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 and 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.
You can choose to study in September or February.
More placements, more choices
Bucks is a Placements Plus university. So, whatever degree you do, you can be sure there’ll be plenty of industry-relevant opportunities on offer, to help you get into your chosen field.
We’ll also prepare you for work beforehand, with special skills for work training, further boosting your CV, and building skills employers will value. In recognition of the value we place on these skills we have incorporated this experience into your study time.
Placements Plus is all about helping you get some valuable experience under your belt while you’re a student. To increase your choices later, and help you get the graduate-level job you want.
UCAS CODE: B761
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 our practice partner including NHS trusts, independent and non-statutory health care providers
Our nursing courses are split 50/50, one half is spent at the University studying and the other half is spent on practice placement with our practice partner including NHS trusts, independent and non-statutory health care providers.
Our NHS partners include Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust and West London 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 community mental health care and acute mental health inpatient care. You will also benefit from our annual one day inter-professional conference, focused on safeguarding and dementia.
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.
What are the course entry requirements?
For this course, you'll need at least two A-levels and a GCSE Maths and English at grade C/4. Our offers usually require a minimum of 112 UCAS points.
For further details of our international English entry requirements, please visit our international pages.
This module map provides a list of the modules that make up your course.
Each module is worth a specified number of credits (typically either 15 or 30 credits for undergraduate courses). Compulsory (or ‘core’) modules cover key subject knowledge, while ‘option’ modules enable you to develop your own interests. For a full-time course you must take modules worth a total of 120 credits at each level of the course. The number of option modules you can take depends on the number of compulsory modules at each level. You can find more information about how your course is structured via the Academic Advice pages.
Our teaching is informed by research and employer requirements, and modules change periodically to reflect developments in the subject area. In addition, where we have insufficient numbers of students interested in an option module, this may not be offered. If an option module does not run, we will advise you as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative module.
The modules available on this course are as follows:
Year 1 Modules
- Foundation Skills for Mental Health Nursing
- Foundation of Mental Health Nursing Practice
- Health Wellbeing and Disability: Implications for Mental Health Nursing
- Professional and Academic Skills for Nursing
Year 2 Modules
- Broadening Perspectives on Practice
- Intermediate Mental Health Nursing Practice
- Intermediate Skills for Mental Health Nursing
- Mental Health Community Nursing: Public Health in Action
- Research Methods for Nursing
Year 3 Modules
- Leadership and Collaborative Interprofessional Practice
- Mental Health Nursing Skills Underpinning Complex Care
- Research in Nursing
- Towards Autonomy in Mental Health Nursing Practice
How much does it cost
Full Time Home and EU, September 2019: £9,250 per year
Full Time International, September 2019: £12,000 per year
Full Time Home and EU, February 2020: £9,250 per year
Full Time International, February 2020: £12,000 per year
Most courses will involve some additional costs that are not covered by your fees.
You could benefit from financial support through a bursary or scholarship during your time as a student. For more details visit our financial support, bursaries and scholarships section.
How do I apply?
For application details please visit bucks.ac.uk/applying-to-bucks
Our students are our best ambassadors and their voices here will provide you with a clear sense of their Bucks experience.
My nursing journey has been one of the best things that I have ever done. I started this journey at 18 and I have come so far and developed so much as a person since I started. Studying Mental Health has pushed my to my emotional limits but has changed me from being a really anxious 18 year old to a confident 21 year old. Nursing definitely has been the best decision I’ve ever made and would recommend it to anyone interested in making a difference to people’s lives, being your own and your patients.
I am a mature student studying a BSc (Hons) Mental Health Nursing Degree at Bucks New Uni. Previously I had worked in Health and Social Care for more than 16 years. In 2018 I decided to enroll with Bucks New University hoping to add academic insight to the many years of experience I have had in Health and Social Care. The support I have received so far from the University Management team, lecturers, Students’ Union, Learning Development Unit and other departments is absolutely amazing.
The atmosphere is vibrant, full of promise, hope, and geared for empowerment of students. I have just completed my first practice work placement and one of the memorable experiences I took away was discharging a patient who has fully recovered from Psychosis and has fully complied to the recovery strategies agreed with consultants and is ready to live his/her life independently. There is nothing as satisfying as being part of a nursing team that ensures the well being of patients.