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Nursing (Mental Health) - Pre-Registration


Key facts

Start dates

September 2022 / September 2023

Course length

Full time: 3 years (applicants with a health/science related degree and approx 700 hours of acute healthcare clinical experience may be eligible for AP(E)L and a reduced course length)

Part time: up to 8 years


Nursing and Midwifery Council

  • Nursing and Midwifery Council


Our master’s degree allows you to undertake a Mental Health Nursing course which leads to registration with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC). 

As a mental health nurse you need to be able to show competence in nursing care across people's lifespan. With a particular focus on meeting the needs of people with mental health needs and their families and carers.

The context of healthcare delivery is changing, so it's essential that you can work:

  • flexibly
  • inter-professionally
  • and collaboratively.

We teach you the skills for evidence-based practice, encouraging you to develop a problem-solving approach to clinical practise.

In line with the new Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) Future Nurse Standards (2018), our Mental Health Nursing Master's curriculum has recently been re-developed. At our recent approval event (March 2020) we were commended by the NMC for our excellent partnership working with placement organisations and for the inclusion of a strong public health theme throughout the curriculum. 

Mental health nurse with a patient

How to apply

Entry requirements

Specific entry requirements

3- year MSc and 2 year MSc with AP(E)L 

Honours degree 2.2 or above (or equivalent), preferably in a health/science related subject. Non-health related degrees will be considered.

  • GCSE Maths, Science and English at Grade C or above, or equivalent
  • One recent academic reference
  • Successful performance in the selection process (including an individual interview)

2 year MSc with AP(E)L must also have:

  • Approximately 700 hours experience of paid or voluntary work within a healthcare environment or relevant to your chosen field

Please also see the University's general entry requirements.


All applicants will be screened for fitness to practise and a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check will be made.

Selection process

All Oxford Brookes University Health and Social Care Programmes conduct Value Based Recruitment (VBR). We recognise that values and attitudes have the greatest impact on the quality of people's care and their experiences.

VBR is a way of helping our Programme recruitment teams to assess the values, motives and attitudes of those who wish to work with people in health and social care settings. When we refer to values we mean, for example, the values included in the NHS constitution.

VBR focuses on 'how' and 'why' an applicant makes choices in how they act and seeks to explore reasons for their behaviour. Further details about the VBR framework can be found here.

English language requirements

For applicants whose first language is not English, an Academic IELTS score of 6.5 (with 6.5 in Reading and Writing, and 6.0 in Listening and Speaking) is required.

Please also see the University's standard English language requirements.

International qualifications and equivalences


English requirements for visas

If you need a student visa to enter the UK you will need to meet the UK Visas and Immigration minimum language requirements as well as the University's requirements. Find out more about English language requirements.

Pathways courses for international and EU students

We offer a range of courses to help you meet the entry requirements for your postgraduate course and also familiarise you with university life in the UK.

Take a Pre-Master's course to develop your subject knowledge, study skills and academic language level in preparation for your master's course.

If you need to improve your English language, we offer pre-sessional English language courses to help you meet the English language requirements of your chosen master’s course.

Terms and Conditions of Enrolment

When you accept our offer, you agree to the Terms and Conditions of Enrolment. You should therefore read those conditions before accepting the offer.

Application process

Tuition fees

Please see the fees note
Home (UK) full time
£9,250 (Masters); £4,625 (Certificate)

Home (UK) part time
£1,155 per single module

International full time

Home (UK) full time
Masters £9,250; Certificate £4,625

Home (UK) part time
£1,155 per single module

International full time

Questions about fees?

Contact Student Finance on:

Tuition fees

2022 / 23
Home (UK) full time
£9,250 (Masters); £4,625 (Certificate)

Home (UK) part time
£1,155 per single module

International full time

2023 / 24
Home (UK) full time
Masters £9,250; Certificate £4,625

Home (UK) part time
£1,155 per single module

International full time

Questions about fees?

Contact Student Finance on:

+44 (0)1865 483088

Fees quoted are for the first year only. If you are studying a course that lasts longer than one year your fees will increase each year.

Financial support and scholarships

All eligible nursing students on courses from September 2020 (new and continuing) will receive a payment of at least £5,000 a year which they will not need to pay back.  For more information please visit


For general sources of financial support, see our Fees and funding pages.

Additional costs

Please be aware that some courses will involve some additional costs that are not covered by your fees. Specific additional costs for this course, if any, are detailed below.

The published course and module descriptions were accurate when first published and remain the basis of the course, but the University has had to modify some course and module content in response to government restrictions and social distancing requirements

Learning and assessment

You will study a nursing curriculum which has been developed in partnership with:

  • students
  • clinical partners
  • mentors
  • service users
  • carers.

Your learning follows a 'spiral' design and is structured incrementally from one year to the next, with a specific focus for each year.

In each year of the programme, you will have placements in your field of practice, with some taught content specific to your nursing field. 

Both courses are available part-time and full-time on the Oxford and Swindon campuses.

Mental health professionals in a meeting

Study modules


Compulsory modules

Education in Nursing Practice 1

This module gives you an introduction to nursing practice within the context of their field of practice. You will have an introduction to foundation nursing knowledge and skills prior to starting your first practice placement.

Education in Nursing Practice 2

This module introduces new knowledge and skills to facilitate increased participation in the assessment, planning, implementation and evaluation of care. You are encouraged to consider the health of people within your practice population, and factors that impact upon the uptake of health promotion and prevention strategies within that population.

Nursing Fundamentals: Family Health and Wellbeing 1

This module introduces you to the values, beliefs and factors that influence and underpin health and wellbeing from an individual, family and societal perspective, recognising diversity. It examines how self-awareness and professional responsibility contribute to the development of the nurse and nursing.

Nursing Fundamentals: Family Health and Wellbeing 2

This module introduces the underpinning frameworks and responsibilities for the organisation, assessment, planning, implementation and evaluation of holistic family/person-centred and compassionate nursing care in a variety of settings. It explores physiological, psychological, societal, political and global influences on health and social care across the lifespan, recognising inequalities.

Education in Nursing Practice 3

This module gives you the opportunity to develop knowledge and apply a range of theoretical principles to practice that will promote effective communication and interpersonal relationships to enhance clinical decision making and evidence-based nursing practice.

Education in Nursing Practice 4

This module gives you the opportunity to build upon and acquire new knowledge and skills for clinical practice that will further explore ethical concepts and professional standards to support the care and self/family management of people within varied clinical settings.

Collaborative Nursing Practice

This practice-related module enables you to gain insight into how the diverse experiences of people and their families inform all stages of the nursing process in the delivery of physical and mental health care.

Independent Study

This module gives you the opportunity to build on existing knowledge and professional experience and study, in-depth, an aspect of healthcare relevant to children, young people, adults and/or families' healthcare practice.

Advanced Research Design

This module equips you with the skills to find, appraise and utilise research, as well as plan and design a piece of research work. It prepares you to define a suitable research question and to use this as a basis for identifying appropriate research methodologies for a small-scale research project or dissertation.

Education in Nursing Practice 5

This module gives you the opportunity to build upon and acquire new knowledge and skills for clinical practice that will further explore ethical concepts and professional standards to support the care and self/family management of people within varied clinical settings.

Education in Nursing Practice 6

This module provides you with the opportunity to consolidate the skills, knowledge and strategies required to be an effective independent registrant.

Complex Nursing Care of Older Adults and Forensic Healthcare

Through enquiry based learning this practice-related module enables you to identify and analyse issues related to the nursing care of older adults and patients of all ages in forensic and prison healthcare settings.


This module draws together and enhances your ability to utilise the knowledge, understanding and skills developed previously across the whole programme, in a piece of investigative or literature-based research or a service improvement project.


Compulsory modules


The Nursing and Midwifery Council mandates that all pre-registration nursing programmes must consist of at least 4,600 hours of student effort split 50/50 between theory and practice. This means that all students will be required to complete two unpaid practice placements per year amounting to approximately 770 hours of practice per year and must achieve 2,300 hours of practice (including some simulation based education) over the three years of the programme.

Each year, you will have 'hub' placements in hospital or community settings as well as shorter related 'spoke' placements. On your 'hub' placements, you will become part of the clinical team and gain valuable insights into the functioning of practice areas and nursing career opportunities. Our students highly rate this placement approach, as it helps them feel more confident and competent as the year progresses.

Please note: As our courses are reviewed regularly as part of our quality assurance framework, the modules you can choose from may vary from that shown here. The structure of the course may also mean some modules are not available to you.

Learning and teaching

You will learn through the following methods:

  • experiential learning
  • mentoring, coaching and supervising
  • active learning
  • student-centred learning
  • blended and online learning
  • use of technology and informatics
  • collaborative learning with other disciplines, interprofessional learning, cultures and agencies
  • problem-based/solution-focused learning
  • simulation Based Education (SBE)
  • tutorials
  • online discussion
  • collaborative learning sets.

And you will have access to an extensive range of learning resources through Moodle, an online repository of:

  • lectures
  • handouts
  • information and learning exercises. 


Assessment methods used on this course

We will assess you with a variety of methods, such as:

  • reflective essays
  • presentations
  • clinical examinations
  • multi-choice examinations
  • neighbourhood study
  • case studies. 

All modules have an assessment component which requires you to explicitly demonstrate an understanding of how the module theory informs and enhances patient care.  

You will receive feedback on your assessments which will  shape and develop your learning. 

Assessment of your practice learning occurs within the credit-rated Education in Nursing Practice modules. This must be passed to fulfil the professional requirements for the programme and ensure that you are eligible for registration as a nurse. 

Your practice will be assessed by a practice supervisor or assessor selected on the basis of having the necessary qualifications to function as a practice assessor, as per the NMC Pre-registration Standards (2010). 


The new Oxford Institute for Nursing, Midwifery and Allied Health Research (OxINMAHR) is an Oxford Brookes University-led partnership of key stakeholders which leads and participates in world class research and evidence-based practice. 

We have researchers with a range of experience, working in established areas including:

  • cancer care
  • children and families
  • drugs and alcohol
  • physical rehabilitation and enablement
  • interprofessional education and collaborative practice. 
Researcher using laptop in quiet space

After you graduate

Career prospects

Graduates from this course contribute significantly to high quality client care, the continued development of patient-centred care therapy, and theory-practice integration.

Programme Changes:

On rare occasions we may need to make changes to our course programmes after they have been published on the website.

For more information, please visit our Changes to programmes page.