Bachelor of Science with Honours
Faculty of Life and Health Sciences
School of Nursing
The UCAS code for Ulster University is U20
Mental Health Nursing is a, proactive and humanising profession, delivering valuable contributions to effective and equitable mental health services.
This three-year course is designed to prepare you for the professional role of a registered Nurse (Mental Health) who will have the skills to respond to the mental health needs of individuals in partnership with them, their families, significant others and their community.
Successful students will be eligible to register with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) which will permit them to practice as a Registered Nurse (Mental Health) in the United Kingdom.
We have delivered nursing programmes for 45 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. Our Mental Health Nurse graduates are working in hospitals, community settings, education and research, striving to elevate the profession through the delivery of exceptional care.
From September 2020 pre-registration nursing programmes are aligned to the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) UK Standards for Education and training (2018).
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Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) standards for nurse education and training (2018). Theoretical modules and practice learning are integrated in an equal balance so that learning occurs 50% of the time in practice while the other 50% occurs in university. Each year of the course must be successfully completed before a student is permitted to progress to the next year.
The course will equip the graduate Mental Health Nurse with the knowledge, skills, attitude and values to work in partnership with individuals to respond to their holistic healthcare care needs. Throughout the course students will learn to practice person-centred, evidence-based mental health nursing care in a compassionate and respectful way that promotes dignity and wellbeing. Students will grow to appreciate that mental health nursing involves not only a valuing of optimal mental health as a necessary requirement for wellbeing and effective living, but also as a fundamental right of each person irrespective of their orientations and circumstances.
Students also develop invaluable transferable skills such as team working, communication and relationship management skills as well as creative thinking and critical analysis. These are skills which are highly valued by future employers. Graduate nurses will have the ability to act with professionalism and integrity and work within agreed professional, ethical and legal frameworks to lead nursing care.
Practice learning enables students to develop the knowledge and skills required to provide safe compassionate and effective person-centred care. Practice learning experiences occur in a wide range of community and hospital settings across the 24-hour period, seven days per week and provide comprehensive exposure to a multitude of care experiences. Students are supported in their learning experience by clinical practitioners prepared for the role 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 on the BSc (Hons) Nursing (Mental Health) programme are subject to a number of attendance regulations. These are underpinned by the University Programme Regulations and statutory requirements, the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC, 2018) Standards for Education and Training, and the Department of Health, who fund student tuition fees for the BSc (Hons) Nursing Mental Health course.
The modular structure of our teaching, learning and assessment is designed to enable students to develop their knowledge, skills and understanding of nursing in an inclusive and collaborative way. A blended approach to learning, teaching and assessment embraces both face to face teaching methods and the use of technology to enhance the student experience in learning and assessment.
The curriculum promotes enquiry based learning and critical thinking across all years and modules and creates opportunities for active learning through evolving technologies and creative approaches. Lectures introduce key themes and seminars and tutorials enable students to examine topics further in smaller groups. Students are encouraged to connect theory to practice through, practical workshops, simulation, group work, roleplay, presentations, debate and reflection that focusses on self-development and the real world examples. Learning and assessment in practice is evidenced and catalogued through the completion of a practice assessment document. Formative assessments inform students of their progress and identifies areas that require development in a structured student focussed manner and contribute to the summative 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:
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 near the start date and may be subject to 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 of attendance will often 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 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 Masters 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 via one method or a combination e.g. examination and coursework . 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 four learning outcomes, and no more than two 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.
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 Masters 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 Masters degrees of more than 200 credit points the final 120 points usually determine the overall grading.
Figures correct for academic year 2019-2020.
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 (20%) or Lecturers (55%).
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) by Advanced HE - 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 2021-2022.
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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.
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Nurses have a pivotal role in assessing the mental and physical health needs of all people in their care. To do this safely and effectively a sound understanding of mental and physical well-being across the lifespan is required. In this module, students will use person-centred evidence-informed practice in order to assess and prioritise care needs in partnership with people and their families or carers.
Mental health nurses offer a unique contribution to providing and coordinating care that is compassionate, holistic, evidence-informed, and person and family-centered. They are accountable for their own actions and must be able to work as part of the multi-professional, multi-agency team. This module will support and acquaint year one nursing students to the principals, knowledge, understanding and core values that is mental health nursing.
The art and science of nursing begins with effective interpersonal communication. To develop and maintain therapeutic relationships nurses must be self-aware, reflective and self-confident in their practice. This module introduces students to theoretical and practical components of communication and interpersonal skills. Through role play and the use of digital technologies, students are facilitated to become more effective and reflective in their communication and interpersonal relationships.
Nurses provide comprehensive, evidence based, compassionate, safe nursing care, to support people of all ages in a range of healthcare settings. This module follows on from the semester 1 module - Assessing the mental and physical health needs of people in continuing to work through a nursing process concentrating on the implementing, reviewing and evaluating care that guides collaborative, family and person centered nursing care.
This module is designed to facilitate the application, in the practice learning environment, of students' knowledge and understanding of the core values and proficiencies of professional nursing practice for Part One of the programme. It will develop students' knowledge and understanding of the NMC Code (NMC, 2018), their obligation as a nursing student to act with professional integrity, demonstrating their own fitness to practise. Students will be expected to foster and demonstrate (in practice and written evidence in the NIPAD) the values, attitudes and reflective aptitude required to practice as a safe, compassionate and person and family centred nurse.
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 the life course in a way that supports self-determination and aids recovery. Students will examine how to develop needs-based assessments 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.
This module is designed to facilitate students to explore and apply the principles of mental health prevention and promotion within the context of public and population health. Students are facilitated to learn the role of the mental health nurse in supporting and enabling people across the life course, to make informed choices with regards to their mental, physical and behavioural health. This will incorporate analysis of the factors that influence the wider determinants of mental health and wellbeing at local, national and global levels.
Mental health nurses offer a unique contribution to providing, leading and coordinating care that is compassionate, holistic, evidence informed, and person and family centered. They are accountable, for their own actions and must have knowledge of how research evidence informs practice. This module acquaints year two nursing students to evidence based research that informs practice, quality assurance and professional practice.
The professional therapeutic relationship established to meet the complex needs and health outcomes for the person with mental disorder are intrinsic to professional caring in all environments. The time spent with a person and/or their families to develop, maintain and sustain the professional caring relationship enables the mental health nurse to assess, formulate, plan, implement, review, evaluate and discharge care. Students will develop the ability to provide responsive and compassionate care, using effective communication, interpersonal and reflective skills.
Registered nurses make an important contribution to the delivery of care and the promotion of health, health education, health protection and prevention of ill health. This module aims to provide second year nursing students with learning and development opportunities to think critically, apply knowledge, and skills and provide evidence based direct nursing care and to respond to the impact and demands of professional nursing practice.
The transition from student to registered nurse can be a challenging process requiring students to be confident to lead in the provision of nursing care in diverse care environments. This module introduces students to leadership, quality improvement strategies and innovation. Simulation is used to advance ethical leadership, decision making, accountability, delegation, challenging others and providing constructive feedback.
This module will follow on from its Level 4 and 5 counterparts. Students will be facilitated to develop their knowledge and the evidence based literature to support therapeutic approaches for people presenting with complex mental disorders. Review of the policy, legislation, and management that governs practice. Students are encouraged to consider pharmacological and psychotherapeutic approaches appropriate to needs-based assessments for the person presenting with complex mental disorder that are supportive, recovery and situational specific.
This module enhances the mental health nursing student's knowledge, understanding, application and skills for therapeutic engagement with people who present with a range of mental health disorders. This module centres on ensuring the mental health student has therapeutic competence for practice, knowing how to engage with people presenting with mental disorder, when to offer or when to refer people to the most effective intervention appropriate, based on their person centered, holistic and collaborative health and social care needs, recognising the person's preferences, in line with evidence informed guidance.
This module, the competent research evidence informed mental health nurse is designed to enable year three mental health nursing students to develop their knowledge and skills to become independent critical thinkers in applying evidence-based care to practice. The student will develop a sense of self-efficacy in their future role raising consciousness of the need for appraisal, clinical supervision, continuing professional development and life-long learning. Students will be facilitated to examine and reflect upon their professional accountability, self-awareness, growth and development as a mental health nurse into the future. Assessment is by coursework.
Registered nurses play a vital role in providing, leading and coordinating care that is compassionate, evidence-based, and person-centred. This module aims to provide final year students with the opportunities to respond to the impact and demands of professional nursing practice, demonstrate their emotional intelligence and resilience and be able to supervise others as well as act as role models in preparation for their role as newly qualified nurse registrant.
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.
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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.
Overall BTEC Extended Diploma(QCF) award profile DDD.
Overall BTEC National Extended Diploma(RQF) award profile DMM.
112 UCAS tariff points to include a minimum of five subjects (four of which must be at higher level)
Plus English, Maths and Science Grade H6 (Higher Level) or Grade 04 or above (Ordinary Level) if not sitting at Higher Level.
The Scottish Highers requirement for this course is BBCCC.
The Scottish Advanced Highers requirement for this course is CCD.
Overall International Baccalaureate profile minimum 25 points (12 at higher level).
Access Diploma (120 credits) with an overall mark of 63%, to include one Level 3 Science module; NICATs Maths (25 credits) or Maths 1 & 2.
Access (GB) 60 Credits requires 15 Distinctions and 30 Merits
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.
Pass in Level 2 Essential Skills/ Communication is acceptable as an alternative to GCSE English.
English language requirements for international applicants
The minimum requirement for this course is Academic IELTS overall score of 7.0 with mimimum 6.5 in writing and 7.0 in the reading, listening and speaking section.
OET Cetificate confirming C+ grade in writing and minimum B grade in reading, listening and speaking sections.
Additional Requirements for Internaitional Applicants
All applicants are subject to:
Satisfactory health and Access NI checks will be required.
Acceptable alternative qualifications include:
HND entry requirement:
Pass HND with overall Merit to include 60 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:
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 successfully 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. After interview applicants will be rank ordered according to interview score and offers made in accordance with the number of places available.
For further information regarding combination offer requirements, please contact Admissions Office staff T: +44 (0)28 71675678/5379/5092 or E: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
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Graduates from this course are now working for:
With this degree you could become:
This course will prepare you to become part of a profession which is compassionate, innovative, and dynamic. Career options include, working with individuals across the lifespan, in areas such as Child and Adolescent Mental Health, Care of the Older Person, Acute Care, Forensics and Addiction Treatment; however, this list is not exhaustive.
Graduates are now working in many innovative posts in the field of mental 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 Advanced Nursing, or MPhil/PhD. Following the relevant experience, graduates will be able to apply to undertake further study leading to additional NMC recognised qualifications such as specialist practice.
Students have the opportunity to undertake a practice learning experience outside the UK of up to 4 weeks . Students may undertake such experiences only where formalised agreements exist between the University and practice partners. All students will be prepared for such experiences and must have the essential language skills needed to participate in learning activities, and where relevant have the level of language required to safely and effectively engage in direct patient care.
Recognised by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) for the purpose of registration as a qualified nurse (mental health).
Fees for entry in 2023/24 have not yet been set. See our tuition fees page for the current fees for 2022/23 entry.
There are numerous opportunities for recognition and awards during the course.
The amounts below are based on 2020 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)
Students will need to own a mobile devise (tablet) to be able to complete their E-portfolio
It is important to remember that costs associated with accommodation, travel (including car parking charges) and normal living will need to be covered in addition to tuition fees.
Where a course has additional mandatory expenses (in addition to tuition fees) we make every effort to highlight them above. 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 Wi-Fi are also available on each of the campuses.
There are additional fees for graduation ceremonies, examination resits and library fines.
Students choosing a period of paid work placement or study abroad as a part of their course should be aware that there may be additional travel and living costs, as well as tuition fees.
See the tuition fees on our student guide for most up to date costs.
Course Director: Clare McGlone
‘I was always interested in a career with people, but it was when I volunteered with St John’s Ambulance that I was inspired by one of the nurses to explore a career in mental health nursing. This is an area where I felt that I could really make a difference. The course is very well structured and the idea of providing patient-centred care is instilled from the very start. The course offers a mix of classroom, tutorial and scenario based learning alongside a variety of placements. I now have a professional career, making a difference, as a mental health nurse. (Mental Health Nursing Graduate)