Mental Health Nursing MN

Help change lives for the better and improve the patient experience on this MN Mental Health Nursing degree.

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Help change lives for the better and improve the patient experience on this MN Mental Health Nursing degree.

Designed in partnership with local NHS Trusts, you'll gain real-life healthcare experience in a variety of settings, including community practices and hospitals.

Once you graduate, you'll have the advanced theoretical and practical knowledge to provide high-quality patient care and become a confident Mental Health Nurse.



This course accepts UK, EU, and International students.

Course highlights

  • Gain clinical expertise from registered nurses within the mental health field
  • Practise clinical skills and nursing scenarios with simulated patients and actors in our realistic Centre for Simulation in Health and Care
  • Develop practical skills on clinical placements in local communities and hospital environments
  • Develop the skills you need to lead change in healthcare and improve patient outcomes

Contact information


+44 (0) 23 9284 5566

Contact Admissions

Entry requirements


This course accepts UK, EU, and International students.

September 2024 start

Qualifications or experience

  • A second-class honours degree, or equivalent, completed within the last 5 years.
  • Applicants should have completed 12 years of general education with relevant documentation to support this (or 10 years with relevant vocational training).
  • All shortlisted applicants will be invited to attend an interview in support of their application, and will be asked to submit a portfolio of evidence that they have a minimum of 800 hours of prior relevant clinical experience and 650 hours of relevant theory learning.
  • If successful, applicants will be required to declare if they have been subject to any disciplinary procedures of fitness to practice by any other regulator, professional body, employer or educational establishment.
  • Applicants must pass Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) and Occupational Health checks before starting the course.

Equivalent professional experience and/or qualifications will also be considered, such as previous study, employment, voluntary work and training courses, including courses and qualifications you didn't complete. Learn more about our Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL).

If you're applying as an international student with a non-UK degree, you’ll need to show you meet the UK entry requirements listed above.

To find out if your non-UK degree or other qualification is accepted, please visit our page for your country and view the UK equivalent of your qualification. 

  • English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 7.0 with a minimum component score of 7.0 in reading, listening and speaking, and 6.5 in writing.

You do not need an IELTS or equivalent certification if:

  • you have a UK degree
  • you have a degree from a majority English speaking country (not taught by Distance Learning)
  • you are a national of a majority English speaking country
  • Degrees taught solely in English from non-majority English speaking countries will be considered on a case by case basis. Find out more about our English language requirements.

Course costs and funding

Tuition fees (September 2024 start)

  • £9, 250 per year (subject to annual increase)

Including the Transition Scholarship for EU students

  • £9,250 per year (subject to annual increase)

  • £17,900 per year (subject to annual increase)

Funding your studies

As you'll be studying on a pre-registration healthcare course, you'll have access to our undergraduate funding. Find out how to fund your studies, including the scholarships and bursaries you could get. You can also find more about tuition fees and living costs, including what your tuition fees cover.

Applying from outside the UK? Find out about funding options for international students.

Scholarships and bursaries

Find out if you're eligible to partly or fully fund your study with a bursary or scholarship.

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Funding for international students

Learn more about sponsorships, scholarships and loans for students applying from outside of the UK.

international business students
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Tuition fees, living costs, and other study costs

Get the information you need with our handy guide on tuition fees and living costs.

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NHS Learning Support Fund – at least £5,000 a year

UK/Channel Islands and Isle of Man students on this course may be eligible for additional funding through the NHS Learning Support Fund bursary of at least £5,000 a year.

Additional 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. Additional costs could include:

  • Accommodation: Accommodation options and costs can be found on our accommodation pages
  • Recommended reading: You can borrow key texts from the library and if you choose to purchase these texts they may cost up to £60 each.
  • General costs: such photocopying, memory sticks, printing charges, binding and specialist printing. We suggest budgeting £75 per year.
  • Replacement uniforms: 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.
  • Clinical items: You’ll need to purchase clinical items over the course of your study. You should budget around £50 for this.
  • Placement expenses: Some placement providers contribute towards travel expenses, some students qualify for financial support such as an NHS bursary – in all other cases you'll need to budget for travel to and from your placement.

Read more about tuition fees and living costs, including what your tuition fees cover.


Each module on this course is worth a certain number of credits.

You need to study modules worth a total of 180 credits. For example, 4 modules worth 30 credits and 1 module worth 60 credits.


All modules on this MN Mental Health Nursing course are core.

Develop your knowledge of anatomy, physiology, patient-centred care and planning as enhance your skills for evidence-based, holistic and compassionate care. As part of this module, you'll understand the legal, professional and ethical implications of nursing and apply this to patient care and team work across a range of clinical settings.

Through lectures about clinical and academic support, you'll develop resilience strategies for the workplace. You'll demonstrate your expertise of the theoretical frameworks, principles, and evidence-based practices that underpin mental health nursing. You'll analyse the impact of sociocultural, political, and economic factors on the health and well-being of mental health patients. With a professional attitude, you'll conduct physical and psychological assessments, considering social aspects to create appropriate care plans. You'll develop clinical decision-making skills and use evidence-based practice to address healthcare challenges and promote positive health outcomes for patients. By building your communication and leadership skills, you'll learn to collaborate with interprofessional teams and improve the quality of patient care. This module contributes to meeting NMC Standards of Proficiency for Registered Nurses. You'll also need to complete the requirements for the 'Passport to Practice' before attending placements.

Expand your expertise of common health conditions, relevant pathophysiologies, pharmacology and diagnostics to appropriately assess, manage and evaluate care. During this module you'll undertake assessments of acutely unwell adults and apply evidence-based treatments and management strategies.

All modules on this MN Mental Health Nursing course are core.

Develop focused research questions and search strategies that critically evaluate literature and analyse innovations in improving nursing practice. You'll assess the legal and ethical implications of evidence-based practice, such as confidentiality, consent and data protection and the impact this practice has on patient outcomes and healthcare services.

Using self-directed learning, you'll explore a clinical area needing change and develop a creative and evidence-based solution. You'll demonstrate analytical and critical thinking skills through your analysis and recognise the relationship between evidence, observations and variations in clinical practice. You'll explore the opportunities, challenges and complexities of applying theoretical ideas and debates to your chosen area of health improvement and justify your process as you resolve them.

Explore how collaborative working with both patients and stakeholders can enhance the planning and delivery of care. Analyse community needs and how this influences the direction of current public health practices. You'll explore ethical dilemmas and moral principles to strengthen your self awareness and respond without judgement. You'll develop leadership skills so you can confidently identify areas of development, both personally, within teams and organisations. By gaining skills in dynamic risk and care planning, you'll develop a collaborative mindset that will improve your communication and confidence with patients.

Demonstrate your ability to provide safe compassionate care, and assess and manage patients with complex health care needs, whilst showcasing your professional values. You'll apply leadership and management principles to evidence-based care and strengthen your ability to communicate and coordinate care. By reflecting on your development, you'll enhance your skills in medicine administration and caseload management. When you finish, you'll be ready to register for professional practice as a newly qualified nurse.

Changes to course content

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, course content is revised and regularly reviewed.  This may result in changes being made in order to reflect developments in research, learning from practice and changes in policy at both national and local levels.


SIMEX Photos

Centre for Simulation in Health and Care

Learn practical healthcare skills and apply your anatomical and physiological knowledge in a safe, contextual space using current clinical equipment.

Discover the centre

Discover our facilities

Explore the School of Health and Care Professions and our leading simulation facilities.

00:03: [Preparing you for a career in health and care]

00:05: [Realistic patients manikins]

00:18: [Simulated hospital ward]

00:23: [Simulated x-ray suite]

00:33: [University of Portsmouth]


How you'll spend your time

We recognise that you'll probably be juggling more demands when you do your Master's degree, as you may be working or you may have family responsibilities.

We'll give you as much indication here as we can of how much time you'll need to be on campus and how many hours you can expect to spend in self-directed study, but please note that these indications are always subject to change. You should receive your full timetable several weeks before you start with us.

Course structure

This Master's degree will take:

  • 2 years (full-time)

Each week you'll spend:

  • 20 hours in timetabled teaching and 20 hours in independent study

During your placements, each week you'll spend:

  • 40 hours a week on placement

Master's study is deeper and more specialised than an undergraduate degree. This means you'll focus on something that really matters to you and your career as you work closely with academics committed to the subject.

You'll spend more time in independent study and research than you did for your undergraduate degree, but the majority of your teaching time will be in-person and face-to-face.

Teaching methods

Teaching methods on this course include:

  • online learning
  • lectures
  • simulation and clinical skills teaching
  • seminars
  • independent study
  • work placement


You'll be assessed through:

  • essays, reports, case studies and reflective accounts
  • clinical practice assessments including portfolios and simulation
  • tests and examinations
  • presentations and scientific posters
  • 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.

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.

Find out more about the values we look for.

Teaching staff

These are some of the expert staff who'll teach you on this course.

Lisa Hyatt Portrait

Mrs Lisa Hyatt

Programme Lead (NMC)

School of Health and Care Professions

Faculty of Science and Health

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Lisa Theresa Farley Portrait

Mrs Lisa Farley

Senior Teaching Fellow

School of Health and Care Professions

Faculty of Science and Health

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Karen Marie Ward Portrait

Mrs Karen Ward

Senior Clinical Teaching Fellow (Mental Health Nursing)

School of Health and Care Professions

Faculty of Science and Health

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Debra Jane Atkinson Portrait

Ms Debbi Atkinson

Senior Teaching Fellow

School of Health and Care Professions

Faculty of Science and Health

Read more

Term dates

September start

The Master's academic year runs from September to the following September. There are breaks at Christmas and Easter.

See key dates

Graduation Class of 2021

Joining us as an international student

You'll feel at home in our international community and our diverse city. You'll be joining over 5,000 international students from more than 150 countries who are studying with us.

Learn more about international student life and how we can help you with visas, applications, arrival and settling in. 

Information for international students

Career development

Careers this Master’s prepares you for

When you graduate from the MN Mental Health Nursing degree course, you'll have the knowledge and practical skills to work across the healthcare field locally and nationally, while leading the way in innovation and patient care.

Once you become a mental health nurse, you'll be ready to take on a hugely important role in our healthcare system, with opportunities to work in a variety of nursing roles in primary, secondary and community health care.

Graduates of this course could work in:

  • Charity and aid work
  • Nurse education and mentoring in practice or in higher education settings
  • Healthcare management in ward manager or lead nurse roles
  • Research nursing

Career planning

During your course you'll have expert career support from your tutors and our Careers and Employability Centre – which you can access for up to 5 years after you graduate.

Female student standing at careers and employability help desk

Career support

You'll benefit from:

  • Networking events
  • Applied projects with employers
  • 1-to-1 appointments
  • CV and cover letter advice
  • Interview preparation and practice
  • Workshops to enhance your employability skills
  • Recruitment events including the Student and Graduate Opportunities Fair
  • Support starting your own business

Learn more about your career support

Placements and industry connections

You'll spend a large amount of time on this course on clinical placements with partner organisations in local community and hospital practice environments, including GP practices and local authority settings. You'll be supported by practice supervisors and assessors or registered healthcare professionals.

Our placement partners span a large area, including Portsmouth, Brighton, Winchester, Isle of Wight, Southampton, Basingstoke, Surrey and Sussex and this ensures that you will have a great variety of experiences available to you.

You could complete placements in locations such as:

  • Solent NHS Trust
  • Southern NHS Trust
  • Local care homes
  • Private mental health organisations

Supporting you

Master's study is more focused on independent learning than undergraduate study, but you'll get lots of support via video, phone and face-to-face from teaching and support staff to enhance your learning experience and help you succeed. You can build your personalised network of support from the following people and services:

Types of support

Your personal tutor helps you make the transition to postgraduate study and gives you academic and personal support throughout your Master's.

As well as regular scheduled meetings with your personal tutor, they're also available at set times during the week if you want to chat with them about anything that can't wait until your next meeting.

You'll have help from a team of faculty learning support tutors. They can help you improve and develop your academic skills and support you in any area of your study.

They can help with:

  • improving your academic writing 
  • understanding and using assignment feedback
  • managing your time and workload
  • revision and exam techniques

You'll have access to a dedicated space in the Centre for Simulation and Health where you can work with other students to practice and develop your clinical skills. This space is equipped with the latest simulation technology, including video recording to help you to follow your progress throughout the course.

As well as support from faculty 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
  • referencing
  • 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.

Our online Learning Well mini-course will help you plan for managing the challenges of learning and student life, so you can fulfil your potential and have a great student experience.

You can get personal, emotional and mental health support from our Student Wellbeing Service, in person and online. This includes 1–2–1 support as well as courses and workshops that help you better manage stress, anxiety or depression.

If you require extra support because of a disability or additional learning need our specialist team can help you.

They'll help you to:

  • discuss and agree on reasonable adjustments
  • liaise with other University services and facilities, such as the library
  • access specialist study skills and strategies tutors, and assistive technology tutors, on a 1-to-1 basis or in groups
  • liaise with external services

Library staff are available in person or by email, phone or online chat to help you make the most of the University’s library resources. You can also request one-to-one appointments and get support from the faculty librarian for science.

The library is open 24 hours a day, every day, in term time.

You can take part in our free In-Sessional English (ISE) programme during your course to improve your English.

Throughout your course, you'll have access to Moodle, our virtual learning environment, which contains a range of resources to support taught sessions.

How to apply

You can apply for this Master's course through UCAS, the shared applications service for UK universities or directly to us.

You can find more advice about applying in our Master's application checklist. Current students and recent graduates of the University of Portsmouth and international students also have some different application options, which are detailed below. 

Extra information for international students

If you're an international student, you can apply directly to us using the same application form as UK students.

You could also get an agent to help with your application. Check your country page for details of agents in your region. To find out what to include in your application, head to the how to apply page of our international students section.

Ready to apply?

Start this course in September 2024

You can apply for this Master's course through UCAS, or directly to us.

To apply through UCAS, you'll need:

  • the UCAS course code – B765
  • our institution code – P80

If you'd prefer to apply directly, use our online application form.

Apply through UCAS

Apply direct

Interviews for September 2024 will take place between 11 January and 18 June.

After you apply

Once we receive your application, we may ask you for further information. We will then either make you an offer or suggest alternatives if your application is unsuccessful.

You'll usually get a decision within 10 working days, so you shouldn't have to wait too long. Some courses have an interview stage – we'll let you know if you need to prepare for one.

Learn more about how we assess your application.

Admissions terms and conditions

When you accept an offer to study at the University of Portsmouth, you also agree to abide by our Student Contract (which includes the University's relevant policies, rules and regulations). You should read and consider these before you apply.