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BSc (Hons) Nursing (Mental Health)
Why choose this course?
Mental health problems currently affect one in four of the UK population. If you’re caring and compassionate, with exceptional communication skills and a real passion for helping people, this degree is for you.
- Join a course accredited by the Nursing and Midwifery Council: when you graduate, you’ll be eligible to register and practise as a mental health nurse
- Gain essential practical experience on a range of placements in different health care and community settings
- Benefit from some of the best university facilities of their kind, including our clinical skills suite and our state-of-the-art immersive suite
- Learn from a highly experienced, enthusiastic and research-active team who provide full support to help you achieve your ambitions
- Be inspired on a programme with strong approval ratings: in the 2017 National Student Survey, 92% of students were satisfied with the teaching of this course
- The Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust provide students with a conditional job offer when you enrol on the course
- Choose to study at our Derby or Chesterfield Campus, starting in September or March*
“High standards of nurse education are absolutely pivotal to the quality of care we provide. We know that the nurses the University of Derby delivers are first class and we want to recruit the people that it trains.”
Gavin Boyle, Chief Executive at Derby Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
If you already hold a degree and are looking to qualify as a mental health nurse, find out more about our MSc Nursing (Mental Health).
*March intake only available at Derby campusShow All
UCAS code: B780 Start date: September (Derby and Chesterfield), March (Derby). Course length: Full-time: three years Campus: Kedleston Road site, Derby Campus or St Helena, Chesterfield Campus College: College of Health and Social Care
About this course
This course prepares you for registration as a mental health nurse, enabling you to work with a range of client groups with acute, diverse and long-term conditions.
A highly rewarding career choice
Mental health nurses support people suffering from depression, anxiety, dementia, bulimia nervosa, post-natal depression and a whole range of other conditions that can lead to unhelpful thoughts and ideas. They focus on people’s strengths and resources – helping them to overcome and cope with their problems and maximising their life potential.
This course is built around the ethos that everyone has a right to evidence-based care, whatever their background and circumstances. It equips you to excel as a confident, versatile and capable mental health nurse.
Meeting professional standards
Because our degree is accredited by the Nursing and Midwifery Council, you will be eligible to register and practise as a nurse as soon as you graduate. At every stage of the course, you will draw on our long-established links with health and social care employers.
You’ll cover the core areas which are essential for mental health nursing, including biological sciences, pharmacology studies, psychological and sociological aspects of health care, evidence-based practice and research, integrated practice, professional, legal and ethical studies, and leadership and management.
Wide-ranging placement experience
You’ll gain practical experience on varied placements in settings such as hospitals, the community and voluntary organisations. This is essential to your preparation for registration and includes 24-hour nursing with shift patterns so you gain a feel for the demands of the profession. Throughout, you’ll be supported by approved and qualified mentors.
We have expanded our portfolio of placements not only within the NHS but also with private and voluntary services. One innovative example is a short placement with the fire service.
“Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust offers high quality placements across a range of services. As a student nurse in our Trust, you will have access to a range of placements which include mental health, learning disabilities, substance misuse services and children’s services where all our staff are passionate about teaching, supporting and also learning from you. You will have the privilege of working alongside people of all ages from diverse communities who access our wide-ranging services. Students who train with us evaluate us as excellent and chose us as a place of employment.” Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust
First class facilities in Derby and Chesterfield
You can take this course at our Derby Campus or our new Chesterfield Campus. Both offer outstanding learning environments including clinical skills suites built to professional standards, with replica wards, counselling rooms and treatment rooms fully equipped with the latest resources.
An exciting new addition is a state-of-the-art Immersive Suite which creates a simulated environment through innovative technology, virtual reality, interactive 3D graphics and audio content. The first university facility of its kind outside London, the suite replicates different scenarios in health care settings so that you can ‘learn by doing’.
Rich and varied learning experiences
We enrich your studies with dynamic opportunities to take part in campaigns such as World Mental Health Day and Time to Change events which aim to tackle stigma around mental health.
You’ll also receive training to become a Dementia Friend, with some students undertaking further training as Dementia Champions. There are opportunities to volunteer with the University’s Student Minds project too.
You could take part in high-profile events as well. Our students helped us showcase our work on enhanced personal tutoring and clinical supervision at the International Networking for Healthcare Education Conference.
A winning profile for quality
Our staff and students alike regularly win national accolades, one of the latest success stories being our four nominations in the 2016 Student Nursing Times Awards.
Our students are also recognised in other schemes such as the Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust Delivering Excellence Every Day (DEED) which rewards those who go the extra mile in their work.
In tune with latest developments
This course is closely mapped to the needs of employers, ensuring that your learning is up to date and relevant. Because evidence shows that the mortality rates of people with long-term mental health difficulties are higher than for the general population, we help you develop skills in health promotion and in managing the physical health needs of service users.
As health care is increasingly delivered by multi professional teams, we offer opportunities for you to learn with, and from, students from other disciplines. This is really important in preparing you to work in more flexible ways after graduation. By learning to work together, you can help achieve the best outcomes for patients and service users.
We also respond to national changes such as latest government policies. As a result, some of the information about this course may change.
Financial support to help you succeed
Don’t let financial concerns get in the way of your ambitions. As an applicant for this course, you will be able to access a support package of tuition fee loans and support for your living costs.
You won’t have to pay any money upfront: tuition and living cost loans work just like a tax on your earnings rather than a commercial or payday loan. You will only start paying back the loans when you are earning above £21,000 per year and will pay 9% of any income above £21,000. As an example, if you started on the current NHS Band 5* salary, you would repay £6.81 a month.
You can also secure grants – which do not have to be repaid – to cover childcare and the costs of travelling to your placement.
*Band 5 salary at August 2016
What you will cover
You’ll study modules such as:
- Applied Health Sciences 1
- Evidence Based Practice
- Foundations for Nursing
- Integrated Mental Health Nursing Practice 1
- Applied Health Sciences 2
- Integrated Mental Health Nursing Practice 2
- Public Health
- Research Methods for Practice
- Quality Improvement in Healthcare
- Integrated Mental Health Nursing Practice 3
- Psychosocial Interventions to meet Complex Mental Health Needs
- Team Working, Leadership and Management.
September 2017 typical entry requirements UCAS points 112 (up to 16 from AS-levels) Specific requirements at A-level N/A Specific requirements at GCSE
Five GCSEs at or above Grade C (or Grade 4), including Maths, English and Science
Interview / Audition
Yes - please see below
Portfolio N/A September 2018 typical entry requirements UCAS points 120-128 (up to 16 from AS-levels) Specific requirements at A-level N/A Specific requirements at GCSE
Five GCSEs at or above Grade C (or Grade 4), including Maths, English and Science
Interview / Audition
Yes - please see below
We'll also accept the following:
- Access to Higher Education Diploma (60 credits) with a minimum 24 level three credits at Merit plus level two maths and English (either GCSE or when taken as part of the Access course)
- NVQ3 in Health and Social Care plus five GCSE passes at grade C or above including maths, English language and science. We don't accept any other level two qualifications except as part of an Access course.
When you apply for this course you should make sure that you consider the following areas in your application:
- Give evidence that you meet the academic entry criteria above or are expected to
- Show you meet the criteria to apply for NHS financial support
- Provide examples of using your communication skills with the public
- Give examples of working as part of a team
- Demonstrate you can write clearly and concisely, showing a good level of spelling and punctuation
- Show that you're motivated to become a nurse
- Provide a reference
- Show that you've studied formally at some point over the last five years
- Demonstrate how you've gained insight into caring for others.
At the University of Derby we aim to attract and select nursing students on the basis that their individual values and behaviours align with our core values, those of the Chief Nursing Officer’s 6Cs and The NHS Constitution.
We have enhanced our existing processes to ensure that we recruit the right workforce not only with the right skills and in the right numbers, but with the right values to support effective team working and excellent patient care and experience.
As part of the application process you will be invited to a Selection Day. This includes:
- A presentation by academic staff about the course
- Group-work exercise
- An individual interview (with members of the admissions team/practice partners and/or current students).
Documents to bring
- Evidence of a total of five GCSE’s, or equivalent, at or above grade C (or grade 4) – this must include English, maths and a single science
- If you are completing an Access to Higher Education Diploma we need to see evidence of level 2 English and Maths only
- Evidence of your level 3 qualifications if you have already completed these
- If applicable, evidence of your Degree and/or Master qualification – certificate and transcript
- If you have completed an Access to Higher Education Diploma we need to see your certificate and transcript
- Documentation showing proof of residency in the UK (if applicable). This is required as this programme is not available to overseas applicants.
- If you were born outside of the UK you must have no restrictions on your stay in the UK so would need to provide evidence of Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK, a certificate which shows you now have British Citizenship or an official home office document which shows you have refugee status.
A Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) is required at the point of accepting a place at the University. The Disclosure and Barring Service was established when the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) and Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA) merged in 2012 and will now provide the criminal records checking service for this programme.
Our entry requirements for this course should be read together with the University's general entry requirements, which details subjects we accept, alternative qualifications and what we're looking for at Derby.
- How to apply
Fees and finance
Full-time Part-time UK/EU
£9,250 per year
£11,750 per year
From 2017/18, new students on Nursing and Allied Health Profession (AHP) courses will take out maintenance and tuition loans like other students rather than receiving an NHS grant. Find out more
For an independent view on student finance see Martin Lewis' Money Saving website.
Fees for 2018/19 entry are still being decided, so please check back later in the year for more information.
How you will learn
So that you are fully prepared for your career, we ensure that your skills and knowledge match current working practices in health and social care. The practical abilities you develop on placement will be underpinned and extended by the knowledge you gain through lectures, tutorials, workshops and activities in the University’s own high-quality training facilities.
We harness latest technology in all aspects of the course. Modules are linked to the University’s Virtual Learning Environment (VLE), so that you have 24-hour access to relevant resources both on and off campus. We also capture ‘live’ lectures via Panopto which you can view at times that suit you via the VLE.
In addition, our students benefit from access to Clinical Skills Net, an online resource offering video tutorials in essential clinical skills. The anatomy and physiology content of the programme is supported in a similar way. In a new development, we are also introducing the Values Exchange, a global discussion forum on ethical issues relating to health and social care.
How you’re assessed
Our assessment approaches include assignments, exams, online activities, problem-based learning, and viva voce (oral) examinations. You’ll also produce a professional portfolio, which will support your Continuing Professional Development (CPD) as well as your lifelong learning.
Who you'll meet
You will be taught by qualified health professionals with extensive experience of nursing and leadership roles. They have proven, sustained track records in higher education teaching, with most holding Fellowships of the Higher Education Academy.
Our staff keep up to date with latest developments in the sector by undertaking continuing professional development as part of their registration with the Nursing and Midwifery Council. Some hold external examiner posts with other universities and some carry out clinical supervision for professionals working in their area of expertise.
We are committed to supporting you at every stage of the course. We offer enhanced personal tutoring which mirrors the professional relationships you will go on to have in practice with service users and colleagues when you embark on your career.
Research is an integral part of our work and we make key contributions to the University’s Health and Social Care Research Centre. Current initiatives include studies into dementia and a major long-term research project exploring values, compassion and care in undergraduate nursing. There may even be opportunities for you to work alongside our researchers to gain an insight into the value of research.
The teaching team is supported by ‘experts by experience’ – leading practitioners who regularly share their knowledge in teaching sessions at the University, together with clinical staff from our placement providers.
Your Programme Leader, Heather Brundrett, has significant experience of working in statutory and voluntary mental health services and continues to maintain active links with these services. She has particular interests in mental health recovery, peer clinical supervision and psychosocial interventions.
Like most universities, we operate extended teaching hours at the University of Derby, so contact time with your lecturers and tutors could be anytime between 9am and 9pm. Your timetable will be communicated after enrolment on your course.
Careers and employability
On successful completion of this degree, you’ll be eligible to register with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) and go into practice as a qualified mental health nurse.
We boast an outstanding employability track record: in 2016 100% of our graduates went into a professional role within six months of completing the course. With a national shortage of nurses nationwide, you will discover a wide range of career opportunities. Many of our students have secured jobs before completing their studies and are increasingly offered positions in the early stages of their third year of training.
We offer full support to help you achieve your career goals, including guidance on applications, CVs and interview techniques. Employers from the NHS, private sector, army, navy and RAF are among the many organisations who attend our annual career fairs as part of their recruitment drives.
Our graduates go into a wide range of health and social care settings, including hospitals, nursing homes, community roles, the voluntary sector, prisons and the armed services, to name but a few. Many take up roles in settings where they gained experience on placement.
Take your studies to the next level
We offer a full range of post-registration courses to help you gain more advanced and specialist skills and take the next step in your career. Our portfolio includes, for instance, an innovative MSc Mental Health and Wellbeing which you can study flexibly to gain a deeper understanding of advanced practice.
You could also explore broader issues such as leadership for healthcare improvement or inter-professional practice. If you would like to conduct independent research into a specialist aspect of health and social care practice, there are opportunities to progress to doctorate level study too.
Many of our post-registration courses and modules can be incorporated into your workplace practice as part of a programme of continuing professional development. Find out more
“We’re so confident about the quality of teaching on the Mental Health Nursing degree at the University of Derby that we’ll give you a conditional job offer when you enrol on to this course,” Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust
What our students say
“The nursing team at the University has provided me with great support and encouragement throughout my time here and I’ve been given many opportunities to develop my skills to be where I am today.”
Helen Croft, BSc (Hons) Nursing (Mental Health) student who was shortlisted for two prizes – Most Inspirational Student Nurse of the Year and Student Nurse of the Year Mental Health – in the 2016 Student Nursing Times Awards.
“Some great supportive lecturers. I have found the course challenging but enjoyable. My confidence and skills have developed over the three years.”
“The support from staff has been brilliant. They find time to sit down with you and listen to what you are saying and offer advice. The teaching sessions have been of high quality.”
“Very good placement areas.”