BN Programme at the University of Edinburgh

The Bachelor of Nursing (BN) with Honours programme reflects global, UK and Scottish perspectives of health care. The transfer between health environments and the acute primary care interface is key to understanding the health needs of different populations. 
Throughout the four years of the programme students are introduced to a range of inpatient and community placements and other health related learning experiences. The Bachelor of Nursing with Honours degree prepares students for life in the forefront of the dynamic health care environment of the 2020s and beyond. Student nurses are prepared for the evolving healthcare landscape with critical thinking, teamwork and leadership skills, an ability to innovate and work in interdisciplinary settings and proficiency across the required range of clinical skills.  
There are three strands of the curriculum which lead students from year one to year four, building on previous learning as part of a spiral curriculum. Life sciences, research skills and social sciences are introduced in year one and then build in complexity and depth over the course of the four year programme.

Year 1 and 2

  • Introduction to the evidence base for nursing - anatomy and physiology, nursing care, mental health, technical innovations in healthcare, sociological and psychological aspects of healthcare and approaches to research.
  • Choice of 2 option courses to enable students to develop new interests such as social work, medical microbiology, others learn languages, music, sociology or anthropology – a huge range of opportunities!
  • Clinical skills development including inter-professional learning opportunities with students undertaking a range of practice learning experiences in care homes, hospitals, community and third sector organisations.


Year 3 and 4

  • Development of leadership skills, critical thinking abilities and clinical decision making.
  • Deepening of understanding about the evidence base for nursing.
  • Exploration of the range and scope of global nursing, health issues, professional and policy developments at home and abroad.
  • Choice of two honours option courses in each year, learning as a mixed group of year 3 and 4 students. This allows them to personalise the programme, pursuing nursing courses which address their own disciplinary interests.
  • Continuation of skills acquisition culminating in a simulated ward round activity with medical student colleagues as each of the professional education programmes move towards conclusion.

The final year allows students to work on a topic of their choice to produce an Honours dissertation. Dissertation work is supported by the supervision of an academic, exploring the evidence base for the student’s own personal interest and considering the design of a research project to address the specific topic.

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Key Contacts

Programme Lead: Dr. Sarah Rhynas

Useful Documentation for Students:

PAD - Scotland - UoE BN.pdf
PAD - Scotland - UoE MN.pdf