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5 Top Universities for Nursing that Don’t Need A Levels

14th December 21

Maybe you have been thinking about becoming a Nurse for a while but don’t know where to start or where to go. You will require a range of qualifications to achieve your goal and enrol on nurses courses at university, but what if you don’t possess A Levels? Without A Levels, figuring out UCAS points and credits can be a real task.  

We have done the hard bit for you and compiled a list of prestigious universities in the UK for nursing that accept Access to Higher Education Diplomas as alternatives to A Levels. By studying these online nursing courses, UK learners will get an understanding of the profession, as well as preparation for degree-level study. 

Get Ready for Your Nursing Degree By Studying an Online Access to HE Diploma 

Studying for A Levels may be the traditional way, but a bit of research has shown us it is not the only way. Many top universities accept life experience and Access to Higher Education Diplomas instead of A Levels. 

Do some research online to check the entry requirements of your chosen nursing degree. Online learning is beneficial for many reasons, and there are plenty of establishments that accept Access courses that are delivered online.  

The Access to Higher Education Diploma (Nursing) is one of a handful of options that could lead you towards accredited nursing courses. UK learners might be surprised by the options available to them! 

With an Access to nursing course, you can study online from home; you don’t have to quit your day job to study online nursing courses. UK learners can still get the best nursing degree without A Levels. Below, we have highlighted the top 5 high-ranking options for nursing that are accessible with an Access to HE Diploma. We have thrown in a few more options to show you where your Access to HE Diploma might take you. 


King’s College London 

Follow in Florence Nightingale’s footsteps and study to become a Nurse at King’s College at the Florence Nightingale Faculty. King's are ranked within the top 10 in the world for nursing, so you should expect the highest level of education when you enrol. 

King’s College London has access to some of the most prestigious hospitals in London, so during your studies, you will have the added benefit of witnessing nurses in action. The skills, knowledge, and techniques you will learn will put you in a strong position to embark on a rewarding career, and this path begins by studying online nursing courses, UK learners. 

King’s College London asks for 3 B grades at A Level, but you needn't go the traditional route. You can apply to study nursing at King's with your online Access to Higher Education Diploma in nursing or health.  

If you are considering pursuing a nursing degree, online learners should certainly put King’s College London on their wishlist. Check out some important stats about the establishment below: 

  • More than 29,000 students  
  • Over 185,000 alumni across the globe 
  • Ranked 7th in the world in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework 
  • 84% of the university’s research is regarded as ‘world leading’ 

For other London-based universities that do nursing, see the University of West London, the University of East London or the City University of London. These universities also consider our Access to HE Diplomas. 


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University of Birmingham 

The nursing course at the University of Birmingham is one of the most sought-after nursing courses. UK learners should know that the establishment will consider an Access to HE Diploma as part of their entry requirements. 

They will also consider nursing degree online applications from potential students who do not have the full programme of GCSEs. As long as it is over five years since you completed your GCSEs, you just need the Access course, Birmingham learners, two years’ experience in health and social care and GCSEs in English, Maths, and Science at grade 4/C or above. 

Like most universities, for students over the age of 21, they take life experience into account. Multi-tasking, practical skills and being an all-rounder is important for a nursing career. Keep this in mind when considering the various nursing courses, UK learners. 

You could also look at Birmingham City University’s website, where the Access to HE Diploma in health and social care topics are also considered for nursing applicants. If you are considering this university for nursing courses, UK applicants can get a snapshot of the establishment below: 

  • Founded in 1900 
  • England’s first civic university 
  • A campus that spans 672 acres 
  • More than 30,000 students enrolled each year 


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University of Manchester 

We found out that this top-ranking university also accepts an Access to HE Diploma that includes science topics. So, if you want to go down this route as opposed to studying nurses courses at an Access level, then the University of Manchester is an option. 

There are different study options for nursing courses, UK learners, depending on which career path you want to follow. To specialise, you can also apply with an Access to Higher Education in a science or health subject. They also take other factors into account. If you are considering the University of Manchester, then check out the below facts and figures: 

  • Named the Times and Sunday Times top university for employability in 2020 
  • More than 40,485 students enrolled at one time 
  • 500,000 alumni in over 190 countries 
  • 25 Nobel Prize winners 

Manchester Metropolitan University is also worth researching. They state that they interview all nursing applicants and consider applications on an individual basis. They also consider Access to HE Diplomas, so you have a handful of options once you have completed your online nursing courses. UK learners should keep in mind, as with all universities we advise you to undertake your own research into the entry requirements for each specific course.  

It is worth giving the admissions department a call or an email and telling them a bit about yourself to see if you qualify for their nursing degree. Online nurses courses will give you the knowledge you need to pursue a career in this field, but it is always important to get the facts you need before applying to university. 


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The University of Leeds 

For nursing, the University of Leeds is one of the best in the country. You can enrol on nurses courses that lead to rewarding jobs in the healthcare sector. These nursing courses, UK learners, can kickstart a career in the NHS or private sector. 

Their website states that they accept an Access to HE Diploma in science or health related subjects. Leeds also offer “alternative entry”, where they take your personal circumstances into account. This is good to know if you have ever struggled financially or otherwise. 

Your Access to HE Diploma with learndirect will give you all the information you need to embark on a nursing degree. Online learning will provide you with the flexibility to learn from the comfort of your own home. Once you complete your Access to Higher Education Diploma course, you will be able to apply to a range of universities. The University of Leeds boasts the following: 

  • 170 countries represented by their students 
  • Within the world’s top 100 universities 
  • 281,000 alumni in more than 190 countries 
  • Founded in 1904 


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University of Liverpool 

Liverpool is also ranked highly on the list of best universities to study nursing. Luckily, their website outlines that they will consider the Access to HE Diploma as part of their entry requirements for nursing courses, UK learners. 

They are aware that many of their students will go on to work for the NHS after studying nursing courses. UK applicants should know that the university will look for these qualities when assessing you for a position on the course. 

Your Access to HE Diploma in Nursing might help you tick these boxes and give you a good grounding in what you need. There are modules in the Roles and Responsibilities of a Registered Nurse, and the History of the National Health Service in your Access to HE Diploma and that will get you prepared for nurses courses at degree level. 

If you are considering the University of Liverpool for a nursing degree, online learners should explore the facts and figures of the establishment, such as: 

  • More than 22,000 students on campus 
  • Global exchange programmes 
  • Over 400 undergraduate and postgraduate courses 
  • UK leader in widening participation 

Liverpool John Moores University is also well worth looking into. John Moores look for voluntary or work experience in the health sector. Their website also states that they consider Access to HE Diplomas as standalone qualifications. The good news is they state that they accept a mixture of grades at pass, merit, and distinction to enrol on nurses courses. 


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Bonus: Your Choice 

Your application is based upon you as an individual, and your own experience in addition to your qualifications from nursing courses. UK learners should bear this in mind, so make sure you do your own research. Decide where would work for you and get in touch with the admissions department at each university.  

Entry requirements change all the time, so keep checking in with the university. The establishments mentioned are just a few universities on a long list that accept Access to HE Diplomas as part of entry requirements for nurses courses. 

If a career in nursing is your calling, don’t hesitate and enrol on your Access to HE Diploma today. You can speak to one of our Course Executives on 01202 006 464 or contact us online. Alternatively, click below to find out more information about our nursing courses, UK learners. 


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