PGDip Nursing (Mental Health) (Pre-registration programme) | Middlesex University London
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Nursing PGDip (Mental Health) (Pre-registration programme)

Learn about the course below
18 September 2017
2 years full-time (subject to gaining APL)
Please refer to the Fees and Funding
Course leader
David Price

Poverty, austerity and the pressures of modern-day living are making mental health issues ever more visible in the UK today. Indeed, one in four people will experience a mental health problem. Through your skills in compassion, communication and problem solving, you can make a real difference to the many lives affected by this growing concern. We're looking for mature, compassionate, intelligent people who can handle intensive emotions and manage competing demands.

Why study PG Dip Nursing (Mental Health) at Middlesex University?

Our two-year course is open to graduates in any subject who are seeking a career as a mental health nurse. Our intake is extremely diverse and we welcome people from a wide variety of backgrounds and professions. Life experience is one of the most significant contributing factors to becoming an effective mental health nurse. We are seeking students who can demonstrate a passion for helping others, demonstrate empathy, warmth and care coupled with the ability to collaborate within multi-disciplinary teams and advocate on behalf of clients and their families/carers in a highly sensitive area of healthcare. Confidence in dealing with people as well as good communication and observation skills are key - if this sounds like you then we encourage you to apply.

In addition to developing your core nursing skills, the course will build your knowledge of professional and ethical practice. Developed in close consultation with our trust partners (both acute and primary care), service users and students, this innovative diploma consists of 50% theory and 50% practice.

We have established relationships with leading mental health trusts and your placements in some of London's most prestigious mental health organisations – dealing with issues around ethnic minorities, homelessness, sex workers and prisoners – will enable you to put your learning into practice, and work in conjunction with a plethora of the sector's leading professionals. Many students gain future employment with one of their placement hosts.

To find out what makes mental health nursing unique and rewarding, watch our short video. Also, take a personality quiz to help you determine whether you might become a good mental health nurse.

Course highlights

  • Your studies are supported by state-of-the-art facilities including nursing skills labs, professional training equipment and high-fidelity simulations in areas such as resuscitation and dealing with seriously ill patients
  • The course is funded by the Department of Health, so there are no tuition fees
  • The course is run by the Department of Mental Health, Social Work and Integrative Medicine - home to recognised excellence in teaching and learning
  • There is a wide range of research activity within the department, which has five professors, and we frequently undertake research and evaluation on behalf of external agencies
  • As a student of this course you'll receive a free electronic textbook for every module.

What will you study on the PGDip Nursing (Mental Health) (Pre-registration programme)?

This course consists of 50% theory and 50% practice. You will receive Accreditation for Prior Learning (APL)/ Accreditation for Prior Experiential Learning (APEL) for the following modules, in recognition of your previous study and relevant experience:

  • Graduate and Transferable Skills in Postgraduate Studies (30 credits)
  • Health and Social Sciences Research Approaches (30 credits)
  • Knowledge and Skills for Nursing Practice (30 credits)
  • Year 1

    • Working in Partnership in Healthcare (15 Credits) - Compulsory

      This module will prepare student nurses to work in partnership with other members of the multidisciplinary team. You will be taught about the concept of the NHS and the many different services involved in order to provided uniformed and holistic care.

    • Knowledge for Mental Health Nursing Practice (30 Credits) - Compulsory

      This module will introduce you to the field of mental health nursing practice. You will examine key mental health conditions in depth and explore concepts such as health promotion and recovery, and key factors that influence these conditions such as social, biological, psychological and political. You will be able to identify signs and symptoms of mental illness, aetiology and onset, progression of the condition, and prognosis.

    • Skills and Interventions for Mental Health Nursing (30 Credits) - Compulsory

      This module's focus is in developing fundamental knowledge and skills in mental health nursing both psychosocial and physical, including the measurement of vital signs and their underlying physiology.

    • Practice Learning 1 PG (15 Credits) - Compulsory

      This module is practice based and provides you with a variety of practice experiences reflecting the 4 fields of nursing, in line with the NMC Standards for Education. You will build on the knowledge and skills developed in your previous modules and be supported in meeting the generic and specific field standards for competence and Essential Skills Clusters to meet Progression Point 1. This module will be assessed with the Practice Learning Document.

    • Practice Learning 2 PG (15 Credits) - Compulsory

      This module provides you with a range of practice learning opportunities across a variety of practice experiences in adult care, in line with the NMC requirements for registration. You will build on the knowledge and skills developed to date and be supported in meeting the generic and specific field standards for competence and Essential Skills Clusters in order to achieve the NMC criteria for Progression point 2. This module will be assessed with the Practice Learning Document.

    • Practice Learning 3 PG (15 Credits) - Compulsory

      This module provides you with a range of practice learning opportunities across a variety of practice experiences in adult nursing, in line with the NMC requirements for registration. You will build on the knowledge and skills developed to date and be supported in meeting the generic and specific field standards for competence and in order to achieve the NMC criteria for registration. You will be assessed by a sign-off mentor during your 14 week period of continuous practice.

  • Year 2

    • Preparation for Professional Mental Health Practice (15 Credits) - Compulsory

      This module aims to build upon your first year of the programme and focuses on the further development of communication, counselling and psychosocial intervention skills such as motivational interviewing, mindfulness, Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, and Dialectical Behaviour. Mindfulness techniques will also be used to assist your own personal and professional development, along with leadership and self-management skills.

    • Working with Complexity in Mental Health (30 Credits) - Compulsory

      This module aims to build upon and advance your knowledge and critical understanding of mental health, in particular severe and enduring conditions, and the consequences/impact when two or more conditions are present. The module will facilitate you to critically evaluate and debate how different mental health conditions can present or be influenced and experienced by different populations subject to age, gender, ethnicity, and clinical setting/service line.

You can find more information about this course in the programme specification. Module and programme information is indicative and may be subject to change.

How is the PGDip Nursing (Mental Health) (Pre-registration programme) taught?

Theory Sessions
You will be actively involved in a range of learning, teaching and assessment approaches and this course will require your active participation in learning activities and engagement with your fellow students both individually and collaboratively.

Your learning will be supported by technology and this programme will be facilitated using a variety of media and online tools such as online resources, quizzes and learning materials as well as collaborative tools with which you can engage and learn with your peers.

Practice Learning
As nursing is a practice based profession, this course focuses on preparing you for future roles and responsibilities within a range of practice settings. You will be directed towards the achievement of professional competency with a requirement that you complete 50% of this programme in practice settings. This relates to a minimum of 2,300 hours of practice in order to support you in meeting the ‘Standards for Pre-registration Nursing Registration’ (NMC 2010).

Additional features to this course:

  • Group work will be used throughout the programme to enable students to share their experiences and perceptions, to share good practice and discuss challenges faced within set time frames
  • Skills and Practical Workshops will focus on developing clinical skills and abilities utilising underpinning theory. You will have the opportunity to practice and rehearse within secure and safe environments such as skills laboratories
  • Individual and Group tutorials may be used to provide individual or a small group tutorial to support you
  • Lectures will introduce key information, concepts and theories. When used they will be followed up with seminars and group work to ensure clarity and understanding of the concepts introduced, and to maximise the integration of theory and practice

The course includes several workshops on different aspects of writing a dissertation from academics teaching on this programme who have produced high-quality, internationally-known research.


All modules are assessed through coursework, which can be a combination of individual and/or group work, presentations and class based tests. There are also in-class tests and exams.

The learning, teaching and assessment approaches used throughout your programme will encourage you to be actively involved in your learning and to co-operate with other students.

  1. UK & EU
  2. Entrance Tests and Interviews
  3. How to apply
  1. UK & EU

How can the PGDip Nursing (Mental Health) (Pre-registration programme) support your career?

On successful completion of the course, students are eligible to enter the professional register for nursing. You will receive career guidance from a professional development tutor and take part in a workshop to discuss jobs opportunities within the various trusts. With many well-paid nursing jobs in both the NHS and private sector, you might also find employment in teaching, research or educational outreach.

Opportunities in the mental health sector offer great variety. Nurses are required in settings such as prisons, hospitals, GP surgeries, charities, the armed forces and the community. You can work with people of all ages – from children and adolescents right up the elderly, for whom you might oversee the pioneering techniques emerging in dementia care.

Employment prospects in the nursing field are excellent with almost 90% of our students finding employment six months after graduation. Career progression may involve moving into a management position, consultancy work or developing a specialism in an area such as substance misuse. Furthermore, there is the potential for you to transfer your skills and experience overseas, with posts in both paid and voluntary capacities.

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