of graduate employers say relevant experience is essential to getting a job with them
Why should I choose this course?
- PRACTICE PLACEMENTS – You will be allocated seven diverse placements across a range of services throughout your mental health nursing degree, from inpatient hospitals and residential settings to working with teams in the local community
- PRACTICAL APPLICATION – Hone your clinical skills in our Health Skills and Simulation Suite, featuring a simulated clinical environment, 360° immersive video room and virtual reality
- INDUSTRY APPROVED – Train to today’s gold standard in line with the ‘Future nurse: Standards of proficiency for Registered Nurses’, and apply for RMN nurse status with the NMC when your graduate
- AWARD-WINNING UNIVERSITY – Study at the highest-ranking university in the region according to student choice (Whatuni Student Choice Awards 2023)
As a student on our mental health nursing degree at University College Birmingham, you will have access to our Health Skills and Simulation Suite, featuring a purpose-built simulated clinical environment to help you practise your physical health skills and enhance your practical training. Our 360° immersive video room provides access to 200 interactive health and social care backgrounds, while we also have virtual reality software and a range of mental health-focused online case studies and scenarios, helping you grow in confidence in your mental health nursing practice during your nurse degree.
- Year 1
- Year 2
- Year 3
Assess, Plan, Provide and Evaluate Care
This module’s aim is to introduce you to the role of the nurse across a range of healthcare settings and interdisciplinary team working. You will be introduced to The Nursing Process, a systematic approach to care that uses critical thinking skills, person-centred care approaches to care delivery and evidence-based practice that informs care decisions. The Nursing Process steps are Assessment and Planning Care and Providing and Evaluating Care – Platform 3 and 4 of the Future Nurse: Standards of proficiency for Registered Nurses (NMC 2018). You will learn how to prioritise the needs of people when assessing and reviewing their mental, physical, cognitive, behavioural, social, and spiritual needs. You will explore the use of information obtained during assessments to identify the priorities and requirements for person-centred and evidence-based nursing interventions and support. You will explore the importance of working in partnership with people to develop person-centred care plans that consider people's circumstances, characteristics and preferences. You will reflect on providing evidence-based, compassionate and safe nursing interventions during your placements across the year and how you have worked with people, their families and carers to evaluate whether care is effective and that the goals of care have been met in line with their wishes, preferences and desired outcomes. Using examples from legal and ethical frameworks, policies and protocols, and the evidence base that underpins care, you will use decision making and critical thinking to work through scenarios to help you understand ethical dilemmas and challenging situations, using a solutions-focused approach.
Literacy, Numeracy and Technology for Nursing Practice
This module is designed to support you in your academic and professional journey, helping you to build a portfolio of numeracy, literacy, academic, digital and technology skills, to enable you to demonstrate your personal development and the acquisition of lifelong learning skills, identifying your personal learning needs. In addition to this, the module will help you explore how to care effectively for yourself to support you in caring for others, including building your resilience to cope with your workload, personal emotions and stress, which will be delivered within Graduate Advantage sessions. Module Aims: - Numeracy Students will be enabled to develop on their entry level numeracy skills and apply these skills to the context of nursing including medicines management and other health-related and clinical calculations. - Literacy and Academic Skills This module introduces students to the key learning skills they need to become successful learners throughout their degree and beyond. It clearly explains the core skills they will need right from the start of the course, such as academic and reflective writing and how to organise studies. They will use these skills in their e-portfolio. The module introduces more advanced skills that students will need as the course progresses, such as research and evidence-based practice and how these skills are vital for success at university and as a registered nurse. - Technology By the end of the module, students will understand the importance of technology in current and future healthcare, through the delivery of educational sessions on all the technology platforms used throughout this degree and a range of platforms students will see and use in practice, delivered by experts from practice. - Graduate Advantage These sessions run across each part of the nursing programme, with the Level 4 sessions delivered during this module in Part 1. The sessions provide students with opportunities to discuss and learn with other students on other programmes such as physiotherapy in topics related to the personal and professional development journey of health and social care students into graduates and registered professionals.
Nursing in Context
This module will consider what it means to be a professional nurse within current health practice, critically evaluating the role and purpose of modern nursing. The values and behaviours discussed in this module will be integrated and developed within clinical learning during placements and simulation opportunities. The module will enable the student to understand the psycho-social and political determinants of health on individuals, groups and society. This will be through an exploration of the history, structure, policy, economics and political influences of the NHS and an introduction to theoretical frameworks underpinning the concepts of health, ill health, illness and public health. Using evidence-based research and a case study approach, students will be able to discuss health-associated problems and identify evidence-based solutions. The role of the nurse and other professionals who promote health and provide care to individuals, groups and society will be examined. This will include an exploration of the professional values and behaviour, communication and self-awareness requirements of nurses.
Nursing Practice – Part 1
This long-thin practice module will be delivered throughout Part 1 of the BSc (Hons) nursing programme to prepare the novice student for their practice placements that run across the part and to consolidate practice learning opportunities following placements. The module’s focus is the development of professional values and the delivery of safe, holistic compassionate care throughout Part 1. This module is defined by the skills and proficiencies student nurses are to achieve in practice by the end of Part 1 (as outlined in PAD Part 1), prior to moving onto Parts 2 and 3. The module incorporates skills education, practice learning placements and simulation to enable the students to achieve the progression point criteria for Part 1 as set out in the Future Nurse: Standards of Proficiency for Registered Nurses (2018) and to meet the requirements of the Care Certificate Standards (HEE, Skills for Care and Skills for Health).
Science for Nursing
This module’s aim is to develop the student’s underlying knowledge of anatomy and physiology and lifespan development, in the context of and application to nursing. This will include an introduction of basic pathophysiology of common health conditions and the indicators of health and ill health, including sociology, psychology, genetics and genomics. The student will be introduced to physical, social and psychological care considerations across the lifespan. Students will gain knowledge of pharmacology concepts and medicines management and optimisation.
Acute Care in Mental Health
This module will enable you to build on previous knowledge of physiology, pathophysiology, psychophysiology, mental state presentations, anatomy and pharmacology knowledge acquired in Part 1, with a practical application to delivering care to patients experiencing acute and prolonged episodes of mental illness. You will be taught to recognise the care requirements and the nursing interventions for patients who are acutely mentally ill through simulated practice, with an exploration and evaluation of a range of assessment methods and tools as well as supporting physical health. The module aims to define ‘acute care’ delivered within the acute setting, so you understand the complexities of prioritising and providing acute care to patients who are experiencing acute illness and crisis and interventions may be required in response to their physical and mental health. Reference will be made throughout the module to the legal-ethical framework, policies and the evidence base that underpins safe practice delivery by nurses and the inter-professional team within the acute care environment, so that you can apply knowledge and skills into your practice. Legislative processes including the Mental Health Act (1983) and its application to practice will be taught. This module will enable you to build on your anatomy, physiology and pharmacology knowledge acquired in Part 1, with a practical application to a range of acute care scenarios affecting different body systems.
Long-term Mental Health Conditions
This module will consider the biological, psychological and social impact of long-term mental health conditions on an individual, using sources of information from clinical experts, service users, the evidence base and reflecting on clinical practice experiences. Students will be supported to develop skills and critical knowledge to enable them to apply it to safe care delivery, for individuals diagnosed with chronic long-term mental health conditions. The concept of shared decision making, and the role of multi-professional care will be explored. The module promotes critical thinking through the application of evidence-based practice. The aim of the module is to enable students to identify, discuss and analyse the impact of long-term mental health conditions on the service user, their family and/or support network, to enable students to critically discuss the shared decision-making process in the nursing care of people with long-term mental health conditions and comorbidities, using a multi-professional approach to care.
Nursing Practice – Part 2
This module will be delivered in Part 2 of the BSc (Hons) nursing programme. The module will prepare you for your practice placements that run across Part 2 of the programme and provides skills support to the theory units delivered in parallel. The module’s focus is the development of professional values and the delivery of safe, holistic compassionate care. This module defines the skills and proficiencies student nurses require by the end of Part 2 as outlined in the Practice Assessment Document (PAD Part 2), prior to moving onto Part 3.
The concept of person-centred holistic care will be explored further during this module emphasising the importance of examining the psychological, economic, social and the political health perspectives of patient care as well as clinical and physical requirements. Through building on the concepts launched during Part 1, this module aims to further develop the student's understanding of how nurses and the inter-disciplinary team can work together to deliver person-centred care to patients and service users across all fields of nursing (adult, child, learning disability and mental health) and a spectrum of healthcare environments to meet the needs, treatment and support of identified individuals, groups and communities across the lifespan. Students will be exploring the concepts of clinical reasoning, judgement and decision making in response to actual and potential health needs, life processes and care delivery of individuals, family members and the community. The core topics explored include nursing policy, professional values, evidence-based practice, ethics, professionalism and relationship building, all central to person-centred care.
Evidence Based Practice – Service Improvement Project
Service improvement is at the heart of how we ensure and improve the quality of the service user experience. This module will provide you with the knowledge and skills to enable you to write a Service Improvement Project based on an evaluation of a student-selected aspect of a service in practice. Your project may relate to any aspect of a service which could be improved, with an aim of enhancing the service user experience. This might relate to care in a clinical or community setting or may be concerned with processes and resources. The project needs to identify how quality care may be enhanced and good practice disseminated. You will also include realistic recommendations for achieving this and a reflection on the personal and professional skills required for its implementation. In undertaking this module, you will receive practical advice, extend your academic knowledge, and have the support of a group of peers engaged in their own service improvement challenges. The four-week service improvement placement in weeks 3-6 of the module will expose you to contemporary quality of care initiatives, audits, research projects and service improvements that are occurring within the organisation. While working with your Practice Assessor/Practice Supervisors and the patient/client group, you will be able to explore your topic. On return to university, you will use secondary evidence from a review of literature to appraise, evaluate and apply it to the service improvement issue. Within your summative report, you will be required to make analytical and objective judgements on the evidence and the potential impact on the quality and standards of care, safe working practices, risks and service user outcomes. The summative report will conclude with action plans and recommendations for change and clinicians and service users will be invited from partner organisations to support the assessment of the student verbal presentations of their improvement plan. Although you will not be implementing the project as part of the module, you will make an evidence-based plan to do so which you will present at the end of the module.
Nursing Practice - Part 3
This module will be delivered in Part 3 of the BSc (Hons) nursing programme. The module prepares the student for their practice placements that run across Part 3 of the programme and prepares them for the third progression point and registration as a Registered Nurse (Mental Health). The module’s focus is professional values and the delivery of safe, holistic compassionate care and the assessment and management of patients with complex health care needs, in partnership with the service user and the inter-professional team. Students are taught skills in small groups using skills equipment, manikins, low and high-fidelity simulation and virtual reality. Students will engage with the seven platforms and two annexes identified by the Future Nurse: Standards of Proficiency for Registered Nurses (2018), reflecting what the NMC expect a newly registered nurse to know and be capable of doing safely and proficiently at the start of their career. This module defines the skills and proficiencies student nurses require by the end of Part 3, as directed by the Practice Assessment Document (PAD 3) prior to professional registration on the NMC register.
Transition to Professional Practice in Complex Care Environments
This module will enable the student to reflect upon their personal and professional growth throughout their degree, drawing on evidence of learning and development compiled throughout the programme. It will foster the development and application of leadership, management and inter-professional team working concepts, required for effective clinical practice and positive patient outcomes. This module will enable students to reflect on the skills necessary to facilitate the transition to a Registered Nurse (Mental Health). This module acknowledges that nursing care should take into consideration the individual’s wishes, their culture and the services available within the current political landscape. It expands the student’s consideration of the care environment and service provision to provide enhanced care delivery. This module examines the cultural, political and psychosocial influences in and on multi-disciplinary healthcare provision.
The modules listed above for this course are regularly reviewed to ensure they are up to date and informed by industry as well as the latest teaching methods. On occasion, we may need to make unexpected changes to modules – if this occurs, we will contact all offer holders as soon as possible.
- Access to Higher Education Diploma: 112 UCAS Tariff points including a minimum of 15 Level 3 credits at Distinction
- A-levels: Grade profile of BBC
- T-levels: A T-level with an overall Merit grade
- BTEC: Grade profile of DMM. This can be achieved from either an Extended Diploma or a combination of smaller BTEC qualifications
- Irish Leaving Certificate: Grade profile of two subjects at H2 and three subjects at H3. The remaining tariff points can be made up of Higher or Ordinary subject grades
- Tariff: Other Level 3 qualifications are accepted at University College Birmingham for entry. A minimum of 112 UCAS Tariff points will be required.
- Graduate Entry: A 2:2 or above will also be considered.
- GCSE/IGCSE English language and maths grades 9-4/A*-C or equivalent
- GCSE/IGCSE biology or human biology grade 9-4/A*-C or equivalent*
- Irish Leaving Certificate grades of the following will be accepted as GCSE equivalencies in the subjects above:
- O1-O4 or A1-C3 (Ordinary Level)
- H1-H7 or A1-D3 (Higher Level)
*Pass in a biology-focused module, e.g. anatomy and physiology, human biology, as part of a relevant Level 3 qualification is regarded as an equivalent for entrance.
We would expect all GCSE qualifications to have been achieved prior to applying for this course. However, we will consider applications from students with one GCSE qualification pending.
If you have any questions about applying to University College Birmingham for this course, please complete our enquiry form here.
Not yet ready to apply for the Nursing degree course?
If you don't currently meet the academic entry requirements above, we recommend applying for our Access to Higher Education Diploma (Social Science and Health) course. This course is the best option to assist you in attaining any entry criteria you do not already have.
Alternatively, our Nursing Associate foundation degree (FdSc) apprenticeship provides an opportunity to gain employment as a student nursing associate with one of our healthcare employer partners. This option enables you to study the foundation degree for two years, then ‘top up’ to our nursing degree following the completion of the foundation degree. If you are interested in exploring this option, please contact Marina Kendrick: email@example.com
Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS)
Students must also complete an Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check. The University will coordinate and fund the completion of the DBS check. Further information is available regarding the DBS check – the requirements prior to entry onto the course can be found here and a summary of the documents required for the application process can be found here.
Pre-course health and immunisation requirements
The Admissions team will use the entrance criteria, as well as your personal statement, reference and work experience information, to shortlist candidates for interview. Successful applicants will be invited to an interview which will comprise multiple mini interviews (MMIs) – you will be assessed on your motivation and understanding of the role of a nurse and your familiarity with NHS Constitution and Values.
Information regarding the stages of the initial assessment for Literacy, Numeracy and Digital Skills can be found here.
Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)
Students can find further information regarding the Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) and Recognition of Prior Experiential Learning (RPEL) for entry onto pre-registration nursing courses here.
Top up from Registered Nursing Associate to Registered Nurse
You can apply to ‘top up’ by gaining a place on the nursing degree programme using your foundation degree plus English and Maths Level 2 qualifications to meet the entry criteria.
On your UCAS application, you must clearly state in your personal statement that you wish to top up to the degree and that you are a Registered Nursing Associate, providing your NMC PIN in your personal statement.
Once your qualifications have been confirmed, if successfully shortlisted, you will be invited to interview.
If successful at interview, you will enter the degree programme at the 50% stage (i.e. halfway through the second year of the programme). You will complete 18 months of the degree programme, with placements, before you can register as a Registered Nurse and achieve your full degree.
You can ‘top up’ as an apprentice if your current Nursing Associate employer can support your application. Alternatively, you can self-fund and complete the 18-month top-up course full-time.
Academic entry requirements: Please visit our Country Specific Information page.
We will accept the following English grades at the point of application. However, students must achieve the required NMC IELTS and OET English requirements on completion of year two of their studies. See the heading NMC Requirements below.
The University will provide additional English classes to support students in achieving the following NMC requirements. No additional fees will be charged, but students must commit to attending a minimum of 3-4 hours of English Language support.
The University will meet the cost of exam fees for the first attempt; however, subsequent attempts must be paid by the student.
English Requirements accepted at the application stage:
IELTS -overall score of 6.5 in reading, listening and speaking and a minimum of 6.0 in writing
Occupational English Test (OET): with a minimum of grade C+ (330-340) in listening, reading and speaking and a C in the writing section (this must be between 250-290)
NMC English Requirements on completion of year two:
To achieve NMC approval and successfully graduate, students must achieve the following.
IELTS score of 7.0 – a minimum of 7.0 in reading, listening and speaking, and a minimum of 6.5 in writing.
Occupational English Test (OET): an OET examination certificate – a minimum of grade C+ in the writing section and grade B in the reading, listening and speaking sections.
The Nursing and Midwifery Council updated this requirement in January 2020.
Combining OET test scores – you can achieve the required mark across two test sittings if:
- You sit the tests within six months of each other
- You are tested in all four sections at the same time
- All grades in both sittings are above grade C+, and you achieve at least a grade C+ in the writing section and at least a grade B in the reading, listening and speaking sections in either of the two test sittings
Further information regarding accepted English language tests can be found here.
Alternatively, if you do not have IELTS, you can take University College Birmingham's Online Proficiency Test – An overall score of C1 – a minimum of C1 in reading, listening and speaking, and a minimum of B2+ in writing.
Teaching and assessment
Note: Indicative information only – actual timetables and assessment regimes will be issued at your induction.
Learning strategies include:
- Practical skills sessions
- Placement learning opportunities
- Small group teaching and discussion groups
- Seminars and lectures
- Self-directed study
- Action learning sets and peer mentoring schemes
You will be assessed 50% in practice and simulation (minimum 2,300 hours) through completion of a Practice Assessment Document and Objective Structured Clinical Examinations (OSCEs) each year.
The 50% theory (minimum 2,300 hours) is assessed through a variety of modes including written assignments, presentations, examinations, professional discussions and a portfolio of evidence.
The course consists of three parts. You will be expected to demonstrate achievement of set competencies and outcomes at the end of each part to enable progression to the next part or to complete the course.
Our teaching and assessment is underpinned by our Teaching, Learning and Assessment Strategy 2021-2024.
Uniform and kit costs
This course requires a uniform and a tablet. This will be redeemed from The Kick-Start Scheme fund, paid to each student at the start of each academic year. Exact costs and information on how to order required items will be provided to you prior to enrolment.
If you are a UK student enrolling on a standard-length Foundation Degree or a BA/BSc at University College Birmingham, your fee for this academic year will be £9,250. A half-year tuition fee is £4,625. There will be no change to this tuition fee for the forthcoming two academic years (2023/24 and 2024/25).
View undergraduate fees
If you are an international student enrolling on a full-time foundation degree or a BA/BSc in 2023/24, your fee for this academic year will be £13,500 per year. The course fee for academic year 2024/2025 is £14,000 per year.
If you complete a placement year, there will be an administration fee of £500 for a full year or £250 for a half-year placement.
Funding for Nursing degrees
Additional support is available to Nursing students via the Learner Support Fund, which includes a non-repayable payment of £5,000 to eligible students each academic year, and additional payments worth up to a total of £3,000 to help students cover childcare costs.
Students who already have a degree but undertake our BSc (Hons) in mental health nursing as an additional degree will be able to apply to access a student tuition fee and maintenance loan through Student Finance England.
As a new student studying this course full-time, you will receive £300 per year through our Kick-Start Scheme (UK students only, eligibility criteria applies). This scheme will support your studies and future career by contributing to course-related materials, uniform or selected items on campus. You may also qualify for an additional £500 per year.
Find out more about the Kick-Start Scheme here.
Unibuddy Community - meet other students on your course
Starting university is an exciting time, but we understand that it can sometimes feel a little daunting. To support you, you will be invited to join our Unibuddy Community, where you can meet other students who have applied for the same course at University College Birmingham, before you start studying here.
As soon as you have been made an offer, you will be sent an invitation email to complete your registration and join the Unibuddy Community. For more information, check out our Unibuddy Community page.
Practice placements are vital for gaining real-life experience and for building your confidence and skills before you finish your course – and they may even lead to a job when you graduate.
Our BSc Nursing (Mental Health) course features multiple placements in different environments throughout your studies, ranging in duration from four weeks to 14 weeks.
Participating in care delivered over 24 hours a day and 7 days per week is an integral part of the course, so you will be expected to adopt various shift patterns. Some placements may also be some distance from your home to enable you to experience different settings.
Work alongside experts in your sector
A snapshot of some of the employers we have worked with:
- Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health Trust
- Birmingham Community Healthcare NHS Trust
- Birmingham Women’s and Children’s NHS Trust
- Cygnet Healthcare
- Practice Plus Group – Health in Justice
- Birmingham City Council / Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council
From ensuring the most accurate diagnoses to the ongoing education of the public about critical health issues, nurses are indispensable and the glue that holds a patient’s healthcare journey together. Our nursing degrees have been developed with practice learning partners, service users and carers to reflect the requirements and complexities of modern healthcare.
Note: Some roles below may require further study/training. The roles and salaries below are intended as a guide only.
Mental health nurse
Average Salary: £33,951
Want to take your studies to the next level? Completing the BSc (Hons) degree will enable you to move onto our postgraduate courses such as Enterprise Management MSc/PGDip.
We are here to support your career goals every step of the way.