• Mental Health Nursing

Nursing (Mental Health)

BSc (Hons) - single

Oxford School of Nursing and Midwifery

Approved by Nursing and Midwifery Council

Mental Health nurses need to be able to demonstrate competence in the fundamentals of nursing care across people's lifespan, with a particular focus on meeting the needs of people experiencing mental problems and their families and carers.

We recognise that as the context of healthcare delivery is constantly changing, it is essential for nurses to be able to work flexibly, inter-professionally and collaboratively in a way that is meaningful and relevant.

This new and exciting curriculum is designed to give graduating mental health nurses the knowledge, skills and attitudes required to influence improvements in practice, and support them to develop their own professional responsibility towards advancing the profession.

This three-year pre-registration BSc (Hons) degree gives you the chance to undertake a mental health nursing course leading to registration with the Nursing and Midwifery Council. The course is available part-time and full-time on the Oxford campus.

This course is open to International students from Sept 2018. More information can be found on our What You Need to Know page.

If you are interested in this course, you should consider attending an Undergraduate Open Day.

Typical offers

UCAS Tariff points: 112 - preferably including a science subject

Available start dates

September 2019 / September 2020

Teaching location

Headington Campus, Marston Road site

Course length

  • Full time: 3 years (or post-qualification: 15 - 24 months with individual credits)
  • Part time: 7 years maximum (limited part-time places available)

UCAS code


For full application details, please see the 'How to apply / Entry requirements' section.

  • Become a confident professional practitioner able to care for people experiencing mental health problems and their families and carers within an ever changing health and social care environment.
  • Gain a wide variety of practice experiences throughout Oxfordshire and with some additional specialist placements available in Berkshire, Wiltshire and Northampton. Placements span hospital and community settings across the lifespan from childhood to old age, working with people with many differing health care needs and their families and carers.
  • We have an Inter-institutional Agreement with the Institute of Technology in Tralee, County Kerry, Ireland for the exchange of students in the context of Erasmus (European Region Action Scheme for the Mobility of University Students) programme.
  • Benefit from a modern University with a very friendly and supportive environment in which to learn. We offer excellent teaching facilities, including dedicated space for simulated learning within clinical skills suites. We have an excellent track record of high levels of student satisfaction, low student attrition rates and high graduate employability.
  • Acquire the skills for evidence-based practice and develop a problem-solving approach to clinical practice. We instil confidence in our students to enable them to use their own clinical and professional judgement in order to influence practice. Our teaching is strengthened by the involvement of service users and carers and expert lecturers from clinical practice.
  • Take advantage of our extensive range of online learning resources. Information technology plays an increasingly important role in healthcare and through our online repository 'Brookes Virtual', you can access lectures, handouts, information and learning exercises.
  • Learn from an active research community: the Oxford Institute for Nursing and Allied Health Research (OxINAHR) is an Oxford Brookes University-led partnership of key stakeholders which leads and participates in world class research and evidence-based practice. In the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014, 98% of our research in Allied Health Professions, Dentistry, Nursing and Pharmacy was rated as internationally recognised, with 82% being world leading or internationally excellent.
Our nursing curriculum has been developed in partnership with students, clinical partners, mentors, service users and carers, and takes account of key local, national and international policies and priorities. It follows a ‘spiral' design to ensure that your learning in both practice and the University is structured incrementally from one year to the next, with a specific focus for each year. Early in the programme, the same modules are taken by all three fields of nursing (Children’s, Mental Health and Adult), with some shared learning with students on the MSc Nursing (Adult / Children’s / Mental Health) pre-registration programmes. In each year of the programme, you will have placements in your field of practice, with some taught content specific to your nursing field. However, there is increasing nursing field specialisation as the programme progresses. There is also a progressive shift in focus on levels of complexity of nursing interventions, as indicated below.

  • Year 1 focuses on communities (local and national), health and wellbeing, lifespan and values. 
  • Year 2 enables you to explore specific nursing interventions, working in partnership with patients and their families to meet care outcomes. 
  • Year 3 focuses on care of people with complex health needs, including those who may have numerous problems; this requires health and social care services to be integrated to promote optimal health outcomes. The focus in this year of study is primarily in the students’ designated field of nursing practice.
Practice learning is central to the programme. You develop the skills necessary to deliver evidence based care: the ability to question practice, critically appraise and use clinical and professional judgement to influence practice is developed throughout the programme. You will learn to work both independently and collaboratively in teams, with individuals, families and communities. 

Study modules

Please note: our courses are reviewed regularly by the Nursing and Midwifery Council and, as a result, the list of modules may vary from that shown here. 

Some modules will be taught alongside students in other fields of nursing and on other health and social care courses to enable you to develop your understanding of multi-professional working. Although there is some scope for flexibility in module choice, this is restricted in pre-qualification courses owing to the demands of the professional requirements for registration.

If you are a qualified nurse (other than in Mental Health Nursing) and you wish to undertake a course leading to a second nursing registration, you will be asked to submit evidence of prior learning (theoretical and practical) to identify a suitable selection of modules and practice to meet your needs for professional development and the award.

Year 1

You will draw upon a wide range of modules, resources and staff in the university and our practice partners to create exciting and individual outcomes.
During Year 1 you will undertake modules at Level 4 and in the subsequent two years, your modules will be at Level 5 and 6 (honours level). You may be able to complete the degree in less than three years if you offer evidence of relevant prior learning through the APEL process (Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning). If you wish to study part-time, you can complete the degree over a maximum duration of 8 years. 
You will develop an in-depth knowledge and understanding of nursing, including in your own field of practice, informed by scholarship and research as well as critical awareness of current issues/development in the field. You will acquire specific skills, knowledge and competence in your chosen field and more broadly will be enquiry-focused, reflective, innovative, confident and self-aware.
These core modules are taken by all pre-registration nursing students, with content applied to mental health nursing:
Education in Nursing Practice 1
This module will give students an introduction to nursing practice. Students will have an introduction to foundational nursing knowledge and skills prior to starting their first practice placement.
Education in Nursing Practice 2
This module introduces further knowledge and skills to facilitate increased participation in the assessment, planning, implementation and evaluation of care. Students will be encouraged to consider the health of people within their 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 the student to the values, beliefs and factors that influence and underpin health and wellbeing from an individual, family and societal perspective, recognising diversity. It will consider how self-awareness and professional responsibility contribute to the development of the nurse and nursing.
Nursing Fundamentals: Family Health and Wellbeing 2
It 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 will explore physiological, psychological, societal, political and global influences on health and social care across the lifespan, recognising inequalities.

Years 2 and 3

Over years 2 and 3, the focus on specific mental health nursing elements increases as the course progresses. The core modules are:

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 particularly focusing on the care of children, adolescents and adults of working age.

Research Methods and Analysis
This module will teach you about the research process, the associated research methods, data analysis and the ethical considerations associated with health and social care research.

It provides you with advanced skills to critique research and determine its usefulness for evidence based practice in preparation for honours degree dissertation

Year 3

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 will enable 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.

In this module you   undertake an independent project under the guidance of an academic member of staff. You identify a research question and attempt to answer this research question by systematic study of the literature.

Work placements

Hospital and community placements will provide opportunities for diverse experiences in supportive practice learning environments. Our partners in practice work closely with Oxford Brookes in the design and delivery of the programme.
We have a dedicated Practice Education Unit (PEU) that provides administrative and academic support for placement learning/practice education for all pre-registration courses.
You will experience a wide variety of practice learning opportunities throughout Oxfordshire with a limited number of placements available in Wiltshire and Northampton. One of the reasons why the mental health nursing course at Oxford Brookes University is so popular is the wide-range and high quality of mental health care provided by the Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust and our other private and independent sector placement partners.  These placement areas offer students the opportunity to experience the delivery of high quality, evidence-based healthcare across the age range and in a variety of inpatient and community settings to patients with many different health care needs. Whilst on placement, you will be supported by a member of staff who will oversee your learning. Examples of placement experiences include: 
  • Child and Adolescent Community Mental Health Teams
  • Child and Adolescent Community Outreach Teams 
  • Adolescent Inpatient Units
  • The Early Intervention in Psychosis Service.
  • Adult Mental Health Community Teams including Assessment Teams, Treatment Teams and locally based facilities on university and NHS sites. 
  • Acute Day Hospitals
  • Adult Acute Admission Units
  • Psychiatric Intensive Care Units
  • Eating Disorder Services
  • Services for Adults with Complex Needs
  • The Emergency Department Psychiatric Service
  • Research Units
  • Older Adult Community Mental Health teams
  • Older Adult Inpatient Units
  • Community Therapy Services for Older Adults
  • With Dementia Specialists in the cottage hospitals
  • Enhanced Low Secure Women’s Forensic Units
  • Low Secure Male Forensic Units
  • Medium Secure Male Forensic Units
  • Prison In-reach Mental Health Teams
  • Open pre-discharge forensic units
  • Forensic Community Mental Health Teams
  • Court Diversion Services
  • Other specialist and forensic services including Forensic Adolescent Mental Health Inpatient Units.

Free language courses for students - the Open Module

Free language courses are available to full-time undergraduate and postgraduate students on many of our courses, and can be taken as a credit on some courses.

Please note that the free language courses are not available if you are:

  • studying at a Brookes partner college
  • studying on any of our teacher education courses or postgraduate education courses.

Additional costs

Further information on additional costs for healthcare courses can be found here.

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.

Teaching and learning

Learning will be facilitated by a range of approaches during both the practice and university experiences such as:

  • Experiential learning eg practice learning, simulation, action-learning, debate and discussion, reflection.
  • Mentoring, coaching and supervising eg questioning, challenging, supporting, observing, giving and receiving feedback
  • Active learning eg projects, role-play, educating others such as patients, the public or peers.
  • Student-centred learning eg self-assessment, reading, finding evidence, production of resources
  • Blended and online learning: eg using digital resources such as 'virtual family', quizzes, specialist lectures
  • Use of technology and informatics eg social media and networking, mobile health (mHealth), Electronic Patient Records (EPR), big data and the professional boundaries required when using such technology.
  • Collaborative learning with other disciplines, interprofessional learning, cultures and agencies eg multi-professional team working and simulation, exploring global perspectives
  • Problem-based/solution-focussed learning eg small group working using complex, multi-faceted scenarios, prioritising or decision making in practice.
  • Simulation Based Education (SBE) is defined as any educational activity that utilises simulation aides to replicate clinical scenarios. The SBE activities will take place in the safe learning environment of the clinical skills suites, which replicates both community and acute settings. During SBE sessions you will have the opportunity to learn and refine both technical and non-technical skills including situational awareness and human factors.

Practice learning is comprised primarily of direct care experiences with people across the age range, their families and carers, complemented by a well-established clinical skills simulation programme which enables you to learn about and consolidate practice learning. In placement areas, you work with experienced mental health nurses (known as mentors), also supported by link lecturers and placement-related staff.

Each year, you will have ‘hub placements’ in hospital or community settings as well as shorter related ‘spoke’ placements. Whilst on your ‘hub’ placements, you will become part of the clinical team and gain valuable insights into the functioning of the 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.

Approach to assessment

As with all pre-registration nursing courses, the BSc Nursing (Mental Health) course is made up of 50% theory and 50% practice. Although the hours are separate, the assessments usually require integration of theory and practice learning. Assessment methods include essays, case studies, reflective assignments and other coursework, as well as individual and group presentations and a dissertation.

The course team is committed to supporting your academic skills development and maximising your potential to succeed. The module assignments have been designed and selected to enable you to demonstrate the learning outcomes for each module and cumulatively the overall programme learning outcomes.

Assessment feedback is intended to shape and develop your learning. It is fundamental and directly linked to the programme and module learning outcomes. Assessment and feedback approaches will help you to develop your learning needed for your future working life.

The range, type and timing of programme assessment has been carefully selected to enable you to become an independent and reflective learner and to develop and demonstrate the skills and knowledge needed to meet the programme learning outcomes as you progress through the course. All modules have an assessment component which requires you to explicitly demonstrate an understanding of how the module theory informs and enhances patient care. Examples of the practice component of the course is assessed through verification of achievement of practice competencies on your placements, grading of practice and annual assessments of competency in calculating drug dosages through ‘Safe Medicate’ online assessments.

Tuition fees

Home/EU - full time fee: 2018/19: £9,250. 2019/20: £9,250.

Home/EU - part time fee: 2018/19: £750 per single module. 2019/20: £750 per single module.

International - full time: 2018/19: £13,800 2019/20: £14,080

Please note tuition fees for Home/EU students may increase in subsequent years both for new and continuing students in line with an inflationary amount determined by government.

Oxford Brookes University intends to maintain its fees for new and returning home and EU students at the maximum permitted level.

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 in the 'This course in detail' window above.

Questions about fees?
Contact Student Finance on:
+44 (0)1865 483088

Funding and scholarships

For general sources of financial support, see:

The Tessa Jane Evans Bursary for Nursing is designed to assist trainee student nurses with living expenses. You can find out more and fill in the application form here.

For general sources of financial support, see:

Typical offers

UCAS Tariff points: 112 - preferably including a science subject

A-Level: BBC or equivalent with a preference for a science subject

Wherever possible we make our conditional offers using the UCAS Tariff. This combination of A-level grades would be just one way of achieving the UCAS Tariff points for this course.

IB Diploma: 30 points, minimum 6 at higher level with a preference for a science subject at higher level

BTEC: Extended Diploma: DMM (with a preference for science or health and social care)

  • 2 AS-levels will only be accepted in place of one full A-level.
  • Pass the Access course with 60 credits overall; 45 at level 3 which should include 12 credits in science.  English and Maths level 2 credits will no longer be accepted as GCSE equivalences. GCSE English and Maths are now required as separate qualifications.
  • Irish Leaving Certificate: BBBCC at Higher Level (with a preference for a science subject). You should also have Mathematics, English and a Science subject at Grade C1 at Ordinary or Higher Level.

Specific entry requirements

GCSE: 3 passes at Grade 4 (C), or above, including Mathematics, English Language and a Science subject.

For post-experience BA:

  • NMC registration parts 1, 5, 8, 12, 14 or 15.
  • A secondment to the course may be possible for adult, learning disability and children's nurses working for the local NHS Trusts or the armed forces.
  • Applicants need to have been working in an NHS clinical area that gives them experience of clients with mental health needs for at least six months before enrolling on the course.


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

Please also see the University's general entry requirements.

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.

Prospective students will be interviewed by representatives from both the University and Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust. In addition, service users may also be in attendance.

English language requirements

An IELTS score of 7.0 in all areas is required for ALL applicants whose first language is not English.

NMC English language requirement advice

Please also see the University's standard English language requirements

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.

How to apply

Part-time/post-experience students should apply direct to the university.

International applicants

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.

Credit transfer

Oxford Brookes operates the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS). All undergraduate single modules are equivalent to 7.5 ECTS credits and double modules to 15 ECTS credits. More about ECTS credits.

Why Oxford is a great place to study this course

Oxfordshire is highly regarded for the quality of its mental health services and you will have the opportunity to work in the full range of hospital and community settings where people with mental health problems are supported or cared for.

Support for students studying Nursing (Mental Health)

There is a good range of support mechanisms for students, including:

  • academic advisers, who will facilitate your academic development
  • student support co-ordinators, who provide a drop-in service for questions about any aspect of student life, covering both academic and personal welfare.

The University’s support services include Upgrade, which provides advice on study skills such as planning and writing essays, assignments and dissertations, research and preparing for exams. They also give advice on statistics and maths.

There is a dedicated Student Disability and Dyslexia Service, which provides support for students with disabilities including sensory and mobility impairments, dyslexia and other specific learning difficulties, mental health problems and medical conditions. The service's staff offer advice and support on a range of issues, including physical access, funding, alternative assessment arrangements and liaison with teaching staff to ensure that they are aware of your requirements.


We offer specific accommodation for Nursing students to suit the longer duration of the course - this also means you will be living with other Nursing students. See our accommodation page for more information.

Specialist facilities

We offer a very friendly and supportive environment in which to learn, and we consistently receive very high satisfaction ratings for student support and learning resources in student surveys.
Facilities at Marston Road include:
  • Dedicated clinical skills suites and simulation resources.
  • A 280 seat lecture theatre.
  • Dedicated computer rooms. 
We also have excellent library resources, accessible both through the web and through a range of locally based facilities on university and NHS sites. 

General support services

Supporting your learning

From academic advisers and support co-ordinators to specialist subject librarians and other learning support staff, we want to ensure that you get the best out of your studies.

Personal support services

We want your time at Brookes to be as enjoyable and successful as possible. That's why we provide all the facilities you need to be relaxed, happy and healthy throughout your studies.

Professional accreditation

The course meets the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) standards of education and the requirements for the professional award.

Please note that NMC approval of this course is subject to review and can be withdrawn at any time.

Career prospects

The Mental Health Nursing BSc course at Brookes has an excellent track record of employability with 100% of our students obtaining work within two months of finishing the course. Registered Mental Health Nurses have the opportunity of post-qualification, to develop their careers in a wide range of settings, such as in hospital wards and in a range of community settings. You can progress in your career in many areas including in advanced clinical practice, research, nurse education and/or management. 

The newly established Oxford Institute of Nursing and Allied Health Research (OxINAHR), can provide interested nursing graduates with a structured research career pathway opportunity, developed in partnership with local NHS partners

We also offer a range of Continuing Professional Development (CPD) / Learning Beyond Registration (LBR) opportunities for qualified nurses if you wish to undertake further study at post-qualifying and postgraduate level.

With a professional qualification as a Registered Nurse (Mental Health), you will be well prepared for employment and will have the ability to work as a staff nurse in a range of settings. As you progress, you will have a wide range of options open to you, whether you choose to pursue a career in clinical practice in hospital or community, management, nurse education or research.

Further study

All our courses aim to prepare you to be lifelong learners and there is a wide range of courses available at Oxford Brookes for continuing professional development (CPD).

Course downloads

  • Additional costs for healthcare courses 2018 entry
  • Related courses

  • Nursing (Adult)
  • Nursing (Children's)
  • MSci Nursing (Adult and Mental Health)