- Numerous opportunities in the public
- private and third sectors.
- Mental Health Nurse
Take your desire to care for people and learn to nurse in a compassionate and respectful way that promotes dignity and wellbeing.
This three-year programme will prepare you for the professional role of a registered nurse meeting the mental health needs of individuals, in partnership with family, significant others, and their community-based setting.
Successful students will be eligible to register with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) which will permit them to practice as a Registered Nurse in the United Kingdom.
We have delivered nursing programmes for over 30 years and our courses provide excellence in teaching and research with innovative approaches to learning.
Career prospects for our nursing graduates are excellent, with the majority moving rapidly into posts within the NHS and independent sectors. Areas include hospital and community, elderly care, child and adolescent care and specialist practice nursing. Graduates from the BSc Hons Nursing (Mental Health) with specialise in roles related to mental health.
The University regularly ‘refreshes’ courses to make sure they are as up-to-date as possible. The University calls this process 'academic revalidation’. This course is currently being ‘refreshed’, with changes put in place for students entering from September 2017 onwards. For the most up-to-date course/ module information, please contact the Course Director.
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About this course
In this section
This course is designed to meet the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) Standards for Nurse Education (2010). These standards are currently under review, with new standards are expected in 2017/2018, therefore, the information presented is subject to change.
The three-year course prepares students for the professional role of a qualified mental health nurse. The course will enable nurses to give and support high-quality care in rapidly changing environments.
Each year must be successfully completed before a student is permitted to progress to the next year. Overall the course is structured so that learning occurs 50% of the time in nursing practice while the other 50% covers theory & practice in the university.
The course will equip the graduate nurse with the knowledge, skills, and attitude to deliver high-quality complex essential Mental Health Nursing in a manner that safeguards the public. Graduate nurses will have developed the ability to act with professionalism and integrity, and work within agreed professional, ethical and legal frameworks and processes to maintain and improve standards of care. Throughout the course, students will learn to practice person-centered, evidence-based nursing in a compassionate and respectful way that promotes dignity and wellbeing.
Our programmes will help you develop invaluable transferable skills such as team working, oral and written communication as well as creative thinking and analysis. These are skills which are highly valued by future employers. You will gain an understanding of nursing as a profession and the skills needed to succeed in practice. This will require a commitment in terms of your attendance, your attention to study, respect for others and professional behaviour.
Practice learning will enable you to develop your knowledge and abilities in a variety of areas in which nurses work. A wide range of hospital, community and rehabilitative practice learning environments will provide you with quality and comprehensive exposure to a multitude of experiences. These will provide you with an excellent insight into the profession and the opportunity to develop knowledge, skills and the confidence likely to enhance your career choices.
You will undertake practice learning placements throughout the course and you will be supported in your learning experience by clinical practitioners and University staff.
Our programmes will also provide you with a solid foundation for further postgraduate study. Many graduates apply to undertake further study leading to additional NMC recognised qualifications such as specialist practice nursing or apply for entry to research studies, such as MPhil/PhD.
Students are required to attend all timetabled classes and practice learning allocation throughout the programme.
- September 2019
Teaching, Learning and Assessment
The content for each course is summarised on the relevant course page, along with an overview of the modules that make up the course.
Each course is approved by the University and meets the expectations of:
- the relevant generic national Qualification Descriptor
- the applicable Subject Benchmark Statement
- the requirements of any professional, regulatory, statutory and accrediting bodies.
Attendance and Independent Study
As part of your course induction, you will be provided with details of the organisation and management of the course, including attendance and assessment requirements - usually in the form of a timetable. For full-time courses, the precise timetable for each semester is not confirmed until close to the start date and may be subject to some change in the early weeks as all courses settle into their planned patterns. For part-time courses which require attendance on particular days and times, an expectation of the days and periods of attendance will be included in the letter of offer. A course handbook is also made available.
Courses comprise modules for which the notional effort involved is indicated by its credit rating. Each credit point represents 10 hours of student effort. Undergraduate courses typically contain 10- or 20-credit modules (more usually 20) and postgraduate course typically 15- or 30-credit modules.
The normal study load expectation for an undergraduate full-time course of study in the standard academic year is 120 credit points. This amounts to around 36-42 hours of expected teaching and learning per week, inclusive of attendance requirements for lectures, seminars, tutorials, practical work, fieldwork or other scheduled classes, private study, and assessment. Part-time study load is the same as full-time pro-rata, with each credit point representing 10 hours of student effort.
Postgraduate Master’s courses typically comprise 180 credits, taken in three semesters when studied full-time. A Postgraduate Certificate (PGCert) comprises 60 credits and can usually be completed on a part-time basis in one year. A 120-credit Postgraduate Diploma (PGDip) can usually be completed on a part-time basis in two years.
Class contact times vary by course and type of module. Typically, for a module predominantly delivered through lectures you can expect at least 3 contact hours per week (lectures/seminars/tutorials). Laboratory classes often require a greater intensity of attendance in blocks. Some modules may combine lecture and laboratory. The precise model will depend on the course you apply for and may be subject to change from year to year for quality or enhancement reasons. Prospective students will be consulted about any significant changes.
Assessment methods vary and are defined explicitly in each module. Assessment can be a combination of examination and coursework but may also be only one of these methods. Assessment is designed to assess your achievement of the module’s stated learning outcomes. You can expect to receive timely feedback on all coursework assessment. The precise assessment will depend on the module and may be subject to change from year to year for quality or enhancement reasons. You will be consulted about any significant changes.
Coursework can take many forms, for example: essay, report, seminar paper, test, presentation, dissertation, design, artefacts, portfolio, journal, group work. The precise form and combination of assessment will depend on the course you apply for and the module. Details will be made available in advance through induction, the course handbook, the module specification and the assessment timetable. The details are subject to change from year to year for quality or enhancement reasons. You will be consulted about any significant changes.
Normally, a module will have 4 learning outcomes, and no more than 2 items of assessment. An item of assessment can comprise more than one task. The notional workload and the equivalence across types of assessment is standardised.
Calculation of the Final Award
The class of Honours awarded in Bachelor’s degrees is usually determined by calculation of an aggregate mark based on performance across the modules at Levels 5 and 6, (which correspond to the second and third year of full-time attendance).
Level 6 modules contribute 70% of the aggregate mark and Level 5 contributes 30% to the calculation of the class of the award. Classification of integrated Master’s degrees with Honours include a Level 7 component. The calculation in this case is: 50% Level 7, 30% Level 6, 20% Level 5. At least half the Level 5 modules must be studied at the University for Level 5 to be included in the calculation of the class.
All other qualifications have an overall grade determined by results in modules from the final level of study. In Master’s degrees of more than 200 credit points the final 120 points usually determine the overall grading.
Assessment of your learning will take place via a variety of means including essays, exams, and portfolio.
The University employs over 1,000 suitably qualified and experienced academic staff - 59% have PhDs in their subject field and many have professional body recognition.
Courses are taught by staff who are Professors (25%), Readers, Senior Lecturers (18%) or Lecturers (57%).
We require most academic staff to be qualified to teach in higher education: 82% hold either Postgraduate Certificates in Higher Education Practice or higher. Most academic staff (81%) are accredited fellows of the Higher Education Academy (HEA) - the university sector professional body for teaching and learning. Many academic and technical staff hold other professional body designations related to their subject or scholarly practice.
The profiles of many academic staff can be found on the University’s departmental websites and give a detailed insight into the range of staffing and expertise. The precise staffing for a course will depend on the department(s) involved and the availability and management of staff. This is subject to change annually and is confirmed in the timetable issued at the start of the course.
Occasionally, teaching may be supplemented by suitably qualified part-time staff (usually qualified researchers) and specialist guest lecturers. In these cases, all staff are inducted, mostly through our staff development programme ‘First Steps to Teaching’. In some cases, usually for provision in one of our out-centres, Recognised University Teachers are involved, supported by the University in suitable professional development for teaching.
Figures correct for academic year 2019-2020.
Here is a guide to the subjects studied on this course.
Courses are continually reviewed to take advantage of new teaching approaches and developments in research, industry and the professions. Please be aware that modules may change for your year of entry. The exact modules available and their order may vary depending on course updates, staff availability, timetabling and student demand. Please contact the course team for the most up to date module list.
In this section
Care, Compassion and Communication
This skills-based module introduces nursing students to the skills required to work in healthcare environments and to the knowledge and skills associated with person-centred care, compassion and communication. Students will begin the process of learning essential skills for nursing and reflect upon the service user experience using a reflective and person-centred approach. Assessment is by coursework.
The Well Person in Body and Mind
This module provides students with an understanding of the development structure and function of the human body through the lifespan as a foundation for nursing practice. The module also explores the study of psychology, introduces theories and insights into the origins and causes of human behaviour, and is designed to enhance students understanding of influencing factors that can determine a healthy body and mind. Together with the semester 2 module 'The Well Person in Society' this module facilitates the student to address relevant human biology, psychology and sociology. Assessment is by coursework.
Fostering Safe Holistic Care
This skills-based module introduces students to the maintenance of health and safety issues associated with providing person-centred care. Ethical and legal frameworks that underpin practice are introduced. Students will be provided with an opportunity to practice skills that will help them foster a caring relationship, carry out assessment of need, begin to understand the workings of the interdisciplinary team and respond appropriately in emergencies. Assessment is by examination.
Understanding Evidence for Person-centred Nursing
This module aims to facilitate students in understanding how person-centred nursing care can be enhanced through the understanding and application of evidence. It helps students to appreciate the nature of evidence at a local, national and global level and prepares them for further study and the use of evidence and research in nursing practice. Assessment is by coursework.
The Well Person in Society
Together with the semester 1 module `The Well Person in Body and Mind, this module facilitates the student to have a more complete understanding of the healthy person. This is achieved through providing the student with an understanding of health related sociology and an enhanced understanding of relevant human biology. Assessment is by coursework.
Understanding Mental Health Nursing
The aim of the module is to introduce the student to the roles, responsibilities and functions integral to mental health nursing practice. The student will learn that responses of the nurse must be adaptable to meet the changing needs of people, groups, communities and populations in order to provide person-centred care that considers preferences. It is also designed to facilitate a shared understanding of nursing practice with students in the adult field of practice. Assessment is by coursework.
Progression Point 1 (Mental Health Field)
The practice learning opportunities enable the students to develop the required knowledge and skills in practice to meet the NMC requirement for progression to the second stage of the programme. Students are required to successfully achieve all the criteria for progression point 1 in order to proceed to year 2 of the programme.
This module develops students understanding of the key components of the research process and its relationship to healthcare practice and development. Within the module students will explore the principles of person-centred nursing research. Tuition is by lectures and tutorials in which students develop practical skills in critiquing evidence. Assessment is by coursework.
Holistic Mental Health Nursing Care
This module addresses the skills required to undertake a holistic assessment of health needs informed by current best practice. The module focuses on the Integral Key themes of person-centred care, therapeutic relationship, communication, biopsychosocial assessment, risk assessment, professional judgement and assessment frameworks and facilitates the student to develop skills that are necessary to plan, deliver and evaluate safe, competent, person centred care in partnership with service users and others, paying special attention to changing health needs during different life stages. Assessment is by coursework.
Nursing the Person with Mental Health Difficulties towards Recovery
This module is designed to equip students to respond to the aspirations for mental health nursing as specified in From Values to Action (DoH, 2006) which sets out the mental health nursing perspectives, on recovery, that mental health nursing in 2012 and beyond should incorporate in every aspect of their practice. This means working towards aims that are meaningful to service users, being positive about change and promoting social inclusion for people who use mental health services, their families and other informal supporters. Students will develop the requisite strategies to engage in person-centred and recovery-focused practice with the people who require their care. Assessment is by examination.
Mental Ill Health and the Human Experience
This module will facilitate students in developing an in-depth knowledge of common physical and mental health problems and treatments, including co-morbidity and physiological and psychological vulnerability. Students will draw on a range of evidence-based psychological, psychosocial and other complex therapeutic skills and interventions to provide person centred support and care across all ages, in a way that supports self-determination and aids recovery. They will examine how to develop needs based assessment that will form the basis of care that is planned to promote improvements in physical and mental health and wellbeing and provide direct care to meet both the essential and complex physical and mental health needs of people with mental health problems. Assessment is by examination.
Principles of Therapeutic Group Work
This module will introduce the student to the fundamental issues around working with people with mental health needs using a group work approach. it will introduce the student to the knowledge and skills required to facilitate therapeutic groups with people experiencing mental health problems, their families and carers. Teaching methods are designed to enable students to experience the formation and development of a therapeutic group and to take part in different activities within a group. This will provide valuable experiential learning that will enhance self-awareness in the student and understanding of a person with mental health issues. Assessment is by coursework.
Promoting Health and Wellbeing in Mental Health Settings
This module develops students competence in relation to patient education, health promotion and health education across the mental illness-wellness continuum. Students study the value of health needs assessment; collaborative working across disciplines, professions and agencies. The educational role of nurses in relation to service users, their families, carers and groups is explored in light of current policy directives and service user needs. This module is assessed to professional practice in partnership with service users and others. Assessment is by coursework.
Progression Point 2 (Mental Health Field)
The practice learning opportunities enable the students to develop the required knowledge and skills in practice to meet the NMC requirement for progression to the third stage of the programme. Students are required to successfully achieve all the criteria for progression point 2 in order to proceed to year 3 of the programme.
Reflective and Innovative Nurse
This module will encourage students to develop the skills required to understand how to identify and manage risk and uncertainty in relation to people, their carers and families, the environment, self and others. This will enable them to effectively utilise reflective processes in preparation for becoming an autonomous, competent and confident member of the interprofessional / interagency team. They will develop the confidence to explore how creativity and innovation can be used within practice to achieve new ways of enhancing the care of people, their carers and families. Students will develop an understanding of entrepreneurship and an insight into the issues associated with developing and managing innovative ideas in practice. This generic module, along with 'Person Centredness in Adult Nursing Practice', 'Person Centredness in Mental Health Nursing Practice', and 'The Safe and Effective Adult Nurse' and 'The Safe and Effective Mental Health Nurse' has been designed around a 6 week period of practice learning to provide adult students with the opportunity to apply their knowledge to practice and demonstrate achievement of learning outcomes. Assessment is by coursework.
Appreciating Nursing Research
This module is the culmination of evidence based practice and research understanding developed on the course. Students will develop their skills and knowledge to allow them to become independent critical thinkers with an understanding of how to develop, design and undertake a modified systematic review research project. This will give them an insight into the potential of their future role in influencing and leading change in their chosen field of practice. It also provides them with an introduction to the skills required to undertake further study at postgraduate level. Tutorials are used to develop interrogatory skills in the systematic review process. Assessment is by coursework.
Confirming Practice Competence for Registration (Mental Health)
The practice learning opportunities enable the students to develop the required knowledge and skills in practice to meet the NMC requirements for entry to the NMC Register.
Person-Centredness in Mental Health Nursing Practice
This module is designed to enable students to develop a sense of self-efficacy in their role as mental health nurses through theoretical teaching and participation in facilitated group exercises. It seeks to raise consciousness of emotional, cognitive, physiological and behavioural experiences within relationships. Students will be facilitated to examine and reflect upon their self-awareness, growth and development as a mental health nurse. Assessment is by coursework.
The Safe and Effective Mental Health Nurse
This skills-based module facilitates final year mental health nursing students to learn about striking the balance between provision of effective care and management of risk. Using an inquiry and problem-based learning approach student's will work in small groups to explore high risk health care environments. Through simulation of nursing practice students are encouraged to become proactive in risk assessment and management and role model good practice. Assessment is by coursework
Leadership, Management and Team Working in Contemporary Mental Health Nursing Practice
This module prepares students for professional practice as a registered nurse. It endeavours to provide students with an understanding of the changing context of mental health care, and how leadership, management and design of mental health services influence the roles and functions of the registered nurse. Managerial, legal and ethical aspects which impinge on practice are considered. The importance of the mental health nurse working with service users, carers, other professionals and agencies in order to shape future services, aid recovery and challenge discrimination and inequality is emphasised. Assessment is by coursework
Applying Professional Values in Mental Health Nursing Practice
This problem based learning module facilitates students to develop through exploration of the care environment, their competence using a range of professional and personal development skills. Emphasis is placed upon the environment in which care is delivered and systems which facilitate shared decision making along with organisational structures which have potential for innovation and risk taking and are supportive of effective person centred-care and staff relationships. Assessment is by coursework.
We recognise a range of qualifications for admission to our courses. In addition to the specific entry conditions for this course you must also meet the University’s General Entrance Requirements.
In this section
The A Level requirement for this course is BBC.
You may satisfy the requirement for the A-level C grade by substituting a combination of alternative qualifications recognised by the University.
Applied General Qualifications
Overall BTEC award profile DMM to include Unit profile points 8 distinctions.
Irish Leaving Certificate
Irish Leaving Certificate (Higher Level) grades H3,H3,H3,H3,H4;
Plus English, Maths and Science Grade H6 or above (Higher Level) or Grade 04 or above (Ordinary Level) if not sitting at Higher Level.
The Scottish Highers requirement for this course is BBCCC.
Scottish Advanced Highers
The Scottish Advanced Highers requirement for this course is CCD.
Overall International Baccalaureate profile minimum 25 points (12 at higher level).
Access to Higher Education (HE)
Access Course (120 credits) with an overall mark of 65%, to include 65% in one Level 3 science module; NICATs Maths (25 credits) or Maths 1 & 2.
GCSE Profile to include Grade C or 4 (or above) in English, Mathematics, and Science.
Pass in Level 2 Essential Skills/Application of Numbers is acceptable as an alternative to GCSE Maths.
English Language Requirements
English language requirements for international applicants
The minimum requirement for this course is Academic IELTS 7.0 with no band score less than 7.0.
Ulster recognises a number of other English language tests and comparable IELTS equivalent scores.
Additional Entry Requirements
Satisfactory health and Access NI checks will be required.
Acceptable alternative qualifications include:
HND entry requirement:
Pass HND with overall Merit to include 45 distinctions in level 5 credits/units
HNC entry requirement:
Pass HNC with overall Distinction to include 75 distinctions in level 4/5 credits/units
You may also meet the course entry requirements with combinations of the different qualifications to the same standard as recognised by the university. Examples of acceptable combinations include:
2 A Levels and BTEC Subsidiary Diploma
OCR National Diploma and BTEC Subsidiary Diploma
2 A Levels and Cambridge Technical Introductory Diploma
A Level and BTEC National Diploma
ENTRY TO YEAR 2
Applicants have the opportunity to apply for a transfer from another HEI to Year 2 of BSc Hons Nursing at Ulster. Applicants must meet the following entry criteria:
- 104 UCAS points or equivalent - Pass GCSE Mathematics, English and Single Award Science at grade C or above or equivalent.
- Pass Year 1 of current Nursing degree programme with an overall average of 60% and a mark of 60% or over in half of the credits taken.
- Have completed a minimum of 710 approved Practice Learning hours
Applicants who meet the above criteria (or have the potential to do so prior to the start of the course) will be required to complete an APL application form to map their previous learning against the new programme at Ulster. Only applicants who successful complete the APL process will be invited to interview.
The final number of places available in Year 2 will not be confirmed until the end of June following the Board of Examiners for current Year 1 students. After interview applicants will be rank ordered according to interview score and offers made in accordance with the number of places available.
Exemptions and transferability
Registered Nurses wishing to gain a second nursing qualification may apply for admission with advanced standing and complete a shortened course. The exact length of their programme will be decided individually and will be determined by their previous academic and nursing qualifications through the APL process.
Careers & opportunities
In this section
Graduates from this course have gained employment with a wide range of organisations. Here are some examples:
- Numerous opportunities in the public
- private and third sectors.
Graduates from this course are employed in many different roles. Here are some examples:
- Mental Health Nurse
Career opportunities for graduates from this programme are excellent. Graduates are now working in many innovative posts in the field of health care, including such activities as holding their own clinics, introducing evidence-based practice, initiating practice development activities, undertaking research and holding joint appointments between service and the University.
Graduates are also qualified to apply for a range of postgraduate programmes in nursing such as the Postgraduate Diploma/MSc in Nursing, or MPhil/PhD. Following relevant experience graduates will be able to apply to undertake further study leading to additional NMC recognised qualifications such as specialist practice
Work placement / study abroad
Students maybe placed in any location across Northern Ireland. Placements will be in both Community and Hospital settings.
Recognised by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) for the purpose of registration as a qualified nurse (mental health).
ApplyHow to apply Request a prospectus
Applications to full-time undergraduate degrees at Ulster are made through UCAS.
Unfortunately, Ulster University is not it in a position to accept applications from students from England, Scotland or Wales due to regulations issued by the Department of Health Northern Ireland. For more info click here.
- September 2019
Fees and funding
In this section
Fees (per year)
Important notice - fees information
Fees illustrated are based on 19/20 entry and are subject to an annual increase. Correct at the time of publishing. Terms and conditions apply. Additional mandatory costs are highlighted where they are known in advance. There are other costs associated with university study.
Visit our Fees pages for full details of fees
To find out more about fees related to this course please visit
Scholarships, awards and prizes
There are numerous opportunities for recognition and awards during the course.
Additional mandatory costs
The amounts below are based on 2017 costs:
Health Screening and Vaccinations: £35 - £155 dependent on vaccinations required.
Access NI Enhanced Disclosure (criminal record check): £33
Uniform: Approximately £100
Practice Learning Handbook/Professional Award Badge: £20
Immediate Life Support (Resuscitation Council UK Certified): £45 (at time of publication)
Tuition fees and costs associated with accommodation, travel (including car parking charges), and normal living are a part of university life.
Where a course has additional mandatory expenses we make every effort to highlight them. These may include residential visits, field trips, materials (e.g. art, design, engineering) inoculations, security checks, computer equipment, uniforms, professional memberships etc.
We aim to provide students with the learning materials needed to support their studies. Our libraries are a valuable resource with an extensive collection of books and journals as well as first-class facilities and IT equipment. Computer suites and free wifi is also available on each of the campuses.
There will be some additional costs to being a student which cannot be itemised and these will be different for each student. You may choose to purchase your own textbooks and course materials or prefer your own computer and software. Printing and binding may also be required. There are additional fees for graduation ceremonies, examination resits and library fines. Additional costs vary from course to course.
Students choosing a period of paid work placement or study abroad as part of their course should be aware that there may be additional travel and living costs as well as tuition fees.
Please contact the course team for more information.
For course entry and admissions enquiries please contact Faculty Office:
For enquiries relating to course content please contact:
Ms Jacqueline Robinson, Course Director
For more information visit
- The University endeavours to deliver courses and programmes of study in accordance with the description set out in this prospectus. The University’s prospectus is produced at the earliest possible date in order to provide maximum assistance to individuals considering applying for a course of study offered by the University. The University makes every effort to ensure that the information contained in the prospectus is accurate but it is possible that some changes will occur between the date of printing and the start of the academic year to which it relates. Please note that the University’s website is the most up-to-date source of information regarding courses and facilities and we strongly recommend that you always visit the website before making any commitments.
- Although reasonable steps are taken to provide the programmes and services described, the University cannot guarantee the provision of any course or facility and the University may make variations to the contents or methods of delivery of courses, discontinue, merge or combine courses and introduce new courses if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Such circumstances include (but are not limited to) industrial action, lack of demand, departure of key staff, changes in legislation or government policy including changes, if any, resulting from the UK departing the European Union, withdrawal or reduction of funding or other circumstances beyond the University’s reasonable control.
- If the University discontinues any courses, it will use its best endeavours to provide a suitable alternative course. In addition, courses may change during the course of study and in such circumstances the University will normally undertake a consultation process prior to any such changes being introduced and seek to ensure that no student is unreasonably prejudiced as a consequence of any such change.
- The University does not accept responsibility (other than through the negligence of the University, its staff or agents), for the consequences of any modification or cancellation of any course, or part of a course, offered by the University but will take into consideration the effects on individual students and seek to minimise the impact of such effects where reasonably practicable.
- The University cannot accept any liability for disruption to its provision of educational or other services caused by circumstances beyond its control, but the University will take all reasonable steps to minimise the resultant disruption to such services.