Nursing (Mental Health) BN (Hons)


Empathy, compassion, commitment – become a Mental Health Nurse with our BN (Hons) Nursing (Mental Health) degree and make a positive difference to people’s lives every day.

On this course developed and delivered with local NHS partners, you’ll benefit from extensive time spent working with patients in real healthcare settings, building key skills in mental health assessment and care.

What you'll experience

On this course you’ll:

  • Explore mental health nursing scenarios and work on communication with simulated patients in our Centre for Simulation in Health and Care, one of the country’s leading teaching healthcare environments
  • Observe, assess and engage with patients in professional and local community environments
  • Study at the first institution in the country to be accredited by the Association of Simulated Practice in Healthcare, and on a nursing course approved by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC)
  • Be eligible to register with the NMC as a mental health nurse on graduation

Work experience and career planning

After you graduate, you can get help, advice and support for up to 5 years from our Careers and Employability Service as you advance in your career. Other graduates have continued their studies at postgraduate level or set up successful businesses with help and support from the University.

Clinical Placements

You'll spend a large amount of time on this course in clinical practice placements. These placements give you practical experience in caring for people with acute and long-term physical and mental health conditions of all kinds, in many settings. Together with our partner trusts, we'll develop you into a confident, independent, adaptable and professional Mental Health Nurse.

Placement Destinations

Our placement partners include Solent NHS Trust, Southern Health, Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust, Inclusion (Sub-Misuse), and Liaison and Diversion (Custody).

Recent students have completed placements that link theory to practice in the following areas:

  • community mental health services
  • dementia and older persons services 
  • urgent treatment/care – such as crisis resolution home treatment teams (CRHTT)
  • inpatient settings
  • acute mental health units
  • forensic inpatient units 
  • children and young people’s mental health services
  • early intervention services (EIS)
  • perinatal mental health services

So that you're fully prepared for practice in the mental health sector, a key element of your work experience will be working shifts at weekends and at night, as there's demand for mental health care 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Attending these work experience opportunities may require a lot of travel.

Module Details

Each module on this course is worth a certain number of credits.

On the full-time course, you need to study modules worth a total of 120 credits in each year. For example, 4 modules worth 20 credits and 1 module worth 40 credits.

On the part-time course, you need to study modules worth a total of 80 credits in years 1, 2, 3 and 4 and 40 credits in year 5.

We use the best and most current research and professional practice alongside feedback from our students to make sure course content is relevant to your future career or further studies.

Therefore, some course content may change over time to reflect changes in the discipline or industry and some optional modules may not run every year. If a module doesn’t run, we’ll let you know as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative module.

Programme Assessment

Teaching methods on this course include:

  • lectures
  • independent study
  • workplace simulation

How you're assessed:

  • academic work including essays, reports, case studies and reflective accounts
  • performance-based clinical practice assessments including objective structured clinical examinations and activity in simulation
  • in-class tests and examinations
  • presentations and scientific posters
  • work-based projects
  • online learning activities

You'll be able to test your skills and knowledge informally before you do assessments that count towards your final mark.

You can get feedback on all practice and formal assessments so you can improve in the future.

The way you're assessed may depend on the modules you select. 

Student Destinations

Mental health nurses provide essential support to people with mental health conditions. They care for and form positive relationships with patients, their families and carers, aiding recovery and enabling patients to live fuller and more independent lives.

The need for mental health services is growing too. The NHS is seeking 27,000 people to join the mental health sector by 2023/24, and the coronavirus pandemic is likely to mean even more people need mental health support moving forward.

On this Mental Health Nursing degree, you'll develop the skills, confidence and understanding to support people in need, learning how to make difficult decisions based on evidence and building the fundamental skills needed for personal nursing care.

You'll be ready to start a challenging yet hugely rewarding career as a mental health nurse, and you can choose to work with people from certain age and vulnerability groups, such as Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS), or Older People’s Mental Health (OPMH). With experience, you could work in GP liaison, nurse education, or leadership and management.

When you graduate, you'll be eligible to apply for registration with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC), which allows you to work as a Registered Nurse in the UK.

Once you graduate, you'll be ready to take on a mental health nurse role within a variety of settings, including:

  • Adult Mental Health (AMH)
  • Older People's Mental Health (OPMH)
  • Community Mental Health
  • Crisis Mental Health
  • Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS)
  • Assessment and Recovery

With more experience, you could then develop further into roles such as:

  • Practice educator
  • Specialist practitioner
  • Advanced clinical practitioner
  • Crisis team leader
  • Clinical researcher
  • Leadership and management
  • Nurse education
  • Nurse prescriber
  • GP liaison
BN (Hons) Award
September Start
Full-time, Part-time Study Mode
3 years Duration

Entry Requirements For This Course

120 points to include 2 A levels, or equivalent, with 32 points from a Science or Social Science subject. All shortlisted applicants will need to attend an interview. Applicants must pass Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) and Occupational Health checks before starting the course.

English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 7.0 with no component score below 7.0.

University of Portsmouth in Pictures

Latest Updates from University of Portsmouth

Location of University of Portsmouth