Nursing Students

Information for Applicants

The following information is provided for those who are interested in studying an undergraduate nursing course at USW:

This guidance will assist you as you prepare to apply for these courses and will outline how your application will be assessed, what will be expected of you and what you can expect from the University.

Preparing to apply

You will need you to undertake a great deal of research and preparation before you complete and submit your application. Research is crucial as you will need to prove to us, during the application process, why you think we should progress your application once it has been submitted. 

We will be looking for evidence that demonstrates that you have a clear understanding of the course you’ve applied for and are able to convince those reviewing your application that your motivations for studying a particular course are based on thorough research and knowledge of the subject. 

We strongly advise applicants to focus on a preferred discipline. All applicants must be able to demonstrate an insight and clear understanding of the profession and field choice in their personal statement – multiple choice applications may limit an applicant’s ability to meet this criteria.

An Open Day is a key part of the research process and you will be expected to have attended a University of South Wales Open Day prior to submitting your application.

Find out more about our Open Days.

Qualifications we accept

  • 3 A levels (in any subject) at BBB OR BTEC Extended Diploma grades Distinction, Distinction, Merit plus 5 GCSEs at C or Grade 4 or above which must include English Language, Mathematics/Numeracy and Key Skills/Functional Skills 
  • Level 2* or Level 3 in Application of Number will be accepted in lieu of GCSE Mathematics/Numeracy and Key Skills/Functional Skills Level 2* or 3 in Communication will be accepted in lieu of GCSE English Language. 
    *Level 2 must be achieved since 2016.


  • Welsh Baccalaureate at grade B  plus 2 A levels at BB OR Welsh Baccalaureate at grade B  plus BTEC Diploma grades Distinction, Merit plus 5 GCSEs at C or Grade 4 or above which must include English Language, Mathematics/Numeracy and. Key Skills/Functional Skills.
  • Level 2* or 3 in Application of Number will be accepted in lieu of GCSE Mathematics/Numeracy and Key Skills/Functional Skills.
  • Level 2* or 3 in Communication will be accepted in lieu of GCSE English Language.
    *Level 2 must be achieved since 2016.

  • Access Diploma (Health or Nursing) – No lower than 24 distinctions, 18 merits and 3 passes at Level 3 and 15 ungraded credits at a minimum of Level 2. This programme covers all the requirements including  Mathematics and English.
  • Irish Leaving Certificate (Irish Students only) – 120 UCAS tariff points from the higher Leaving Certificate results. Please visit the UCAS website for more information on UCAS tariff in relation to the Irish Leaving Certificate.
  • C3 or above in Mathematics and English at Ordinary Level Leaving Certificate (pre-2017).
  • H6 / O3 or above in Mathematics and English (2017 onwards).
  • QQI (FETAC - Irish Students only)
  • 6 Distinctions and 2 Merits.
  • Mathematics unit within the FETAC (you must indicate on your UCAS form that you are studying this unit)
  • C3 or above in Mathematics at Ordinary Level Leaving Certificate (pre-2017).
  • H6 / O3 or above in Mathematics (2017 onwards).
  • K102 - Introducing Health and Social Care (Open University).
  • plus 5 GCSEs at grade C or Grade 4 or above which MUST include Mathematics/Numeracy and English Language.
  • Key Skills/Functional Skills Level 2* or 3 in Application of Number will be accepted in lieu of GCSE Mathematics/Numeracy and Key Skills/Functional Skills.
  • Level 2* or 3 in Communication will be accepted in lieu of GCSE English Language.
    *Level 2 must be achieved since 2016.
  • Other qualifications: Degree/DipHE/CertHE/HND/HNC/NVQ4/CACHE Diploma
  • plus 5 GCSEs at grade C or Grade 4 or above which MUST include Mathematics/Numeracy and English Language. 
  • Key Skills/Functional Skills Level 2* or 3 in Application of Number will be accepted in lieu of GCSE Mathematics/Numeracy and Key Skills/Functional Skills.
  • Level 2* or 3 in Communication will be accepted in lieu of GCSE English Language.
    *Level 2 must be achieved since 2016.

Applications will not be considered if there are pending GCSE qualifications in Mathematics/Numeracy and English Language – these must be achieved prior to submitting the application. Evidence of competence in English and Mathematics is a requirement of the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC).

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)

The knowledge, skills and experience you have gained through training courses, employment, professional development courses, voluntary work, private study and previous attendance at college and university could be counted toward your degree. The University of South Wales will recognise prior learning if it is up-to-date, relevant to the course for which you are studying and if you can provide convincing evidence for it. For further information or to discuss your options contact us or book onto an Open Day

Please note from the very start of the application process, your literacy and digital and technological literacy and capabilities will be assessed by your completion of  your UCAS form and by you responding to all subsequent electronic communications.  

Making your application

It is very important that you provide all the relevant information on your UCAS application as we will review your submission and decide whether to progress your application or reject it at this stage. 

While further details of the entry requirements are on each course page of our website, there are some general points that you should also consider:

  • All applications must be made via UCAS and must be submitted prior to the submission date of 26th January. Late applications will not be accepted.

  • You must ensure that all your relevant qualifications are recorded in the correct section on the UCAS application as either 'achieved’ or 'pending’ (see above section) and that the recorded grades are completely accurate – Check your certificates with the awarding body if you are unsure. Applications containing inaccuracies will be rejected. 

  • We are looking for students who are focussed on which specific area of nursing they wish to be considered for so we will only consider an application for one field of nursing or midwifery. Please don’t apply for multiple nursing or midwifery courses at South Wales as all your application choices will be rejected.

  • Please do not apply for a deferred place as your application will be automatically rejected as we do not accept deferred applications.

  • Remember to focus your personal statement on your course of choice; you must make it clear why you want to study a particular field of Nursing or Midwifery.

  • Do not omit any details relevant to your application i.e. previous training/courses/relevant experience/transferable skills and/or previous Nursing or Midwifery training must be included. If you previously started a course at the University of South Wales (including the former University of Glamorgan and University of Wales, Newport) then you must state this on your application. If you omit any of this information then your application will be rejected.

  • The application must include a reference. Referee details alone are not sufficient. If you do not provide a reference your application will be rejected.

  • A requirement of the course is a satisfactory disclosure from the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) (formerly the CRB). Under current legislation some Convictions/ Cautions/Reprimands/Warnings are no longer disclosed (further information can be obtained from the DBS web site).  

    If you have a Caution/ Conviction/ Reprimand or Warning that is disclosed under current legislation please ensure you indicate this on the initial personal details section of the UCAS application, as well as the second page that opens under the choices section  (you need to tick this box to confirm you have a conviction). No details of the Conviction/Caution/Reprimand/Warning are required on the UCAS application as the details will be requested by the University if your application is progressed.

    The decision on any DBS issue is made at the end of the selection process, after the interview has taken place and only where we are considering making you an offer. With the changes to legislation if you are unsure whether you need to disclose any Cautions/ Convictions/ Reprimand or Warnings please contact the University for advice. We may reject applications at a later stage where a disclosure is made that we were previously unaware of.

Personal statement

The personal statement is a key aspect of the selection process; it gives you the opportunity to explain to us why you want to do the course you have chosen, what has inspired you to be a Nurse or Midwife, and demonstrate the skills and attributes you have for the field of nursing / midwifery. 

If you are re-applying because you have previously been unsuccessful we accept that the basis of your personal statement will remain the same, however, we do expect to see updated information on your experience and/or any qualifications gained since your previous application.

For more information regarding personal statement, please see our How to write a personal statement article. You can also find related articles on the course pages.

How your application is processed

Your application is assessed against the course entry criteria stated on the website and is checked to ensure that you have adhered to all of the points above. You should also consider the following:

Your application will be rejected if:

  • You have pending GCSE results for Mathematics and English Language (pending Key Skills/Functional Skills at Level 2* or 3 in Application of Number and Communication will be accepted). 
  • Your personal statement includes spelling mistakes or text language
  • It does not include a comprehensive personal statement
  • You have not achieved, exceeded or are not predicted to obtain the minimum entry criteria for your chosen course
  • You do not list all your qualifications (or periods of study where a qualification may not be complete).
  • Once your application has been assessed by the Enquiries & Admissions Team, providing it meets the initial criteria as stated above, it will be forwarded to the Admissions Team within the Faculty of Life Sciences and Education for further consideration. At this point your personal statement is analysed to determine whether you will be invited to interview or not.
  • Given the large number of applications we receive for the above courses, you may encounter a delay in receiving a response to your application, however, we endeavour to complete the selection process and inform the majority of applicants on the outcome of their application by the 31st of March. 
    *Level 2 must be achieved within the last three years

Preparing for the interview

It is a requirement of the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) that we meet all prospective students face-to-face, therefore the interview is a key component of our selection process.

If you are invited to interview we will email you an invitation using the email address provided on your UCAS application form. The invitation will include the date and time of your interview as well as information regarding the documents you are required to bring with you to your interview.  If you are currently studying an Access course we do not need your previous qualification certificates.

Please ensure that you have included valid contact details on your application and have added us to your e-mail account as one of your trusted senders to avoid our e-mails being sent to your junk folder.

We require you to confirm by e-mail that you are accepting the interview, stating your full name, the course applied for, and the date and time of the interview. Failure to reply to an interview invitation within the time specified will result in your application being withdrawn and your interview cancelled. 

The interview will be face-to-face with a minimum of two interviewers, usually a Lecturer from the field of Nursing or Midwifery that you have applied for and either a clinician or service user. On occasions there may be a colleague shadowing the interviewers so the panel may include three people. 

The interview will last approximately 20 minutes and all interviews are Nursing or Midwifery specific so we are looking for you to demonstrate your understanding of the role of the Nurse or Midwife and the attributes you have to personally fulfil this role. Questions will be asked regarding the information you have provided in your personal statement, therefore we advise you to re-read this again in preparation for the interview. 

Please remember that you are being interviewed for a professional course and therefore you are expected to dress appropriately.

Interview Tips for Child Nursing

Interview Tips for Adult Nursing

Interview Tips for Learning Disability Nursing

Interview Tips for Mental Health Nursing


As we have been unable to continue with face-to-face interviews this year due to restrictions posed by the COVID-19 outbreak, rescheduling interviews has meant that we’ve experienced delays in processing and reviewing applications and informing applicants if they’ve been successful or otherwise. Please bear with us while we process decisions – we will be in touch with you regarding your application as soon as possible. We hope that by the end of April, all students will have received a decision from us on their application. However, please be advised that if you applied after the 26th January UCAS deadline, there may be a further delay in a decision on your application. Thank you for your patience. 

Where applications are made by 26th January, the majority of interview decisions will be made by the 31st March and decisions will be communicated via UCAS or through the USW applicant portal. The University is unable to enter into individual correspondence regarding decisions made following an interview.  All applications received on or before 26th January are considered equally, however, due to the volume of applications received, and to ensure that all applications are given equal consideration, you may attend an interview in December or January but may not receive your decision until March. If you have not received a decision on your application immediately after interview, this means that the University is still considering your application and a decision will be processed by 31st March once all remaining interviews have taken place. We appreciate your patience during this time and would like to remind you that if you applied through UCAS and have received offers from any other Universities, you will not lose these offers before your UCAS Reply Deadline.

If your application is successful and you are made an offer, you will need to accept this (Firm or Insurance) through UCAS once you have received responses from all of the institutions to which you have applied. If you do not do this by the UCAS deadline given on your Track page, your application will be declined by default and you are likely to lose your place. 

If you applied directly to the University, you will need to accept or decline the offer via your MyUSW Applicant Portal.


If you are unsuccessful in your application feedback will be given via UCAS Track. We are unable to give further feedback and will not be releasing any scores from either the personal statement review or the interview. 

Prior to making a future application we would advise you to attend an Open Day (even if you have attended one previously) to get further advice.