BSc (Hons) Nursing (Mental Health)

Accredited by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC)

Course details

UCAS Course code B760

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One in four of the UK population will at some time in their lives experience distressing changes in their psychological well-being. It's vitally important that they receive the proper care and attention they deserve from highly-qualified and supporting nursing staff. Our course will prepare you for the challenges and rewards of a career in mental health nursing, showing you how to provide effective care to help your patients with recovery.

With support provided by expert academic and clinical practice staff, you'll be well-prepared for practice as a registered nurse upon completion of the course. Our blend of theoretical and practical-based work, provided through placement programmes in a wide range of practices, will teach you through traditional learning methods and hands-on experience. We truly believe that mental health nursing is a life-changing experience, and will do everything we can to get you started in this stimulating profession.

2017 Entry

From 2017 the government will cease to provide bursaries for undergraduate NHS courses. Students will have access to the standard student support package of tuition fee loans and support for living costs, rather than getting an NHS grant. This information is based on the understanding provided by The Council of Deans for Health and may be subject to change as further details are released by the government.

How we can support you

If you enrol onto an undergraduate NHS programme in 2017, we’ll cover the costs of your:

  • Uniform
  • DBS check**
  • Occupational Health check
  • Travel costs for placements of up to £300 each year

This is in addition to any government support agreed.

**Paid on successful enrolment onto course

The course will teach you how to empathise and form strong relationships with mental health clients and their families, ensuring that the patient is always at the heart of the caring process. We emphasise independent thinking and problem-solving, which will help you to undertake research, and deal with (or lead the management of) change in clinical practice. You'll have access to our student support mechanisms to improve your knowledge, as well as elective placements (including overseas opportunities in the second year) that will help you put your studies to work.

Mental health nurses are highly trained professionals who can help those affected in their journey towards discovering a more positive way of living, and healthier ways of combating challenging emotional situations.  We teach you how to employ the latest evidence-based therapies and engage with the client to develop person-centred care plans. The role is both demanding and satisfying, and no two days are ever the same.


Year one

Compulsory modules

  • Fundamentals of Professional Practice
  • Developing Professional Graduate Skills for Health and Social Care Practitioners
  • Introduction to Health and Wellbeing
  • Fundamental Approaches in Nursing
  • Fundamental Principles of Mental Health Nursing
  • Year 1 Practice Assessment

Year two

Compulsory modules

  • Using Evidence to Support Practice
  • Working with Others
  • Challenges in Health and Behaviour
  • Developing Therapeutic Approaches and Practice
  • Clinical Practice in Mental Health Nursing
  • Year 2 Practice Assessment

Year three

Compulsory modules

  • Using Evidence to Evaluate Practice
  • Professional Practice in Context
  • Promoting Health and Wellbeing for Groups and Communities
  • Transition to Graduate Practice
  • Contemporary Interventions in Mental Health Nursing Practice
  • Year 3 Practice Assessment

Programme specification

For a detailed summary of all course content please read our programme specification for this course.

Download the programme specification (PDF)

2017 entry

You can find out more about the tariff and qualification options from the UCAS tariff table

96-112 tariff points from maximum of 3 A Levels. Also to include GCSE English Language, Maths and Science or Social Science grade C or above.  Potential to succeed can be measured in a number of ways including academic qualifications and skills obtained outside academic study such as work experience.  We have a points range so we can take into account all of the information on your application form and adjust the offer from the evidence provided.

Please note we do not accept level 2 adult numeracy or literacy.

Please check selection criteria for any additional entry requirements.

Selection criteria

Successful recent study within last 5 years at GCSE level or higher (NVQ3 accepted and NVQ2 not accepted).

Alternate qualifications accepted for entry include:

  • Pass Access to HE Diploma with 60 credits overall. Minimum 45 graded credits at Level 3 at merit.
  • Level 3 BTEC Extended Diploma MMM - DMM
  • Level 3 BTEC Diploma in Health & Social Care/Applied Science DD - D*D*
  • OCR Cambridge Technical Level 3 Extended Diploma MMM - DMM
  • OCR Cambridge Technical Level 3 Diploma DD - D*D*
  • 96-112 tariff points from maximum of 4 Scottish Highers. 
  • 96-112 tariff points from maximum of 4 Irish Leaving Certificate Highers. 
  • Old NVQ Level 3 in Health & Social Care (pre 2014), plus minimum 2 years' experience in health care setting.

Equivalent qualifications other than those listed above may be accepted. Contact for more information.

Experience of health/social care-related setting such as a hospital or primary care health centre prior to application is preferred.

There is intense competition for places on our mental health nursing degree, so before you apply you should consider carefully if mental health nursing is right for you.

As part of the application and selection process you will need to demonstrate commitment to mental health nursing. This means that your application will not be considered if you have applied to us for more than one field of nursing (or for additional professional courses other than nursing). In your personal statement you should demonstrate your motivation for choosing mental health nursing, and reflect upon any practical experience you have gained.

All places are offered subject to successful interview and numeracy test, as well as Disclosure and Barring Service clearance (DBS formerly CRB), medical fitness to practise and proof of qualifications.

Fitness to practise and health requirements

All offers of a place are subject to satisfactory health screening.   Further information will be provided following the offer of a place.

Please note that Professional Bodies such as the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) and the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) have certain requirements regarding health and character status of applicants and their ability to meet the required core professional competencies and to practise safely without direct supervision. Please read the NMC and HCPC information to find out more. Please ask us for advice and/or support as early as possible in the application process if you have any questions about this requirement.

For more information about core competencies and medical fitness to train please click here. There are fitness standards provided here for most programmes of study: health professions, social work and teaching.

In some instances, an applicant may be invited to attend a professional practice panel to discuss any recommended reasonable adjustments, and whether or not core professional competencies are achievable.

In order to be admitted and continue on the course, students must be deemed as medically fit for both practice and theory by the Occupational Health Department. If you have any concerns about a health condition/issue and its impact on your ability to undertake the course please contact the Occupational Health Department as early as possible in the application process.

Disclosure and Barring Service check
If you are offered a place we require you to comply with an Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) background clearance check.  Details on the policy can be found here.

Values Based Recruitment

From 1 April 2015, all Higher Education Institutions delivering NHS training programmes will be required to assess students for their values using the core requirements set out in the Values Based Recruitment (VBR) framework. This assessment will take place as part of our recruitment process.

Full-time courses

Apply online through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS), between September and January; they will send your application on to us. Applications submitted after this date will be considered late and the course you have applied for might be full by this time; however, we will consider you for alternative suitable courses.

Their website provides all the information you need about universities, courses, locations, entry requirements and financial support. You are allowed to select up to five course choices. You need to use the correct UCAS campus and course codes as not all courses are offered at every campus. You will be asked for the following information when you apply online:

Institution code name: UoC

Institution code: C99

Campus location:

  • A Ambleside
  • B Brampton Road, Carlisle
  • E University of Cumbria at Energus, Workington
  • F Fusehill Street, Carlisle
  • L Lancaster
  • T University of Cumbria in London
  • Y University of Cumbria at Furness College, Barrow-in-Furness

Part-time courses

Applications should be made online directly to the university; visit our website or contact for details and guidance. There is no official closing date but we would encourage you to apply as early as possible, as many courses are competitive.

What makes a good application?

We consider all aspects of your application, not simply your qualifications and grades. We look at your academic background and performance, relevant experience (particularly for professional courses where some voluntary or paid experience is required) and your reference. Above all, we look for motivation, commitment and potential-evidence that you can benefit from study at higher education level.

Make sure you include:

  • Relevant qualifications/evidence of ability: check our website for the specific entry requirements required for each course. Tell us your previous academic results and your projected grades.
  • A supportive reference, from an employer or your school or college.
  • A good personal statement.
  • Explain clearly what attracts you to the course and tell us about your wider interests and experience. If you are applying for a course that incorporates professional training and placements, you should include any relevant experience or visits you have made in the workplace. Highlight your individual strengths and qualities, personal skills, capacity for teamwork, contribution to the community and your enterprise, originality and determination. Select some activities which bring out these qualities.

What next?

When we receive your application, we will send you an acknowledgement and if you are successful at this stage you will get either an offer (with an invitation to visit the campus to which you have applied), or an invitation to interview on a particular date. If we are not able to offer you a place on your chosen course we will usually try to offer you a place on a similar course and will contact you to discuss this. Alternatively, if we think you are suitable, but cannot offer you a place on your preferred campus because of the level of competition, we will offer you a place at another campus if one is available.

And if I accept?

The admissions team will contact you and send further information from February onwards about accommodation, and from May/June onwards about preparing to join the university. If you have any other queries, please telephone the admissions offices for information and advice on 0845 6061144.

Deferred entry

We welcome applications for deferred entry on some courses. If you have specific plans during your year out, indicate these on your personal statement as they may be relevant to your course and could enhance your application.

International students

Applications for full-time undergraduate study are made through UCAS. Please see the international pages of our website for full details of our entry requirements (including English-language skills) as well as contacts for advice and support.

From 2009 the UK Border Agency introduced a Points-Based Immigration System (PBS) for students coming to the UK from outside the European Economic Area (EEA). Students entering higher education will need to obtain a Confirmation of Acceptance (CAS) plus finance confirmation to obtain a Tier 4 student visa. UK education providers are licensed by the UK Border Agency. When students apply for their visa (or entry clearance) they will need a valid Certificate of Acceptance of Studies from the university. Please note that a CAS is not a guarantee that a visa will be issued.

See the following websites for further details:

You'll complete this course fully-qualified to join the NMC Register, allowing you to practice as a nurse specialising in patients with mental health issues. The need for qualified nurses is ever-expanding, so you can be confident that your qualification will open up many doors for employment. You'll also be ready to take on one of our post-registration courses to continue your professional development.

Have a look at our learning resources for nursing and mental health.