Nursing (Mental Health) BN (Hons)
BN Hons Nursing (Mental Health)
There's always demand for Mental Health Nurses, and it takes a special kind of person to work in the field. You need empathy, compassion and commitment, as well as professional experience and specialist training. If you're able to bring the former, we'll provide the latter.
This BN (Hons) Bachelor of Nursing (Mental Health) degree course has been developed collaboratively with local healthcare providers, and will give extensive experience at delivering mental healthcare in the local community. You'll also build your clinical skillset through simulated procedures and scenarios.
When you graduate, you'll be ready to start work as a Mental Health Nurse: you'll be eligible to seek admission to part 1 (Mental Health) of the professional Nursing & Midwifery Council (NMC) register. This degree course also meets all of the EU requirements for employment as a Registered Nurse abroad.
This course has been approved by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC), meaning the course meets the standards of education, training, conduct and performance required for nurses in the UK.
For pre-registration nursing, the Nursing and Midwifery Council (2018, Part 1: Standards Framework for nursing and midwifery education, 5.12, page 12) state that there is no compensation between theory and practice learning.
This course will prepare graduates to be eligible to apply for registration with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC). It is your responsibility to seek registration with the NMC, on completion of your course. This registration must be sought within 5 years of successful completion of your course.
This course is also endorsed by Skills for Care, which is an indicator of quality for learning and development in the adult social care sector.
What you'll experience
On this course you’ll:
- Observe, examine, assess and engage with service users in both community and hospital settings
- Develop skills in evidence based decision making to support and deliver best practice in mental health nursing
- Use simulation facilities to develop and refine your clinical skills and competence
- Develop critical thinking, resilience and leadership skills
Careers and opportunities
When you finish the course, our Careers and Employability service can help you find a job that puts your skills to work in the industry.
What jobs can you do with a Nursing (Mental Health) degree?
You'll be ready to take on a number of roles on graduation, including:
- Mental Health Nurse
- Practice Educator
- Specialist Practitioner
- Advanced Clinical Practitioner
- Crisis Team Leader
- Clinical Researcher
- Leadership and Management
- Nurse Education
Other graduates have continued their studies at postgraduate level or set up successful businesses with help and support from the University. After you leave the University, you can get help, advice and support for up to 5 years from our Careers and Employability service as you advance in your career.
What you'll study on this BN (Hons) Nursing (Mental Health) degree course
Each module on this course is worth a certain number of credits.
On the full-time course, you need to study modules worth a total of 120 credits in each year. For example, 4 modules worth 20 credits and 1 module worth 40 credits.
On the part-time course, you need to study modules worth a total of 80 credits in years 1, 2, 3 and 4 and 40 credits in year 5.
The modules information below is based on the full-time course. On the part-time course, you'll study the same modules over 5 years rather than 3 years.
Core modules in this year include:
- Science informing practice
- Foundations of evidence based practice knowledge
- Personalising nursing care
- Foundations of professional nursing practice
There are no optional modules in this year.
Core topics in this year include:
- Evidence based decision making
- Essentials of mental health assessment
- Engaging with service improvement
- Person-centred recovery
- Developing professional nursing practice
There are no optional units in this year.
Core topics in this year include:
- Collaboration with mental health
- Leading safe and effective care
- Professional nursing practice
- Service improvement project
There are no optional units in this year.
We use the best and most current research and professional practice alongside feedback from our students to make sure course content is relevant to your future career or further studies.
Therefore, some course content may change over time to reflect changes in the discipline or industry and some optional modules may not run every year. If a module doesn’t run, we’ll let you know as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative module.
Work experience and career planning
You'll spend a large amount of time on this course in clinical practice placements. These placements give you practical experience in caring for people with acute and long-term physical and mental health conditions of all kinds, in many settings. Together with our partner trusts, we'll develop you into a confident, independent, adaptable and professional Mental Health Nurse.
So that you're fully prepared for practice in the mental health sector, a key element of your work experience will be working shifts at weekends and at night, as there's demand for mental health care 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Attending these work experience opportunities may require a lot of travel.
As well as support by faculty teaching staff and your personal tutor, you can use the University’s Academic Skills Unit (ASK).
ASK provides one-to-one support in areas such as:
- academic writing
- note taking
- time management
- critical thinking
- presentation skills
- working in groups
- revision, memory and exam techniques
If you have a disability or need extra support, the Additional Support and Disability Centre (ASDAC) will give you help, support and advice.
Teaching methods on this course include:
- independent study
- workplace simulation
Watch this video for answers to questions such as 'What do students most enjoy about the course?' and 'What are the most important skills that I need to do well on the course and to suceed as a mental health nurse?'
How you'll spend your time
Each academic year is divided into 2 teaching blocks and 2 assessment periods:
- September to December – teaching block 1
- January – assessment period 1
- January to May – teaching block 2 (includes Easter break)
- May to June – assessment period 2
Most teaching takes place during the day, Monday to Friday. You may occasionally need to go to University and course events in the evenings and at weekends.
There’s usually no teaching on Wednesday afternoons.
How you're assessed
You’ll be assessed through:
- Academic work including essays, reports, case studies and reflective accounts
- Performance-based clinical practice assessments including objective structured clinical examinations and activity in simulation
- In-class tests and examinations
- Presentations and scientific posters
- Work-based projects
- Online learning activities
You’ll be able to test your skills and knowledge informally before you do assessments that count towards your final mark.
You can get feedback on all practice and formal assessments so you can improve in the future.
The way you’re assessed may depend on the modules you select.
BN (Hons) Mental Health Nursing degree entry requirements
Qualifications or experience
- 104 points to include 2 A levels, or equivalent, with 32 points from a Science or Social Science subject.
English language requirements
- English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 7.0 with no component score below 7.0.
If you don't meet the English language requirements yet, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course.
- All shortlisted applicants will need to attend an interview. Applicants must pass Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) and Occupational Health checks before starting the course.
Values and the NHS Constitution
We embed the principles and values of the NHS Constitution in all our health and social care courses. When you apply for this course, we’ll expect you to demonstrate how your values align with the values of the Constitution.
Tuition fees (September 2020 start)
- Full-time UK/EU/Channel Islands and Isle of Man students – £9,250 a year (may be subject to annual increase)
- Part-time UK/EU/Channel Islands and Isle of Man students – £4,110 a year (years 1–4) and £2,060 (year 5)
This course isn't currently open to International students.
Additional course costs
These course-related costs aren’t included in the tuition fees. So you’ll need to budget for them when you plan your spending.
Our accommodation section shows your accommodation options and highlights how much it costs to live in Portsmouth.
You’ll study up to 6 modules a year. You may have to read several recommended books or textbooks for each module.
You can borrow most of these from the Library. If you buy these, they may cost up to £60 each.
We recommend that you budget £75 a year for photocopying, memory sticks, DVDs and CDs, printing charges, binding and specialist printing.
If your final year includes a major project, there could be cost for transport or accommodation related to your research activities. The amount will depend on the project you choose.
Your uniform is included as part of your course fee, but you’ll need to pay £20–£50 for extra or replacement uniforms. You won’t need to pay for a replacement due to fair wear and tear. You’ll also need to supply your own suitable footwear for placements.
You’ll need to purchase clinical items over the course of your study. You should budget around £50 for this.
You’ll need to pay the travel costs associated with your placement, though the NHS may meet some of these costs.
You may have an opportunity to undertake a placement. There are several options for this placement, and you may choose to go abroad. If you want to go abroad or travel within the UK, you need to budget between £1000–£5000. You'll need to cover all your expenses for this placement.
How to apply
To start this course in 2020, apply through UCAS. You’ll need:
- the UCAS course code – B760
- our institution code – P80
You can start your application now and submit it later if you want.
You can also sign up to an Open Day to:
- tour our campus, facilities and halls of residence
- speak with lecturers and chat with our students
- get information about where to live, how to fund your studies and which clubs and societies to join
If you're new to the application process, read our guide on applying for an undergraduate course.
Apply for this part-time course using our online application form. Our courses fill up quickly, so submit your application as soon as you decide which course you want to study.
Not quite ready to apply?
Come to an Open Day to explore our course facilities, tour the campus and have a look around our halls of residence.
How to apply from outside the UK
If you're from outside of the UK but within the European Union, you can apply for this course through UCAS (see the 'How to apply' section above for details), our online form or through an agent. Check your country page for details of agents in your region.
This course isn't currently open to international students outside the EU.
To find out what to include in your application, head to the how to apply page of our international students section.
Admissions terms and conditions
When you accept an offer to study at the University of Portsmouth, you also agree to our terms and conditions as well as the University’s policies, rules and regulations. You should read and consider these before you apply.