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.

Our course 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. This four-year part time degree course offers an alternative pathway to gain a BSc in Nursing (Mental Health).

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

Advice from graduate Rebecca Richards:

"The 24/7 library was invaluable. The library staff were massively helpful and I couldn’t have got through it without them. Never be afraid to ask for help. I am dyslexic and have been supported every step of the way, but I had to say yes to that help.”
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.
  • Flexible and accessible mode of delivery.
  • 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 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 cllnical placements across Devon, Cornwall and Somerset, designed to maximise your range of experiences and clinical skills.
  • Learn from experienced doctors and professors in their field.
Course details
  • Year 1

  • 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.

    • 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

    • Applied Pathophysiology (NRS501)
    • Pharmacology and Medicines Optimisation (NRS504)
    • Developing Nursing Practice (NRS507)
    • Co-ordinating Care for Complex Health (NRS505)

    Core modules

    • 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.

    • Providing and Evaluating Care (NRS418)

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

    • Applied Pathophysiology (NRS501)

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

    • Pharmacology and Medicines Optimisation (NRS504)

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

    • Developing Nursing Practice (NRS508)

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

  • Year 3

    • Leadership and Management (NRS604)
    • Developing Knowledge and Skills (NRS602)
    • Lived Experience (MHN601)
    • Psychosocial Interventions to Meet Complex Mental Health Needs (MHN602)
    • Developing Competence in Mental Health Nursing (MHN603)
  • Final year

    • Systematic Review (NRS708)
    • Lived Experience (MHN701)
    • Psychosocial Interventions to Meet Complex Mental Health Needs (MHN702)
    • Developing Competence in Mental Health Nursing (MHN703)

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 7375

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

GCSEs5 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
Student 2022-2023 2023-2024
Home N/A N/A
International N/A N/A
Part time (Home) £6,930 £6,930
Full and part time fees shown are per annum. 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.

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.

Study part time

This four-year part time degree course offers an alternative pathway to gain a BSc in Nursing (Mental Health). The course is designed in three parts, with each part delivered over 16 months. Throughout the course, students engage in both theory and practice for three days a week, with the remaining days of the week free for other life commitments.

This flexible and accessible degree gives you the option to study at our Plymouth Campus, our Knowledge Spa Campus, Truro and our School of Nursing in Exeter.

<p>Adult Nursing students</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.
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.


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


Where can I study?

Looking to the future

Opportunities for postgraduate study in mental health

Our  MSc Advanced Clinical Practitioner in Mental Health 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.
CBT interventions for mental health professionals (mood disorders) HERO IMAGE 1
Adult Nursing students in clinical skills laboratory


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.”
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

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>