School of Nursing and Midwifery

MSc Pre-registration Nursing (Mental Health)

Nursing is one of the most varied and challenging careers anyone can undertake. Nursing is frequently described as exciting and fulfilling; no two days are the same. Our MSc is your entry route through to nurse registration with the Nursing and Midwifery Council as a nurse in the mental health field. Graduates in any discipline with recent health care experience can apply for our two year programme.

On completion you will progress on to a rewarding career and work in a range of healthcare settings nationally or internationally. Once you know a nursing career is for you, and you are ready for advanced level study, then join us on this tailor made programme which is designed to recognise the skills that graduates already have and build on these.

Postgraduate student funding

New pre-registration postgraduate nursing, midwifery and allied health students will have access to the same student loans system as other students. 
In addition the NHS Learning Support Fund provides additional funding for eligible healthcare students. It is supplementary financial support to the mainstream student loans system and is intended to support students whilst they train and gain professional registration. The training grant is for at least £5,000.

Careers with this subject

Mental health nurses support a person’s recovery to gain increased control over their conditions to establish trusting and effective relationships. They promote health and wellbeing through personalised treatment to improve the quality of their patient’s lives. They work in a multidisciplinary team, using evidence-based practice.
Mental health nurses work with a wide range of conditions to help to improve patient’s health and overall quality of life, where possible.
  • Addition issues
    This relates to a range of substance misuse, it is possible to be addicted to anything. You may work with people with drug, alcohol, gambling, smoking, work, internet, solvent or shopping addictions.
  • Anxiety disorders
    This can have a debilitating effect on an individual’s day to day life. They may suffer from occasional anxiety or from repeated episodes that can be difficult to control. Some disorders you may work with include generalised anxiety, social anxiety, specific phobias or separation anxiety.
  • Depression
    Depression can affect people in many ways. Mental health nurses work with people who may be majorly depressed, have melancholy, suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder and many more.
  • Eating disorders 
    Mental health nurses work with people with anorexia nervosa, bulimia and binge eating disorder, OSFED, ARFID to help people create better relationships with food.
  • Personality disorders 
    Someone with a personality disorder thinks, feels, behaves or relates to others very differently from the average person. Some disorders you might encounter include paranoid, schizoid, antisocial, borderline, dependent and many more.
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorders 
    Mental health nurses work with a wide range of people that may be suffering from a form of OCD. Some of the most common conditions include excessive cleaning, checking, counting, ordering, arranging, hoarding and many more.
  • Post-traumatic stress
    This condition is triggered by a terrifying event for a person that has either experienced or witnessed it. Symptoms can include flashbacks, nightmares, severe anxiety and uncontrollable thoughts.
  • Perinatal mental health issues 
    This relates to problems experienced right after and up to a year after the birth of a baby, and can affect both parents. Mental health nurses work with those suffering from postnatal depression and other conditions, to support new parents.
Mental health nursing is a broad discipline, you could work with people and children of all ages such as:
  • people who may be suicidal
  • people who may be isolated
  • people who may be vulnerable
  • people who may be homeless
  • people who may be from minority communities
  • veterans
  • people who may be encountering relationship difficulties
  • people with legal or financial problems
  • people who are in poverty
  • people with pre-existing medical conditions
  • people who are unhappy
  • people who may be experiencing family conflicts.
Within the nursing profession there are a multitude of job opportunities. You could work in the NHS, within the public or private sector. For example:
  • NHS hospitals
  • Public health and policy making
  • Communities
  • Patient’s homes
  • Outpatient units
  • Private practice
  • GP surgeries
  • Prisons
  • Armed Forces
  • Specialist units
  • Secure residential units
  • Community centres
  • Education and academia
  • Research
  • Leadership roles
  • Voluntary roles

Key features

  • Experience a programme that teaches contemporary and innovative mental health practice.
  • Focus on developing your interpersonal skills and the importance of building therapeutic relationships.
  • Equip yourself with the knowledge and confidence to graduate with professional status as a registered mental health nurse.
  • Qualify with outstanding employment opportunities in a profession that offers excellent career progression.
  •  From 2023, students in Plymouth can train and practice their professional healthcare skills in an inspiring purpose-built environment, InterCity Place
  • Experience clinical placements across Devon, Cornwall and Somerset designed to maximise your range of experiences and clinical skills.
  • Dedicated master’s level seminar and tutorial support time. Built around critical reflexivity (thinking deeply about the impact of our assumptions, values, and actions on others). The programme cumulates in a 40 credit systematic review module that prepares you to perform as a capable and autonomous practitioner, fit for registration in the mental health field of nursing practice.

Course details

  • Year 1

  • The first three modules will equip you with a range of knowledge and skills designed to settle you into the role of the student nurse. Following these three modules your programme will be integrated with other pre-registration nursing students in their second year of study. 

    Core modules

    • Assessing Needs and Planning Care (NRS703)

      This module introduces students to assessing and planning nursing care. It explores different models of understanding health, ill health and the interconnection between physical and mental health.

    • Pharmacology and Medicines Optimisation (NRS704)

      This module will advance student knowledge of medication, pharmacology and support of complex care medication optimisation.

    • Developing Nursing Practice (NRS706)

      This module develops the students' values, knowledge and skills required for nursing practice in a range of settings.

    • Nursing Care in Context (NRS711)

      This module will introduce students to the nursing profession, specifically broad aspects of professionalism, communication, and the development of knowledge and skills in relation to public health and health promotion.

    • Human Biology and Pathophysiology (NRS712)

      This module will develop students' understanding of human development, key body systems, pathophysiological processes involved in commonly encountered health conditions and their relationship to nursing care.

  • Final year

  • Core modules

    • Lived Experience (MHN701)

      This module will develop students knowledge and understanding of the `lived experience' of those engaging with mental health and social care services; fundamentally the module will enable development of skills to enhance well-being using value based frameworks.

    • Psychosocial Interventions to meet Complex Mental Health Needs (MHN702)

      This module develops knowledge and skills in a range of key therapeutic approaches for working with people with serious mental health problems or complex needs, and appropriate service approaches.

    • Developing Competence in Mental Health Nursing Practice (MHN704)

      This module develops the students' values, knowledge and skills required for nursing practice and meeting the needs of clients with complex mental health problems.

    • Systematic Review (NRS708)

      This module focuses on the appraisal and synthesis of evidence from research literature and documentary sources. Students' develop an understanding of systematic review methodology and will produce a systematic review of studies relating to an area of interest.

    • Nursing Leadership, Management and Team Working (NRS710)

      This module critically explores the concepts of management, leadership and working in teams. It examines the role of the nurse to act as a change agent in response to professional practice challenges.

Every postgraduate taught course has a detailed programme specification document describing the programme aims, the programme structure, the teaching and learning methods, the learning outcomes and the rules of assessment.

The following programme specification represents the latest programme structure and may be subject to change:

MSc Pre registration Nursing programme specification 6646

The modules shown for this course or programme are those being studied by current students, or expected new modules. Modules are subject to change depending on year of entry.

Entry requirements

Student selection is via UCAS and includes:
  • A personal statement
  • References
  • Confirmation of academic attainment
Applicants are initially screened to ensure you have the required academic qualifications, and given information on how to make a Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) claim. The Faculty has well-established mechanisms and procedures for approving RPL. Programme outcomes and requirements are mapped following QAA Guidelines, and NMC requirements prior to acceptance on the programme.
When applying through UCAS you should:
  • Have a strong GCSE profile of five GCSE or O level subjects at grade C/4 or above (or equivalent).
  • Have taken subjects that include English, Mathematics and a Science.
  • Have a Bachelor (honours) degree from an Institution of Higher Education usually at a 2:2 or above.
  • Usually have an A level or equivalent in a science or social science.
  • Be currently employed in a relevant clinical practice area with achievement of a minimum of 750 verified hours in this role. Individuals with recent healthcare experience will be considered in some circumstances. Relevant experience includes, for example hospitals, GP surgeries, hospices, and other community settings (subject to RPL). Evidence of clinical hours are to be confirmed by a registered nurse and will be mapped against the stage one values and proficiencies for the Nursing programme.
  • A copy of the your job description will be obtained to establish the appropriateness of the clinical experience.
  • If the individual confirming practice hours is not registered as a nurse in the UK, additional evidence of the verifier’s registration credentials will be required.
  • Evidence of academic study within the last 5 years.
  • Please note you will be asked to provide a CV at the assessment stage of this process
If you have not achieved mathematics GCSE at grade C/4 or above on application you may be offered a free online mathematics support package and an examination equivalent to C grade/grade 4 or above GCSE to enable the achievement of appropriate entry requirements prior to commencing the programme. This examination is offered during the recruitment cycle to all eligible candidates. 
If you have have not been educated in the UK or if English is not your first language will be required to undertake a recognised English language qualification which must include reading, writing, speaking and listening skills.
IELTS: 7.0 overall with at least 6.5 in all sections. 
Recruitment of international students will comply with UKVI Compliance Tier 4 requirements in line with the University Internationalisation Strategy.

Deferred entry

Unfortunately we cannot permit deferred entry. However, if you have a query please contact the admissions team who will be able to explain the application process in more detail at

Fees, costs and funding

Student 2023-2024 2024-2025
Home £9,250 £9,250
International £17,500 £19,000
Part time (Home) £770 £770
Full time fees shown are per annum. Part time fees shown are per 10 credits. Please note that fees are reviewed on an annual basis. Fees and the conditions that apply to them shown in the prospectus are correct at the time of going to print. Fees shown on the web are the most up to date but are still subject to change in exceptional circumstances. More information about fees and funding.

Tuition fee discount for University of Plymouth graduates

If you studied your undergraduate degree at Plymouth, you may be eligible for a fee discount if you complete your postgraduate studies here as well.
  • 10% or 20% discount on tuition fees for home students 
  • £2,000 discount on tuition fees for international students 

Postgraduate Merit Scholarship for international students

Scholarship value: £2000 off your tuition fees in year one. 
You may also receive:
  • 10% off the successive years tuition fee if an overall grade of 60% or above is maintained
To be eligible you must:
This scholarship will be offered automatically, providing you meet the eligibility criteria. A separate application will not be required.

Additional costs

This course is delivered by the School of Nursing and Midwifery and more details of any additional costs associated with our courses are listed on the following page: Additional costs for nursing and midwifery students

How to apply

Information required by UCAS

Institution code
Campus code
There is no campus code
Application deadline
See UCAS website for deadline dates. The deadline for the receipt of international applications is 31 May 2023 for entry in September 2023.
The School of Nursing and Midwifery at the University of Plymouth recognise that people may act out of character in times of trouble or distress. However, we will not tolerate inappropriate behaviour or language towards any of our staff during the admissions process. Hostile, aggressive, or otherwise inappropriate behaviour or language, whether expressed verbally or in writing, will be viewed seriously and may adversely affect the consideration of an application, appeal, or complaint. We reserve the right to reject an application from, or withdraw an offer to, an applicant who has behaved in an inappropriate manner.

Information required by UCAS

Institution code

Campus code
There is no campus code

Application deadline
See UCAS website for deadline dates

Apply now

Entry interviews

Once your application has been received, we will consider your application to help us reach a decision. If successful at the initial screening stage, you will be invited to an interview. The majority of health courses interview applicants, as this is a requirement of many health regulatory bodies. This applies to all Universities and is vital to the progression of applications. 
Interviews enable: 
  •  you to give the best account of your skills, experience and character.
  •  us to decide whether you will thrive in the University of Plymouth’s culture.
  •  us to explain more about the University, programme and how we work with our students.
Find out more about interview days: pre-work tasks, what to expect on the day of the interview and what happens after. 
Nursing interviews

Clinical Skills Resource Centre

Placement experience and simulated practice will work hand-in-hand to enable you to become the best professional you can be. At Plymouth, you’ll have access to state-of-the-art clinical simulation wards and equipment to allow you to develop a range of skills that are specific to the profession you are entering, in addition to a variety of basic health related skills, including: 
  • physical examinations
  • patient and family interviews
  • diagnostic skills
  • washing hands
  • manual handling
  • observing and monitoring
  • blood pressure reading
  • injections
  • medication administration.