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  1. Mental Health Nursing
  2. 2017

Postgrad Diploma Mental Health Nursing

This two year, fast-track degree prepares you to provide holistic, compassionate care and support for people with mental health problems.

Students starting PG Dip courses in September 2017 will receive a NHS Tuition Fee Bursary to cover the full tuition fees for the duration of their course.

Key Information

Start date

September 2017


Full-time: Minimum two years

You are required to apply for accreditation of prior learning (APL) to reduce the course length. The course is a fast-track route for graduates through the standard three year BSc Nursing course.

See more about duration


Full-time: Funded by the NHS

UCAS code


Who is it for?

The Postgraduate Diploma in Mental Health Nursing is designed for well motivated individuals looking for a rewarding and challenging career.

As a Mental Health Nurse, you should be patient and compassionate in order to recognise individual needs and the appropriate interventions for them. It is all about helping people make positive changes to their lives and supporting them on their journey of recovery.

Read third year student Raymond Leemoon’s monthly blog to find out why he choose to study mental health nursing at City, his experiences on the course and advice for anyone considering studying mental health nursing at City.


City’s Postgraduate Diploma in Mental Health Nursing offers you the opportunity to train in one of London’s leading and most well-established departments for nursing education. Our priority is to ensure that you graduate with the skills and knowledge to enter the mental health nursing profession, which can often be a stressful and challenging environment, with confidence.

As a student at City, you will combine theoretical study with clinical experience, working with London's diverse population in leading hospitals and community settings. We will prepare you for all aspects of the profession including supporting people working towards recovery, dealing with crisis and emergency situations, improving the effect of patients’ physical health, detecting deterioration and how to approach, assess and provide the most appropriate care and treatment in differing situations.


Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) logo

On successful graduation you will be eligible to apply for registration with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC), which provides an internationally recognised professional qualification enabling you to practice in the UK and overseas.

Additional qualifications may be required in some countries.

Requirements and how to apply

Entry requirements

Applications are welcomed from a wide range of disciplines with a lower second class honours degree or above. Applicants must show an awareness of health or health-related care issues.

Applicants must have a minimum of five passes at grade 4 (C) at GCSE, including English and Mathematics. Please note, we will not accept any equivalent qualification, only GCSEs.

Two references are required. At least one reference for recent graduates must be academic; other references could include a current employer). You will need to provide the referees’ work contact details for us to contact the referee separately after we have received your application. Applicants will also be required to complete a DBS and Occupational Health check before commencing the course.

As well as meeting the academic entry criteria for this course, applicants will also be required to attend a Selection Day, where they will be required to demonstrate match those of the NHS Constitution. For further information and example tests, please visit our Selection Day page.

English requirements

Applicants educated outside of an English speaking country, without GCSEs are required to hold IELTS at:

IELTS: 7.0 overall band score; with at least 7.0 in the listening, reading, writing and speaking sections.

Visa requirements

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. There are different rules for:

  • Students on courses of more than six months
  • Students on courses of less than six months
  • Students on a pre-sessional English language course.

If you require a Tier 4 student visa to study in the UK, you cannot undertake any City courses on a part-time basis.

For more information see our main Visa page.

How to apply

Applications for September 2017 entry are now closed.

year history of nursing education.
City is ranked second nationally for Nursing in terms of student satisfaction.
of graduates responding to the 14/15 DLHE survey were in employment six months after graduation.

More about fees


Explore up-to-date information about funding options, available financial support and typical living costs.

Find out more funding information for studying nursing, midwifery and the allied health professions in England from the official Council of Deans of Health website.

Future Finance Loans

Future Finance offers students loans of between £2,500 and £40,000 to help cover tuition fees and living expenses. All students and courses are considered. All loans are subject to credit checks and approval for further details please visit the City Finance website.

Alumna views

Becoming a mental health nurse

Johanna El-Tohami studied the Postgraduate Diploma in Mental Health Nursing, a two year fast track course for graduates who want to become a mental health nurse. Here she talks about her experiences and placements on her course at City, University of London.


Half of your time as a student will be spent gaining practice experience through clinical placements and simulated practice. 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 and allows students to explore the journeys of service users including older people, the severely ill, those in recovery and those detained in secure (forensic) settings. The majority of placements are with the East London NHS Foundation Trust which includes the boroughs of Newham, City & Hackney and Tower Hamlets. There are also opportunities for a 2 week elective placement outside the Trust.

Support in Practice

Students are supported in practice by practice experience staff who liaise between the Institution and the Trust, Mentors and Link Lecturers. At City we also use 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.

Academic facilities

Our specialist Clinical Skills Centre at City’s Northampton Square campus has been specially designed for teaching and reflects clinical environments and working wards, so you can familiarise yourself with equipment and practices before commencing your placement. Simulated practice enables you to practise your skills in a safe environment, in preparation for transferring these skills to a 'real life' setting.

Learn a language for free

We offer a free language course for City, University of London students.

Find out how to apply

Student support

We offer an extensive support network during your time here at City, University of London – from Learning Support (including disability support) and counselling to financial and career advice – leaving you free to enjoy every opportunity campus life has to offer.

Find out more about the different types of student support available.

Teaching and learning

The teaching on the Mental Health Nursing course includes lecture sessions, workshops, small group activities and discussions and whole class discussion.

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.


Assessments are varied to meet the practice and academic challenges of the Postgraduate Diploma, while recognising the need for motivating, realistic and relevant activity. The practice element is assessed by the development of a record of achievement in practice and Objective Structured Clinical Examinations. Modules are also assessed through essays or seminars.


Your learning will draw on areas including nursing, psychology, sociology and biology in order for you to develop your communication and evidence based clinical skills.

Our curriculum focuses on relationship centred care and will support you to develop effective working relationships with patients, service users, families and professional colleagues.

The programme is organised into three parts and you must successfully complete each part to move into the next part of the programme. Each part includes theory modules, simulated practice and clinical placements.

Part 1

In part 1 the module is ’Relationship centred care and concepts of biology for health’ (HSM 001).

This module accounts for 25% of the total assessment.

Part 2

In part 2 the two theory modules cover ‘Acute care, diagnostics and treatment’ and ‘Long term care’.

Together, these two modules account for 50% of the total assessment.

Part 3

Part 3 involves preparation for registration through the leadership and management module (HSM 051).

This module accounts for 25% of the total assessment.

  • Academic expert
    Senior Lecturer in Mental Health working in the School of Health Sciences.
  • Academic expert
    Senior Lecturer in Mental Health Nursing working in the School of Health Sciences.

Career prospects

On successful graduation you will gain registration with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC), which provides an internationally-recognised professional qualification enabling you to practice in the UK and overseas. Some countries require additional local registration.

Nursing is a life-long career where you can develop your skills and interests within a range of specialisms and career paths. As well as a career as a mental health nurse, you can move into areas within the health and social care sector including advising on policy and quality of care and academic teaching and research. You will also be able to go onto further study at MSc level, including an MSc Advanced Practice degree at City.

You will receive careers support from your personal tutor during the course and are encouraged to explore your personal career aspirations.

90.9% of graduates in employment or further study six months after completing the course

Mental Health Nursing

UCAS code: 3112

Applications for September 2017 entry are now closed.

Contact details

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City, University of London is an independent member institution of the University of London. Established by Royal Charter in 1836, the University of London consists of 18 independent member institutions with outstanding global reputations and several prestigious central academic bodies and activities.