Choosing to study at Swansea University

Academic study

Teaching and Learning

The College offers high quality teaching and supervision to our students. Each student will have an academic tutor who holds the same professional registration that which the student is working towards. Our lecturers with professional registrations remain clinically active in their field of expertise and most are involved in research or are authors of journals and books. This combination of academia and clinical presence ensure that our students receive a level of education which is evidence based, appropriate and up-to-date.

Check out some of the team

Campus based learning involves traditional modes of teaching such as lectures, seminars, small group work and tutorial groups. In addition to this the College offers alternative approaches to learning which enhance skills required in the clinical setting while supporting the individuality of the student. In particular students will be taught using problem based learning methodology, where under the guidance of a lecturer the learner develops their problem solving competency, structuring of knowledge in the clinical context, clinical reasoning and the development of self directed learning.


The College uses a variety of assessment methods to determine the level of learning and competency of our students. Professional programmes require students to be competent both academically and clinically therefore students will be assessed on campus and in the clinical environment. Campus based assessments can include essays, MCQ’s, exams and clinical scenarios. In the clinical setting the student’s mentor will assess their knowledge, skill and attitude when performing a range of clinical interventions. Success in both campus and practice assessments are required to progress through the programme. 

View an illustration of our   Assessment how both academic and clinical assessments link together.

IT Provision

Healthcare students are required to develop their IT skills in order to meet the challenges of future healthcare delivery. The College  supports its students in developing these skills through the availability of resources, teaching of skills and utilisation of these skills in their everyday study. Each student will receive a University email account and password on enrolment which will allow them internet access to all University services. In addition to this the College has its own dedicated PC suites. Examples of how IT is incorporated into our programmes include;


Clinical Skills Training

All healthcare students are required to undertake clinical skills training in our skills suites prior to attending clinical practice. This training is specifically designed to meet current Health and Safety legislation and the requirements of our partner healthcare providers.

The clinical skills suites are purpose built teaching areas which aim to replicate clinical environments. The equipment and materials are the same as those used within the ‘real’ clinical situation.

It is important to know that this is mandatory training and all students must attend these training sessions in order to protect themselves, others and their patients from adverse risks or dangers. Saying that, most of the students enjoy the clinical skills sessions as they are a great opportunity to practise their ‘hands on’ skills in a safe and friendly environment.

Go to our dedicated webpage

Learning in Practice

Clinical Environments

Clinical practice is defined ‘As the learning achieved during an agreed and negotiated period of learning that takes place outside the institution at which the full or part time student is enrolled or engaged in learning. As with work based learning, the learning outcomes are intended as integral parts of a programme of study.’ QAA, Code of Practice, Section 9:16, 2007.

The College works closely with healthcare providers to ensure that students are exposed to a variety of clinical experiences that will support their professional and educational development. Practice placement experiences are an essential part of students’ pre-registration programme and provide opportunities to refine and further develop knowledge and skills learned in classroom activities by working in real life professional practice situations.

We work with both the NHS and private healthcare providers and are able to offer experiences in a large variety of clinical areas. The list below is not exhaustive but illustrates the range of organisations that support our students;

 NHS Direct Private homes NHS & Singleton campus NHS & St.Davids campus Social services 

Working Hours and Travelling


As a vocational programme leading to a professional registration our healthcare programmes require students to be exposed to clinical practice. As such it is expected that students will undertake 50% of the programme outside of the university campus. Candidates should therefore give consideration to how they will manage their commitments against the organisational and time keeping requirements of the programmes. Such things may need to be considered are;

  • Will you be using your own or public transport
  • How long will it take to travel from your place of residence to your practice placement
  • How will the shift patterns of the placement impact upon your travel arrangements.

The College will make every effort to ensure that students are allocated clinical experiences within a reasonable distance from their residence however candidates should appreciate that due to the geography of Wales and the nature of healthcare delivery it will be a requirement to travel anywhere in the community where patients are cared for.

Shift patterns

The statutory bodies for healthcare require that students experience the full the 24 hour/7 day week cycle of care delivery and our students are expected to integrate themselves within the healthcare team so that they receive a high level of teaching, supervision and clinical practice. With this in mind students are expected to follow the shift patterns of that clinical environment and also those of their allocated mentor.

It is worth remembering that this is a full time course and students work 37.5 hours/week while in practice.

Some examples of shift patterns are;

Hospital based:

Morning shift – 07.00 – 15.00 hrs
Afternoon shift – 13.00 – 21.00 hrs

Students are required to work 1 weekend in 6.
Students will be expected to work some night shifts in their final year.

Hub & Spoke

The Hub and Spoke approach allows for you to have a dedicated clinical area as you main base but also offers the chance to visit many other clinical areas that support the patient and provide assistance to the nurses in that main area. In this way you will not only experience nursing care of the patient with a specific condition or illness but will also learn how the healthcare team as a whole manage the patient through their clinical journey. 


•Students experience the patients’  journey

•The hub and spoke approach will allow students to gain insight and understanding of the interprofessional nature of nursing.

•Increased opportunities for inter professional learning

•Wider range of access specialist learning opportunities are made available in a structured and planned format


 View an example of our Hub and Spoke approach


Typical Working Weeks

When in clinical practice you are expected to work the shift patterns of that clinical area and be a part of the team delivering 24 hour care. In your first year the College will design your first clinical placement so that there is a mixture of study days on campus, clinical days in practice and of course, days off. the number of study and clinical days vary depending on the week and the days in which you work in practice will change  depending on your mentors shift patterns and your commitments.

See an illustration of the Shift Patterns


Supporting Your Learning


The College recognises that the role of the mentor is vital to the success of our healthcare programmes and that appropriately trained and well supported mentors are central to ensuring that our students develop into practitioners who are fit for practice and purpose. Our mentors receive extensive training and continuous support from both the College lecturers and clinical Practice Facilitators to ensure they have the appropriate skills and resources to help and assist students when in clinical environments.

Difficulties and Disabilities

Swansea University prides itself on having a history of responding positively to the changing legislation of equality and access and through its policies and procedures it endeavours to embrace not only the general and specific duties but the spirit of the Equality Act as a whole.

The College is happy to receive applications from students with disabilities and will ensure that candidates will be treated sensitively, fairly and without prejudice. The College has many dedicated disability advisors whose role is to offer support to staff and students alike. We also work closely with the Student Support Services to ensure that we meet current legislation and offer the best possible service to our students. 

All students with disabilities are encouraged to make contact with the Disability Office as early as possible in the admission process to discuss their individual support requirements. The Disability Office will discuss the individual needs of applicants, the support that is available to them from the University and advice on eligibility for and process to access funding from the Disabled Students’ Allowance.

As with applications to all other courses, the involvement of the Disability Office is formalised at the point the University makes an offer to the applicant.  At this stage the Disability Office will be notified of the offer by Admissions team and will contact individual applicants to discuss the steps required to implement an appropriate package of support. 

If ‘fitness to practice’ is believed to be an issue, the Disability Office will advise. The advice will be in accordance with the College’s policy and procedure in relation to Fitness to Practice, stating when and how fitness to practise is assessed through the Occupational Health Department.

Nursing Overseas

Our nursing students get fully involved with international nursing. There are lots of international opportunities available for students as part of the Erasmus exchange programme and our degree schemes allow you to participate in a semester abroad in your second year as part of your education.  Check our our webpage or go to the Erasmus website.

Check out what our students Claire  and Tamara though of their visits abroad

Learning in Welsh

Enhancing language appropriate practice in health and social care is an important factor in improving health and reducing inequalities. Therefore students should have opportunities to discuss and develop many care skills through the medium of Welsh.  While English is the main language used currently to teach students within the College of Human and Health Sciences, provisions are in place to support study through the medium of Welsh.

It is also well recognised that Patient Care is improved when patients communicate using their preferred language.  Speaking Welsh with Welsh speaking patients or clients makes them more at ease during a stressful time, helps build effective relationships between you and enhances communication. It demonstrates respect and dignity for their language. Thus improving healthcare outcomes. Therefore it is important for students to be aware of what the College has to offer in raising the profile of the Welsh language and being supportive of them. Visit our webpage

Students who enrol onto the Welsh Pre Registration Programme and achieve a minimum of 40 credits through the medium of Welsh may be eligible for £500 annual scholarship(on application). Work is submitted in Welsh, the student has a Welsh speaking Tutor and is placed with a Welsh speaking Mentor, all of which are available at the College of Human and Health Sciences. There is also a scholarship available for students who undertake a phD either through the medium of Welsh or can demonstrate that the research has a strong Welsh Influence. Further information can be found here

If you wish to discuss your Welsh language requirements please contact our advisors

St. David's Campus: Heulwen Morgan Samuel

Singleton Campus: Catherine Williams


Other Considerations


Funding for healthcare students is through the Welsh Government and the NHS Wales Student Awards Unit. Although the College will deal with the day to day management of funding issues it is these two organisations that set the tariffs and eligibility criteria.  It is strongly recommended that candidates identify as early as possible their full entitlements. More information regarding funding can be obtained from WEDS.

It is a fact of life that we could all do with more money and students are no exception. Many of our students undertake part time jobs while on their healthcare programme and while the College acknowledges that this is an essential need for some students it is important that their progress on the course does not suffer from it. Be realistic in your financial planning and follow some money management tips;

  • If already in employment when accepting an offer, discuss part time work with your employer. It is much easier to adjust hours with a current employer than find suitable hours of work in a new job.
  • If you receive any benefits discuss your proposed studies with the benefits office.  Make sure you are aware of the impact, if any, that attending university will have on your benefits.
  • If you intend to claim child care costs through WEDS, be realistic in the amount you wish to claim, remember there will be periods of time when you are not in university. Any over payments may be claimed back from you. We will need to see original copies of birth certificates for children which claims are being made.
  • The University has a dedicated team of experts to help students with money matters. There is additional financial help available from this team but do not rely on this when planning your finances. Allocation of this fund is based on individual needs.


The university offers a wide range of student accommodation and has a whole department dedicated to residential services.

All healthcare students at Singleton campus have equal access to accommodation. Due to the long academic year and the unsocial nature of some of the clinical practice working patterns we ensure wherever possible that students are accommodated in the same homes. This not only offers added security but also develops peer support. This however limits accommodation to the Hendrefoilan student village. Adult nursing students who are offered a March start date will also have access to accommodation.

Please be aware that unfortunately there is no accommodation provision for students taught at our St.David’s campus.


All of the Healthcare Regulatory bodies require a certain level of attendance by the student in order to complete the programme and enter the professional register. Thus attendance at both theory and practice sessions is compulsory in order to meet the professional requirements for registration.

Due to the nature of vocational programmes healthcare students work a much longer academic year. As a result holiday time is much less than a typical university student. Healthcare programmes do not follow the same semester patterns of the university so expect to be in university/placement when other university students are on leave. 

Please be aware that our term time commences approximately 2 weeks earlier than the main university; do not follow dates on the UCAS website but contact our academic registry department on 01792 518531 for information.

Some helpful hints;

  • Wait until after an offer has been made to you before booking any holidays, this way you can obtain holiday dates from the College. What you don’t want to do is book a holiday during a study session.
  • Should you already have a holiday booked prior to the interview bring the dates along and discuss them with the admissions tutor. There is the potential to support these dates should you be offered a place on the course.
  • Annual leave is classed as ‘non term time’ and will be used for any excessive absence during the year. Therefore do not anticipate all of this time as ‘holiday’ time as you may need to use some of it to complete your studies. Non term time is fixed within the year and you should take this into account when planning holidays and family engagements and advise your family and friends accordingly.

Professional Behaviour

There will be many and varied expectations of students while studying at university, not only will they be progressing towards their degree but will also be preparing to enter a profession. As such the College supports a recent statement by the Nursing and Midwifery Council regarding student performance;

‘Professional values must underpin education as well as practice. All nurses and midwives are required to comply with the Code. Together with student guidance, the code is central to all education programmes, and educators must enable students to understand, commit to and uphold it.’

The underpinning philosophy of the College is to produce highly educated individuals who have the appropriate knowledge, skills and attitude to enter the nursing profession. Equal emphasis is placed upon the professional development of the student as well as the academic development. You can find more information regarding the professional expectations on the NMC website.