Postgraduate study
Using the skills from your undergraduate degree, you’ll be prepared with the essential practical skills and theoretical knowledge to become a registered nurse in just two years.
MSc Nursing (Graduate Entry Nursing - Mental Health)
2 years subject to previous health care and/or relevant experience
Entry requirements
2:2 (or international equivalent) (2:1 preferred)
Other requirements
Experience of healthcare or other relevant employment, and demonstration of the skills, knowledge and attitudes expected of graduates must be evidenced before a course place may be offered. Achievement of these requirements will be assessed via interview questions, an interview presentation, and the completion of a biological sciences workbook.
7.5 (no less than 7.0 in any element)

If these grades are not met, English preparatory courses may be available
Start date
January (2020 entry only). This course will have a September start date from September 2020 and beyond.
UK/EU fees
£9,250 - Terms apply
International fees
£21,510 - Terms apply
School of Health Sciences, Queen's Medical Centre, Nottingham



For details about nursing at the University of Nottingham, download our subject guide.

This course is aimed at those who already have a degree and some prior healthcare or related experience, and are committed to providing excellence in care to people who experience mental health problems. Students are expected to demonstrate the Chief Nursing Officer’s six Cs of nursing – care, compassion, competence, communication, courage and commitment – as they learn how to deliver outstanding healthcare in a supportive environment.

Mental health nurses make a vital contribution to supporting service users' recovery, working alongside people to help them manage their distress and work towards individualised goals. On this course students will have the opportunity to learn a range of mental health nursing skills including communication skills, building rapport, and developing a therapeutic relationship. Students will also learn about different psychological approaches and techniques that can help people learn how to manage their mental distress. These skills will be developed through role play, working in groups, understanding the underpinning theories, and on practice placements.

Alongside the huge range of University support services, care has been taken to develop a course that supports you to become a confident and independent learner. We welcome students who have recently completed an undergraduate degree, or simply want a change of career, and academic support from personal tutors and peers can help students back into education.

The Division of Nursing sits within the School of Health Sciences, which is a research active school and has its own dedicated Mental Health Research Group. All our teaching staff are experts in the field, having published key nursing textbooks and the majority are registered nurses working in academia. 

New nursing curriculum for January 2020

The new educational standards for UK nurse education (2018) have given us the framework for an exciting new course, which builds on the strengths of our existing graduate entry course, and introduces some new and innovative learning initiatives.

The educational philosophy underpinning the programme acknowledges and respects the student as an adult learner with individual learning needs and aspirations. Student learning is supported by the partnership between teacher, student, clinician, service user and carers. Independence and selfdirection in the acquisition of knowledge, skills and attitudes is encouraged and facilitated.

The course seeks to prepare accountable practitioners who contribute safely and effectively to contemporary health care and whose practice is informed by an extensive knowledge base of relevant theory and research. The course aims to foster awareness of multi-professionalism and multi-agency working in healthcare delivery through interprofessional learning.A strong emphasis is placed on holism, cultural sensitivity and social inclusion in nursing practice.

The motivated, aspirational nature of our high calibre graduate students and the dynamic content of our programme together provide a rich environment for the growth and development of first-class nursing practitioners. We expect our course graduates to transition confidently into employment, and become leaders in nursing, who will instigate change and demonstrate creativity and innovation in their nursing practice.

This two year accelerated nursing degree has helped to define me as a conscientious healthcare professional. The support of a dedicated team was instrumental in my attaining this fulfilling and worthwhile qualification, while its hands-on and immersive components facilitated a smooth transition into nursing.  

     - George Bond, Graduate Entry Nursing   

Course duration and structure

This programme is a three year course that's completed in two years, through the accreditation of your undergraduate degree and relevant practical experience*. 

In line with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) regulations, all courses leading to registration (no matter their academic level) must be of three years duration. However, for students who already have a suitable degree and relevant experience, we can shorten the duration of the course to two years.

*Examples of relevant experience can be found under the 'How to apply' tab.

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

This majority of study takes place at the Queen's Medical Centre, Nottingham, where we have a clinical skills centre and additional drop-in facilities where students can practice in a simulated environment. 

Students benefit from taking part in simulations which enable them to practice mental health nursing care with simulated patients (actors) in a safe environment. Mental health students also have the opportunity to work alongside adult and child field nursing students, participating in simulated scenarios with young people who experience emotional distress.

Students can also take advantage of the free HELM Open database, offering over 200 quality, peer-reviewed online learning and teaching resources. 

Uniforms for clinical learning

Students are required to wear a uniform for clinical learning, comprising of a polo shirt with navy or black trousers and appropriate shoes. Branded polo shirts are available to purchase from the online shop.



Campus community

We are proud to have one of the most active students' unions at any UK university, with over 300 societies and sports clubs where you can have fun, gain new skills and meet like-minded people. Students can also join the Nursing and Midwifery Association (NMA) society, who host social activities, organise sporting events and provide welfare support.

How to apply

Applications for GEN are made directly to the University through the postgraduate online application system.

Shortlisted applicants will be interviewed and selection made based on academic qualifications and personal attributes suitable for nursing. Adjustments to the interview process can be made for international applicants. At interview, candidates will need to present a short account of how their prior learning and experience relates to nursing practice. 

Relevant healthcare experience

The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) requirements for undertaking this course are met by Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL). Experience of healthcare or other relevant employment, and demonstration of the skills, knowledge and attitudes expected of graduates must be evidenced before a place may be offered.Achievement of these requirements will be assessed via interview questions, an interview presentation, and the completion of a biological sciences workbook.

Find out more about the selection process.


Our MSc-GEN mental health nursing students are typically allocated to community, private, voluntary and independent, and acute placement settings.

Practice-based learning is a key part of the course and you will experience a range of placements, working with healthcare professionals in a variety of areas, spending 50% of your time in a clinical practice setting.

Practice experience mainly takes place across Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire, in a range of in-patient and community settings. These could include:

  • acute care and crisis support
  • mental healthcare of the older person 
  • forensic services, including secure hospitals
  • child and adolescent mental health services
  • substance misuse and addiction services
  • liaison psychiatry
  • mother and baby mental health services

The course has a 50/50 split in terms of time spent in study and practice placement. Your placement allows you to go to different areas to see another aspect of the patient journey. For example, you may be based on a hospital ward, but you will also experience a GP's surgery and the care outpatients receive in the community once they go home.

This holistic approach will give you a wider perspective and demonstrate some of the challenges that both patients and healthcare professionals face at various stages.

Year one

In the first year, you will take part in small cross field study groups.

The structure is as below:

Module one

  • ten weeks theory
  • five weeks hub placement
  • leave
  • five weeks theory

Module two

  • four weeks theory
  • four weeks spoke placement
  • final four weeks placement (this is assessed)
  • three weeks theory

Throughout the programme, you will receive clinical supervision preparing you for registered nursing practice. This supervision is integrated into the course structure from the first to last clinical placement.

Clinical skill development is an essential component of any nursing course. This will occur both in University and practice. Some clinical skills, for example hand washing, are assessed alongside other components of the course.

Typical clinical skills that will be covered include:

  • developing the therapeutic relationship
  • recovery planning
  • giving injections
  • cognitive behavioural techniques
  • administering of medication
  • coping strategies for hearing voices  

Once you have successfully completed the course you will be able to register with the Nursing and Midwifery Council as a mental health nurse.

Find out more about how you will learn and be assessed, including an example first-year timetable, on our teaching webpage

International and elective opportunities

During the second year of your course, you will have the opportunity to undertake a two-week elective placement.Students arrange their own elective placement, which can be in a local or national healthcare setting. Alternatively, students can arrange a placement overseas, provided the country is deemed safe to travel to and you are able to self-fund the trip.

Pre-registration students have previously undertaken placements in Australia, Barbados, Cape Verde, Germany, Ghana, Hong Kong, India, Ireland, Kenya, Malawi, Nepal, New Zealand, Philippines, Romania, Seychelles, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Thailand, Uganda and the USA. 

Elective placements could include working in areas as diverse as:

  • Internships at RCN
  • The Department of Health

As well as providing valuable experience, the elective placement also gives students the opportunity to experience a different field to the pathway they are studying. This helps students to develop their skills in caring for people with different health needs.

Mature applicants

We welcome applications from individuals irrespective of age, race, sexual orientation or background as the diversity this brings to nursing reflects the population you will be caring for as a registered nurse. We are experienced in providing advice relevant to your needs as a mature nursing student through our personal tutor and University support systems.

Find out more about studying at Nottingham as a mature student on the mature students' website. 

As a mature student I've had a lot of support and realised that there's a lot of people in the same boat as me - that don't live within the halls of residence at University, and that are around my age - so I've had a lot of peer support as well as the academic support. 

     - Gavin Hibberd-Smith, Graduate Entry Nursing




Full course details

Entry requirements

Students are required to have an honours degree (2:2 or above). Please note we will not accept nursing degrees.

Experience of healthcare or other relevant employment, and demonstration of the skills, knowledge and attitudes expected of graduates must be evidenced before a course place may be offered. Achievement of these requirements will be assessed via interview questions, an interview presentation, and the completion of a biological sciences workbook.

English language requirements

If your first language is not English, and you have not attained GCSE English at grade 4 or above, 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 7.5 (out of a possible 9)

Students who require extra support to meet the English language requirements for their academic course can attend a presessional course at the Centre for English Language Education (CELE) to prepare for their future studies. 

Students who pass at the required level can progress directly to their academic programme without needing to retake IELTS.

Please visit the CELE webpages for more information.

For details of other English language tests and qualifications we accept, please see our entry requirements page.


Flexible admissions policy

In recognition of our applicants' varied experience and educational pathways, the University of Nottingham employs a flexible admissions policy. We consider applicants' circumstances and broader achievements as part of the assessment process, but do not vary the offer from the grades advertised as a result of these. Please see the University's admissions policies and procedures for more information.

Notes for applicants

Entry qualifications should be regulated (see find a regulated qualification) and overseas qualifications are accepted at our discretion after discussion with the University of Nottingham's International Office. Distance learning programmes may be accepted if a recognised regulated qualification is awarded.

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 the selection day, satisfactory health screening, and Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) clearance. 

You can find out more information on our Advice for Nursing Applicants webpage. 

International students

We welcome applications from international applicants who meet our entry requirements. Please visit our international applicants page where you can find more information or make an enquiry.



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 (NMC) policies and procedures.

On completion of all seven modules, students will be eligible to register as a qualified mental health nurse with the NMC.

Typical year two modules
Nursing Science and Professional Knowledge
This module aims to introduce students to the concept of nursing, including values based practice, accountable practice, duty of care, legislative and ethical frameworks, and equality and diversity. Additionally the module will enable students to explore important aspects of biosciences that inform safe and effective person centred nursing care. Students will be encouraged to link theory and practice through the use of clinical skills, Enquiry-Based Learning (EBL) case studies and integration with their professional practice experience.
Co-production of care

This module aims to introduce the students to the concept of co-produced care, which requires nurses to become facilitators of care. Patient/client centred nursing is at the heart of co-production and acknowledges the patient as an expert in their own care. Students will gain an understanding of evidence based approaches to patient/client centred care and how these can assist in the decision making process to encompass nurse assessment, interventions and safeguarding vulnerable people.

Important to coproduction is underpinning knowledge and skills and this module will provide further opportunities for students to develop knowledge of pathophysiological processes to explore the management of disease processes across the lifespan as well as demonstrating an understanding of pharmacology, pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics.

Psychosocial influences on health
This module aims to enable students to explore the implications of psychosocial influences on health and well-being for people across the age spectrum. This will contribute to their nursing practice by facilitating the students to assess health and health care needs, appraise health promotion interventions and facilitate choice and partnership working through the use of appropriate communication and interpersonal skills. In addition the student will consider adjustments which may be needed where an individual has a cognitive impairment.
Complex care delivery
This module aims to provide students with the knowledge and skills to manage patients/clients requiring complex care as a result of multiple health problems and complex conditions. This module will integrate professional, biological science and pharmacological knowledge with the mental, physical, cognitive, behavioural, social and spiritual health needs in order to deliver effective, evidence based complex care.
Typical year three modules
Advanced clinical learning - mental health field
This module aims 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.
Leadership and Innovation for Nursing
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.
This module aims to provide students with the opportunity to explore the concepts of the research process and determine how research findings can be utilised to improve practice. This is with the view to completing, under supervision, an empirical or literature based research dissertation.

The above is a sample of the typical modules that we offer but is not intended to be construed and/or relied upon as a definitive list of the modules that will be available in any given year. Due to the passage of time between commencement of the course and subsequent years of the course, modules may change due to developments in the curriculum and information is provided for indicative purposes only.


Fees and funding

Eligible full-time students starting our Graduate Entry Nursing (GEN) course will qualify for the same fee loan and living costs support as undergraduate students starting full-time higher education courses in 2019/20.

If you take out a tuition fee loan, this will be paid direct to the University for your tuition fee. You may also be able to access a loan for living costs with both elements repaid as a proportion of your income above a threshold (currently 9% above £25,000) to the Student Loans Company and any outstanding amount written off after 30 years. In addition, as you will be accessing funding in the same way as undergraduates and depending on your individual circumstances, you may be eligible for other funds from the government and the University of Nottingham.

As the living cost funding is generally higher than previous funding from the NHS, you should be better able to concentrate on your studies and become a highly effective and compassionate nurse with excellent career opportunities because you have studied at a Russell Group University.


Careers and professional development

We are ranked 5th in the UK and 27th in the world for nursing by the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2019. Our graduates benefit from both an academic qualification and a professional qualification that serves to enhance their employment opportunities.

Nursing graduates enjoy careers in a diverse range of settings, including both the NHS and the private, voluntary and independent sector, either locally or further afield. Mental health nurses are the largest group of staff working in mental health services and you may choose to pursue a career in clinical care, teaching and research, or management. You can also continue studying with the University of Nottingham whilst in employment with our postgraduate and doctoral studies

Find out more about the range of nursing careers.

For details of typical employment opportunities, check the RCN Bulletin and NHS Jobs website. 

Professional recognition  

This course is recognised 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 £23,023 up to £29,608*. 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 £28,050-£36,644) and Band 7 Specialist Nurse (salary range £33,222-£43,041)*.

In 2017, 100% of postgraduates from the School of Health Sciences who were available for employment had secured work or further study within six months of graduation.

*Correct as of June 2018.

**Based on known destinations of full-time home postgraduates who were available for work or study, 2016/17. Salaries are calculated based on the median of those in full-time paid employment within the UK.

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 your career. 

Throughout your time with us, our Careers and Employability Service can work with you to improve your employability skills by:  

  • assisting with job or course applications
  • searching for appropriate work experience placements
  • 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 University of Nottingham is the best university in the UK for graduate employment, according to the 2017 The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide. 


Related courses and downloads


This online prospectus has been drafted in advance of the academic year to which it applies. Every effort has been made to ensure that the information is accurate at the time of publishing, but changes (for example to course content) are likely to occur given the interval between publishing and commencement of the course. It is therefore very important to check this website for any updates before you apply for the course where there has been an interval between you reading this website and applying.

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