- Our nursing programmes are approved to the NMC’s new Future nurse: Standards of Proficiency for registered nurses
- This is a flexible course with routes to both Postgraduate Diploma and the full MSc possible within just two years of full-time study
- Both the Postgraduate Diploma and MSc routes lead to registration with the Nursing and Midwifery Council at the end of the two year course, as long as you meet the NMC’s requirements.
- You will adopt a person-centred approach to care, develop critical evaluation skills and develop the caring professionalism required to thrive in your career as a nurse
- The course will equip you with vital nursing skills and our use of clinical supervision throughout the course will enable you to develop resilience and reflective practice.
This course is underpinned by the desire to deliver kind, compassionate nursing care. It is a two year, full-time degree and supports those with a prior degree (2:2 or above) to become a registered mental health nurse at an accelerated pace. You will also need prior work experience in a service user context, allowing you to demonstrate the skills that underpin professional nursing registration. Your prior experiences will contribute to the learning opportunities within the course and together these will provide eligibility to register as a mental health nurse with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC), as long as you meet the NMC’s requirements.
We are proud to support the workforce needs of the local region - our course is delivered in the context of the local health care environment and we aim to support our students to become qualified nurses who are employed locally. By studying this course you can be confident that you will meet the standards and competences contained within the NMC Standards for Pre-registration Nursing Programmes and Standards of proficiency for registered nurses (NMC 2018). The Postgraduate Diploma/MSc Nursing is an intensive course and you will need commitment, motivation and a desire to succeed. The programme holds high expectations that you are engaged and ready to be an independent learner and that you are able to meet the theory and practice hours required by the NMC that reflect a full time programme of study.
A significant amount of time in practice will be spent working alongside qualified nurses, applying theory to practice to develop key clinical skills and the ability to work as a professional in practice. Throughout the course you will experience a wide variety of practice learning environments across the Derbyshire region. These practice environments include hospitals; community settings; private, voluntary and independent sectors. Whilst on placement you will be required to experience a full range of shift patterns relevant to the practice environment you are placed in. Placement hours are subject to change.
You will engage in high fidelity simulated practice within the university and also be expected to engage in clinical supervision. Both of which will enhance and support your development as a confident and competent practitioner.
The course is delivered over two academic years; however it is separated into three equal parts called stages.
You will complete a range of modules to develop the fundamental knowledge and skills for safe, effective nursing practice where the interests of people using, or needing nursing services, are put first. These modules provide the foundation for you to develop a caring professionalism where you can be trusted in the care you provide.
A person-centred approach to care is fostered through in-depth evaluation of care across the life span for a range of service users with acute and long term conditions. Independent inquiry and critical evaluation skills will be fostered to underpin an evidence-based approach.
In addition to this, you will be asked to be flexible and responsive to the changing needs of individuals and society by engaging in service improvement and enterprise in health care. If you choose to undertake an extended independent piece of work (Independent Scholarship module) this will facilitate the enabling of research, innovation and further embed evidence-based practice.
Students can complete the MSc qualification in two years. Alternatively they can complete the PG Dip and not take the additional 60 credit module to achieve an MSc. Should students choose, they can complete their PG Dip within the two year period leading to registration then completed their final 60 credit module within their first year of nursing practice to achieve their MSc qualification.
You are eligible to register with the NMC following successful completion of the six 20 credit compulsory modules.
You will study modules such as:
- The Developing Nurse
- Nursing in Practice Mental Health
- Promoting Health and Preventing Ill Health
- Application of Evidence within Nursing Practice
- Complexities in Mental Health Nursing
- Leading Innovation and Improvement for the Transition to Registration Mental Health
- Independent Scholarship for Nursing
If you complete your two year full-time course and gain the full 180 credits you will be awarded the MSc Nursing (Mental Health).
However, if you finish the two year full-time course with a Postgraduate Diploma Nursing (Mental Health) (having completed 120 credits) you will be invited to complete the remaining 60 credits in the next academic year, to achieve a full MSc, as a part-time student, when it is anticipated you will be employed as a registered nurse. At this time you will be able to undertake the 60 credit Independent Scholarship for Nursing module.
Please note that our modules are subject to change - we review the content of our courses regularly, making changes where necessary to improve your experience and graduate prospects.
So that you are fully prepared for your career in nursing, 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.
*Placement hours are subject to change.
A range of learning and teaching strategies will be used including lectures, workshops, self-directed work, tutorials and online materials. Robust online resources will also be available to support your learning as you progress through the course.
A key characteristic of this course is the use of simulation in each stage to prepare you for practice. Simulation will use case scenarios to increase confidence and competence in both clinical and interpersonal skills in a safe environment.
There will be a range of Inter-Professional Learning (IPL) activities within the academic setting. During these activities you will engage in learning with both undergraduate and postgraduate health and social care students.
You will be required to construct and maintain a professional portfolio that illustrates an understanding for continuing professional development and lifelong learning. This portfolio will help to demonstrate safe and effective practice encouraging you to reflect on how you demonstrate the standards set out within the Code (NMC 2015). As an NMC registrant you will be required to renew your registration every three years. The portfolio you develop on this course will therefore provide you with the tools you need to support your re-validation in the future.
Practice experiences range from three to 12 continuous weeks. In addition, you will have the opportunity of an elective experience in the final stage of the course. While in these practice environments you will engage in 24 hour and seven day care. All student nurses are supernumerary during practice learning. Supernumerary means that you will not be contracted by any person or body to provide nursing care as part of your course. However, you are expected to engage fully in the care provided by the health care team, as directed by your mentor.
Who you'll meet
Melanie Gasston-Hales is a Senior Lecturer in Mental Health and the Programme Leader for the MSc Nursing with Registration (Mental Health) programme. Melanie is Registered Nurse in Mental Health and holds a Lecturer/Practice Educator qualification recorded with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC). Her clinical experience is predominantly in acute mental health care in hospital and within the community. In higher education, Melanie has worked as a practice educator and has taught across pre- and post-registration nursing courses.
Elizabeth Collier is a senior lecturer in mental health nursing, teaching on BSc, MSc Pre-Registration and interprofessional programmes. She holds a Nursing & Midwifery Council (NMC) mental health registration, as well as a teaching qualification registered with the NMC. Elizabeth has completed a PhD and has experience as an external examiner at masters and doctorate level, now supervising doctoral students. She has facilitated continuing professional development (CPD) and consultancy activities in dementia, mental health awareness and mental health in older people, her research experience covering a wide range of subjects and focusing mainly on qualitative methods.
Heather Brundrett is a senior lecturer and programme leader for the BSc (Hons) Nursing Adult programme. Heather has worked as a mental health nurse since 1986 in a range of mental health services including those for older people, acute mental health difficulties, drug and alcohol problems, forensic and enduring mental health difficulties. Heather is a trained cognitive behavioural psychotherapist and has experience of using this approach to help people with anxiety, depression, anger difficulties, post-traumatic stress disorder, personality disorder and substance misuse. Heather also has a role as an external examiner for undergraduate and postgraduate nursing programmes at another UK university and is a reviewer for the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Dissemination Centre.
How you'll be assessed
The opportunity to gain assessment feedback support will encourage dialogue, enabling students to make the most of their feedback, provide action plans and utilise academic, student and practice support staff as required. The choice of the assessment task is aligned to the unit outcomes, appropriate learner outcomes with the intention of building a range of academic skills and role development.
The assessment strategy is designed to provide a diverse range of assessment approaches, with feedback and feedforward mechanisms designed to help students make the most from assessment and continue to develop.
You will need:
- Essential: Grade C (or Grade 4) maths and English (or equivalent)
- Essential: Honours degree 2:2 or above
- Desirable: Grade C science
- Experience of education or study within the last five years is preferred
- Essential: 450hrs of work experience* (equivalent to 12 full-time (37.5 hrs weeks) in a service user context** obtained in the last five years
- Desirable: Paid employment
*you must be working within a contractual relationship this can be educational, employment or voluntary
**you must demonstrate you were working in a setting where you have personally supported the health and/or wellbeing needs of service users
- You will be expected to complete two electronic portfolios to evidence how your past experiences are relevant to a career in nursing; one practice portfolio to evidence your 450 hours of work experience, and one theory portfolio to evidence how your prior educational experience is relevant to nursing
- Applicants must complete an occupational health assessment and Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check as part of the selection process and any offer made will be subject to satisfactory outcome of these
- If English is not your first language you must have achieved an IELTS score of at least level 6.5
Please note: The post-graduate programme admissions team will screen direct applications on the above criteria. Application forms will then be sent to the programme leaders (or their nominated deputy) to review on an individual basis.
2021/22 Fees (August 2021 - July 2022)
£9,250 per year
£14,700 per year
Please note fees normally increase in line with inflation and the University's strategic approach to fees, which is reviewed on an annual basis. The total fee you pay may therefore increase after one year of study.
* UK full-time fees paid within one academic year are rounded down to the nearest £50 if applicable
Additional fee information
Funding for Nursing and Allied Health courses
By studying on this programme, you are eligible for a Tuition Fee Loan of up to £9,250. The loan will support your studies and enable you to start a rewarding career in healthcare.
From September 2020 all new and continuing nursing and allied health students on pre-registration courses will also receive a grant of at least £5,000 per year that is not means-tested and will not have to be repaid.
An additional payment of up to £3,000 per academic year will be available to eligible students. Eligibility will include the following:
- £1,000 towards childcare costs
- £1,000 if studying in a region that is struggling to recruit
- £1,000 if studying a shortage specialism
Among others, the shortage specialisms have been confirmed to include:
- Mental health nursing
- Learning disability nursing
- Diagnostic radiography
In addition to this non-repayable grant, you are also able to access a maintenance loan of up to £9,488 per year to support your studies, giving you access to over £17,000 per year of funding.
Read the full press release on the Government website
About postgraduate awards
Please note at postgraduate level, you’ll need to gain the following number of credits in total to obtain the respective awards. If you have any questions please contact us.
Additional costs and optional extras
Funding your studies
Find out more about fees, postgraduate loans and support you may be entitled to.
Find out about funding your studies
Alumni discount for Derby graduates
We offer a discount on postgraduate course fees for all Derby alumni.
Find out about the Alumni discount
On successful completion of this degree you will be eligible to register with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) and go into practice as a nurse.
We offer full support to help you achieve your career goals, including guidance on applications, CVs and interview techniques. Health care organisations large and small attend our annual employer fairs as part of their recruitment drives. Some of our students are fortunate enough to have several job offers by the time they complete their course.
Graduates from this programme will go on to work within hospitals and in community based teams. They may also go into community care homes, forensic services or the voluntary sector. There may also be opportunities for you to work overseas.
If you need any more information from us, eg on courses, accommodation, applying, car parking, fees or funding, please contact us and we will do everything we can to help you.Contact us
† Additional information about your studies
Download programme specification
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 usually be available on the website 24 hours after enrolment on to your course.
Additional costs and optional extras
We’re committed to providing you with an outstanding learning experience. Our expert teaching, excellent facilities and great employability prepare you for your future career. As part of our commitment to you we aim to keep any additional study costs to a minimum. However, there are occasions where students may incur some additional costs.
The information below is correct for entry in the academic year September 2020 - August 2021 only. Entry for future academic years may be subject to change.
Included in your fees
- Markers, name badges and ID holders
- DBS Check
- Occupational Health Check
Mandatory costs not included in your fees
- Travel expenses to placements
- Suitable footwear for skills sessions and placements approx. £40
Optional costs not included in your fees
- Textbooks to supplement anything available through the library, various prices depending on content
- Printing costs of course materials if hard copy is desired approx. 5p per sheet
- Students may opt to engage in international trips and activities that are not fully funded, though bursaries may be available
- Optional outings and trips will also require self-funding
- Professional NMC membership required to practice. More details can be found www.nmc.org.uk
Please note: Our courses are refreshed and updated on a regular basis. If you are thinking about transferring onto this course (into the second year for example), you should contact the programme leader for the relevant course information as modules may vary from those shown on this page.
Please note that this course is subject to minimum numbers in order to run.