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BSc (Hons) Mental Health Nursing

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Boasting a 100% graduation rate and accreditation by the Nursing & Midwifery Council, this degree, with its strong focus on real world experience, is an ideal choice for those looking to gain the expert knowledge and practical skills needed to enter the mental health care profession.

Dealing with mental health problems is challenging for both the patient and their carers, and as evidence shows that one in four people will struggle with mental health issues at some point during their life, it’s a rapidly expanding area of nursing that needs competent and caring professionals.

Specifically designed to give you a solid grounding in the theoretical and professional skills needed to offer high-quality nursing care that meets the needs of clients, service users and their families, this course will ultimately teach you how to enable, educate, and encourage those experiencing mental health problems to progress towards recovery.

Practical experience takes a central role in the course, completed in a variety of healthcare environments. As part of your 2,300 hours of placement you’ll take part in the full cycle of care which includes shift working, weekends and night duty. 

89% of final year students said staff are good at expaining things, join us on live chat now to find out more, or register to meet us at an open day. Or why not watch a webinar presentation to find out more about this course.

All statistics shown are taken from Unistats, Destination of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE), BU institutional data and Ipsos MORI (National Student Survey) unless otherwise stated.

Key information

Next start date:

September 2018


Bournemouth University, Lansdowne Campus


3 years including mandatory full-time placements or 3.5 years including mandatory part-time placements


Nursing & Midwifery Council

Entry requirements:

For 2018 entry: 104 - 120 tariff points including a minimum of 2 A-levels or equivalent. BTEC Extended Diploma of DMM. For more information check out our 2018 entry requirements page

International entry requirements:

If English is not your first language you'll need IELTS (Academic) 7.0 (with minimum 7.0 in each of the 4 components).

For more information check out our International entry requirements page.

Course details

This course prepares you to work in a variety of mental health settings with a diverse range of people. You will gain experience within inter-professional practice and develop skills in mental health nursing across the lifespan.

You can view information on our facilities and take a 360 tour of our simulation suites here.

You have the option to undertake your placements part-time and complete the course over 3.5 years, this is a great choice if you have other commitments outside your course. Your taught study time will be delivered full-time and your placements will be undertaken on a part-time basis. Your university study time will involve 37.5 hours a week consisting of both taught and self-learning, where as your placements will be up to 28 hours per week and will include meeting the Nursing and Midwifery Council requirement to take part in the full cycle of care which includes shift working, weekends and night duty. If you'd like to choose this part-time placement option please apply for the 3 year course and we'll discuss this with you during the application process. 

The BSc (Hons) Mental Health Nursing course is part of the Faculty of Health and Social Sciences Nursing Framework which offers BSc (Hons) Children and Young People’s Nursing and BSc (Hons) Adult Nursing courses. Within the first year some units are common to all courses in the Nursing Framework with shared lectures. Our approach to interprofessional education means that throughout the course students will take part in shared workshops, lectures and learning events with other students on health related courses.

On this course you will usually be taught by a range of staff with relevant expertise and knowledge appropriate to the content of the unit. This will include senior academic staff, qualified professional practitioners, demonstrators and technicians. You will also benefit from regular guest lectures from industry.

Year 1

Core units

  • Identifying Knowledge for Nursing Practice: This unit will provide you with essential practice experiences to develop competence to the requirements of the NMC.
  • Mental Health, Wellbeing & Humanised Care in Later Life: The unit will cover the potential impact of ageing on the wellbeing of an individual, as well as the personal meaning of dementia for the individual and their carer, including the care and treatment involved and the ethical and legal issues which surround this particular illness.
  • Anatomy & Physiology During the Lifespan: In this unit you’ll gain knowledge and understanding of the essential principles of anatomy and physiology as it applies to the individual. A lifespan approach will be taken which will allow for field specific content to be introduced. Links will be made to clinical skills teaching as part of simulation activity.
  • Fundamental Communication Skills: Good personal and interpersonal communications are central to collaboration, the efficiency of group working and the resulting quality of care. The aim of this unit is to facilitate the development of effective and transferable communication skills that promote valuing diversity.
  • Origins & Expressions of Mental Health & Wellbeing: This unit will introduce you to a number of key issues in the mental health field, including possible explanations for changes in a person’s mental health, the development and organisation of services for people with mental health problems, and the role of the mental health nurse in working collaboratively with service users, carers, and fellow professionals.
  • Personal & Professional Development: This unit focuses on the development of transferable academic and graduate skills that enable you to not only cope in response to the many academic and professional demands you’ll face in the first year, but to also achieve your full learning potential across a range of academic units and professional experiences throughout your entire undergraduate studies.

Year 2

Core units

  • Developing Knowledge for Practice: This unit will provide you with essential practice experiences to develop competence to the requirements of the NMC by the second year progression point.
  • Communication & Therapeutic Approaches in Mental Health: You will explore a range of communication strategies and therapeutic approaches within mental health care. It will cover the effect of personal values, attitudes, individual difference and diversity on communication with others while analysing a range of therapeutic approaches within mental health.
  • Physical Care in Mental Health Settings: Here you’ll develop an understanding of the physical health needs of clients in mental health settings. You’ll discuss ways in which the physical health of clients might be assessed and monitored, identify the key presenting features of a range of common physical illnesses and demonstrate an understanding of physical care skills required in mental health services.
  • The Value Base of Mental Health Nursing: This unit reflects on the contemporary nature of mental health care and the values underpinning nursing practice in this area. You’ll consider the issues that may be essential to service users’ lives, particularly with regard to mental health and wellbeing and demonstrate an understanding of the ethical theories, legal principles and values that are relevant for professional practice in mental health.
  • Acute Mental Health: From Crisis to Wellbeing: You will explore the interaction between vulnerability, life events, chronic difficulties and coping skills in acute mental health care. You’ll learn to identify signs and symptoms of acute mental illness and analyse the application of health promotional activities such as relapse prevention, psycho education and medication management in reducing the negative effects of mental illness.
  • Exploring Evidence to Guide Professional Practice: This unit aims to raise your awareness of a range of evidence, and you’ll be able to demonstrate an understanding of how different forms of evidence guide practice.You’ll reflect upon how professional and disciplinary practices can be enhanced to emphasise human sensitivity and individual worth. You’ll be able to consider the nature of evidence based practice and the range of research approaches and methods that contribute to evidence.

Year 3

Core units

  • Evaluating Knowledge for Practice: This professional practice unit provides a range of practical opportunities which you require to demonstrate your competence to achieve the identified NMC (2010) skills, knowledge, attitudes, values and technical abilities for entry to the NMC register.
  • Service Improvement Project: The purpose of this unit is to enable you to develop skills of working in small teams to enhance the experiences of people who use services and their carers. You’ll analyse the need for changes to improve services offered to people and communities, synthesise solutions to complex challenges that address the need for improvement, take part in teams in undertaking an improvement project and reflect on the skills, values, attributes and knowledge required to undertake a service improvement project.
  • Mental Health Nursing in Specific Settings: This unit explores a range of mental health services and identifies nursing roles within them. You’ll identify the socio-political context of service development, examine the therapeutic approaches and evaluate the nature of assessment and intervention within mental health care provision.
  • Reviewing the Literature to Inform Practice:  Here you’ll evaluate a specific area of interest relating to your field of nursing and build upon your understanding of research appraisal, literature reviewing and academic writing skills.
  • Communication, Leadership & Management in Mental Health: This unit develops your understanding of how mental health services are organised, and explores appropriate leadership and management skills. You’ll appraise commissioning approaches, analyse the legal and ethical dimension of registered practice, review approaches to clinical supervision, assess theories of change and change management and evaluate approaches to risk management in mental health settings.
  • Supporting the Recovery Journey: Here you’ll develop practical skills as well as an understanding of the underlying principles of care for people with serious mental illness. It will integrate practice, theory and service user experience in the drive to enhance recovery.

Scheduled learning and teaching activities

Contact hours

You will undertake scheduled learning and teaching, as well as placements to gain the practical skills necessary to work as a Mental Health Nurse. Your study time at BU will be split between scheduled learning and teaching activities and guided independent learning, such as preparing for and writing up coursework assignments. In addition to the learning and teaching, independent learning and non-assessed learning and teaching hours shown below you will complete a total of 2,300 hours of theory over your three years of study. 

Year 1 – 23% of your time will be spent in timetabled learning & teaching activities

  • Learning and teaching: 198 hours
  • Independent learning: 402 hours
  • Non-assessed learning and teaching: 95 hours
  • Placement hours: You will undertake 2,300 hours over your three years of study 

Year 2 – 22% of your time will be spent in timetabled learning & teaching activities

  • Learning and teaching: 240 hours
  • Independent learning: 360 hours
  • Non-assessed learning and teaching: 27 hours
  • Placement hours: You will undertake 2,300 hours over your three years of study 

Year 3 - 12% of your time will be spent in timetabled learning & teaching activities

  • Learning and teaching: 119 hours
  • Independent learning: 481 hours
  • Non-assessed learning and teaching: 32 hours
  • Placement hours:You will undertake 2,300 hours over your three years of study 

How you will be assessed

You will be assessed by coursework culminating in your final year research project, and you will also undertake group work and written exams. The assessment methods for each unit can be found on the programme profile in the programme specification for your course. As an indication, 74% of the most popular units on this course in 2016/17 were assessed by coursework.

Programme Specification

Programme specifications provide definitive records of the University's taught degrees in line with Quality Assurance Agency requirements. Every taught course leading to a BU Award has a programme specification which describes its aims, structure, content and learning outcomes, plus the teaching, learning and assessment methods used.

Download the programme specification for BSc (Hons) Mental Health Nursing.

Whilst every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of the programme specification, the information is liable to change to take advantage of exciting new approaches to teaching and learning as well as developments in industry. If you have been unable to locate the programme specification for the course you are interested in, it will be available as soon as the latest version is ready. Alternatively please contact us for assistance.

All statistics shown are taken from Unistats, Destination of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE), BU institutional data and Ipsos MORI (National Student Survey) unless otherwise stated.

Placement opportunities

As a Nursing student, you will spend 50% of your time on the course in a practice placement setting, and the remaining 50% studying - whether at home, at the library or on campus attending lectures, seminars or working under the guidance of our demonstrators in the Practice Skills suite.

The practice simulation suites are a great way for you to try your hand at practical skills before you go on placement, as they provide a safe environment and allow you to continually work on skills necessary in the workplace. Watch the video for more details.

You have the option to undertake your placements part-time and complete the course over 3.5 years, this is a great choice if you have other commitments outside your course. Your taught study time will be delivered full-time and your placements will be undertaken on a part-time basis. Your university study time will involve 37.5 hours a week consisting of both taught and self-learning, where as your placements will be up to 37.5 hours per week and will include meeting the Nursing and Midwifery Council requirement to take part in the full cycle of care which includes shift working, weekends and night duty. If you'd like to choose this part-time placement option please apply for the 3 year course and we'll discuss this with you during the application process. 

All of the practice placements on the mental health nursing course are undertaken in mental health settings which are as diverse as our client group. This will give you a rounded experience of nursing and to fulfil the registration requirements of the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC).

In the first year you should experience some of this diversity through both hospital and community placements. In the second year there is the opportunity to undertake an overseas placement where you will be able to experience mental health care in a differing culture, and in the third year there is the opportunity to work within specialist areas such as eating disorders, child and adolescent, addictions and forensic mental health.

Overall, you'll undertake placements in a broad range of settings, including within a Community Mental Health Team, an Older Persons Unit, Acute services, Recovery with the option of placements with specialist teams who work in areas such as drug and alcohol treatment, forensic services and eating disorders.

What hours do you work? 

When on placement you are required to work 150 hours every four weeks and experience the full 24 hour shift pattern to include 12-13 hour shifts, weekends and night shifts. You will follow the shift pattern of your allocated placement mentor, which means you cannot chose which days you work. You'll be expected to spend a minimum of 40% of your time on placement with your mentor, as required by the NMC.

Although your term time address and method of transport are taken into consideration when allocating your placements there is an expectation that all students will have to travel across large areas including some of a more rural nature to reach their placements. Once you have been allocated your locality this will remain for the remainder of your time on the course. Placements are organised by locality – Dorset, Somerset, Hampshire or South Wiltshire. It is advised that you arrange your term time accommodation close to your placement locality rather than your taught site.

Placements and travel costs

Your theoretical learning will predominantly be based at our Lansdowne Campus (though Talbot campus is also utilised). Clinical placements will be in a variety of places within Dorset, Somerset, Wiltshire and Hampshire in order to provide the necessary breadth of experience. This will involve some travel, and may require you to find short-term accommodation in order to participate in placements.

Your placement travel expenses will be reimbursed from the Department of Health and Student Finance England.

Placement localities

  • Dorset: Dorset Healthcare University Foundation Trust around Bournemouth and Poole or West Dorset. 
  • South Wiltshire: The Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust, primarily across the Salisbury area
  • Hampshire: The Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust
  • Somerset: The Somerset Partnership NHS Trust

Please note, occasionally to ensure the best practice experience placements will also be within other areas.

Each of our courses contains a significant amount of placement experience, with this often being undertaken in outlying areas rather than solely in towns/cities. You need to consider this when making your application and be clear about what you will be undertaking. You will need to consider the realities of training within that geographical area and be specific about which would be suitable for you – whilst being flexible may in some circumstances increase your chances of success, being unrealistic will lead to problems. Don't forget to ensure that you take note of the locality you have been assigned when you receive your offer letter and arrange your accommodation accordingly. 

Your application

Background and experience

We want committed, keen, enthusiastic students who are going to make a real difference to the course they are studying. Our students learn from each other, as well as their academic staff, so it is really important to us that you can show us how much you care about the course you are interested in. Your UCAS personal statement is a great place to do this. Tell us about your personal achievements or any relevant work experience you have done, and show us how they make you the ideal candidate for a place on the course.

For Mental Health Nursing, we are looking for applicants who:

  • Have an interest in Mental Health Nursing as well as the motivation and commitment to undertake the course
  • Have undertaken relevant work experience
  • Have a clear understanding of the profession
  • Can demonstrate personal skills and qualities relevant to the course.

It is recommended that you have some care experience, preferably in a mental health setting. If you do not have any relevant experience, you will be required to demonstrate at interview that you have a clear insight into the nature of the profession that you will be training to enter.

Our courses are built around the NHS constitution values, and when assessing your application we will take these values into consideration:

  • Working together for patients
  • Respect and dignity
  • Commitment to quality of care
  • Compassion
  • Improving lives
  • Everyone counts.

Find out more about the NHS Constitution principles.

IT skills

In the healthcare sector IT is now a vital tool for accessing and maintaining patient records, accessing literature to client care and conducting clinically-related research. As a student you will receive an introduction to IT near the beginning of your course and you will be provided with computer access and your own email address. During the course you will be expected to use your developing IT skills to produce assignments, to conduct literature searches, and to use client-related record systems in the clinical setting. Following instruction some of your study will be undertaken through web-based learning tools, for example by participating in online discussions.

Selection methods

We’ll use the UCAS applications to create a shortlist of candidates that we would like to find out more about. You can find some handy hints about filling in your UCAS form on our how to apply webpages.

Please note that interviews are part of our selection process and you must be able to demonstrate at interview that you show the necessary insight into nursing, as well as the motivation and commitment to become a nurse.

Our offer making process

Our offer making will typically be based on your main graded qualifications, including any required subjects. Additional study may be valuable for breadth of study, and we will look at a range of qualifications and subjects, including the Extended Project Qualification and General Studies, although these may not be part of our offer.

If you do not meet the criteria of your original offer, we may still offer you a place. We will review your whole application and consider all academic qualifications (including those not in the offer) and the rest of the application to see if you have the academic potential to succeed on the course. If we feel the answer is yes, we will still confirm your place.

How we'll assess your application

We look at individual applications and make a tailored offer based on your potential to succeed on the course considering a range of factors, including your academic achievements, work and other experience, predicted grades, reference and personal statement, and in some cases, your performance at an interview/selection test.

If you meet one or more of our contextual data indicators for educational disadvantage (such as being in care, living in a low participation neighbourhood or in an area with less advantaged socio-economic characteristics), your offer could be between 6-20 points below the published tariff.

What to expect at interview

The interview session starts with a talk and tour of the Lansdowne Campus by current Mental Health Nursing students. This is followed by a group exercise lasting approximately half an hour and then an individual interview. The individual interviews last approximately 15 minutes and you should expect to be here for approximately four hours.

There will be a maximum of 12 applicants at each session for the group exercise. You may wish to bring some reading material to keep you occupied whilst waiting for your individual interview. You will be allocated the time for your individual interview on arrival so you will be aware of how long you may have to wait. Please arrive in good time; if you are late we reserve the right to refuse entry to the session.

You can find further information about interviews with the Faculty of Health & Social Sciences here.

Additional reference

In addition to the reference on your UCAS form, once we’ve received your application we will contact you to ask for a second reference; this can be a different teacher/lecturer, employer or person who knows you in a professional capacity.

Unconditional offer scheme

Applicants who are predicted to achieve strong academic results will be eligible for BU’s Unconditional Offer Scheme in recognition of their academic performance and potential to succeed at university. If you are selected for the scheme and commit to us as your firm choice of university, then we will match this commitment by making your offer unconditional, which will guarantee your place at BU.

You will receive a standard conditional offer based on the entry requirements for your course via UCAS Track and your offer letter – it will advise that you are eligible for the unconditional offer scheme. We will then update your offer to unconditional should you choose BU as your firm choice on UCAS Track. We believe that unconditional offers reduce pressure on applicants who will continue to strive to achieve the best grades possible, and we will reward you with an Academic Excellence scholarship of £1,000 in your first year if you achieve AAA or above at A-level or equivalent.

2018 entry requirements

We use the UCAS Tariff to show our entry requirements and will accept a combination of grades from your qualifications. You can use the UCAS calculator to see how your qualifications equate to tariff points.

The entry requirements for this course are 104 - 120 tariff points including a minimum of 2 A-levels or equivalent. BTEC Extended Diploma: Distinction, Merit, Merit.

Excluded subjects: General Studies

GCSEs: This course requires GCSE English and Mathematics grade C (or grade 4 in the reformed GCSE grading) or equivalent qualifications

Numeracy and literacy: We need to be sure that you can express yourself in written English and have basic numeracy skills. We look at Level 2 of the National Qualifications Framework, which includes GCSEs, iGCSEs, Key Skills and Functional Skills Level 2. If you do not have formal qualifications to this level or have alternatives, we may still be able to consider your application – please contact the Future Students Enquiry Team to find out more.

If English is not your first language: you will need IELTS (Academic) 7.0 with minimum 7.0 in each component of writing, speaking, listening and reading or equivalent. This is a Nursing & Midwifery Council (NMC) requirement.

Other qualifications: We have outlined below other qualifications that we consider for this course. If you are studying a qualification that is not listed, please contact the Future Students Enquiry Team – it may be that we can still consider it.

Access courses: 102 - 118 tariff points with any combination of Distinction, Merit, Pass grades

BTEC qualifications:

  • Extended Diploma: This course requires Distinction, Merit, Merit (112 tariff points)
  • Diploma: Accepted as part of the overall tariff but it must be accompanied by an A-level or equivalent
  • BTEC National Foundation Diploma/ 90-credit Diploma: Accepted as part of the overall tariff but it must be accompanied by A-levels or equivalent
  • BTEC National Extended Certificate/ Subsidiary Diploma: Accepted as part of the overall tariff but it must be accompanied by A-levels or equivalent
  • NCFE CACHE Level 3 Extended Diploma in Health and Social Care:This qualification can be considered if it meets the entry requirement of 104- 120 tariff points

Cambridge Pre-U Diploma: 104 - 120 tariff points from 2 principal subjects.

Cambridge Technical qualifications:

  • Extended Diploma: This course requires Distinction, Merit, Merit (112 tariff points) 
  • Diploma: Accepted as part of the overall tariff but it must be accompanied by an A-level or equivalent.
  • Subsidiary Diploma: Accepted as part of the overall tariff but it must be accompanied by A-levels or equivalent
  • Introductory Diploma: Accepted as part of the overall tariff but it must be accompanied by A-levels or equivalent

International Baccalaureate (Diploma): 28 - 31 points overall including grade H5 from 2 Higher Level subjects.

Scottish Advanced Higher: 104 - 120 tariff points including a minimum of 2 Advanced Highers.

Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Diploma: Accepted as part of the overall tariff but it must be accompanied by an A-level or equivalent.

Extended Project Qualification: Accepted as part of the overall tariff but it must be accompanied by 2 A-levels or equivalent qualifications.

Open University: If you currently have some academic qualifications but don’t meet our entry requirements or don’t have a Biology/Human Biology qualification (if it’s a requirement of your course) you could consider studying the Open University SK299 course which equates to 30 UCAS tariff points.

Other Health Care Level 3 Qualifications and Bridging Programmes: We are aware that there are a wide range of health care qualifications which people undertake in their workplace. Find out more about Bridging Programmes and some frequently asked questions about them here. If you would like to know if the qualifications you have or are working towards meet our entry criteria; please ring the Future Students Enquiry Team on 01202 961916 or email us for further information and advice.

Deferred entry: We are happy to consider applicants for deferred entry.

Non-academic requirements

Occupational Health (OH) Checks

Nursing is physically and mentally demanding and you will  need to be mentally and physically able to undertake your chosen course. Places are offered subject to passing an OH check, and this will be carried out at the University Hospital Southampton. Health conditions  need to be dealt with on an individual basis e.g. deafness, blindness, eczema (or other dermatological allergic reactions) on exposed areas, epilepsy,  back problems, or mental health conditions, eating disorders and other disabilities. These do not automatically exclude you but please ensure that you fully disclose your condition  to OH. The University can then consider the recommendations made by OH and whether reasonable adjustments can be made to support you on your chosen course. If you require more guidance please contact us for more information.

You will be required to provide a record of your immunity status or be vaccinated or have the required blood tests. Please see this table for the required immunisations. You may need to ask your GP or current OH department or find your childhood vaccination record  for details of your past immunisation records. You should be aware that there may be charges made (for which you will be liable) relating to your gaining the appropriate immunity required prior to starting your training programme.

Refusing Immunisations

The University has an expectation that all students will comply with the vaccination programme.  This ensures that you will be able to undertake the wide range of training placements that your course  will require. Occasionally some vaccinations  are contraindicated in certain medical conditions. OH will advise the University in these cases.The University will consider students on an individual basis. Refusal to have immunisations will result in the student not being allowed to attend practice placement and being withdrawn from the course. There is no opportunity to appeal against the requirements of the immunisation policy.

Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) Check (previously known as CRB)

All successful applicants will be subject to an Enhanced Disclosure and Barred List check; this will be a condition of offer and will need to be completed prior to commencing the course. Please see the Government website for the most up to date information.

International entry requirements

English language requirements

If English is not your first language, you will need to provide evidence that you can understand English to a satisfactory level. English language requirements for this course are normally:

  • IELTS (Academic) 7.0 with a minimum of 7.0 in each component of writing, speaking, listening and reading..

View further information about our English language requirements.

Language testing applicants from Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Canada and the USA

All overseas applicants are required to meet the NMC standard for English language regardless of where they come from. This makes sure that all applicants meet the same standard in a system that is equitable, fair and non-discriminatory. There are no current plans by the NMC to waive the IELTS requirements for these countries”.

Academic entry requirements

You can find details of the international qualifications we accept, and what level of study they apply to, on our entry requirements for non-UK students’ page.

We offer a number of preparatory programmes through the Bournemouth University International College. These courses offer you progression from High School in your home country to a Bachelor’s degree at BU.


If shortlisted for interview you will be notified of the interview arrangements once your application has been processed. 


  • Students in work/further study six months after graduation: 97%* 

A diverse range of roles are open to you as a mental health nurse, allowing you to forge a career that you're truly passionate about. You can work within the NHS or in the private sector and can be based in a hospital environment or community setting.

Being able to educate those with mental health problems about how to work towards a recovery, as well as supporting their families, is important regardless of the job you have and this course will ensure you're equipped to do exactly that.

Within six months of graduating, 97% of our students are in work within the healthcare sector or further study. We have excellent links with service users and service providers, allowing you to build relationships before you finish your course and enhance your employment prospects as a result.

Among the roles you can go into after graduating are:

  • Mental health nurse in an in-patient environment (e.g. acute admissions unit, elderly care, treatment wards, psychiatric intensive care unit or rehabilitation)
  • Community mental health nurse
  • Staff nurse
  • Specialist nurse (covering the likes of eating disorders, addictions, forensic psychiatry, child and adolescent psychiatry or psychological therapist).

On graduating successfully from this course, you can apply for registration with the Nursing & Midwifery Council (NMC).

Kelly Lockyer, Mental Health Nurse

“I did placements in lots of different areas, which helped me see what I was interested in and what I wanted to pursue. I worked really hard and made people aware that I wanted to work in that sector, so people told me when opportunities arose and knew me when I then went for job interviews.”

Kelly Lockyer, BSc Mental Health Nursing graduate and dementia nurse specialist at The Royal Bournemouth Hospital – read Kelly’s story

Industries worked in

  • Healthcare
  • Chairty sector
  • Education. 

Further study

Once you have completed an undergraduate Honours degree, you can further develop your education by studying for a postgraduate degree. Please visit our Postgraduate section for further details about our range of Master's degrees.

*All statistics shown are taken from Unistats, Destination of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE), BU institutional data and Ipsos MORI (National Student Survey) unless otherwise stated.

Your lecturers

Our staff are actively engaged in research and professional practice in the mental health sector which is integrated into the teaching of this course. Find out more about some of the staff and their research activities who will be teaching on this course below. 

Dr Sarah Eales

Sarah Eales is the programme leader for the course, and has worked within the field of Liaison Mental Health Care for fifteen years, as a researcher, clinician and academic. Sarah completed a PhD on the Service User Experience of Liaison Mental Health Care in 2013. Until 2014 Sarah ran a BSc/ MSc 15 credit module in Liaison Mental Health Care at City University, London.. As a Senior Lecturer in Mental Health at City University London Sarah was the Programme Manager for the Pre-registration Mental Health Nursing programme for 6 years. She joined the academic staff at Bournemouth University on 2014 as a Senior Lecturer in Mental Health Nursing.

Dr Steve Trenoweth

Dr Steve Trenoweth has been a mental health nurse for 23 years. He has worked in a wide variety of mental health settings before entering higher education in 2003. He is currently a Senior Lecturer at Bournemouth University. He has authored several books, chapters and articles in nursing and health care, and is an Editorial Board member of the British Journal of Mental Health Nursing.

Dr Andy Mercer

Andy’s primary role is as Senior Academic/Professional Lead in Mental Health & Learning Disabilities.

His background is in nursing and he’s worked in acute mental health care before moving into education, firstly as a tutor within the NHS, and later as a senior lecturer in Higher Education. Andy’s principal interests are in nursing philosophy and the ethics of caring, and in mental health policy. In his current role he’s involved in the delivery and management of education programmes, research supervision, and research and practice development activities in mental health.

Sonya Chelvanayagam

Sonya Chelvanayagam is a lecturer in mental health nursing, she is a registered mental health nurse and adult nurse who has worked in a variety of care services such as HIV and gastroenterology. This has involved Sonya in working with people who experience either physical or mental illnesses or a combination of physical symptoms and mental health problems.

Sonya’s research interests include mental and physical health, gastrointestinal disorders and related psychopathology, eating disorders, stigma, bariatric surgery.

Zoe Cowie

Zoe started her career as a general nurse before moving into mental health nursing, where she worked firstly in acute admissions and then in an adult community mental health team for 15 years. During this time she also undertook her degree in health care and specialist courses in psychodynamic and cognitive analytic therapies.

In 2002 Zoe joined Bournemouth University as a Practice Educator and then in 2014 moved to a lecturer post in the mental health nursing team. At the moment Zoe is studying for a PhD looking at the lived experiences of adults who grew up with parents who were suffering from serious mental illness.

Dr Tula Brannelly

Dr Tula Brannelly is a Lecturer in Mental Health at Bournemouth University. Tula has extensive experience in practice, research and education in mental health. Her research interest is about the experiences of care and outcomes of service provision on marginalised populations, shaped by an interest in ethics and citizenship.

Tula’s academic interest was kindled by a practice background in mental health nursing with older people with mental health problems, and particularly, dementia and has continued through research and teaching in the areas of mental health and citizenship. The core question that drives her research is how does health and social policy impact on the wellbeing of marginalised groups? This broad question hosts numerous interests about citizenships for service users, and the ethics practiced through welfare relationships. The theoretical basis for this work is the ethics of care. The combination of these factors provides a platform for work related to citizenship and improving health relationships, particularly with people with mental health problems and disability, older people with dementia and young people with alcohol and drug problems. Tula works in partnership with service users and carers, and while in New Zealand developed collaborations with Maori researchers and service users. Tula is a member of the Care Ethics Research Consortium at the University of Utrecht editorial board member on Ethics and Social Welfare and hosts the global Care Ethics Network.

Current research includes Using Technologies for Safer Walking funded by Alzheimer’s Society, PI Ruth Bartlett, University of Southampton.

No hidden extras

Course specific material(s) included in your tuition fee:

  • Professional body accreditation of the course
  • Disclosure and Barring Service Check
  • Occupational Health Check
  • Uniforms

As a student at BU we will provide many things to support you and there will also be additional costs you may encounter whilst studying at BU. The information below will help you understand our provision and what you need to budget for.

What you can expect from us

All of your teaching and assessments are included in your tuition fees, including, lectures/guest lectures and tutorials, seminars, laboratory sessions and specialist teaching facilities. You will also have access to a wide range of support and services, many of these are included on the Next Steps insert enclosed with your offer letter.

  • One set of study-related consumables such as a memory stick/ DVD
  • Materials for laboratory and field-based teaching activity
  • Support for placements (UK or abroad) and fieldwork, and non-financial support whilst on placement
  • A range of student services – advisors, help desks, counsellors, placement support and careers service
  • The Library – access to a wide range of electronic resources (databases, e-journals and e-books), print and multimedia collections, subject librarians and study spaces
  • IT labs (some open 24/7), wireless network, AV equipment to borrow
  • Peer Assisted Learning (PAL) scheme
  • Disability and additional learning support
  • The BU Language Centre to help you develop/improve foreign or English language skills
  • 24 hours a day, 365 days a year security team.

Costs of living and other expenses you need to consider

  • Accommodation and living costs: view our price guide and the Health and Social Science accommodation pages
  • Text books: remember that our award-winning library is stocked with a large range of text books for all courses, as well as online resources such as industry journals, free of charge
  • General stationery and other supplies such as print and presentation materials: the Students’ Union shops stock a wide range of stationery supplies on both campuses
  • Travel to, from and between BU campuses: our bus service operates in the local areas offering a subsided travel rate; we also have a large number of secure bike storage compounds
  • Travel to placement is your responsibility; you may be able to reclaim costs from NHS Student Bursaries
  • SportBU membership: check out our student membership packages, sports events, varsity teams, information about our new facilities and more at the SportBU pages
  • Optional fieldwork travel, outdoor wear and footwear (where applicable)
  • Telephone and travel costs incurred when undertaking interviews for coursework/securing placements
  • A fee will be payable towards the cost of an Educational Psychology Assessment if this is required in connection with additional learning support. BU pays for approximately two-thirds of the cost of this assessment for UK students. For more details and current pricing please visit the Students section of the website.

Repeat units

If you need to repeat one or more units during the course of your studies (with or without attendance) you will be required to pay an additional fee of £1,500 per 20 credit unit. 

Financial help available from BU

We offer a range of scholarships and bursaries to students who are beginning their studies at BU. Our website also provides details on living costs, budgeting and paying your tuition fees.

Course changes

The table below indicates the latest changes to this course.

Date Changes to this course Where the change was made Previous text

2018 entry requirements have changed to 104 - 120 tariff points including a minimum of 2 A-levels or equivalent. 

Key facts and 2018 entry requirements 

The entry requirements for this course are 104 - 120 tariff points from 3 A-levels or equivalent. 


2018 GCSE entry requirements have changed to This course requires GCSE English and Mathematics grade C (or grade 4 in the reformed GCSE grading) or equivalent qualifications.

2018 entry requirements

This course requires a minimum of 4 GCSEs grades A* - C (or grade 4 or above in the newly reformed GCSE grading) including Maths and English or equivalent qualifications. A science subject is preferred

14/03/2017 Only IELTS qualifications will be excepted for English language tests, we cannot accept equivalent qualifications.  International entry requirements IELTS (Academic) 7.0 with minimum 7.0 in each component, or equivalent. 
20/12/2016 Change to assessment method for Mental Health in Specific Settings (Year 3) from coursework to exam Programme Specification


Tariff point range introduced of 104 - 120 tariff points, previously entry requirements were 120 tariff points

Key facts and 2017 entry requirements

120 tariff points


Grade specifications removed from the entry requirements for the BTEC Diploma, statement changed to:

The BTEC Diploma will be accepted as part of your overall tariff but it must be accompanied by A-levels or equivalent qualifications. Offers will be subject and grade specific, particularly in the science subjects.

2017 entry requirements

BTEC Diploma: This course requires a Distinction, Merit from the Diploma in addition to an A-Level Grade B in a relevant subject to achieve the overall tariff. Offers will be subject and grade specific, particularly in the science subjects.


International Baccalaureate (Diploma) entry requirements changed to:

28-31 points overall including 5 points from each of the Higher Level subjects

2017 entry requirements

The IB Diploma is welcomed as part of the International Baccalaureate (IB). This course requires 31 points including 5 points from each of the 3 Higher Level subjects.


European Baccalaureate entry requirements changed to:

Applicants are required to achieve a minimum score of 70% overall.

2017 entry requirements

This course requires a minimum score of 75%.

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