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Nursing MNurs - Mental Health

Start date
4 years
UCAS code
Course Type
Undergraduate, Single Honours

Annual tuition fees for 2024/25 are:
£9,250 (UK) 
More details on fees and funding

Access exclusive opportunities to gain invaluable experience treating patients at the heart of one of the UK’s largest healthcare regions. Develop the core skills and knowledge required to play a vital role in helping patient’s lead happy and healthy lives.

Explore Mental Health Nursing at the University of Birmingham

Not only will this course supply you with the knowledge, skills and competencies required to become a mental health nurse, it will also aid your development as a future leader in nursing. This will be further enhanced through the development of clinical, research, leadership and quality improvement which are taken at Masters level.

You will be able to develop, manage, evaluate and disseminate the findings of a clinical research or improvement project in conjunction with the clinical academic and nursing management team. Through your extended knowledge of physiology and physiological changes to the clinical assessment of patients you will be able to recommend the use of diagnostic techniques to inform future clinical nursing decisions.

Further to this, throughout your nursing degree, your skill development will be supported through access to our dedicated clinical simulation suites that enables opportunities for simulated practice. You will also undertake a range of diverse and exciting clinical placements, gaining invaluable experience with a wide range of client groups, under the guidance of skilled clinicians. 

Find out more about our Nursing placements 


The NHS Learning Support Fund offers nursing students at least £5,000 a year in financial aid whilst you train and gain professional registration. Check out their website for eligibility criteria and further information.

NHS Learning Support Fund

 Why study this course?

  • Interdisciplinary teaching: Benefit from inter-professional learning opportunities studying alongside students on medicine, dentistry and pharmacy courses which will prepare you for working in today’s interdisciplinary healthcare teams.
  • Shared first year: Our common first year maximises your learning and experience of holistic nursing, allowing you to experience a variety of healthcare environments. 
  • Exclusive relationships for placements: Our strong partnership agreements lead to effective placements in Birmingham NHS Trusts. You will be exposed to a diverse range of patients and health conditions as you experience working in one of the largest healthcare regions in the UK.
  • Research opportunities: Through our active research programme, you will align with one of our core research themes for your final year research project developing critical research and leadership skills.
  • Elective experience: At the end of your third year, you will have the exciting opportunity to undertake a four-week elective placement. Your elective placement can be in any healthcare setting in the world to give you a wider perspective of nursing around the globe.


Modules in the first year

The first year of the Mental Health Nursing Masters course is designed to develop your understanding of holistic healthcare and nursing practice with people across the lifespan in each of the fields of practice. You will share learning with students from all fields of practice and undertake placements and simulated practice experience with children, adults and the elderly. As well as examining these areas through study and simulated practical skills, you will gain invaluable practical experience by completing a number of placements which expose you to different populations and fields of nursing practice.

You'll study the principles of nursing practice and nursing skills underpinned by relevant biological, pharmacological, psychological and social sciences and will gain an appreciation of the health and social needs of people and their families. You will also study core clinical skills and develop your academic and digital skills in order to gain an understanding of professional practice. The generic nature of our first year means that it might be possible to switch fields of practice before progressing to your second year, although this is subject to availability of places.

  • Essential Nursing Care - 40 credits
  • Principles of Nursing - 40 credits
  • Health and Wellbeing - 40 credits

Modules in the second year

In the second year of your Mental Health Nursing course, you will study clinical modules specific to your field of practice. In addition, you will study core modules which support your development as a nurse, these include the study of health promotion and healthcare in a social economic and political environment. You will undertake three clinical placements specific to mental health nursing in both hospital and community settings in your second year.

To progress onto year 3 of the Master of Nursing programme, you will need to have achieved an average of 55% or above in your assessed work at this stage. If you have passed all elements but your average grade is below 55% you will be transferred to the final year of the Bachelor of Nursing programme in order to complete your studies and achieve eligibility for nursing registration.

Core modules

  • Promoting Health and Self-Management - 20 credits
  • Clinical Decision Making - 30 credits 
  • Evaluating Nursing Care in Mental Health - 30 credits
  • Therapeutic Nursing in Mental Health Care - 40 credits 

Modules in the third year

The third year of the Mental Health Nursing course will focus on your academic development in research knowledge, leadership and on furthering career development. You will be able to explore potential nursing careers including a negotiated experience of your choice, either overseas or in the United Kingdom (UK). This aspect of the MNurs enables you to experience difference between clinical, academic and other nursing careers as well as potential for exposure to different healthcare systems. This will give you an understanding of the importance of leadership in nursing at a national and international level, its impact and potential for influencing health through leadership and/or research at a national and international level. Your experience could include for example, shadowing a relevant manager or management role, working in a research or clinical academic team or a short internship in a national or international healthcare or nursing related organisation or other related workplace setting. You could also be facilitated to consider a longer international or Erasmus placement.

You will also have the opportunity to undertake a 4 week elective experience, either overseas or in the United Kingdom (UK). In the UK electives can be arranged in hospices, prisons and other specialist units. International electives can be in health care settings in any continent of the world. Examples of countries where students have visited recently include Australia, Sri Lanka, The Philippines, Thailand, Tanzania, Greece, Canada and the USA. The elective enables you to experience differences in culture, clinical practice, healthcare systems and languages, which will benefit you as a Registered Nurse when managing care for people from different backgrounds and also gives an understanding of nursing as a global profession. It gives you the opportunity to further develop your self-confidence and organisational skills, through arranging your own elective experience with the support and guidance of academic staff.

You will also spend a further four weeks in a home placement related to mental health nursing in order to to enable continuation of your clinical nursing skills. You'll further develop your knowledge of pathophysiology to underpin the clinical assessment and diagnosis module in year four.

A research governance module is taken at Masters level and will prepare you for the ethical study and practice of clinical nursing research in year four.

Core modules

  • Pathophysiology for Nurses - 20 credits 
  • Research and Improvement Methods for Practice - 20 credits
  • Evidence Based Nursing Practice- 40 credits
  • Negotiated Career Development for Nursing - 40 credits

Modules in the fourth year

Year four is studied completely at Masters level and there is a strong focus on the development of research and leadership as well as the transition of your nursing practice to becoming a registered nurse in the mental health field of practice. You will work in student teams with a relevant clinical academic and with practice partners to refine and develop a research project, which will take place throughout the academic year. Further teaching and supervision of research methodology and evidence critique will support this.

To enhance your clinical development, you will take an advanced assessment and diagnostics module that will develop your clinical examination skills and knowledge of related diagnostic testing. This module will support post registration preparation as a nurse prescriber if your future employment requires this.

A final assessed management placement will be supported with development in your leadership and management attributes within the clinical environment. The module will help you evaluate and manage risk, consider safe delegation and supervision decisions, manage change and facilitate own and others learning.

  • Leading and managing care teams - 40 credits
  • Health and Social Care Enquiry - 40 credits
  • Recognising and Responding to Acute Deterioration within Complex Mental Health Nursing Care - 40 credits

Please visit our Programmes and Modules Handbook for further details. 

Please note: The modules listed on the website for this programme are regularly reviewed to ensure they are up-to-date and informed by the latest research and teaching methods. Unless indicated otherwise, the modules listed for this programme are for students starting in 2024. On rare occasions, we may need to make unexpected changes to compulsory modules; in this event we will contact offer holders as soon as possible to inform or consult them as appropriate.


We charge an annual tuition fee. Fees for 2024/25 entry are as follows:

  • UK: £9,250

Visit our tuition fees page for more information 


A range of financial support is available for all eligible undergraduate student nurses. The NHS Learning Support Fund provides you with financial aid whilst you train and gain professional registration. Every eligible student nurse studying or starting their course from September 2020 can receive at least £5,000. Please view the NHS Learning Support Fund website for eligibility criteria and further details.

Scholarships, bursaries or grants may be available to support you through your course. Funding opportunities available are linked to your subject area and/or your country of origin. These can be from the University or other sources.

View our undergraduate funding database 

How To Apply

  • Please note, we can only accept applications from those considered as home fee status.
  • Visit our Nursing frequently asked questions webpage to find out more about our Nursing programmes at Birmingham.
  • The University of Birmingham's UCAS code number is B32. You must enter this clearly on your application to ensure that it reaches us for consideration.
  • Applications will close on Wednesday 31st January 2024. Further key dates regarding applying to undergraduate courses can be found on the UCAS website.
  • If you need any further help with your Birmingham application or personal statement please visit our applying to Birmingham webpage. 

Apply now via UCAS 

Standard offer

International Requirements

Number of A levels required:
Typical offer:
General Studies:
Not accepted, but a good performance may be taken into account if you fail to meet the conditions of your offer

All applicants must meet in full both the GCSE and Level 3/higher qualification entry requirements for the Masters of Nursing programme. The only exception to meeting the GCSE requirements in full applies to some Access applicants, please see the relevant section below for more details.

Please note all previous academic study will be considered when assessing the suitability of applicants for interview.

GCSE requirements: 

5 GCSEs at grade C/4 or above which must include English, Mathematics and a Science subject. We do not accept level 2 equivalents e.g. BTEC, Key skills.

The achievement of the minimum GCSE criteria for application does not guarantee being shortlisted to interview.

Preferred subjects and grades:

Biology, Psychology or Sociology A level, and two others. Welsh Baccalaureate at grade B can substitute one of the A Levels.

Edexcel Level 3 extended project:

Grade A in the Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) is accepted in addition to 3 A Levels (of equivalent level 3 qualifications). You would be made a variable offer e.g. ABB or BBB plus A in the EPQ (subject to conditions – see “How we make an offer” webpage for full details).

T Levels:

Grade requirements of Distinction overall with B in the Core will be accepted for the below T Levels. 

  • Health
  • Healthcare Science
  • Science

You must also meet in full the GCSE entry requirements for the programme (see above).


BTEC Extended Diploma in Health and Social Care or Applied Science accepted. Grades required - D*DD
BTEC Diploma considered on a case by case basis when combined with an A level (typical offer DD plus A)
BTEC Subsidiary Diploma considered on a case by case basis when combined with 2 A levels

You must also meet in full the GCSE entry requirements for the programme (see above).

International Baccalaureate Diploma:

32 points with 3 subjects at higher level graded 6, 5, 5. You must also meet in full the GCSE entry requirements for the programme (see above).

Access to Higher Education (Health or Science): 

60 credits with a minimum of 45 credits at level 3 at distinction (to include study of Physiology or Biology) and 15 credits at level 2. Access courses must have been completed within the last two years to be valid. You must meet the GCSE entry requirements in full for the programme (as above). However, if it is more than 5 years since you took your GCSE’s and you also have 2 years full time paid work experience in health and social care, you are only required to have GCSE English, Mathematics and Science at grade C or above.

Minimum Age Requirement

As this programme has a mandatory clinical placement, every applicant for admission to the University must have reached the age of 18 years on 1 October of the year of entry.

Graduate Entry Requirements:

Bachelor degree minimum 2:1 or Masters or PhD. You must also meet in full the GCSE entry requirements for the programme (see above).

If you already have a degree, and experience working in social care, why not consider our MSc Nursing programme, which leads to nursing registration in 2 years.

International students: 

We will consider overseas qualifications that are recognised and deemed to be equivalent to the above entry requirements.

Read our Nursing FAQ's

Additional information

Shortlisting takes place prior to candidates being invited to attend for a face to face interview. Shortlisting is based on consideration of your:

  • Personal statement 
  • Actual or predicted grades 
  • Reference

Both within your personal statement and at interview, we are looking for evidence of the following:

  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills 
  • A clear understanding of the University of Birmingham Masters in Nursing programme 
  • Enthusiasm for a career in nursing and having a desire to make a difference within healthcare 
  • Understanding of what a nurse does and the values and personal qualities that make a good nurse 
  • Skills and knowledge gained when undertaking relevant work experience or voluntary work 
  • Experience of working in a healthcare setting or experience of being a carer or a service user 
  • Knowledge of current national issues within nursing and healthcare 
  • Skills acquired whilst undertaking Edexcel level 3 extended project 
  • Capacity for independent study 
  • Awareness of equal opportunities and cultural diversity

Please be aware that meeting the minimum requirements for entry, does not guarantee you an interview or an offer of a place on the programme.

Disability and dyslexia advice and support

The University of Birmingham has a positive view of what candidates with disabilities can achieve as future healthcare professionals and we take seriously our obligation to make reasonable adjustments to ensure that all students with disabilities can successfully complete their studies. All applicants will be assessed up to and including the interview, based on the criteria outlined above regardless of any disability. If you declare a disability we will invite you to work with us together with the disability team, clinical colleagues and specialist services to explore how best we can support your studies.

Find our more about our disability and dyslexia support 

Realising Opportunities programme

Realising Opportunities (RO) is a unique collaboration of 12 leading Universities, working together to promote fair access and social mobility of students from under-represented groups. Students are supported through a coherent programme of activities designed to raise their aspirations to progress to research intensive Universities.

Applications through UCAS to RO Partner universities from participating students will be given additional consideration with the potential to receive an alternative RO offer from many Partners. Please ask your school or college if they are involved in this programme.

Realising Opportunities website

Conditions of offers and programme requirements

If you do decide to accept a place at the University of Birmingham you are required to comply with the following:

  • Achievement of the academic requirements for entry to the Masters of Nursing 
  • A satisfactory health declaration, including evidence of appropriate immunisations and Occupational Health clearance if required - details of this can be found on our Health and Immunisation Forms page
  • Clearance from the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS), previously known as Criminal Record Bureau. (CRB) checks. You will receive an email from our central admissions team regarding DBS checks approximately 2-3 weeks after you have firmly accepted your place on the course. This email will contain further instructions, next steps and advise of the deadline for submitting your DBS application. Please be sure to check your junk/spam folders for this email before contacting us
  • You sign and adhere to the ‘University Code of Professional Practice and Fitness to Practice’ thereby agreeing to certain levels of conduct, behaviour and health whilst studying on the Masters of Nursing programme. Details of which will be forwarded with an offer letter
  • On commencement of the course, provide original copies of academic certificates and photo identification. These will be photocopied and kept on your personal file, in order to comply with NHS fraud requirements 
  • Agree to travel to clinical placements in hospitals and the community, in the Birmingham and Solihull area 
  • Agree to undertake shifts including early morning, afternoon, evening and night duty on weekdays, weekends and bank holidays, both within hospitals and community settings 
  • Comply with uniform and infection control policy on clinical placement 

Health and Immunisation 

Alternative offers through our Pathways to Birmingham programmes and our Contextual Offer scheme

Students who are eligible and successfully complete a Pathways to Birmingham programme will receive special consideration from admissions tutors and an alternative offer (typically two grades below the standard offer). In addition, our Contextual Offer Scheme recognises the potential of students whose personal circumstances may have restricted achievement in school or college. If you are eligible to benefit from the contextual offer scheme, you will receive an offer which is one grade lower than the standard offer.

International Students

We can only accept applications from those considered as home fee status.

Throughout your nursing degree you’ll learn from leading experts, receiving a rich diversity of academic knowledge and experience. Our modern facilities and hands-on approach to teaching fully-equips you for a successful career in Nursing.

At Birmingham, we have a huge emphasis on ensuring our students have the best clinical skills and simulation practice experiences that they can take with them into their Nursing careers.

Steven Grant, Lead for Skills and Simulation

Learning and teaching

You will experience a blended learning approach. This will include face to face learning through lectures, workshops, simulation, laboratory practical sessions, group work, seminars and seminar presentations enquiry-based and action learning. Throughout your studies, you will have access to Nursing SCRIPT, an eLearning programme to support your knowledge acquisition around medicines management and optimisation.

You will also be expected to learn through directed learning and reflective activities on our virtual learning environment. You will need to extend your learning through your own independent study in which you develop your knowledge through your own reflection, reading, thinking and writing.

You will benefit from our enquiry based and research-intensive learning and teaching strategy to develop reflection and confidence in your future professional development. Our clinical skills and simulation teaching culminates in clinical assessment and simple diagnostic skill development and knowledge to support your postgraduate prescribing preparation.

As you progress through the course there will be a greater emphasis on directed and independent learning in order to enable you to explore the knowledge of most relevance and interest to your developing professional practice. Time is given in the course for this through reading weeks and independent study days.

Over the period of the course you will spend a minimum of 2300 hours in allocated clinical practice placements where learning and practice will be supervised by a qualified nursing mentor and other registered nurses.  In years 2, 3 and 4, these will be field specific placements.  All allocated placements are assessed and must be passed in order to complete the course. 

Teaching staff for this course

Many of our teaching staff have published important works about their areas of expertise, whilst others have taught at international institutions and can offer unique perspectives of their subjects.

For more information about staff in the school, their qualifications, publication history and specific areas of interest, visit the School of Nursing and Midwifery staff profile page.

Student support

You will have access to a comprehensive support network that will assist and help you to deal with any problems that arise throughout your studies.

In addition, the Student Services Centre, which based in the Medical School on main campus, offers many services from drop in sessions for advice and guidance, referral to internal and external services and support regarding extenuating circumstances.

You’ll also be assigned a personal tutor for the duration of your time with us. Your personal tutor will be an academic staff member that teaches on the Nursing course.  If there are particular areas where you need support you will be able to address this with your tutors.

Our Academic Skills Centre also offers you support with your learning. The centre is a place where you can develop your mathematical, academic writing and general academic skills. It is the centre’s aim to help you to become a more effective and independent learner through the use of a range of high-quality and appropriate learning support services. These range from drop-in sessions with support with mathematics and statistics based problems provided by experienced mathematicians, to workshops on a range of topics including note talking, reading, writing and presentation skills.

Contact Hours

Through all four years of the MNurs programme you will be taught in study blocks. During these blocks, the teaching day will start between 9 and 10 am and end between 3 and 4pm, though lectures may take place outside of these hours – you are required to attend 100% of all face-to-face, timetabled sessions, and you will need to do directed and independent study throughout the course. Blocks of teaching are followed by clinical practice, and when in practice you will often work the same shift pattern as your mentor, including days, nights, weekends and bank holidays (if they occur during your allocated placement). 

Along with the University based study, 50% of the programme is undertaken in clinical placements in the first two years. In these settings you will work in a range of teams and apply your University studies to practice. You will have the opportunity to develop your clinical and leadership skills with the support of a Registered Nurse mentor. A mentor is a qualified nurse who has undertaken further training in order to help students learn about nursing. This blend of practice based and academic learning underpins the programme and focuses on the key elements of professional practice. The University of Birmingham has excellent links with a variety of local NHS trusts, ensuring that we can provide the best opportunities for your clinical training.


Your nursing practice is continuously developed and assessed throughout the programme by specially prepared supervisors and registered nursing assessors using the region wide Midlands, Yorkshire and East Practice Assessment Document (MYEPAD). At the University of Birmingham, you will have the opportunity to practice nursing in some of the country's leading healthcare foundation trusts gaining experience of a range of nursing environments and care settings including home, community and hospital settings in the Birmingham, Solihull and West Midlands area.

In order to maximise your learning experience on clinical placements, practice placement teams organise teaching sessions, student forums and provide on-going clinical support for nursing students, practice supervisors and assessors. Lecturers from the University of Birmingham provide dedicated practice preparation and mid placement sessions to help you make the most of the practice experience. After each placement you are given the opportunity to evaluate your experience and this plays an important part in the ongoing quality assurance of the placement learning environment. Each year you will have a named academic assessor with responsibility for oversight of your overall progress and achievement.

Mental Health field of practice

You will have the opportunity to work with children and adolescents through to older adults with mental health problems. You will work in community, residential and hospital settings, gaining a wide range of clinical skills. More information can be found on the Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health Foundation Trust website.

Assessment Methods

As a Nursing student, you will be assessed in a variety of ways, and these may be different with each module that you take. You will be assessed through exams, coursework assignments, placements and Objective Structured Clinical Examinations (OSCEs).

At the beginning of each module, you’ll be given information on how and when you’ll be assessed for that particular programme of study. You’ll receive feedback on each assessment within three weeks, so that you can learn from and build on what you have done. You’ll be given feedback on any exams that you take; if you should fail an exam we will ensure that particularly detailed feedback is made available to enable you to learn for the future.

Throughout the programme there will be opportunities to meet with your personal tutor to see how you are getting on and if there are particular areas where you need support. The personal tutor who is based in your school or department can help with any academic issues you encounter.


On graduation and qualification, you will have a highly regarded degree and eligibility to register with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) to practice as a Registered Nurse.

This programme is designed to enhance your future career development in nursing. You will have a thorough grounding in the study and practice of nursing, including concepts of health derived from the study of the biological and social sciences, professional studies and communication skills, together with the professional disciplinary knowledge and understanding of your preferred field of practice of nursing (Adult, Mental Health or Child).

There is high local demand for graduate nurses and on gaining employment as a registered nurse, you will then undergo a period of preceptorship and practice development.

Our nursing graduates are highly valued and the majority seeking nursing positions have secured employment or pursued further career-related training on completing the programme. Many of our graduates stay in the Birmingham area and work in the NHS, others move on to take up appointments in the UK and overseas. There are many varied career opportunities for nursing in clinical practice, management, research and education. Extensive restructuring in nursing as a profession and within the NHS means that a good career structure is now in place.

If you wish to follow a research related career you will need to apply to a PhD and can gain further information about this during your Masters study. For those hoping to advance their clinical or management careers, the Masters level study may be helpful in supporting your future application to these roles. 

University Careers Network

Our unique careers guidance service, Careers Network, offers a specialised team who can give you expert advice. Our team source exclusive work experience opportunities to help you stand out amongst the competition, with mentoring, global internships and placements available to you. Once you have a career in your sights, one-to-one support with CV’s and job applications will help give you the edge. In addition, our employer-endorsed award-winning Personal Skills Award (PSA) recognises your extra-curricular activities, and provides an accredited employability programme designed to improve your career prospects.

We also offer voluntary work which complements your studies by helping you gain practical experiences in occupational settings while contributing back to society. This can bring new skills that will be useful throughout your future and can make a positive impact on your learning whilst at university. Volunteering enables you to develop skills such as communication, interpersonal skills, teamwork, self-confidence and self-discipline all of which can be transferred into your studies.

Find out more about our Careers Network 

Professional Accreditation

Satisfactory completion of the MNurs Nursing programme provides you with the eligibility to register with the Nursing and Midwifery Council as a Registered Nurse. (Adult, Mental Health or Child).