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Nursing PGDip (Mental Health) (Pre-registration programme)

On our two-year Nursing (Mental Health) (Pre-registration programme) PGDip course for existing graduates upskill to make more of a difference as a mental health nurse
October 2024
2 years full-time (subject to gaining RPL)
£9,250 (UK) *
£16,800 (INT)*
Course leader
Helen Kehoe

Why choose Nursing (Mental Health) (Pre-registration course) PGDip at Middlesex?

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.

State-of the-art facilities

Your clinical skills will be taught at StoneX Stadium, a centre of excellence for the London Sport Institute and Health Faculty in the London Borough of Barnet.

You’ll be using some of the most advanced equipment in the UK including new specialist spaces, stimulation suites and specialist labs at our brand new £23 million West Stand building offering.

Life experience needed

Our two-year course is open to graduates in any subject who are seeking a career as a mental health nurse. 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 want students who are passionate about helping others and who can work well in multi-disciplinary teams and advocate for clients and their families and carers.

Partnerships with NHS Trusts

We have excellent relationships with NHS trusts across London, offering an extensive range of clinical placement opportunities. You'll develop your core nursing skills and 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 is made up of 50% theory and 50% practice. Many students gain future employment with one of their placement hosts.

What you will gain

On successful completion of this course, you will gain registration with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC).

We have a range of research centres which inform our teaching and welcome student input.

Below are some of the other benefits you will enjoy by joining us on this course.

  • We have award-winning high-fidelity simulation centres which will help you connect theory and practice
  • You will learn in nursing skills labs, use professional training equipment and practice high-fidelity simulations such as resuscitation and dealing with seriously ill patients
  • You will gain the skills to work in multi-disciplinary health and social care teams to assess and treat physical and mental health issues for individuals of all ages
  • You will develop the confidence and communication skills to work effectively with service users, carers and colleagues and be able to work in a wide variety of settings ranging from inpatient to community settings.

To find out what makes mental health nursing unique and rewarding, watch our short video below.

3 great reasons to pick this course

  • Excellent reputation
    Top 2 university in the UK — Times Higher Education Young Universities 2022
  • Postgraduate success
    93% of our postgraduate students go on to work or further study — Graduate Outcomes 2022
  • Specialist labs
    Learn using some of the most advanced equipment in the UK including new specialist spaces and stimulation suites at our brand new £23 million West Stand building

Find out more

Sign up now to receive more information about studying at Middlesex University London.

About your course

The Post Graduate Diploma in Nursing Mental Health course was developed and is delivered, between the University and partner trusts.

It consists of 50% theory and 50% practice learning. Theory and practice are integrated throughout your course, and to ensure that you become a well-rounded practitioner, there is equal weighting in the assessments contributing to your final award. You need to complete all of the required hours in order to be registered. Your course is designed to help you meet the competencies at each progression point (one and two) and at the point of registration.

Successful completion of this programme will allow you to be registered as a mental health nurse with the Nursing and Midwifery Council. This means you'll be able to work as a professional with the knowledge skills and attitudes to be able to practice autonomously, compassionately, skilfully and safely whilst maintaining dignity and human rights.

It will enable you to work with people of all ages using a values-based mental health framework. You will have learned how to promote positive relationships focused on social inclusion, human rights and recovery. The course will help you develop your work in partnership with other health and social care professionals and agencies, service users and their carers fostering shared decisions about care.


  • Year 1 - Compulsory

    • Developing Nurse Knowledge (30 credits)

      This module aims to develop knowledge and skills required of a post graduate nurse to assess, plan and implement personalised care across the lifespan of a patient using recovery principles in partnership with stakeholders.

      You will build on theoretical evidence-based knowledge to enhance clinical and professional judgements applicable to the wider perspective of health and well-being.

    • Developing Nurse Science (30 credits)

      This module provides post graduate nursing students with an introduction to the field of mental health nursing science.

      It examines key mental health conditions, identifying signs and symptoms of mental illness, aetiology and onset, progression of the condition, and prognosis.

      It will explore the underpinning anatomy and physiology and associated pathology of physical illness as it relates to mental health.

    • Physical Health and Wellbeing (15 Credits)

      This module has been developed to assist you to gain mastery of your physical care skills in providing comprehensive care for mental health service users (MHSUs).

      It will also focus on government policy, professional practice and implementing best practice relating to physical care in mental illness.

      On completion of this module, you will be able to:

      1. Critically review the epidemiology of physical ill health in MHSUs and apply theory to decision making in complex and unpredictable situations,
      2. Demonstrate mastery in a range of clinical skills regarding the physical assessment of MHSUs,
      3. Systematically and creatively analyse the physical care and interventions used in the care of a MHSU, and
      4. Demonstrate expertise in planning care of MHSUs and articulate advanced decision making and supporting the wellbeing.
    • Practice Experience 1 (15 credits)

      You will be able to demonstrate knowledge and skills in meeting the fundamental care needs of people across their lifespan, with a range of physical, mental, cognitive and behavioural health challenges.

      During this module, you will demonstrate high standards of professional conduct in line with the NMC code in all aspects of your practice and be able to carry out a range of procedures, under supervision, that are expected of them at this level, in a variety of health and social care settings.

    • Practice Experience 2 (15 credits)

      During this module, you will demonstrate the relevant knowledge and skills to meet more complex care needs of people with a range of mental, physical, cognitive and behavioural health challenges, across health and social care settings in line with the new standards of proficiency.

      You will be expected to demonstrate increasing independence in your mental health nursing practice whilst maintaining high standards of professional conduct in line with the NMC Code, showing awareness of the implications of the Code for self and others.

  • Year 2 - Compulsory

    • Consolidating Nursing Knowledge & Professional Practice in Mental Health (30 Credits)

      The module aims to consolidate knowledge and skills from the Developing Nursing Knowledge and Professional Practice Module (MHN4000) and will facilitate you in your preparation to practise as postgraduate nurses.

      During this module, you will develop a professional confidence as leaders within the wider perspective of health and social care economies to influence evidence-based policy and initiate change in providing a safe and quality service within complex care and multi-disciplinary care settings.

      Moreover, the module aims to promote partnership working with the patient (service user) and families, to assess, plan, implement and evaluate care that is effective.

    • Consolidating Nursing Science in Mental Health (30 credits)

      This module will build on the knowledge and skills acquired in MHN4001 of the PGDip Nursing Mental Health Programme to consolidate the nursing science principles and deepen the knowledge and application to complex mental health.

      This module will critically review current and best practice in physical care and how this is applied in a mental health context.

      It also aims to extend knowledge and application of pharmacological principles especially as to underpin mental health nursing care and future potential prescribing practice.

    • Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (15 Credits)

      You will be encouraged to master skills in cognitive behavioural strategies and techniques, based upon critical examination of theory and practice as applied to your own work with individuals with mental health problems.

      On completion of this module, you will be able to:

      1. Demonstrate a critical understanding of the basic principles of cognitive behavioural therapy and display originality of thought of their limitations in the context of the students practice area,
      2. Evaluate and synthesise the current theoretical perspectives, policy and research that underpins cognitive behavioural therapies interventions relevant to the students practice area,
      3. Demonstrate proficiency in the skills and knowledge necessary to deliver and evaluate cognitive behavioural strategies in mental health practice, and
      4. Articulate advanced decision making in the application of a range of relevant CBT assessment procedures.
    • Practice Learning 3 (30 credits)

      During this module, you will be able to demonstrate the ability to work autonomously in the mental health field of practice caring for all people across the lifespan with a range of physical, mental, cognitive and behavioural challenges.

      You will display advanced clinical skills and have the ability to integrate leadership in all aspects of care management.

      You will also utilise a critical and reflective approach in delivering high standards of professional conduct in line with the NMC Code as part of a multi-disciplinary team.

To find out more about this course, please download the Nursing PGDip (Mental Health) (Pre-registration programme) specification (PDF).

How we'll teach you

You'll learn through lectures, seminars, small group work, self-guided and directed learning and e-learning with support from the professional development tutor.

For laboratory and practical skills there will be clinical sessions, use of virtual and augmented reality resources and on clinical placements. These activities will develop your understanding and nursing skills which you will be able to apply to real life situations, and provide confidence for critical decision making and providing high quality patient care.

Where will you study?

You will be based at our north London campus in Hendon and at the Stonex stadium. There is a free shuttle bus between the two locations.

Teaching vs independent study

In a typical year, you’ll spend about 1200 hours on your course.

Outside of teaching hours, you’ll learn independently through reading articles and books, working on projects, undertaking research, and preparing for assessments including coursework and presentations.


Your course timetable will balance your study commitments on campus with time for work, life commitments and independent study.

We aim to make timetables available to students at least two weeks before the start of term. Some weeks are different due to how we schedule classes and arrange on-campus sessions.

Year one - typical weekly breakdown

A typical week looks like this:


Hours per week





Independent study


Learning terms

On-campus: This includes tutor-led sessions such as seminars, lab sessions and demonstrations as well as student-led sessions for work in small groups.

Online learning: This is teaching that is delivered online using tools like Skype or Zoom, as well as work that you do yourself using online teaching resources.

Independent study: This is the work you do in your own time including reading and research.

Academic support

We have a strong support network online and on campus to help you develop your academic skills. We offer one-to-one and group sessions to develop your learning skills together with academic support from our library, IT teams and learning experts.

Coursework and assessments

All modules are assessed through coursework and exams, which can be a combination of individual and/or group work, presentations and class-based tests. You will also be assessed through reports, case studies, care plans, drug calculations, and online assessments.

The learning, teaching and assessment approaches used throughout your course will encourage you to be actively involved in your learning and to cooperate with other students.


You'll receive feedback on all of your assessments.

We maintain strong partnership relationships with NHS and independent health and social care organisations so that you’ll have access to excellent placement opportunities as a nursing or midwifery student. We have approximately 500 pre-registration students out on placement at any one time, with over 400 placements being utilised.

Main placement providers

Our main placement providers are:

In addition to a number of placements in both community and hospital environments in the NHS Trusts and independent sector that are highlighted above, we also have a range of placements in the following areas:

  • General Practice Nursing
  • Care Homes
  • Schools
  • Learning disability homes
  • Specialist areas such as children’s hospice care, eating disorders, forensics
  • Volunteering opportunities with a range of voluntary/ charitable organisations across London

We also work with a number of other London NHS Trusts in supporting a range of pre-registration pathways. These include (but not limited to):

Erasmus / European Placements

In addition to students accessing a range of placements in the London region we have excellent partnerships with European Universities and you will be offered opportunities to undertake a period of exchange (depending on availability). These include placements in Finland, Malta, Denmark, Portugal, Spain and Belgium. To find out more, please view our study abroad pages.

  1. UK Entry
  2. International Entry
  3. How to apply

The fees below refer to the 2024/25 academic year unless otherwise stated.

UK students*

Full-time students: £9,250

*Course fees are subject to annual inflation.

For more information on funding arrangements for studying nursing and midwifery pre-registration courses and what it means for you, please visit The Funding Clinic website.

The fees below refer to the academic year 2024/25 unless otherwise stated.

International students*

Full-time students: £16,800

*Course fees are subject to annual inflation.

Additional costs

We cover your costs for the day-to-day things that you need to do well in your studies.

  • Free – laptop loans, e-books, Wi-Fi and printing
  • Free specialist software for your course
  • Free online training with LinkedIn Learning.

Financial support

We offer lots of support to help you with fees and living costs. Check out our guide to student life on a budget and find out more about postgraduate funding.

Postgraduate scholarships

You may be eligible for one of our scholarships including:

  • The Alumni Postgraduate Award – for all UK/EU Middlesex alumni a 20% fee reduction
  • The Commonwealth Scholarship – full course fees, airfares and a living allowance
  • The Chevening Scholarship – full course fees
  • The European Academic Awards – £1000 to £7000 for students showing academic excellence
  • Regional or International Merit Award –up to £2,000 towards course fees.

For international students, we also have a limited number of other awards specific to certain regions, and work in partnership with funding providers in your country to help support you financially with your study.

Find out more about our postgraduate scholarships.

Fees disclaimers

1. UK fees: The university reserves the right to increase postgraduate tuition fees in line with changes to legislation, regulation and any government guidance or decisions. The tuition fees for part-time UK study are subject to annual review and we reserve the right to increase the fees each academic year by no more than the level of inflation.

2. International fees: Tuition fees are subject to annual review and we reserve the right to increase the fees each academic year by no more than the level of inflation.

Any annual increase in tuition fees as provided for above will be notified to students at the earliest opportunity in advance of the academic year to which any applicable inflationary rise may apply.

The Sheppard Library

Our library is open 24 hours a day during the term and includes:

  • Over 1,000 study areas with rooms for group study and over 600 computer spaces
  • 350,000 books and e-books and more than 24,000 online journals
  • Free laptop loans, Wi-Fi and printing.

Student support

We offer lots of support to help you while you're studying including financial advice, wellbeing, mental health and disability support.

Additional needs

We'll support you if you have additional needs such as sensory impairment or dyslexia. And if you want to find out whether Middlesex is the right place for you before you apply, get in touch with our Disability and Dyslexia team.


Our specialist teams will support your mental health. We have free individual counselling sessions, workshops, support groups and useful guides.

Work while you study

Our Middlesex Unitemps branch will help you find work that fits around uni and your other commitments. We have hundreds of student jobs on campus that pay the London Living Wage and above. Visit the Middlesex Unitemps page.

Financial support

You can apply for scholarships and bursaries and our MDX Student Starter Kit to help with up to £1,000 of goods, including a new laptop or iPad.

We have also reduced the costs of studying with free laptop loans, free learning resources and discounts to save money on everyday things. Check out our guide to student life on a budget.

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

Our university's postgraduate courses have been recognised for their ability to support your career.

93% of our postgraduate students go on to work or further study (Graduate Outcomes 2022).

On successful completion of the course, you will be 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 job 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 to the elderly, for whom you might oversee the pioneering techniques emerging in dementia care.

Employment prospects in the nursing field are excellent. 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.


MDXworks, our employability service, will help you make the most of your experience and connections to achieve your career goals. You'll have unlimited access to one-to-one advice and support from specialists in your sector plus 24/7 online support. You can also make the most of events and networking opportunities, on and off campus.

Our dedicated lifetime career support, like our business start-up support programme and funding for entrepreneurs, has been recognised with the following awards:

  • The top 20 UK universities for business leaders and entrepreneurs – Business Money, 2023
  • A top 10 university for producing CEOs – Novuana, 2023.

Global alumni network

You’ll be studying with students from 122 countries who’ll become part of your personal global network. You'll learn how to work with a global mindset and make invaluable connections on your course for your chosen industry.

Nicky Lambert
Associate Professor (Practice) at Middlesex University

Nicky is registered as a Specialist Practitioner (NMC) and is a Senior Teaching Fellow (SFHEA). She is also a co-director of the Centre for Coproduction in Mental Health and Social Care. Nicky has worked across a range of mental health services both in the UK and internationally supporting staff and practice development in acute and mental health trusts, councils, businesses and charities. She is active in supporting mental health and wellbeing with the RCN and Unite. She is an editorial board member for Mental Health Nursing, a member of MHNAUK and on the education and communication committees. Nicky engages with local trusts and with the RCPsych to support sexual safety in mental health services. She is also a Trustee for The Bridge. And is a co-host on #mhTV .

Nicky has a professional Twitter feed: @niadla and is keen that all people with and interest in mental health engage together as a community to support good practice and challenge discrimination. She has teaching and research interests in women's health, physical and mental health, co-production, social media and health education.

We’ll carefully manage any future changes to courses, or the support and other services available to you, if these are necessary because of things like changes to government health and safety advice, or any changes to the law.

Any decisions will be taken in line with both external advice and the University’s Regulations which include information on this.

Our priority will always be to maintain academic standards and quality so that your learning outcomes are not affected by any adjustments that we may have to make.

At all times we’ll aim to keep you well informed of how we may need to respond to changing circumstances, and about support that we’ll provide to you.

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