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. Both a leader and a team player, your flexible working approach will be vital ingredients in successful career progression. Choosing to become a mental health nurse is rewarding - it is also complex and challenging. As a career, mental health nursing is meaningful, interesting, flexible and varied and at its heart, it is about supporting people experiencing mental distress to recover and live the best lives possible.
Why study PG Dip Nursing (Mental Health) at Middlesex?
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.
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.
Proactive and positive, you will strengthen your ability to boost the wellbeing of patients and learn to assess individuals on a case-by-case basis. The therapeutic relationships that you make with the people you support, as well as their families and friends, are critical to managing their experience of mental health and the stigma that can accompany it.
To find out what makes mental health nursing unique and rewarding, watch our short video here
Also, take a personality quiz to help you determine whether you might become a good mental health nurse.
- Middlesex is a leading provider of nursing and midwifery education, with one of the highest student satisfaction ratings in London.
- We’re also highly rated for our student support, which particularly helps students with non-traditional qualifications reach their potential.
- We have established relationships with London’s leading mental health trusts.
- We have outstanding employment results - almost 90% of our nursing graduates are in employment and the profession offers excellent progression.
- Your studies are supported by brand new state-of-the-art facilities including nursing skills labs, professional training equipment and a separate building that can deliver a range of 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, Interprofesssional Learning and Complementary Health - home to recognised excellence in teaching and learning delivered by a large and diversely skilled staff group with extensive experience in practice and research. 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.
- Year 1
- Knowledge for Mental Health Nursing Practice (30 Credits) - Compulsory
- This module will provide the graduate with an introduction to the field of mental health nursing practice. It will examine key mnetal health conditions in depth and explore concepts such as health promotion and recovery, and key factors that influence these conditions e.g. social, biological, psychological and politcal. The graduate will be able to identify signs and symptoms of mental illness, aetiology and onset, progression of the condition and prognosis.
- Practice Learning 1 PG (15 Credits) - Compulsory
- Practice Learning 2 PG (15 Credits) - Compulsory
- Practice Learning 3 PG (15 Credits) - Compulsory
- This module provides the student with a range of practice learning opportunities across a variety of practice experiences in mental health, in line with the NMC requirements for registration. Students will build on the knowledge and skills developed to date and be supported in meeting the generic and specific field standards for competence in order to achieve the NMC criteria for Progression point 2.
- Skills Interventions for Mental Health Nursing (30 Credits) - Compulsory
- This module is linked with MHR4050 and aims to develop and enhace the skills required by a graduate mental health nurse to be effective in working wth mental helath service users/carers. The module will develop the graduate s ability to plan holistic care using evidence based interventions/approaches, taking into account underpinning legal and ethical issues in order to promote recovery and social inclusion. Graduates will progress their understanding of partnership working with patients/clients/carers/agencies, and be encouraged to challenge their own values, attitudes and prejudices, in order to develop their capability to respect diversity and challenge inequality in mental health care.
- Working in Partnership in Healthcare (15 Credits) - Compulsory
- Year 2
- Practice Learning 4 PG (15 Credits) - Compulsory
- Practice Learning 5 PG (15 Credits) - Compulsory
- Practice Learning 6 PG (15 Credits) - Compulsory
- Preparation for Professional Mental Health Practice (15 Credits) - Compulsory
- Working in Partnership in Healthcare (15 Credits) - Compulsory
- Working with Complexity in Mental Health (30 Credits) - Compulsory
The course consists of 50% theory and 50% practice.
You will receive APL (Accreditation for Prior Learning)/APEL (Accreditation for Prior Experiential Learning) for the following modules, in recogition 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)
You can find out more about teaching and assessment in the programme specification.
Applicants will be considered on an individual basis but will normally require a degree with a classification of 2.2 or better in health related subjects such as health studies, biology, psychology, sociology. However graduates from other disciplines can also be considered. Because this programme is delivered in two years all applicants will need to meet Accredited Prior Learning requirements and to do so will need to demonstrate health related experience Please follow the link above to download our FAQ sheet for more detailed information on Accredited Prior Learning and how it is applied.
In accordance with the requirements of the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC), you will also need GCSE maths and English at Grade C or above (or equivalent).
Because this programme is delivered in two years instead of three, all applicants will need to meet Accredited Prior Learning requirements and to do so will need to demonstrate health related experience Please follow the link above to download our Frequently Asked Questions on Prior Accreditation sheet for more detailed information on Accredited Prior Learning and how it is applied.
Before you apply, you should consider whether nursing is the right choice for you. In the Application tab, we list some of the personal qualities we expect our nursing students to demonstrate both at interview and throughout the course.
For nursing and midwifery courses you must have been ordinarily resident in the UK, throughout the three years preceding the first day of the first academic year of the course for purposes other than full-time education AND have settled status in the UK within the meaning of the Immigration Act 1971. There must be no restrictions on your length of stay in the UK. You must be ordinarily resident in England, Scotland, Wales or Northen Ireland. EU students are usually eligible to study nursing but may not receive full financial support.
To begin the course you must also complete a satisfactory enhanced DBS check, Occupational Health Check, and provide suitable references.
What makes a good mental health nurse?
Before you apply, see if nursing is the right choice for you. We have listed some of the personal qualities we expect our nursing students to demonstrate both at interview and throughout the course.
Choosing to become a mental health nurse is incredibly rewarding - it is also complex and challenging. As a career, mental health nursing is meaningful, interesting, flexible and varied and at its heart, it is about supporting people experiencing mental distress to recover and live the best lives possible. Your main skill as a mental health nurse is the ability to connect to other people and to help them to improve their overall wellbeing. The therapeutic relationship that you make with the people you support and those who care for them is critical to helping them to manage their experience of mental ill health and the stigma which can accompany it.
Take a personality quiz to help you determine whether you might become a good mental health nurse.
Application and interview process
Applications for UK and EU students should be made to UCAS – the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service. The institution code for Middlesex is M80, and the code name is MIDDX. You also need the code for the course you wish to apply for – this is found in the right column on this screen.Our admissions team will then consider your application, and we will contact you within four weeks to inform you whether you have been shortlisted.
- If you are shortlisted, you will be invited to attend an interview. Invites will be sent by email, so please check your email account regularly, including the spam folders.
- If you are successful at interview, you will then be offered a place on the course subject to academic, health and police check requirements.
If you are invited to interview, we strongly recommend that you prepare well. We would recommend familiarising yourself with the main nursing journals such as Nursing Standard or Nursing, as well as the specific requirements of the branch of nursing you have chosen.
We will be considering the criteria listed below through a variety of methods such as direct questioning and observation. The essential skills and qualities are:
- Basic knowledge and awareness of chosen branch of nursing
- Able to demonstrate non-judgemental approach and cultural awareness
- Evidence of personal awareness, empathy and caring approach
- Clear and coherent communication skills
- Time management skills
- Awareness of challenges during the course and coping strategies.
Additionally, the desired skills and qualities are:
- Experienced gained of caring for others
- Awareness of qualified nurse role and responsibilities in specified branch
- Knowledge of advantages and disadvantages of working in teams.
How can the PG Dip Nursing (Mental Health) drive 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.
Tina Moore is the course leader for the Postgraduate Diploma in Nursing at Middlesex. A published author and key note speaker at nursing conferences, Tina is also actively undertaking research in areas including experiences of the acutely/critically ill patient, nursing values and clinical competences in relation to the acutely/critically ill.
Click here to view Tina's full staff profile
No tuition fees are payable for Pg Dip Nursing for 2014 entry.
Pg Dip Nursing students who satisfy the conditions for eligibility are entitled to a non-means tested bursary and may be able to apply for a means tested bursary from the NHS, and a reduced rate student loan from Student Finance England. You may also be able to get extra money for dependants and help towards childcare costs as well as some money towards travel costs. Please note this information was correct for September 2013 entry and is subject to change for September 2014 entry.
You can apply for your student loan via the Directgov website, but you must remember to tick the box that says that you have applied for an income assessed NHS bursary.