MSc Mental Health Nursing

This Master’s course is open to applicants with a first-degree or a higher degree, making use of the Nursing & Midwifery Council’s (NMC) provision for prior learning to achieve professional registration as a nurse via a two-year postgraduate level course.

  • Delivery:
    Full time according to Funding Council definitions

Why study MSc Mental Health Nursing at BU?

  • The NMC permit prior learning, in any subject, to be recognised where it meets course outcomes and requirements - applicants will need to demonstrate this in an entry portfolio
  • Blending theory with real-world experience, this course helps you develop the knowledge, skills and attitudes required to register and practice as a registered mental health nurse
  • You will complete dedicated study at Master’s level to achieve a postgraduate qualification, with a focus on research skills and leadership
  • 50% of the course is spent in practice placements to gain practical mental health nursing experience in various healthcare environments such as care homes, private clinics to community nursing teams
  • Newly built skills facilities include simulated community home settings and hospital wards, allowing you to learn and practice safely
  • Our annual Careers Fair has numerous healthcare exhibitors in attendance, helping you to gain employment as a registered nurse on completion of the course. 

Not sure which nursing course is for you? Read our guide to nursing courses at BU. 

Find out more about the content of this course.

Funding support: Nursing students may be eligible for a non-repayable government training grant of at least £5,000 a year and mental health nursing students may also be eligible for an additional £1,000 specialist subject payment. Find out more about the funding. Students enrolling on this course may also be eligible to apply for loans from the Student Loans Company. These cover tuition fees of up to £9,250 per year and support living costs. These loans are the same as those available to undergraduate students.

Course accreditation

Accredited by the Nursing & Midwifery Council (NMC), this course will prepare you to be eligible to register and practice as a registered (mental health) nurse and to graduate with an MSc Mental Health Nursing award.   

Key information

Next start date:

September 2023, September 2024


Bournemouth University, Lansdowne Campus


2 years full-time, including mandatory placements


Nursing & Midwifery Council

Entry requirements:

A Bachelors Honours degree with 2:2 or equivalent in any subject. 

International entry requirements:

If English is not your first language you'll need IELTS (Academic) 7.0 with a minimum of 6.5 in writing and 7.0 in all other components. The NMC also accept the Occupational English Test (OET).

For more information check out our full entry requirements.

Course details

The MSc Mental Health Nursing course is part of the Faculty of Health and Social Sciences Nursing Framework which also offers three BSc degrees and the MSc Adult Nursing course. We have developed this course as part of a co-ordinated suite of nursing courses to enhance student learning and prepare you for practice.

Our approach to interprofessional education means that throughout the course students will take part in shared workshops, lectures and learning events with other students on health-related courses, including those on the both the BSc and other MSc nursing pathways.

However as a Master’s level mental health nursing student, there will be aspects of the course where you will be taught by staff who have specific nursing experience in this area and you will be taught in groups with other mental health nursing students, so that your learning is tailored and specific to your chosen field of expertise. Your placements and assessments will also be field-specific and you will use mental health nursing case scenarios to apply learning to mental health nursing practice. Your academic tutor will focus on your individual development at Master’s level.

You will be taught by a range of staff with relevant expertise and knowledge appropriate to the content of the units. This will include senior academic staff, qualified professional practitioners, demonstrators and technicians. You will also benefit from regular guest lectures from industry.

Students must have a first degree to be eligible for this course. We also offer a BSc (Hons) in Mental Health Nursing if you don’t have a degree.

Download the programme specification (pdf 187kb)


As a nursing student, you will spend half of your time in a practice placement setting, gaining experience of caring for clients in a variety of settings such as older, medical, surgical, community and critical care.

You’ll experience at least 2,300 hours of placements (including elements accredited via Recognition of Prior Learning) which is required by the NMC Standards for Pre-registration Nursing Education (2018). The course duration is a minimum of two years to ensure you gain this valuable experience.

Find out more about Health & Social Care placements

Entry requirements

Your application

We are looking for applicants who:

  • Have an interest in adult nursing as well as the motivation and commitment to undertake the course
  • Have undertaken relevant work experience
  • Have a clear understanding of the profession
  • Can demonstrate personal skills and qualities relevant to the course.

Some healthcare experience and prior learning is required to be accepted on this programme. Please see full entry requirements for more information.

Please note that when applying for this course via UCAS, you will need to search for it in the undergraduate category.

How to apply


After completing this course, you will possess the necessary skills and knowledge to continue into an academic career or secure employment in a range of organisations. You will also be prepared for continued study at PhD level.

The emphasis on core practical skills will give you extra marketability in the professional arena, providing you with a route into a rewarding career.

Costs and fees

Students enrolling on this course may be eligible to apply for loans from the Student Loans Company. These cover tuition fees of up to £9,250 per year and support living costs. These loans are the same as those available to undergraduate students. Further funding information for those studying nursing, midwifery and the allied health professions is available here

Our staff

On this course, you will be taught by staff with relevant expertise and knowledge appropriate to the content of the unit. This could include senior academic staff, qualified professional practitioners and research students, many of whom are actively engaged in research and/or professional practice which is integrated into the teaching of this course. Please note that teaching staff can change.

Course changes

Statistics shown throughout this page are taken from Unistats and BU institutional data unless otherwise stated.