School of Nursing and Midwifery

BSc (Hons) Nursing (Mental Health)

Understanding mental health is important to us all. One in four of us will suffer a mental health problem during our lives. This programme emphasises the power of the individual within their own recovery process and gives you early opportunities to develop your clinical and communication skills. You'll develop the knowledge and experience to work within community, primary or acute care settings, and gain the confidence to help clients take the first steps to changing their lives.

UCAS tariff
UCAS course code
Institution code
3 years
(with placements)
Course type

Key features

  • Meets the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) standards implemented in 2011. Once graduated you're eligible to apply for registration with the NMC as a registered mental health nurse.
  • Compatible with the Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) agenda, which supports frontline NHS in applying National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) guidelines for people suffering from depression and anxiety disorders.
  • Our learning programme has been developed through strong relationships with service users, whose considerable input helps the creation, delivery and assessment of values-based practice.
  • Balance your learning with excellent resources in classrooms and with practice in hospitals and communities. Equal weighting is given to theory and practice. Your learning journey will enable you to work with a range of allied health professions and other fields of nursing.
  • Undertake early clinical placements across Devon, Cornwall and Somerset, designed to maximise your range of experiences and clinical skills. You'll spend fifty per cent of the course in a variety of settings, both within hospitals and the community.
  • Develop a progressive mental health portfolio of skills, such as psychological based therapy, which enhances evidence for future job applications and professional development.
  • Be assessed by a range of innovative methods including essays, case work analysis, seminar presentation, practice portfolio and video role-play.
  • Benefit from teaching staff who actively research across all fields of nursing.

Course details

  • Year 1
  • In your first year, you'll be introduced to the course philosophy and perspectives on mental health. You'll learn about the concepts and theories common to all fields of nursing, and develop your skills in effective communication, collaborative working and professional practice. Your theoretical knowledge will be strengthened during two supervised practice placements.
    Core modules
    • MHN102 Forming Therapeutic Relationships (2)

      This module aims to develop basic, person-centred communication skills relevant to health and care delivery, and enable students to engage effectively with individuals across the lifespan and their families. Students will learn how to develop and employ collaborative conversational skills.

    • MHN101 Forming Therapeutic Relationships (Theory)

      This module will help students understand basic, person-centred communication skills relevant to mental health. Exploration of underpinning of theoretical frameworks will allow them to effectively engage with individuals across the lifespan and develop collaborative conversational skills.

    • MHN104 Introduction to Management and Leadership

      This module provides an introduction to the theory of leadership and management within the primary, secondary and third sectors. This module will consider how management and leadership fits within a changing working environment by exploring the relationship between organisation, culture and management.

    • MHN103 Introduction to Mental Health

      This module will introduce mental health and disorder, and discuss the biological, psychological and social factors influencing mental health from birth to death. It will identify appropriate multi professional interventions and skills to promote recovery and wellbeing. The module will also provide an introduction to Legislation for the protection of all vulnerable people.

    • NRS102 Preparation for Practice and Critical Thinking

      This module is designed to prepare students in all Fields of nursing with the knowledge, skills and attitudes to work safely in practice with patients/clients, relatives and staff.

  • Year 2
  • In your second year, you'll learn skills to undertake effective collaborative assessment and understand how to react to clients’ distress. You'll develop your personal and professional skills in order to enhance your critical thinking and work in a safe, evidence-based way. You'll also look at the impact of mental health from the perspective of service users and carers, and explore policies that shape service delivery.
    Core modules
    • MHN204 Assessment and Formulation of Mild to Moderate MH Problems

      This module will enable students to gain basic competence in evidenced based problem level assessment and to develop required 'core conditions' \ 'common factors' competencies. It will also provide an understanding of the incidence, prevalence and presentation of common mental health problems.

    • NRS203 Knowledge and Skills for Evidence-Informed Decision Making (1)

      The focus of the module is on developing students' knowledge and understanding of the application of research-based evidence to nursing practice. The module is based upon the premise that knowledge and understanding of key research designs is an essential pre-requisite of evidence-informed decision making (EIDM).

    • MHN203 Lived Experience

      This module will introduce students to experiences commonly encountered in mental health services by individuals, and their families and/or carers. The module will enable effective collaborative communication and reflective skills as well as knowledge of a range of resources to enhance well being, recovery and putting values into practice using value based frameworks.

    • MHN206 Medication Management

      Introduces students to the knowledge and skills required for comprehensive assessment of a range of mental health problems; Examines a range of pharmacological interventions; Considers biological basis of mental health problems and effects of a range of medications including mode of action, therapeutic effects and side effects; Practices therapeutic skills for working collaboratively with service users for promoting informed choice and supporting adherence; National guidance and legal issues also addressed.

    • MHN202 Mental Health Policy in Practice

      This module introduces students to the stepped care model of mental health and the variety of settings in which mental health services are delivered. Students will explore how current legislation and policy imperatives inform the delivery of services and client care. Methods of collaboration and recovery will be highlighted alongside an appreciation of their evidence base.

    • MHN205 Practice (1)

      This module develops the student's competence, knowledge and mental health nursing skills in working with people with a range of mental health problems. It will ensure safe practice and completion of the competencies required at NMC progression point 2.

  • Final year
  • In your final year, you'll develop skills to deliver an effective range of interventions for clients experiencing complex needs. Your research skills will be strengthened through an opportunity for extended study on a mental health topic of your choice. You'll be able to apply your theoretical knowledge and understanding in practice, ensuring you'll be fully capable of a practitioner status.
    Core modules
    • NRS302 Knowledge and Skills for Evidence-Informed Decision Making (2)

      This level 6 module focuses on (i) Extending knowledge of use of secondary research-based evidence in the form of systematic reviews and clinical guidelines; (ii) developing skills in critically appraising a body of evidence and constructing a literature review; (iii) identifying and developing practice-focused research questions.

    • NRS301 Management, Leadership and Transition to Professional Practice

      This module critically explores the concepts of leadership, management and professional practice and how these influence the health and social care arena.

    • MHN303 Practice (2)

      This module develops the student's competence, knowledge and skills in a range of key therapeutic approaches for working with people who have serious mental illness or complex health needs. It will ensure safe practice and completion of the competencies required for entry to the NMC register.

    • MHN302 Psychosocial Interventions to Meet Complex Mental Health Needs

      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.

    • MHN301 The Autonomous Practitioner

      This module will provide you the opportunity to practice as a capable and autonomous practitioner. You will be able to acknowledge your achievement. You will explore responsibility, accountability, leadership and management strategies within the context of contemporary mental health provision. You will undertake a final assessment of their practice and theory.

The modules shown for this course are those currently being studied by our students, or are proposed new modules. Please note that programme structures and individual modules are subject to amendment from time to time as part of the University’s curriculum enrichment programme and in line with changes in the University’s policies and requirements.

Entry requirements


5 GCSEs at grade C or above to include mathematics, English and science. Preference is given to applicants who've obtained these grades on application.


UCAS tariff

300 points including 160 points from two A levels. Preference is given to those with a science profile, including social sciences. 

27 points (with a minimum of 13 at higher level).

45 L3 credits of which 33 must be at merit or distinction level. This must include 15 level 3 credits from biology/social science. Must have GCSE grade C or above in English and mathematics or be taking them. 

Diploma DDM – Must be science/health related. Will consider health with strong GCSE science profile (see above).

Extended science: 65 per cent at first attempt. Must apply direct to Plymouth University by 15 January.

Equivalent qualifications may be considered, please contact

Extended entry requirements

  • In addition to the above, evidence of academic study within the last five years is required.
  • How to select the right Access course.
  • Please note we don't accept Key Skills level 2 in place of GCSE English or mathematics.
  • You must pass disclosure and barring service and occupational health checks satisfactorily in order to be able to start this course.
  • If English is not your first language and you do not have GCSE English grade C or above, you'll have to achieve an IELTS or equivalent qualification at the grades stated below. 
  • IELTS - Overall average score of at least 7.0, with a score of at least 7.0 in the listening and reading sections and at least 7.0 in the writing and speaking sections.
  • TOEFL internet-based test (ibt) - 100.
  • TOEFL paper test - 600.
  • Meeting the academic minimum is the first stage of an application being considered. Applicants must also submit a strong personal statement in order to be considered further.
  • English language requirements.

Further information

Please note: We do not accept applications for deferred entry for this course.

Fees & funding

For all information about tuition fees, please visit our fees and funding pages.

You are currently entitled to a means tested bursary (the amount depends on your current financial circumstances) for the duration of your course through the NHS Business Services Authority if you are a UK national.
The NHS will currently meet (in full) your tuition fee contribution on your behalf if you're a UK or EU national. For guidance about applying for your bursary and to create and access a Bursary Online Support Account (BOSS) please visit the NHS Business Services Authority website. Students attending practice placements are entitled to claim back travel and accommodation costs. Please see our bursary guidance document.

How to apply

All applications for undergraduate courses are made through UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service). 

UCAS will ask for the information contained in the box at the top of this course page including the UCAS course code and the institution code. 

To apply for this course and for more information about submitting an application including application deadline dates, please visit the UCAS website.


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Find out more from our open days section or register to come and see us using a short open day registration form.

Your say

My practice placement experiences have given me an excellent insight into working lives of nurses and other health professionals who specialise in the area of mental health.

Melissa Greener, past student

Find out more about what Melissa has to say


Fifty per cent of your time will be spent learning on placements

You'll gain a great range of experience by going on placements throughout the South West.

Find out more about placements