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.

Government Bursary

Nursing students on 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.

UCAS code Mode Duration Attendance Start date
B767 Full time 2 years Classroom based and clinical placements September 2020
Location Kingston Hill (for majority of the course) and St George's, University of London

Reasons to choose Kingston University

  • We are ranked No 1 in London for Nursing and Midwifery (Guardian University League Tables 2020).
  • 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 (part 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

Introduction to Nursing for Graduates

30 credits

This is a core module for all graduate students. It introduces you to nursing and enables you to develop skills and critical knowledge that will enable the application of safe delivery of care for an individual through person-centred care and the care model pathways.

Nursing Practice Part 1

30 credits

This module will be delivered in part one of the Masters nursing programme. The module prepares the novice student for their Practice Learning Opportunities in part one of the programme. The module focuses on the development of professional values and the delivery of safe, holistic compassionate care. It is a generic module where all fields of nursing are engaged with core essential skills as identified by the NMC Standards for Pre-Registration Nursing Education (NMC, 2010). The module is a bridge between theory and practice.

Collaborative Working in Mental Health

30 credits

This module focuses upon the knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary to work collaboratively with mental health service users. Content will centre on health promotion and physical health, including medication issues. The concept of shared decision making will underpin all interaction and intervention.

The Care Process in Mental Health Nursing

30 credits

This module focuses on the knowledge and skills necessary to deliver safe and competent practice in regards to implementing and evaluating a range of evidence-based care interventions within a variety of mental health settings. The module will give you the opportunity to develop and practice your knowledge and skills on a wide variety of key evidence-based interventions that are designed to meet the holistic needs of service users and carers. You will be able to explore the importance of measuring outcomes in care and evaluating the clinical effectiveness of their own performances through reflective practice.

Nursing Practice Part 2

30 credits

This module will be delivered in part two of the programme. The module prepares you for your Practice Learning Opportunity (PLO). It focuses on professional values, the delivery of safe compassionate care in partnership with the client. It is a generic module where all fields of nursing are engaged with essential skills as identified by the Standards for Pre-Registration Nursing Education (NMC, 2010). The module is a bridge between theory and practice.

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

Complexities of Mental Health Nursing

30 credits

This module will enable you to develop assessment, intervention skills and a critical appreciation of a range of client groups with complex needs. It will critically examine contemporary and future policy and practice provision, including specialist services and the complexity of multi-agency working in this area of health and social care.

Transition to Professional Practice in Mental Health Nursing

30 credits

This capstone module will enable you to reflect upon your personal and professional growth. It will draw on evidence of learning and development compiled throughout the programme. It will foster the development and application of leadership, management and team working concepts required for clinical practice. This module will enable you to reflect on the skills necessary to facilitate the transition to a Registered Mental Health Nurse.

Developing and Analysing Evidence-Based Practice

30 credits

This module is designed to enable you to further develop and consolidate your skills and knowledge regarding searching for, appraising, evaluating and applying evidence based practice to ensure a life-long focus on best care at all times for your particular patient/client group. The module will also enable you to systematically organise and make analytical and objective judgements on the reviewed evidence in your field-specific areas of practice.

Nursing Practice Part 3

30 credits

This module prepares you for your practice learning opportunities (PLO) and final sign-off placement. The module focuses on professional values, the delivery of safe compassionate care and the assessment and management of patients with complex health care needs. The module aims to develop your clinical competence and confidence prior to registration. It is a generic module where all fields of nursing are engaged with essential skills as identified by the Standards for Pre-Registration Nursing Education (NMC, 2010). The module is a bridge between theory and practice.

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 is preferred at 2.2 or above. 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.

Additional requirements

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.


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.

Interview and selection

  • All suitable applicants are required to attend an interview and selection day. 
  • Interviews will be undertaken by academic members of staff, service users and service-side colleagues using the multi-mini interview technique (MMIs). MMIs are value-based short structured interviews that assess some of the NHS key values and attributes required for the course and the nursing profession. These are similar in format to the OSCEs used to assess practice elements of the programme. Kingston and St George's were the first university to introduce MMIs for nursing, which have now been adopted widely across the country. Research has shown that the MMIs have a higher level of validity in the offer making process than traditional interview techniques. 
  • During the day, you will also have an informal assessment of your current digital literacy skills, which provides us with a baseline to develop your digital skills during the course.
  • Candidates called for interview will also be required to sit a literacy test in the form of an essay.
  • 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.

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

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 teaching: 178 hours
  • Guided independent study: 722 hours
  • Placement: 986 hours
Year 2 (part three)
  • Scheduled teaching: 158 hours
  • Guided independent study: 742 hours
  • Placement: 855 hours

Year 1

  • 9% of your time is spent in timetabled teaching and learning activity
  • 52% of your time will be spent in a clinical placement
  • 38% of your time will be spent in guided independent study

Year 2

  • 9% of your time is spent in timetabled teaching and learning activity
  • 49% of your time will be spent in a clinical placement
  • 42% of your time will be spent in guided independent study

Contact hours may vary depending on your modules

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

2020/21 fees for this course

Home and European Union 2020/21

  • MSc full time £9,250

Overseas (not EU) 2020/21

  • MSc full time £14,600

* These fees are annual and may increase in line with inflation each year subject to the results of the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF).


Full time students qualify for the same fee loan and living costs support as undergraduate students starting full-time higher education courses in 2019/20 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 per cent 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.

Government Student 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 Health Careers and The Funding Clinic


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.


Kingston University's unique partnership with St George's, University of London (SGUL), means that health and social care students can access the combined resources of both Kingston University and SGUL.

As a student on this course, you will be based mainly at the Kingston Hill campus and will use the St George's campus for working in the anatomy laboratory.

Kingston University's Kingston Hill campus

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

Our clinical skills laboratories house all the equipment needed to simulate clinical practice.

St George's, University of London campus

The St George's, University of London campus in Tooting is based alongside St George's University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, and offers you the specialist teaching environment of a medical school.

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