Careers and Employability Service

I Want to Work in ......Nursing and Medical Therapies



    Fast track courses

      There are now a number of fast track Masters courses for graduates lasting two years including 6 in nursing, 15 in occupational health, 8 in speech and language therapy, 15 in physiotherapy and 4 in radiography. There are also 17 in medicine and 4 in dentistry. One in ten doctors now qualify via fast track courses. Fees are usually paid and you may be eligible for a government bursary as well. The courses are very intensive and competition can be high for places on some courses especially those for medicine and dentistry.

      To find details of universities approved to run shortened/accelerated health-related courses: use the course finder tool

    Work experience

    Try to get work experience in a hospital: even taking library books round the wards is useful. Apply well in advance as some hospitals have waiting lists. Most hospitals will have a volunteer coordinator who can help you: you can find out about on their web site. For Canterbury hospital volunteering oppportunities, see Voluntary Work

    Bursaries and tuition fees

      The NHS bursary scheme provides new students with a non-means tested grant, a means tested bursary and a reduced rate non-means-tested loan. The loan is be provided by Student Finance England. Different rates of means tested bursary and loan apply according to where a student lives and studies, whether in London, outside of London, or with their parents.

      This means that a healthcare student on an eligible course of 45 weeks in duration and studying outside London could receive a non-means tested grant of £1,000, a means tested bursary of up to a further £4,500  and a non-means tested student loan of up to £3,263 (2015 figures). Additional claims may be made for excess travel expenses and accommodation costs associated with attendance at clinical placements.

      The NHS bursary scheme pays a bursary, for eligible students on approved courses leading to registration in: undergraduate Audiology, Dental hygiene, Dental therapy, Diagnostic radiography, Dietetics, Midwifery, Nursing (all four branches), Occupational therapy, Operating department practice, Orthoptics, Orthotics/prosthetics, Physiotherapy, Podiatry, Speech and language therapy and Therapeutic Radiography.

      Financial support is also available to eligible students on shortened/fast track graduate-entry courses leading to registration in: Diagnostic radiography, Dietetics, Nursing (all four branches), Occupational therapy, Physiotherapy, Speech and language therapy and Therapeutic radiography.

      You have to be "eligible" and on an NHS-funded course to be able to get financial help from the NHS.  For more information about the financial support available from the NHS, go to

      The Government now plans to axe bursaries:

      Nurses on the march against plans to axe

    Physician Assistant

    This is a new role in hospitals. Physician assistants support doctors in the diagnosis and management of patients.  They are trained to perform a number of roles including: taking medical histories; performing examinations; diagnosing illnesses and analysing test results. They work under the direct supervision of a doctor. You usually need a science orientated first degree to get onto a training programme: these include HertfordshireBirmingham, and St George’s.

    General information



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The University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent, CT2 7ND, T: +44 (0)1227 764000 ext. 3299

Last Updated: 03/04/2019