Why study this course
Ranked 1st in Wales and top 5 in the UK
By The Complete University Guide 2023.
NHS bursary funding is available for both UK and overseas students, including support with both tuition fees and living costs (conditions apply).
Early clinical exposure
You'll spend half of your time on the programme gaining valuable clinical experience on placement, working with real patients alongside supportive and knowledgeable staff
Mental health nursing is a diverse, challenging and rewarding career with people at its heart.
Validated by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) our programme provides you with the skills and knowledge to become a registered Mental Health Nurse within 3 years and offers you the opportunity to make a real difference to people’s lives.
You will offer help and support to people of all ages, their families and carers. The role is diverse, and care can be offered in a variety of situations including hospitals, homes and community settings. Whilst a key role of the mental health nurse is to form therapeutic relationships it is important that you are also able to use effective communication strategies to demonstrate compassionate, creative and critical mental health care that focuses on recovery.
The programme content emphasises the holistic components of individual mental health recovery, acknowledging the importance of maintaining health and the wider psychological and social impacts of personal wellbeing.
You will specialise in mental health nursing from the start of the programme, with an integrated learning strategy meaning you will also study alongside students of other fields. Sharing your ideas between disciplines will broaden your perspective on health care and help to sharpen your focus on your own field. Inter-professional learning (IPE) is a key component of the programme.
We have a highly equipped Clinical Simulation Suite which enables you to learn in a realistic ward, community, home and emergency simulations, meaning you can safely practice and develop essential skills to develop your confidence before going into placement. We also have dedicated mental health communication booths where you can develop your practical skills.
You will spend 50% of your time in clinical practice, working alongside experienced practice supervisors in hospitals, community and other specialist mental health care team provisions. A varied placement experience undertaken across the three years of the programme will allow you to integrate academic theory with clinical practice and gain insight into the wide-ranging employment opportunities available to you upon qualification. Our clinical placements reflect the work of the mental health nurse in supporting people from all age groups when they experience the impact of mental health problems.
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 be allocated both a personal tutor who will offer you pastoral support and an academic assessor who will support your professional development during the programme.
On successful completion of the programme you will be eligible to register with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) as a Mental Health Nurse. With this registration, you can work in a range of healthcare settings, both in the United Kingdom and abroad and join the nursing workforce of the future
Above all else, we strive to ensure that you are ready for the next step in your career and the many opportunities that await you. That’s why 100%* of our nursing students are in employment or further study after 6 months of graduating (*DHLE and HECSU).
We accept a combination of A-levels and other qualifications, as well as equivalent international qualifications subject to entry requirements. Typical offers are as follows:
Extended/International Project Qualification: Applicants with grade A in the EPQ/IPQ will typically receive an offer one grade lower than the standard offer. Please note that any subject specific requirements must still be met.
Our grade range covers our standard offer and contextual offer. We carefully consider the circumstances in which you've been studying (your contextual data) upon application.
- Eligible students will be given an offer at the lower end of the advertised grade range.
- Where there is no grade range advertised and/or where there are selection processes in place (like an interview) you may receive additional points in the selection process or be guaranteed interview/consideration.
31-30 overall or 665-655 in 3 HL subjects.
From September 2023, there will be a new qualification called the Advanced Skills Baccalaureate Wales (level 3). This qualification will replace the Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate (Welsh Baccalaureate). The qualification will continue to be accepted in lieu of one A-Level (at the grades listed above), excluding any specified subjects.
Other qualifications from inside the UK
DDM-DMM in a BTEC Extended Diploma in Health Studies.
M in T Level Health, Healthcare Science, or Science.
Qualifications from outside the UK
International equivalencies are not accepted for this course. Please contact the International Office for information about entry requirements from your country.
Please view your country page for information on our entry requirements, funding opportunities and who our local advisors are.
Please see our admissions policies for more information about the application process.
Interview or selection process
We won’t make an offer without an interview and no offers will be made until all interviews have taken place.
All applicants must meet the minimum requirements at Level 2 (typically GCSE) and Level 3 (typically A-level) in order to be eligible for consideration for interview. If you meet the minimum entry requirements your application will be give a numerical score based on your personal statement. Eligible applicants will be ranked according to this score and the top ranking applicants will be invited to interview
Welsh domiciled students studying/having successfully completed certain Access to Higher Education Diploma related to Healthcare may be eligible for a guaranteed interview on application. Please contact the admissions team for specific details: HCAREadmissions@cardiff.ac.uk
Our interview process
We use the multiple mini interview (MMI) format, which is a series of short, carefully timed interview stations that you will rotate around in turn.
The MMIs help us to determine if you:
- can think on your feet
- have thought about some of the issues that are important to the profession
- can critically appraise information
- can communicate ideas effectively.
They also focus on exploring the personal qualities and attributes that are important to your future career development.
These interviews allow us to meet you in person and assess information that isn’t always readily forthcoming in the application process—they aren’t intended to test the amount of prior knowledge you have about the subject or the profession.
Tuition fees for 2023 entry
Your tuition fees and how you pay them will depend on your fee status. Your fee status could be home, island or overseas.
Fees for home status
Students from the EU, EEA and Switzerland
If you are an EU, EEA or Swiss national, your tuition fees for 2023/24 be in line with the overseas fees for international students, unless you qualify for home fee status. UKCISA have provided information about Brexit and tuition fees.
Fees for island status
Learn more about the undergraduate fees for students from the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man.
Fees for overseas status
An NHS placement is a required part of this course. The NHS only makes placements available to students who are eligible to pay UK fees. Therefore, this course is not available for international students.
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.
You will be responsible for meeting the costs of obtaining an enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) Certificate as a requirement of your application. In addition, applicants are advised that there may be travel and accommodation costs associated with periods of practice placement. Students are provided with a uniform for placement; however, you will need to meet the cost of appropriate footwear.
If you choose to take the practice opportunity overseas in year two this must be funded by yourself and should you choose to travel abroad for placement there may be additional vaccination costs.
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're based in one of the UK's most affordable cities. Find out more about living costs in Cardiff.
This a three-year full-time programme consisting of 4600 hours of study, with each academic year divided into two semesters; autumn and spring. There are four core modules in each academic year, these include a portfolio module in each year which is largely taught and assessed in practice and a final year dissertation module. The programme is structured as a spiral curriculum, where modules build on each other with increasing complexity and detail in the teaching, thereby increasing the depth and range of topics learnt. There are assessed practice placements within each academic year. Students must successfully complete 360 credits and pass each of the practice placements in order to achieve the award of a Bachelor of Nursing (Hons) (Mental Health) and be eligible to apply for professional registration with the NMC to practice as a mental health nurse.
The modules shown are an example of the typical curriculum and will be reviewed prior to the 2023/2024 academic year. The final modules will be published by September 2023.
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.
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.
|Critical evaluation of evidence-based care
|Global health nursing
|Therapeutic skills and communication
|Applying mental health nursing knowledge and skills
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.
|Critical evaluation of evidence for service improvement
|The mental health nurses’ role in co-ordinating interprofessional care
|Transforming mental health nursing care
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
Traditional face-to-face learning strategies such as lectures, workshops and seminars will be complemented by interactive online opportunities and resources designed to enhance your overall learning experience and enable you to acquire the knowledge, skills and capabilities that are a requirement of mental health nursing practice. You are also afforded valuable opportunities to learn from the authentic voices of service users and carers who contribute to the programme as experts by experience.
Within the clinical environment you will be supported by practice supervisors and practice assessors as you progress towards achieving Nursing and Midwifery Council proficiencies. In the academic setting you will also be allocated an academic assessor who will review your Professional Assessment Document (PAD) throughout the year to the point of progression to the following year of study. To support learning in practice you will also undertake simulated activities and scenarios in a purpose-built simulation suite. This will allow you to develop, practice and consolidate skills in a safe environment.
How will I be supported?
You will be allocated a Personal Tutor who is a member of the academic staff group and a qualified mental health nurse. You will be encouraged to arrange meetings with your Personal Tutor throughout your time on the programme, during which you can access pastoral support and reflect on your overall progress. Personal Tutors will also assist in signposting you to other sources of support such as the School and Programme Student Disability Contact and University-wide services including Student Support and Wellbeing and the Academic Skills and Mentoring Team.
Welsh-speaking Personal Tutors may be available to students whose preference is to access support through the medium of Welsh. The Programme Manager, Module Leads and Academic Assessor can support you in relation to your overall experience as a student of the programme, including any feedback or concerns you might have.
The School also works in partnership with Y Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol to provide opportunities for Welsh speaking students who wish to study aspects of the programme through the medium of Welsh and the possibility of a yearly scholarship. You also have the option to learn Welsh through our Welsh for All programme where courses are designed to fit around your academic commitments and are free of charge.
During practice placements, you will be supported by Practice Supervisors and a Practice Assessor who will facilitate your learning and prepare you for in-point clinical assessments. A dedicated Placement Support Team will also be available to you, alongside formal mechanisms and procedures, to support your learning and progress and address any issues or problems that may arise. The placement team will attempt to source Welsh-speaking supervisors or bilingual placement learning opportunities and, if available, Welsh-speaking named contacts from the academic setting upon request.
How will I be assessed?
The curriculum incorporates a diverse range of assessment strategies and methods which are reflective of an inclusive, learner-centred approach and aligned to the intended learning outcomes of the programme.
Each module within the programme incorporates formative assessment and feedback which is designed to support your learning and to assist you in identifying your own strengths and areas for development and prepare you for summative assessment which is formally marked and therefore contributes to progression or degree classification decisions.
The goal of summative assessment is to indicate how well you have succeeded in meeting the intended learning outcomes of a module and the feedback provided will enable you to identify areas for further development. In practice you will be assessed according to the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC 2018) standards for student supervision and assessment. Each year your achievements in practice will be recorded in a Practice Assessment Document. There is opportunity for you to undertake assessments through the medium of Welsh.
What skills will I practise and develop?
The learning outcomes for this programme describe what you will be able to do as a result of your study at Cardiff University. They will help you to understand what is expected of you.
The Learning Outcomes for this Programme can be found below:
Knowledge & Understanding:
On successful completion of the Programme you will be able to demonstrate:
- A comprehensive understanding of the philosophical and theoretical concepts that underpin and inform nursing practice and the importance of adherence to the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) Code.
- A sound knowledge of body systems, anatomy, physiology, genomics and human development underpinned with relevant theory and applied to health and illness.
- A critically evaluative approach to the socio-political factors and relevant policies that influence individual, local, national and global health, wellbeing and illness and inform decision making in practice.
- An in-depth understanding of the core principles and values that underpin collaborative practice in health and social care, including how the role of the mental health nurse contributes to interdisciplinary working in ensuring the provision of high-quality, person and family-centred services.
- A sound appreciation of regulatory and professional body standards concerning, continuing professional development and reflective practice, leadership, research and evidence-based care in order to develop, deliver and evaluate safe, high quality family and person-centred mental health nursing care.
On successful completion of the Programme you will be able to demonstrate:
- Proficiency in the selection, analysis, synthesis and critical evaluation of information from a wide range of sources, drawing logical and reasoned conclusions in the formation of sound decisions and professional judgements.
- A creative and innovative approach to problem-solving in the academic and practice environment, including imaginative thinking and the development of effective solutions and ideas that will enhance health outcomes and peoples experience of mental health nursing care.
- Proficiency in contributing to a professional knowledge base through the selection, justification and application of ethically-sound research design and methods and the identification of effective dissemination strategies.
- Enhanced professional reflective and reasoning skills that promotes critical review of care provision and wider organisational values and practice.
Professional Practical Skills:
On successful completion of the Programme you will be able to demonstrate:
- Established professional values and behaviours in keeping with professional body expectations as described in the NMC Code.
- Effective and appropriate collaborative working practices with users of services, other team members and partners, drawing upon enabling, empowering and consultative approaches and valuing diversity of experience and perspectives.
- Promotion of individual and person-centred safety and wellbeing through prioritising their legal rights, best interests and needs using effective risk assessment and risk management.
- Sound assessment and reasoning skills in identifying and planning appropriate, evidence-based interventions and care delivery, respecting the rights, culture, spiritual needs and preferences of the individual, family members and significant others and evaluating effectiveness.
- Advocacy and leadership in promoting and protecting the health and wellbeing of individuals and communities in preventing ill health and recognition of a need for organisational change and service improvement.
On successful completion of the Programme you will be able to demonstrate:
- Active engagement in continuing personal and professional development underpinned by critical reflection and a commitment to developing resilience and lifelong self-directed learning skills.
- Enhanced communication skills and an ability to teach, supervise and motivate others, drawing upon leadership skills in identifying methods and strategies for effective team working and high-quality service delivery.
- Effective prioritisation and management of time, working within given resources throughout the problem-solving process and assuming leadership, responsibility and accountability for management and development of self and others.
- Accurate record-keeping and responsible engagement with a range of digital technologies to communicate and collaborate with others and produce documentation that conveys and justifies actions.
- Application of the core professional beliefs and values of professional conduct, accountability, risk management and duty of candour.
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.
- Mental Health Nurse
- Ward Manager
All nursing students must complete a minimum of 2,300 hours of supervised and appropriately assessed clinical practice at the end of the programme (NMC 2018). The programme includes 7 blocks of full-time placements which will enable you to apply and build upon the theoretical knowledge and practical skills you will have acquired in the academic setting.
The development of your inter-professional team-working skills, leadership of care and staff will be a key focus of placement learning across the three years. Our placement providers are primarily situated in health and social care settings across South East Wales, although students may also have an opportunity to pursue non-traditional placements in the private and third sectors. During the scheduled placement period in year 2 there will be an opportunity for you to arrange a self-funded Placement Opportunity Local or Overseas (POLO).
Data from Discover Uni is not yet available for this course.
HESA Data: Copyright Higher Education Statistics Agency Limited 2021. The Higher Education Statistics Agency Limited cannot accept responsibility for any inferences or conclusions derived by third parties from its data. Data is from the latest Graduate Outcomes Survey 2019/20, published by HESA in June 2022.