School of Nursing and Midwifery

BSc (Hons) Nursing (Mental Health)

Mental health nurses have a unique and profound impact on the lives of the people they care for, building and maintaining therapeutic relationships across all aspects of people’s lives. You'll gain the clinical and communication skills required to support the individual within their own recovery process. You'll develop the knowledge and experience to work within community, primary and acute care settings, and gain the confidence to help clients take the first steps to changing their lives.

Alongside preparing you to be an expert mental health nurse, our program recognises that all nurses need to be able to work with people suffering from physical health conditions and learning disabilities across the lifespan. We will give you a broad range of knowledge and skills pertinent to all the fields of nursing. This will include detailed knowledge of physical health care and essential physical nursing procedures as well as the skills to work with people who have learning disabilities.

Four year MNurs degrees

Our four year MNurs programme allows you to study at masters level and choose two fields of nursing to register within:

Mental health nursing students to receive £6,000 payment a year

The Government is issuing mental health nursing students on courses from 2020 a payment of at least £6,000 a year, which they will not have to pay back. A further £3,000 of funding a year is available for eligible students.

Find out more about the bursary

Faces in the crowd by .shyam. Courtesy of flickr.
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

What can you do with a nursing degree?

Advice from graduate Rebecca Richards:

"Do it, but know why you want to: you’ll need that when you’re up all night, or stressed out. It’s not an easy course; it challenges and changes you in a lot of different ways, so you have to want to be there."

Read more from Rebecca in her case study.

Key features

Achieve a bachelors honours degree and register as a nurse with the Nursing and Midwifery Council in mental health enabling you to progress on to a rewarding career and work in a range of healthcare settings nationally or internationally. You’ll have a balanced learning experience with a wide and innovative range of teaching and assessment methods both in academic study and in practice. Your time with us will enable you to work with a range of allied health professions and other fields of nursing.

  • Experience a course 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.
  • Enjoy an accessible approach to your theoretical studies, with the option of studying in Plymouth, our Knowledge Spa campus in Truro or at our new University of Plymouth School of Nursing in Exeter.
  • 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.
  • 86% of students surveyed for Nursing (Mental Health) were satisfied overall with their course in the 2020 National Student Survey (NSS).
  • Learn from experienced doctors and professors in their field.

Course details
  • Year 1

  • Your first year introduces you to being an accountable professional, whilst developing the knowledge and skills required to become a confident, academic and independent learner. You will gain an understanding of human development, key body systems and their relationship to nursing care. A range of effective therapeutic interpersonal skills to promote engagement and helpful collaborative person-centred conversations will be nurtured within the theory and the two practice components during the year. You will be introduced to the importance of assessing, planning, providing and evaluating health and wellbeing in a broad range of contexts. You will learn and develop the values, knowledge and skills required for the successful achievement of the standards of proficiency required for the first NMC progression point. Modules will have field specific application.

    Core modules

    • Being an Accountable Professional (NRS410)

      This module will introduce students to the nursing profession, professional standards, the use of evidence and the role of social media in health care practice.

    • Communication and Therapeutic Relationships (NRS411)

      This module supports students to develop basic, person-centred communication skills enabling them to engage effectively with individuals and their families/carers utilising a range of collaborative interpersonal skills and adopting therapeutic and ethical frameworks that can be applied in health and social care.

    • Applied Human Biology Across the Lifespan (NRS414)

      This module will develop students' understanding of human development, key body systems and their relationship to nursing care.

    • Assessing and Planning Nursing Care (NRS416)

      This module introduces students to assessing health and wellbeing, it explores different models of understanding health, ill health and the interconnection between physical and mental health. It enables the student to work in partnership to plan and evaluate nursing care for a variety of health conditions and needs.

    • Providing and Evaluating Care (NRS417)

      This module introduces the student to the values, knowledge and skills required for nursing practice in a range of settings.

  • Year 2

  • In your second year you will be introduced to research methodology and methods in order to develop their knowledge of the application of research-based evidence to professional practice. You will study the pathophysiological processes involved in commonly encountered health conditions to support nursing interventions. Your knowledge and understanding of co-ordinating care for complex health needs will be developed, as well as in relation to public health, policies and legislation. You will become a knowledgeable practitioner with an understanding of pharmacology and safe practice in the management of medicines. The theory and two practice components of the year will develop your values, knowledge and skills required for the successful achievement of the standards of proficiency required for the second NMC progression point. Modules will have field specific application.

    Core modules

    • Applied Pathophysiology (NRS501)

      Within this module, students will study the pathophysiological processes involved in commonly encountered health conditions.

    • Introduction to Evidence-Informed Decision Making (NRS502)

      The module introduces students to research methodology and methods in order to develop their knowledge of the application of research-based evidence to professional 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).

    • Promoting Health and Preventing Ill Health (NRS503)

      This module aims to develop the student's knowledge and skills in relation to public health, policies and legislation. Students will explore the social, economic, political and ecological challenges that are faced in public health at an international, national and local level. The student will develop an understanding of their professional role in relation to public health.

    • Pharmacology and Medicines Optimisation (NRS504)

      This module will develop students' knowledge of medications, pharmacology and working to support medication adherence.

    • Developing Nursing Practice (NRS507)

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

  • Final year

  • Year three allows you to critically explore the concepts of management, leadership and working in teams. You will extend your knowledge around critical appraisal and the importance of research evidence to professional practice. Within four field specific modules you will 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. You will develop your knowledge and understanding of the ‘lived experience’ of those engaging with mental health and social care services and develop your competence in nursing clients with complex needs in a range of care settings. You will build on and develop the values, knowledge and skills required for the successful achievement of the final NMC progression point. Your final module will provide you with the opportunity to demonstrate your ability to perform as a capable and autonomous practitioner, fit for registration in your field of nursing practice.

    Core modules

    • Lived Experience (MHN601)

      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 (MHN602)

      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 (MHN603)

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

    • Developing Knowledge and Skills for Evidence-Informed Decision Making (NRS602)

      The module is designed to extend students' knowledge around critical appraisal and the importance of research evidence to professional practice. This will be achieved through students identifying and evaluating a body of research-based evidence relevant to clinical practice.

    • Nursing Leadership, Management and Team Working (NRS604)

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

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

BSc Hons Nursing Programme Specification Standard Route 2022 23 6616

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.

In light of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the changeable nature of the situation and any updates to government guidance, we may need to make further, last minute adjustments to how we deliver our teaching and learning on some or all of our programmes, at any time during the academic year. We want to reassure you that even if we do have to adjust the way in which we teach our programmes, we will be working to maintain the quality of the student learning experience and learning outcomes at all times.
Entry requirements

UCAS tariff

104 - 120


5 GCSEs at Grade C/4 or above to include Mathematics, English, and Science. Consideration may be given to Functional Skills Level 2 in Mathematics. Please note we do not accept Functional Skills Level 2 in English, or Key Skills in Maths or English, or Adult Literacy/Numeracy.

Plus one of the following:

A levels

104–120 Tariff points to include a minimum of two A levels. Science, Health, or Social Science profile is preferred but any subject considered. General Studies excluded.

Access to HE Diploma

Pass an Access to HE Diploma with 33 Level 3 credits at Merit and/or Distinction, including 15 in Science or Social Science.

T level

Accepted pathway: Health. Typical offer will be confirmed once an application is received.

BTEC RQF National Extended Diploma/QCF Extended Diploma 

DMM-DDM – Science, Health, or Social Science profile is preferred but any subject considered.

International Baccalaureate

26–30 points overall. Science, Health, or Social Science profile is preferred but any subject considered. English, Mathematics, and Science accepted within as GCSE equivalent at higher level = 4, standard level = 5


Previous degrees are considered at a 2:2 or above. Science, Health, or Social Science profile is preferred but any subject considered.

We welcome applicants with international qualifications. To view other accepted qualifications please refer to our tariff glossary.

If you are unsure whether you meet this criteria, or you have qualifications not listed here, please contact


Extended entry requirements

  • In addition to the above, evidence of academic study within the last five years is required. Ideally this should be one of the qualifications listed here, but the admissions team will assess on a case-by-case basis.
  • 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.
  • We will require an academic reference and an employer reference as part of the application process.
  • Attend an interview.
  • 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/4 or above you will have to achieve an IELTS (or equivalent qualification) at the grade of at least 7.0 (at least 6.5 in all elements sections). English language requirements.


All students who are aged 17 when starting the programme in September, must be 18 by Christmas of that same year.


Further information


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


Direct entry to year 2

If you have achieved certificated learning in addition to the entry criteria required for your programme of study, it may be possible to accredit this learning towards your chosen course. Full details on how to make an application are available on our open access MOODLE site (download details on how to access the site and submit your claim and supporting evidence). Your application will then be assessed and you will receive confirmation by email on the status of your claim. Please contact the admissions team in the first instance who will be able to advise whether you are eligible at

Fees, costs and funding

New Student 2022-2023 2023-2024
Home £9,250 £9,250
International £14,600 £16,300
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.

Undergraduate Merit Scholarship for international students

Scholarship value: £2000 off your tuition fees in year one. 
To recognise continued academic achievement, you may also receive:

  • 10% off the successive years tuition fee if an overall grade of 60% or above is maintained
  • 20% off the successive years tuition fee if an overall grade of 70% or above is maintained.
To be eligible you must:
  • achieve one grade above your academic offer.
  • meet our standard English Language requirements.

This scholarship will be offered automatically, providing you meet the eligibility criteria. A separate application will not be required.

Further information about Scholarships for international students

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

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.

The deadline for the receipt of international applications is 31 May 2023 for entry in September 2023.

Support is also available to overseas students applying to the University from our International Office via our how to apply webpage or email

Deferred entry

Unfortunately we cannot permit deferred entry. However, if you have a query please refer to an experienced admissions administrator who will be able to explain the UCAS application process in more detail

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.

Progression routes

International progression routes

The University of Plymouth International College (UPIC) offers foundation, first-year and pre-masters programmes that lead to University of Plymouth degrees. Courses are specially designed for EU and international students who are missing the grades for direct entry to the University, and include full duration visa sponsorship. You can start in January, May or September, benefitting from small class sizes, top-quality tuition and 24/7 student support.

Find out more at or contact our team at

First-class facilities to prepare you for your career in healthcare

From 2023, InterCity Place will be where undergraduate and postgraduate students from a variety of disciplines learn together under one roof.
Complementing existing clinical facilities, our new innovative suites, simulations and practice labs will help us to train and develop the next generation of nurses, paramedics and allied health professionals.
<p>InterCity Place facilities</p>
Plymouth students working on a group project

Study sessions for students by students: Peer Assisted Learning Scheme (PALS)

To complement your formal learning we offer regular sessions that provide the opportunity for you to learn with and from your peers. Share knowledge, discuss ideas, and ask questions in a relaxed and friendly environment
If you are a first or second year take the opportunity to study in a relaxed environment, along with other students on the same programme.


50% of your time throughout your three years will be spent on placement. The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) guidelines state you must have experience of 24 hours of care. You will therefore be expected to work shifts, which will include 7am starts, late shifts and long days.

Practice placements are in a variety of settings, within both hospitals and the community. Placements are based throughout the South West region, to maximise the range of experience you will gain throughout your course. Therefore you may need to live away from home during your placement.

If you receive an NHS bursary, and are not an assisted/seconded student, you may be able to claim your travel expenses, which will be paid in arrears. If you are an assisted or seconded student you will need to contact their employer/sponsor to see if additional funds for travel expenses can be negotiated. 

Placement learning support for students


Looking to the future

Nursing students working with qualified nurses and patients

Keeping the school running in troubled times

Our students have reached out to thank the teaching staff for continuing to deliver high-quality courses throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Thank you to the nursing and midwifery teaching staff for quickly turning around digital teaching and running the school at this time. We know you are working hard to do what is best and we appreciate the effort that you are all making.

We want you to know that we are proud to be student nurses and midwives of the University of Plymouth
- Emma, School Representative and first year Nursing (Child Health) student

Where can I study?

Adult Nursing students in clinical skills laboratory

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

For students interested in studying nursing and midwifery, a tour of our state-of-the-art clinical skills labs will show you the facilities you will be using.

What our students say

  • à “Staff are approachable, easy to contact and supportive, helpful as well as being passionate and experienced.”
  • à “My personal tutor has given excellent support when I have reached out. Help is also available from different areas of the uni for learning.”
  • à “Staff make the subjects interesting an empower you to do your best, and all are passionate about nursing.”
  • à “Good access to skills labs, that are well stocked and use lots of high quality equipment.”
  • à “Support from tutors and staff has always been great. They really do work hard to help with any problems.”
  • à “Personal tutor has been outstanding through supporting personal issues and getting me through the course.”
  • à “The course intellectually challenged me and I was able to gain in-depth knowledge.”
  • à “My lecturers have a real interest in my development. I could not have asked for a better place to study.”

Opportunities for postgraduate study in mental health

Our MSc Advanced Professional Practice (Mental Health Practitioner) is a clinically-focused specialist programme that will equip you with enhanced mental health assessment and intervention skills.

With your new knowledge, you’ll be able to effectively support people who are suffering from mental health problems in their recovery journey.

Find out more about the MSc Advanced Professional Practice (Mental Health Practitioner)
CBT interventions for mental health professionals (mood disorders) HERO IMAGE 1


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.

<p>Nursing interviews<br></p>