Nursing – Mental Health


mental health nursing courses
This course will develop you into a skilled, confident Mental Health Nurse, equipped to deliver relationship and recovery-focused nursing, while taking into account the rights of the patients and their carers.

The course will equip you with the skills to deal with a complex mix of mental health and social problems including clinical depression with substance misuse, criminal activity and homelessness, dementia, anxiety-based mental illnesses and panic disorders.

You will learn how to assess the impact of mental health problems on a person’s thoughts, emotions, behaviours, physical and social health, and deliver care that promotes recovery and self-management.

This course has one study option
Mode of Attendance
Mode of Study
Start Date
Course Length
Mode of Attendance
  • On Campus
Mode of Study
  • Full Time
Start Month
Course Length
3 years
Year 1

In first year you are introduced to the fundamentals of nursing. You will study modules relating to health and wellbeing and will learn essential concepts relevant to your chosen field of practice. You will explore values-based professional, compassionate and family-centred care and learn the skills to deliver safe nursing care.

Year 2

The themes of health, sciences, concepts of nursing, quality nursing care and essential skills are continued to a more complex level in year 2. You will develop your ability to apply theory to practice, exploring current health priorities while adopting a range of models and approaches relevant to the mental health discipline.


The final year is more integrated and focused on developing the knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary for you to work autonomously. Themes from years 1 and 2 are explored at a more complex level. You will also cover management, leadership and research within the mental healthcare environment.


Modules and delivery order may change for operational purposes. The University regularly reviews its courses. Course content and structure may change over time. See our course and module disclaimer for more information. 

Detailed module information

Your Nursing degree is taught over three years and each year has three semesters, with 45 weeks of the year either in University or on placement in health and social care settings.

In each year you will study six modules which are divided up throughout the year. This includes theory and practice modules which are distributed equally in terms of time.

All modules are cumulatively assessed and must be passed to progress through the course.

Activity Summary
  • Lectures - 220 students per group, 6 hours per week
  • Tutorial - 45 students per group, 6-12 hours per week
  • Practical class or workshop - 30 students per group, 6 hours per week
  • Placement / Work Based Learning - varies on placement, 37.5 hours per week
Independent Study

Self-study time is an important part of your success, including learning in practice settings. The course is delivered face-to-face in lectures and tutorials as well as online and you will be required to access and complete all elements. You will be considered an adult learner who needs strong organisation and self-direction skills.


A large percentage of the Lecturers who teach on this course are qualified Nurses themselves. They have a wide-range of experience from varied healthcare settings. They also have educational and research experience. The School has strong links with industry practice and some of the teaching will be undertaken by nursing and healthcare staff who work locally. We also have E-learning Advisors who support all our teaching and learning activities.


Typically students are assessed each year:

Year 1

  • 1 written exams, typically for 2.5 hours
  • 3 written assignments, including essays
  • 1 project output
  • 1 practical skills assessment

Year 2

  • 1 written exams, typically for 2.5 hours
  • 3 written assignments, including essays
  • 1 project output
  • 1 practical skills assessment

Year 3

  • 1 written exam, typically for 2.5 hours
  • 3 written assignments, including essays
  • 1 project output
  • 1 practical skills assessment

We aim to provide you with feedback within 20 working days of hand-in for all written exams, coursework and practical exams.


The Disability & Dyslexia Centre advises and supports students who disclose a sensory or mobility impairment, chronic medical condition, mental health issue, dyslexia and other specific learning differences. Applicants are encouraged to arrange a pre-entry visit to discuss any concerns and to view the facilities.



All undergraduate and postgraduate students, whether you are learning on-campus or by online distance learning, benefit from using our collaborative virtual learning environment, CampusMoodle. You will be provided with 24/7 online access to your learning material and resources, along with the ability to interact with your class members and tutors for discussion and support.



The Study Support Team provides training and support to all students in:

  • Academic writing
  • Study skills (note taking, exam techniques, time management, presentation)
  • Maths and statistics
  • English language
  • Information technology support


Library Support

The Library offers support for your course, including the books, eBooks, and journals you will need. We also offer online reading lists for many modules, workshops and drop-ins on searching skills and referencing, and much more.

University Library


Year 1 students: 2 placements

2 x 9 week placements at 37.5 hours per week.

Year 2 students: 3 placements

1 x 11 week, 1 x 9 week and 1 x 5 week (2 placements at 37.5 hours per week, and 1 at 30 hours per week).

Year 3 students: 2 placements

1 x 13 week and 1 x 12 week (both 37.5 hours per week).

You may be eligible for a bursary with some expenses depending on individual circumstances/ location.

The Student Placement and Support Manager will allocate placements throughout Grampian, Orkney and Shetland for all students.


Study Abroad

ERASMUS student exchange visits are offered in Year 3.

Also in Year 3 you can apply to visit a Healthcare setting in a European country including Finland, Norway, Italy, France, Belgium, Netherlands and Spain. This is for 12 weeks and is a fantastic opportunity to experience Healthcare in another country.


Job Prospects

Mental Health Nurses work with people of all ages and in a variety of environments both in the community, hospital and custodial settings. There are a number of specialist areas within this exciting field of nursing such as forensics, problematic substance use, eating disorders, elderly and child and adolescence mental health. Contemporary mental health nurses are part of multidisciplinary teams working alongside social workers, police, custodial officers, occupational therapists and midwives.


SQA Higher: CCC. Higher English and a science subject are recommended. English, Maths and a science subject are required at National 5 grade C or above if not held at Higher.

GCE A Level: CC. A Level English and a science subject are recommended. English, Maths and a science subject are required at GCSE grade 5/C or above if not held at A Level.

Irish Leaving Certificate Higher: H3H4H4. Higher English and a science subject are recommended. English, Maths and a science subject are required at grade O3 or above if not held at Higher.

IB Diploma: 24. Higher Level English and a science subject are recommended. English, Maths and a science subject are required at Standard Level grade 3 if not held at Higher.

Alternative Qualifications

We welcome applications from those with equivalent qualifications to those stated, including SVQs/NVQs, access programmes and overseas qualifications. Applications from students with non-standard qualifications or work experience will be considered on an individual basis.

Applicants from Partner Colleges

For Adult Nursing entry to Year 2 may be possible following completion of HNC Care and Administrative Practice from one of our partner FE Colleges.

English Language Requirements

All applicants whose first language is not English are required to have an Academic IELTS (International English Language Testing System) minimum score of 7.0 including 7.0 in all elements. Appropriate equivalents will be considered.

We accept a variety of in-country and secure English language tests, find out more:

English Language requirements

Our Pre-Sessional English Programme (PSP) is available for students who have not yet reached the required English level and those who would like to improve their language competency.

Pre-Sessional English Programme at RGU

Please note, some courses may require a higher standard of English than stated in this page. Contact for further information.


Rest of UK Students

  • £6,750 per academic year

Rest of UK Students

  • £8,240 per academic year

International Students

  • £13,670 per academic year
Additional Costs

The following course-related costs are not included in the course fees:

  • The cost of books that you may wish to purchase.
  • Costs associated with your placement / study abroad
  • Accommodation and living costs
  • Printing
  • Additional Cost for International Fee Paying Students
  • Approximately £65 for uniforms (including polo shirt for clinical skills)
  • Approximately £300 to £500 for occupational health checks. Actual cost will depend on the immunisations required
  • £52 for Protecting Vulnerable Group (PVG) check

Other Fees and Charges


For new intakes course fees are reviewed and published annually for each mode of delivery. Tuition fees are fixed for the duration of a course at the rate confirmed in the offer letter.  For further information see:


Student Funding

If you are a Scottish resident or EU national you are not liable to pay fees and should apply to SAAS for funding.

Student Awards Agency For Scotland (SAAS)

Students from other parts of the UK should visit the appropriate website:

Student Finance England

Student Finance Wales

Student Finance NI

Scholarships and Financial Awards

You may also qualify for a scholarship or financial award:


Have a question about the course? Get in touch with our Student Admissions Team and we'll do our best to help.

+44 (0) 1224 262728


Graduates are eligible to register as a Registered Nurse with a mark denoting their field of practice.

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Taking this course, you will have access to some of the world's best facilities. 

We've invested more than £100 million in the development of our campus, new facilities and new resources.

University Wide Facilities


UCAS Code: B760

We’ve got a few options for applying to our undergraduate courses for UK, EU and international applicants.

Applicants for first year entry will apply to other universities as well as to RGU through a single online Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) application.

Applicants from non-EU countries can apply direct to the University with our PDF form.