Using your subject: Health Sciences

Learn how to use a degree in Health Sciences to enhance your career prospects

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My name is Ruth O’Riordan and I am the Careers Adviser for the School of Health Sciences alongside leading on Credit Bearing Education within the Careers Service.

I have been with the University of Dundee for 18 years as a Careers Adviser and now Senior Careers Adviser. Prior to this, I worked in Recruitment and Human Resources since my graduation from UoD in 1998. I love my job and want you to know that I am here to support you in any way I can with your career goals.

As your Careers Adviser, I am here to support you with making career decisions, understanding the graduate marketplace and applying for a new job with application and interview guidance. I also organise the annual Nursing Careers Fair at the University and will come and talk to your year group about relevant careers and recruitment topics.

Below I have added some content relevant to commencing and progressing your career as a registered nurse. Within Blackboard you will be able to access some specific resources related to recruitment and applications. To access this visit SNHS MyDundee page – look under the “Student Services” section where you will find a folder entitled “Careers Service: Student Resources”. Lots of great stuff waiting for you there.

I love to talk so feel free to get in touch!

What can I do with a nursing degree?

A degree in Nursing or Midwifery from the University of Dundee equips you with a range of highly desirable skills to enable you to care for individuals in a range of settings. This section will specifically consider Adult, Child and Mental Health Nursing as these are the main pre-registration courses offered at The University of Dundee.

On successful completion of your course, you will apply to join the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) register which enables you to practice as a nurse in the U.K. Qualified nurses can work in a diverse range of environments and develop their careers in clinical practice, education, research, management and education. Nurses can work in hospital settings or in the community either with the NHS or in the Independent sector.

This article on Prospects will highlight the diverse range of roles open to graduates with a nursing degree.

With so many choices in nursing choosing the specific area you would like to work in can be challenging. Thinking about your skills (what are you good at or what you want to learn), your values (what’s personally important to you), your interests (what you enjoy), and your personality can help you narrow down these choices.

Your placements will give you a very strong idea or the areas you might enjoy. Remember though, that your first job is unlikely to be your last job and all placements and post-qualifying roles you undertake will add to your skillset to enable you to move around a variety of roles. Nursing really is a varied career and you can be as ambitious as you wish.

If you would like to discuss your options and ideas in more detail make an appointment with your careers adviser through CareersPortal.

How do I become a nurse or midwife?

The NMC, NHS Education for Scotland and NHS Health Careers all contain fantastic information about pursuing a career in Nursing or Midwifery:

Working whilst you study

It is very common (but not essential) for nursing students to work while they study. Alongside providing you with an additional income, working in a caring role will allow you to experience different working environments and add to your skills. Please ensure that you prioritise your studies – working should complement your studies rather than compete with or overshadow them.

Students from the University of Dundee regularly join the NHS Fife or NHS Tayside Nurse Banks and work as a Band 2 Healthcare Assistant (sometimes called Nursing Assistant or Nursing Auxiliary):

  • NHS Fife and NHS Tayside have shared specific information for UoD Nursing students regarding joining their Nurse Banks. You can find all the information you need on MyDundee.  Visit your organisations and select the SHS Organisation page – look under the “Student Services” section where you will find a folder entitled “Careers Service: Student Resources”.
  • It is worth looking on NHS Scottish Recruitment for advertisements for other nurse banks or for suitable part-time work.
  • Capability Scotland and myjobscotland also advertise for part-time and relief staff.
  • Indeed is a good source of local paid employment.
  • UoD Careers JobShop is a good source for part-time work..
  • Working in a local care home will give you a wealth of skills and experience. You will be able to find a list of all the Care Homes using the search function on Make contact with them to investigate if they are seeking part-time staff. The Careers Service can help you prepare a CV.
  • There are a number of recruitment agencies in Tayside and Fife that offer a range of paid employers in the care sector. Search for “care agency”.

Finding and securing a graduate job or further study

Further study

As well as a fulfilling clinical career, nurses can also extend their academic qualifications through postgraduate study. On successful completion of your degree programme, it is possible to undertake further study on a full or part-time basis relevant to your CPD needs or careers aspirations. 

  • NHS Education for Scotland holds up to date information about post-registration study in Scotland.
  • The NMC holds the full list of all approved courses in the UK.
  • You can search for courses on UCAS; FindAMasters and FindAPhD.
  • Some post-registration courses may be full-time whilst others will be part-time in nature. If part-time you may find that an online or geographically convenient course will be one of your important personal considerations. Talk to your employer about recommended courses in your specialist area and discuss the support they might offer whilst you study.

Graduate work

NHS Tayside and NHS Fife have graduate recruitment schemes in partnership with the University of Dundee. These will be explained to our students during their course.

The following websites are useful vacancy sources throughout the United Kingdom:

Working as a nurse overseas

Many nursing graduates use their qualifications to work overseas. UK qualified nurses are in demand overseas but make sure you carefully research your chosen country – the RCN and NMC are both very helpful.

Application support

The Careers Service at the University of Dundee has prepared a wealth of materials to support you with your applications and interviews.

Your Careers Adviser will come to your class during theory blocks to deliver sessions on Your Career; Your Applications and Your Interviews during each year of your undergraduate course.

Downloadable handouts relating to CVs, application forms and interviews are held within your SHS Organisation page – look under the “Student Services” section where you will find a folder entitled “Careers Service: Student Resources”.

Please do get in touch - we would be delighted to support you during your time at the University of Dundee and upon graduation.