Mental Health Nursing (Pre-registration) MSc

  • Programme duration: Full-time: 2 years  
  • Programme start: January 2023
  • Entry requirements: We welcome applications from graduates with an Honours degree in any subject. In addition, applicants must present with GCSE Mathematics and English grades 4-9 (or grades A*-C if assigned according to previous grading system).
4 postgraduate students sitting around a table

Entry requirements

We welcome applications from graduates with an Honours degree in any subject.

In addition, applicants must present with GCSE Mathematics and English grades 5-9 (or grades A*-C if assigned according to previous grading system)

International applicants whose native language is not English must show evidence of proficiency, to a standard equivalent to average academic level 7 of the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) with a minimum of 6.5 in writing and a minimum of 7 in listening, reading and speaking.
Details of the University general IELTS requirements are available at:

Evidence of Verbal and/or Written Communication Skills
A mathematics and literacy test will be carried out as part of the selection process. (Please note that this is an NMC requirement).

Recognition of Prior (Experiential) Learning RP(E)L

The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) require that the training of nurses responsible for general care shall comprise a total of at least three years of study, which may in addition be expressed with the equivalent ECTS credits, and shall 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 4600 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 people's physical, cognitive, social, learning or developmental needs with 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, potential students may gain experience as carers 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 be considered.

Download the Portfolio document here: MSc Mental Health Nursing Pre-entry Portfolio.

The selection procedure requires completion of a successful interview with an academic and clinical panel. The interview utilises the values-based recruitment (VBR) process and applicants will be expected to demonstrate the relevance of the NHS values.

Essential requirements

Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the profession by:

  • Frontline caring experience in accordance with the values and behaviours of the NHS constitution.
  • Observation of the nursing role in the acute or community setting.

Evidence of Digital and Technological Literacy

Applicants will need to demonstrate that on entry to the programme they have capability for digital and technological literacy to meet course outcomes. Evidence of digital literacy and technological literacy capability is therefore aligned to the online application process.

Evidence of Care/Compassion for others

  • Involvement in voluntary/paid experience in a health/well-being environment.
  • Active involvement in school/college/workplace support systems such as peer mentoring etc.
  • Using own time and effort to the benefit of others such as charity fund raising.

Desirable Attributes

Evidence of Teamwork and Personal Achievement

  • Hobbies and interests that demonstrate experience of team and small group work.
  • Evidence of a leadership role.
  • Evidence of personal achievement.

Evidence of Verbal and/or Written Communication Skills 

  • The ability to express ideas clearly and logically and to listen to the point of view of others. 
  • Competent communicator with people of all ages and abilities.

Please note: Meeting the minimum criteria does not guarantee a place on the programme as competition is high. Candidates are encouraged to present with the strongest possible application.

Declaration of Criminal Background

Applicants should understand that both as a health sciences student, and as an eventual qualified health professional, working with children and other vulnerable people is an inherent part of the role. Therefore information relating to any previous charges or convictions for criminal offences will be required. This information may be subject to police checks.

Health Screening

The University and the School of Health Sciences has an obligation to undertake health screening of all prospective healthcare students. Any offer of a place on this course of 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 here for further information.

International qualifications

Applications from overseas/ international students are welcome.  International qualifications will be evaluated in line with the National Recognition Information Centre (NARIC) guidelines.

English language qualifications

Please be advised that TOEFL is no longer classified by UK Visas and Immigration as a Secure English Language Test (SELT). However, at the current time the university is continuing to accept TOEFL, at the required level, for entry on to Undergraduate and Postgraduate academic programmes.