What qualifications do I need to have in order to apply for this course?

You can see the entry requirements here. If your qualifications are not listed then contact the admissions tutor with full details of your qualifications for advice.

I don’t have an English language qualification – what should I do?

You must have an English language/literature qualification to start this programme. You may be made an offer which is subject to English Language and you must obtain this before you will be permitted to start the course. The University offers English language testing free of charge to offer holders.

Do you accept GCSE English Literature instead of English Language?

Yes, we do.

I am undertaking some GCSEs and won’t obtain the results of the examinations until after the course starts. Is this okay?

No, you must meet the entry requirements for the programme prior to starting the course.

Is my degree classed as a relevant subject?

If you need confirmation that your degree is in a relevant subject contact the admissions tutor. Sometimes an immediate response can be provided. Where the subject is less obvious you may be asked to complete a form outlining the subjects studied and submit a copy of your degree transcript. Upon receiving this information the admissions tutor will then be able to confirm whether your degree is appropriate for this programme.

What do I do if the degree is not considered relevant?

The admissions tutor will advise you but usually we would advise you to apply for the undergraduate nursing programme.

I have a third class degree – will you accept this?

Unfortunately not. You must have a 2:2 classification or higher to access this programme. However, you may be eligible to apply for the undergraduate nursing programme with this qualification but discuss this with the admissions tutor before submitting your application.

Work Experience

Why do I need to have 650 hours’ practice experience to apply for this programme?

The PGDip Nursing Studies (Adult) programme is a two-year course which is designed for those who have a degree in a relevant subject and at least 650 hours’ relevant experience. By meeting these criteria you will be eligible to use this qualification and experience to apply for exemption from one year’s training. The two-year PGDip Nursing Studies programme is not three years’ training condensed into two years, it is a two-year course plus the degree that you already have, plus the 650 hours’ experience that you already have. If you don’t have a relevant degree and 650 hours’ experience then you would not be eligible to apply for the two-year programme.

I have many years’ relevant experience but I don’t have a degree. Am I eligible to apply for this course?

No. You must meet both the academic and the practice entry requirements for this course. If you don’t then you may wish to consider the undergraduate nursing programme.

Does the 650 hours’ experience have to be obtained in one setting?

No. The hours can comprise a range of experiences but they do have to add up to at least 650 hours. If shortlisted you will be asked to provide evidence of these hours.

What type of experience is relevant?

We look for experience which involves working with the public in some form of ‘helping’ capacity. This might be working as a health care assistant/support worker/carer or as an advisor or as a teacher. Maybe you worked with homeless people or as a befriender to older adults. You may have worked with children or with people with mental health problems or learning disabilities. Caring for a family member may also be relevant. The list isn’t exhaustive and you are advised to contact the admissions tutor if you want to discuss your experience. The experience could be gained via paid employment, voluntary work or a mixture of the two. However you must be able to provide verifiable proof of your experience. If you cannot provide verifiable proof of the hours, we cannot accept them.

My experience has been gained through caring for a family member/friend but I’m not sure how I can provide evidence of the hours.

Caring for a relative/friend is very valuable experience but you must be able to provide evidence supporting the number of hours spent in this role. The evidence must come from a registered practitioner – such as a nurse, general practitioner or social worker –and they must be able to confirm the hours spent caring for your relative/friend. Unfortunately if this evidence cannot be provided we will not be able to count this experience towards the 650 hours’ requirement.

Course Start Dates

When does the course start?

November 2018

November 2019

Cohort Sizes

How many students will be in each cohort?

The numbers may vary slightly but are likely to be around 30 students per cohort. We strive to give our students the best possible experience on their nursing course and believe that this is best achieved by keeping the cohorts small. Because our cohorts are small we get to know our students well. This enables us to tailor our support to meet individual requirements – something that may be difficult to achieve when there are large numbers of students to work with. The smaller cohorts give our School a community feel – you are more than just a number!


How many placements will I undertake as part of this course?

The course comprises 50% theory and 50% practice. This means that half of your time on the course will be spent on placements. Your placements will take place across a broad spectrum of settings – from placements with district nurses to medical or surgical wards or critical care areas.

Where will I go on placement?

If you are shortlisted for interview you will be asked to identify your preferred placement locality. Upon being offered and accepting a place on the course you will be allocated a placement locality and you will stay in this locality for the duration of your course. Placement localities are Sheffield, Doncaster and Bassetlaw, Rotherham, and Barnsley. All of your placements – whether community or hospital-based – will take place in that locality. We try wherever possible to allocate your preferred placement area but sometimes it will be necessary to allocate your second, and very occasionally your third choice.

Why can’t I have placements across South Yorkshire?

As a student nurse you will experience a wide range of placements but we feel that it important to experience these within one local area. Whilst healthcare providers do follow the same guidelines/standards of practice there may be some variations – particularly in relation to paperwork and routines, for example. Rather than learning new processes in each placement area it is more appropriate to focus on learning new knowledge and skills without spending time on each placement going over how to complete their paperwork, for example. Also, by remaining in the same placement locality you experience continuity of care and are more likely to feel part of the team within the organisation.

I live in Leeds/York/Bradford – could I have my placements here instead of in South Yorkshire?

Unfortunately not. The University of Sheffield has contracts with healthcare providers across South Yorkshire to provide placements for our students. Other universities will have contracts with the healthcare providers in their local areas to provide placements for their own students and so will not be able to provide additional placements for students of other universities.


How do I apply for this course?

Applications must be made via UCAS.

Can I apply directly to the University?

Sorry, we do not accept direct applications. Applications to this course are only accepted via UCAS.

When do applications close?

Applications to the programme will close as soon as all places are filled. Early applications are encouraged.

What is the institution code that I need to use on my UCAS application?

The institution code for The University of Sheffield is S18.

What is the course code that I need to use on my application?

The course code for the PGDip Nursing Studies (Adult) programme is 3010.

Can I speak to someone about my application before I submit it via UCAS?

You are welcome to contact either the admissions tutor or the programme leader to discuss your application prior to submitting it via UCAS. Please be aware that a decision cannot be made in relation to the likelihood of success until your application has been processed.

What do you look for in a personal statement?

The main things that we look for are a commitment to adult nursing, relevant experience and values aligned to nursing. We also look at the presentation of the personal statement.

My personal statement relates to a different course. Could I send an amended version to the University?

Yes, send it to the admissions tutor via email with your rationale for the change. Ensure that you include your full name and UCAS number in your email.

I have a criminal conviction/caution. Does this mean that I am not eligible to apply for the programme?

Having a criminal conviction or a caution would not automatically exclude you from a nursing programme. When you apply via UCAS you need to tick the box declaring your conviction/caution. If your application is shortlisted we will get in touch to ask for more details of your declaration. Depending on the information provided we may then contact our placement providers to ensure that they would be willing to offer you placements. If they are then we would continue to process your application as normal. Unfortunately if the placement providers feel unable to offer you placements then we would not be able to take your application forward.

I have a criminal conviction/caution but I did not declare it on my application form. What should I do?

Candour is a vital attribute for nursing and, as such, you are encouraged to declare the conviction/caution at the earliest opportunity. Not doing so could have consequences for your ability to join or continue on the programme or on your eligibility to register as a nurse.

I am an international student – am I eligible to apply for this programme?

Unfortunately we are only accepting applications from home/EU applicants at this time.

Do you accept mature students onto this programme?

Certainly. We value the life experience that mature students bring to the programme.

Do you accept transfers onto this programme?

All applications are considered on their individual merits and you would need to contact the admissions tutor to discuss this further.

I started a nursing programme at another university before leaving/being asked to leave. Could I apply for this programme?

You would need to contact the admissions tutor to discuss this request. We would need to look into your reasons for not completing the course elsewhere and we would need to obtain a reference from your former course leader. You are unlikely to be successful if your non-completion was due to academic/practice failure.

I applied for this course in the past and was unsuccessful. Am I able to apply again?

Yes, you may re-apply but not in the same admissions cycle as your original application.

I want to be a midwife/children’s nurse/mental health nurse/learning disability nurse. Do you offer these courses?

No. We currently only offer adult nursing courses at The University of Sheffield. When shortlisting applications we look for applicants who are clearly committed to adult nursing.

How can I improve my chances of a successful application?

In your application form: Ensure that you meet the entry requirements. Show a clear commitment to adult nursing – where possible support this with evidence of relevant experience. Ensure that you demonstrate values which align closely with those outlined in the NHS Constitution. Take care with the presentation of your application form – check that spellings, grammar and punctuation are accurate. Ensure that you list all of your qualifications and experience on the form.
On the selection day: Be interested in nursing! Think about how you present yourself. Participate fully in the group exercise…

I have some special needs/additional requirements. Could I still apply to the programme?

You are very welcome to discuss your requirements with the admissions tutor or the course leader before you apply to the programme. Wherever possible we do our best to accommodate additional requirements.

Can I submit a UCAS application without including a reference?

We would need to see the reference before we could make a decision in relation to shortlisting your application.

What happens to my application form once I have submitted it to UCAS?

UCAS forward the application to our central admissions team who then pass the application on to the admissions tutor in the School of Nursing and Midwifery. The admissions tutor checks whether your qualifications meet the entry requirements before reading your personal statement and reference. The admissions tutor then makes a decision on whether to shortlist your application at the initial stage. Shortlisted applicants are then contacted and asked to provide further information.

What further information will be requested at the next stage?

If your application is shortlisted at the initial stage you will be contacted and asked to provide the following:

  • a second reference. If your UCAS application includes an academic reference you will be asked to provide a practice reference and vice versa.
  • evidence of your degree relevance
  • evidence of your practice experience – including proof of the number of hours’ experience obtained.
  • proof of qualifications

Once all of the above information has been returned, the admissions tutor will decide whether to invite you to a selection day. Returning the requested information in a timely manner will ensure that your application is dealt with promptly.

What happens if I don’t return the requested information?

You will be sent one reminder to return the outstanding information. If there is still no response then your application will be rejected. If you need more time to provide the information, just let us know.

When are the selection days?

We hold monthly selection events - details will be forwarded upon shortlisting.

If I cannot attend the selection day can I request an alternative date?

If you are unable to attend the selection day please let us know and we will provide an alternative date where possible. You will usually be offered a maximum of three dates before your application is withdrawn. If you do not attend the selection day and do not make contact beforehand or on the day then your application will be rejected.

Can I bring someone with me to the selection day?

Unfortunately this is not possible as we are only able to accommodate candidates on these days. Anyone accompanying you will be directed to a café or similar but we don’t have a dedicated waiting area unfortunately. If your companion wants to learn more about the course/University then they are very welcome to attend one of our open days or arrange an alternative date to visit the School.

I have special requirements for the selection day/interview. Can you accommodate these?

Contact the admissions tutor and we will do our best to accommodate your requirements if we have been notified of them in advance of the selection day.

What can I expect on the selection day?

On the selection day you will be given the opportunity to meet the team and, where possible, some of our current students. If current students aren’t available on that date you will be given other opportunities to meet/contact them.
At the start of the day you will be given an introduction to the programme and the opportunity to look around the School and have any questions answered. You will be expected to participate in a group work exercise with other candidates. After lunch you will meet your interview panel and give a five-minute presentation to them. The topic of the presentation will be given to you in your invitation to the selection day. After your presentation you will have a 20-minute individual interview before you are free to leave.

Do I have to use PowerPoint for the presentation?

No, PowerPoint is available but you are free to deliver the presentation in any way that you feel is appropriate.

My presentation is longer than 5 minutes – is that okay?

Unfortunately not. It’s important that we stick to the time limit in order to avoid giving any unfair advantages. Also we don’t like to keep the other candidates waiting too long! If your presentation goes over time we may ask you to end your presentation even if you still have more to say.

Who will conduct the interviews?

The interview panels will usually comprise one member of the academic team and one Registered Nurse from one of our clinical partners. On some panels a patient/service user representative may also be present.

How can I prepare for the interview?

Our interviews are relatively informal and nothing to feel nervous about! Candidates who do well tend to be those who know what nursing involves, and why it is the career for them. We also look for candidates with values suited to nursing and those with an awareness of current issues in nursing.

When will I learn whether my application has been successful?

You will not be notified on the day of the interview. Keep an eye on your UCAS Track as this will notify you of the decision. We will not be able to discuss the outcome until it shows on your UCAS Track. Interview candidates usually learn the outcome of the interview within two weeks of attending the School. This decision may be delayed if we are awaiting further information but, if that is the case, you will be informed of the delay and the reason behind it.

Can I ask for feedback following the selection day?

Of course. We are happy to provide feedback via email or telephone. Contact the admissions tutor to arrange this. Due to the number of applications received we do not usually offer face-to-face feedback.


If I receive an offer but don’t achieve the grades what will happen?

If you don’t meet the conditions of your offer then you are not guaranteed a place on the course. Contact the admissions tutor if this affects you.

I have a place to start on the nursing course but have decided that I would like to take some time out before starting. Is it possible to defer entry to the course?

This may be possible. You will need to discuss this with the admissions tutor. Please be aware that if a deferral is agreed, you would not be permitted to defer more than once.

I have received an offer which states that it is subject to occupational health and Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) clearance. What does this mean?

All offers for nursing courses are subject to health clearance and DBS clearance. A few weeks before your course is due to start we will contact you to undertake an occupational health assessment. This assessment is conducted by the Occupational Health Department at our local Trust and is separate to the University. They must assess you as suitable for undertaking a nursing course and the activities that that involves. If you are assessed as unsuitable then unfortunately we would have to withdraw the offer of a place on the programme.
Also, a few weeks before the start of the programme you will be asked to complete a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) assessment. Should this assessment reveal a caution/conviction which has not already been addressed earlier in your application then we may withdraw the offer of a place on the programme.

I have received my certificates and now meet the conditions of my offer. What should I do?

You need to present your qualifications to the admissions team which is based on level 2 in the Arts Tower, The University of Sheffield. Once they have confirmed your qualifications they will amend your offer from a conditional to unconditional one.

Starting the Course

I am looking forward to starting the course – how should I prepare for this?

The course will give you everything that you need to prepare for registration as an adult nurse. There are two key areas where people tend to lack confidence and these are biology and numeracy. If you have time, revise body systems in biology and increase your confidence in relation to addition, subtraction, multiplication, division and conversions relating to numeracy. If it’s been a while since you studied, you may also benefit from revising study skills. These are only suggestions, and it is not compulsory to do this.

What do I need to buy before starting the course?

We would advise against buying books until you start the course. Arrive with pens and paper. If there is anything else that you need we will advise you after starting the programme.


Where should I live?

That’s up to you. Some students may prefer to live in an area closer to their placement locality since 50% of the course will be spent on placements.


Do I have to buy my own uniform?

Tunics and trousers will be provided. You will need to provide your own shoes and a coat for when you are on your community placements.


I have a holiday booked which means that I would miss a few weeks of the course – is that okay?

Unfortunately not. There are very strict attendance requirements for nursing courses because it is a Nursing and Midwifery Council requirement that you complete a fixed number of hours in both theory and practice. To ensure that you meet these requirements your training plan is set for the full three years of the course. Holidays are fixed throughout that time and you will be advised of the dates if you are shortlisted for interview. Holidays are not permitted to be taken outside of the fixed dates.

Fees and Finance

How much are the fees for this programme?

The fees for the programme are set by the University and are subject to change. 2018/19 fees are £9,250.

How do I pay for the course?

The University of Sheffield’s web pages have lots of information about fees, funding and finance. Find it here.

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