MSci Nursing

UCAS code B700
Duration 4 Years
Typical offer AAB-ABB; IB: 34-32; BTEC DDD-DDM
  • Nursing
Location Taught in Exeter St Luke's (Exeter)


Calling all pioneers! Together, we will shape the future of healthcare.

Our Nursing programme is new for 2019 entry and is a four-year course leading to an MSci Nursing degree and registration as an Adult nurse, with the possibility for some students to achieve a dual registration in Adult and Mental Health Nursing. The course is structured around our Six Pillars of Nursing, which we focus on and develop each year. Together, they will give you a comprehensive education in:

  • the theory and practise of nursing as a complex intervention
  • what it means to be a nurse and how nursing is changing
  • how your future as a nurse might develop and the opportunities a career in nursing can offer you (including leadership and management).

As this is a new programme, we fully expect the course to change over time. Our pioneering students will have an important and active role to play in shaping the programme, for themselves and future students.

This is a nursing programme unlike any other currently available in the UK. We have great ambitions for Exeter Nurses, and the content and design of this unique programme reflect that.

Our six pillars of nursing are:

  1. The essentials of nursing care
    Exeter Nurses will be nurses first and foremost. They will be expert at caring for individuals, and in helping them perform the core activities that contribute to health, recovery or dignified death; activities that the individual would perform by themselves if they had the necessary strength, will or knowledge.

    This pillar focuses on the professional and ethical behaviours and skills you need to qualify and work as a registered nurse.Patient and public involvement

  2. Patient and public involvement
    Exeter Nurses will uphold the principle of ‘nothing about us without us’ in all their interactions with patients, carers and members of the public. The people we care for are our equals and partners.

    ‘Nothing about us without us’ means that people affected by decisions always have a say in those decisions – from treatment choices to public policy.

  3. Evidence for practice
    The Exeter nurse will be a ‘scientist practitioner’. This means that you will make use of – and, in turn, produce – research evidence for how you plan, deliver and evaluate care.

  4. No health without mental health
    The Exeter Nurse will always consider and act to ensure the mental health of patients and the public is as important as their physical health.

  5. Leadership and management
    We will equip Exeter Nurses to become leaders in the field. The Exeter Nurse will lead by example, ensuring that healthcare is efficient, effective and evidence-based, and inspiring confidence in others who are delivering, or receiving, healthcare.

  6. Global health
    The Exeter Nurse will deliver healthcare within the wider context of a drive for worldwide health improvement (physical and mental). Working to reduces inequalities in health and healthcare and be an active participant in the fight against global threats to health.

Please note: All nursing programmes are subject to accreditation by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC). This is a new programme and whilst the University has already achieved accreditation as a provider of nursing education it is currently seeking accreditation to run the programme. The outcome of this will be known by the spring of 2019. Applicants should note that while the University can make offers, the running of the programme is subject to NMC accreditation. If programme accreditation is not achieved the university would inform applicants and offer holders of the situation.

Accreditation is a form of quality assurance undertaken by a professional organisation in the field of study, to determine if applicable industry standards have been met. A lack of accreditation will not affect the quality or standards of the programme offered by the University.

Programme structure

The modules we outline here provide examples of what you can expect to learn on this degree course based on recent academic teaching. The precise modules available to you in future years may vary depending on staff availability and research interests, new topics of study, timetabling and student demand.

The structure we outline here provide examples of what you can expect to learn on this degree course. The precise modules available to you in future years may vary depending on staff availability and research interests, new topics of study, timetabling and student demand.

Our programme is designed to give you a comprehensive education in the theory and practice of nursing within the broader healthcare context. Each year of the programme is structured around Exeter’s Six Pillars.

Year 1

The first year of your MSci is an exciting introduction to the world of modern nursing.

You will study and get hands-on across the Six Pillars of Nursing, developing the knowledge, skills, attitudes and behaviours that will be the foundation for the rest of your working life as a registered nurse.

The ability to communicate well, with sensitivity and compassion, and to develop interpersonal relationships, is vital if you are going to provide high quality, person-centred nursing care. You must also be able to carry out nursing procedures safely and sensitively.

In this first year, you will have the opportunity to practise a wide range of the communication and relationship management skills and nursing procedures outlined in the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) Standards of Proficiency for Registered Nurses.

This is how we structure your first year, using Exeter’s Six Pillars of Nursing:

1. The essentials of nursing care

You will learn about accountable professional practice, professional and ethical behaviour and patient-centred communication. We cover core clinical skills, such as: mobility, hygiene, elimination and wound care. You will study body systems, human anatomy, homeostasis, physiology and infection prevention.

You will have plenty of opportunity to practise your new skills in simulated clinical settings and real clinical environments. We aim to get you hands-on, early on. You will start to understand nursing as a complex multi-faceted intervention.

2. Patient and public involvement

We explore the principle of ‘nothing about us without us’. This principle will be fundamental to all your interactions with patients, carers and members of the public.

You will understand how to communicate well, and how to build and manage relationships.

You will learn the importance of supporting people and families to manage their healthcare needs and make informed health choices.

3. Evidence for practice

You will develop your academic knowledge, critical thinking and research skills, to ensure that the care you give is evidence-based and aligned with best modern clinical practice.

4. No health without mental health

We will introduce you to the phenomenology of common mental health problems including social and economic determinants of health, behaviour change and lifestyle choices and how these all contribute to mental and physical health.

We will explore health and well-being, psychological reactions to pain, illness and hospitalisation, stress, anxiety and emotion; all aligned to your developing clinical skills and practice.

We will help you appreciate the importance of self-awareness in professional practice, through discussions and debates on prejudice, control and compliance and professional power.

5. Leadership and management

You will apply your knowledge and grow in confidence as you become an equal partner in the multi-disciplinary team.

You will understand the theory underpinning the principles of group dynamics and strengths-based approaches, and you will be able to apply this learning to team working and collaborative decision-making.

Self-awareness is very important in healthcare, so you will explore emotional intelligence, develop personal resilience and understand the need to care for your own physical and mental wellbeing.

You will gain key reflective skills by responding to, giving and receiving feedback. You will understand the power of critical reflection as tool to enhance and improve your nursing practise.

6. Global health

This pillar will enable you to develop your understanding of the principles underpinning values-based practice, equality and diversity – and to demonstrate a global perspective on health.

You will begin to consider how the development and implementation of health promotion in a global context requires action at local, regional, national and international level. You will demonstrate an understanding of the complex social, cultural and political determinates of health and healthcare.

Year 2

The second year of your MSci will continue your journey as an Exeter Nurse, developing your knowledge and skills further across each of the Six Pillars.

1. The essentials of nursing care

In year 2, we will develop your knowledge of the biological and medical sciences, to include: pathophysiology, genomics and pharmacology.

  • Your knowledge of pharmacology will enable you to recognise the effects of medications, allergies, drug sensitivities, common side-effects, contraindications and incompatibilities.
  • You will develop an understanding of pathogenesis and immunology.
  • You will learn how to undertake a full, holistic patient assessment including their mental health needs; and how to process the information you gather to identify your patient’s nursing care needs, and agree goals.

By the end of year two, you will be planning and providing person-centred care. You will also be evaluating the care given, to ensure that the agreed care goals have been met; in line with the patient’s wishes, preferences and desired outcomes.

2. Patient and public involvement

  • You will take personal responsibility for working within local and national policy and legal frameworks. This is to ensure that you take appropriate action to provide adequate safeguarding for vulnerable people.
  • You will develop an understanding of the principles that underpin partnership working; by sharing decision-making around assessment, planning and goal-setting, with people and their families/carers.
  • You will develop the knowledge and skills you need to negotiate and advocate on behalf of people, so that they can access the care and support they are entitled to.

3. Evidence for practice

  • You will learn about research methods, ethics and governance, and how they apply to best nursing practice.
  • You will develop an understanding of improvement methodologies and the role of clinical audit and service evaluation.
  • You will learn how to evaluate the quality and effectiveness of nursing care, in order to improve practice.

4. No health without mental health

This pillar builds on mental health and social themes, to support people with mental health, behavioural, cognitive or learning challenges.
You will learn how to assess whether a person is capable of making judgements around issues of consent. And because the person is sometimes not capable of making judgements for themselves, you will also learn the principles and processes for making reasonable adjustments and best interest decisions on their behalf.

5. Leadership and management

Our aim is for Exeter nurses to be leaders in the nursing profession and healthcare. So you will study theories of effective leadership.
You will understand how to influence policy and promote change in healthcare organisations.

  • You will develop your political awareness and recognise the central importance of policy development and its direct impact on nursing and healthcare.
  • You will learn the difference between risk management and risk aversion, and how that applies to maintaining quality of care and health outcomes.

6. Global health

This pillar will enable you to understand the aims and principles of health promotion and health improvement; locally, regionally, nationally and internationally. You will be able to apply these principles when caring for individuals, families, communities and populations.

The year two elective gives you the opportunity to experience different clinical environments in the UK.

You will also have the opportunity to consider an overseas elective. This can boost your personal and professional development by providing a unique opportunity to develop your nursing expertise and cultural competence skills. This will also give you an understanding of how health and healthcare is organised and delivered in other countries.

Year 3

Year 3 focuses on completing the NMC Standards of Proficiency for Registered Nurses, with the aim that you will be able to register with the NMC at the end of the year. We continue to structure your learning around the six pillars, building on the knowledge and skills you have gained in years 1 and 2.

1. Essentials of nursing care

This year, you will safely and effectively manage the nursing care of a group of people.
You will be able to demonstrate appropriate prioritisation, delegation and assigning of care responsibilities.

  • You will have to make decisions in complex, challenging and unpredictable situations.
  • You will learn how to co-ordinate care as you plan and manage safe discharge or transfer.
  • You will undertake routine investigations, interpret findings and share results appropriately.
  • You will have the opportunity to supervise and teach less experienced students and colleagues, and provide constructive feedback on their performance.
  • You will develop your knowledge of pharmacology, the impact of polypharmacy and methods for generating prescriptions. You will explore the role of generic, unlicensed and off-label prescribing.

2. Patient and public involvement

  • Through shared decision-making, you will keep patients and carers involved in their care and treatment. This will also include advanced planning for end of life care.
  • You will promote self-care by encouraging and empowering people to take more responsibility to maintain and improve their health.

3. Evidence for practice

  • You will learn how to monitor and evaluate the quality of people’s experience of care. You will develop the ability to take proactive measures to improve the quality of care and services when needed. You will continue to develop and integrate theory and practice of nursing as a complex intervention.
  • You will learn how to conduct an extended review, prepare a written bid for funding and develop a business plan for quality improvement and/or organisational development, within a range of healthcare contexts.

4. No health without mental health

  • You will continue to develop your knowledge and skills in negotiation and advocacy.
  • You will learn how to recognise people at risk of harm and the situations that may put them at risk.
  • You will continue to work within local and national policy and legal frameworks to ensure that appropriate action is taken to safeguard vulnerable people.

5. Leadership and management

  • Your leadership and management roles develop this year. You will be expected to exhibit leadership potential through the ability to manage, support and motivate others.
  • We will focus on your management skills, helping you to understand the relationship between safe staffing levels, adequate skills mix, safety and quality of care; and how to identify, report, reflect critically on, and learn from, near misses and critical incidents.
  • You will understand the roles, responsibilities and scope of practice of members of the nursing and multidisciplinary team.

6. Global health

As the global community gets smaller, it becomes increasingly important to develop cultural sensitivity and competence. We will encourage you to engage in critical self-exploration of your own values and cultural perspectives, so that you can plan, provide and evaluate culturally inclusive care.

Year 4

The final year of the MSci will offer a range of elements for you to choose from, some students may choose to qualify as both an Adult and Mental Health nurse in this year. Other options include working toward and developing advanced clinical practice, clinical research, or leadership. This year may also see you being mentored by senior healthcare and academic staff. All options will have strong practical applied nature. You will develop and focus on finding evidence, problem solving, and applying solutions to improve the quality of healthcare.

Exeter’s six pillars will be fully integrated into your academic and professional development.

Entry requirements 2019

Typical offer


Required subjects

GCSE Maths and English at grade C or 4, or above.


All shortlisted applicants will be invited to attend an interview between January and March. The interview will be in the multiple mini-interview format. This will consist of seven or eight stations and will include face-to-face interviews. A numeracy and literacy test will also form part of the interview.

As part of the interview day, candidates will have the opportunity to attend a campus tour and presentation regarding our educational activity. A short period for discussion with a member of staff will also be available, during which queries regarding the programme can be answered.

All applications are considered on an individual basis and offers will be made shortly after an interview has taken place. Places are not normally offered to applicants who do not attend an interview.

Health assessments

All applicants invited to interview will be required to complete a health questionnaire and those accepting an offer will be screened by the Occupational Health Department. Students may be required to attend a medical examination as part of the admissions process. In addition, all nursing students will be required to have tests to determine their Hepatitis B surface antigen, TB and HIV status.

Criminal record checks (DBS)

As you may be working with vulnerable people in a variety of clinical settings throughout the degree programme, all offers are conditional upon a Criminal Conviction Self Declaration and an enhanced disclosure check via the Disclosure and Barring Service.  We will review all significant reports of convictions, cautions and verbal warnings and decide on a candidate's suitability to enter the programme.

International students

International students should check details of our English language requirements and may be interested in our Foundation programmes.

Further information

Please read the important information about our Typical offer.

For full and up-to-date information on applying to Exeter and entry requirements, including requirements for other types of qualification, please see the Applying section.

Learning and teaching

We have designed this unique programme to include a wide range of teaching, learning and assessment methods. We will use the best techniques, to produce the best nurses.

You will learn through a varied and challenging programme of lectures, workshops, seminars, small group teaching and learning in both simulated and real clinical environments.

We will give you plenty of opportunity to practise your knowledge and skills, as you work closely with professionals in the Clinical Skills Resource Centre and our purpose built simulated ward. You will be supported by practice supervisors in your clinical practice.

By the end of year two, you will have had the opportunity to practise, in clinical simulations and in real clinical practice, all the communication and relationship management skills and nursing procedures outlined in the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) Standards of Proficiency for Registered Nurses.

At the end of year two, you will have the opportunity to take a four-week elective practice learning experience, in the UK or abroad. With the help of an elective tutor, you will choose and organise your own practice placement according to your interests and/or learning needs, and negotiate an individual learning contract.

In year three, you will build and consolidate the nursing procedures outlined in the NMC Standards of Proficiency for Registered Nurses, so that you can register with the NMC.

At the end of year three you will have an extended management placement in clinical practice, which will give you the opportunity to apply and develop your management and leadership skills.


You are assessed at Exeter via Objective Structured Clinical Examinations, essays, case studies, examinations and in clinical practice settings.

Clinical practice is assessed using a range of proficiencies which will be detailed in a Practice Assessment Document. These proficiencies are prescribed by the NMC and form the basis of discussion and assessment during each clinical practice placement. The proficiencies and related learning activities represent the range of nursing skills that you are expected to observe, acquire and develop during each year of the programme (although we cannot assess the proficiencies while you are on elective).

Overall, we are committed to giving every student the opportunity:

  • to get the maximum benefit from this programme
  • to understand what a career in nursing will involve and the wide range of exciting opportunities it can offer you.
  • to be equipped and ready for that, and modern professional nursing, and
  • to shine and be valued as a unique individual. 


Nursing is a professional education programme leading to graduates who have the ability to register with the Nursing and Midwifery Council and thereby gain employment as registered nurses in health provider organisations such as NHS Trusts.

A nursing degree is a passport to an interesting job and a fulfilling career. The University of Exeter Academy nurse will be equipped for a fast track career in nursing with rapid promotions to senior clinical, leadership and research roles.

Below are some of the advanced roles you may be eligible for, as suggested by our NHS Directors of Nursing partners.

RoleRole descriptionAdditional training requiredMSci Nursing graduates
Typical time to initial appointment
BSc Nursing graduates
Typical time to initial appointment
Advanced Nurse Practitioner (ANP) Trainee ANP with 2 year fast track competence development. 3rd year prescribing. Placement in clinical area in Year 4 of MSci Nursing. 2 years with 3 to full competence Min 5 years
Nurse consultant High level clinical role in multiple specialisms following on from ANP. MSc/PhD and specialist clinical training. 5-7 years 6-8 years
Clinical Academic Research, clinical practice, education, University leadership. Teaching qualification, or PhD for research roles. 3 years Min 5 years
Management role Research, clinical practice, education, University leadership. Additional leadership programme. 2 years Min 3 years
‘Portfolio’ roles including coaching, supervision, quality improvement Quality Improvement Practitioner [QIP]. Placement with QI Academy and Safety & Risk team learning QI methodology in Year 4 of MSci Nursing. Immediate Not available – some medics
responsible clinician in mental health
Taking overall clinical accountability for a ward or specialist community team. MSc/PhD.
Non-medical Prescribing.
Portfolio training and Royal College of Psychiatry Assessment
6-9 years 7-10 years
Chief Nurse Fellow Allocated time to undertake work based research working to the Chief Nurse. Placement with heavy focus on research methods in Year 4 of MSci Nursing Immediate n/a

Contact us

Phone: +44 (0)1392 725500

Website: Visit the Nursing website


Academic support

All students are assigned a personal tutor for the duration of your programme. Your personal tutor is there to help and support you in any areas related to your academic progress including providing advice on careers, employability and training events.

In addition to your personal tutor, you’ll be assigned clinical supervisors who will provide you with extra support for your clinical placements.

Pastoral support and wellbeing

We offer a friendly and supportive environment from your first day with us. Our Pastoral Tutor team can provide assistance with non-academic issues and there is a designated Student Welfare Officer (SWO) for the College of Medicine and Health. Prospective students can contact the SWO at: for student support enquiries.

The University also provides extensive wellbeing support through a range of services including counselling services, advice units, chaplaincy, childcare facilities and student health centres. Find out further information about our Wellbeing services.