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Return to Practice (April start) (Non Degree) Part time

  • UCAS code: Direct entry
  • Next intake: April 2021
  • Duration: 15 weeks
  • Mode: Part time

Entry Year

Why study this course

Do you miss being a nurse?

Our Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) accredited short Return to Practice programme will build upon your existing experience and support you to re-register with the NMC.

Achieve the confidence and competence to again be able to deliver person centred nursing care.

Our 15-week programme will equip you to return to nursing with the right skills, to deliver high quality care. You will be part of a small close-knit group of learners. Qualified teaching staff, mentors and practitioners will be on hand to facilitate learning and to encourage  you throughout your studies and clinical practice. Your course will be equally split between 50% theory and 50% practice.

You will be immersed into a nurturing learning environment with a strong supportive team to assist you along the way.

‘Thank you for the support throughout the course.’ Sarah Gray, Cardiff University Return to Practice Alumni

‘I would highly recommend this course, it was simply heart-warming.’ Anita Roberts, Cardiff University Return to Practice Alumni

‘I really do feel ready to go back out again to Practice. The course has given me lots to take forward and plenty to think about.  I’ve honestly enjoyed it!’ Jayne Gay, Cardiff University, Return to Practice Alumni

Information Days: Visiting us gives you the opportunity to meet the programme lead, local health board employers and gain more insight into the programme and expectations. To find out more about our information days please get in touch with us at

International applicants: We regret that this programme is unable to accept applications from international fee-status applicants.

Distinctive features

Please note that the start date for this programme is going to change imminently to February 2021. Applications are still being welcomed and you can apply via the April start date.

As part of a large School based at the University Hospital of Wales, we’ll help you to enjoy an academically rich and fulfilling experience throughout your time at Cardiff University. Here are some of the key features of our programme:

  • Health Education and Improvement Wales (HEIW)  provide a full NHS bursary, including tuition fees and a non-repayable bursary. Further details are available on our NHS funding pages.
  • The Return to Practice Programme would suit adult, paediatric and mental health nurses who have either let their Nursing and Midwifery (NMC) registration lapse or those who have not been able to meet their professional body Revalidation requirements to re-register.
  • The module learning outcomes are arranged to reflect the NMC specific outcomes for Return to Practice (NMC 2011).
  • Applicants study on the course on a part-time basis over a condensed period of 15 weeks (approximately four months from April to July).
  • Dedicated computer labs, student study rooms, campus-wide WiFi networks, printing facilities and a dedicated healthcare library will all be available to you during your period of study with us.
  • We offer family friendly flexibility with your study days. We try our best to work around school timings which means starting later and finishing earlier and take into account School holiday calendars.
  • Our virtual learning environment is also accessible via desktop and mobile devices. This means you can access/revise electronic resources from anywhere.
  • Students are offered a range of placements in hospital, community and/or GP Practices across Cardiff & Vale and Aneurin Bevan University Health Boards. We think this will help make you more employable to local employers (and beyond), upon successful completion of the programme.
  • You will have a dedicated personal tutor and/or field specific tutor support who will provide pastoral support and academic guidance throughout the programme.
  • You will be allocated an experienced sign off mentor who will work alongside you during your clinical practice.
  • Some elements of study could be made available through the medium of Welsh.

Applying for 2022

Entry requirements

Not applicable. See 'Other essential requirements'.

Extended/International Project Qualification: Applicants with grade A in the EPQ/IPQ will typically receive an offer one grade lower than the standard A level offer. Please note that any subject specific requirements must still be met.

The Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate will be accepted in lieu of one A-Level (at the grades listed above), excluding any specified subjects.

Not applicable. See 'Other essential requirements'.

Not applicable. See 'Other essential requirements'.

Other UK qualifications may also be accepted, often in lieu of A-levels, but subject requirements must be met. If you are offering non-UK qualifications, our qualification equivalences guide should allow you to calculate what kind of offer you are likely to receive.

Please be aware that this is a general guide, and that some programmes may have more detailed or specific entry requirements which will be reflected in your offer.


Grade C or grade 4 in GCSE English Language.

IELTS (academic)

At least 6.5 overall with a minimum of 5.5 in each subskill.


At least 90 overall with minimum scores of 17 for writing, 17 for listening, 18 for reading and 20 for speaking.

PTE Academic

At least 62 overall with a minimum of 51 in all communicative skills.

Trinity ISE II/III

II: at least two Distinctions and two Merits.
III: at least a Pass in all components.

Other accepted qualifications

Please visit our English Language requirements page for more information on our other accepted language qualifications.

Applicants must have previously held registration with the NMC and must be able to confirm their expired PIN details, either by producing their previous NMC PIN card or by providing a Statement of Entry (issued to the applicant by the NMC).

Any applicants who may have conditions set by the regulatory body or have been unable to fulfil their NMC Revalidation (2016) requirements, would need to provide a decision letter issued by the NMC.

You will be required to complete an Occupational Health Questionnaire, attend any subsequent appointment/s and receive all of the necessary vaccinations to undertake clinical placements safely.

You are not required to complete a DBS (Disclosure Barring Service) check or provide a Certificate of Good Conduct to study this course. If you are currently subject to any licence condition or monitoring restriction that could affect your ability to successfully complete your studies, you will be required to disclose your criminal record. Conditions include, but are not limited to:

  • access to computers or devices that can store images
  • use of internet and communication tools/devices
  • curfews
  • freedom of movement
  • contact with people related to Cardiff University.

Please see our admissions policies for more information about the application process.

Tuition fees

Students from the UK

A full NHS bursary, including tuition fees and a non-repayable bursary for living costs, is available to applicants from the UK. Full details, including information for applicants from the EU, are available on our NHS funding pages.

Students from the EU, EEA and Switzerland

If you are an EU/EEA/Swiss national, unless you qualify for UK fee status, tuition fees for 2021/22 will be in line with the fees charged for international students. UKCISA have provided information about Brexit and tuition fees.

Students from the rest of the world (international)

An NHS placement is a required part of this course. The NHS only makes placements available to students who are eligible to pay UK/EU fees. Therefore, this course is not available for international students.

Additional costs

Applicants are required to meet the costs of obtaining a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) Certificate.

Applicants are advised that while you may be entitled to be reimbursed for some of the costs you incur whilst attending practice placements, you will be required to cover the initial costs for later reimbursement. This may include both accommodation and travel costs (if they are in excess of your normal daily travel costs to your University base).


We have a range of residences to suit your needs and budget. Find out more on our accommodation pages.

Living costs

We’re based in one of the UK’s most affordable cities. Find out more about living costs in Cardiff.

Course structure

This accredited programme consists of a single 30 credit module that is offered at academic study level 6 over a period of 15 weeks. The content of the module will be 50% theory and 50% clinical practice and is completed following final Exam Board ratification of results.

The maximum length of this programme allowed is 60 weeks, to account for either clinical or theoretical retrieval opportunities.

The modules shown are an example of the typical curriculum and will be reviewed prior to the 2020/21 academic year. The final modules will be published by September 2020.

Year one

There is one compulsory module in year one with one clinical practice placement.

The module will be delivered over fifteen weeks.

Module titleModule codeCredits
Return to Practice (April programme)HC318230 credits

The University is committed to providing a wide range of module options where possible, but please be aware that whilst every effort is made to offer choice this may be limited in certain circumstances. This is due to the fact that some modules have limited numbers of places available, which are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis, while others have minimum student numbers required before they will run, to ensure that an appropriate quality of education can be delivered; some modules require students to have already taken particular subjects, and others are core or required on the programme you are taking. Modules may also be limited due to timetable clashes, and although the University works to minimise disruption to choice, we advise you to seek advice from the relevant School on the module choices available.

Learning and assessment

The School of Healthcare Sciences is committed to developing nursing and midwifery knowledge which directly improves health outcomes and health care for patients.

In addition to the 150 hrs of placement, another 150 hours will be distributed between taught (80hrs) directed learning (55 hrs) and self- directed learning (15 hrs).

Lectures, tutorials, workshops, simulations, seminar style discussions, online discussions, presentations and specific group work will all feature as part of your programme.

How will I be supported?

You will have regular meetings with your personal tutor and/or field specific tutor support who will provide pastoral support and academic guidance throughout the programme.

Our virtual learning environment is accessible via desktop and mobile devices, allowing you to access/revise electronic resources from anywhere. Dedicated computer labs, student study rooms, campus-wide WiFi networks, printing facilities and a dedicated healthcare library are available year-round. Staff are available on site to assist students and provide support and advice.

You will have access through the Learning Central website to relevant multimedia material, presentations, lecture handouts, bibliographies, further links, electronic exercises and discussion forums.

The University offers a range of services including the Careers Service, the Counselling Service, the Disability and Dyslexia Service, the Student Support Service, and excellent libraries and resource centres.


We will provide you with feedback on your work in a variety of formats. These will include oral feedback during tutorials, feedback provided during lectures, written feedback provided through online module discussion forums, and electronic written feedback on assessed coursework through GradeMark. You will be provided with summary written feedback in relation to examinations and you can discuss your overall performance with your personal tutor.  During clinical placements you will be supported in your progress by Mentors/Practice Facilitators who will provide verbal and written feedback on your clinical competency.

What skills will I practise and develop?

As a result of engaging fully with this course, you will acquire and develop a range of valuable skills, both those which are discipline specific and more generic ‘employability skills’.

You will develop a professional attitude towards communication and interpersonal skills, partnership working and responsibility for professional development.

Specific skills should include the ability to collect, analyse and interpret a range of quantitative and qualitative data, and apply the evidence to nursing practice.

You should also become skilled in working independently, problem solving and making informed decisions.  

Careers and placements

Career prospects

Upon completion of this accredited programme, we will link students with employment opportunities by introducing them to local recruitment managers. Guidance with their selection choice will also be provided to those who wish to further their studies. Successful registrants can use the credits gained from the Return to Practice for further future study (as part of a credit transfer scheme such as APEL).

Graduate careers

  • Nurse


150 hours are to be worked in clinical practice, with the option of Accrediting Prior Learning (APL) up to 75 hours, calculated on the basis of previous experience and according to NMC recommendations that all returning nurses undertake an approved Programme that includes a clinical element of not less than 75 hours (NMC 2005). The student is allocated a sign off mentor, to support the student in the clinical environment (NMC 2004) and is required to work with the sign off mentor for at least 40% of the time, but can be supported by a co mentor identified by the sign off mentor.

Clinical practice experience can be gained with the NHS/ University Local Health Boards that have an educational audit in place. Potential Placement Learning Experiences (PLE’s) are negotiated at interview with the organisation representative and relate to the student’s chosen field of practice. Wherever the student is placed, focus should be on facilitating achievement of the clinical learning outcomes.

The student will be assessed summatively by a sign off clinical mentor on the achievement of the clinical competencies to the level of “competent” identified in the Clinical Portfolio (Benner 1984).

Next steps


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