BSc (Hons) Nursing (Mental Health)


Nursing is a demanding but rewarding profession that focuses on the care of people. As a mental health nurse, your role is promoting and supporting a person’s recovery and enabling them to have more involvement and control over their condition.

This three-year mental health nursing degree combines theory and practice in an innovative way, to focus on the care of people with mental health problems across a wide range of healthcare settings.

Successful completion of this Mental Health Nursing degree will allow you entry to the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) Register as a qualified Mental Health Nurse. Currently, if you are a UK student, the fees for your nursing course will be paid by the Welsh Government. Follow Care Sciences on Twitter and Instagram.

As we have been unable to continue with face-to-face interviews this year due to restrictions posed by the COVID-19 outbreak, rescheduling interviews has meant that we’ve experienced delays in processing and reviewing applications and informing applicants if they’ve been successful or otherwise. Please bear with us while we process decisions – we will be in touch with you regarding your application as soon as possible. We hope that by the end of April, all students will have received a decision from us on their application. However, please be advised that if you applied after the 15th January UCAS deadline, there may be a further delay in a decision on your application. Thank you for your patience.


UCAS Code Study Mode
Duration Start Date Campus Campus Code
B704 Full-time 3 Years September Glyntaff A
UCAS Code Study Mode
Duration Start Date Campus Campus Code
Full-time 3 Years January Glyntaff A

This Mental Health Nursing degree will develop the knowledge and skills you need to work with people of all ages and backgrounds who have mental health problems. As well as the theoretical elements of the course, you’ll spend 50% of your time in a variety of clinical settings in health boards and in the private sector.

You will study a mixture of Generic and Mental Health nursing modules over three years. This means you will have the skills to provide a basic level of care to all groups and specialist care for mental health patients.

Year One: Mental Health Nursing Degree

  • Fundamentals of Care and Professional Practice – there are certain fundamental skills and values common to all fields of nursing practice. So in this module you will learn about what is meant by care, how to meet basic needs, professional codes, dignity and respect as well as skills such as manual handling, de-escalation and breakaway. Because these are all skills and knowledge that all nurses require this is a generic module where you learn with colleagues from all fields of nursing practice.

  • Introduction to Evidence-Based Practice – All nurses need to practise in ways that are shown to be effective but we need to understand how to demonstrate effectiveness. This is another generic module in which you will learn about how evidence can take different forms and how to judge for yourselves whether a piece of evidence about practice is useful.

  • Biopsychosocial Aspects of Health – Mental Health and Learning Disability nurses need to know how health and ill-health are not simply biological facts but are concerned with how we exist in our environments as human beings. Together with Learning Disability colleagues you will learn about various systems of the body and how they may influence the health of a person in biological, psychological and social way. So for example the kidney works biologically to filter the blood of a person and to produce urine but from a psychological and social perspective nurses need to understand the effects of incontinence on a person’s sense of self.

  • Mental Health Problems and Contemporary Society – Mental Health nurses need to understand what is meant by the various diagnoses that people are given. You will learn about how mental illnesses are categorised. There are different theories of causation that are important for you to know. You will also star to learn about treatment options.

  • Interpersonal Relationships in Mental Health Nursing – Communication is essential for Mental Health nurses in working with people. You will learn communication skills and learn about barriers to communication. You will consider different roles and relationships that may or may not be helpful in the nurse-patient relationship.

Year Two: Mental Health Nursing Degree

  • Developing Nursing Skills – All nurses need to develop their skills in delivering care for people. This is a generic module where you will learn about protection of vulnerable people, health promotion, assessment skills and principles of equality and rights.

  • Biopsychosocial Assessment and Planning of Care – In order to understand how to deliver care for people, Mental Health nurses have to be able to complete comprehensive assessments. This is a module in which you will learn about mental health assessment tools, Physical assessment, frameworks for assessment such as care and treatment planning (CTP) and the care programme approach (CPA) and how to turn an assessment into a plan of care.

  • Recovery and Social Inclusion – Being able to live a full life as you wish to live it is often more important for people than cure. You will learn about tools and approaches such as the Recovery Star and the Tidal Model. How to help people to manage their own problems is an important part of this module as is working with people’s strengths as much as with their weaknesses.

  • Specialist Groups in Mental Health – There are certain groups of people who receive the care of Mental Health nurses whose problems may be considered to require specialist skills. You will learn about Child and Adolescent Mental health Services (CAMHS) and be introduced to forensic and prison nursing. You will look at substance misuse and learn to develop risk assessment and management approaches.

Year Three: Mental Health Nursing

  • Leadership, Management and Professionalism in Practice – Nurse education aims to equip all students with the skills to be an effective registered nurse. In this generic module you will learn about management approaches. You will learn about decision-making skills and other aspects of personal and professional development.

  • Interventions and Helping Approaches in Mental Health Nursing – Mental Health nurses need to learn therapeutic skills to help people. You will learn some skills in cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), how to employ group work to help people, therapeutic approaches for people suffering from dementia as well as specialised interventions for adult survivors of sexual abuse and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

  • Mental Health Law and Ethics – Mental Health nurses need to understand the legal powers involved in the role and the ethical issues in caring for people. You will learn about the Mental Health Act and the Mental Capacity Act, the Mental Health Measure (Wales). You will also learn about how different ethical theories can be applied to common dilemmas in mental health care.

  • Psychopharmacology and Medication Management in Mental Health Nursing – Part of the role of a Mental Health nurse is to help people by using medication with them. It is important to understand the medication that we use. You will learn about how drugs work, how they interact with one another. You will also learn about consent and concordance and compliance along with the principles of medication management.


Each year of the mental health nursing degree lasts 42 weeks, and there’s an equal split between theory and practice, which is integrated throughout all our nursing courses. 

The academic year is split into three terms. In term one you will study in a 10-week block in University (theory) followed by an eight-week block in clinical practice. In term two through to term eight you will study six weeks of theory in University followed by six-week block in clinical practice. In term nine you will spend 12 weeks in clinical practice.

You’ll study with students from all fields and other professions, as well as having sessions specific to your field. There’s also the requirement to work with clients and patients from other fields, so you can care for patients with multiple and complex needs. 


You will be assessed using various methods. Whilst on placement you will be assigned a mentor who will assess your achievements of the Practice Learning Outcomes.

The theoretical component will involve written assignments, case studies, examinations, scenario based workbooks, a pharmacology workbook, development of a Wellness Recovery Action Plan, computer based medication dosage calculations and a clinically based reflective assignment. In your third year you will undertake a dissertation. The theoretical and placement components each account for 50% of your overall marks.


The University of South Wales is an NMC Approved Education Institution (AEI). Graduates from our nursing courses can apply to join the NMC professional register and start to practise in the UK.


Supervised placements are an integral part of your nurse training. These are in our partner health boards, as well as in the community and independent sector.You will be fully supported on clinical placements by a qualified nurse who acts as a mentor throughout your placement. When you are working with your mentor in clinical practice, you have to work the shift patterns of the clinical area to which you are allocated.

There is also an opportunity to study and practice abroad in a number of countries during the second year of your nurse training. This will enable you to gain an understanding of different health care systems.


As part of your mental health nursing degree, you will learn in our impressive health facilities. Our Clinical Simulation Centre replicates clinical environments for education and training. These include two, four-bedded bays to simulate a hospital setting, dedicated paediatric and maternity facilities, including a special care baby unit, an intensive care environment and an emergency department with a fully equipped ambulance simulator. There is also a two bedroom flat to simulate providing healthcare in a home environment.

The Centre is used for healthcare education and nurse training, dealing with everything from essential clinical skills to complex, multidisciplinary clinical scenarios. You’ll use the same equipment you will find in healthcare settings, and work on patient simulators that mimic the body’s reactions to illness, care and treatment.


Staff who teach on the mental health nursing degree come with a wide variety of clinical expertise in both hospital-based and community-based care, including substance misuse, general surgery and community psychiatric nursing, dementia, self harming, alcohol and drug misuse and forensic mental health nursing.

Nursing and midwifery students enjoy exceptional student support at USW. Our open door policy ensures that there is always someone on hand to assist you when a problem arises and this is something our students really appreciate.


Entry criteria below detail typical offers. Combinations of qualifications are acceptable and other qualifications not listed may also be acceptable.

Additional requirements include:

Two satisfactory references (one to be added to your UCAS application, and a second written reference to be printed out and brought to the interview).

An Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check on the Child & Adult Workforce and Child and Adult Barring Lists and subscription to the DBS Update Service (no offences are considered spent) and a satisfactory medical will be required once an offer has been made. We will contact you closer to your start date with details of how to obtain these.

Applications taken for only one branch of Nursing.

Applicants are required to attend an interview. You will have to demonstrate awareness of the role of nurses and show your commitment to the degree. All interviews take place at our Glyntaff Campus.

Please read this information for nursing applicants for further guidance on how you can meet the entry criteria and advice on the application, interview and decision-making process.

This nursing course is eligible under the Enhanced Learning Credits scheme for Ex-Armed Forces personnel. 

Unfortunately as this nursing course is funded by the NHS and students have to have placements in the local NHS Health Board we are unable to accept applications from overseas (Non EU) students.

Entry criteria below detail typical offers. Combinations of qualifications are acceptable and other qualifications not listed may also be acceptable.

Typical A-Level Offer

BBB to exclude General Studies


Typical Welsh BACC Offer

Grade B and BB at A Level to exclude General Studies




Typical BTEC Offer

BTEC Extended Diploma Distinction Distinction Merit

Typical IB Offer

Pass the International Baccalaureate Diploma with a minimum score of 32 include 17 at Higher Level to include 5 or above in Maths and English at standard level

Typical Access to HE Offer

Science/Maths/Health Care/Nursing Diploma. Must complete 60 credits overall with at least 45 at level 3 and 15 at Level 2. Of the 45 credits at level 3, you will need a minimum of 24 Distinctions, 18 Merits and 3 passes.

Additional Requirements

GCSEs: The University normally requires a minimum 5 GCSEs including Mathematics/Numeracy and English at Grade C or Grade 4 or above, or their equivalent, but consideration is given to individual circumstances.

Equivalent qualifications considered are Essential Skills Level Two in Communication and Application of Number, or Functional Skills Level Two in English and Maths. (Must be achieved within the last 3 years)


Full-time fees are per year. Once enrolled, the fee will remain at the same rate throughout the duration of your study on this course.

The places on this course are currently funded by the NHS Wales Bursary Scheme. To receive this funding, students will have to commit to working in Wales for two years after completing their nursing or midwifery degree. Any applicant wishing to self-fund should refer to the fees outlined below.

We recommend you read the bursary information on the NHS website and our own Nursing and Midwifery Fees and Funding FAQs before applying.

August 2020 - July 2021 Fees

  • Full-time UK and EU: TBC

  • Full-time International: TBC

Additional Costs

Students have access to a wide range of resources including textbooks, publications, and computers in the University’s library and via online resources. In most cases they are more than sufficient to complete a course of study. Where there are additional costs, either obligatory or optional, these are detailed below. Of course students may choose to purchase their own additional personal resources/tools over and above those listed to support their studies at their own expense. All stationery and printing costs are at a student’s own expense.

* Obligatory

Item Cost
DBS * £47.2
This fee includes £40 for the enhanced DBS certificate, the Post Office Administration fee and the online administration fee.
DBS Updating Service * £13
Subscription required for each year of the course for a yearly fee of £13. Please note the service has to be joined within 30 days of receipt of your enhanced DBS certificate.

UK and EU students

Apply via UCAS if you are a UK/EU residing applicant, applying for year 1 of a full-time undergraduate degree, Foundation Year, Foundation Degree or HND and you have not applied through UCAS before. If you are applying to study part-time, to top up your Foundation Degree or HND, or to transfer to USW from another institution, please apply directly

Read before you apply

Admissions statement

Our nursing degrees prepare you for the challenges of modern healthcare through the right mix of knowledge, skills and experience. The theory you learn in the classroom is reinforced by practical learning on campus and work- based learning. Employers are keen to recruit our nursing graduates because they know they are well-prepared, confident, competent and safe practitioners.

Once you’ve qualified from the Mental Health Nursing degree and registered with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) you could work anywhere in the UK or in some overseas countries. Our graduates find work as mental health nurses in a range of settings from NHS hospitals, private providers, community drug and alcohol team, community health centres, to educational, charitable and voluntary providers.