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

Entry year


Achieve the confidence and competence to deliver quality patient centred care in a supported environment, and safely return to nursing practice.

Do you miss being a nurse?

Our short programme will enable you to confidently return to the nursing career you once loved.

Undertaking the Return to Practice at Cardiff University means studying at the top university in Wales. The School of Healthcare Sciences is recognised for our excellence in learning, teaching and research. Our Ty Dewi Sant teaching building is based at the University Hospital of Wales (the third largest hospital in the UK) which means that you are right in the action from day one.

Our 15 week programme will enable you to return to nursing with the right skills, competence and confidence to deliver high quality patient-centred care. You’ll be part of a small close-knit class with excellent teaching staff who will be on hand to support you throughout your studies and clinical placement.

As a School we aim to provide the appropriate learning opportunities to enable you to safely achieve the module outcomes in a supported environment whilst promoting a learning culture that reflects the education competency framework (NMC 2010) and regain the skills to enable you to be fit for purpose and practice, and to pursue lifelong learning.

The programme facilitates nurses who have lapsed registration and practiced for less than 450 hours in the preceding 3 years and not undertaken 35 hours of continuing professional development (Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) PREP requirements 2011) or not met the requirements of revalidation (NMC 2015), transition back into practice.

During your application to the course you will be required to demonstrate that you meet the NMC good health and character, fitness to practise requirements. This will be achieved by providing a satisfactory Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) certificate. All applicants will be required to have a satisfactory health screening prior to enrolment on this course, which is conducted independently by the University’s Occupational Health Department. Full guidance on this will be provided at application stage.

INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS: We regret that this programme is unable to accept applications from international fee-status applicants because of its association with the National Health Service (NHS) and the restrictions on funding and clinical placements.

Visiting us gives you the opportunity to meet the programme lead and local employers. It also provides you with the opportunity to ask questions and find out more.

To register for our free and informal return to practice open days visit:

Cardiff Open Day on Saturday 13 January 2018 (

Newport Open Day on Wednesday 31 January 2018 (

Distinctive features

Nurses eligible to access this module will be working in a variety of clinical and community settings. The module learning outcomes are arranged to reflect the NMC specific outcomes for Return to Practice (NMC 2011), including the six core dimensions from the Knowledge and Skills Framework (Department of Health 2004), and are arranged around the four domains identified in the Competency framework (NMC 2010):

  • Professional values

  • Communication and interpersonal skills

  • Nursing practice and decision-making

  • Leadership, management and team working.

Key facts

UCAS CodeDirect entry
Next intakeApril 2018
Duration15 weeks
ModePart time

Entry requirements

Typical A level offerPlease contact the School of Healthcare Sciences for further information.
Typical Welsh Baccalaureate offerPlease contact the School of Healthcare Sciences for further information.
Typical International Baccalaureate offerPlease contact the School of Healthcare Sciences for further information.
Alternative qualificationsAlternative qualifications may be accepted. For further information on entry requirements, see the School of Healthcare Sciences admissions criteria pages.
English Language requirementsIf you are an overseas applicant and your first language is not English, please visit our English Language requirements page for more information on our accepted qualifications.
Other requirementsPlease contact the School of Healthcare Sciences for further information.

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 2017/18 academic year. The final modules will be published by September 2017. You are advised to check the final module descriptions when they are available to ensure that the programme meets your needs.

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.

How will I be taught?

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/clinical teachers who will provide verbal and written feedback on your clinical competency.

How will I be assessed?

Formative and summative assessments develop and measure professional, academic and/or clinical practice. Methods include written work such as reflective narratives, evidence-based literature reviews, presentations, numeracy examination, case studies and completion of a portfolio. The portfolio will be an ongoing record of your achievement.

Assessment of clinical practice will be undertaken by a mentor through supervision and guided by the ‘All Wales practice learning outcomes’. Service user feedback will also be used to support your progress.

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.  

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).

‘I chose this time to return to practice because my youngest son is beginning full time education. I am looking forward to being able to continue with my nursing career and am excited to have been offered the opportunity to join the Theatres Department as a Recovery Practitioner’ – Sarah Gray, Return to practice student

 ‘I just cannot fault any aspect of the whole experience. As a bonus I made some wonderful friends, which I remain in contact with. I will maintain my new skills and confidence by offering my services via the hospital bank. I would highly recommend this course it was simply heart-warming.’ – Anita Roberts, Return to practice student

Tuition fees

UK and EU students (2017/18)

A full NHS bursary, including tuition fees and a non-repayable bursary for living costs, is available for this programme. Further details are available on our NHS funding pages.

Students from outside the EU (2017/18)

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.

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).

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