About the course
Do you have experience in a healthcare role? Are you a graduate who cares about people? If you are keen to become a health professional and want to shape the future of nursing, read on to find out how we can help you achieve these objectives.
As a mental health nurse, you focus on the therapeutic relationship with those with mental ill health, and with their families. You provide the support and treatment to meet their physical, psychological, social, mental and spiritual care needs. More than anything else, mental health nursing requires empathy and compassion, to care about the people you are working with.
You will receive a contemporary and relevant nurse education programme, integrated into a University that is one of the UK's top 10 research institutions. We specialise in applied, multidisciplinary research, and also host the NIHR Research Design Service for the East of England.
This course will enable you to enter into an exciting and diverse career where you can have a real impact. As we focus solely on adult nursing and mental health nursing, you can study with us knowing that you will graduate with the best possible training in your field. Communication skills are essential to set patients at ease under pressurised and sometimes difficult situations, as is the ability to assess, plan, implement and evaluate the care offered to each patient. Of course, as a nurse, it is important to look after your own well-being and you will be encouraged to explore how to cope with the challenges that this career can bring.
Our MSc Mental Health Nursing (pre-registration) is one several options for studying nursing within our School of Health and Human Sciences, all of which lead to eligibility to apply for registration with the Nursing and Midwifery Council and an associated academic award; for a full list of the courses available, and information on all of the routes into Nursing available at Essex including our Return to Practice course, please see our department pages.
In order to provide excellent clinical learning experiences for our students, we work in partnership with the NHS and with the independent health and social care sector across Essex to provide placement opportunities.
Whilst on placement you will have a mentor allocated to you, and contact with a member of the academic team linked to that placement. You will work with experienced nurses in a diverse range of clinical settings (primary and secondary care, public and private sectors, adult and the elderly, acute care and specialist services).
Whilst on placement you will have a mentor allocated to you, and contact with a member of the academic team linked to that placement.
You can choose to study this course at either our Colchester campus or
our Southend campus - and your placements will correspond to the campus you choose.
Colchester students will have placements in north Essex, while Southend students
will have placements in south Essex.
“The real-life practical element of this course was invaluable in relating the theoretical knowledge learnt in the classroom to actual work carried out by nursing staff. After I graduated, I successfully secured a position as a mental health nurse with my local NHS Trust, against nearly 50 other applicants. The experience and confidence I gained from my course really helped me secure this position.”
Paul Sykes, MSc Nursing (Mental Health) ’11, United Kingdom
Successful completion of the course will allow you to register as a qualified nurse with the Nursing and Midwifery Council.
NHS Constitution Values
We are committed to embedding the NHS Constitution Values (which are strongly reflected in our University values) into everything we do. They define the behaviours and expectations of all our staff and students, underpinning the work we do in the university, clinical arena and other workplaces.
We understand that not all of our students and staff are employed within the NHS, but these values uphold the underlying principles of excellent care as a standard and as such we expect that anyone who has any aspect of their work which ultimately cares for others, will aspire to uphold these values.
For us, involving not only our students but service users, experts by experience, carers and NHS/non NHS professionals in the creation and delivery of all programmes is vital.
The School of Health and Human Sciences is located at two sites; in the Kimmy Eldridge building at our Colchester campus and in the Gateway Building at our Southend campus.
We have purpose-built nursing skills labs at both our Colchester and Southend campuses.
Within our School of Health and Human Sciences, we have a range of specialist clinical laboratories and IT facilities to assist you with effective learning and the acquisition of new skills.
We offer excellent physical and online resources in terms of libraries, computer labs, datasets, archives and other research materials. You can take advantage of our links with the Institute of Social and Economic Research, which conducts large-scale survey projects, many for government, EU and other public agencies, and has its own library. The UK Data Archive is also based at our Colchester Campus and stores national research data.
Our first graduates qualified in 2006 and we already have graduates working in clinical and management positions in NHS trusts and independent hospitals and care organisations locally, around the UK and abroad. In addition previous graduates are also working in health research and nurse education.
Postgraduate study is the chance to take your education to the next level. These carefully selected modules will give you the chance to explore, question, and create powerful ideas. Picked to give you an extensive and in-depth education, they’ll equip you with the specialist knowledge, vital transferrable skills, and the confidence to make a genuine difference to the world around you.
There are four terms per year and the academic year is 46 weeks long. The programme introduces and develops the wide variety of mental health nursing skills. You will work with experienced nurses in a diverse range of clinical settings (primary and secondary care, public and private sectors, adult and the elderly, acute care and specialist services).
Alongside this experience, you are given the opportunity to rehearse practical skills in a safe environment. Attendance at all parts of the programme is compulsory and must be evidenced in order to register as a nurse.
We’re reactive, we’re pioneering, we never stand still, so modules might change from year to year in response to new developments and innovation. Those listed below show how a typical course might look, but more detail on course structure, including details of all optional modules, is available on our Programme Specification.
The aim of this module is to further advance your research and problem solving skills enabling you to carry out your own research in your future practice. This will involve the critical appraisal of research from a variety of sources to inform your own practice.
You will have the opportunity to build on your existing knowledge of research by exploring a variety of methodologies. This will prepare you for your second year of study when you will conduct your own original research project in an area of interest that is relevant to health care practice.
- Teaching staff include clinically qualified lecturers in adult and mental health nursing, physiotherapy and pharmacy, as well as health psychologists, medical sociologists, social policy, informatics and management specialists
- The multidisciplinary nature of our School and its rapid growth has fostered a dynamic and innovative learning environment
- Half of your study time is spent on the University campus and half working in clinical settings – for example, a ward, a health centre, in clients’ homes
- You are assessed through coursework, presentations, essays, case studies/portfolios, reflective accounts, OSCEs, examinations and direct observation of practice by the mentor in clinical settings
- You also conduct a research dissertation
UK entry requirements
Please be aware that we are not able to accept applications for deferred entry for this course.
Our applicants should have:
- A relevant honours degree, minimum classification: Lower Second Second (e.g. 2:2 in a life or social science such as biology- psychology, sociology, or sports science)
- Successful performance at interview, which includes an assessment of literacy and numeracy.
You must also have: two satisfactory references (including an academic reference and one work-based), a satisfactory Work Health Assessment/Occupational health check and enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service check (DBS formerly known as CRB) – both of these are organised by the University.
In order to gain entry to the programme you must demonstrate that you have both academic achievement and appropriate voluntary/occupational experience (see below “Successful sign-off of the APEL process”).
Successful sign off of the APEL process
The requirements for the practical part are 575 hours in a care type setting. The APEL form states: ‘An appropriate setting is one that enables you to demonstrate types of practice i.e. health care assistant or working with children or adults in another setting’. The requirements for the theory are 575 hours from the third year of your undergraduate but the criteria are quite broad.
Eligibility, Fees and Funding
Access is supported by Health Education East of England consequently the course is only available to applicants classified as ‘home’ or ‘EU’ students for tuition fee purposes. In addition, applicants must also be able to meet the NHS funding criteria that you can find in the Frequently Asked Questions on the NHS bursary website.
NHS Constitution and Values
As part of the selection process, you will be expected to demonstrate good knowledge and a clear understanding of the scope of work that an adult nurse is required to undertake as well as the significance of the NHS Constitution and its core values (you can find further information on these on the Health Education East of England website and the Gov.UK webpages.
Interviews will take place from November 2016 to July 2017 for the September 2017 intake. If you are selected for interview, you will be required to sit a literacy and numeracy test.
International and EU entry requirements
We accept a wide range of qualifications from applicants studying in the EU and other countries.
for further details about the qualifications we accept. Include information in your email about the
undergraduate qualification you have already completed or are currently taking.
English language requirements
IELTS 7.0 overall with a minimum component score of 7.0
If you do not meet our IELTS requirements then you may be able to complete a pre-sessional English pathway that enables you to start your course without retaking IELTS.