The is shortage a mental health nurses in the UK, and whilst this can be challenging, we achieved 100% employability in Unistats.
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 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.
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 will enable you to put your learning into practice. Many students gain future employment with one of their placement hosts.
On successful completion of this course you will gain registration with the NMC
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This course consists of 50% theory and 50% practice. You will receive Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) for the following module, in recognition of your previous study and relevant experience:
This module aims to develop knowledge and skills required of a post graduate nurse to assess, plan and implement personalised care across the lifespan using recovery principles in partnership with stakeholders. Students will build on theoretical evidence-based knowledge to enhance clinical and professional judgements applicable to the wider perspective of health and well-being.
This module will provide the post graduate nursing student with an introduction to the field of mental health nursing science. It will examine 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.
This module has been developed to assist students to gain mastery of their physical care skills in providing comprehensive care for mental health service users (MHSUs). The focus will include physiology as applied to clinical mental health care and a range of skills required in facilitating safe physical care for MHSUs. This module will also focus on government policy, professional practice and implementing best practice relating to physical care in mental illness.
Students 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. The students will demonstrate high standards of professional conduct in line with the NMC code in all aspects of their 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.
Students will demonstrate the relevant knowledge and skills to meet more complex care needs of people across the lifespan 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. The students will be expected to demonstrate increasing independence in their 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.
The module aims to consolidate knowledge and skills from the Developing Nursing Knowledge and Professional Practice Module and will facilitate the preparation of students to practise as post graduate nurses. Students 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.
This module will build on the knowledge and skills acquired in 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.
Students’ will be encouraged to master skills in cognitive behavioural strategies and techniques, based upon critical examination of theory and practice as applied to their own work with individuals with mental health problems.
Students 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. The student will display advanced clinical skills and have the ability to integrate leadership in all aspects of care management. Students will 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.
See the course specification for more information:
Optional modules are usually available at levels 5 and 6, although optional modules are not offered on every course. Where optional modules are available, you will be asked to make your choice during the previous academic year. If we have insufficient numbers of students interested in an optional module, or there are staffing changes which affect the teaching, it may not be offered. If an optional module will not run, we will advise you after the module selection period when numbers are confirmed, or at the earliest time that the programme team make the decision not to run the module, and help you choose an alternative module.
We are regularly reviewing and updating our programmes to ensure you have the best learning experience. We are taking what we've learnt during the pandemic and enhancing our teaching methods with new and innovative ways of learning. Please regularly check this section of the course page for updates.
Students gain knowledge and understanding through 50% of learning occurring in the practice setting and 50% theory based in the University;
Assessment is through exams (including osce's), practical assessments and coursework, including reports, case studies, care plans, drug calculations, individual and group presentations, online assessments.
We have developed new approaches to teaching and learning for the 2021/22 academic year, and have resumed the majority of our teaching on campus.
We are currently reviewing our approach to teaching and learning for 2022 entry and beyond. We've learned a lot about how to give you a quality education - we aim to combine the best of our pre-pandemic teaching and learning with access to online learning and digital resources which put you more in charge of when and how you study. We will keep you updated on this throughout the application process.
Your timetable will be built around on campus sessions using our professional facilities, with online sessions for some activities where we know being virtual will add value. We’ll use technology to enhance all of your learning and give you access to online resources to use in your own time.
The table below gives you an idea of what learning looks like across a typical week. Some weeks are different due to how we schedule classes and arrange on campus sessions.
This information is likely to change slightly for 2022 entry as our plans evolve. You'll receive full information on your teaching before you start your course.
Learning structure: typical hourly breakdown in 2021/22
Live in-person on campus learning
Contact hours per week, per level:
Year 1: 14 hours|
Year 2: 6 hours
Live online learning
Average hours per week, per level:
Year 1: 6 hours
Outside of these hours, you’ll be expected to do independent study where you read, listen and reflect on other learning activities. This can include preparation for future classes. In a year, you’ll typically be expected to commit 1200 hours to your course across all styles of learning. If you are taking a placement, you might have some additional hours.
Definitions of terms
You have a strong support network available to you to make sure you develop all the necessary academic skills you need to do well on your course.
Our support services will be delivered online and on campus and you have access to a range of different resources so you can get the help you need, whether you’re studying at home or have the opportunity to come to campus.
You have access to one to one and group sessions for personal learning and academic support from our library and IT teams, and our network of learning experts. Our teams will also be here to offer financial advice, and personal wellbeing, mental health and disability support.
Helen joined the Department of Mental Health and Social Work in 2018 and took the role of Programme Lead for PGDip Mental Health Nursing in 2019. She also leads on modules for the BSc Mental Health programme and Trainee Mental Health worker programme.
Helen is a Registered Mental Health Nurse and Higher Education Academic Fellow with a background within the NHS forensic service and child and adolescent mental health services.
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.