- Entry requirements: Degree and RPL
- Full-time: 24 months
Gain eligibility to apply for professional registration with the Nursing and Midwifery Council as a mental health nurse on this pre-registration master’s degree. With a grounding in mental health conditions, you’ll discover the professional standards for mental health nurses and how to lead the delivery of compassionate care in hospital, forensic and community settings.
This two-year master’s degree equips you with the knowledge, skills and professional attributes needed to become a mental health nurse.
We’ll prepare you to care for individuals across the lifespan, from child and adolescent mental health to conditions such as Alzheimer’s.
With an emphasis on evidence-based practice, the programme will reveal the indivisible link between mental and physical ill health. You’ll discover the principles of mental health nursing practice, local and global determinants of mental health, and how to manage complex care needs.
Your learning will be brought to life through extensive clinical experience, working with patients in a variety of settings, including inpatient wards and forensic and community settings.
Developed in collaboration with leading healthcare providers in the North West, the programme will be taught by experienced, working and registered practitioners. We’ll help you develop into a caring and compassionate nurse, able to support individuals and their families, and ready to lead and coordinate care as part of a multi-professional team.
On successful completion of the programme, you’ll be eligible to apply for professional registration with the Nursing and Midwifery Council as a mental health nurse.
The programme is a pre-registration award for graduates wanting to study mental health nursing for the first time at Masters level. Please note, it is not a professional development programme for qualified mental health nurses or a conversion course.
On successful completion of the course, you’ll be eligible to apply for professional registration with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) as a mental health nurse.
Registration with the NMC is a pre-requisite to practice as a mental health nurse in the UK.
Discover what you'll learn, what you'll study, and how you'll be taught and assessed.
The Principles of Mental Health Nursing Practice is a Year 1, 20 credit module of the pre-registration Nursing (Mental Health) Programme, delivered across semester 1. This module will provide students with the foundational knowledge, which is fundamental to mental health nursing practice.
Within the module, key elements of nursing practice will be explored, including the Nursing and Midwifery Council’s (NMC) professional standards that nurses, midwives and nursing associates must uphold in order to be registered to practise in the UK.
This module is structured around four themes – prioritise people, practise effectively, preserve safety and promote professionalism and trust. Topics also covered will include reflection and health service delivery models, an introduction to health policy and collaborative working practices. Importantly, relevant legal, professional regulatory and ethical frameworks, safeguarding and raising concerns will be incorporated, in order that students have knowledge of the core components of Nursing.
This module also includes anatomy and physiology, genomics and behavioural sciences knowledge to understand human development, commonly encountered mental health conditions and recognising deteriorating health needs to inform person-centred assessments and the planning of care.
In order to set the context for this introductory module of the MSc pre-registration nursing programme, service users and carers will be invited to share their personal healthcare journeys.
Learning and teaching will be delivered via synchronous and asynchronous sessions and assessment will take the form of a written assignment and a video log .
The Developing and Enhancing Skills for Practice is a Year 1, 20 credit module of the MSc pre-registration Nursing (Mental Health) Programme, delivered across semester 1 and will provide students with the knowledge and skills to undertake nursing procedures effectively, in order to provide compassionate, evidence-based person-centred nursing care.
The first practice placement learning opportunity: Practice Placement 1 (10 weeks), scheduled to take place during this first academic year, form part of this module. Students will benefit from practice-based placements across the Cheshire and Mersey region, including Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust, whose placement portfolio includes Acute, Forensic (high, medium and low secure), Psychiatric Intensive Care (PICU) and Child Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS). Students will be supported in clinical practice by their Practice Supervisor, Practice Assessor and their University of Liverpool Academic Assessor.
The theory and skills taught in this module will develop the student’s proficiency in holistic safe practice, in order to assess patient needs and plan care, provide and evaluate care, and work towards leadership and coordinating care utilising a holistic approach to care planning and provision.
Learning and teaching will be delivered via synchronous and asynchronous sessions, engaging a mix of online and classroom-based activities, encouraging both critical reflection and examination of nursing practice. The acquired knowledge and skills will then be consolidated during the ten week practice placement.
The assessments will take the form of a practical exam and a written piece of work, successful completion of the ongoing achievement record which constitutes the practice placement, coupled with assessments which form part of the practice placement.
The Local and Global Determinants of Mental Health is a Year 1, 20 credit module of the MSc pre-registration Nursing (Mental Health) Programme, delivered across semester 2, and this module will enable students to understand and apply the principles of public health, health promotion and the prevention of ill health when engaging with people at all stages of life.
The module introduces the student to the global determinants of health, illness and health inequalities. Module content will facilitate students understanding of society’s response to health issues and the influence of this on nursing practice. All students will explore common mental health, physical health and intellectual disabilities across the age continuum. This module will enable the learner to critically appraise and apply knowledge, and information of health outcomes when supporting people and families to manage their health care needs.
The module will prepare students for Practice Placement 2 (11 weeks), where the students will benefit from clinical placements across the Cheshire and Mersey region, including Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust, whose placement portfolio includes Acute, Forensic (high, medium and low secure), Psychiatric Intensive Care (PICU) and Child Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS). Students will be supported in clinical practice by their Practice Supervisor, Practice Assessor and their University of Liverpool Academic Assessor.
The module uses a blended approach to learning, engaging a mix of online and classroom-based activities, encouraging both critical reflection and examination of health promotion practice in relation to holistic, person centred care. Assessment will take the form of a written critical narrative, and the practice placement element.
The Research for Professional Practice module is a Year 1, 20 credit module of the MSc pre-registration Nursing (Mental Health) Programme, delivered across semester 2. It provides the student with the knowledge and skills related to research methods, evidence generation and the utilisation of knowledge in nursing practice and evidence-based practice.
Within the module the theoretical debate around legitimate sources of professional knowledge are explored and students reflect critically on the orthodoxies of what constitutes knowledge in the clinical area and practice-based evidence.
The module uses a blended approach to learning, engaging a mix of online and classroom-based activities, and assessment will take the form of an unseen exam and the completion of an ethics application.
The Skills for Registration module is a Year 2, 20 credit module of the MSc pre-registration Nursing (Mental Health) Programme, delivered across semester 1. This module will build on the existing skills module from first year to provide students with the knowledge and skills to undertake nursing procedures effectively, in order to provide compassionate, evidence-based, person-centred nursing care.
The theory and skills taught in this module will further develop the students’ proficiency in holistic safe practice, in order to assess complex needs and plan care, provide and evaluate care, and work towards coordinating and directing care utilising a holistic approach to service provision.
The module uses a blended approach to learning, engaging a mix of online and classroom-based and practical activities to assist in the development of advanced clinical skills and communication. Simulation will enable safe practice of these skills and will be supported by staff from the nursing team and with the assistance of service users to provide an active learning experience and an element of authenticity to the student’s learning process. The acquired knowledge and skills will then be consolidated during the practice placement.
This module prepares students for 2 practice placements learning opportunities (5 weeks each), where students will benefit from practice-based placements across the Cheshire and Mersey region, including Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust, whose placement portfolio includes Acute, Forensic (high, medium and low secure), Psychiatric Intensive Care (PICU) and Child Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS). Students will be supported in clinical practice by their Practice Supervisor, Practice Assessor and their University of Liverpool Academic Assessor as they become increasingly autonomous proficient practitioners.
The assessments will take the form a practical assessment, an unseen exam and assessments conducted within the practice area.
The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) is the professional regulator for Nurses, Midwives and Nursing Associates in the UK. The NMC set standards of education, training, conduct and performance to ensure that nurses are educated to a high standard in order to deliver safe and effective care at the point of entry to the professional register (NMC, 2018 available at https://www.nmc.org.uk/standards/code/ ).
Leading in Mental Health Nursing is a Year 2, 20 credit module delivered across semester 1.
This module will introduce students to the professional context of leadership within Mental Health Nursing, with reference to relevant current policy. Leadership styles and skills including models of leadership, gender issues, motivation, developing effective communication, awareness and critical analysis of current health and social care leadership literature will be explored. The concept of complex health care needs in care planning and delivery, and appropriate interventions/referrals will be explored including common complexities and specialisms, for example, Alzheimer’s Disease, Children Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS), Secure Services, trauma informed care, end of life and palliative care.
Learners will extend their knowledge of risk management and aversion, legislation, national frameworks and health policies which relate to national collaboratives and partnerships. In addition, students will be equipped to confidently take leadership and management decisions in measuring, evaluating and managing risk, vulnerability and patient safety. Learners will demonstrate consistent application of partnership in nursing care, shared assessment, decision making and goal setting when working with people, their families, communities and populations of all ages.
The module incorporates Practice Placement 5 (final placement) which is 12 weeks long. Students benefit from clinical placements across the Cheshire and Mersey region, including Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust, whose placement portfolio includes acute, Forensic (high, medium and low secure), Psychiatric Intensive Care (PICU) and Child Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS). Students will be supported in clinical practice by their Practice Supervisor, Practice Assessor and their University of Liverpool Link Tutor.
Assessment will take the form of a written assignment (3,000 words written as a Patchwork Text), a 20 minute presentation on a clinical scenario and the practice placement element.
The Dissertation module is a Year 2 60 credit module delivered across semesters 1 and 2.
The focus of this module is to provide the student with the opportunity to expand their knowledge in an area of interest to themselves, and to be able to evaluate the evidence base which underpins their selected topic.
The teaching approaches used in this module are designed to enhance students’ capabilities and capacity for self-direction and independent study. E-Lectures via Zoom or MS Teams will be used to support the student by suggesting study strategies and to enhance the skills needed for database searching.
A key focus of the approach for this module is individual supervision and support. Students will be allocated a supervisor who will work with them in developing their research project, in the execution of the study, and the writing of the project report.
The assessment is a dissertation proposal and the dissertation.
You’ll learn through a blend of timetabled lectures, seminars, skills and simulation sessions, individual and group tutorials, and directed study time. Clinical placements complement theoretical study across both years of the course.
Service users have been involved in the development of the programme and will be invited to provide bespoke sessions outlining their experiences of being a patient nursed on a ward or in the community.
Assessments include written and numeracy exams and a dissertation. There are also observed practical exams conducted in our simulation suites and assessments on your clinical placements conducted by your practice assessors.
All module and clinical placement assessments must be successfully attended, completed and passed in order to complete the programme and have the opportunity to register with the Nursing and Midwifery Council as a mental health nurse.
We have a distinctive approach to education, the Liverpool Curriculum Framework, which focuses on research-connected teaching, active learning, and authentic assessment to ensure our students graduate as digitally fluent and confident global citizens.
Studying with us means you can tailor your degree to suit you. Here's what is available on this course.
The School of Health Sciences provides you with every opportunity to hone your practical skills, with facilities including a virtual reality teaching suite, imaging suite, and a range of clinical practice rooms to facilitate simulated teaching. Our curriculum is developed and assessed by leading healthcare providers throughout the North West, who also provide exciting placement opportunities.
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There are many reasons to consider a career in mental health nursing. It offers you the chance to make a difference to the lives of individuals, their families and their carers and play a vital role in modern health care. You’ll graduate eligible to apply for registration with the Nursing and Midwifery Council as a mental health nurse
Owing to the national shortage of mental health nurses, as well as the global demand for British trained nurses, there are many opportunities for graduates to work in mental healthcare settings locally and around the world.
Roles and opportunities in mental health nursing have expanded significantly in recent years in the NHS, with private providers and in the independent and voluntary sectors.
You could pursue a career specialising in areas as diverse as children and young people’s mental health, dementia care, forensic mental health services, or substance misuse.
As a master’s graduate, you’ll be well placed to pursue more advanced roles with greater responsibility. These include working as a:
Alternatively, you may want to pursue a career in leadership and management or continue your studies at PhD level.
Your tuition fees, funding your studies, and other costs to consider.
|UK fees (applies to Channel Islands, Isle of Man and Republic of Ireland)|
|Full-time place, per year||£9,250|
|Full-time place, per year||£24,200|
Tuition fees cover the cost of your teaching and assessment, operating facilities such as libraries, IT equipment, and access to academic and personal support.
If you're a UK national, or have settled status in the UK, you may be eligible to apply for a Postgraduate Loan worth up to £12,167 to help with course fees and living costs. Learn more about tuition fees, funding and Postgraduate Loans.
We understand that budgeting for your time at university is important, and we want to make sure you understand any course-related costs that are not covered by your tuition fee. This could include buying a laptop, books, or stationery.
Find out more about the additional study costs that may apply to this course.
We offer a range of scholarships and bursaries to help cover tuition fees and help with living expenses while at university.
The qualifications and exam results you'll need to apply for this course.
My qualifications are from: United Kingdom.
|Postgraduate entry requirements||
Applications are welcome from graduates with an honours degree in any subject. GCSE English and GCSE Mathematics at grade C or grade 4 or above, or equivalent, are also required.
An interview forms part of the selection process. The interview follows the values-based recruitment (VBR) process and you will be expected to demonstrate the relevance of the NHS’ values. Literacy and mathematics tests will also be conducted, in line with Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) requirements.
Recognition of Prior (Experiential) Learning RP(E)L
The NMC stipulate that the training of nurses responsible for general care must comprise a total of at least three years of study, which may in addition be expressed with the equivalent European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS) credits. This must consist of at least 4,600 hours of theoretical and clinical training, the duration of the theoretical training representing at least one third and the duration of the clinical training at least one half of the minimum duration of the training.
In order to achieve these hours, successful entry onto the programme includes a portfolio detailing recognition of prior learning (RPL) that amounts to 620 theory hours and 570 practice hours, which must be approved by the relevant RPL assessor. These hours, added to the programme hours, will amount to a total of 4,600 hours. The 570 practice hours should consist of verified prior experience of care provision – this can be through paid work and drawn from one, or a range of, settings in which care of people’s health and wellbeing is provided. This care may include the physical, cognitive, social, learning or developmental needs of children, families or adults.
Demonstration of this experience does not need to be in all areas highlighted here. Alongside working in traditional care environments such as hospitals and care homes, you could also have gained experience as a carer both formally and informally. This can be through paid or voluntary work. Working alongside those who access social care is also acceptable. The emphasis is on the process of providing care for others.
In keeping with NMC guidelines, evidence of such activity will need to be evidenced. Signed verification of these hours by the organisation(s) or individuals involved in the provision/ receipt of care where this work has been undertaken will be required.
In regards to theory, a number of educational experiences may count towards the required theory hours. Courses such as counselling, health and social care courses that can be classed as certified learning will all be considered.
Please note: Meeting the minimum criteria does not guarantee a place on the programme as competition is high. You are encouraged to present the strongest possible application.
Declaration of Criminal Background
You will understand that as a health sciences student, and when you qualify, you will be asked to treat children and other vulnerable people. We therefore need information about any criminal offences of which you may have been convicted, or with which you have been charged. The information you provide may later be checked with the police.
If selected for interview you will be provided with the appropriate form to complete.
The University and the School of Health Sciences has an obligation to undertake health screening on all prospective healthcare students. Any offer of a place to study is conditional on completion of a health questionnaire and a satisfactory assessment of fitness to train from the University’s Occupational Health Service. This will include some obligatory immunisations and blood tests. Please visit the Higher Education Occupational Practitioners website for further information.
If you hold a bachelor’s degree or equivalent, but don’t meet our entry requirements, a Pre-Master’s can help you gain a place. This specialist preparation course for postgraduate study is offered on campus at the University of Liverpool International College, in partnership with Kaplan International Pathways. Although there’s no direct Pre-Master’s route to this MSc, completing a Pre-Master’s pathway can guarantee you a place on many other postgraduate courses at The University of Liverpool.
You'll need to demonstrate competence in the use of English language. International applicants who do not meet the minimum required standard of English language can complete one of our Pre-Sessional English courses to achieve the required level.
|English language qualification||Requirements|
The IELTS requirement is an overall score of 7 with at least 6.5 in writing and no less than 7 in the reading, listening and speaking elements. This is a professional regulatory requirement.
View our IELTS academic requirements key.
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Last updated 20 April 2023 / / Programme terms and conditions /