Nursing (Mental Health)

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Academic Year of Entry: 2023/24
Course overview
(BSc) Bachelor of Science
Nursing (Mental Health)
University of Essex
University of Essex
Health and Social Care (School of)
Colchester Campus
Honours Degree


Professional accreditation

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

Admission criteria

UK entry requirements

Our published entry requirements are a guide and we welcome applications from those who have achieved one of the below level 3 qualifications with lower grades but meet our GCSE Maths and English (or equivalent) requirements.

GCSE: Mathematics and English Language C/4. Acceptable alternatives to our GCSE Maths and English requirements are listed further down this page.

Plus one of the following:

  • A-levels: BBC
  • Access to HE Diploma: 6 level 3 credits at Distinction and 39 level 3 at merit
  • T-levels: Distinction, depending on subject studied - advice on acceptability can be provided.

We also consider a range of vocational level 3 qualifications for entry. If you are taking or have achieved any qualifications that are not listed here, please contact the Undergraduate Admissions Office.

GCSE/Level 2 requirements

All applicants must have, or be working towards, acceptable level 2 mathematics and English qualifications such as GCSE grade C/4 or equivalent.

  • We can accept a number of OFQUAL regulated level 2 maths qualifications in place of GCSE Maths C/4, including Functional Skills level 2, Key Skills level 2 or numeracy units taken as part of an Access to HE Diploma.
  • If you do not require a Student visa and are either a first language English speaker or have a lived in the UK for over three years, we can accept a number of OFQUAL regulated level 2 English qualifications, including Functional Skills level 2, Key Skills level 2 or literacy units taken as part of an Access to HE Diploma, in place of GCSE English C/4.
  • If you have not listed a suitable maths or English qualification in your application this may form part of any offer given to you.

NHS Constitution and Values

As part of the selection process, students will be expected to demonstrate effective communication skills alongside good knowledge and a clear understanding of the scope of work that a nurse is required to undertake as well as the significance of the NHS Constitution and its core values (you can find further information on these on the Health Education East of England website and the Gov.UK webpages

Additional requirements

You must also have a satisfactory Occupational Health Check and enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) Check (including child and adult barred list check) - both of these are organised by the University. Please contact our DBS team if you have any questions relating to this.

A satisfactory Overseas Criminal Record Check/Local Police Certificate is also required, in addition to a DBS Check, where you have lived outside of the UK in the last 5 years for 6 months or more.

For October 2023 entry, applicants must be aged 18 or over on 1 January 2024.

We welcome applications for Year Two entry, but they must be submitted by 30 April 2023. These applications will need to go through the APEL process, as applicants are required to have studied a comparable first year at another institution and to have completed comparable Professional Capabilities through placements. Applicants for Year Two also need to meet the GCSE Maths and English, or acceptable alternatives, requirements.

We are unable to accept applications for entry to the third/final year of this course.

Application process

If your achieved or pending qualifications meet our requirements, you will be invited to attend a compulsory interview via Zoom.

IELTS (International English Language Testing System) code

English language requirements for applicants whose first language is not English: IELTS 7.0 overall, with 6.5 in writing, and 7.0 in all other components.

Other English language qualifications may be acceptable so please contact us for further details. If we accept the English component of an international qualification then it will be included in the information given about the academic levels listed above. Please note that date restrictions may apply to some English language qualifications

If you are an international student requiring a visa to study in the UK please see our immigration webpages for the latest Home Office guidance on English language qualifications.

If you do not meet our IELTS requirements then you may be able to complete a pre-sessional English pathway that enables you to start your course without retaking IELTS.

Course qualifiers

A course qualifier is a bracketed addition to your course title to denote a specialisation or pathway that you have achieved via the completion of specific modules during your course. The specific module requirements for each qualifier title are noted below. Eligibility for any selected qualifier will be determined by the department and confirmed by the final year Board of Examiners. If the required modules are not successfully completed, your course title will remain as described above without any bracketed addition. Selection of a course qualifier is optional and student can register preferences or opt-out via Online Module Enrolment (eNROL).


Rules of assessment

Rules of assessment are the rules, principles and frameworks which the University uses to calculate your course progression and final results.

Additional notes


External examiners

Staff photo
Mr Donald George Hamilton

Senior Lecturer

London South Bank University

External Examiners provide an independent overview of our courses, offering their expertise and help towards our continual improvement of course content, teaching, learning, and assessment. External Examiners are normally academics from other higher education institutions, but may be from the industry, business or the profession as appropriate for the course. They comment on how well courses align with national standards, and on how well the teaching, learning and assessment methods allow students to develop and demonstrate the relevant knowledge and skills needed to achieve their awards. External Examiners who are responsible for awards are key members of Boards of Examiners. These boards make decisions about student progression within their course and about whether students can receive their final award.


Core You must take this module.
You must pass this module. No failure can be permitted.
Core with Options You can choose which module to study.
You must pass this module. No failure can be permitted.
Compulsory You must take this module.
There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the degree if you fail.
Compulsory with Options You can choose which module to study.
There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the degree if you fail.
Optional You can choose which module to study.
There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the degree if you fail.

Year 1 - 2023/24

Component Number Module Code Module Title Status Min Credits Max Credits
01  HS182-4-AP-CO  Fundamentals of Behavioural Sciences  Core  20  20 
02  HS183-4-AP-CO  Fundamentals of Lifesciences  Core  20  20 
03  HS184-4-FY-CO  Person-Centred Care 1  Core  60  60 
04  HS185-4-SP-CO  Welfare, Wellbeing and Health  Core  20  20 

Year 2 - 2024/25

Component Number Module Code Module Title Status Min Credits Max Credits
01  HS186-5-SU-CO  Advocacy, Activism and Resistance  Core  20  20 
02  HS187-5-FY-CO  Person-Centred Care 2  Core  60  60 
03  HS188-5-SP-CO  Relationship Based Practice  Core  20  20 
04  HS189-5-SP-CO  The Therapeutic Practitioner  Core  20  20 

Year 3 - 2025/26

Component Number Module Code Module Title Status Min Credits Max Credits
01  HS195-6-AP-CO  Participatory Research for Service Improvement  Core  20  20 
02  HS228-6-FY-CO  Person-Centred Care 3  Core  60  60 
03  HS197-6-AU-CO  Supervising Learning in Clinical Practice  Core  20  20 
04  HS241-6-SU-CO  The Autonomous Practitioner - Mental Health Nursing  Core  20  20 

Exit awards

A module is given one of the following statuses: 'core' – meaning it must be taken and passed; 'compulsory' – meaning it must be taken; or 'optional' – meaning that students can choose the module from a designated list. The rules of assessment may allow for limited condonement of fails in 'compulsory' or 'optional' modules, but 'core' modules cannot be failed. The status of the module may be different in any exit awards which are available for the course. Exam Boards will consider students' eligibility for an exit award if they fail the main award or do not complete their studies.

Programme aims

  • Prepare students to act in the best interests of people, accountable for providing mental health nursing care that is person-centred, safe and compassionate
  • Prepare students to support, improve and maintain the health and wellbeing of people, communities and populations
  • Prepare students to assess and prioritise a person’s nursing needs and plan appropriate evidence-based care
  • Prepare students to provide and evaluate evidence-based nursing care interventions and procedures.
  • Prepare students to lead and manage nursing care effectively, work as part of a team and appropriately delegate care
  • Prepare students to continuously improve the safety and quality of nursing care, enhancing people's experiences of services and optimising health outcomes.
  • Prepare students to coordinate and lead complex care as a mental health nurse across organisations and settings
  • Prepare students to embody ethical principles of social justice and courageous advocacy in the delivery of nursing care

  • Learning outcomes and learning, teaching and assessment methods

    On successful completion of the programme a graduate should demonstrate knowledge and skills as follows:

    A: Knowledge and understanding

    A1: Fundamental knowledge of the evidence bases applied to person-centred practices and proficiencies in nursing care, including its features, gaps, uncertainties and ambiguities.

    A2: Fundamental knowledge of the evidence bases applied to critical public health, welfare, wellbeing and the socio-political determinants of health

    A3: Fundamental knowledge, principles and practices of compassionate human interactions, relationships and relationship-based therapies applied to adult nursing

    A4: Fundamental knowledge of the evidence bases associated with clinical leadership and management strategies that enable the coordination of complex person-centred care

    A5: Fundamental knowledge of the evidence bases associated with the nursing processes of assessment, planning, providing and evaluating care

    A6: Fundamental understanding that different forms of knowledge (scientific, experiential, political, professional, organisational and cultural) contribute evidence to nursing practices and decision-making

    A7: Fundamental knowledge and application of the ethical principles of social justice, advocacy and accountability as the foundation for all nursing practices

    Learning methods

    A1-A7 are achieved through instructional methods ( interactive lectures, seminars, flipped classroom); critical reflection methods (lived experience seminars, digital stories, reflective tutorials, action learning sets and peer supervision); and participatory and experiential methods (practice-based learning and simulated practice)

    Assessment methods

    A1 and A6 are assessed using essays and case studies, practice assessment documents (PADs), written exam, oral exam, multiple mini interviews (MMIs), reflective journal and service improvement project.

    A2 is assessed using essays and service improvement project

    A3 is assessed using practice assessment documents (PADs) and multiple mini interviews (MMIs)

    A4-A5 are assessed using essays and case studies, practice assessment documents (PADs) and multiple mini interviews (MMIs)

    A7 is assessed using essays, analysis of digital stories, and service improvement project

    B: Intellectual and cognitive skills

    B1: Adopt an inquiring stance to all aspects of nursing practice, education and leadership

    B2: Locate and synthesise evidence from a range of sources in order to make evidence-based person-centred decisions

    B3: Manage complex ethical and professional issues, making informed judgements on matters that may not explicitly be addressed within existing codes, standards and protocols

    B4: Develop creative ideas for service improvements that are person-centred, participative and reflect contemporary health care practices

    B5: Engage in descriptive and critical reflection that integrates knowledge from different sources to inform personal development, professional practices, and service delivery

    Learning methods

    B1-B5 are achieved through lived experience seminars and workshops, scenario-based inquiry, action learning sets, structured reflection in practice, simulated practice, supported and independent self-directed learning, personal and group reflection on placement experience.

    Assessment methods

    B1-B3 and B5 are assessed using essays and case studies, practice assessment documents (PADs), reflective journal and multiple mini interviews (MMIs)

    B4 is assessed using a service improvement project

    C: Practical skills

    C1: Safely and effectively demonstrate proficiency in practices, therapies, procedures and techniques that address the person-centred needs of people using nursing services

    C2: Actively seek and value feedback from service users, peers, colleagues and others to inform personal development and professional activities

    C3: Demonstrate independence, autonomy and intiative in professional activities, leading creative responses to clinical situations identified within nursing practice

    C4: Be a champion for social justice, demonstrating advocacy with people and assertively challenge practices that are unsafe, unsatisfactory and ineffective

    Learning methods

    C1-C4 are achieved through participative learning strategies in practice-based learning and simulated practice

    C2 is also achieved through supervising peers and colleagues

    C2-C4 are achieved through lived experience seminars and workshops

    Assessment methods

    C1 is assessed using practice assessment documents (PADs) and multiple mini interviews (MMIs)

    C2-C4 is assessed using case studies, practice assessment documents (PADs), reflective journal and service improvement project

    D: Key skills

    D1: i) Develop skilled, relationship-based, context-appropriate communication when interacting with others in clinical and non-clinical situations, ii) Listen to, read and acknowledge alternative perspectives, iii) Communicate persuasive and engaging arguments in academic and professional situations.

    D2: Demonstrate proficiency in digital technologies by: i) Using the the Internet ii) Accessing information via the library, professional bodies, placement providers iii) Use appropriate data analysis packages, and iv) Use audiovisual presentation tools and techniques

    D3: Demonstrate applied health numeracy by: i) Interpreting statistical information, ii) Using statistics to analyse data, and iii) Using software packages to support data analysis.

    D4: Identify and reflectively analyse problems emerging from theory and practice

    D5: i) Motivate and engender partnership working, ii) Demonstrate a strong awareness of personal limitations and scope of practice, iii) Take responsibility for one's own work and significant responsibility for the work of others, iv) Respect and promote inclusivity and diversity.

    D6: Demonstrate an aptitude for continuing to advance knowledge, understanding and skills in line with identified learning needs; Identify, conceptualise and define new and abstract ideas within professional practice/education/management

    Learning methods

    D1 is achieved in group work, lived expereince seminars, action learning sets, practice-based learning, simulated practice, and tutorials.

    D2 commences at induction and is achieved through structured workshops and seminars, flipped classroom, and structured self-directed learning

    D3 is achieved using seminars where students present and analyse work, tutorials, simuledted practice and practice-based learning

    D4 is achieved using authentic scenario-based inquiry, simulated practice, and practice-based learning

    D5 is achieved using collaborative group work, action learning sets, seminars, simulated practice, prqactice-based learning and project co-design in service improvement

    D6 is achieved through feedback on coursework, tutorial support, action learning sets, descriptive and critical reflections on practice-based learning

    Assessment methods

    D1 and D4 are assessed using essays and case studies, practice assessment documents (PADs), written exam, oral exam, multiple mini interviews (MMIs), reflective journal and service improvement project

    D2 is assessed using essays and case studies, and service improvement project

    D3 is assessed using a health numeracy exam, medicines management assessments in practice assessment documents (PADs), multiple mini interviews (MMIs), and presentation and manipulation of data in relfective case study

    D5 is assessed using essays and case studies, practice assessment documents (PADs), multiple mini interviews (MMIs), reflective journal and service improvement project

    D6 is assessed using reflective case studies, practice assessment documents (PADs) and reflective journal


    The University makes every effort to ensure that this information on its programme specification is accurate and up-to-date. Exceptionally it can be necessary to make changes, for example to courses, facilities or fees. Examples of such reasons might include a change of law or regulatory requirements, industrial action, lack of demand, departure of key personnel, change in government policy, or withdrawal/reduction of funding. Changes to courses may for example consist of variations to the content and method of delivery of programmes, courses and other services, to discontinue programmes, courses and other services and to merge or combine programmes or courses. The University will endeavour to keep such changes to a minimum, and will also keep students informed appropriately by updating our programme specifications.

    The full Procedures, Rules and Regulations of the University governing how it operates are set out in the Charter, Statutes and Ordinances and in the University Regulations, Policy and Procedures.


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