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BSc (Hons) - Mental Health Nursing

You’re caring and a great communicator who wants to make a difference in the lives of others. Our course is designed to give you the professional and academic qualifications you need to register with the Nursing and Midwifery Council and practice as a mental health nurse.

This degree will enable you to hit the ground running to work as a mental health nurse in a variety of settings including specialist community services such as Eating Disorders, Memory Assessment and Drug and Alcohol Services.


Accredited by:

Nursing & Midwifery Council

Course Overview

You will spend your time divided between practice-based placements and academic learning. Working alongside highly experienced professionals, you will develop your skills and confidence in supporting people with mental health conditions.

Placements will be across the sector including inpatient, community, private and voluntary- sector provision. In your second year, you will have the opportunity to arrange an enrichment placement that could involve national or international work.

Our academic staff has extensive professional expertise that they will share with you to help develop your knowledge and understanding of mental health nursing at university. You will develop your independent thinking and problem-solving skills. Your learning will include the use of clinical labs, mock hospital wards, guest speakers, workshops and simulation. All of which will be supported by a wide variety of online learning opportunities, including our innovative virtual learning environment.

On this course you will...

  • Work alongside individuals experiencing mental illness, long-term conditions, and significant psychological wellbeing concerns, providing time and support to help them recover.
  • Use high-quality simulation facilities alongside your practice experience and academic lectures.
  • Undertake placements in a wide variety of settings, covering Child, Adult and Older Persons Nursing, within both inner-city and rural locations.
  • Learn from experienced practitioners with clinical experience in a wide range of clinical backgrounds and academic interests.
  • Achieve a professional qualification as a registered nurse, alongside a varied experience of practice areas with which you can consider your future career options.

Course Structure

What you will learn

You will spend 50% of the programme (2300 hours) in clinical practice being supervised and assessed by clinical staff. The theoretical input is delivered by expert teaching staff and is based on the latest evidence and research, using modern teaching methods and technology.

The programme will equip you to deliver safe and effective care to the highest standards and ensure you practice with compassion and confidence. You will be taught to make complex decisions regarding patient care using evidence of new technology while delivering a wide range of services.

We also have a Mental Health Research Group, which aims to enable people to recover from mental health issues and develop their social inclusion. Our research will ensure your learning is current and informed by the latest research.

We also offer the option to study 1 year of our Health and Social Care IFY before beginning this course. Not only will this prepare you to succeed in your BSc, with key modules in academic and professional skills as well as baseline introductions to mental health and human anatomy, it is also ideal for those applicants who do not hold the required qualifications for direct entry but are passionate about pursuing Mental Health Nursing. You will also be supported by our academic team to make a strong application to your chosen transfer course.

Year one
  • Applied Biological Sciences for Health
    Anatomy and physiology relating to key systems including Principles of Homeostasis, Cardiovascular, Respiratory, and Gastrointestinal.
  • Professional Practice and Accountability
    Spheres of professional accountability & responsibility, including health & social care legislation, legal & professional duty of care and negligence.
  • Developing Evidence Based Practice
    Exploring knowledge acquisition, academic skills, information and digital literacy and fluency, academic integrity, and reflective practice.
  • Introduction to Communication and Interpersonal Skills
    Equipping students with a variety of communication, interpersonal and self-awareness skills required to provide culturally appropriate and compassionate nursing care.
  • Part 1a Practice Assessment
    Completion of mandatory skills required prior to placement attendance.
  • Concepts of Health and Social Policy
    Explore perspectives of biological, psychological, social, cultural, spiritual and behavioural determinants of health and promote person centred wellbeing across the lifespan.
  • Introduction to Mental Health Nursing
    Gain knowledge and understanding of key principles that underpin Mental Health Nursing Practice.
  • Part 1 Practice Assessment
Year two
  • Pharmacology and Medicine Therapeutics
    Focus on understanding and applying the principles of pharmacology and medicine therapeutics in the management of care.
  • Living with Long Term Conditions Across the Lifespan
    Develop underpinning knowledge relating to the causes, presentation and management of long term conditions across the lifespan.
  • Learning from the Lived Experience
    Analyse contextual knowledge through problem based learning and reflection using narratives of individuals accessing health and social care.
  • Communication and Relationship Management in a Therapeutic Context
    Learn to recognise, select and utilise appropriate communication strategies and therapeutic skills.
  • Part 2a Practice Assessment
    Completion of mandatory skills required prior to placement attendance
  • Contemporary and Complimentary Approaches to Mental Health
    Critically analyse a range of contemporary therapeutic interventions employed within mental health nursing practice.
  • Developing Mental Health Nursing Skills
    Gain an understanding of advanced mental health practice and specialised areas of mental health.
  • Part 2 Practice Assessment
Year three
  • Clinical Decision Making and Complex Care
    Consolidate professional competence in clinical decision-making related to the management of complex care.
  • Contemporary Issues and Change Management in Professional Practice
    Learn to consolidate evidence in order to improve service quality within professional practice.
  • Public Health
    Focus on public health and social care agendas and their impact on individuals, groups and communities.
  • Part 3a Practice Assessment
    Completion of mandatory skills required prior to placement attendance.
  • Leading and Managing Health and Social Care
    Prepare for working as a professional within an organisation, leading and managing care within a changing environment.
  • The Art of Mental Health Nursing
    Consolidate understanding of mental health promotion and well-being.
  • Part 3 Practice Assessment

Attend an Open Day at Cumbria

An Open Day is your opportunity to explore one of 5 campuses, meet your lecturers, and find out how the University of Cumbria could become your new home.

Take the next step towards achieving your dreams.
A student stands in front of a wall splattered with paint.