4.42||3.48||96.7||100||92||99.2|
|3||The University of Edinburgh||208||4.21||3.32||95.5||95||94||98.5|
|4||University of Manchester||155||3.61||3.58||96.3||98||92||97.6|
|5||University of Liverpool||152||3.86||3.22||94.6||100||96||97.6|
|6||Queen's University Belfast||138||3.94||3.53||95.3||100||96||97.3|
|7||University of Leeds||152||3.44||3.5||95||100||96||97.3|
|8||University of York||147||3.94||3.5||92.9||99||95||97.1|
|9||University of Southampton||147||3.74||3.57||95.1||96||91||96.7|
|11||University of Nottingham||141||3.52||3.53||96||99||93||96.5|
|12||King's College London, University of London||143||3.58||3.64||95.3||100||90||96.4|
|15||University of Birmingham||150||3.11||3.36||91.6||100||100||96.1|
|16||Northumbria University, Newcastle||148||3.53||3.3||93.6||100||94||96.1|
|17||University of Surrey||147||3.99||3.36||87.2||97||97||95.8|
|20||University of Plymouth||148||3.69||3.01||89.5||99||94||95.2|
|22||University of East Anglia UEA||136||3.55||3.34||91.6||98||94||95|
|23||University of Lincoln||134||3.5||3.35||93.7||99||89||94.6|
|24||University of Hertfordshire||128||3.93||3.21||95.6||97||89||94.5|
|25||University of West London||125||4.06||2.79||93.3||99||93||94.4|
|26||City, University of London||137||3.58||3.37||93.4||94||90||94.4|
|27||University of Salford||137||3.69||3.01||92.1||100||92||94.3|
|28||University of Portsmouth||132||3.72||3.13||91.5||100||93||94.3|
|29||University of Greenwich||126||4.21||2.95||94.2||97||88||94.3|
|30||Liverpool John Moores University||140||3.79||2.74||92.5||99||89||94|
|32||Oxford Brookes University||127||3.65||3.09||95.6||96||91||93.8|
|33||University of Hull||132||3.54||3.3||89.1||99||91||93.7|
|34||University of Bradford||136||3.56||2.99||94.4||95||89||93.7|
|35||Birmingham City University||132||3.71||2.95||92.5||99||91||93.6|
|36||Bristol, University of the West of England||135||3.4||3.13||93.2||99||89||93.5|
|37||Teesside University, Middlesbrough||124||3.68||2.92||91.8||100||95||93.5|
|38||University of Brighton||136||3.57||3.22||89.5||98||90||93.5|
|40||Manchester Metropolitan University||143||3.63||3.02||88.8||100||85||93.2|
|41||University of Huddersfield||136||3.64||2.66||89.2||98||92||92.9|
|42||Leeds Beckett University||130||3.66||3.03||86||100||96||92.9|
|43||Glasgow Caledonian University||140||3.66||3.41||92.1||98||94||92.7|
|44||London South Bank University||123||3.86||2.9||91||98||89||92.7|
|45||Edinburgh Napier University||129||4.14||3.08||92.6||98||93||92.7|
|46||University of Worcester||132||3.46||2.61||90.4||99||93||92.6|
|47||University of Derby||136||3.94||2.59||87.8||98||89||92.5|
|48||University of Roehampton||109||4.35||3.06||87.1||92.5|
|49||Edge Hill University||139||3.55||2.76||88.3||97||90||92.4|
|50||University of South Wales||138||3.54||2.77||88.3||98||89||92.4|
|51||Sheffield Hallam University||126||3.33||2.69||92.6||100||91||92.3|
|52||De Montfort University||129||3.66||2.64||89||98||92||92.3|
|53||University of Chester||127||3.6||2.81||89.8||99||86||92.3|
|54||University of Essex||114||3.69||2.9||89.7||98||92||92.2|
|55||University of Central Lancashire||136||3.52||3||84.2||99||93||92.2|
|56||Glyndwr University, Wrexham||96||4.55||2.03||100||100||91.9|
|57||Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh||136||3.67||2.84||96.9||100||83||91.8|
|59||Anglia Ruskin University||118||3.96||3||88.4||98||87||91.8|
|60||University of Dundee||122||3.84||3.39||90.3||99||89||91.7|
|61||Canterbury Christ Church University||123||3.7||2.86||88.4||98||88||91.5|
|62||University of Bolton||129||3.88||1.03||95.2||100||90||91.5|
|63||University of Stirling||132||3.65||3.14||91.1||96||87||91.1|
|64||University of East London||104||3.5||2.76||94.6||91.1|
|65||University of Wolverhampton||129||3.61||2.66||84.2||98||92||91.1|
|66||University of Northampton||122||3.6||1.95||88.2||99||93||91.1|
|67||Robert Gordon University||119||3.85||2.53||93.8||97||95||90.8|
|69||University of Bedfordshire||126||3.93||2.58||78.6||100||95||90.7|
|70||University of Gloucestershire||109||3.45||2.32||88.7||94||93||90.2|
|71||University of Leicester||138||3.92||88.5||90|
|72||University of Sunderland||127||3.54||2.87||83.2||92||88||89.9|
|73||Solent University (Southampton)||120||3.85||93.4||89.6|
|74||University of Winchester||113||4.09||92.5||89.2|
|75||Buckinghamshire New University||118||3.97||2.51||83.3||95||84||89.1|
|76||University of Suffolk||116||3.61||89.1||99||92||88.8|
|78||University of the West of Scotland||121||3.72||2.78||90.3||91||85||88.6|
|79||University of Cumbria||123||3.59||86.8||99||88||88.3|
|80||University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI)||120||3.86||89.7||98||88||86.9|
|81||Nottingham Trent University||119||3.83||73.1||83.9|
How are the Rankings Measured?
The ranking methodology includes several key indicators, such as teaching quality, research output and reputation, industry connections and engagement, international diversity, and citations. These indicators help evaluate the academic environment, resources, faculty expertise, and global impact of relevant institutions. The rankings also consider factors like student satisfaction, graduate employability, and the influence and reach of research conducted by the universities.
Frequently Asked Questions about UK Nursing Universities
In the UK, most nursing programs are three years long for undergraduate degrees. However, there may be variations depending on the specific course and university. Some programs offer accelerated options for students who already have a relevant degree.
Nursing is a highly valued profession in the UK, and there is a strong demand for qualified nurses. Nursing graduates often find employment in a variety of healthcare settings, including hospitals, clinics, community care centers, and home care. The career outlook is generally positive, with opportunities for career progression and further specialisation.
Clinical placements are an integral part of nursing education in the UK. Students have the opportunity to gain practical experience in various healthcare settings, working alongside qualified healthcare professionals. These placements provide hands-on learning and help develop essential skills.
Yes, there are several options for further education and specialisation after completing a nursing degree. Many universities offer postgraduate programs, such as Master’s degrees or advanced practice courses, which allow nurses to develop expertise in specific areas or pursue leadership positions in healthcare.
Apply To The Top Nursing Universities In The UK Today
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Apply To Your Favourite UK University Today!
Speak to us today for free application assistance and education advice. Our expert consultants are more than happy to help!