Graduate Entry Nursing - Mental Health MSc


Fact file

Qualification name:Nursing (Graduate Entry Nursing - Mental Health)
Duration:MSc, 2 years subject to previous health care experience (advanced standing) and starts in January
Entry requirements:Applicants will be expected to have an honours degree (2:2 or above)
Including:a minimum of 5 GCSEs English, maths and a science* at grade C or above. *Including anatomy and physiology, human biology, biology, chemistry, physics or double award.
Other requirements:your degree should be in a health related subject (or other subjects where your degree has transferable skills that support you in becoming a nurse). Degrees in biological sciences, social sciences, psychology, behavioural sciences, and health studies are particularly relevant. Students without a biological sciences background will undertake pre-course preparation work and some relevant experience.
IELTS:7.0 (no less than 7.0 in any element)
Start date:January
Campus:Derby Education Centre at Royal Derby Hospital

Course Overview

Why choose this nursing course?

You already have a degree and want to become a registered nurse in just two years. The MSc in Nursing (Graduate Entry) programme is a three year course that is undertaken in two years though the accreditation of your undergraduate degree course and relevant practical experience. This programme leads to a masters level qualification and registration with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC). There are excellent career prospects in to range of avenues including clinical practice, management, research and education. Previous graduates from this programme have performed extremely well in competing for sought after positions within the nursing profession.

This course is not suitable for qualified nurses. If you are a qualified nurse you may wish to consider our professional courses.

Where will I study?

The new Graduate Entry Nursing programme is offered at our Derby Centre and starts in January. View videos of our staff and students talking about the Derby Centre. You will undertake practice placement predominantly throughout the Derbyshire region in a comprehensive range of in-patient and community settings.

What will I learn?

The programme utilises an enquiry based learning approach which builds on your existing skills for learning and is underpinned by a student centred philosophy. It also encompasses shared learning with other disciplines and professions, developing your clinical leadership skills and preparing you for practice. 

Practice-based learning is a key part of the course and you will experience a comprehensive range of placements, working with healthcare professionals in a variety of areas. 

As with all our courses, you can expect to experience a stimulating blend of learning activities, from lectures and clinical skills workshops through to innovative web-based activities.

Mental health nursing

As many as one in three people develop a mental health problem at some point in their life, regardless of their age or background. 

Conditions range from personality and psychological disorders to neuroses and psychoses. Nurses who choose to specialise in the mental health branch of nursing – a complex and demanding area – work with GPs, psychiatrists, psychologists and others to help care for patients with mental illnesses. 

Increasingly, care is given in the community, with mental health nurses visiting patients and their families at home, in residential centres, in prisons or in specialist clinics or units. You may also do shift work to help provide 24-hour care. 

This is a valuable role that provides much reward and satisfaction. Find out more about the different fields of nursing or see the NHS Careers website.

Financial support

Course fees are paid for all students who meet the NHS student bursaries eligibility criteria. Eligible students will receive a non-means tested grant of £1,000, a means-tested bursary of up to £4,395. Additional allowances are available for students with disabilities and dependents, but you will not be eligible for the Reduced Rate student loan.

How to apply

Applications are accepted through UCAS. Applications received before the UCAS closing date in January are prioritised however we continue to accept late applications for the remaining places. 

The UCAS code for this course is 3110.

Selection and interview

Shortlisted applicants will be interviewed and selection made based on academic qualifications and personal attributes suitable for nursing. Candidates will need to present a short account of how their prior learning and experience relates to nursing practice. Healthcare experience is essential to meet NMC advanced standing requirements for this this course. This will involve demonstrating a basic level of care experience (under supervision) through the submission of an online portfolio of evidence. Examples could include experience such as a healthcare assistant, mental health support worker, volunteer with healthcare charitable institutions etc.

Find out more about the selection process.

Informal enquiries

For informal enquiries relating to this course, please contact us on
+44 (0)1332 724 625 or email:

Key facts

  • Rated 4th in the UK for physiotherapy in the Complete University Guide 2015 and 7th for nursing and midwifery in the Guardian University Guide League Tables 2015
  • We are a leading environment for world class research according to the Research Excellence Framework 2014; 86% of our research activity is rated as world leading and internationally excellent with significant impact on people's health and wellbeing. We have also seen a 35% improvement in the quality of research undertaken in the past five years
  • Ranked 5th best in terms of research power in our unit of assessment, a measure which includes the quality of research and number of research active staff according to the Research Excellence Framework 2014
  • Our teaching team includes a number of Senior Fellows and Fellows of the Higher Education Academy
  • We have a community of over 3,000 students and around 280 academic and support staff

Course Details

Entry requirements

Honours degree (2:2 or above) and GCSEs including English, maths and a science* at grade C or above. 

If you don't have a biological sciences background and you are made an offer, we will ask you to carry out pre-course preparation work.

*Anatomy and Physiology, Human Biology, Biology, Chemistry, Physics or Double Award.

If you have any queries, please contact us.

English language requirements

If your first language is not English, and you have not attained GCSE English (grade C or above), then you must pass an approved test before you apply.

For nursing the test currently recognised is the IELTS with the following scores:

At least 7.0 in the listening and reading sections.
At least 7.0 in the writing and speaking sections.

An overall score of 7 (out of a possible 9).

Notes for applicants

For all courses, selection is made on the basis of meeting entry requirements, academic potential and evidence of commitment to nursing. All offers are subject to being successful at both the selection day and interview, satisfactory health screening, disclosure and barring service (DBS) clearance and eligibility for an NHS student bursary.

International students

This course is not normally available to international students as they are not entitled to an NHS Bursary. Further information regarding eligibility can be found on the NHS Bursary website.


Mental Health

Our modules provide a balance of nursing theory and practical application via placements and are delivered in 15 week blocks. Modules are guided by the Nursing and Midwifery Council's (NMC) policies and procedures. On completion of all eight modules, students will be eligable to register as a qualified nurse (Mental Health) with the NMC.

Typical Year One Modules
Foundations for Professional and Personal Effectiveness in Nursing
This module provides students with the opportunity to explore the foundations of health and illness within the context of their developing professional role. Students will have the opportunity to develop knowledge, values and skills that place the individual at the centre of health care delivery and which are required for the safe delivery of care in a variety of settings. Learning will be primarily enquiry-based but also in the form of workshops, seminars and lectures.
Diverse Perspectives on Care Assessment, Planning, Delivery and Decision Making for Nursing Practice
This module gives the opportunity to experience health from the perspective of the individual and their carer. You will consider factors in infection control, self-management, communication, the impact of health on the family unit and assessment, re-integration and social inclusion. 
The Social Context of Health Care Provision and Delivery
This module provides students with the opportunity to critically evaluate the role and practice of the nurse in a variety of settings. This includes further development of knowledge and skills in applying and evaluating appropriate and relevant nursing care and provides students with an understanding of health determinants, health inequalities and the development of skills in health promotion. You will be helping care givers by promoting independence and rehabilitation.
Research Proposal (Research 1)
This module will improve your confidence when undertaking research so that you will be more prepared for the dissertation. You will select a specific topic with the approval of your tutor and critically evaluate relevant literature to support your studies. In addition you will use qualitative and quantitative study techniques while considering ethical concerns during your research.

Typical Year Three Modules
Complex Care Delivery and Decision Making for
Nursing Practice
This module gives you the chance to consolidate knowledge and the skills needed to deliver care to individuals. You will consider the evaluation and implementation of care in complex scenarios and analyse their practice in terms of ethical and legal responsibilities. You will learn through a number of lectures, workshops, discussions and seminars to develop your skills.
Mental Health Field Complex Care Delivery and
Decision Making for Nursing Practice
To provide students with the opportunity to critically explore the skills, values and evidence base essential for supporting individuals towards their recovery when they are experiencing mental health problems. You will look into the structure of mental health services and how this affects contemporary mental health facilities. You will also consider the ethics of mental health legislation. There will be lectures, seminars and workshops to aid your learning.
Professional Development, Leadership and Innovation
for Nursing Practice
This module provides students with the opportunity to develop the capacity to organise and evaluate care and the management of individuals and/or groups in order to deliver high quality holistic care. You will also consider the best innovations necessary to offer the best practice and service delivery. There will be lectures, workshops and seminars to help you progress.
Research Dissertation
In this module you will complete an empirical or literature based research discussion. You will give in-depth critical analysis of relevant literature and analyse different findings. In addition you will discuss the implications in your findings and offer recommendations for nursing practice. Finally you will contribute to the existing knowledge and evidence base for nursing knowledge and practice through effective written and verbal communication, effectively disseminating conclusions to a range of audiences.


Students on an undergraduate nursing, midwifery or physiotherapy course will usually have their tuition fees paid in full and receive financial support in the form of a bursary.

Eligible students will receive a non-means tested grant of £1,000 and a means tested bursary of up to £4,395. Different rates of means tested bursary will apply according to where a student lives or studies. Additional allowances are available for students with disabilities and dependents, but you will not be eligible for the Reduced Rate student loan. More information can be found on the NHS Bursaries website. To be eligible you must have Home Status and meet the NHS criteria.

For information about fees and finance visit our Student Fees and Finance website.


Skills and careers

At the end of the course you will have the essential practical skills and theoretical knowledge to join a new generation of nurses delivering outstanding healthcare.

Graduates enjoy careers in a range of diverse settings. Nurses are the largest group of staff in the NHS and a UK Registered Nurse Qualification is widely recognised for employment in international nursing posts. Our graduates benefit from both an academic qualification and a professional qualification that serves to enhance their employment opportunities. View further details about the range of nursing careers.

Professional recognition

This course is approved by the Nursing and Midwifery Council.

Average starting salary and career progression

A newly qualified nurse working in the NHS can expect to be employed at Band 5 with a salary ranging from £21,388 up to £27,901 with progression. With career progression and development there is the prospect of applying for senior clinical posts – for example, Band 6 Ward Manager/Band 6 District Nurse (salary range £25,783-£34,530) and Band 7 Specialist Nurse (salary range £30,764-£40,558).

In 2014, 100% of first-degree graduates in the Division of Nursing who were available for employment had secured work or further study within six months of graduation. The starting salary was £24,070 with the highest being £45,000.*

*Known destinations of full-time home and EU graduates, 2013/14.

Careers Support and Advice

Studying for a degree at The University of Nottingham will provide you with the type of skills and experiences that will prove invaluable in any career, whichever direction you decide to take. Throughout your time with us, our Careers and Employability Service can work with you to improve your employability skills even further; assisting with job or course applications, searching for appropriate work experience placements and hosting events to bring you closer to a wide range of prospective employers.

Have a look at our Careers page for an overview of all the employability support and opportunities that we provide to current students.

The Enquiry Centre

The University of Nottingham
King's Meadow Campus
Lenton Lane
Nottingham, NG7 2NR

t: +44 (0) 115 951 5559
f: +44 (0) 115 951 5812
w: Frequently asked questions
Make an enquiry