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BSc (Hons) - Mental Health Nursing

Mental Health Nursing aims to provide support and care for vulnerable individuals across the lifespan to meet their individual needs, combining nursing values with contemporary knowledge, expertise, communication, and interpersonal skills to form strong therapeutic relationships.

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 provide the basis for your future career choices enable you to work as a mental health nurse in a variety of settings including inpatient and community services and specialist centres of excellence such as Eating Disorders, Memory Assessment, Drug & Alcohol or Forensic and Prison Services.

If you have already completed a FdSc Nursing Associate programme, you can enter directly into the second year of this degree, enabling you to qualify as a mental health nurse in just two years.


Accredited by:

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Nursing & Midwifery Council

NHS trust partners:

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Course Overview

You will spend half of your time in clinical practice-based placements working alongside highly experienced professionals, developing your skills and confidence in supporting people who experience a variety of mental health conditions across the lifespan. For students who might wish to undertake placements closer to home, if you study at the Lancaster campus you may have the opportunity to undertake placements with the Lancashire Teaching Hospitals, Blackpool Teaching Hospitals, Lancashire and South Cumbria Foundation Trust, and University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay.

The other half of your studies is through academic learning, where you explore the fundamental principles of nursing and especially mental health nursing, alongside the biological, psychological, social, cultural, legal, ethical and political aspects of working in a 21st century healthcare services.

Placements will be across the sector including both NHS and private/voluntary- sector provision. In your second year, you will have the opportunity to arrange an enrichment placement that provides you with the opportunity to develop your learning which 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 taught sessions and discussions, lectures with our academic staff, guest speakers and experts by experience. There will also be opportunity to develop clinical and mandatory skills, scenario-based experiences within a purpose built hospital wards environment, attend workshops and conferences and be part of experiential learning through computerised simulation and interactive immersion room.

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.
  • Hear first-hand accounts of stories in healthcare from individual lived experiences.
  • 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 in clinical practice being supervised and assessed by clinical staff. The theoretical input is delivered by expert teaching staff and is based on the most up to date contemporary 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 work with clients to make complex decisions regarding their care using evidence of new technology while delivering a wide range of services. 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
    Skills Equipping students with a variety of communication, interpersonal and self-awareness skills required to provide culturally appropriate and compassionate nursing care.
  • 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.
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.
  • 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.
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.
  • 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.

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.
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