Study Nursing In UK for Free for International Students

Do you want to study nursing in UK for free? Studying nursing anywhere in the world is expensive, however, there are pathways to study nursing in the UK for free for International Students without personal funding.

The demand for nurses and other medical professionals in the UK is on the rise daily. The United Kingdom healthcare system is short-staffed thus there are vacancies for healthcare personnel, especially nurses.

How to study nursing in UK for free for International Students

There are different pathways to study nursing in the UK for free for international students, the routes include scholarships, Employer funding, and student loans.

  • University Scholarships

University scholarships are quite competitive to get in the UK and depend on available funding, your academic performance, the course of study and the university.

However, very bright students with excellent grades can easily secure scholarships once they apply.

Some universities offer Undergraduate nursing scholarships /postgraduate nursing scholarships for local and international students to study nursing in the UK for free.

  • Employer funding/Apprenticeship

This is the best route to study nursing in the UK for free for international students. It involves securing a job in a health facility in the UK as a healthcare assistant.

Healthcare employers operating in the United Kingdom usually have funding set aside for nursing apprenticeship programmes and other educational programmes.

If you are interested in being a registered nurse in the United Kingdom, discuss with your employer the available pathways. The common pathway available to most health facilities especially NHS facilities is the nursing associate and apprenticeship program.

The nursing degree apprenticeship enables nursing students to train for four years to become graduate registered nurses in the United Kingdom through an apprentice route.

This apprenticeship route allows nursing students to work for their employers. At the same time, they study part-time in a higher education institution and will train in a range of practice placement settings. They will learn from the United Kingdom Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) approved education providers.

The nursing degree apprentice route is fully funded by your employer, thus providing an opportunity to study nursing in the UK for free. Also, your employer adjusts your work rotations/schedule to enable you to learn effectively.

An employer can also provide a variety of scholarships for their employees to advance their nursing education/training.

Employees can be offered 70 to 100% scholarships to advance their training to undergraduate and postgraduate levels on a full-time or part-time basis.

However, after the period of study/training, the employee will have to work for their employer for about a year or two depending on the terms and conditions of the study.

  • Student loan

This entails having 100% funding provided by the UK government which covers tuition fees and living expenses.

This route is not entirely free and thus does not allow a student to study nursing in the UK for free because the student is expected to repay the loan after the study.

However, the student has an eternity to repay the loan, consequently, the loan payback system is usually very friendly and without any significant financial strain.

The loan repayments start when the student has completed the study and has secured gainful employment.

The student loan is not available to all students, to be eligible you have to be a citizen of the United Kingdom, have a residency permit, have a first-degree relative who has a residency permit or the student have lived in the United Kingdom for three years or more. Eligibility also depends on the course of study, the university or college, your age and if you’ve studied a higher education course before.

You need to set up a student finance account to apply for a student loan. Visit, search for a student loan, then set up the student finance account and follow the steps to complete the process.

Free Nursing Courses in the UK Online

Individuals who are interested in studying nursing in the UK for free can also develop, grow or kick-start their nursing career by starting free online nursing courses with certificates.

The free nursing courses online are short courses for nurses and some are certificate courses which can increase a nurse’s skill, knowledge and competence.

The free nursing courses in the UK are offered by some universities in England and the learning is mostly online. Some reputable websites also offer free nursing courses online.


Any interested motivated individual can study nursing in the UK for free depending on the surrounding circumstances and what you are willing to do. Look at the options in the article to see what works for you good luck.

Read also: Requirements for internationally trained nurses to work in the UK.