About the course
As many as one in three people in the UK have issues with their mental health at some stage of their life. Nurses who specialise in mental health, a complex and demanding area, work with GPs, psychiatrists, psychologists, and others, to help care for patients with mental illnesses.
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, to care about the people you are working with.
Unlike many of the older, traditional nursing schools, at Essex you receive a fresh, contemporary and relevant nurse education programme, integrated into a University that is one of the UK's top ten research institutions. You work with local organisations to ensure that you gain the best experience possible during your time with us, and studying alongside other health professionals means that you also have the opportunity to gain expert knowledge from them.
There are four main types of pre-registration nursing degree – child, learning disabilities, adult and mental health. At Essex we specialise in adult and mental health nursing courses at both undergraduate and Master’s level; 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.
Half of your studies will be spent working in clinical settings – for example, in a ward, a health centre or in client’s homes. You will be working alongside nurses as you practise and perfect your skills.
Placements are based in NHS, private and voluntary settings throughout Essex. Essex covers a large area (3,465 sq km /1,300 sq miles), so clinical placements will normally be allocated to one area for the whole of your course, either in the SE Essex, SW Essex, W Essex, Mid Essex or NE Essex areas. Given the size of the county, all of these areas may require some traveling to placement.
During your time in placement you will work shift patterns equivalent to a 37.5 hour week. This includes early shifts, late shifts, night shifts, weekend and bank holiday working.
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.
Our course has been designed for those who wish to learn the science and art of Nursing with a focus on mental health. This programme balances the study of the clinical skills of nursing with academic study at degree-level. Developed in consultation with nurses and service managers, it offers a modern approach to nursing in line with NHS aspirations for patient-centred care.
Successful completion of the programme leads to admission to the Professional Register maintained by the Nursing and Midwifery Council, as a “Registered Mental Health Nurse”, along with a BSc honours qualification.
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.
Your education extends beyond the university campus. We support you extending your education through offering you an additional year abroad at no extra cost for 2017 entry.
The four-year version of our degree allows you to spend the third year studying abroad while otherwise remaining identical to the three-year course. We have a broad range of partners in countries worldwide; destinations include Europe, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand!
Studying abroad will allow you to gain a fresh perspective on the world and its different healthcare systems. You will have first-hand insight into other cultures and develop independence, adaptability and cultural awareness; putting yourself in an advantageous position when entering the global market.
On admission to our four-year BSc Nursing course, you will be inducted onto the study abroad programme by our dedicated team who prepare you for your time abroad. Our Essex Abroad team are with you every step of the way, providing finance workshops, pre-departure support and contact during your time away.
Our expert staff
A unique feature of our School is that many of our staff work with local NHS Trusts and other local agencies, which enhances our grasp of the contemporary links between academic research, the major issues of the day and practice.
We specialise in applied, multidisciplinary research that addresses issues of national and international concern to health and social care policy and practice and related fields. We also host the NIHR Research Design Service for the East of England.
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 in both our Colchester and Southend campuses. We offer excellent physical and online resources in terms of libraries, computer labs, datasets, archives and other research materials.
Successful completion of our BSc Nursing (Mental Health) Work-Based Learning, leads to eligibility to apply for registration with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) on the Professional Register as a “Registered Mental Health Nurse” allowing you to practise as a nurse in the UK.
UK entry requirements
GCSE: Mathematics and English Language C
BTEC Extended Diploma: DDD (in relevant subject)
NHS Constitution and Values
As part of the selection process, students will be expected to demonstrate effective communication skills alongside good knowledge and a clear understanding of the scope of work that a 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 https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-nhs-constitution-for-england.
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
high school qualifications you have already completed or are currently taking.
English language requirements
English language requirements for applicants whose first language is not English: IELTS 7.0 overall, with a minimum of 7.0 in each component.
Other English language qualifications may be acceptable so please contact us for further details. If we accept the English component of an international qualification then it will be included in the information given about the academic levels listed above. Please note that date restrictions may apply to some English language qualifications
If you are an international student requiring a Tier 4 visa to study in the UK please see our immigration webpages for the latest Home Office guidance on English language qualifications.
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.