How many points are needed for nursing?

An AP-score Grade 11(25) and Grade 12(24) is required.

Mathematics, Physical Science, Biology or Physiology are recommended subjects. Selection is based on academic merit. An AP-score Grade 11(25) and Grade 12(24) is required. A personal interview is conducted with every applicant. An NSC for degree purposes is required with the following minimum subject requirements and AP-score per subject, indicated in brackets:

  • English (4);
  • Additional Language (4);
  • Four other subjects (4);
  • Life Orientation (4) – Life Orientation is excluded from the APS-calculation.

Admission to the course is subject to Departmental selection, and applications close on 31 May of the preceding year. Selection also includes writing the University’s admission test.

Bachelor Degree in Nursing Sciences Entry Requirements:

  • English (50-59%)
  • First additional or home language (50-59%)
  • Life Sciences (50-59%)
  • Maths Literacy (50-59%)

Diploma in Nursing Entry Requirements:

  • You will need a National Senior Certificate (NSC) or equivalent qualification at a level 3 or 4, depending on the institution, to qualify to study the course. However, it is not as important that you have taken mathematics and or physical sciences as it is for BCur. You will need:
  • English (50-59%)
  • First additional or home language (50-59%)
  • Four other subjects (50-59%)
  • Life Orientation (50-59%)

Higher Certificate in Auxiliary Nursing Entry requirements:

  • You will need a National Senior Certificate (NSC) or equivalent qualification at exit level 3 or 4, depending on the institution, to qualify to study this course, however, it is not as important that you have taken mathematics, physical sciences or life sciences as it is for the BCur. You will also need:
  • English (50-59%)
  • First additional or home language (50-59%)
  • Four other subjects (50-59%)
  • Life orientation (50-59%)

Postgraduate Advanced Diploma in Nursing Entry Requirements:

  • Bachelor in Nursing Sciences or equivalent or a degree and comprehensive diploma
  • Diplomas in nursing and midwifery
  • Advanced Diploma in midwifery, staff nurse and advance diploma

Take a look at our Subject Guide to find the value of specific subjects as well as suitable subject packages for various career fields.

Institution and APS

Faculties of Health Sciences do not usually follow an APS.  Instead, they use your collective subject choices and their respective percentages.

Look left to see the entry requirements for a Nursing degree or diploma.

According to the Western Cape College of Nursing, the minimum entry requirements for a diploma in Nursing is:

  • Grade 12 (Std 10) – Minimum 28 APS points

Some of the most reputable institutions which over studies in nursing include:

  • University of Johannesburg (UJ)
  • University of Pretoria (UP)
  • Tshwane University of Technology (TUT)
  • University of Cape Town (UCT)

There are also a variety of smaller nursing colleges that focus solely on nurse training which ensures that the practical element of the education and training is covered. 

Required Qualification/s

To qualify as a nurse, there are four options for you to pursue:

  • A four-year bachelor degree in nursing
  • A three-year diploma
  • A one-year higher certificate in auxiliary nursing
  • One-year postgraduate advanced diploma in nursing and midwifery on top of your degree or diploma.

After you get your qualification, you have to register with the SANCA (South Africa Nursing Council).

Undergraduate nursing degree


What types of undergraduate nursing degrees can you study?


There are hundreds of nursing degree courses available in the UK. To narrow down your choices, first consider what area of nursing interests you. Different types of nursing degrees include:

  • Adult nursing
  • Children and young people nursing
  • Learning disabilities nursing
  • Mental health nursing
  • Midwifery

Nursing degrees attained in the UK are transferable to many countries – perfect if you have dreams of living and working abroad.

What universities offer nursing degrees?


Over 80 universities across the UK offer nursing degrees. According to the Complete University Guide’s 2021 nursing league tables, the best universities for nursing include:

  • University of Glasgow (ranked 1st for overall)
  • Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh (ranked 1st for student satisfaction)
  • Abertay University (ranked 1st equal for graduate prospects)

Others in the top 10 include: University of Edinburgh, Cardiff University, University of Manchester, University of Surrey and University of Southampton.

Rankings aren’t everything though. Being happy at uni is key, so consider things like the quality of student support, local life and facilities.

How do you apply for a nursing degree?


Once you have decided which nursing degrees you’re interested in, head over to the UCAS website to apply. You can choose to apply for up to five different courses, so have your preferred firm choice, insurance choice and some back-up options just in case.

You may need to attend an interview as part of the application process for a nursing course. Make sure you are prepared by doing plenty of research into the course and really think about how your skills and experience make you great for it.

What are the entry requirements for nursing?


The entry requirements for nursing will vary depending on course and university. The UCAS points needed for a nursing degree range from 96 points to 144 points, with foundation year degrees being as low as 72 points.

What GCSEs do you need to be a nurse?


Most universities will require you to have at least 2 GCSEs (or other equivalent Level 2 qualifications) with a grade C or higher. Two of these will need to be in English and maths, to prove you have the numeracy and literacy skills needed to be a nurse.