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BSc Nursing - Mental Health

UCAS Code B760 Study abroad opportunities

Our Mental Health nursing degree is approved by the Nursing and Midwifery Council. We'll train you in modern nursing so you can join a health care team upon graduation.

Nursing - Mental Health

Nursing Midwifery Council logo

Key facts

  • Award BSc
  • Start date September
  • Duration 36 months
  • Mode of study Full-time
  • 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.

As a student Mental Health nurse you’ll pursue a thought-provoking and challenging academic course along with gaining experience in a wide range of practical learning. Our course curriculum is informed by the latest research and encourages you to take an evidence-based approach to nursing care.

This forward thinking and innovative course will help you to achieve the requirements for registration in the UK as a nurse within the Mental Health field of practice. You’ll leave us as a confident and capable practitioner, able to carry out safe, effective and person-centred care while making valuable contributions to people's lives.

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

Our Mental Health course is based on the firm belief that mental health and wellbeing services must provide excellent care which respect the intrinsic value of people and communities in which they live. This philosophy is firmly held by all members of the course team.

Feedback from our clinical partners tells us that, as newly-qualified nurses, our students are seen as committed, enthusiastic and adaptable. Also confident, with the flexibility required to meet current service needs.

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 for your country/region

  • Entry requirements

    SQA Highers


    GCE A-levels


    IB Diploma




    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.

    Preferred subjects
    One of Higher/A-level in Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics or Physics is preferred.

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

    Widening access students
    Widening access students may be eligible for an adjusted offer of entry. To find out if this applies to you go to our widening access pages.

    Care-experienced applicants will be guaranteed an offer of a place if they meet the minimum entry requirements.

  • Other Scottish qualifications

    Scottish HNC/HND
    Year one minimum entry - Bs in graded units.

    Access courses
    University of Stirling access course - for mature students only. You must pass the course with 50% or above.

    SWAP Access course - for mature students only. Please check the SWAP progression routes document for details.

    Email our Admissions Team for advice about other access courses.

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

    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.

    Preferred subjects
    One of Higher/A-level in Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics or Physics is preferred.

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

  • Other qualifications

    English, Welsh and Northern Irish HNC/HND
    Merits and Distinctions

    English, Welsh and Northern Irish access courses
    Access to Higher Education - 60 credits, minimum 45 at QCF Level 3, pass at 60% or above.

    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.

    Preferred subjects
    One of Higher/A-level in Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics or Physics is preferred.

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

  • Advanced entry

    Advanced entry is not available for this course.

  • 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 Mental Health Nursing?

    The personal values and qualities 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 how they might fit with the attributes of a Mental Health nurse. 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.

    Can I visit the University?

    The selection process is part of a much wider Applicant Day which gives full information on the course and facilities specifically designed for nursing students. Read more about our location.

    Please note this process is subject to change.

  • 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 one of the following qualifications as evidence of your English language skills:

    • IELTS 7.0 with minimum 6.5 in writing and 7.0 in reading, speaking and listening
    • Cambridge C1 Advanced (CAE) 185 overall with a minimum of 176 in writing and minimum of 185 in reading, speaking and listening
    • Cambridge C2 Proficiency (CPE) 185 overall with a minimum of 180 in writing and 185 in reading, speaking and listening
    • Pearson Test of English 67 with a minimum of 60 in writing and 67 in reading, speaking and listening
    • IBT TOEFL 100 with no subtest lower than 20
    • Trinity ISE III Pass overall and in all sub-skills, ISE IV Pass overall and in all sub-skills

    Last updated: 5 December 2019

    For more information on ways that you can meet our English language requirements, including options to waive the requirement, please read our information on 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

You'll 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. You'll also learn about the principles and application of recovery focused care and trauma informed practice. These themes are coupled with evidence-informed clinical and relationship based 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

The overarching course outcomes reflect the NMC Standards for Pre‐registration Nursing Education (NMC, 2010) and will aim to ensure our graduate nurses are able to:

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


The modules listed below are those currently intended for delivery in the next academic intake of this course. These may be subject to change as the University regularly revises and refreshes the curriculum of our taught programmes.

Course details

  • Teaching

    We've been awarded five star excellence for our teaching by the QS World University Rankings 2018. 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

    For any course related questions, please contact +44 (0)1786 466340 or

  • Fees and costs
    Fee status2020/21 annual fees
    Students domiciled in Scotland/EU Fees are paid by the Scottish Government Health Directorate (SGHD)
    Students domiciled in England, Wales and Northern Ireland £9,250*
    Students domiciled overseas (non-EU) £15,600

    *This tuition fee may be subject to change depending on guidance provided by the UK Government.

    You will be charged the annual fee each year when you enrol. Your fees will be held at the same level throughout your course.

    If you need to take additional modules or resit modules, you will be liable for an additional fee.

    For more information on courses invoiced on an annual fee basis, please read our tuition fee policy.

    Students from England, Wales and Northern Ireland will be able to apply for financial assistance, including a loan to cover the full cost of your tuition fees, from your relevant funding body. We also offer additional funding – such as our Honours Year Scholarship – for students from England, Wales and Northern Ireland. See our funding opportunities below for more information.

  • 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 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

    There are some instances where additional fees may apply. Depending on your chosen course, you may need to pay additional costs, for example for field trips. 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 which involves ongoing professional development. Some of our graduates focus on initially consolidating their learning by working in practice. Others progress to postgraduate studies.

Many of our Mental Health nursing graduates find roles within the NHS. However, others have found employment in other areas of the public sector, as well as within the third sector of health and social care. As the policy of health and social care integration continues to progress, the role of the mental health nurse is expanding, providing a diverse range of opportunities following graduation and post-registration

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.

In addition, internships may be available through the Scottish Government’s One-year Job Guarantee scheme.

Male Nurses today

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

Ross Cotter
I enjoy my placements. Nursing has a great opportunity to get “on the job” experience whilst having the support and time off site within the University to reflect on my experiences.
Ross Cotter
BSc Mental Health Nursing
Read full testimonial View more testimonials
Ela Hamer
I chose this university as it has a good reputation, and has won many Student Nursing Times Awards, as well as it being a beautiful campus.
Ela Hamer
BSc Nursing - Mental Health
Read full testimonial View more testimonials
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