Top Up Nursing Diploma To degree Online UK

Last Updated on March 7, 2023 by

This exciting programme enables you to top up previous study with Level 6 modules to achieve a BSc (Hons) degree in as little as a year. 

Whether you are a home or international nurse, you will develop your skills in critical thinking, evidence-based practice, analysis and understanding of clinical practice. The programme is designed to develop you clinically, as a research-aware practitioner and enable you to become proficient in education and lead change and quality improvement in practice. 

Online BSc in Nursing Top-up degree

The BSc in Nursing top-up degree programme is designed specifically for registered nurses who hold a diploma or certificate in nursing and want to top-up their current academic qualifications towards a full bachelor degree in nursing studies.

The programme consists of 5 compulsory modules with curriculum aimed to deepen the student’s knowledge of evidence-based practice and develop a critical approach to integrated healthcare.

The BSc in Nursing is updated with feedback from registered nurses, healthcare personnel, nurse managers and even patients, to keep it relevant to current contemporary healthcare practice.

Who Should Take A Top-Up Nursing Degree BSc Course?

The Nursing Studies (Top Up ) BSc Honors is for UK nurses who already have a diploma and are wanting to top up to a Degree (Honors), and also nurses who trained overseas and require to upgrade their qualifications to UK standards.

Why Did I Take The Course?

Nursing is a very varied profession with lots of options for career development. Going back to university to further one’s education isn’t always a requirement as there’s a lot of pathways within nursing that one can follow and not only get training on the job but also utilise experiences gained in previous roles.

However, I came to the decision that I was going to study further, for quite a few reasons.

First of all am quite academic, I thrive when in class and I absolutely love studying theories and being knowledgeable.

Second, I find it’s a lot easier to integrate into the UK healthcare industry and pursue more opportunities when you have a UK degree.

Finally, and much more specifically, one of my biggest goals is to eventually get a master’s in Advanced Nurse Practice – and I wouldn’t qualify for that program with my current qualifications that I had acquired in Botswana.

After an intense search and talking to a few friends I stumbled on a tweet about University of Derby Online offering a nursing degree top up program for nurses who had UK nursing diplomas and overseas nurses who required a top-up to meet UK standards.

This program was also tailored for the less financially privileged.

I went on to do a bit more research on this program and also compared it with other programs offered in other institutions before finally deciding to settle for it.

What Are The Requirements For This Degree Course?

Having done my initial nursing training overseas I was required to send transcripts of all my previous training, training qualifications, my personal statement, professional references and a reference confirming that I was currently working in the health care sector.

I was also required to submit valid IELTS results because I am still considered an overseas student.

When I started this course, they had different fees for locals to overseas students, but this has since changed.

How Long Does The Degree Take And What Do You Learn?

This degree takes one to two years and is accredited by the RCN.

Another plus to it is that it also constitutes CPD hours for NMC revalidation. This course is done primarily online and there are online lectures and webinars put up on the portal for a number of weeks.

The webinars are actually quite interactive and offer students a chance to interact with their lectures as well as amongst themselves.Depending on your prior qualifications you may be required to complete a Certificate of Credits in Health and Social Care for the first trimester.

Then go onto the top up degree after passing this module.

There are both core and optional modules covering various aspects of nursing including:

● Advanced concepts in Palliative Care

● Asthma: Basic Mechanisms and Clinical Management

● Care of the surgical Patient

● Educating in health and social care

● Evidence Based Practice

● Partnerships in dementia care

● Public Health

● UK and International perspectives

● Relationships informed by cognitive behavioral therapy

● Social consequences of Dementia care

● Therapeutics and diagnostics reasoning

● Ethical and legal issues in Healthcare Policy and Practice

Assessment methods used for this course include writing essays, research reports, online presentation, compiling research reports, group work, practical reports and compiling portfolios.

What Did I Think Of This Degree Program?

Although this is a great program it was quite intense for me when I first started as I had never done a full-on online program before and frankly, I’m not in the least bit tech savvy.

It can be very demoralizing the first few weeks as it takes some time to get used to the online portal, however there are tutors available to assist with this.

It’s also quite challenging allocating time for study as a mature student who has a full-time job.

The course recommends 20 to 40 hours of study per week depending on the amount of credits each module has. For most of us this constitutes the entirety of our off days!

It is quite obviously demanding because nurses don’t have a routine work schedule (some do but not a lot) and we work both daytime and nighttime shifts not forgetting having to fit in our social lives as well.

My Tips For Taking A Nursing Degree Online

I’ve found it helpful to plan ahead and include some time off to rest in between, just to avoid getting overwhelmed and prevent chaos.

I calendar out everything on both my fridge calendar and my notebook planner because I am into visuals. 

I also try to start my assignments earlier on and just keep adding on and editing overtime, also gives me time to evaluate my work prior to submission.

I must add, in as much as higher education has become a lot more advanced; there are more resources available now to support university students e.g. apps that correct your grammar, assist with citations and fish out plagiarized statements in students’ work.

Surrounding myself with supportive friends and connecting with other motivated students also go a long way.

University tutors are also quite helpful and supportive.



  •  Course FeeClick to View
  •  Start Date17 Jan 2022
  •  Application Deadline15 Dec 2021
  •  Duration12-24 months
  •  Study ModeOnline
  •  BrochureDownload
  •  AssessmentsAssignments

Benefits of an Online BSc in Nursing Top-up Degree

The programme is relevant to contemporary nursing practice, allowing students to enhance their skills and knowledge to progress within a chosen sphere of nursing practice.

Students will be assigned a personal tutor and can network with fellow practitioners from across the globe.

The university offers a personalised student experience. The university’s virtual learning environment provides students with access to learning material and online support services.

Career Path

Successful graduates will be able to apply their skills and knowledge to and progress within their chosen sphere of nursing practice.


Entry Requirements – Online BSc in Nursing

All entrants to the BSc Nursing Studies programme must be currently registered as a Nurse with a recognised nursing regulatory body and hold a Nursing qualification, and have at least 2 years relevant working experience

Entry with a Diploma in Nursing

If your Nursing qualification is a Diploma which included study at FHEQ level 5 you will only be required to complete the five core modules.

NOTE: If you do not have evidence of completing a diploma in Nursing to FHEQ Level 5, you will be required to successfully complete the Professional Ethical and Legal Issues in Healthcare module, after which you can then progress through the remainder of the programme

Entry with other Nursing qualification
  • Other Nursing qualifications will be considered.
  • Depending on your previous study you will be advised how many modules you will be required to study to ‘top-up’ to degree, and you may be required to successfully complete an additional module prior to progressing through the remainder of the programme. This module will enable you to enhance and develop your academic skills and prepare you for study on the five core modules.

In this module you will be introduced to ethical theories and principles relevant to health care; these include the ethics of care, values-based care and the bioethical principles. Other topics addressed in the module are responsibility and accountability, professional regulation, record keeping, consent, confidentiality, patient rights, restraint, and do-not-attempt cardio pulmonary resuscitation (DNACPR). Adults with incapacity and other related issues, such as, the use and abuse of power, and advocacy will also be considered. You will have the opportunity to explore and apply creative solutions to ethical situations in the healthcare environment and will be encouraged to participate in online discussions and reflection on practice. Engagement with learning, teaching and assessment activities throughout the module will help you develop your academic skills.

Promoting Excellence in Older People’s Health

This module will help you explore the theories of ageing from a physical, psychological, social and cultural aspect. Older people and health care will be contextualised from a local and world-wide perspective and include exploration of the value of nursing theories when assessing, planning, implementing and evaluating nursing care.

Management of Chronic Disease

This module will encourage you to explore medical and social models of care, health outcomes, information and support, psychological consequences of chronic disease, social issues, cultural and spiritual issues.

Advancing Practice through Research

This module will provide you with the opportunity to learn about the different types of evidence that may be used to inform clinical practice. Specifically, you will explore different approaches to undertaking the research process, research methods and will have the opportunity to develop your skills to critique research and its relevance to practice.

Healthy Lives

The themes of this module will be explored through a ‘virtual family’ which is based on the experiences of real people.

Effective Leadership in Healthcare

On this module you will explore the principles of the following topic areas that will be discussed in the context of your field of nursing: Clinical Leadership; Clinical Governance; Patient Safety, Change Management and Risk Management. You will also explore partnership and team working and the associated essential communications skills that support effective partnerships. Opportunities to consider the role of the nurse in relation to teaching & learning, inter-professional education, clinical support & supervision will be explored. Management style and leadership qualities that are effective in health and social care settings will be discussed and theoretical aspects applied and explored in the context of your own practice area.