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Home>Study at York>Postgraduate>Courses>Nursing (Adult Field) with Professional Registration (PGDip)

Overview This exciting course offers graduates the opportunity to fast track to professional registration as a nurse.

UCAS code



2 years full-time

Healthcare is changing rapidly. Technology is advancing and, as people live longer, healthcare needs are becoming more complex with an increasing focus on caring for people in the community.

Our course has been developed in close collaboration with our service partners and users, and is delivered by approachable and supportive staff with a national reputation for developing award-winning nurses. The benefits of this innovative course include the opportunity to study nursing in an environment of exceptional teaching and learning. This course allows graduates a fast track to professional registration as a nurse.

The Postgraduate Diploma prepares you for your future role as a skilled and reflective adult nurse, able to use sound clinical judgement to deliver thoughtful, compassionate, evidence-based care to enhance the future health and wellbeing of the communities you serve.

As a nursing student in the Department of Health Sciences you will experience the benefits of a large, multidisciplinary department offering a broad range of taught and research courses, combined with extensive practice experience in the health and social care field.

With a combination of tutor support, mentor guidance in placements and excellent teaching facilities we can help you get the very best out of your time in York, ensuring you develop your knowledge and skills as well as confidence in your role as a nurse.

Our innovative course uses various teaching methods, from lectures and group work, to presentation and simulation-based education. We use the latest technology in our state-of-the-art Clinical Simulation Unit. This is a series of rooms which replicate a number of areas where you could work including a fully-equipped four-bedded ward complete with a range of equipment for you to practice on, community bedrooms and living rooms. These allow you to develop your nursing skills in a safe environment. 

Fast track:

This course can allow you to  ‘fast track’ to professional registration as a nurse.

Course content What you’ll study


York is a research-intensive Russell Group university. Our stimulating and supportive nursing course will enable you to become a self-directed and independent learner. You will gain intellectual independence to enable you to contribute to and challenge theory and practice. Nursing students at the University of York engage in various practice communities across healthcare and education in order to facilitate intellectual and professional development. A key feature of our course is its ability to enable you to develop a personal philosophy for nursing and promote best practice through a service improvement project.
You will develop the personal and professional skills required to become adept at delivering high standards of patient- and family-centred care, while promoting individual and community health and wellbeing. You will learn about the nature and causation of disease and disability, specific client problems and nursing interventions.
You will do most of your learning on this course out in practice. Your practice experience will cover the whole of the region and you will work with our partners across York NHS Foundation Trust, Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust and Tees, Esk and Wear Valley NHS Trust, as well as other practice providers. You will benefit from a wide range of experiences in different localities and practice settings, from coastal towns to rural communities.

Masters in Nursing

After successfully completing the Postgraduate Diploma with Professional Registration (Adult), you may, at a later stage, top up your qualification to a Masters in Nursing (Adult) through the Recognition of Prior Learning route by undertaking a 60 credit Service Improvement Project. If you do decide to top up to the Masters, the fees for this additional element of study will need to be paid either by you or your employer.

Teaching and assessment How you’ll be taught and assessed

Teaching format

Our focus is on making your learning relevant to your nursing practice. 

Teaching staff will help and support you to develop your skills. You will learn in lectures, seminars and working groups. Cooperative learning groups (CLGs) are used as a way of integrating you into the nursing community by developing your professional identity. You will stay in the same CLG for the whole of your course. 

You will undertake a variety of practice experiences that will help to build and shape your knowledge and skills. These experiences could be anywhere within the region. You will work with a diverse range of people from different cultures who live in a variety of environments.

You will be attached to an experienced mentor who will help to guide and assess your practice and knowledge and who will also be a source of support and reassurance. You will also have a link lecturer from the University to ensure you receive continuous support.

Practice experience will be gained over the full 24 hours of the day; you will be required to work a full pattern of shifts, including nights and weekends, early and late shifts. 


You will be assessed in both theory and practice elements throughout the course. You will have to successfully complete all areas to be able to progress.

A variety of assessment methods, including presentations, essays, reports, simulated scenarios and examinations will be used. You will be given individual written assessment feedback for every piece of assessed work with the exception of closed examinations. You may also be given verbal feedback either on a one-to-one basis with an academic member of staff or as part of a group exercise.

Your practice experience will be assessed by your designated mentor who will be able to observe you develop confidence and skills throughout your placement experience.

Careers Where you’ll go from here

Students from the Department of Health Sciences have an excellent record in achieving immediate employment after completion of their course. Most go into careers with NHS trusts in the region and in other areas of Northern England as well as other NHS organisations in the UK.

Career opportunities

  • Practice nursing
  • District nursing
  • Health visiting and public health
  • Research nursing
  • Ward nursing
  • Theatre nursing
  • High dependency nursing
  • Nurse consultant
  • Lecturer in nursing
  • Modern matron
  • Clinical nurse specialist
  • Clinical educator
  • Chief nurse
  • Liaison nurse

Transferable skills

  • The ability to work within partnerships
  • Self directed, independent learning skills
  • The ability to facilitate change and service improvement
  • The ability to reflect on practice
  • The ability to lead care within a wide multidisciplinary team

Entry requirements How to get here

Course entry

Aspiring to make a valuable contribution to modern healthcare, you will be caring and compassionate and committed to making a real difference to people’s lives.

You will normally possess a 2:1 honours degree in a health related subject and GCSEs in Maths, English Language and Science (grade A*-C). You will normally be able to demonstrate 600 hours of healthcare related experience. This may include experience of healthcare support work, voluntary work overseas, befriending older people and charity work (eg with Age UK, Shelter, St Johns Ambulance). 

Healthcare related subjects include: 

  • Biology
  • Behavioural Sciences
  • Forensic Sciences
  • Health Sciences
  • Health and Social Care
  • Human Sciences
  • Physiology
  • Psychology
  • Sociology
  • Social work
  • Sports Science
  • Theology.

Alternative subjects will be considered on an individual basis.

Healthcare related experience includes:

  • Charity work which involves communicating with people with health and social care needs e.g. with Age UK, Shelter, MIND, or the Samaritans
  • Voluntary work in the UK and overseas
  • Befriending older people
  • Working in a nursing home, hospital or similar setting as a healthcare assistant or activity co-ordinator
  • Other support worker roles in health or social care e.g physiotherapy aide, operating department assistant
  • First aid/lifeguarding duties
  • Paramedic
  • Working in a pharmacy - giving health and over the counter medication advice
  • Pharmaceutical representative
  • Youth worker giving health promotion advice
  • Working with young people not in employment, education or training.

Alternative experience will be considered on an individual basis.

International options

Guidance on international equivalents for entry qualifications.

English language

If you're a non-native English speaking applicant you must provide evidence of your English language ability.

  • IELTS: 7.0

Full details of all acceptable tests and relevant exemptions.

Enquire Contact our admissions tutor if you have any questions

Health Sciences Admissions team

Health Sciences Admissions team

Next steps

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