Nursing - Mental Health BSc (Hons)

Full-time undergraduate (3 years)

Chelmsford, Cambridge

September, January

January start available in Chelmsford.


Empower and support patients in their journey to recovery. Join our full-time, NMC-validated Mental Health Nursing degree course, and develop practical skills and knowledge with a range of clinical placements. Study in our cutting-edge skill laboratories in Cambridge or Chelmsford, and become a part of our nurturing nursing community. When you graduate, you’ll be ready to start your career as a registered mental health nurse.

Full description


We work with employers to make sure you graduate with the knowledge, skills and abilities they need. They help us review what we teach and how we teach it – and they offer hands-on, practical opportunities to learn through work-based projects, internships or placements.

On successful completion of your course, you will be able to register and practise as a mental health nurse. This is because our course meets the standards set by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC).

You’ll graduate with the confidence you need to work in this challenging but rewarding field. Besides the necessary clinical expertise, you will have developed your people skills and be an effective team member. As a registered mental health nurse, you could work in the community or a hospital. You might choose a role in acute in-patient care, assertive outreach, home treatment, early intervention, or a community mental health team. Find out more about our graduates' careers by reading their employability case studies.

Modules & assessment

Year one, core modules

  • Fundamentals Knowledge and Skills for Nursing
    This first theory / practice module aims to provide you with the knowledge and skills required to deliver fundamental and safe care. You will reflect on patient safety, the NMC Code (2015) and NHS Constitution values. An introduction to human anatomy and physiology and to the prevention of ill-health and promotion of healthy behaviours will prepare you to recognise the nurse’s role in public health. Mental illness and recovery and common mental health problems and diagnoses will be studied and conditions such as dementia will be explored. You will also be introduced to leadership skills, study skills, communication and interpersonal skills. Finally, fundamental skills of hygiene, infection control, nutrition, fluid management and medicines management awareness will be provided in skills based sessions.
  • Professional Knowledge and Values for Nursing Practice
    Professional and NHS Constitution values will be explored from a range of perspectives. Person-centred care will be addressed through the exploration of patient autonomy and patients’ rights. The concepts of advocacy, raising concerns and candour will provide you with an understanding of the legal and ethical parameters that support the delivery of safe care. The module builds on knowledge of bioscience and clinical skills to further enhance delivery of safe fundamental care. Communication skills are also considered across a range of service user groups including those with sensory impairment, learning difficulties and dementia. Key themes include professional values, multi-cultural needs, recognising and raising concerns as well as safety in drug administration.
  • Medicines Calculations for Safe Practice 1
    A professional requirement of the course is that you become proficient in medicine calculations. Each year, you will undertake an online medicine calculations module which offers the opportunity for unlimited practice related to a variety of medicine calculations. When you take your exam in your first year, you will be required to get a pass rate of 80%.

Year two, core modules

  • Values and Engagement in Mental Health Nursing
    This module will explore the nature of mental illness and mental health nursing practice within a biopsychosocial, cultural and historical context. You will identify and explore both the purpose and process of assessment with people using mental health services. Quality assessment requires practitioners to be knowledgeable, skilful and able to recognise, communicate and respond competently, with care and compassion. You will be encouraged to use local and national policies, guidance and directives to guide your studies. The module intends to challenge your pre-existing values, beliefs and opinions and aims to facilitate the development of core principles that support a philosophy of recovery led and service user focused care across the lifespan.
  • Therapeutic Interventions in Mental Health Nursing
    This module encourages the acquisition of skills and knowledge around therapeutic engagement and interventions within mental health care. The spectrum of interventions ranging from prevention, to treatments, to continuing development will be examined. You will analyse how socially inclusive practice and focusing on the promotion of dignity influences participation and the result of interventions. Subjective and objective appraisals will be included to illustrate perceptions and measurements of intervention outcome. This will help you understand the function of transparent clinical actions and will provide vital consideration for your future practice.
  • Medicines Calculations for Safe Practice 2
    A professional requirement of the course is that you become proficient in medicine calculations. Each year, you will undertake an online medicine calculations module which offers the opportunity for unlimited practice related to a variety of medicine calculations. When you take your exam in your second year, you will be required to get a pass rate of 90%.

Year three, core modules

  • Leadership and Decision Making in Nursing
    This module will enable you to enhance your leadership, peer coaching and decision making skills. You will develop a varied and flexible repertoire of skills to be able to work effectively within multi-disciplinary teams, in the often challenging environments encountered in modern clinical practice. Development of key management skills of assertiveness, delegation and coaching will be provided as well as tools for resilience to withstand the stresses and pressures of practice. You will be equipped to make a successful transition to registered nurse and to generate positive change in delivering high quality patient care.
  • Promoting Quality in Health Care
    Understanding and applying concepts of quality assurance, clinical governance, standard setting and the role of audit in maintaining standards will be key drivers in this module. Risk assessment and management are equally as important in supporting patient safety and you will have the opportunity to consider how patient safety may be enhanced through an exploration of human factors and system design. All practice will take place in Adult Nursing settings to ensure that you develop and apply these skills to you own field of nursing. During the final practice placement, you will be expected to negotiate an area for service improvement to enhance the patient experience.
  • Medicines Calculations for Safe Practice 3
    A professional requirement of the course is that you become proficient in medicine calculations. Each year, you will undertake an online medicine calculations module which offers the opportunity for unlimited practice related to a variety of medicine calculations. When you take your exam in your final year, you will be required to get a pass rate of 100%.

The above modules will be changing for September 2020 in line with the new NMC standards for nursing degrees


We use a range of methods to help ensure you are making the right level of progress during the course. Besides exams, they include essays, presentations, care studies and practice assessment.

Where you'll study

Your faculty

The Faculty of Health, Education, Medicine and Social Care is the largest in ARU, with over 7,000 students. Our Faculty is teeming with expertise and primed to meet the demand for creating health professionals, teachers, doctors, scientists and educators for the three districts we serve: Chelmsford, Cambridge and Peterborough.

We have been training undergraduates for professional roles for over 25 years, with a reputation for quality, dedication and ambition balanced with student satisfaction.

We know that to give our students the very best experiential learning, prior to getting into the workplace, simulation is second to none, for safe, realistic, learning environments. We have invested heavily in purpose built simulated wards, science labs and skills space, to support our students through their learning.

Where can I study?

Tindal Building on our Chelmsford campus

Our striking, modern campus sits by the riverside in Chelmsford's University and Innovation Quarter.

Explore our Chelmsford campus

Lord Ashcroft Building on our Cambridge campus

Our campus is close to the centre of Cambridge, often described as the perfect student city.

Explore our Cambridge campus

Culture and diversity is therefore integral in our BSc (Hons) Mental Health Nursing program, where we uphold and explore the NHS values in a variety of settings. We along with our partner institutions and NHS Trusts embrace diversity and equality as well as your spiritual needs. We will encourage you to observe the essential practices associated with your particular faith. This includes, prayer, dress, and the carrying or wearing of spiritual symbols.

In order to protect patient, uniforms have to respect all NHS Trust policies related to infection control, health and safety and the NMC code. If you are worried that the dress code may impact on your spiritual beliefs do not hesitate to discuss this with your admissions tutor who will advise you.

Fees & funding

Course fees

UK & EU students starting 2020/21 (per year)


Fee information

For more information about tuition fees, including the UK Government's commitment to EU students, please see our UK/EU funding pages

Additional Costs

  • Cost of Disclosure and Barring Services check
  • Travel expenses to placements
  • Books
  • An electronic tablet is required to access course content and undertake assessment in the practice setting
  • Sensible shoes (as per uniform policy) and fob watch
  • Printing
  • Cost of international placement experience (This is an optional experience).

How do I pay my fees?

You can pay your fees in the following ways.

Tuition fee loan

You can take out a tuition fee loan, which you won’t need to start repaying until after your graduate. Or alternatively, there's the option to pay your fees upfront.

Loans and fee payments


We offer a fantastic range of ARU scholarships, which provide extra financial support while you’re at university. Some of these cover all or part of your tuition fees.

Explore ARU scholarships

Funding for UK & EU students

Most new undergraduate students can apply for government funding to support their studies and university life. This includes Tuition Fee Loans and Maintenance Loans. There are additional grants available for specific groups of students, such as those with disabilities or dependants.

From September 2020, nursing, midwifery, operating department practitioner (ODP) and paramedic science students will receive funding of at least £5,000 a year to help with living costs. Some students may be eligible for more, and this money does not have to be repaid.

Entry requirements

Loading... Entry requirements are not currently available, please try again later.

From the above information we will calculate requirements for Scottish/Irish Highers, International, European and Welsh Baccalaureate equivalents so that they are all equitable. We will also accept tariff points from other qualifications on the UCAS tariff such as the Cambridge Pre-U (subject requirements will be assumed to be the same as for A Level).


All applications must go via UCAS. We accept applications between September and 15 January for the following intake year. Late applications will be considered if places are available. 

International applicants

Due to restrictions in the availability of placements in the NHS (UK National Health Service) we are unable to consider applications from international students unless you have, and can produce evidence of, 'Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK' (or equivalent) and have lived in the UK for three years or more for reasons other than education prior to the course. EEA nationals are welcome to apply.


If your application is shortlisted you'll be invited to attend an interview at our University. This will comprise of a talk about the course, a lecture and three mini multiple interviews (MMI). You'll be expected to send scanned copies of your original educational certificates and ID documentation prior to interview and bring the originals to the interview day.

The Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS)

An enhanced level Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) disclosure is a check with police forces and local authorities in the UK to ascertain whether or not you are suitable to work with certain groups of vulnerable people. These checks are required to be carried out on all prospective students to ensure the safety of our client group.
Further information on DBS disclosure will be sent at a later date if you are successful and firmly accept your place at ARU.

DBS re-checks: As a nursing student on the BSc Honours degree you will be required to undergo DBS screening each year.

Important additional notes

Our published entry requirements are a guide only and our decision will be based on your overall suitability for the course as well as whether you meet the minimum entry requirements. Other equivalent qualifications may be accepted for entry to this course, please email for further information.

We don't accept AS level qualifications on their own for entry to our undergraduate degree courses. However for some degree courses a small number of tariff points from AS levels are accepted as long as they're combined with tariff points from A levels or other equivalent level 3 qualifications in other subjects.

Similar courses that may interest you

Nursing - Adult

Full-time undergraduate (3 years)

Chelmsford, Peterborough (Guild House), Cambridge

September, January

Nursing - Child

Full-time undergraduate (3 years)

Cambridge, Chelmsford



Full-time undergraduate (3 years)

Chelmsford, Peterborough (Guild House), Cambridge


Apply now

UK and EU students

Apply through UCAS

UCAScode: B760

Apply via UCAS

Get more information

UK & EU applicants

01245 68 68 68

Enquire online