A patient with a therapy dog. BN (Hons) Nursing (Mental Health).

Nursing Mental Health BN (Hons)

Become a registered mental health nurse through simulated practice and clinical placements with patients on this NMC-approved degree.

Key information

UCAS code:



This course is Accredited

Typical offer:

112-120 UCAS points to include a minimum of 2 A levels, or equivalent, with 32 UCAS points from a Science or Social Science subject

See full entry requirements
Study mode and duration
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Empathy, compassion, commitment – become a Mental Health Nurse with our BN (Hons) Nursing (Mental Health) degree and make a positive difference to people’s lives every day.

On this course developed and delivered with local NHS partners, you’ll benefit from extensive time spent working with patients in real healthcare settings, building key skills in mental health assessment and care.

Course highlights

  • Explore what mental health nurses do and work on communication with simulated patients in our Centre for Simulation in Health and Care, one of the country’s leading teaching healthcare environments
  • Observe, assess and engage with patients in professional and local community environments
  • Study a nursing course approved by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC)
  • Be eligible to register with the NMC as a mental health nurse on graduation
Nursing student writing down medical record

Access extra funding for your nursing degree

Receive additional funding through the NHS Learning Support Fund bursary.

UK students on this course may be eligible for additional funding of at least £5,000 a year.

Accredited by:

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's 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 in the top 10 for Nursing in the Complete University Guide League Tables 2022.

Complete University Guide Top 10 Nursing 2022

What's the difference between BN Adult and Mental Health Nursing?

Our BN (Hons) Adult Nursing course focuses on how the human body works and supporting patients with acute or lifelong physical illnesses, while BN (Hons) Mental Health Nursing is more to do with supporting those with mental health conditions and building skills in mental health assessment and care.

Learn more about what mental health nursing is and what mental health nurses do

Contact information


+44 (0) 23 9284 5566

Contact Admissions

Entry requirements

BN (Hons) Nursing Mental Health entry requirements

Typical offers

  • A levels - BBB-BBC
  • UCAS points - 112-120 points to include a minimum of 2 A levels, or equivalent, with 32 points from a Science or Social Science subject.
  • T-levels - Merit. Acceptable T Level Subjects:
    T Level in Health (Acceptable Occupational Specialisms: Supporting the adult nursing team, Supporting the mental health team), T Level in Healthcare Science (Acceptable Occupational Specialisms: Assisting with healthcare science), T Level in Science (Acceptable Occupational Specialisms: Laboratory sciences, Metrology sciences)
  • BTECs (Extended Diplomas) - DDM-DMM
  • International Baccalaureate - 25

You may need to have studied specific subjects – find full entry requirements and other qualifications we accept.

Selection process

  • All shortlisted applicants will be invited to attend an interview in support of their application.
  • 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.

English language requirements

  • 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.

See alternative English language qualifications.

We also accept other standard English tests and qualifications, as long as they meet the minimum requirements of your course.

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.

We look at more than just your grades

While we consider your grades when making an offer, we also carefully look at your circumstances and other factors to assess your potential. These include whether you live and work in the region and your personal and family circumstances which we assess using established data.

Explore more about how we make your offer

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

Your facilities

Careers and opportunities

Mental Health Nursing plays an important role in healthcare and the need for mental health services is growing.

The NHS is seeking 27,000 people to join the mental health sector by 2023/24, and the coronavirus pandemic is likely to mean even more people need mental health support moving forward.

Providing care that changes lives

On this Mental Health Nursing degree, you'll discover how to become an effective mental health nurse and develop the skills, confidence and understanding to support people in need. You'll learn how to make difficult decisions based on evidence and build the fundamental skills needed for personal nursing care.

You'll be ready to start a challenging yet hugely rewarding career by becoming a mental health nurse, and you can choose to work with people from certain age and vulnerability groups, such as Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS), or Older People’s Mental Health (OPMH). With experience, you could work in GP liaison, nurse education, or leadership and management.

NMC registration

When you graduate, you'll be eligible to apply for registration with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC), which allows you to work as a Registered Nurse in the UK. 

Potential salary

As an NHS nurse in 2021, you could expect a starting salary of £25,655 moving up to £31,534 (Band 5).

With more experience as a senior mental health nurse, you could earn from £32,306 to £39,027 (Band 6) and with a role in management or consultancy, you could make up to £90,387 (Band 8d).

What jobs can you do with a Nursing (Mental Health) degree?

Once you graduate, you'll be ready to start your mental health nursing career and take on a mental health nurse role within a variety of settings, including:

  • Adult Mental Health (AMH)
  • Older People's Mental Health (OPMH)
  • Community Mental Health
  • Crisis Mental Health
  • Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS)
  • Assessment and Recovery

With more experience, you could then develop your mental health nursing career further and move into roles such as:

  • Practice educator
  • Specialist practitioner
  • Advanced clinical practitioner
  • Crisis team leader
  • Clinical researcher
  • Leadership and management
  • Nurse education
  • Nurse prescriber
  • GP liaison

Ongoing careers support

After you graduate, you can get help, advice and support for up to 5 years from our Careers and Employability Service as you advance in your career. Other graduates have continued their studies at postgraduate level or set up successful businesses with help and support from the University.

Clinical placements

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.

Placement destinations

Our placement partners include Solent NHS Trust, Southern Health, Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust, Inclusion (Sub-Misuse), and Liaison and Diversion (Custody).

Recent students have completed placements that link theory to practice in the following areas:

  • community mental health services
  • dementia and older persons services 
  • urgent treatment/care – such as crisis resolution home treatment teams (CRHTT)
  • inpatient settings
  • acute mental health units
  • forensic inpatient units 
  • children and young people’s mental health services
  • early intervention services (EIS)
  • perinatal mental health services

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.


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

You'll 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.


What you'll study

Core modules in this year include:

  • Foundation of Evidence Based Practice – 20 credits
  • Foundations of Nursing Professional Practice – 40 credits
  • Personalising Nursing Care – 20 credits
  • Science Informing Practice – 40 credits

There are no optional modules in this year.

Core modules in this year include:

  • Applied Nursing Professional Practice – 40 credits
  • Engaging With Service Improvement – 20 credits
  • Essentials of Mental Health Assessment – 20 credits
  • Evidence Based Decision Making – 20 credits
  • Person Centred Recovery – 20 credits

There are no optional modules in this year.

Core modules in this year include:

  • Collaboration for Mental Health – 20 credits
  • Enhancing Professional Nursing Practice – 60 credits
  • Leading Safe and Effective Care – 20 credits
  • Service Improvement Project – 20 credits

There are no optional modules in this year.

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, some course content may change over time to reflect changes in the discipline or industry. If a module doesn't run, we'll let you know as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative module.


Teaching methods on this course include:

  • lectures
  • independent study
  • workplace simulation 

Teaching staff

Lisa Hyatt Portrait
Mrs Lisa Hyatt

Programme Lead (NMC)


School of Health and Care Professions

Faculty of Science and Health

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Mrs Sarah Harper

Senior Teaching Fellow


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
Lucy Dorricott Morgan Portrait
Miss Lucy Morgan

Senior Teaching Fellow


School of Health and Care Professions

Faculty of Science and Health

Read more

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. 

How you'll spend your time

One of the main differences between school or college and university is how much control you have over your learning.

We use a blended learning approach to teaching, which means you’ll take part in both face-to-face and online activities during your studies.  As well as attending your timetabled classes you'll study independently in your free time, supported by staff and our virtual learning environment, Moodle.

Term dates

The academic year runs from September to June. There are breaks at Christmas and Easter.

See term dates

Supporting you

The amount of timetabled teaching you'll get on your degree might be less than what you're used to at school or college, but you'll also get 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 independent study and gives you academic and personal support throughout your time at university.

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 (for example, essays, reports, dissertations)
  • understanding and using assignment feedback
  • managing your time and workload
  • revision and exam techniques

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

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 a librarian who specialises in your subject area.

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

If English isn't your first language, you can do one of our English language courses to improve your written and spoken English language skills before starting your degree. Once you're here, you can take part in our free In-Sessional English (ISE) programme to improve your English further.

Course costs and funding

Tuition fees

  • Full-time UK/Channel Islands and Isle of Man students – £9,250 a year (may be subject to annual increase)

This course isn't currently open to International and EU students.

Funding your studies

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.

Additional funding for your nursing degree – at least £5,000 a year

As a student on this course, you may be eligible for extra funding for your nursing degree through the NHS Learning Support Fund. The bursary is non-repayable and is in addition to any other support you are eligible for, including Government student loans.

For more information, including eligibility criteria, please visit our scholarships and bursaries page.

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 full-time in 2024, apply through UCAS. You'll need:

  • the UCAS course code – B760
  • our institution code – P80

 Apply now through UCAS


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

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.

EU and international students

Sorry, this course isn't currently open to international or EU students.

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.

For pre-registration nursing, the Nursing and Midwifery Council, (2018, Part 3: Standards for pre-registration nursing programmes, page 8), indicate that recognition of prior learning that is capable of being mapped to the Standards of Proficiency for registered nurses and programme outcomes, is permitted, up to a maximum of 50% of the programme.

Common questions

Can't find the answer to your questions about this course or anything else about undergraduate life? Contact us

Mental health nursing involves working with and supporting people with mental health conditions. 

Mental Health Nurses are able to use a wide range of nursing skills in the assessment, care planning and delivery of both physical and mental health care needs.

The role of a mental health nurse includes caring for and building positive relationships with patients, their families and carers, focusing on recovery and helping patients to live fuller and more independent lives.

Mental Health Nurses work as an integral part of the multi-disciplinary team to provide holistic (biopsychosocial) care for patients and service users within a range of environments and across all age ranges – from pregnancy to end of life care.  

The main route to become a Mental Health Nurse is by completing a Mental Health Nursing course at a University.

At Portsmouth, our Nursing courses have been co-created with our NHS Trust partners and service user groups to ensure that your studies reflect the needs of both the community and local employers.