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BSc (Hons) Nursing - Mental Health

UCAS Code B770

Our Mental Health nursing degree is approved by the Nursing and Midwifery Council. We’ll train you to join a health care team upon graduation.

Nursing - Mental Health

Nursing Midwifery Council logo

Key facts

  • Award BSc (Hons)
  • Start date September
  • Duration 48 months
  • Mode of study Full-time, Campus based
  • Accreditations Nursing and Midwifery Council

Mental Health nursing is a challenging yet rewarding profession where you can make a real difference to people’s lives.

Our innovative Mental Health Nursing course will prepare you to meet the needs of a modern profession and provide the best possible patient care. You will leave us as a confident and capable practitioner, fully equipped to register with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) and join a health care team upon graduation.

Our course curriculum is informed by the latest research and encourages you to take an evidence-based approach to nursing care. We believe that mental health and wellbeing services must respect the intrinsic value of people and their individuality. This philosophy is firmly held by all members of the course team. 

We work with our course partner, NHS Forth Valley, to ensure that our course remains clinically excellent and our students get the best possible experience while they’re studying.

BSc (Hons)

BSc Honours Nursing students follow the same programme structure as the BSc Nursing for the first two and a half years of their programme. After that point, Honours students carry out an additional placement module with the opportunity to study overseas.

In their final year, Honours students complete additional modules including a dissertation and their NMC-required final placement, achieving registration and their Honours degree at the end of Year 4.

What our students say

Hear from Daniel Broadfoot and Pamela Ure talking about their motivations for becoming a Mental Health Nurse.

  • Top reasons to study with us
  • Professional accreditation

    The course is approved by the Nursing and Midwifery Council.

  • Prizes or awards

    Students can be nominated for The Student Nursing Times Awards. These are the only awards to celebrate the very best in student nurses and nurse education, recognising educational establishments and honouring those who are committed to developing new nursing talent. The University of Stirling has won Student Nursing Times Awards in 2012, 2013, 2015. 2016, 2017 and 2018.

    Stirling final-year student Robert Murray picked up the award for Student Nurse of the Year: Mental Health in 2016

  • Entry requirements

    SQA Highers


    GCE A-levels


    IB Diploma


    Preference will be given to those with a Science or Health Care background.

    Essential subjects
    Mathematics National 5 (C), Intermediate 2 (C), Standard Grade (3), GCSE (C/4) or equivalent required.

    English National 5 (C), Intermediate 2 (C), Standard Grade (3), GCSE (C/4) or equivalent required.

  • Other qualifications

    Scottish HNC/HND
    Bs in graded units.

    English, Welsh and NI HNC/HND
    Merits and Distinctions required.

    Access courses
    Access courses and other UK/EU and international qualifications are also welcomed.

    Foundation Apprenticeships
    Considered to be equivalent to 1 Higher at Grade B

  • Additional information

    General entrance requirements apply

    If you’ve taken exams over two sittings, repeated an exam, or been upgraded, the entrance requirements may be higher.

    What other criteria are required for BSc (Hons) Mental Health Nursing?

    The personal qualities and interests that you’re able demonstrate in your personal statement will be considered. Explaining why you’re choosing mental health nursing should be evident. Voluntary or paid experience in a care setting would be useful. We advise you to show the links between the knowledge, values and skills gained in these experiences and your reasons and abilities for Mental Health nursing. Other experience, which demonstrates your commitment and your ability to work in a team, is also valuable.

    References required

    References are required. Please provide an academic reference. If this is not possible we can accept an employer’s reference. Friends as referees are not accepted. If you’re applying to transfer from another institution we require a reference and a transcript from that institution.

    Practical experience

    You must be committed to go on practice learning experiences in conjunction with our partner trusts which cover an extensive geographical area in Scotland. You should also be aware that holiday periods are pre-determined within the course.

    Will there be an interview? 

    There’s a compulsory Applicant Day which is designed specifically for entrants to nursing. Guidelines will be given to you before the Applicant Day to help your prepare for this event.

    Disclosure Scotland check 

    All applicants are subject to a Disclosure Scotland check. This will show all spent and unspent criminal convictions including (but not limited to) cautions, reprimands, final warnings, bind over orders or similar and, to the extent relevant to this course, may also show details of any minor offences, fixed penalty notices, penalty notices for disorder.

    Previous criminal convictions may not exclude you from entering the course, but all convictions must be declared and some may result in your application being unsuccessful.

    Fitness for taking part in practical placements

    All applicants must be passed fit by our Occupational Health team. We’ll ask you to fill out a questionnaire and also to visit our team on campus. 

    To protect your privacy, neither of these checks will normally be carried out until an offer has been made to you.

  • Other routes of entry

    Some applicants may have varying levels of prior certificated or experiential learning. You’ll be assessed on an individual basis, according to the current University of Stirling Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) Policy. RPL is facilitated within the Faculty and this may result in a shortened programme of study for you.  Please get in touch to discuss any prior learning with a member of our recruitment team.

  • English language requirements

    If English is not your first language you must have evidence of your English language skills.

    International (non EU) students must have:

    • IELTS - 7.0 with at least 7.0 minimum in each skill. This is the Nursing and Midwifery Council English language requirement for all non EU students.

    EU students must have one of these qualifications:

    • IELTS score of 6.0, with at least 5.5 in each skill
    • Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE): Grade C
    • Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English (CAE): Grade C
    • Pearson Test of English (Academic): 54 with a minimum of 51 in each component
    • IBT TOEFL: 80 with no subtest less than 17

    More information on our English language requirements

    Pre-sessional English language courses

    If you need to improve your English language skills before you enter this course, our partner INTO University of Stirling offers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability for entry to this degree.

    Find out more about our pre-sessional English language courses

Our BSC course is a three-year course while this BSc (Hons) course is a four-year option.

You will study alongside Adult Nursing students to gain an understanding of how health and social care professionals work together to bring about the best in patient-centred care.

Each year meets the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) requirement of 50% theory and 50% practice. You’ll be introduced to the fundamentals of nursing, and then progress to specialist areas of mental health nursing such as therapeutic skills, recovery and leadership skills.

Through our partnerships with a diverse range of health and social care organisations, students will have the opportunity to put their theory into practice. Students may work both day and night shifts to coincide with the patterns of the area and their allocated practice mentor. You’ll also have the choice of undertaking a national or international placement.

As a student you’re encouraged to demonstrate a growing appreciation of life sciences, health and wellbeing, social and behavioural sciences, values, law, ethics nursing care and compassion, communication and quality improvement. These themes are coupled with evidence-informed clinical skills as the basis of our course.

Our course will develop your critical and reflective thinking and in doing so improve your self-awareness, self-confidence and personal resilience.

Advances in knowledge require that Mental Health Nurses continually incorporate new research findings into their practice; this awareness is embedded in our course. Your ability to incorporate evidence-based, outcomes-orientated practice is part of our course philosophy.

Course objectives

Our overarching programme objective reflect the NMC Standards for Pre‐registration Nursing Education (NMC, 2010). They aim to ensure our graduate nurses are able to:

  • Deliver high-quality essential care to all
  • Deliver complex care to service users across their field of practice
  • Act to safeguard the public, and be responsible and accountable for safe, person‐centred, evidence‐based nursing practice
  • Act with professionalism and integrity, and work within agreed professional, ethical and legal frameworks and processes to maintain and improve standards
  • Practise in a compassionate, respectful way, maintaining dignity and wellbeing and communicating effectively
  • Act on their understanding of how people’s lifestyles, environments and the location of care delivery influence their health and wellbeing
  • Seek out every opportunity to promote health and prevent illness
  • Work in partnership with other health and social care professionals and agencies, service users, carers and families ensuring that decisions about care are shared
  • Use leadership skills to supervise and manage others and contribute to planning, designing, delivering and improving future services

You’ll be introduced to the mental health and well-being continuum. This uses the NHS Education for Scotland learning materials Ten Essential Shared Capabilities, 2012.

Our research-led teach ensures Mental Health Nurses continually incorporate new research findings into their practice.


The module details given below are subject to change as the University regularly revises and refreshes the curriculum of our taught programmes. The modules outlined below represent those offered in 2018/19 on this course of study.

Loading modules...

Course details

  • Teaching

    We've been awarded five-star excellence for our teaching by the QS World University Rankings 2017/18. A wide range of approaches to teaching and learning is used on this course. We take a student-centred approach which uses small group teaching (enquiry-based learning) along with lectures, seminars, group work and clinical skills teaching.

  • Assessment

    Each semester you’ll be assessed by a range of methods including exams, essays, reports, clinical skills assessments, presentations and assessments of practice. You need to pass these before progressing to the next semester.

  • Work placement opportunities

    Internships may be available through the Scottish Government’s one-year job guarantee scheme. Find out more on the NHS Education for Scotland website.

  • Study abroad

    There’s the opportunity for you to take some of your practice learning experiences abroad. At the end of years one and two you get three independent study weeks which you can use to attend an elective practice learning experience overseas.

    Current international partner universities include:

    • University of South Florida, Tampa, USA
    • University of Navarra, Pamplona, Spain
    • Paracelsus University, Austria

    We also have a practice learning agreement in place with EMSMedical Centre in Nazareth, Israel.

  • Contact

    Student Recruitment and Admissions

    +44 (0) 1786 467046

  • Fees and costs

    Fees shown are per year (Fees are different for each course)

      2018/19 2019/20

    Scottish/EU Students

    You will be liable to pay tuition fees for every year you’re in attendance, and your fees will be held level upon entry. Please note if you need to extend your period of study, you may be liable for an additional fee.

    Important note for EU students

    The Scottish Government has confirmed that EU students enrolling in the 2018 and 2019 academic year will be entitled to free tuition fees in Scotland. EU Students will retain that status for the duration of their four year degree. The future fee status of EU students enrolling in UK universities will depend on the timing and terms of the UK’s exit from the European Union. The University will make decisions on fee levels for EU students enrolling in 2020 when further guidance is available from the Scottish and UK governments, and will publicise information about fee levels and financial support available on the University website.

    While students should be aware this may mean a change from the current position where EU students are treated with equivalence to Scottish students, it is also important to note that any changes would also require changes to existing UK and Scottish legislation. Current indications are that the UK would leave the EU at the earliest in 2020, so any changes would not take effect before the academic year 2020/21.

    Fees paid by the Scottish Government Health Directorate (SGHD)

    *This tuition fee is set by the Scottish Government, and may be subject to change.

    Fees paid by the Scottish Government Health Directorate (SGHD)*

    Students from England, Wales and Northern Ireland

    If you’re domiciled in England, Wales or Northern Ireland, you’ll be able to apply for financial assistance, including a loan to cover the full cost of your tuition fees, from your relevant funding body.

    You will be liable to pay tuition fees for every year you’re in attendance, and your fees will be held level upon entry. Please note if you need to extend your period of study, you may be liable for an additional fee.

    If you successfully complete Years 1-3 of your course, you will also be eligible to receive an Honours Year Scholarship valued at £9,250 to cover the tuition fee costs of your fourth and final year of study. Learn more about the Honours Year Scholarship.

    There is additional funding available for students from England, Wales and Northern Ireland – please see Funding opportunities below.

    £9,250 £9,250

    Overseas (Non-EU) Students

    You will be liable to pay fees for every year you’re in attendance, and your fees will be held level upon entry. Please note if you need to extend your period of study, you may be liable for an additional fee.

    £14,460 £14,820

    You should expect to pay fees for every year you attend. Fees are subject to revision and may increase annually. Students on programmes of study of more than one year should take this into account when applying.

  • Funding opportunities

    Students domiciled in Scotland only

    The Student Awards Agency for Scotland (SAAS) offers a number of nursing funding options for students resident in Scotland

    Students domiciled in England, Wales and Northern Ireland (RUK)

    Our Nursing Scholarship provides students from England, Wales and Northern Ireland a £1,000 cash award per year (for years 1 – 3 of study) on one of our undergraduate nursing courses. The scholarship can also be combined with our Honours Year Scholarship, which covers the full cost of tuition fees in students’ Honours year of study.

    In addition to the Nursing Scholarship, the University covers the costs of occupational health consultations; criminal record checks; compulsory uniforms; and inoculations for undergraduate nursing students from England, Wales and Northern Ireland. These benefits represent a £389 cost saving to students.

    There’s no need to apply for these awards – students will automatically be identified as part of the admissions process.

    See what funding opportunities and loans are available to help you with tuition and living costs.

    Students domiciled in Scotland and the EU

    The University of Stirling offers undergraduate funding opportunities for students domiciled in Scotland or the EU. To find out if you’re eligible to apply for an award, use our scholarship finder.

    Students domiciled in England, Wales and Northern Ireland (RUK)

    The Undergraduate Choice Scholarship provides a £1,000 cash award to all students from England, Wales or Northern Ireland who meet the conditions of their offer and select the University of Stirling as their Firm or Insurance choice on UCAS.

    The University also offers the Undergraduate Merit Scholarship, which is awarded to selected students and provides a £1,000 cash award per year for years 1-3 of study. To be considered for the Merit Scholarship, students require a minimum of AAB at A-level or equivalent.

    In addition, students from England, Wales and Northern Ireland who enter in year 1 and progress successfully through years 2 and 3 will receive our Honours Year Scholarship, which covers the cost of undergraduate tuition fees in the Honours year of study.

    You don’t need to apply for the awards listed above - we'll automatically identify your eligibility as part of the admissions process.

    To explore other scholarships and learn more about funding opportunities, use our scholarship finder.

    Students domiciled overseas

    The University of Stirling offers generous undergraduate funding opportunities for overseas students. To find out if you're eligible to apply for an award, use our scholarship finder.

  • Additional costs

    If you choose to attend your graduation ceremony, you will be liable for an additional charge. There is no charge if you wish to graduate in absentia. Learn more about additional fees.

  • Cost of living

    If you’re domiciled in the UK, you can typically apply to your relevant funding body for help with living costs. This usually takes the form of student loans, grants or bursaries, and the amount awarded depends upon your personal circumstances and household income.

    EU and overseas students won’t normally be able to claim living support through SAAS or other UK public funding bodies. You should contact the relevant authority in your country to find out if you’re eligible to receive support.

    Find out about the cost of living for students at Stirling.

  • Payment options

    We aim to be as flexible as possible, and offer a wide range of payment methods - including the option to pay fees by instalments. Learn more about how to pay.

  • The University of Stirling consistently earn five QS Stars for employability, with more than 97% of our students in employment or further education within six months of graduating. (HESA DLHE 2016/17)

This course is the beginning of a career that involves ongoing professional development. Some of our graduates focus on consolidating their learning by working in practice, while others progress to postgraduate studies.

Most of our Mental Health nursing graduates find roles within the NHS. Others have found employment in other areas of the public sector, as well as with private healthcare providers and the voluntary sector.

Career options may include working in acute units, in the community or in specialist areas such as forensic psychiatry, alcohol or substance misuse or psychological therapists.

Male Nurses today

Hear from some of our male nursing students talking about the reasons they decided to follow a career in nursing.

I wanted to be able to make a positive impact by caring for and acting as an advocate for patients during periods of ill health, and to also ultimately work towards changing societal attitudes of mental health.
Ceire Casey Casey
Ireland BSc Nursing (Mental Health)
Read full testimonial View more testimonials
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