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Placement learning and assessment

You will work with service users and patients with the support of an experienced Mentor and practice staff

You will work in environments that are reflective of today’s mental health practice.

Our dedicated placements team aim to deliver a clinical learning experience that encompasses the breadth of practice in mental health care. This could include placements with children and young people’s mental health services to working with older adults with complex needs, with a selection of core and specialist working age adult teams falling within the Cardiff University catchment area.

The School is privileged to offer clinical experience with our NHS partners Cardiff & Vale University Health Board and Aneurin Bevan Local Health Board, alongside a range of independent providers. It is important to note that student nurses could be required to travel to clinical areas across South East Wales for clinical experience.

Practice placements see student nurses complete a full week of 37.5 hours plus time for reflection on practice.


DurationPlacements vary from 4 weeks to over 3 months, with a 37.5 hour normal working week. Students engage with the full 24/7 service which will include 7am starts or late finishes, night shifts and weekends, or 9-5 office hours for some community or day services.
Number of studentsWhen placed with smaller, specialist services you may be the only student present. Most placements do however have educational capacity to offer placements for small groups of students, who may be at different stages of their training or from other professional groups.
VenueStudents are placed with Mental Health teams across South East Wales from Bridgend to Abergavenny, with the highest concentration in the Cardiff / Newport metropolitan area. Where students are unable to travel to and from the placement each day accommodation can be arranged by the programme team.
Teaching styleExperienced nurses provide ‘Mentorship’ support for all students in practice, passing on their knowledge and experience and acting as role models with the ultimate aim of signing off competence in clinical practice against Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) approved essential skills frameworks.

Professionalism on your placement

Professional presentation is fundamental in order to meet health and safety requirements, optimise infection control and promote patient confidence.

You will be expected to adhere to the professional appearance and uniform policy. This includes having long hair tied back, having short nails (with no polish), not wearing anything below the elbow, no jewellery (including body piercings) and respecting the dignity of other students at all times.

On placement, you will be assessed on your clinical knowledge and skills as well as your professionalism (appearance and behaviour, basic management tasks, health and safety, attitude and communication).


Nursing involves the application of specialist knowledge and skills to meet the demands of clinical practice.

The Cardiff University curriculum will guide you to achieve a set of clinical and theoretical learning outcomes aligned to each of the 13 programme modules, tested by a blend of assessment styles.

Written assignments

Many modules involve completing a report, essay or reflection on practice. Academic writing skills are encouraged to develop from year 1 to 3 with an emphasis on critical analysis and the application of nursing theory to the practice context.


Every undergraduate nursing programme will involve at least one exam. Expect to be tested under formal exam conditions, and expect application of number to feature in these assessments.

Presentations and practicals

From group presentations in year 1 to simulated practice assessment in year 3, the course will help you to learn the skills and practice of presenting complex information to your peers and markers.

Practice assessments

50% of the overall assessment from is drawn from completion of a student portfolio, including practical assessments across a range of important clinical domains, professional attitudes scoring and placement reflective work.

In order to assess your practical work you will have to complete a student portfolio. student portfolio