SWINDON is set to receive more medical students as Oxford Brookes University swells its places for nursing courses.

Oxford Brookes’ Ferndale Campus in Gorse Hill has received extra funding from the National Health Service which will mean that an extra 60 nursing students can study at the university from September.

There is also money for an extra eight Operating Department Practice (ODP) students.

The extra places will see nursing numbers increase to 125 a year and the Operating Department Practice (ODP) student annual cohort will grow to 40.

June Girvin, pro vice-Chancellor and dean of the faculty of Health and Life Sciences at Oxford Brookes University was delighted that they had received extra funding for the new places.

She said that it proved that the quality of education students receive at the Ferndale Campus was highly thought of, and demonstrated the confidence of the NHS in Adult Nursing and Allied Health Courses at Oxford Brookes University.

She said: “This is excellent news and is testament to the quality of education we provide and the strength of our partnerships with the Swindon health care sector.

“Recent international research has shown that graduate education for nurses provides real benefits to patients and this increase is good news for the Swindon healthcare community.”

She added that the extra places also recognised the importance of graduate healthcare education to support hospitals and community healthcare in Swindon, Wiltshire and the South West.

Adult Nursing is a three-year degree programme and ODP a two-year diploma programme, both fully funded by the NHS.

Both programmes are suitable for school leavers looking for careers in the medical profession as well as those looking for a change in career.

No tuition fees are payable by students and means-tested bursaries are also available.

Oxford Brookes University has established strong links with local NHS Trusts as well as in the independent sector where nursing and ODP students undertake clinical placements in the acute hospitals and community areas.

Current students on the programmes at Ferndale report high levels of satisfaction in teaching, learning and practice education.

For more information about the course visit http://www. brookes.ac.uk/undergraduate/ course/adult.

Prospective students wishing to apply for the course should visit http://www.ucas.com/apply/ undergraduate.