Mental Health Nursing BSc (Hons)Study level: Undergraduate
Professionally Accredited Programmes
The Mental Health Nursing BSc (Hons) course is intended specifically to prepare you for a rewarding career where you can support people with their mental health.
Year of entry
Coventry University (Coventry)
3 years full-time
It is designed to help equip you with the hands-on clinical and care skills to prepare you to practise autonomously and compassionately, providing person-centred and compassionate care and support for service users to be physically safe and emotionally secure.
- Fully accredited by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) providing eligibility for registration as a nurse on successful completion of the course (additional costs may apply).
- All home students on this course can apply for a minimum payment from the Government of £5,000 per year, with additional payments for students incurring childcare costs6.
- Study in the state-of-the-art Alison Gingell Building which features hospital wards, operating theatre, critical care settings, community housing and other real-life nursing environments relevant to practice4.
Joint Top Modern University for Career ProspectsGuardian University Guide 2021 and 2022
5 QS Stars for Teaching and FacilitiesQS Stars University Ratings
Top 5 UK Student City (Coventry)QS Best Student Cities Index 2023
Why you should study this course
Mental health nursing is a values-based profession working with children, young people and adults of all ages with a variety of mental health problems and from numerous cultures and backgrounds. These specialist nurses are usually based in hospitals or work in the community, for example, in community services, in-patient facilities, specialist forensic mental health services, residential care and patients’ own homes.
- This course aims to develop your knowledge of mental health, various disorders and innovative nursing care approaches. It is designed to equip you with the knowledge and competence to understand the experiences of people with mental health problems and to assist and facilitate their journey to recovery.
- A key element of this course is that your six placements5 will be relevant to mental health - we do not use ‘generic’ placements. You will gain hands-on experience with real service users under supervision from qualified practitioners, spending 50% of your time on clinical practice placements. These will take place in a range of healthcare environments within the NHS in hospitals and community placements, at private hospitals and independent care providers. In the past we have also been able to offer specialist placements to services such as Broadmoor high security hospital to students with an interest in this area of work. While the placements on this course are all sourced by the university, please note that additional costs may be incurred in this regard, for example, travel costs, accommodation and visa costs depending on your specific circumstances.
- While the course has a clear focus on mental health nursing, a key benefit of our curriculum is the notion of collaboration across all areas of health and social care. Your studies will be complemented with signiﬁcant insights into a range of potential challenges to health and wellbeing throughout the lifespan, such as learning disabilities, complex care and life-limiting conditions. These collaborative elements, which you’ll study alongside students from our other health-related courses, have been developed in response to the need to produce professionals who are effective communicators, caring and compassionate, with good relationship-building skills.
- Throughout your studies, in groups and individually, you will undertake profession specific health and social care related projects and case studies. These may, for example, include an appraisal of the role of the nurse in ethical and legal decision-making, considering service improvement bids or complex care planning and delivery via the multi-disciplinary team. You will also participate in a group poster presentation demonstrating your understanding of research underpinning patient care.
Coventry University ranked 1st for Mental Health Nursing
Guardian University Guide 2023
UK Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC)
The course is currently fully accredited4 by the UK Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) for the 2023/24 and, providing you also meet the NMC requirements, on successful completion you will be eligible to apply for registration with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (subject to additional costs).
What you'll study
The first year is designed to give you a thorough introduction to the key skills and knowledge you will need to provide effective, compassionate care based on the latest thinking in Mental Health Nursing.
The Scientific Foundations of Nursing Practice - 20 credits
This module will introduce the scientific foundations of nursing which apply to holistic care across the lifespan and key concepts that underpin nursing practice. It will enable you to develop your knowledge of relevant human anatomy and physiology. Moreover, principles of microbiology, psychology, sociology and pharmacology will be explored, and an introduction of the common physiological dysfunctions associated to specific fields of practice will be included. Pharmacological treatment associated to common conditions will be examined.
Fundamental Skills for Person- and Family-Centred Practice - 20 credits
This module aims to introduce you to the fundamental skills required for person- and family-centred practice. You will be introduced to the concepts and theories relevant to the assessment of health and wellbeing across the lifespan, in a range of care settings for the four fields of nursing.
Study Skills for Evidence-Based Practice - 10 credits
This module aims to develop your academic writing skills, critical-thinking ability and reflective practice in the context of degree-level study. The content will also refer to numeracy skills, which for nursing are crucial for patient safety and wellbeing. Some skills will also relate to developing competence in database searching and subsequently its importance in the utilisation and application of evidence-based nursing practice. The content of the module will also include relevant organisational skills and maintenance of personal wellbeing.
The Foundations of Evidence-Informed Practice - 10 credits
This module aims to introduce you to evidence-based practice and research in nursing. You will have the opportunity to develop understanding of your usefulness and importance in contributing to underpinning nursing knowledge and decisions. You will aim to gain a fundamental understanding of various methodological approaches and the research process. The skills of appraising evidence and research will be explored and developed.
Health and Wellbeing in the Community - 20 credits
This module aims to develop your knowledge and understanding of the social, politico-economic, cultural and environmental factors that influence individual and community health and wellbeing. The module aims to draw upon key international, national and local initiatives to support learning and will take place within an inter-professional context.
To achieve this aim, you will explore concepts of wellbeing, disabilities, disease and illness, health inequality and inequity. In addition, you will examine key health and social care initiatives that will enable you to understand the importance of person-centred approaches to wellbeing, prevention, care and support. As you progress through the module you will develop inter-professional capabilities of communication, role clarification, decision-making and team-working enabling you to practice and promote healthy conversations about lifestyle.
Introduction to the Foundations of Nursing Practice (Practice 1) - 20 credits
This module introduces you to the foundations of nursing practice5 in the workplace. The experience will provide you with learning opportunities (under supervision) which will begin to develop the professional values, attitudes and behaviours required to deliver safe and effective holistic person- and family-centred care.
The Foundations of Nursing Practice (Practice 2) - 20 credits
This module provides extended opportunity for you to contribute to the foundations of nursing practice in the workplace. This experience will enable you to demonstrate and promote professional values, attitudes and behaviours required to deliver safe and effective holistic person-centred care5.
In the second year you will gain more experience of mental health nursing practice and develop an understanding of the importance of evidence-informed decision-making in service user care.
Ethical and Legal Decision-making in the Context of Nursing - 20 credits
This module will introduce you to the underlying principles of healthcare ethics, legislation and social policy. This will include the protection of vulnerable people across the lifespan including those with complex needs. You should be equipped to recognise ethical challenges relating to people's choices and decision-making about their health and wellbeing across care settings. Ability to act within the law to help service users, families and carers to manage needs will be explored.
Developing the Management of Care Across the Lifespan (Practice 3) - 20 credits
This module provides you with opportunities in the workplace to build on your foundations of practice and enable you to work more independently with less direct supervision in an increasingly competent and confident manner to deliver quality holistic person- and family-centred care. It will provide you with the opportunity to demonstrate, through your practice, your potential to become an autonomous practitioner.
Assessing Needs and Planning Care Across the Lifespan - 20 credits
This module aims to develop your ability to perform comprehensive and systematic assessments, interpret data and plan care within mental health settings across the lifespan. You will have the opportunity to develop mental health assessment skills, make clinical judgments, improve decision-making and plan individualised, person and family-centred care.
Therapeutic Interventions in Mental Health Care - 20 credits
This module aims to explore the application of therapeutic interventions used in the field of mental health nursing care across the lifespan. The focus is on professionally appropriate knowledge, skills and understanding of related psychological, physical, pharmacological and recovery interventions. Each of which will be drawn from current policy documents and key drivers that aim to enhance mental health service provision for people with mental health problems.
Managing Care Across the Lifespan (Practice 4) - 20 credits
This module provides you with additional opportunities to display your ability to work more independently, with less direct supervision, in a safe and increasingly confident manner to deliver quality holistic person- and family-centred care. It will provide you with the opportunity to extend and apply your knowledge and skills towards becoming an autonomous practitioner5.
Facilitation and Teaching of Learning in Practice - 10 credits
This module demonstrates how the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) Standards Framework for Nursing and Midwifery Education (particularly Part 2- Standards for Student Supervision and Assessment) (NMC, 2018) are applied in practice5.
This module will enable you to understand the role of the practice supervisor (in association with the practice assessor and academic assessor) through reflective practice and the novice to expert model. This module aims to develop your inter-professional learning and working through supporting and supervising fellow students of the multidisciplinary team.
Developing Evidence-Informed Decision-Making in Nursing - 10 credits
This module provides you with the opportunity to build further on skills and knowledge related to research and evidence-informed practice acquired in year one. It enables you to develop specific nursing-focused questions to underpin evidence-informed decision-making and practice. You will develop a research proposal to underpin year three work. The processes of literature review and research production, including ethical requirements will be analysed, taking into account global and cultural perspectives.
Your degree culminates with a 4,000-word literature review related to one aspect of nursing practice. Past students have covered topics as diverse as the link between childhood trauma and adult mental health, suicide prevention in adolescent care, cannabis and psychosis, effectiveness of CBT in the treatment of depression..
Leadership and Management for Healthcare Professionals - 20 credits
This module aims to support the development of the leadership behaviours and management skills required to function effectively as a newly qualified registered healthcare professional working within the multi-professional team in the delivery of high-quality care.
You will critically examine clinical leadership and ‘followership’ models and the concept of empowerment and distributed leadership, to gain understanding of ethical leadership, culture and values within the delivery of care. You will explore the concepts of service improvement and gain experience of leading and participating in projects, using relevant management tools and techniques.
You will reflect on your observed experience of clinical leadership behaviours and management skills whilst on clinical placement throughout their course, to develop a personal development plan to guide your ongoing leadership development as a healthcare professional.
Co-ordinating, Leading and Managing Complex Mental Health Care - 20 credits
This module will equip you with the underpinning knowledge and skills required for your role in coordinating, leading and managing the complex needs of people, throughout the lifespan, within a Mental Health Care setting.
In this module you will analyse, critically examine and appraise the development, implementation and co-ordination of complex care packages across the lifespan. Critical consideration will be given to relevant evidence-informed practice, in particular how this relates to health legislation and current health and social care policies, related to complex Mental Health care needs within mental health services. You will critically examine how these factors can impact on family or carers in order that optimal independence can be maintained, and unnecessary interventions and disruptions to their lives can be avoided.
Co-ordinating Inter-professional Health and Social Care (Practice 5) - 20 credits
This module aims to extend your ability to practice more independently in a safe and increasingly competent and confident manner. This will enable you to become autonomous practitioners who are responsible and accountable for safe, compassionate, person-centred, evidence-informed nursing that respects and maintains dignity and human rights5.
Specialist Care in Mental Health Nursing - 10 credits
This module aims to explore and critically debate issues related to specialist areas of mental health, within a local, national and international perspective. Mental health care covers a wide spectrum of issues which increasingly encompass specialist environments such as forensics, drug misuse, multi-cultural issues and issues related to gender. You will be exposed to discussion and debate related to these areas in order to develop insight and knowledge which will inform innovative mental health practice.
The Autonomous Practitioner (Practice 6) - 20 credits
This module aims to provide you with opportunities to practice the competencies identified for registration as a nurse which are stipulated by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (2018)5. This includes demonstrating your competence to:
- Practice autonomously, compassionately, skilfully and safely whilst maintaining dignity and promoting health and wellbeing
- Display professional accountability and responsibility by the use of clinical governance processes to maintain and improve nursing practice and standards of healthcare
- Use management and leadership skills to take the lead in coordinating, delegating and supervising care safely, including the management of risk and ensuring public safety
- Communicate in a safe, effective, compassionate and respectful manner
- Exhibit the capability of informed decision making to promote, plan, and prioritise service delivery.
Evidence-Based Project - 20 credits
This module provides you with the opportunity to undertake an in-depth exploration in an area of special interest which will have relevance to nursing practice and which makes clear connections with local and/or national priorities in health and social care. You will establish a specific question upon which to focus and using an appropriate method of enquiry, you will be required to systematically investigate the question and analyse the information generated in order to derive a set of findings or results using a literature-based strategy. On the basis of the study results, you will be encouraged to identify the implications and recommendations for professional nursing practice and collaborative healthcare. On completion of this module, you will have an enhanced understanding of the relationship between the research and evidence-based practice and professional nursing care.
Transition to the Accountable Practitioner - 10 credits
This module will critically review the accountability and responsibility of the registered nurse in clinical practice. It will explore the key attributes of accountable practice such as individual accountability, escalating concerns, managerial responsibilities, safety, quality, delegation and clinical decision-making within the context of providing safe, effective, person centred and compassionate care.
We regularly review our course content, to make it relevant and current for the benefit of our students. For these reasons, course modules may be updated.
How you'll learn
This course uses a wide variety of stimulating approaches to teaching and learning to suit individual learning styles. All modules are mandatory to enable you to demonstrate the knowledge, values and skills to be able to work within integrated care settings and enhance the delivery of care for service users, their families and carers after successfully completing the course.
Gaining experience using simulation across a range of care settings is aimed at building your confidence and knowledge about how to act in these situations. You can practise and develop your clinical and interpersonal skills in a safe but realistic environment. We also use actors to enhance these experiences in scenarios such as breaking bad news, demonstrating emotional resilience, conflict, management of actual or potential aggression, teaching and child protection conferences.
Teaching methods include interactive lectures with associated seminars, skills lab activities and practical placements.
As 50% of the course is practice based, this requires 40 hours per week when you are on placement5. Over the duration of the course, you will have around 20 contact teaching hours per week, however this can vary. This will consist of lectures, seminars, workshops, practical skills training and online classes and tutorials. In addition, you will be expected to undertake a further 14 hours each week of private study which can include group learning and online activities.
As an innovative and enterprising institution, the University may seek to utilise emerging technologies within the student experience. For all courses (whether on-campus, blended, or distance learning), the University may deliver certain contact hours and assessments via online technologies and methods.
This course will be assessed using a variety of methods which will vary depending upon the module.
Assessment methods include:
- Assessments within practice placements
- Formal examinations
- Individual Assignments
- Group work
The Coventry University Group assessment strategy ensures that our courses are fairly assessed and allows us to monitor student progression towards achieving the intended learning outcomes.
International experience opportunities
Throughout the course, we provide key insights into cultural diversity and global issues of significance to public health and all fields of nursing practice. For example, we look at what it means to be culturally competent within healthcare today.
The course has a strong record of interesting fieldtrips with opportunities both in the UK and abroad2. Past field trips include mental health care in Hong Kong and mental health and forensic care in Orlando and Tampa, Florida, which included Orange County Jail, the Department of Juvenile Justice and University of Central Florida.
Our Mental Health Nursing students use innovative technology to simulate what it feels like for service users who hear voices. Find out more about their experience and how it can help them with patients.
Typical offer for 2023/24 entry.
|Requirement||What we're looking for|
|A level||BCC excludes General Studies|
|GCSE||5 GCSEs at grade 4 / C or above to include English, Mathematics and Science.|
|BTEC||DMM in a Health, Sport or Science subject|
|Access Diploma||15 Level 3 credits at Distinction in Health units plus GCSE English and Mathematics at grade 4 / C or above.|
|IB Diploma||27 points with 14 at Higher|
If you do not have the the typical entry requirements, you may want to consider studying this course with a foundation year. We recognise a breadth of qualifications, speak to one of our advisers today to find out how we can help you.
Caring experience, either paid or voluntary is essential. You will also be required to attend a selection event, which provides detailed information about the course and assesses numeracy, literacy and aptitude as part of the selection process. Satisfactory health clearance and enhanced criminal records disclosure required. Skills in digital and technological literacy are considered vital and there is opportunity to develop these throughout the course.
In line with the National Health Service Constitution we use a values-based recruitment approach in seeking candidates with the appropriate values to support effective team working in delivering excellent patient care.
Satisfactory health clearance and enhanced criminal record disclosure is also required5. As part of the health clearance checks you will be required to provide information about your immunity and vaccination status. You will also be required to provide information about your COVID-19 vaccination status5. We therefore recommend that you are fully vaccinated including the COVID-19 vaccine. The information you provide will be used to determine your eligibility to go on placement(s). Placements are provided at the placement provider’s discretion. The University is therefore unable to guarantee the provision of placements or the location and type of placement offered.
Please refer to the full requirements in the disclaimer section5.
Are you eligible for the Fair Access Scheme?
We believe every student should have the opportunity to dream big, reach their potential and succeed, regardless of their background. Find out more about our Fair Access Scheme.
Select your region to find detailed information about entry requirements:
You can view our full list of country specific entry requirements on our Entry requirements page.
Alternatively, visit our International hub for further advice and guidance on finding in-country agents and representatives, joining our in-country events and how to apply.
Caring experience, either paid or voluntary is essential. You will also be required to attend a selection event, which provides detailed information about the course and assesses numeracy, literacy and aptitude as part of the selection process. Skills in digital and technological literacy are considered vital and there is opportunity to develop these throughout the course.
Satisfactory health clearance and enhanced criminal record disclosure is also required5. As part of the health clearance checks you will be required to provide information about your immunity and vaccination status. You will also be required to provide information about your COVID-19 vaccination status. We therefore recommend that you are fully vaccinated including the COVID-19 vaccine. The information you provide will be used to determine your eligibility to go on placement(s). Placements are provided at the placement provider’s discretion. The University is therefore unable to guarantee the provision of placements or the location and type of placement offered.
Please refer to the full requirements in the disclaimer section5.
English language requirements
- IELTS: 7.0 overall (with no component lower than 6.5)
If you don't meet the English language requirements, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course.
For more information on our approved English language tests visit our English language requirements page.
Fees and funding
2023/24 tuition fees.
|UK, Ireland*, Channel Islands or Isle of Man||£9,250 per year||Not available|
|EU|| £9,250 per year with EU support bursary**
£19,850 per year without EU support bursary**
|International||£19,850 per year||Not available|
A non-repayable grant of £5,000 and extra payments worth up to £3,000 may be available to eligible home students for each year of study. Read more about this in the NHS Learning Support Fund information booklet.
For advice and guidance on tuition fees and student loans visit our Undergraduate Finance page and see the university’s Tuition Fee and Refund Terms and Conditions.
We offer a range of International scholarships to students all over the world. For more information, visit our International Scholarships page.
Tuition fees cover the cost of your teaching, assessments, facilities and support services. There may be additional costs not covered by this fee such as accommodation and living costs, recommended reading books, stationery, printing and re-assessments should you need them. Find out what's included in your tuition costs.
*Irish student fees
The rights of Irish residents to study in the UK are preserved under the Common Travel Area arrangement. If you are an Irish student and meet the residency criteria, you can study in England, pay the same level of tuition fees as English students and utilise the Tuition Fee Loan.
**EU support bursary
Following the UK's exit from the European Union, we are offering financial support to all eligible EU students who wish to study an undergraduate or a postgraduate degree with us full-time. This bursary will be used to offset the cost of your tuition fees to bring them in-line with that of UK students. Students studying a Degree with a Foundation Year with us are not eligible for the bursary.
How do you know if you need to pay UK or international tuition fees?
We carry out an initial fee status assessment based on the information you provide in your application. Your fee status determines your tuition fees, and what financial support and scholarships may be available to you. The rules about who pays UK (home) or international (overseas) fees for higher education courses in England are set by the government's Department for Education. The regulations identify all the different categories of student who can insist on paying the home rate. The regulations can be difficult to understand, so the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) has provided fee status guidance to help you identify whether you are eligible to pay the home or overseas rate.
If you meet all the criteria required by any one category, including any residence requirements, your institution must charge you the home rate. You only need to find one category that you fit into.
Our multi-million-pound Alison Gingell Building features a range of mock healthcare settings4, including hospital wards, ambulance, therapy suites and community houses, giving you the opportunity to replicate real-life situations before you go on placement.
You’ll have the opportunity to make use of our extensive simulation facilities – from basic life support manikins to high tech simulation manikins, which emulate patient responses and test resuscitation skills. You will also use healthcare devices found in the real world of practice.
Mock hospital wards
Our mock hospital wards and critical care settings give you the chance to experience patient scenarios in a real-world environment.
Learn how to work with patients outside of a hospital setting in our simulated, two full-size community homes, specifically built for teaching.
Mock operating theatre
Our Alison Gingell building includes a full-size mock operating theatre, containing scrub sinks and theatre lights.
Careers and opportunities
During your three years on the programme you will undertake six mandatory placements (two in each year) in a range of service settings, working with and alongside qualiﬁed mental health nurses, and therefore potential local and regional employers. These are sourced by the university5.
After successfully graduating from this course, you can apply for registration with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) (additional costs apply), which enables you to practise immediately if successful.
As well as helping you to find suitable work placements and give you advice on how to get the most out of them, the university can support you when you are ready to begin your professional career for the time you are registered as a Coventry University student.
Coventry University is committed to preparing you for your future career and giving you a competitive edge in the graduate job market.
Where our graduates work
Our previous graduates have found employment as qualiﬁed Mental Health Nurses in the NHS, and private and charitable sector mental health services across the UK.
As your career progresses, a number of options may be open to you as a lecturer or specialist practitioner, advanced nurse practitioner, consultant nurse or manager. You could specialise as a primary mental health worker and work with children and adolescents, for example.
Recent graduates have gone on to work in such settings as child and adolescent mental health services, specialist forensic mental health units, and early intervention services.
How to apply
Full-time students applying to start in September 2023 can apply for this course through UCAS from 6 September 2022. Read our application pages to find out your next steps to apply.
Part-time students should apply directly to the university.
If you'd like further support or more information about your course get in touch with us today.
Full-time students applying to start in September 2023 should apply directly to the university.How to apply
For further support for international applicants applying for an undergraduate degree view our International hub.
You can also download our International guide which contains lots of useful information about our courses, accommodation and tips for travel.
Get in touch with us today for further advice and guidance.
The majority of our courses have been formally recognised by professional bodies, which means the courses have been reviewed and tested to ensure they reach a set standard. In some instances, studying on an accredited course can give you additional benefits such as exemptions from professional exams (subject to availability, fees may apply). Accreditations, partnerships, exemptions and memberships shall be renewed in accordance with the relevant bodies’ standard review process and subject to the university maintaining the same high standards of course delivery.
Please note that we are unable to guarantee any UK or International opportunities (whether required or optional) such as internships, work experience, field trips, conferences, placements or study abroad opportunities and that all such opportunities may be subject to additional costs (which could include, but is not limited to, equipment, materials, bench fees, studio or facilities hire, travel, accommodation and visas), competitive application, availability and/or meeting any applicable travel COVID and visa requirements. To ensure that you fully understand the visa requirements, please contact the International Office.
The University will charge the tuition fees that are stated in the above table for the first Academic Year of study. The University will review tuition fees each year. For Home Students, if Parliament permit an increase in tuition fees, the University may increase fees for each subsequent year of study in line with any such changes. Note that any increase is expected to be in line with inflation.
For International Students, we may increase fees each year but such increases will be no more than 5% above inflation. If you defer your course start date or have to extend your studies beyond the normal duration of the course (e.g. to repeat a year or resit examinations) the University reserves the right to charge you fees at a higher rate and/or in accordance with any legislative changes during the additional period of study.
Facilities are subject to availability. Due to the ongoing restrictions relating to COVID-19, some facilities (including some teaching and learning spaces) may vary from those advertised and may have reduced availability or restrictions on their use.
Satisfactory health clearance and enhanced criminal record disclosure is also required. As part of the health clearance checks you will be required to provide information about your immunity and vaccination status. You will also be required to provide information about your COVID-19 vaccination status. We therefore recommend that you are fully vaccinated including the COVID-19 vaccine. The information you provide will be used to determine your eligibility to go on placement(s). Placements are provided at the placement provider’s discretion. The University is therefore unable to guarantee the provision of placements or the location and type of placement offered.
The rules may be subject to review by the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) in the future and as a result may change. Please therefore check the NHSBSA website for up-to-date information before applying.
By accepting your offer of a place and enrolling with us, a Student Contract will be formed between you and the university. A copy of the 2023/24 contract can be found here. The Contract details your rights and the obligations you will be bound by during your time as a student and contains the obligations that the university will owe to you. You should read the Contract before you accept an offer of a place and before you enrol at the university.