Mental health nursing is a rewarding career where you can make a real difference to the lives of people of all ages who experience mental health problems.
Mental health nursing focuses on the provision of holistic care that enables people with mental health problems to be physically safe and emotionally secure. It is all about helping people to make positive changes to their lives and about supporting them on their journey of recovery.
- Broaden your knowledge through clinical placements which take place in London's leading hospitals and within community settings within the East London NHS Foundation Trust.
- Prepare for the clinical environment by undertaking simulated practice modules in City's state of the art simulated ward.
- Learn from our expert staff who are academically, clinically and research active - and up to date with the latest healthcare developments.
- Enhance your career prospects - City ranks high for graduate employability and has excellent opportunities for further general and specialist postgraduate study - 88% of our graduates go on to employment or further study after graduation
- Gain registration with the Nursing and Midwifery Council and entry to a respected profession.
- Gain with tuition fees paid by the NHS - bursaries are also available.
- Benefit from our 120 year teaching history.
- For student satisfaction, City is ranked second nationally for Nursing (National Student Survey, 2014).
Watch the video produced by the RCN Mental Health Nursing Forum, on the importance of mental health nurses and the often invisible but vital skills they bring to the care and treatment of services users.
Unless studying towards an Access to HE Diploma in a relevant subject, all applicants must have 5 GCSEs including Mathematics and English Language at A*-C.
Typical offers require one of the following:
- 'A' Level: 300 UCAS tariff points, with at least 200 gained at 'A' Level.
- IB: 32
- Access to HE Diploma: Pass in a QAA recognised Access to HE Diploma in a Nursing, Midwifery, Health or Social Care subject. Nutrition or Paramedic Studies will not be considered - full award (60 credits) of which a minimum of 45 credits must be at Level 3 including 21 credits at distinction, 15 credits at Level 2. This must include Mathematics and English Language GCSE equivalent passed at first attempt, if not already achieved.
- BTEC: DDM (Health and Social Care or Science related subject only)
- Irish Leaving Certificate: 320 UCAS points gained at Higher. English Language and Mathematics from Ordinary Level grades A1-B3, unless part of Higher.
- FETAC (Irish pre-nursing): 5 modules at Distinction, to include either Anatomy or Physiology. English Language and Mathematics from Irish Leaving Certificate, unless part of FETAC award
- Scottish Highers: 320 UCAS points gained at Advanced Highers. English Language and Mathematics from Highers grades A-C, if not already part of Advanced Highers.
Special entry requirements
All shortlisted applicants are invited to attend a selection day. The selection day consists of numeracy, literacy and aptitude tests where applicants are expected to show an insight into the nursing profession.
Accreditation of Prior Learning process (APL)
The Accreditation of Prior Learning process (APL) allows students' previous relevant learning to be assessed and included within their degree. Applicants can apply for this before they start the course. At City you are able to APL up to one third of the course; please note this may not reduce the length of your study. All APL claims will be reviewed on an individual basis.
If your first language is not English, we will require evidence of English language proficiency. Minimum requirements are:
- IELTS: An overall band score of 7.0 with a minimum of 7.0 in each component
Please note that due to changes in the UKVI's list of SELTs we are no longer able to accept TOEFL as evidence of English language for students who require a CAS as of April 2014.
If you are not from the European Economic Area / Switzerland and you are coming to study in the UK you may need to apply for a visa or entry clearance to come to the UK to study.
The way that you apply may vary depending on the length of your course at City, there are different rules for:
- Students on courses of more than 6 months
- Students on courses of less than 6 months
- Students on a pre-sessional English Language course
Please note: If you require a Tier 4 student visa to study in the UK, you cannot undertake a part-time course.
For more information see our main Visa page.
The course is divided into six theoretical units of study: Foundations in Health and Nursing 1; Foundations in Health and Nursing 2; Acute care; Long Term Care; Developing Leaders and Managers of Care; and The Developing Researcher - for the practice element students undertake modules in Engaging in Practice and Simulated Practice.
At the start of the course students receive a 'route map' identifying specific units and modules. We also support you throughout your placement by giving you details of your specific placements for each year; allocating you a personal tutor and a mentor to support you during your placement.
The majority of learning takes place in field specific groups or in practice however there is an opportunity to learn alongside students from other field of practice.
The first year focuses on relationship centred care as well as considering the psychological, social and biological factors influencing health. Simulated practice will prepare you for the clinical experience module.
Students undertake 5 core theory modules (combined field), a simulated practice module and a practice experience module.
- Foundations of Relationship Centred Practice
- Relating Social Sciences to Healthy Communities
- Developing Relationship Centred Care in Professional Practice
- Valuing Health and Social Care Across the Life course
- Understanding Concepts of Biology for Health Practice
- Introducing Clinical Practice (Simulated practice)
- Engaging in Practice 1
In year 2 you will continue to explore these themes in the context of acute and long term care.
Year 2 has a combination of 3 core modules, 1 optional module, a simulated practice module and a practice experience module. In the 2nd year students can pursue specific clinical interests on a 2 week elective practice placement - this can take place locally, nationally or abroad.
- Biological Principles Relating to Pathophysiology and Therapeutics in Mental Health Nursing
- Experiencing Acute Care, Diagnosis and Treatment: Mental Health Nursing
- Experiencing Long term Care, Rehabilitation and Recovery (HS2043)
- Family Centred Practice: Challenging perspectives of risk and resilience
- Work based learning
- Fundamentals of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
- Infection Prevention and Control
- Making a Difference: Research and Development in Care for Older People
- Communities and Health
- The Care of Children and Adults with Long Term Conditions
- Developing Clinical practice (Simulated practice)
- Engaging in practice 2
In the final year, the emphasis is on leading and managing in professional practice. As part of the clinical placement experience, students spend the final 12 weeks of the course on a practice area of their choice, subject to availability. Students will have a placement base and opportunities to identify practice experiences with their mentor. Students will undertake a 6,000 word dissertation.
It has 2 core theory modules, two simulated practice modules and a practice experience module.
- Leading and Managing in Health Care Practice
- Managing Complex Care (Simulated practice)
- Preparation for Registration (Simulated practice)
- Engaging in Practice 3
Read the full programme specification.
Teaching and Assessment
The degree is taught by expert staff who are leaders in the field of adult nursing, many of whom have written core textbooks used on the course.
- Nursing Adults: The Practice of Caring Brooker, C., Nicol, M, eds., (2003), Edinburgh: Mosby
- Anatomy and Physiology for Nursing and Health Professionals: An Interactive Journey Colbert, B., Ankney, J., Lee, K., Steggall, M. & Dingle, M. (2009), Harlow: Pearson Education
- Essential Nursing Skills (4th Ed.) Nicol, M, Bavin, C, Cronin, P & Rawlings-Anderson, K. (2012) Edinburgh, Mosby
Students learn through a blended approach which includes face to face and online teaching and learning. You will learn through: lectures; seminar groups; laboratory practicals; enquiry based learning; practice experience; simulated practice; guided independent study; student directed learning and online learning.
Simulated practice enables students to practise their skills in a safe environment in preparation in transferring these skills to a 'real life' setting.
The new Clinical Skills Centre at the University offers state-of-the-art facilities so students can rehearse practical caring skills prior to their practice placement. Students will have access to a simulated 6-bedded high dependency unit (HDU) with realistic equipment including piped oxygen, call bells, medicines and emergency equipment. In addition, medium fidelity simulators and laboratories, including a biology laboratory, allow students to rehearse skills in preparation for practice in a range of placements, including clinics and people's homes. Our Clinical Skills Online (CSO) resource provides a step by step video demonstration on clinical skills.
We are also using an innovative method of group work to support students and help them to develop the ability to understand and process the emotional impact of working in mental health.
Students will have the opportunity to use an enhanced Virtual Learning Environment, Moodle 2, launching in September 2013. Moodle provides students with web access to online course materials, resources, interactive activities, assessment and communication tools and is a key element of our blended learning approach; combining face to face teaching with online activity.
The new Moodle 2 environment brings with it new and improved features offering greater flexibility, navigation and functionality.
Assessment methods include: Record of Achievement in Practice (RAP); written assignments; written examinations (short answer questions, multiple choice questions, calculations, scenario based); Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCEs); and a 6,000 word dissertation
Read the full programme specification.
- Full-time EU: £Tuition fees are paid by the NHS for home and EU students
- Full-time EU: Tuition fees are paid by the NHS for home and EU students. Applicants need to meet the general immigration and residence requirements set down by the Secretary of State for Health. Further information on eligibility is available here www.nhsbsa.nhs.uk/students/3261.aspx
- Non-EU international students: Non-EU international students are not eligible to apply for this course
For up-to-date information about tuition fees, living costs and financial support, visit Undergraduate Fees and Finance.
Lord Mayor of London Scholarships for Academic Excellence
City is offering a scholarship of up to £500 per year to UK and EU undergraduate students achieving exceptional grades at 'A' level, International Baccalaureate or other equivalent qualifications. Read more here to see if you might qualify.
Students may be entitled to a bursary from the NHS. You can apply for a non-means tested grant and a means tested bursary to help you pay living expenses while you study. Further information on eligibility and application is available on www.nhsbsa.nhs.uk
Additional support is available for students with dependents and / or a disability as follows:
- Dependants' Allowances
- Parents Learning Allowance
- Child Care Grant
- Disabled Students' Allowance
The practice experience enables students to take relate the theory and practise their skills in a variety of real life contexts through supervised practice. At City students spend 50% of the course on clinical placements and 50% undertaking theoretical study and simulated practice. Simulated practice modules take place in City's state of the art Clinical Skills Centre, a simulated ward which prepares students for their practice experience.
At City placements take place in London's prestigious health care settings working with a diverse and complex population. Mental health nursing placements take place within the East London NHS Foundation Trust covering the diverse communities of Newham, Tower Hamlets and Hackney.
The clinical experience supports you to explore the service user's journey - including older people, the severely ill, those in recovery, as well as those detained in secure settings.
In the 2nd year students can pursue specific clinical interests on a 2 week elective practice placement - this can take place locally, nationally or abroad. Students spend the final 12 weeks of the course on a practice area of their choice, subject to availability. Students will have a placement base, with opportunities to identify practice experiences with their mentor.
Students will be expected to follow the normal shift patterns of staff working in your allocated placement. This involves placements over the 24 hour cycle of care and may include evenings, overnight, weekends and bank holidays working an equivalent of 37.5 hours per week.
Students receive seven weeks of holiday each year which is pre-planned into the three year course. Nursing uniforms are provided.
Find out more about Practice Education at City including guidance, policies and procedures.
City's practice placements take place in London's leading hospitals and trusts, find out more about the communities of practice you will be located in here.
Clinical placements and Communities of Practice
Clinical placements are a vital factor in promoting understanding and development of professional skills. They help you become fit for practice, fit for purpose and fit for award by the time you complete your programme. Each placement provides you with educational opportunities to develop your professional skills.
Placements are undertaken within Communities of Practice. A Community of Practice is a group of healthcare practitioners, who share specific professional interests such as midwifery, mental health nursing, children's nursing, primary care and public health care or adult nursing.
Successful graduates will be registered by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) which provides a professional qualification which is internationally recognised.
88% of our graduates go on to employment or further study after graduation, with our nursing graduates starting their careers with an annual average salary of £25,000.
Our 2011 nursing graduates went onto:
- Jobs with a range of employers in London and the rest of the UK including Barts and the London NHS Trust, Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, East London NHS Foundation Trust, Great Ormond Street Hospital, Guy's & St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust, Manchester Royal Infirmary, Marie Curie Hospice, Oxleas NHS Foundation Trust, Royal Berkshire Hospital and South Warwickshire NHS Foundation Trust.
- Job roles including: staff nurse, nurse, mental health nurse, intensive care nurse, paediatric staff nurse, staff nurse, community staff nurse and paediatric.
Nursing is a life-long career where you can develop your skills and interests within a range of specialisms including the chance to go onto further advanced practice MSc study in a specialist area at City.
Students receive support from their personal tutor during the course and are encouraged to explore their personal career aspirations.
The Career and Skills Development Service at City also provides a professional, high quality careers and information service for students and recent graduates of City. We support and develop students by providing essential tools to enhance employability. Find out more.
Find out more about City University London
Mental Health Nursing
UCAS code: B702
Applications should be made via the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS). The UCAS website also has lots of information and advice to help you. Please note our institution name is CITY and institution code is C60. We will then consider your application and if you are shortlisted we will contact you.
All shortlisted applicants are then invited to attend a selection day at our Northampton Square campus. The selection day consists of numeracy, literacy and aptitude tests where applicants are expected to show an insight into the nursing profession. There is also an opportunity to find out more about the course and meet City staff. All successful applicants should hear from us within three weeks of the selection day.
Successful applicants will be offered a place on the course subject to occupational health, enhanced disclosure and barring service clearance. Academic and character references are also required.
Find out more:
- Attend an Open Day
- Attend a Campus Tour - for a general visit to City
- View our virtual tour
- Order / download our prospectus
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Admissions (UG & pre-registration)
School of Health Sciences
City University London
T: +44 (0)20 7040 5000