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Undergraduate study
mental health nursing courses, mental health nurse course, mental health nurse degree

Nursing Studies (Mental Health)* BSc (Hons)

You develop the values, knowledge and skills to work effectively and with impact to support and educate individuals experiencing a variety of mental health problems, while supporting their families and carers.


Course overview


Health professions day highlights

Earlier this year, we hosted a health professions day for students looking to start their journey into healthcare. They experienced a variety of simulated activities across all of our health courses. Check out the highlights from the day and keep an eye out for the next one.

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.

As a mental health nurse you establish and build a therapeutic relationship with people who may experience mental health distress and illness, encourage healthy behaviours, recognise and treat symptoms early, and promote mental and physical health and well-being for all ages of the population.

The course combines academic study with a range of placement experiences which encompass working with people across the lifespan to develop knowledge and skills to support people with both organic and functional illness, as well as those who may encounter the criminal justice system because of their mental illness and conditions. As part of the placement experience, you participate in a shift pattern rota, or work weekends and undertake night duties

You learn about physical health problems, pharmacological and psychosocial interventions, as well as working with carers and relatives who may also be in distress. In addition, you explore multi-professional and inter-professional working and safeguarding, and the legal context of the role of a mental health nurse.

Studying at Teesside presents opportunities to meet and work with people from both urban and rural areas presenting a variety of health concerns. You will be qualified to work in a wide range of clinical and social settings and develop your knowledge, skills, and expertise in areas of including primary care, working with children and young people, families, transcultural mental health or move into management, research, or training.

Top reasons to study this course:

  1. Partnerships: an established course with strong links to local and regional NHS Trusts, charitable organisations and the private sector.
  2. Placement opportunities: a variety of placements across the age, health and wellness spectrum and between inpatient and community settings, including the criminal justice system.
  3. Experienced teaching team: our teaching team collectively have a wealth of experience so you benefit from their practical and academic expertise.
  4. Financial support: study this course and you may be eligible for a £5,000 maintenance grant each year from the NHS Business Service Authority. Find out more.

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Course details

In the new curriculum there is increased emphasis on mental health and cognitive issues impacting on health and shared learning across all four fields of practice throughout the three years is a key feature of the course. The module content reflects the changing and challenging nature of providing healthcare in the 21st century and the evolving and diverse role of the registered nurse. Leadership is embedded in all three years of the course, recognising the crucial role nurses play in moving practice forward. All modules adopt a blended approach to learning and teaching. We pride ourselves on the quality of our partnership working involving placement providers and service users. One of the modules in the first year has been co-produced with service users.

Course structure

Year 1 core modules

Bio-psychosocial Approaches to Nursing Care and Decision Making

This module involves shared learning and teaching across all fields of nursing, to develop an understanding of the holistic issues that may influence and impact on the care and experience of people within different health care settings. You develop a broad understanding of the theoretical frameworks underpinning the discipline of nursing and identify and explore patterns and determinants of health, wellbeing and illness at a local, national and global level.

You identify and explore the knowledge base required to meet the fundamental mental, physical, cognitive and behavioural needs of people within their care. Research-informed teaching and learning will introduce you to the concept and process of evidence-based practice, which will enable you to take a critical approach towards nursing care.

Bio-psychosocial Development Across the Lifespan

You develop an understanding of human systems and the patterns and determinants of health, wellbeing and illness. This will include consideration of the altered and normal human biopsychosocial development. You develop an awareness of genomics, sociological, psychological development and their impact upon physical health, mental health, and intellectual impairments across the lifespan.

You will have an awareness of routine investigations which will then contribute to the development of your knowledge of commonly encountered physical and behavioural health conditions. You will understand the principles of pathogenesis, immunology, and evidence base for immunisation, vaccination and herd immunity, and establish an understanding of the principles of infection prevention and control.

Experts by Experience the Person's Voice

You develop an understanding of the centrality of the person receiving care and valuing and promoting reciprocity in every interaction. You will explore the philosophical basis and key concepts underpinning approaches to working with different people and service user groups. The biopsychosocial experience and impact of altered health and wellbeing, physical illness, cognition and/or treatment upon the person and family will be examined from the service user perspective.

You explore the balance of power within health and social care provision and relationships, and empowerment and the concepts of therapeutic alliances will be examined. The concepts of meaning, empathy, compassion, trust, connectedness and hope will be analysed and applied to practice.

Foundations of Nursing Proficiency: the Professional Basis of Care and Caring

This module will facilitate the development of fundamental knowledge and skills that pre-registration nurses must demonstrate when caring for people of all ages across care settings. The module content is linked to the Nursing and Midwifery Council platforms and proficiency statements combining theory and practice elements.

The module combines theory, practical skills and placement experience and incorporates the four fields of nursing across three semesters with students in mixed theory groups.Technology-enhanced learning is a key feature. Understanding the foundations of nursing proficiency and professional nursing practice will be developed through pre-reading, seminars and supporting of direct care through simulated workshops including role play, clinical skills development, simulation and the use of scenarios.

Introduction to Personal and Professional Effectiveness in Nursing Practice

This module will provide the foundations from which students from all fields of nursing will examine the role of the nurse as a leader and champion of high-quality, person-centred nursing care, professional practice and innovation. It enables you to explore the knowledge, values and skills required to develop your personal effectiveness and reflective practice. This exploration will be used as a professional platform to inform their leadership development.

You will be introduced to the theoretical concepts underpinning leadership and personal effectiveness including self-awareness, resilience and self-management, as well as the core professional values of nursing.


Year 2 core modules

Collaborative and Interdependent Working to Promote Health and Well-being

You build upon and apply the leadership and personal effectiveness knowledge and skills they developed in Stage 1 of the course. It focuses upon the nurse's role in collaborative and interdependent working with others, to influence and motivate. You explore how they can use their personal qualities and skills to contribute to, and promote a culture of high-quality person-centred care and a positive working environment. You develop your ability to articulate a shared vision and purpose to inspire others, engage the team and lead with care.

Developing Personal and Professional Effectiveness in Nursing Practice

You further develop your understanding from the first year module across all fields of nursing of the role of the nurse as a leader and champion of high-quality, person-centred nursing care, professional practice and innovation. It enables you to explore and critique the knowledge, values and skills required to develop your personal effectiveness and reflective practice. This exploration will be used to advance knowledge to inform your leadership development.

You develop skills to explore theoretical concepts underpinning leadership and personal effectiveness including self-awareness, resilience and self-management, as well as the core professional values of nursing.

Nurse as Investigator and Leader of Change

You build on the knowledge and skills developed in Year 1 in relation to the role, nature and use of evidence to support health and social care practice and service improvement. You develop your ability to critically appraise a range of evidence. You will explore how evidence is used to underpin national guidelines, decision-making and high-quality nursing practice within a clinical governance framework. To facilitate evidence-based practice and influence the improvement agenda you will apply leadership and change management concepts covered in other modules.

Promoting Mental Health Nursing Proficiency: Developing Evidence-based Professional Care and Caring

You build upon your foundations of care and skills proficiency to meet fundamental and complex physical and mental health needs of service users and their families in community and acute care settings.

You develop your understanding of professional nursing practice through seminars, simulated workshops, role play, clinical skill development and mock scenarios, to aid prevention and early identification of risk as well as facilitating actual care needs of the service user.

Throughout the year you are supported in your placement by a practice assessor, practice supervisors and an academic assessor.

Therapeutic Nursing Practice in Mental Health Nursing

You explore the nature and focus of therapeutic practice in mental health nursing across service user journeys. You build upon your knowledge and understanding of altered pathophysiology, cognition and health/wellbeing, enabling you to further develop your ability to formulate evidence-based, person-centred decisions within a biopsychosocial context.

A case study approach is used to assess, plan, meet and evaluate the therapeutic nursing care needs of people accessing primary, secondary and tertiary care. You examine your role in recovery management, promoting positive health and wellbeing and managing the care of people during relapse/acute episode.
Related pharmacology is applied and explored.


Final-year core modules

Enhanced Person-centred Assessment and Decision Making Skills in Mental Health Nursing

You gain the knowledge, understanding and skills to undertake enhanced holistic assessments of people accessing mental health nursing services. You develop your ability to work in partnership with people experiencing mental health problems, their carers and families across a range of primary, secondary and tertiary care environments. You use a recovery-based and person-centred approach in assessing the needs of people with mental illness, their families and carers.

Skills laboratory sessions allow you to practice assessment skills within a protected learning environment. You further develop your skills and application of learning through supervised practice placements. You critically examine your assessment and decision-making knowledge and skills development, including identification of the evidence supporting your assessment and decision-making practice and conclude with a SMART action plan focusing on your future development.

Enhanced Therapeutic Practice in Mental Health Nursing

You explore complex therapeutic, person-centred decision-making within mental health nursing practice, enabling you to further develop the knowledge and decision-making skills required to proactively manage the health care needs of people accessing mental health nursing services within primary, secondary and tertiary care settings.

You gain the knowledge and skills required to promote evidence-based decision-making, multidisciplinary and multi-agency integrated team working when managing people’s complex care needs. You explore the complexity of contemporary health and social care practice, including how services are delivered, resource management and meeting the individual health and nursing care needs of people and their families and carers. The impact of co-morbidities on health and wellbeing is examined throughout the module. Central to the module is the patient experience and promoting best outcomes.

Enhancing Mental Health Nursing Proficiency: Leading Evidence-based Professional and Caring Practice

You develop your ability to lead and manage care in diverse practice settings. You develop your skills and knowledge of caseload management and leading teams in care delivery for people receiving mental health care, their families and carers. This includes in a practice setting under supervision developing your delegation, prioritisation, decision-making, time management, and teaching and supervising of others using approaches such as coaching.

Key lectures, seminars, independent learning, simulated and practical sessions enable development of skills in leadership and caseload management. This involves demonstrating the ability to make complex decisions in partnership with other relevant health professionals and agencies. You are expected to recognise your role and responsibilities in particular reference to safeguarding and identifying and addressing poor practice. Practical workshops focus on developing your technical and therapeutic skills such as relevant physical health care skills, talking therapies, medication management and preparation for prescribing.

Nursing Improvement and Entrepreneurship

You focuses on enhancing skills and attributes to enable you to explore systematic approaches to develop the quality improvement agenda and improve the safety, effectiveness and people’s experience of care. The role of the nurse in this context will be explored. You will develop and propose a service improvement initiative in the workplace utilising enhanced knowledge and understanding of the tools, techniques and models linked to successful improvement initiatives in health care practice.


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 assessor 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. Digital competency and learning through digital based platforms is an important component of the course.

Practice placements are provided in a range of healthcare related environments including 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 Practice Assessment Document (PAD). Essential practice proficiencies contained within the PAD are linked to the NMC platforms, communication and relationship management skills and nursing procedure skills must be met for this course. The platforms are:

  • Being an accountable professional
  • Promoting health and peventing ill health
  • Assessing needs and panning care
  • Providing and evaluating care
  • Leading and managing nursing care and working in teams
  • Improving safety and quality of care
  • Coordinating care

Our Disability Services team provide an inclusive and empowering learning environment and have specialist staff to support disabled students access any additional tailored resources needed. If you have a specific learning difficulty, mental health condition, autism, sensory impairment, chronic health condition or any other disability please contact a Disability Services as early as possible.
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

You are expected to have:

  • a minimum of two GCSEs at grade 4 (C) or above including English language and maths. Key Skills/Functional Skills Level 2 in Communication and Application of Number can be accepted in place of English and Maths GCSE. Please note these are not required if you are doing an Access course – however, you must have English and maths as listed below.*

Plus any of the following qualifications:

GCE and VCE Advanced Level
112 points from two or three A levels, or equivalent T levels.

AS Level
These are only acceptable combined with other qualifications. One AS level can be accepted when combined with two or three A Levels to meet the 112 points required.

Access course
112 UCAS points from a QAA-recognised Access course (any combination) *We can accept level 2 Access units in communication and maths in place of English and maths GCSEs.

BTEC QCF Extended Diploma
112 points (DMM).

CACHE Level 3 Extended Diploma in Health & Social Care
120 points (B) in health and social care.

Foundation degree
A pass in any subject.

Irish Leaving Certificate
112 points from four or five Highers/Honours subjects.

Open University
60 credits at Level 4 with the Open University or a CertHE pass in any subject.

Scottish Highers
112 points from four or five Highers.

Advanced Scottish Highers
112 points from three Advanced Highers.

For further detailed entry requirements for this course please visit

Shortlisting criteria
Your application will be measured against the following criteria:

  • your ability to complete all sections of the application form fully and correctly
  • the level of all qualifications and grades are specified
  • appropriate academic entry requirements achieved or working towards qualifications
  • personal statement supportive of chosen course and demonstrates an understanding of the uniqueness of the profession and the role of the professional
  • satisfactory appropriate supportive references (academic/employer/character).

If you are invited to interview and the date is not suitable we may not be able to offer you an alternative date due to the high volume of applications received for this course - but it is important that you contact the Admissions Office immediately.

Interview criteria
Applicants successful at shortlisting will be invited to an interview (which may be in person OR video call) where you will be measured against the NHS values, and the 6 C’s. You will be measured against the following criteria: :

  • knowledge of chosen profession/career
  • an appreciation of the demands of the course and chosen profession
  • enthusiasm for the course/profession
  • ability to communicate effectively both verbally and non verbally
  • a future plan for the specialism.

If you are successful in both shortlisting and interview you will receive a conditional offer which is subject to the following:

  1. evidence of achievement of the required academic qualifications
  2. a successful work based risk assessment which will reflect the HEOPS recommendations - please read these here. For more information on all of the HEOPS standards click here
  3. an enhanced criminal history (DBS) check may be required for certain modules or placements which involve working with children and/or adults at risk. The DBS check is funded by the School of Health & Life Sciences so you do not need to pay for this process.
  4. satisfactory references.

Please note until 1 to 4 have been successfully completed the offer of a place on the course remains conditional. Advanced standing for a maximum of 50% of the course is available for suitable candidates, subject to them meeting the Recognition of Prior Learning criteria. This is only considered once a place has been offered and accepted.

International applicants
  • International applicants must have a minimum IELTS score of 7.0 or equivalent in line with the University English Language Policy that equates to overall IELTS 7 with a minimum of 6.5 in writing (or equivalent), before an unconditional offer is made.
  • If you are successful at shortlisting you will be invited to attend an interview (which may be in person OR video call) in one of our international offices in either India, Malaysia or China, or through a secure web link (which will be arranged by the University).
  • If you can not attend an interview as stated, you will be unable to proceed with your application.

For general information please see our overview of entry requirements

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.


Information for international applicants


International applicants - find out what qualifications you need by selecting your country below.

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Useful information

Visit our international pages for useful information for non-UK students and applicants.

Talk to us

Talk to an international student enrolment adviser


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 course.


Entry to 2024/25 academic year

Fee for UK applicants
£9,250 a year

More details about our fees

Fee for international applicants
£17,000 a year

More details about our fees for international applicants

What is included in your tuition fee?

  • Length: 3 years
  • UCAS code: B702 BSc/NurMH
  • Start date: September or January
  • Semester dates
  • Typical offer: 112 tariff points and interview

Apply online (full-time) through UCAS



  • Not available part-time

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    BSc (Hons) Nursing Studies (Mental Health)

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  • Student and graduate profiles
    Jade Hoggarth

    Jade Hoggarth

    BSc (Hons) Mental Health Nursing

    All the modules have prepared me for different aspects of the practice and placement module – and have been essential for my progression from a student to a newly qualified nurse.

    Meet Jade

  • News

    Faye Louise Crawford receives the Nightingale Award from Nurse Consultant
Wendy Anderson.
. Link to View the pictures. Student nurse scoops Nightingale honours
    A Teesside University student has become the first student nurse to be crowned as the overall winner of South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust’s Nightingale Awards.

    Read the full story


Service user and carer involvement

Service users and carers support all aspects of our students' lifecycle from recruitment to graduation.

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Telephone: +44 (0) 1642 738900

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