Nursing (Mental Health) - Pre-Registration


Start dates: September 2024 / September 2025

Full time: 3 years

Part time: 3 years to a maximum of 8 years

Location: Headington (Marston Road site)

Department(s): Oxford School of Nursing and Midwifery

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Mental health concerns – from identity issues to substance abuse, isolation to adverse childhood experiences – and demand for services, has increased in recent years. And in a world where the stigma around mental health persists, the need for dedicated and empathetic mental health nurses has never been more evident.

Whatever your academic or professional background, learn from our internationally renowned clinicians, researchers and academics and prepare to be a leader in healthcare. We’ll teach you skills for evidence-based practice, problem-solving, and collaborative working to meet the changing needs of the healthcare system.

You’ll receive support from your academic adviser, be inspired by guest lecturers, hear lived experiences, and access our state-of-the-art simulation suite. Not only that, but you’ll build competence through a range of mental health placements across Oxfordshire and beyond.

By the end, you’ll be able to contribute significantly to high-quality client care, deliver nursing interventions, and apply your knowledge to real-life situations.

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Mental health nurse with a patient

Why Oxford Brookes University?

  • Unbeatable opportunities

    Develop quickly as you experience mental health placements in a variety of settings, from children and young people to older adults, crisis intervention to rehabilitation.

  • Home to experts

    Taught by highly experienced and enthusiastic nurse academics, your studies will be informed by the latest developments in the field.

  • Enviable partnerships

    Apply your knowledge and skills in various NHS Trusts – not just in Oxfordshire, but in Wiltshire, Berkshire and beyond, helping you to really expand your network.

  • Be at the cutting edge

    We work closely with Oxford Health to develop interprofessional simulations, being 1 of only 19 universities accredited to provide additional hours for simulated learning.

  • Diverse classes

    You’ll study alongside our BSc Nursing (Mental Health) students to hear a breadth and depth of differing experiences.

  • Accreditation(s)

    Nursing and Midwifery Council

    • Nursing and Midwifery Council

Course details

Course structure

We’ve designed this course to lead to registration as a mental health nurse with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC).

You’ll be taught by a passionate and highly skilled team with a range of experience across the different aspects of mental health nursing. Our staff are qualified senior practitioners and active researchers, so your learning will be enriched by the latest in best practice and clinical understanding.

You’ll quickly gain confidence and competence as you carry out hands-on tasks, with half of your time spent on placements in a variety of mental health settings. You'll also learn from people with lived experience of mental health challenges. With regular access to outstanding facilities including our state-of-the-art simulation suite, you'll be able to develop your clinical expertise in a safe environment.

Your research project allows you to develop the skills to find and appraise research, as well as plan and design a piece of research. Your dissertation will consolidate your knowledge in an investigative or literature-based research or service improvement project.

Mental health professionals in a meeting

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. 


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). 

Study modules


Compulsory modules

  • Preparation for Academic and Professional Learning

  • Foundations of Nursing Practice

  • Bioscience for Nursing practice

  • Mental Health and Wellbeing

  • Clinical Practice Experience 1 (Mental Health)

  • 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.

  • Enhacing Therapeutic Relationships

  • Assessing and Planning Mental Health Nursing Care

  • Promoting Health in Mental Health Nursing Practice

  • Clinical practice Experience 2 (Mental Health)

    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.

  • Nursing Care of People with Complex Mental Health Needs

  • Consolidation of Mental Health Nursing Practice

  • Clinical Practice Experince 3 (Mental Health)

  • Dissertation

    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

  • Placement

    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 those shown here. The structure of the course may also mean some modules are not available to you.


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


A whole host of employers across the country and around the world are looking for qualified mental health nurses. There are NHS hospital wards such as psychiatric and specialist units, community settings such as GP surgeries, schools and prisons, the armed forces and mental health charities. You won’t be short of opportunities.

Our graduates are recognised as having excellent competence and confidence in the field, thanks to multiple placements, our simulation suite, and visiting speakers. With half of the course focused on working in practice, you would have built up a strong network of employers to contact.

Finishing with a professional qualification as a mental health nurse, you’ll be well prepared to register and work as a staff nurse in a range of settings. And with your completed research project and master’s level knowledge, you’ll soon be able to open the door to careers at band 6, 7 and 8. You could then step into more senior roles such as advanced clinical practice, research, nurse education or management. 

Entry requirements

International qualifications and equivalences

How to apply

Application process

Tuition fees

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

International full time

Home (UK) full time

International full time

Questions about fees?

Contact Student Finance on:

Tuition fees

2024 / 25
Home (UK) full time
Masters £9,250; Certificate £4,625

International full time

2025 / 26
Home (UK) full time

International full time

Questions about fees?

Contact Student Finance on:

+44 (0)1865 534400

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.

The following factors will be taken into account by the University when it is setting the annual fees: inflationary measures such as the retail price indices, projected increases in University costs, changes in the level of funding received from Government sources, admissions statistics and access considerations including the availability of student support.

How and when to pay

Tuition fee instalments for the semester are due by the Monday of week 1 of each semester. Students are not liable for full fees for that semester if they leave before week 4. If the leaving date is after week 4, full fees for the semester are payable.

  • For information on payment methods please see our Make a Payment page.
  • For information about refunds please visit our Refund policy page

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 NHS Learning Support Fund (LSF).

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 are detailed below.

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

Additional costs for this course are as follows:

  • Books and other learning resources
  • Exchanges
  • Library loans and fees
  • Living costs at university
  • Graduation
  • Photocopying and printing of posters
  • Travel to and from placement (if eligible can apply for reimbursement via NHS learning support fund)
  • Shoes for practice
  • Equipment for practice and suitable non clinical clothing for placements.

This list is not exhaustive and other course-specific costs may be incurred.

For the most up-to-date information on additional costs, please keep checking the website as we will update this as further information becomes available.

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.