Why study this course
Do you want to make a difference, not just a choice?
Mental health nursing is a valued, challenging and rewarding career. Our programme provides you with the skills and knowledge to become a registered mental health nurse over three years and offers you the opportunity to make a real difference to people’s lives; a value that few other professions can offer.
Mental health nurses offer help and support to people of all ages, their families and carers to support recovery from a wide range variety of mental health conditions. The role is diverse; you might help one person to begin to understand their experience of disorder while engaging another about relevant therapies that can help with their Recovery. Mental health care can be offered in a variety of situations including hospitals, homes and community settings. Whilst the key role of the mental health nurse is to form therapeutic relationships it is imperative that they are also able to provide holistic and recovery focused-care, key principles and skills that we develop through our programme.
While you will specialise in mental health nursing from the start of the course the integrated nature of teaching means you will learn with those studying children’s nursing and adult nursing. Sharing ideas between disciplines will broaden your perspective on health care and help to sharpen your focus on your own field.
By fully engaging with this degree you will develop your therapeutic skills and strategies, skills for holistic and dignified patient care, awareness of diversity issues, and the opportunity to investigate strategies for tackling stigma and promoting social inclusion. This will enable you to deliver high quality nursing care in a rapidly changing environment.
You will be taught by motivated and knowledgeable lecturers in the field of mental health nursing who are influencing healthcare across Wales and beyond through engagement and research. This is demonstrated by our School receiving 1st place in the UK for research environment in the most recent Research Excellence Framework (REF).
You will spend approximately 50% of your time on placement. We have close working relationships with varied service providers in Wales and your learning could take place both in hospitals and in the community. You will benefit from placements supported by experienced nursing educators to help support you in becoming the best nurse you can be. A varied placement experience undertaken at optimal times across the three years of the programme will allow you to integrate academic theory with practice and gain insight as to the wide-ranging employment opportunities available to you upon qualification.
Making sure our course is the right one for you is important to us. We’ve put together additional suitability information to make sure you are fully informed of our programme requirements.
This degree will lead to eligibility to register with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) as a mental health nurse. On qualification, you can work in a range of healthcare settings, both in the United Kingdom and abroad.
Above all else, we strive to ensure that our graduates are ready for the next step in their career and the many opportunities that await them. That’s why 100% of our mental health nursing students are in employment or further study after 6 months of graduating (UNISTATS).
We regret that this course is unable to accept applications from international fee-status applicants.
The Complete University Guide 2019 ranked nursing at Cardiff University in the top 10 in the UK, based on student satisfaction, entry standards, student-staff ratios and graduate prospects. Here are some of the key features of why we think our programme will make you the best mental health nurse you can be:
Nursing is a very ‘hands on’ degree developing both theoretical and practical skills and our blended approach to learning combines face-to-face teaching with online resources and practice placements;
Our programme is validated by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC);
You’ll have the option to choose a fully funded place on the programme. A full NHS bursary, including tuition fees and a non-repayable bursary for living costs, is available for this programme providing you agree to work in Wales for two years after qualifying;
During year two, there is an opportunity for you to undertake a placement learning opportunity in a different environment, either within the UK or overseas;
We have highly-equipped skills laboratories in our Clinical Simulation Suite which enable you to learn in in realistic ward, community, home and emergency simulations. Lifelike simulations mean you can safely practice and develop essential skills, developing your confidence and expertise before going out into placement;
Opportunity to learn and practice in our specially designed communication booths, this can touch on emotive areas that reflect the real world of mental health nursing practice;
You’ll be studying at a Russell Group University which supports a strong research profile and evidence-based learning;
The School provides courses recognised by the UK Health and Care Professions Council in occupational therapy, operating department practice, physiotherapy, diagnostic radiography and imaging and radiotherapy and oncology. It also provides pre-registration courses in nursing and midwifery. This contributes to a vibrant interdisciplinary environment, with opportunities for shared learning and inter-professional education not available at many institutions;
100% of our mental health nursing students are in employment or further study after 6 months of graduating (UNISTATS).
Extended Project Qualification: Applicants with grade A in the EPQ will typically receive an offer one grade lower than the standard A level offer. Please note that any subject specific requirements must still be met.
The Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate will be accepted in lieu of one A-Level (at the grades listed above), excluding any specified subjects.
DDD in early BTEC Early Years / DDM in National Diploma. Other relevant BTEC National Diplomas may be considered.
IB 31-30 or 655 at HL
Other UK qualifications may also be accepted, often in lieu of A-levels, but subject requirements must be met. If you are offering non-UK qualifications, our qualification equivalences guide should allow you to calculate what kind of offer you are likely to receive.
Please be aware that this is a general guide, and that some programmes may have more detailed or specific entry requirements which will be reflected in your offer.
Grade B or grade 6 in GCSE English Language.
At least 7.0 overall with a minimum of 6.5 in writing and a minimum of 7.0 in all other subskills.
At least 100 with a minimum of 22 in writing and 25 in all other subskills.
At least 70 overall with a minimum of 62 in writing and a minimum of 70 in all other communicative skills.
Trinity ISE II/III
III: at least a Merit in all components.
Other accepted qualifications
Please visit our English Language requirements page for more information on our other accepted language qualifications.
Four GCSEs grade C/4 including Maths and a Physical Science.
If you are successful in both academic and non-academic assessment you may be invited to attend a multiple mini interview.
It is essential that before commencing any of our undergraduate healthcare programmes, you must have obtained a satisfactory Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check.
In addition, before enrolling on your programme, you will be required to complete an Occupational Health Questionnaire, attend any subsequent appointment(s), and receive all of the necessary vaccinations to undertake clinical placements safely.
We recognise the benefits that a diverse and talented student community can bring to the future of health care. Our School is dedicated to promoting widening access to a wide-variety of groups traditionally under-represented in higher education and encourage applications from all backgrounds.
Recognition of prior learning (RPL):
There are circumstances where we are able to consider prior relevant learning. Recognition of prior learning can occur for up to 50% of the programme where this learning is capable of being mapped to the programme outcomes. Please contact the School of Healthcare Sciences for more information.
You will be required to complete a DBS (Disclosure Barring Service) check if your application is successful. If you are applying from certain countries overseas, a Certificate of Good Conduct may be required. If you have a relevant criminal conviction, this will be stated in the check and may affect your ability to enrol on the course. Applicants who are on the barred list should be aware that applying to this course is likely to be considered a criminal offence.
UK and EU students (2020/21)
Financial support may be available to individuals who meet certain criteria. For more information visit our funding section. Please note that these sources of financial support are limited and therefore not everyone who meets the criteria are guaranteed to receive the support.
Students from outside the EU (2020/21)
An NHS placement is a required part of this course. The NHS only makes placements available to students who are eligible to pay UK/EU fees. Therefore, this course is not available for international students.
Applicants are required to meet the costs of obtaining a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) Certificate.
Applicants are advised that while you may be entitled to be reimbursed for some of the costs you incur whilst attending practice placements, you will be required to cover the initial costs for later reimbursement. This may include both accommodation and travel costs (if they are in excess of your normal daily travel costs to your University base).
Course specific equipment
You will not need any specific equipment.
We have a range of residences to suit your needs and budget. Find out more on our accommodation pages.
We are currently working with our students to update and improve the content of this course. The information shown below reflects the current curriculum and is likely to change. The review of the course is expected to be completed by August 2020 and this page will be updated by end of October 2020 to reflect the changes.
Our three year programme is comprised of six semesters. There are 40 weeks of scheduled activity, 50 % theory and 50% in clinical practice each year, which makes up 360 credits in total. The nursing programme prepares nurses to practice in the areas of Adult Nursing, Children’s Nursing, or Mental Health Nursing. It meets the academic and professional regulations required for eligibility to register as a first level nurse on part 1 of the NMC professional register.
The proposed value based programme has been developed as a spiral curriculum based on a constructivist model with six key themes (informed by the NMC domains). The six themes are:
- Public Health,
- Fundamental Care,
- Complex Care,
- Professional Practice,
- Leadership and Management and
- Evidence Based Practice.
The modules shown are an example of the typical curriculum and will be reviewed prior to the 2020/21 academic year. The final modules will be published by September 2020.
There are four compulsory modules in year one and two clinical practice placements. The modules will either be delivered over one semester or two semesters each year.
|Module title||Module code||Credits|
|Professional Values and Evidence-based Practice||NR1011||30 credits|
|Introduction to Public Health, Health Promotion and Behaviour Change||NR1012||30 credits|
|Developing Effective Professional Relationships through Communication and Team Working||NR1013||20 credits|
|Safe Practice in Essential and Field Specific Care||NR1014||40 credits|
There are five compulsory modules in year two and three clinical practice placements. The modules will either be delivered over one semester or two semesters each year.
|Module title||Module code||Credits|
|Using Evidence to Inform Nursing Practice||NR2112||20 credits|
|Development of Professional Practice||NR2113||20 credits|
|Holistic Assessment and Recognition of Health and Social Care Needs||NR2114||20 credits|
|Planning, Intervention and Review of Care||NR2115||30 credits|
|Partnership Working within Complex Care||NR2116||30 credits|
There are four compulsory modules in year three and two clinical practice placements. The modules will either be delivered over one semester or two semesters each year. The last practice learning opportunity in the programme is 14 weeks, and this is where a sign off mentor will make a judgment about the students’ achievements of the required competencies for safe and effective entry to the NMC register.
|Module title||Module code||Credits|
|Professional, Legal and Ethical Challenges of Complex Care||NR3187||20 credits|
|Evaluation of Care||NR3188||40 credits|
|Leadership and Management in Health Organisations||NR3189||20 credits|
|Management of Complex Care: Mental Health Field Specific||NR3190||40 credits|
The University is committed to providing a wide range of module options where possible, but please be aware that whilst every effort is made to offer choice this may be limited in certain circumstances. This is due to the fact that some modules have limited numbers of places available, which are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis, while others have minimum student numbers required before they will run, to ensure that an appropriate quality of education can be delivered; some modules require students to have already taken particular subjects, and others are core or required on the programme you are taking. Modules may also be limited due to timetable clashes, and although the University works to minimise disruption to choice, we advise you to seek advice from the relevant School on the module choices available.
Learning and assessment
The School of Healthcare Sciences is committed to developing nursing and midwifery knowledge which directly improves health outcomes and health care for patients. Top quality teaching relies on academic and clinical expertise of lecturers and visiting clinicians.
Lectures, tutorials, workshops, simulations, seminar style discussions, online discussions, presentations and specific group work will all feature as part of your degree.
Teaching and learning is based upon three main principles:
- blended learning across the curriculum;
- vibrant learning experiences to develop a culture of independent learning;
- inter-professional learning which fosters team working and understanding between fields of practice.
While this course is field-specific from the start, you will still experience shared learning opportunities with students studying Children’s Nursing and Adult Nursing. This helps you place your specific field into the context of wider and more complex care. Shared learning is a particular feature of the course in years one and two, with year three predominantly field specific as you prepare to qualify within your chosen field.
Theory and practice are two key components of the course, fundamentally aligned throughout to encourage transferable flexible skills. All 13 compulsory taught modules offer a flexible blended approach. Field specific content increases in year two and within year three there is one field specific module.
Simulation scenarios for mental health students focus on developing interpersonal and communication skills. Supported and informed by theoretical learning, you will use skills in different clinical situations and develop confidence through digitally recorded sessions in our communication booths. This enables you and your fellow students to reflect on and review your skills.
Scheduled learning and teaching activities
Guided independent study
Scheduled learning and teaching activities
Guided independent study
Scheduled learning and teaching activities
Guided independent study
How will I be supported?
You will have regular meetings with your personal tutor who will provide pastoral support and academic guidance throughout the programme. In addition you will be assigned an academic supervisor in year 3 of the programme who will support you in the development of your dissertation.
Our virtual learning environment is accessible via desktop and mobile devices, allowing you to access electronic resources from anywhere. Dedicated computer labs, student study rooms, campus-wide WiFi networks, printing facilities and a dedicated Healthcare library are available year-round. Staff are available onsite to assist students and provide support and advice.
The School of Healthcare Sciences has recently invested in new facilities and equipment, aiming to provide some of the best technology and modern facilities at your disposal.
You will have access through the Learning Central website to relevant multimedia material, presentations, lecture handouts, bibliographies, further links, electronic exercises and discussion circles.
The University offers a range of services including the Careers Service, the Counselling Service, the Disability and Dyslexia Service, the Student Support Service, and excellent libraries and resource centres. You will be allocated a personal tutor at the start of the course, to provide support for pastoral issues, as well as the learning and assessment in clinical practice.
We will provide you with feedback on your work in a variety of formats. These will include oral feedback during tutorials, feedback provided during lectures, written feedback provided through online module discussion forums, and electronic written feedback on assessed coursework through GradeMark. You will be provided with summary written feedback in relation to examinations and you can discuss your overall performance with your personal tutor. During clinical placements you will be supported in your progress by mentors/clinical teachers who will provide verbal and written feedback on your clinical competency.
What skills will I practise and develop?
You will acquire and develop a range of valuable skills, both those which are discipline specific and more generic ‘employability skills’.
You will develop a professional attitude towards communication and interpersonal skills, partnership working and responsibility for professional development. Specific skills should include the ability to collect, analyse and interpret a range of quantitative and qualitative data, and apply the evidence to nursing practice. You should also become skilled in working independently, problem solving and making informed decisions.
Careers and placements
The career options for mental health nurses are varied and plentiful.
Mental health nurses are usually based in hospitals or in the community, as this is where the majority of mental healthcare is offered. If you work in a residential setting, you may do shifts and provide 24-hour care.
Within a hospital you might work in a psychiatric intensive care unit, a psychiatric ward, an outpatients unit or a specialist unit dealing with eating disorders.
In the community you could work at a GP surgery, prison, community health care centre, residential centre or in patients’ own homes.
As a School of Healthcare Sciences we are proud that 100% of our mental health nursing graduates are in employment and/or further study six months after graduating (UNISTATS).
Types of Jobs:
Mental Health nurse - promoting and supporting a person’s recovery and enabling them to have more involvement and control over their condition, you’ll play a vital role in a multi-disciplinary team in a community or hospital setting.
Advanced nurse practitioner – a role for nurses who have done extra training and academic qualifications to be able to examine, assess, make diagnoses, treat, prescribe and make referrals for patients.
Research nurse - crucial to delivering research. You’ll provide and deliver high quality patient care, deal with data collection, follow-ups, patient groups and industry.
Ward manager – you’ll provide leadership and visibility at ward level important to the delivery of safe, high-quality care to patients.
Consultant nurse – you’ll ensure that nurse departments are following legal constraints and protocol.
Lecturer - becoming a nurse lecturer could offer you the opportunity to make sure the next generation of nurses are competent and confident in the practice setting.
Clinical practice opportunities provide the opportunity to learn in settings including the home, hospitals and the community, in public and private sectors. These allow you to build expertise and develop vital skills, supported by clinicians who ensure you can meet NMC requirements. In clinical practice you will be supported by a mentor.
The School of Healthcare Sciences works with a number of healthcare organisations to provide suitable clinical placements.
While in clinical practice you will be supported by a practicing nurse or health visitor, who will be able to advise, support and supervise you throughout your placement. Practice learning opportunities are vital to your learning experience, and our students value the solid grounding in clinical practice.
You will be given a 'Placement Line' at the beginning of each academic year, detailing the expected clinical areas to which you will be allocated. Ensuring you experience the full range of clinical experiences means that you can expect to work a variety of hours, from the traditional working week of Monday to Friday 9 to 5, to morning shifts which start between 7am and 8am in the morning, afternoon shifts which can finish as late as 9.30pm, night shifts and weekends.
Placements will be in hospitals, nursing homes and in the community across South East Wales - mainly situated from Barry in the West to Chepstow in the East, and from Cardiff in the South to Abergavenny to the North. This means that you should expect to travel to some placements during the course.