Undergraduate study
Nursing Studies (Mental Health)

Nursing Studies (Mental Health)
BSc (Hons)

B702 BSc/NurMH


Course overview

This course is full for January 2018 entry - you can still apply for September 2018 entry or January 2019 (deferred) entry.
One in four of the UK population experiences a mental health problem at some point in their lives - this is not restricted by age, cultural, occupational or income groups. This mental health nursing degree course enables you to develop the values, knowledge and skills to work effectively with individuals experiencing a variety of mental health problems whilst supporting their families and carers.

The skills and knowledge you develop range from fundamental therapeutic communication to specific interventions used with individuals who have problems such as depression and severe mental illness. You will be equipped with the knowledge and skills to work in diverse settings, and develop a leadership role within the health and social care team. To be a nurse and to share people’s healthcare experiences, in sometimes very difficult and emotional times, is a privilege. The public place high expectations and levels of trust on nurses, and the course develops practitioners who can meet these expectations. It is hard work and challenging. Therefore to work within the healthcare sector it is essential that you are able to demonstrate the core values embedded within the NHS Constitution:

  • working together for patients
  • respect and dignity
  • commitment to quality of care
  • compassion
  • improving lives
  • everyone counts.

Throughout the course, as part of the placement experience, you will be required to participate in a shift pattern rota or work weekends.

Professional accreditation

On successful completion of the course you will be eligible to register with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) on the nurses' part of the Professional Register (Mental Health Nursing).

During the pre-registration nursing course you are expected to work to the spirit of the NMC Code (2015) at all times - The Code (2015) Professional Standards of Practice and Behaviour for Nurses and Midwives, Nursing and Midwifery Council London

Please note 100% attendance is expected during this programme.

Supporting information for applicants

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Course details

Year 1
You will focus on developing the fundamental knowledge and skills required to deliver high quality professional nursing practice. Modules studied explore care, compassion and communication, human development and functioning across the age continuum, decision making, and improving health and wellbeing. The focus of your practice experiences and learning are on assessing and meeting the fundamental physical and mental health needs of people of all ages, and the development of knowledge and skills within your own nursing field.

Year 2
You will increasingly focus on your field of practice. Modules further develop your decision making skills and explore how evidence is used to promote best practice in relation to nursing care, service provision and the experience of service users and carers. Within the practice environment you continue to develop your ability to assess and meet the fundamental physical and mental health needs of people of all ages and the more complex and co-existing needs of people from your own nursing field.

Year 3
Throughout your course you will engage in a number of learning activities designed to enable you to develop leadership skills and personal effectiveness. Year 3 brings this learning together. You undertake a self-managed project designed to improve health and nursing practice. During your practice placements you focus on nursing leadership and management and enhancing your personal effectiveness to safeguard the health and wellbeing of the public.

Course structure

Year 1 core modules

Introduction to Decision-making in Mental Health Nursing

We provide you with the foundation knowledge essential to decision-making in mental health nursing; and to enable you to apply the essential knowledge underpinning mental health nursing across the continuum of care, considering legal, ethical, professional and clinical governance issues.

Introduction to Human Development and Functioning across the Age Continuum

You gain an introduction to functional anatomy and physiology with links to developmental milestones, common conditions and health needs across the age spectrum and fields of nursing.

A study guide, introduced in week one, is used to direct learning and help you make meaningful connections between module content: anatomy, physiology, developmental theory and factors contributing to health and wellbeing.

The Foundations of Nursing: Care, Compassion and Communication

You to develop the knowledge and inter-personal skills which underpin caring, compassionate nursing practice; and those required to communicate effectively with all service users, carers and members of the multidisciplinary team.

The foundations of therapeutic nursing, using appropriate interpersonal skills and the development of nurse-patient relationships are explored. The importance of effective communication across the age continuum, irrespective of illness or ability is also examined, together with the need for self-awareness and personal effectiveness within the caring role. This facilitates the development of the fundamental leadership skills and strategies required to effectively manage challenging situations.

The Fundamentals of Caring and Professional Nursing Practice

We facilitate development of the fundamental nursing knowledge and skills required in order to meet service users’ physical, mental health and emotional care needs. We also introduce you to your field of nursing practice.

The Role of the Nurse in Improving Health and Wellbeing

You explore the factors and issues which impact upon people’s health, wellbeing, access to care and experience of illness and recovery; together with the nurse’s role in designing, delivering and monitoring services to ensure high quality care. You also develop your ability to use best available evidence to support practice decisions and promote innovation.


Year 2 core modules

Developing Decision-making in Mental Health Nursing Practice

We introduce you to the complexity of mental health nursing practice in a range of mental health care settings. You further develop the knowledge and understanding of the key theoretical aspects required to meet the physiological, psychosocial, and cultural needs of service users and their families. You focus on the evidence-base required to assist you with clinical and ethical decision-making processes involved in planning and providing effective care to patient service users and their families.

Promoting Caring and Professional Practice in Mental Health Nursing

You build on learning from year one further develop knowledge and skills underpinning mental health nursing practice across a range of diverse health settings. We help you to holistically assess and meet the fundamental physical and mental health needs of people of all ages and the more complex and co-existing needs of people within the mental health field of practice and their families/carers.

Promoting Positive Outcomes of Mental Health Nursing Care for People Affected by Mental Health Issues

You focus on the journey of people affected by mental health issues and the facilitation of positive outcomes. You build on the foundational knowledge and understanding attained within the first year of the programme and prepare for your second year practice placements.

Adopting a recovery-orientated philosophy, you explore positive outcomes in the journeys through health and social care services of people affected by mental health issues across the age continuum.

You critically appraise key national policy drivers for the delivery of high quality services and demonstrate a critical awareness of the unique and distinctive role that nurses have in promoting positive outcomes for people affected by mental health issues. Within this, you explore the dynamic nature of multidisciplinary and multi-agency collaboration.

The Role of the Nurse in Promoting Evidence-based Health and Service Improvement

You build on the knowledge and skills developed in year one of the programme, and further develop your ability to critique and use evidence to support the delivery of high quality nursing care, health and service improvement. To achieve this you cover three core themes including exploration of some of the contextual factors that influence service delivery, organisational cultures, leadership and the reform/service improvement agenda.

The influence and importance of service user engagement in this process is emphasised, while some of the more influential professional, economic, health and social policy drivers are also explored. During the module you are expected to attend a Trust, Governor’s or Governance Board meeting in order to gain insights into local health care priorities and agendas and how these may influence health care provision.


Final-year core modules

Developing the Nursing Contribution to Continuous Improvement in Health and Social Care Practice

You develop your ability to contribute to improving services in practice within the context of the nursing role, based upon critical evaluation of the evidence regarding a focused, student-determined area of practice. The current context of health and social care improvement is explored within the module, as is contemporary care quality issues such as the Francis Report (2010) and the Patients' Association Report and CARE Campaign (2011).

Enhancing Clinical Decision-making in Mental Health Nursing Practice

You build on previous learning and focus on complex decision-making within mental health nursing practice. Risk management and the decision-making process are explored. Emphasis is also placed on developing an enhanced awareness of how clinical decision-making can impact on self, service users, their families/carers, health and social care professionals and the service being delivered.

Leading Professional and Caring Practice in Mental Health Nursing

You develop your ability to lead and manage the care of patients with complex needs in diverse care environments. You are provided with the opportunity to develop your role in caseload management and associated skills including prioritising care, negotiating, decision-making, delegation, time management, team-building and the teaching of others.

Emphasis is placed on challenging practice where appropriate in order to safeguard the health and wellbeing of people. These aspects of practice promote your understanding of inter-professional learning and provide further opportunities to work with other professional groups and fields of practice.

Shared key lectures with other fields of nursing practice take place. This shared-learning relates to teaching others, leadership and management.


Modules offered may vary.


How you learn

50% of the learning time is spent engaging in University or self-managed learning activities (theory) and 50% of the time is spent within placement allocations (practice).

The teaching week during theory/study blocks is Monday to Friday and may involve some evening sessions. During practice allocations you are required to complete the shift patterns allocated to you by your mentor or supervisor. These will include early starts (for example a shift may start at 7.00am and finish at 8.00pm), night duty and weekend shifts.

The structure and sequencing of University and placement-based learning means that holidays are fixed - it is not possible to take holidays outside of the set dates.

During University-based learning you engage in a range of both teacher-led and student-led activities. Such activities include lectures, discussions, group activities, seminar presentations, tutorials, skills workshops, experiential learning / simulations, service user-focused activities and e-learning.

Practice placements are provided in hospital and community settings. These include experiences with community mental health teams, in-patient units, forensic mental health care and other specialist mental health services. This enables you to explore the service users’ journey, nursing and health care needs. Throughout your placement allocations you have opportunities to gain experience with client groups from other fields of nursing (adult, learning disabilities and children’s nursing) to enable you to develop an understanding of the health and nursing needs of people across all fields of practice.

Travel to placements
The range of placements provide diverse and rewarding learning experiences. Placements may not be near to your home or within your local trust. You are expected to travel to different areas.

Both practice and theory learning experiences enables you to explore the service user’s journey, developing knowledge and experience of nursing and health care needs within services across the age continuum.

How you are assessed

Assessments are varied and reflect module outcomes. They include written assignments, examinations, case studies and presentations. You are also assessed in practice through a portfolio of evidence each year. Essential placement based competencies must be met for this course which include:

  • demonstration of professional values as highlighted within the NHS Constitution:
  • mathematical calculations in relation to drug administration
  • physical and manual dexterity to undertake clinical skills
  • observational and auditory ability are needed to carry out holistic practical examinations and emergency care
  • accurate interpretation of assessment data and written records, such as drug prescription charts and treatment plans, to inform clinical decision making
  • keeping accurate and legible records.

Our Disability Services team helps students with additional needs resulting from disabilities such as sensory impairment or learning difficulties such as dyslexia
Find out more about our disability services

Find out more about financial support
Find out more about our course related costs


Entry requirements

Entry requirements

Call us on 0800 952 0226 about our entry requirements

For additional information please see the entry requirements in our admissions section

International applicants can find out what qualifications they need by visiting Your Country

You can gain considerable knowledge from work, volunteering and life. Under recognition of prior learning (RPL) you may be awarded credit for this which can be credited towards the course you want to study.
Find out more about RPL



Career opportunities

A diverse range of career opportunities are available within the NHS and private sectors in the UK and overseas. This course provides a stepping stone from which you can develop your expertise in the fields of nursing practice, leadership, research, education and consultancy.



Entry to 2018/19 academic year

Fee for UK/EU applicants
£9,250 a year

More details about our fees

Fee for non UK/EU applicants
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What is included in your tuition fee?

  • Length: 3 years
  • UCAS code: B702 BSc/NurMH
  • Call us on 0800 952 0226 about our entry requirements

Apply online (full-time) through UCAS



  • Not available part-time

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17 November 2018
Undergraduate open day

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