Entry requirements for a nursing degree

Becoming a nurse is challenging, rewarding, and with more job satisfaction than many other careers. You’ll be entering into a career where your actions will be making a huge difference to the lives of both your patients and their families during their time in your care.

Here is some more information on the qualifications, skills, and personal attributes you will need to be a successful nursing applicant and effective nurse during your career.


As there are currently no minimum academic qualifications needed to study nursing set by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) it is up to the individual university you choose to study at to set their own admissions criteria.

The majority of universities will require you to have a minimum of five GCSEs at grade C or above. They may also stipulate that one of these must be English language or literature and one must be in a science based subject.

They will also require you to have at least two ‘A’ Levels or the equivalent qualification.

Accepted equivalent qualifications include:

  • GNVQ advanced level or NVQ level 3
  • EDEXCEL Foundation (BTEC) National
  • Higher National Diploma
  • SVQ level 3 or GSVQ level 3 (Scotland)

Regardless of your qualifications you will need to be able to read and write effectively in English or Welsh. You will need to be able to communicate clearly and be computer literate.

You will also have to have good numeracy skills and be able to work well with volume, weight, length, and complete problems that involve addition, subtraction, division, and multiplication.


You’ll need to have excellent people skills as you’ll be working as part of a team and dealing with patients and their families, who may be distressed, scared, or difficult to manage.

Your communication and observation skills will be vital to your success during your training and future career and you’ll need to know how to cope in stressful situations.