Nursing (Mental Health) - BSc (Hons)

2024/25 Full-time Undergraduate course


Bachelor of Science with Honours


Faculty of Life and Health Sciences


School of Nursing and Paramedic Science


Derry~Londonderry campus

UCAS code:

The UCAS code for Ulster University is U20

Start date:

September 2024

Students from England, Scotland, Wales or EU (except the Republic of Ireland)

Unfortunately, Ulster University is not in a position to accept applications from students from England, Scotland, Wales or EU (except the Republic of Ireland) for this course due to regulations issued by the Department of Health Northern Ireland.

Further information on Department of Health funded courses

With this degree you could become:

  • Mental Health Nurse
  • Child and Adolescent Mental Health Nurse
  • Forensic Mental Health Nurse
  • Mental Health Nurse Care of the Older Person
  • Community Addictions Nurse
  • Community Mental Health Nurse
  • Mental Health Practitioner

Graduates from this course are now working for:

  • Numerous opportunities in the public
  • private and third sectors.


Mental Health Nursing is a, proactive and humanising profession, delivering valuable contributions to effective and equitable mental health services.


This is a three years full-time (each year of 45 weeks). Students will study six 20 credit modules each academic year and complete an average of 22 weeks practice learning across three semesters.

We’d love to hear from you!

We know that choosing to study at university is a big decision, and you may not always be able to find the information you need online.

Please contact Ulster University with any queries or questions you might have about:

  • Course specific information
  • Fees and Finance
  • Admissions

For any queries regarding getting help with your application, please select Admissions in the drop down below.

For queries related to course content, including modules and placements, please select Course specific information.

We look forward to hearing from you.

About this course


This course is designed to meet the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) Standards for Nurse Education (2010). 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.
The skills of communication, leadership and health promotion, that are integral to professional nursing practice, are also developed throughout the course.


Students are required to attend all timetabled classes and practice learning allocation throughout the programme.

Start dates

  • September 2024

Teaching, Learning and Assessment

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.

Attendance and Independent Study

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:

  • 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, 20, or 40 credit modules (more usually 20) and postgraduate courses 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. Teaching and learning activities will be in-person and/or online depending on the nature of the course. 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

    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 assessments. This feedback may be issued individually and/or issued to the group and you will be encouraged to act on this feedback for your own development.

    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, the assessment timetable and the assessment brief. 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. The module pass mark for undergraduate courses is 40%. The module pass mark for postgraduate courses is 50%.

  • 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 Masters degrees of more than 200 credit points the final 120 points usually determine the overall grading.

    Figures from the academic year 2022-2023.

Academic profile

The University employs over 1,000 suitably qualified and experienced academic staff - 60% have PhDs in their subject field and many have professional body recognition.

Courses are taught by staff who are Professors (19%), Readers, Senior Lecturers (22%) 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 and learning support staff (85%) are recognised as fellows of the Higher Education Academy (HEA) by Advance 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 from the academic year 2022-2023.


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

Year one

Assessing the Mental and Physical Health Needs and Abilities of People

Year: 1

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.

The accountable, professional and evidence informed registered nurse (Mental Health)

Year: 1

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.

Interpersonal communication and collaboration in person and family centred nursing

Year: 1

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.

Planning and providing person-centred care for mental and physical well-being (Mental Health)

Year: 1

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.

Learning to be a professional nurse in practice

Year: 1

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.

Year two

Meeting the mental and physical health care needs of people in mental health nursing

Year: 2

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.

Promoting holistic health and well-being in mental health nursing

Year: 2

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.

The Accountable, Professional and Research Informed Registered Nurse (Mental Health)

Year: 2

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.

Interpersonal communication and the principles of psychological therapies

Year: 2

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.

Interdisciplinary Working in Practice

Year: 2

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.

Year three

Leadership and Quality Improvement in Healthcare Environments

Year: 3

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.

Supporting people with complex care needs and pharmacological interventions in mental health nursing

Year: 3

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.

Therapeutic psychological approaches and interventions in mental health nursing

Year: 3

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.

The Accountable, Professional and Research Competent Registered Nurse (Mental Health)

Year: 3

This module, The Accountable, Professional and Research Informed Registered Nurse (Mental Health) 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.

Becoming a Registered Nurse

Year: 3

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.

Standard entry conditions

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.

A level

Grades BBC

Applied General Qualifications

Overall BTEC National Extended Diploma (RQF) award profile DMM

Overall BTEC Extended Diploma (QCF) award profile DDD

Irish Leaving Certificate

112 UCAS tariff points to include a minimum of five subjects (four of which must be at higher level) to include English, Maths and Science at H6 if studied at Higher Level or 04 if studied at Ordinary Level

Irish Leaving Certificate UCAS Equivalency

International Baccalaureate

Overall International Baccalaureate profile minimum 25 points (12 at higher level)

Access to Higher Education (HE)

Overall profile of 63% (120 credit NI Access course), to include one Level 3 Science module; a 20 credit Level 2 Mathematics module passed at 40% or successful completion of NICATS Mathematics as part of the pre-2021 Access Diploma.

Overall profile of 15 D and 30 M (60 credit GB Access course).


GCSE profile to include Grade C or 4 (or above) in English, Mathematics and Science

Pass in Level 2 Essential Skills Communication will be accepted as equivalent to GCSE English

Pass in Level 2 Essential Skills Application of Number will be accepted as equivalent to GCSE Maths

English Language Requirements

English Language requirements for international applicants
The minimum requirement for this course is Academic IELTS overall score of 7.0 with minimum 6.5 in writing and 7.0 in the reading, listening and speaking section.


OET Certificate confirming C+ grade in writing and minimum B grade in reading, listening and speaking sections.

Additional Entry Requirements

Satisfactory Health and Access NI checks will be required.

These will be organised by the University and you will receive the relevant information if you gain a place on the course.

Acceptable alternative qualifications include:

Pass HND with overall Merit to include 45 Distinctions in Level 5 credits/units.

Pass HNC with overall Distinction to include 75 Distinctions in Level 4 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 (provided subject requirements as noted above are met). 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

How we select our students

STAGE 1 –You must apply through UCAS by the closing date of 31 January 2024 (18:00 hours). Applications received after this deadline will not be considered.

STAGE 2 -A Consent & Declaration form will be sent to you by email. If you receive this from both Ulster and Queen’s, you must complete both and return to the relevant institution.

STAGE 3 - Interview –we will invite you to complete a recorded online interview through the Modern Hire platform. Interviews will take place in February 2024.

NB: It is assumed that if you submit your video interview for assessment, that you were 'fit' to create this. If unwell a request should be made for an alternative date and this will be accommodated, where possible.

STAGE 4 - Offers: Applicants who pass the interview are ranked by interview score. Offers are normally made in April. You should note that, if you have applied to both Ulster and QUB, it is possible to receive an offer from one institution and not the other.

Those applicants who do not receive an offer in the first round are placed on a 'reserve list' in case places become available later in the summer. You should note that there is no guarantee that additional places will become available.

Please note if you are unsuccessful at any of the above stages you will be notified via UCAS.

The tuition fee is fully funded by the Department of Health for students who have been habitually resident in Northern Ireland for three years prior to the commencement of the course, and students who are Republic of Ireland nationals. Students from England, Scotland, Wales and the rest of the EU are not eligible for this funding.

A non means tested bursary is also available. The bursary is intended to assist with daily living costs incurred while on training and is awarded for each year of the three-year course (paid in monthly instalments). Students who commenced in 2022/23 will receive approximately £5,000 per year.


Applicants may apply to Year 2 from another HEI (via if the following criteria is met:

  • Pass Year 1 of current BSc Hons 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
  • A Level grades BCC or equivalent - Pass GCSE Mathematics, English and Single Award Science at grade C or above or equivalent

Applicants who meet/can meet the above criteria 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.

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

Graduate employers

Graduates from this course are now working for:

  • Numerous opportunities in the public
  • private and third sectors.

Job roles

With this degree you could become:

  • Mental Health Nurse
  • Child and Adolescent Mental Health Nurse
  • Forensic Mental Health Nurse
  • Mental Health Nurse Care of the Older Person
  • Community Addictions Nurse
  • Community Mental Health Nurse
  • Mental Health Practitioner

Career options

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 Advanced 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 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.

Professional recognition

Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC)

Recognised by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) for the purpose of registration as a qualified nurse (mental health).


Start dates

  • September 2024

Fees and funding

Funding is available for this course - find out more

Scholarships, awards and prizes

There are numerous opportunities for recognition and awards during the course.

Additional mandatory costs

The amounts below are based on 2022 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.


We’d love to hear from you!

We know that choosing to study at university is a big decision, and you may not always be able to find the information you need online.

Please contact Ulster University with any queries or questions you might have about:

  • Course specific information
  • Fees and Finance
  • Admissions

For any queries regarding getting help with your application, please select Admissions in the drop down below.

For queries related to course content, including modules and placements, please select Course specific information.

We look forward to hearing from you.

For more information visit


  1. 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.
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‘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)