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, as long as you meet the NMC’s requirements.
- Our nursing courses are ranked 11th in The Guardian University Guide 2019.
- 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
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).
Please note you are still able to apply directly to the University for this course for a September 2018 start. Please scroll down to the ‘How to apply’ section below.
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 with 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, as long as you meet the NMC’s requirements. 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 mental health students being shortlisted in two categories and winning in the category of outstanding contribution to student affairs in the 2018 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 £25,000 per year and will pay 9% of any income above £25,000.
You can also secure grants – which do not have to be repaid – to cover childcare and the costs of travelling to your placement.
Find out more
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.
September 2019 typical entry requirements
|UCAS points||120 (up to 16 from AS-levels)|
|Specific requirements at A-level|
No specific subject requirements
|Specific requirements at GCSE||GCSE Maths and English Grade C/Grade 4 (or above) or equivalent qualification|
|Interview / Audition||Yes - see interview details|
Alternative entry qualifications:
- BTEC - DDM
- Access to HE Diploma - 60 credits: 45 at level 3 with a minimum of Dist: 15 Merit: 24 Pass: 6
We usually consider an A-level in General Studies as a supplementary qualification. A good application/performance will be taken into account if you do not meet the criteria/offer conditions.
An Occupational Health Assessment and Clearance by the University is required for this course. We will contact you with information on how to complete this when required. More information
An Enhanced Disclosure & Barring Service certificate cleared by the University is required for this course. We will contact you with information on how to complete this once you have applied. More information.
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.
£9,250 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
Additional financial support is available from the NHS for this course. Please see their webpage for more information.
For an independent view on student finance see Martin Lewis' Money Saving website.
Further information about our fees and support you may be entitled to.
For more information on student loans for health programmes please visit The Council of Deans webpage here.
Such is the course’s reputation that that you will receive a conditional job offer when you enrol. “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
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, as long as you meet the NMC’s requirements.
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
† Additional information about your studies
September (Derby and Chesterfield), March (Derby)
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.
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.