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BSc (Hons)
Nursing (Mental Health)

Mental Health nurses help vulnerable people get control of their lives. If you want to make a difference as a mental health nurse, we can get you started. We’ll equip you with the knowledge, attributes and skills that you need. At Bucks, we give you every chance to work with our partner NHS trusts.

Qualification: BSc (Hons)

UCAS code: B761

Study mode: Full-time

Location: Uxbridge Campus

Duration: Three years

Start date: February & September

Is this course for me?

As a society, we generally find it much easier to talk about being physically unwell than about mental ill health. Mental illness requires just as much care as physical illness - sometimes even more so. Being a mental health nurse means you'll be crucial in helping people get their lives back on track.

Whether you have a personal experience with people with mental illness or simply want to help those who struggle day-to-day, you can apply to be a mental health nurse. You will help people get through their illness, whether it is anxiety, depression, psychotic disturbances, paranoia, dementia or other disorders affecting older people.

More than just a degree
Once you graduate, you'll be able to register as a nurse with the Nursing Midwifery Council (NMC) and be able to practice in the UK. Opportunities for mental health nursing are continually expanding. You may be working in a busy hospital ward or department, as a nurse specialist running your own clinic, working in a prison or in one of the expanding community areas such as a large health centre or an integrated community team.

What makes mental health nursing such a challenge is the sheer diversity of situations you will have to respond to, no two days ever being the same. And you know that every day, you can make a difference.

Understanding the science of care
Nursing involves more than practice. You'll grasp the theory and facts behind diagnosis that can help you make crucial decisions when looking after a patient. You will be able to design strategies for the collection and analysis of scholarly material relating to nursing care, as well as being able to identify nursing issues from a wide perspective. You will be able to lead changes in practice, improving the quality of delivery of care.

We believe in giving you the best chance for employment when you graduate. During your time on the course, you'll be working alongside experienced mental health care professionals, helping to make a positive difference to people affected by mental health issues.

Gain experience with the NHS or private care trusts
Our nursing courses are split 50/50, one half is spent at the University studying and the other half is spent on practice placement at one of our local NHS Trusts or independent care partners.

Our NHS partners include Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust and West London Mental Health NHS Trust.

Clinical practice opportunities include:

  • adult acute mental health inpatients
  • adult mental health recovery inpatients
  • older persons mental health inpatients
  • children and adolescent mental health services
  • forensic mental health community teams
  • prison healthcare
  • a range of community services supporting people to remain in their home  whilst receiving support and treatment e.g. crisis resolution and home treatment teams, primary care plus, recovery teams, older persons community mental health team, memory teams, cognitive impairment and dementia teams, etc.
  • private healthcare settings.

We're renowned for the support we offer you while you are on placement. Members of the teaching staff from Bucks are assigned to each clinical area and our academic staff will spend, on average, 20 per cent of their time in clinical practice supporting our students.

Learn from the professionals
We make sure that you'll have the knowledge and the confidence to work as a nurse before sending you out into clinical practice.

Our team of experienced lecturers have a collective wealth of knowledge from working in a number of areas, from child mental health to dementia and cognitive behavioural therapy to psychology. 

When you go out into practice, a clinical staff member in the workplace will provide mentorship, supervise your experience, and assess that you are meeting the requirements of the course. All other health professionals and staff members will also contribute to your learning experience, so you have the opportunity to engage with the multi-disciplinary team.

Our enthusiastic and dedicated nursing team have a passion for what they do and will support you throughout the programme.

Year One

  • Health, Wellbeing and Disability: Implications for Mental Health Nursing
  • Foundations of Mental Health Nursing Practice
  • Foundation Skills for Mental Health Nursing
  • Foundation Skills for Mental Health Nursing
  • Foundations of Mental Health Nursing Practice
  • Health and Illness across the Lifespan
  • Independent Learning for Nursing
  • Professional and Academic Skills for Nursing

Year Two

  • Mental Health Community Nursing: Public Health in Action
  • Intermediate Mental Health Nursing Practice
  • Intermediate Skills for Mental Health Nursing
  • Intermediate Skills for Mental Health Nursing
  • Intermediate Mental Health Nursing Practice
  • Evidence-based Practice and the Community
  • Broadening Perspectives on Practice
  • Research Methods for Nursing
  • Broadening Perspectives on Practice

Year Three

  • Towards Autonomy in Mental Health Nursing Practice
  • Mental Health Nursing Skills Underpinning Complex Care
  • Mental Health Nursing Skills Underpinning Complex Care
  • Towards Autonomy in Mental Health Nursing Practice
  • Nursing and Collaborative Working
  • Personal Development for Leadership and Management
  • Research For Nursing
  • Research in Nursing
  • Leadership and Collaborative Interprofessional Practice

What are the entry requirements?

A typical offer will require a UCAS Tariff score between 280-320 points; or an Access to Nursing qualification (minimum of 30 Level 3 credits at Distinction, 12 at Merit, and 3 at Pass).

You may find it easier if you have prior knowledge of health, so we prefer if you have relevant A Levels - such as Biology, Health and Social Care, Chemistry, Psychology, Physics, Physical Education, and Sociology. However, it is not essential.

In addition, you will require five GCSEs including Maths, English and Science at Grade C or above (or equivalent).

How much does it cost?

If you are a UK or EU citizen you will be entitled to have your tuition fees paid in full by the NHS.

All eligible new students will also receive a small non-means tested grant of £1,000. To be eligible for NHS bursary funding, you need to fit the requirements. You can check your eligibility using the online calculator.

For information on fees and finance, please view our fees and funding section.

Fees quoted are for the next intake and are subject to change. Fee costs for subsequent years are subject to rise with inflation or course delivery costs.

Visit our Why Bucks? section to discover what studying at Bucks could mean for you.

How do I apply?

For application details please visit

What are my career prospects?

We've been running nursing courses for many years and have a high rate of employability. 98 per cent of our students are in employment or in further study six months after graduating*. Many of our students are employed by the Trust that they worked with during their time at the University.

Nursing itself is a broad area and you'll have the chance to go into many careers, such as:

  • General practice surgeries as a mental health nurse
  • Community settings, for example Home Treatment team, Recovery Service
  • Nursing homes
  • Mental health services
  • Forensic mental health services including High Secure Services
  • Private health care providers
  • Prison nursing
  • The armed forces
  • Teaching and assessing roles
  • Working abroad
  • Researcher- promoting advances in health care and health promotion practice.

How will you help me prepare for my future career?
Throughout your time with us we'll support you on the route to your chosen career. We'll help you to develop crucial skills, encouraging you to become enterprising, employable and good leaders.

We work with our partners to provide placements for our students, giving you the opportunity to develop your skills in practice. Our modules and teaching expertise will help you become more independent as a learner and more certain of your discipline expertise.

We also help you find employment after graduation. Have a look at our Careers and Employment pages to find out more.

*HESA Destination of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) Survey 2015, based on 2014 graduates.

Thanks to the Bucks lecturers, the link lecturers out in the clinical practice and the staff in the wards, you are made to feel welcome and quickly become part of a caring, team-focused environment with a passion for what they do.


Sarah Stevens

After working as a Health Care Assistant within one of the largest Mental Health Trusts in the UK I wanted to further my career and qualify as a nurse and gain a degree. Bucks New University stood out amongst the other universities as it seemed a vibrant and absorbing place to study with a dedicated nursing Campus.

Adam Uprichard