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The University of Southampton
Health Sciences

PG Diploma Nursing


Selection Session

The nursing selection session has been designed as an opportunity for you to demonstrate your skills, understanding, insight and personal values relevant to nursing. Applicants for all nursing programmes will experience the same session. Typically, you will be with us for up to 3½ hours, engaging with a group discussion activity, face to face reflection with a member of staff, and opportunity to judge and comment on a health care scenario.

During the day, there will be ample time to engage with some of our current nursing students as well as admissions tutors. We also have a question and answer based information session and encourage you to come prepared with all your questions. It is a great opportunity for you to find out all you want to know about us, our nursing programmes and student life at University of Southampton.

Each session can have up to 45 applicants attending, we do not have a cap on the number of places we offer in each session. Following your time with us the Admissions Tutors will evaluate all of your contributions to the selection day, re-read your UCAS application, personal statement and reference in order to make a fully informed decision on each applicant. 

Before the day

To prepare for the session you should read at least two of the following documents (please click on or paste the hyperlinks)

Enabling professionalism (NMC, 2018). Please access “Read enabling professionalism’ and ‘Professionalism in practice’.

That Age Old Question (Royal Society for Public Health, 2018). Please access not more than p4-27

Future in mind: Promoting, protecting and improving our children and young people’s mental health and wellbeing. (NHS England, 2015). Please access p9-20 only.

“Leading Change, Adding Value” (NHS, 2016). Please access the whole of this short paper that is relevant to all applicants. Use the hyperlink or paste:

Before you leave home

Check you have the relevant identity documents and copies, original examination certificates and copies, passport size photograph, completed self-disclosure of criminal record, any additional personal statement. Please plan to arrive in good time.

What to expect

Group activity

We advise that you prepare for the group activity by ensuring you are familiar with current healthcare issues, health provision and the role of nurses in the United Kingdom. Reading two of the papers above will be helpful. The activity will be in small groups in the form of a discussion about contemporary professional nursing or health care. The group will be joined by one or two staff members or clinicians who are there to observe and assess your communication and team working skills as well as your insight to current healthcare. The group discussions last 20 – 30 minutes and are always a very interesting experience.

Discussing important health related issues with others can be thought provoking and enjoyable. It is important that you come prepared to join in the discussion by listening to your peers and contributing your own thoughts.

Individual face to face discussions

Your face to face reflection will be undertaken with one of your observers from the preceding group activity. During this time you will be asked to reflect on your contribution to the group activity and to consider if you would repeat the same approach in any similar future activity.

Judge and comment on a health care scenario

Sat with a small group of other applicants for nursing, you will be asked to judge a health care situation, typically a short video. A range of straightforward open questions will be asked giving you opportunity to identify attributes that demonstrate your personal values and approach to other people.

Question and answer information session

As your selection day concludes you will have time to ask experienced members of academic staff, supported by current students, to clarify any remaining gaps in your knowledge about nursing courses and the student experience at University of Southampton. Do feel comfortable to ask any questions about the programme, campus, accommodation, finances or anything else that will help you make a choice about your application to Southampton. We will ensure that we answer all questions, accurately and honestly. We want to support you to make informed choices about your future career.

Dual field nursing applicants

You may have applied for one of our dual field programmes: adult and children's nursing; or adult and mental health nursing; or children’s and mental health nursing. You are encouraged to bring a revised personal statement (maximum 500 words) to support your skills and experience in the two fields of nursing practice you have chosen to study. These will be collected on the day and considered with all the other information in your application.

Dress code

You are attending an interview for entry into a professional career and we expect applicants to dress accordingly.

Friends and relatives

We welcome a friend or family member to a separate question and answer session at approx. 11:15 (morning session) / 15:15 (afternoon session).  A place must be reserved on the registration form when booking. 


Limited free parking is available at our Montefiore Halls, Wessex Lane, postcode SO18 2NU. Please make sure you park in the non-residential section as signposted. From here you will be able to take the Uni-link Bus (service U1C) to the Interchange on Highfield Campus (Uni link Bus Map). The bus stop is directly outside the entrance gate to the Halls. Tickets can be purchased from the bus driver. A day rider ticket costs £3.70 and entitles you to unlimited travel on any of our Uni-link buses. 

When will you hear our decision?

All interview decisions will be made in 10 working days of your selection. You will see this decision immediately in UCAS Track and also receive written confirmation from us by e-mail. 

We look forward to meeting you on the selection day and wish you every success with your application.

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