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.
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 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 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.
Teaching and Learning
Your course consists of a combination of structured learning and teaching activities and independent learning.
Structured learning activities include lectures, seminars, tutorials and other time-tabled sessions. The amount of time set aside for each activity (‘contact hours’) is set out in individual module descriptors and so will vary depending on the modules you take. When you are not attending structured learning and teaching activities you will be expected to continue learning independently through self-study. Typically this will involve reading journal articles and books, working on individual and group projects, using the library, preparing for seminars, and completing coursework assignments.
The programme specification will provide more information on the specific learning and teaching activities on this course.
Your overall workload will include your learning and teaching activities and independent learning with total study time of around 10 hours being worth 1 credit. While your actual contact hours will depend on any option modules you choose.
Year 1: 23 percent of your time is spent in timetabled teaching and learning activity
|Teaching, learning and assessment:||290 hours|
|Independent learning:||310 hours|
Year 2: 19 percent of your time is spent in timetabled teaching and learning activity
|Teaching, learning and assessment:||323 hours|
|Independent learning:||617 hours|
Year 3: 20 percent of your time is spent in timetabled teaching and learning activity
|Teaching, learning and assessment:||362 hours|
|Independent learning:||538 hours|
You will be given opportunities to test your understanding of the subject informally before you complete the formal assessments that count towards your final mark. This may take the form of practice or ‘formative’ assessments for which you will receive feedback from your tutor. Formative assessments are developmental and any marks you receive do not count towards your overall module mark. There is at least one formal or ‘summative’ assessment towards the end of each module. The marks from summative assessments do count towards your overall module mark.
Assessment methods vary, but your programme specification will provide more information on the specific methods used on this course. You can find out more about the assessment methods used across the University in the assessment guide on the Academic Advice pages.
Balance of assessment
The balance of assessment will vary depending on any option modules you choose.
Please note: The percentages below do not include any pass/fail elements as these do not contribute to the overall degree classification. All modules must be successfully completed for credit to be awarded.
|25 percent coursework||25 percent written exams||50 percent practical|
|50 percent coursework||25 percent written exams||25 percent practical|
|50 percent coursework||25 percent written exams||25 percent practical|
You will receive feedback on all assessed coursework and practical assignments and we aim to provide this within three weeks. Feedback on examinations is also available on request.
Assessment feedback is intended to help you learn and you are encouraged to discuss it with your module leader.
What are the course entry requirements?
Entry requirements for September 2017
A typical offer will require a UCAS Tariff score between 112-128 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).
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
Fees for September 2017 to August 2018 entry
Full Time Home and EU: £9,250 per year
Full Time International: £10,500 per year
Most courses will involve some additional costs that are not covered by your fees.
Fees quoted are for the next intake and are subject to change. Fee costs for subsequent years may rise in line with inflation, course delivery costs or subject to government regulations.
For information on financial assistance to support your learning, visit our Undergraduate Fees and Funding section.
How do I apply?
For application details please visit bucks.ac.uk/applynow