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MSc Mental Health Nursing

  • Study Mode: Full Time
  • Location: Uxbridge
  • Duration: Two Years
  • Start Date: September 2023

If you are a compassionate, kind and caring person who wants a career where you can make a real difference, then mental health nursing could be for you. You’ll become part of a team that works to offer outstanding patient-centred care, guiding your patients through their most vulnerable moments and making a difference to their lives.

With BNU, you’ll benefit from our combined learning approach of theory and practice, supportive and experienced course team, and our specialist facilities. Upon completion of the degree, you’ll be eligible to register with the Nursing & Midwifery Council.

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Application guide

For information on how you can boost your career-prospects and apply for our postgraduate courses, follow our application guide.

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Postgraduate Open Days

Join us for a Postgraduate Open Day where you can discuss your options and chosen course with our course leaders.

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Fees and Funding

There’s a range of ways you can secure funding for your course, including sponsorship, scholarships and loans. And if you recently graduated from BNU, you may be eligible for a fee discount.

Why study this subject?

Mental health is something which effects many people during their lifetime. It requires as much care as physical illness – sometimes even more so. As a mental health nurse, you’ll be crucial in helping people get their lives back on track.

Opportunities for registered nurses within mental health are continually expanding. For example: you may be working in a busy hospital ward or department, as a nurse specialist running your own clinic, working in a prison or in one of the community areas such as a large health centre.

Whether you have had a personal experience with mental illness or simply want to help those who struggle day-to-day, this course can teach you the knowledge you need to become a compassionate mental health nurse.

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Two nursing students in uniform walk down a corridor whilst in discussion with one another

Why study at Buckinghamshire New University?

Our MSc in pre-registration Mental Health Nursing is designed for high achieving graduates, recognising that you’ll bring transferable academic skills, healthcare experience and valuable life experience to your studies.

This fast-track two-year degree programme integrates postgraduate academic study alongside practice-based learning. It is underpinned by a strong collaboration between the University, service users (experts by experience) and our NHS practice partners, helping you to gain the knowledge and skills you need for your future career in mental health nursing.

We will support and nurture you throughout the programme, so you can become compassionate, proficient, confident, and digitally-able registered mental health nurses. We will also prepare you for future leadership and specialist roles within the integrated care system.   

As professional nurses and educators, staff bring a wealth of clinical expertise and research activity. An existing and expanding portfolio of health and social care courses, including midwifery, physiotherapy, operating department practitioner, social worker, physician associate as well as specialist community and public health nurses, provide opportunities for inter-professional learning.


In addition, expert specialist nurses regularly deliver tailored sessions and service users (experts by experience) also support on the programme. This will allow you to benefit from their experiences and expertise, insights and perspectives to enhance your learning.

On successful completion of the programme, you’ll be able to apply for registration with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) to practice as a registered Mental Health nurse in the UK.

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What facilities can I use?

At our Uxbridge Campus, in West London, we have impressive facilities with state-of-the-art equipment. You’ll get to recreate real scenarios so when you’re out on placement you’ll be confident in your mental health nursing skills.

The simulation areas are equipped to a national standard of excellence. Our facilities offer a high-fidelity environment, which includes the use of NHS approved consumables, genuine functioning equipment and a combination of actors and technology enhanced manikins. The essential element of de-brief in simulation is undisputed; audio/visual technology is available and widely used by the teaching teams to enhance feedback to learners.

What will I study?

During your time on the programme, you'll be working alongside experienced health care professionals who will help you to become a caring, confident and practice-ready mental health nurse.

We will enable you to identify the priorities and requirements for evidence-based, person-centred nursing interventions and support. You will be able to evaluate mental, physical, cognitive, behavioural, spiritual, and social needs.

We will also help you to master a diverse range of culturally sensitive communication and relationship management skills to ensure that individuals, families, and their carers are actively involved in, and understand, care decisions.

Through your studies, we will help prepare you to lead the development of collaborative team working, through the critical appraisal of leadership knowledge, skills, and behaviours, supporting the management of change and challenge. 

Our MSc in Mental Health Nursing covers digital health technology and risk monitoring processes. We will also help you develop a high level of emotional intelligence in therapeutic relationships across the lifespan, integrating theoretical and practical skills to help you demonstrate ethical discernment and clinical judgement. 

On this degree, you will also gain the skills and knowledge to help you show enhanced leadership around professional values and duty of candour, in the protection and safeguarding of the public and in dealings with other professionals and agencies whilst assuring confidentiality. 

On successful completion of our MSc in Mental Health Nursing, you will be able to become an advocate for, and to empower, individuals, families, communities, and populations throughout the life span, assimilating current health data and economics, assessing and meeting health needs, improving health outcomes and positively impacting on health. You will also be able to lead the care of people with complex healthcare needs to optimise independence, manage risk and reduce vulnerability across organisations and settings. 

Five student nurses in uniform stood in discussion whilst facing a lecturer in a simulation ward
Four nursing students in uniform stood around a simulated hospital bed as a dummy child lays on the bed

How will I be taught and assessed?

To help you develop the skills and knowledge you need for your future career as a mental health nurse, we adopt a range of teaching methods, such as:

  • seminar-based teaching
  • lectures
  • authentic scenarios and case studies
  • presentations
  • simulation scenarios in the simulation suites facilities on campus.

You will also benefit from online teaching and learning, such as discussion boards and interactive web-based response system. We will also expect you to undertake independent study, utilising a range of e-resources and e-tools including:

  • the University’s Virtual Learning Environment (VLE)
  • professional websites
  • online numeracy assessment and education
  • online assignment submission
  • academic databases
  • library e-resources.

You will also be introduced to social media alongside e-professionalism, as a tool for online networking and learning, supporting a community of practice. 

Simulation activities will help build your expertise and develop the behaviours you’ll need in your future career as a mental health nurse. We incorporate the use of human patient simulators in virtual ‘real-life’ healthcare environments and situations. Within this learning environment, real-time evolving clinical situations can be simulated, repeated and evaluated, using reflection and debriefing, reducing the risk of patient harm. This helps to build up your proficiency in essential mental health nursing skills as well as develop your critical thinking and problem-solving skills.

The use of simulation to assist in the development and assessment of clinical skills ensures that you are better prepared for practice learning but does not count as practice hours. It allows you to use time in the practice learning environment more effectively, so you can apply and refine your skills.

To complement the theoretical study, you will spend time out on practice. The majority of our placements are within centres of excellence in North West London and the Thames Valley NHS and private practice, due to our impressive connections and partnerships.

With BNU, you are supported every step of your journey towards becoming a proficient and caring mental health nurse. There’s a range of support services you can access across the University. You’ll also be able to turn to personal tutors, module leaders and course leaders for advice and guidance. In practice,  you will remain supported by personal tutors and course leaders, in addition to practice supervisors, practice assessors and academic assessors.

Assessment will include:

  • reflective writing 
  • reports
  • essays  
  • oral assessment and presentations  
  • numeracy exams  
  • short answer question exam 
  • OSCE (Observed structured Clinical Examination)  
  • practice assessments  
  • research proposal.

We ensure that the assessments are varied and relevant to the practical elements of the course and your future profession, helping to give you the skills and knowledge for your future career as a mental health nurse.

The MSc Mental Health Nursing is a full-time course, based on 40 hours of learner activity each week over 90 weeks. The 180-credit programme is made up of 1,800 theory hours and 1,800 clinical practice hours. As per NMC regulatory standards (NMC, 2018) with the addition of RPL the course meets the required minimum total hours of 4,600. 

MSc Mental Health Nursing Programme Specification

What are the course entry requirements?

To study this course, you will need to have obtained the following:

  • Classification of 2:1 or above in any subject/discipline OR consideration will be given to applicants who have: Classification of 2:2 in a subject with relevant content and experience, e.g., sociology; psychology; physiology; bio- chemistry; health studies or social work.  
  • Five GCSEs at grade C or above, including English language or literature, mathematics, and a science subject  
  • For students, whose first language is not English, there is a requirement to achieve an IELTS tariff of 7 with no individual component below 6.5
  • Evidence of study within the previous five years.    
  • Establish digital and technological literacy on application.
Additional Requirements

If successful at interview you will be required to complete the following as part of the condition of your offer:

  • Verified evidence of 500 hours of related clinical practice in the last 3 years. This will be demonstrated through an enhanced CV
  • A reflective essay demonstrating Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL).

Further details and guidance will be provided upon successful interview.

Shortlisted applicants will be required to attend a Selection Day.

Applications are made through UCAS.

All offers are subject to Academic, successful RPL, Enhanced CV, satisfactory Occupational Health and enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS).

The government has said it will remove the proposed legal requirement to have COVID-19 vaccinations to work, or attend placements, in health and social care. We & our practice partners continue to encourage you to get vaccinated for your & others' safety.


This provides a guide of the modules that make up your course. You can find more information about how your course is structured on our Academic Advice section.

What are the tuition fees


Home, Academic Year 2023 - 2024

£9,250 per year


Overseas/International, Academic Year 2023 - 2024

£16,750 per year

Most courses will involve some additional costs that are not covered by your fees.

You could benefit from financial support through a bursary or scholarship during your time as a student. For more details visit our financial support, bursaries and scholarships section.

Questions about fees?

Contact our Enquiries Team:

0330 123 2023

What are my career prospects?

Throughout your time with us we’ll support you on the route to your chosen career. We’ll help you to develop crucial skills, encouraging you to become enterprising and skilled leaders and support you in your search to find employment after graduation. For more information, have a look at our Careers and Employability section.

On successful completion of the MSc in Mental Health Nursing, you'll graduate as a registered mental health nurse and will be able to practice in the UK or explore opportunities of working abroad in the future.

Mental Health Nursing is a broad area and opportunities for mental health nursing are continually expanding. You'll have the chance to go into many careers, such as:

  • general practice surgeries as a mental health nurse
  • community settings, for example home treatment team, recovery service
  • nursing homes
  • mental health services
  • forensic mental health services including high secure services
  • private health care providers
  • prison nursing
  • the armed forces
  • teaching and assessing roles
  • working abroad
  • researcher- promoting advances in health care and health promotion practice.

You can also choose from a range of professional courses or short courses to help you specialise in different areas of nursing and continue your professional development.

Course leader

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Mary Mosoeunyane
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Amsale Wamburu
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Shabana Ali
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Ian Chisholm-Bunting
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Dr Julia Williams
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Dr Keiran Henderson
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Paul McCreary
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Sarah Ireland
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Marie Newman
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Euthan Newman
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David Rawcliffe
  • Professional Lead
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