About this course
Help people to live as independently as possible with their mental health needs. On this master’s degree in Mental Health Nursing you’ll learn to make complex decisions, evaluate practice, coordinate care and advocate for your patients' needs.
You'll join a knowledgeable community with a global ranking for nursing and midwifery: 5th in the world and 2nd among UK universities (QS World Rankings by Subject 2022).
This 2 year master’s is designed for ambitious graduates and career changers who want to become a registered nurse. It's also ideal if you’re already a high achieving qualified nurse and want a second field of registration.
The course prepares you to pursue senior healthcare roles. It also provides a solid foundation for higher level academic study.
You'll carry out a mix of theoretical learning and practice hours which meet the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) requirements for registration as a nurse. Practice learning takes the form of placements in a range of acute and community care settings.
You’ll gain essential practical experience during the placements to help you develop into the role of a nursing professional.
Your taught theoretical modules cover:
- professional nursing practice
- fundamental aspects of care
- global and public health
- person centred nursing care
- managing acute changes in health status
- coordinating long-term care
- influencing innovation and change
- research methods / research project
Developing critical thinking, reasoning and analytical skills are a big focus of the course. You'll improve your leadership skills so that you can supervise, delegate and challenge practice in the future.
When you complete the degree you’ll be eligible to register with the NMC as a Registered Nurse (Mental Health). You must apply to register within 5 years of completing your course.
Unsure whether to apply for a master's degree or a PGDip? Visit the Entry requirements section to learn more about our Recognition of Prior Learning scheme.
Dr Eloise Monger is a Lecturer in Nursing, a Registered General Nurse and Registered Nurse Teacher. She is an internationally recognised nurse educationalist with expertise in clinical skills and simulation, and has an extensive clinical background in intensive care nursing. Her research focuses on the use of technology in health care. She was the first nurse to be awarded a PhD affiliated to the Institute of Web Science. Visit Dr Monger's profile page to learn more about her research work.
Learn more about this subject area
This course is based at Highfield.
This qualification is awarded by the University of Southampton.
Download the Course Description Document
The Course Description Document details your course overview, your course structure and how your course is taught and assessed.
You’ll need a 2.1 degree as well as GCSE English language, mathematics and science, grades 4 to 9 or A* to C.
Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)
Our pre-registration postgraduate diplomas and master’s degrees in nursing are accelerated courses, so they're shorter than usual.
To make sure we meet the requirements of the NMC, we must assess your previous learning and healthcare experience. This happens as part of our Recognition of Prior Learning scheme which recognises elements of your previous academic and practice learning.
To be considered for the master’s degree you must submit:
- 325 hours of relevant theoretical learning from your first degree or employment
- 675 hours of practice worked in a healthcare environment under the supervision of a registered healthcare professional
To be considered for the postgraduate diploma you must submit evidence of:
- 990 hours of relevant theoretical learning from your first degree or employment
- 110 hours of practice worked in a healthcare environment under the supervision of a registered healthcare professional
You can still apply for the PGDip without any practice experience. We offer an option to complete these hours during the first 8 months of the course.
Your RPL submission must be made directly to the University. Our admissions team will guide you through this process and explain how to prepare your portfolio of evidence.
English language requirements
If English isn't your first language, you'll need to complete an International English Language Testing System (IELTS) to demonstrate your competence in English. You'll need all of the following scores as a minimum:
IELTS score requirements
- overall score
We accept other English language tests. Find out which English language tests we accept.
Got a question?
Please contact us if you're not sure you have the right experience or qualifications to get onto this course.
Tel: +44(0)23 8059 5000
You must pass every module and there are no optional modules to choose from. Your modules include a mix of theoretical learning and 2,300 hours of practice learning.
In your first year you'll gain skills in providing person centred care to meet the basic physical and mental health needs of people of all ages.
In your second year you’ll develop specialist skills in managing and coordinating the care of people experiencing challenges to their mental health. You’ll prepare for your leadership role as a registered nurse within the workforce.
You'll also need to complete an independent research project and dissertation. This takes place across the 2 academic years that you study the course.
This course is full-time so you must be available for study and practice placements.
If you’re a graduate nurse studying through RPL, you can complete the course in around 20 months.
Want more detail? See all the modules in the course.
For entry in Academic Year 2023 to 2024
Learning and assessment
You'll complete practice learning to gain the experience and skills needed to work as a registered nurse. Some of this will be in a simulated environment, but most will be in placements throughout your course.
You'll be an active member of a mental health nursing ‘Professional Practice Development Group’. This will support and refine what you learn and assess what you do and do not know.
Conference days are a forum for our professors to share the latest research with you. They provide opportunities for you to learn, build networks and experience a conference environment.
The University will set up your placements in a variety of hospital and community settings in local NHS Trusts and other healthcare providers.
Assessments on this nursing degree include essays, exams, projects, professional conversations and your dissertation.
We’ll assess your practical skills while you’re on placement and your practice mentor will record these.
Your assessment is designed to demonstrate your knowledge, understanding, competency and professional values.
You’ll need to pass both practice and theory components of the course. This means you cannot make up a lower score in one component with a higher score in another.
Timely and constructive feedback will develop your confidence and give you the support to work on learning needs, and get extra educational support.
We’ll assess each module to help you demonstrate that you’ve met the required learning outcomes.
Need SME guidance for a line on dissertation.
We’ll organise your practice placements and support your learning in practice working with your practice assessor.
You’ll be actively supported to identify where you may wish to work for your first post as a registered nurse.
We have a dedicated School Lead for Employability. As well as timetabled careers activities, we’ll invite you to attend the School's annual Health Sciences Careers Fair. You’ll meet potential employers and gain invaluable early careers advice about your options.
As a mental health nursing graduate from the University of Southampton, you’ll have the ideal platform to move into more senior positions. For example consultant nurse, leading a team or working in advanced clinical practice.
You could also opt to work in education to train and inspire future generations of nurses. Fast track opportunities for doctoral courses may be available, and you may also have the option to combine practice and research, or research and education. These are known in the profession as clinical academic careers.
Careers services at Southampton
We're a top 20 UK university for employability (QS Graduate Employability Rankings 2022). Our Careers, Employability and Student Enterprise team will support you throughout your time as a student and for up to 5 years after graduation. This support includes:
- work experience schemes
- CV/resume and interview skills workshops
- networking events
- careers fairs attended by top employers
- a wealth of volunteering opportunities
- study abroad and summer school opportunities
We have a thriving entrepreneurship culture. You'll be able to take advantage of:
Fees, costs and funding
Fees for each year of study:
- UK students pay £9,250
- Channel Island, Isle of Man and Irish students will be charged the same tuition fee as UK students
- This course is not normally available to other EU and international students
- If you are considering applying for this course you must be a resident of the UK, Channel Islands, Isle of Man or Ireland.
Paying tuition fees
- Tuition fees for this pre-registration postgraduate healthcare course are paid in the same manner as undergraduate tuition fees.
- Additionally, to support living costs, eligible (UK) students may be eligible for a Student Finance maintenance loan; also a £5,000 NHS Training Grant of £5,000 per academic year.
Fees for a year's study:
- UK students pay £9,250.
- This course is not available to EU and international students.
What your fees pay for
There will be extra costs for the following:
- suitable shoes for your practice placements
- your own fob watch
- your enhanced DBS certificate
- your professional registration fee (on graduation)
You may be able to claim some travel and accommodation expenses when you're working on placement.
If you're a UK resident, visit the NHS 'Financial Support at University' page to learn more about financial support for your living costs.
If you're a resident of Ireland you may be able to apply for financial support through the Student Universal Support Ireland scheme (SUSI).
Accommodation and living costs, such as travel and food, are not included in your tuition fees. Explore:
NHS Learning Support Fund
As a student on this course you may be entitled to help from the NHS Learning Support Fund.
This can include a training grant of £5,000 per academic year, parental support of £2,000 for students with at least one dependent child under 15 years, or under 17 years if registered with special educational needs, and help with travel and temporary accommodation costs for placements.
Find out more on the NHS Learning Support Fund website.
Other postgraduate funding options
A variety of additional funding options may be available to help you pay for your master’s study. Both from the University and other organisations.
How to apply
You must in the first instance apply for the PGDip in Mental Health Nursing. Applications are processed through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS). When you apply, you'll be taken to the UCAS website where you'll need to register an account to submit an application.
You’ll need to use the codes below:
- UCAS Course Code: 3110
- UCAS Institution Code: S27
Our admissions team will transfer you to the master’s degree once we receive the application from UCAS.
The deadline to apply for this course is Thursday 30 November 2024 via UCAS.
When you apply you’ll need to submit a personal statement explaining why you want to take the course.
You’ll need to include information about:
- your knowledge of the subject area
- how your personal values align with those of the nursing profession
- why you want to study a postgraduate qualification in this course
- how you intend to use your qualification
Your referee should relate to one of the following:
- academic studies in higher education completed in the last 3 years
- your current or most recent, main employer
Additional references may be requested later.
Your application must include your education achievements from age 16 to date including any you're currently completing. You must include your IELTS score (if you are a non-native English speaker). Without these, your application may be delayed.
What happens after you apply
You’ll be able to track your application through UCAS.
We will assess your application on the strength of your:
- personal values and how these might add to the profession
- previous and current academic achievements
- relevant experience and how this shapes your aspirations
- personal statement
- academic and/or employer reference(s)
If your application is shortlisted you’ll receive an email invitation from our admissions tutor to attend a selection event. The event involves an interview and your perspective on a video-based scenario. The invitation includes information on how to prepare and what to expect.
Unfortunately, due to number of applications we receive, we may not be able to give you specific feedback on your application if you are unsuccessful.
Equality and diversity
We treat and select everyone in line with our Equality and Diversity Statement.
Got a question?
Please contact us if you're not sure you have the right experience or qualifications to get onto this course.
Tel: +44(0)23 8059 5000
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