Mental Health Nursing MSc

Why choose this course?

This course provides you with theoretical knowledge and practical experience needed to register as a mental health nurse with the Nursing and Midwifery Council.

Our partnership with the South West London Recovery College offers you the opportunity to learn from and with mental health service users.

Our mental health ward simulations have received Nursing Times Awards for 'Innovation in mental health teaching'.

You will have the opportunity to take a national or international elective module at the end of your first year.

Members of the academic team have edited and contributed to Core Texts including - Gault I et al. (2017) Communication in Nursing and Health Care and Chambers M (ed) (2017) Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing; The Craft of Caring.

NHS Training Grant 

Nursing students on pre-registration courses from September 2020 will receive a payment of at least £5,000 a year which they will not need to pay back, subject to eligibility criteria. For more information please visit the NHS Business Service Authority.

UCAS code Mode Duration Attendance Start date
B767 Full time 2 years Classroom based and clinical placements September 2022
Location Kingston Hill

Reasons to choose Kingston University

  • Kingston is No1. in London, and No.6 in the UK overall, for nursing and midwifery (Guardian University League Tables 2022).
  • Kingston's partnership with the South West London Recovery College offers you the opportunity to learn from, and with, mental health practitioners and service users. You may access a range of placements.
  • Kingston's mental health ward simulations have won Nursing Times awards for innovation in mental health teaching.

What you will study

Mental health nursing is underpinned by the notion of 'recovery', and you work collaboratively with service users to build on their strengths and manage their problems to encourage the best quality of life.

The first year is divided into two parts. In part one you will undertake a bridging module introducing you to the foundations of nursing.

In part two you will look at the context of nursing within mental health. In your second year (part three) you will learn about the analysis and application of research and evidence base, the complexities of nursing at an individual and organisational level as well as preparing for your transition to registered nurse.

Year 1 modules (parts one and two)

Year 2 modules (part three)

Year 1 introduces the foundations of nursing and healthcare. You will study the role of the mental health nurse and the diverse needs and contexts of mental health service users.

Core modules

Foundations of life sciences for graduates

15 credits

This module is a core requirement for all students on the MSc Nursing course. It explores the foundations of human anatomy and physiology, including the body's systems, mechanisms for maintaining homeostasis, genomics and human development across the lifespan. Selected pathophysiology will be introduced in relation to commonly encountered health conditions and students will also begin to develop their knowledge of pharmacological concepts relating to nursing. This will provide students with key underpinning knowledge which will facilitate the exploration of person-centred assessment and care later in the programme.

Establishing the fundamentals of nursing care

30 credits

This module is a core requirement for all students on the MSc Nursing course. It introduces students to the fundamental principles of nursing and person-centred care, the determinants of health and well-being, compassionate communication and contemporary health policy. It enables the student to develop critical knowledge, skills and professional attitudes for the delivery of safe and effective person-centred care of individuals and their families or carers across a variety of settings. Students will begin to establish a sense of their nursing field identity but also that of other fields in order to promote effective interdisciplinary and integrated care.

Assessment and care process in mental health nursing

30 credits

This module focuses on knowledge and skills necessary to deliver safe and competent practice and recovery focused care. It will focus on assessment and implementing and evaluating critically a range of evidence-based care interventions within a variety of mental health settings. Students will have the opportunity to develop, practise and reflect critically upon their knowledge and skills of key evidence-based interventions designed to meet the holistic needs of service users and carers. Students will be able to explore the importance of measuring outcomes in care and evaluating the clinical effectiveness of their own performances through reflective practice.

Collaborative working for health and well-being in mental health nursing

30 credits

This module focuses on students developing critical knowledge of shared decision making and collaborative working with service users, families and carers to promote health and well-being. Students will critically consider the complexity of individual, social and service factors contributing to poorer physical health outcomes and inequalities experienced by people with serious and complex mental health needs. The module will support students to consider both co-productive and integrated models of care and support to promote parity of esteem.

Introduction to professional practice

15 credits

This module will prepare the student for their role in practice. The focus is to introduce a range of nursing procedures to enable students to provide skilled, evidence-based, person-centred care to people at any stage of life who may have a range of physical, mental, cognitive or behavioural health conditions. It is a generic module where all fields of nursing are engaged with core nursing procedures as identified by the NMC Standards of Proficiency for Registered Nurses (NMC, 2018).

Developing professional practice

30 credits

This module will develop the skills taught and practised in the introduction to professional practice in Year 1. Students will be able to assess, plan and rationalise the nursing care they provide for people in health and social care and community settings. The emphasis will be on holistic person-centred care covering physical, psychological, social and cultural care. It will look at evidence-based, person-centred care being delivered inter- and intra-disciplinary.

Year 2 examines the analysis and application of research and evidence and the complexities of nursing at individual and organisational levels. You will learn a range of psychological approaches used in clinical practice and prepare for your transition to registered nurse.

Core modules

Safe and effective quality care in mental health nursing

30 credits

This module will provide the mental health nursing student with the theoretical knowledge and skills required for their future role as a qualified mental health nurse when contributing to risk monitoring, quality care provision and optimised service improvements. The student will learn to manage and prioritise clinical actions, participate in clinical audit activities for quality and service improvements and learn to avoid compromising quality care using evidence-based knowledge and experience from practice. Regulations essential for maintaining safety at work and in different care environments will be covered. Students will learn about collaborative interdisciplinary working, whilst collectively developing effective improvement strategies. Some sessions will be shared across fields as they are core for all fields.

Coordinating the care of people with complex mental health care needs

30 credits

This module will provide the student with the underpinning knowledge and skills required for their future leadership role in providing, leading and coordinating care that is compassionate, evidence based and group/person-centred across a range of organisations and settings.

Experts from practice will be involved in the learning and teaching, supporting students through a range of complex case studies and current socio economical and workforce challenges. The student will build on their knowledge of partnership and collaborative working and examine the cultural, political, psychosocial and technological influences on nursing care, resource management and finances. It acknowledges that mental health nursing should take into consideration the individual's wishes, their culture and the services available within the current political landscape. It expands the students' consideration of the care environment and service provision, to provide enhanced co-ordinated care delivery. The student will explore current models of health care provision, based on practice experience, changes in political, economic, technological and social environments. The student will build on their knowledge of partnership and collaborative working and examine the cultural, political, psychosocial and technological influences on nursing care, resource management and finances.

Leadership in mental health nursing

30 credits

Navigating the transition from student to a professional practitioner who is skilled at leading teams is critically important to the delivery of safe, effective and high quality health care. This module is designed to prepare the mental health student for professional nursing practice by expanding their knowledge and skills to enable them to be an accountable and compassionate leader within the health and social care system. It focuses on leadership, team working, and performance management and enables mental health nursing students to reflect on their transition to registered practice and build the evidence base for a career development portfolio. Some sessions will be shared across fields as they are core for all fields.

Advancing professional practice

30 credits

This module advances the skills taught and practised in Year 1 in order to prepare students for their transition to working as a registered nurse. The module focuses on the assessment and management of patients with complex health care needs, working in partnership with other health care professionals. Students will integrate their clinical and communication skills with evidence based knowledge to become clinically proficient and confident nurses. It is a generic module where all fields of nursing learn with and from each other.

The information above reflects the currently intended course structure and module details. Updates may be made on an annual basis and revised details will be published through Programme Specifications ahead of each academic year. The regulations governing this course are available on our website. If we have insufficient numbers of students interested in an optional module, this may not be offered.

Entry requirements

Typical offer

  • A health- or science-related degree at 2.2 or above, completed in the last five years. Health and science-related degrees could include health studies, psychology, physiology, biology, social sciences, or related studies.
  • A minimum of 650 hours of health- or social-care related experience undertaken in the 12 months prior to your application. Applicants will be asked to complete an RPL (Recognition of Prior Learning) claim form to demonstrate this experience. This, along with a testimony, is a condition for entry to the programme.
  • You must have at least five GCSEs at grade 4 or above (or grade C or above for GCSEs taken before 2017), including English language and maths (and a science subject is preferred), or equivalent qualifications, together with evidence of academic study, ideally within the last five years.

UCAS personal statement

The UCAS personal statement must include:

  • how you have researched the profession of nursing;
  • examples of how you have worked with vulnerable people or worked in teams where you have developed skills which may be relevant to nursing;
  • how you have gained insight into the course e.g. open days, speaking to other people; and 
  • your personal qualities which you feel are related to nursing.

International

Non-native speakers who do not have the equivalent of GCSE English at grade 4 (formerly grade C) or an equivalent (e.g. Functional Skills Level 2 Literacy) require an Academic IELTS score of 7.0 or equivalent overall and at least 6.5 in the writing section and at least 7 in the reading, listening and speaking sections.

Country-specific information

You will find more information on country specific entry requirements in the International section of our website.

Find your country:

Additional requirements

  • All suitable applicants are required to attend an online interview. This includes a series of short value-based questions, tasks or scenarios.
  • Admission is subject to occupational health screening and Disclosure Barring Service (DBS) enhanced check including checks against the Adult and Child Workforce Barring lists if you are offered and accept a place on the course.

Covid-19 vaccination requirement

UPDATE 3 March 2022:

The Covid vaccine mandate for NHS staff in England that was due to come into effect on 1st April has been revoked by the Government. [https://questions-statements.parliament.uk/written-statements/detail/2022-03-01/hcws654] This means it is unlikely that vaccination will be a requirement to access placements on your course.

However, we are aware that some placement providers may still require their staff and students to be fully vaccinated for some clinical areas. It therefore remains our position to strongly recommend everyone eligible to be fully vaccinated for health and care courses.

You can book your vaccinations here.

You can read information about Coronavirus vaccines here.

The Nursing and Midwifery Council, General Pharmaceutical Council and Social Work England strongly encourage everyone eligible to be fully vaccinated as quickly as possible to keep yourselves and your community safe.

We will continue to update this page if there are any further changes.

Changes from 1 August 2022

This course is currently offered through a partnership with St George's, University of London, the Faculty of Health Social Care and Education. For students enrolling from 2022, the course will be delivered through a structure which is the sole responsibility of Kingston University. There will be no impact on the teaching or the award of the degree. Read here for further information about the changes.

Teaching and assessment

We offer a range of innovative and flexible approaches to teaching and learning which includes:

  • classroom based learning;
  • simulated practical exercises;
  • case based learning;
  • clinical placements;
  • self-directed learning;
  • individual and group working;
  • research; and
  • online resources.

Guided independent study (self-managed time)

When not attending timetabled sessions, you will be expected to continue learning independently through self-study. This typically will involve reading journal articles and books, working on individual and group projects, undertaking preparing coursework assignments and presentations, and preparing for exams. Your independent learning is supported by a range of excellent facilities including online resources, the library and CANVAS – the online virtual learning platform.

Support for postgraduate students

As a student at Kingston University, we will make sure you have access to appropriate advice regarding your academic development. You will also be able to use the University's support services

Your workload

Year 1 (part one and two)

Year 2 (part three)

Year 1 (part one and two)
  • Scheduled learning and teaching: 207 hours
  • Guided independent study (self-managed time): 812 hours
  • Placement learning including skills: 875 hours
Year 2 (part three)
  • Scheduled learning and teaching: 160 hours
  • Guided independent study (self-managed time): 630 hours
  • Placement learning including skills: 796 hours

Year 1

  • 57 % of your time is spent in timetabled teaching and learning activity (including placement learning).

Year 2

  • 60% of your time is spent in timetabled teaching and learning activity (including placement learning).

How you will be assessed

Assessment methods include; essays, exams, presentations and reports and clinical skills assessed in our simulation suites and by practice supervisors and practice assessors in practice placements.

The approximate percentage for how you will be assessed on this course is as follows:

Year 1

  • 40% coursework
  • 40% practical exams
  • 20% written exams

Year 2

  • 75% coursework
  • 25% practical exams

Feedback summary

We aim to provide feedback on assessments within 20 working days.

Who teaches this course?

Our academic team of highly skilled nurses, lecturers and researchers are known for innovation in teaching and learning. Our award winning simulation suites provide you with unrivalled opportunities to develop your skills in caring for patients, service users and children through highly realistic simulations and role play. You will also have opportunities to learn with and from other health and social care students. Postgraduate research students may also contribute to the teaching of guest seminars.

Course fees and funding

2022/23 fees for this course

Home 2022/23

  • MSc full time £9,250

International 2022/23

  • MSc full time £15,900

2021/22 fees for this course

Home 2021/22

  • MSc full time £9,250

International 2021/22

  • MSc full time £15,450

Funding

Full-time students qualify for the same fee loan and living costs support as undergraduate students starting full-time higher education courses by accessing loans from the Student Loans Company.

Visit our Fees and funding page to find out about the student funding options available to help you fund your postgraduate studies.

In addition, to support you while you are undertaking the clinical placement element of your studies, the government is providing non-repayable grants. The Learning Support Fund administered through the NHS Business Services Authority makes available: 

  • £1,000 Child Dependants' Allowance 

  • up to £3,000 for exceptional hardship 

  • reimbursement of additional travel and accommodation costs over normal daily travel to clinical placements. 

Information on NHS bursaries can be found on the NHS Business Services Authority website
 
Please note, you cannot apply for a pre-registration masters qualification in the same profession that you are already registered in, for example, if you hold a BSc Nursing in Adult Nursing, you are unable to complete an MSc Nursing in Mental Health. 

Discounts for Kingston University alumni

Kingston University is pleased to offer a 10% discount on full-time and part-time postgraduate degree course tuition fees (including PGCE courses) to our alumni. Visit our Alumni discount page to find out more.

International students

If you are an international student, find out more about scholarships and bursaries.

NHS Training Grant 

Nursing students on pre-registration courses from September 2020 will receive a payment of at least £5,000 a year which they will not need to pay back, subject to eligibility criteria. For more information please visit the NHS Business Service Authority.

Additional costs

Depending on the programme of study, there may be extra costs that are not covered by tuition fees which students will need to consider when planning their studies. Tuition fees cover the cost of your teaching, assessment and operating University facilities such as the library, access to shared IT equipment and other support services. Accommodation and living costs are not included in our fees. 

Where a course has additional expenses, we make every effort to highlight them. These may include optional field trips, materials (e.g. art, design, engineering), security checks such as DBS, uniforms, specialist clothing or professional memberships.

Textbooks

Our libraries are a valuable resource with an extensive collection of books and journals as well as first-class facilities and IT equipment. You may prefer to buy your own copy of key textbooks, this can cost between £50 and £250 per year.

Computer equipment

There are open-access networked computers available across the University, plus laptops available to loan. You may find it useful to have your own PC, laptop or tablet which you can use around campus and in halls of residence. Free WiFi is available on each of the campuses. You may wish to purchase your own computer, which can cost from £100 to £3,000 depending on your course requirements.

Photocopying and printing

In the majority of cases written coursework can be submitted online. There may be instances when you will be required to submit work in a printed format. Printing, binding and photocopying costs are not included in your tuition fees, this may cost up to £100 per year.

Uniform and equipment

We provide you with a uniform. You will need to purchase appropriate shoes (£20-£60) and a fob watch (£5-£20) for practice. If you want additional uniform items, they are available for purchase.

Travel

Travel costs are not included in your tuition fees but we do have a free intersite bus service which links the campuses, Surbiton train station, Kingston upon Thames train station, Norbiton train station and halls of residence.

Placements

Placement expenses for travel and accommodation may be reimbursed by NHS Bursaries where, for example, the requirement exceeds that of attending university; or requires additional accommodation to that of the usual term time location. These expenses may need to be covered initially by the student before any applicable reimbursement is received. Please note: EU and international students may not be eligible for support for travel and accommodation.

DBS check

The University pays for the processing of the application which is £51 but students are expected to pay a small fee (approximately £7) to the Post Office to get their ID documents verified and £13 per year for subscribing to the Update Service. This subscription allows universities and potential employers to view any changes to students' DBS.

Occupational health

You will need to fill out an Occupational Health Form. In some cases, we will require extra information and may ask you to get your GP to complete a routine screening form. All GPs have their own policies on charging fees for completion of these reports. The minimum fee recommended by the BMA is £30. Some GPs will not charge you for completion of the form but some GP surgeries are unable to make exceptions and will charge you the standard rate for their practice (in some cases this can be £50 or more). Neither the Faculty nor Occupational Health will be able to reimburse students for fees charged by their GP.

The majority of the required vaccinations should be free from your GP or via the NHS. Our Occupational Health Service will see you in the first two weeks of the course to ensure you have obtained the necessary vaccinations and will undertake any vaccinations/screening tests you have missed. Neither the Faculty nor Occupational Health will be able to reimburse students for any fees charged by their GP or other vaccination providers for vaccinations incurring a cost. If you are being charged for a vaccination we would suggest that you wait until you start the course where you will be able to obtain the vaccination at no cost to yourself.

Membership and professional fees

Professional body membership fees whilst on course are approximately £10. Nursing and Midwifery Council registration fees, once qualified, are currently £120 for the year.

Accreditation

This degree confers both an academic award and a professional qualification in nursing. On successful completion of the programme, you will be recommended to the Nursing and Midwifery Council for professional registration.

Facilities

Kingston University's Kingston Hill campus offers you modern facilities and include well-equipped laboratories where you can practise within a safe environment.

Our nursing students are taught by the Simulated Learning and Clinical Skills team within clinical, community and practice health settings.

Our Nursing Simulated Learning and Clinical Skills Centre facilities include a simulated ward area with a medication room, clinical classrooms, one of which has an immersion suite for fully immersive simulated learning scenarios in different settings. The areas are set up with an audio-visual system so skills and simulations can be recorded for group debrief and self-assessment.

Within our facilities, students take part in award-winning innovative simulations with role players and full body manikins that provide unprecedented opportunities to acquire, develop and maintain the knowledge, skills, values and behaviours needed for safe and effective patient care.

After you graduate

This course enables you to join as a registered nurse with the Nursing and Midwifery Council. You will be able to progress into a variety of nursing careers, from acute, community and specialist settings within the NHS or independent sector across the lifespan. This could include settings such as hospitals, GPs, community mental health nursing teams, prisons, drug and alcohol services, forensics, CAHMS, eating disorder units, private hospitals and third sector organisations.

After you graduate

What our students say

I decided to train to become a mental health nurse after being a support worker for deaf children with mental health difficulties. I hadn't been in an education environment for some time and, as a mature student, felt a little unsure about my academic ability.

Kingston University had lots of support networks in place ranging from maths help, to support with writing styles and money management. I found I was able to tap into lots of resources to help me through the study and learning process, helping me to grow as a person professionally and privately.

My placement during the final semester was a 15-week elective placement, which meant I could choose which nursing environment I wanted to experience. I'd been on placements in enduring mental health, liaison psychiatry, adult rehabilitation services, community mental health services and acute adult in-patient services, so this time I chose an area that specialised in child mental health. I felt I might want to work in this area when I qualified, and thought this would be a good chance to network with potential employers.

During the placement I sought to work hard, be professional and attend to the areas of my learning I felt I needed to improve. I did this with the help of my placement supervisor and liaison lecturer, who were both eager to support me.

By the time I sat my final exams, I'd already been offered two jobs. All I needed to do was to pass my exams and choose which job offer to accept, then I could start work as a registered mental health nurse. I feel it was good to start looking for jobs early on. It motivated me to work hard for my exams and made me feel more secure about what would be happening next.

The transition from being a student to a professional nurse wasn't too difficult. I'd accepted a job in the unit where I'd spent my final placement, so I knew how the unit ran and knew all of the patients and staff. My main focus was learning all the clinical responsibilities and mastering the paperwork.

Matthew Adlem, Mental Health Nursing graduate

Links with the health sector

You will undertake clinical practice in a variety of NHS and independent sector organisations so that you can experience the full range of nursing within your chosen branch programme. Clinical specialists lead a significant number of our theory sessions, with service users and carers providing extra input. 

Academic staff also liaise closely with NHS and independent sector organisations over learning and teaching, assessment and research. 

Our clinical partners include: 

Current research in this subject

Many of our staff in the Faculty of Health, Social Care and Education are research active, often in partnership with NHS trusts. This ensures they are in touch with the latest thinking and bring best practice to your studies.

  • Research themes and programmes include:
  • Integrated and collaborative working and learning;
  • Implementation and Improvement;
  • Emergency, cardiovascular and critical care;
  • Psychological and Cognitive Conditions;
  • Education