Undergraduate Course

BSc Nursing

(Mental Health)

BSc Nursing

Overview

The details
Nursing (Mental Health)
B760
October 2024
Full-time
3 years
Colchester Campus

There's never been a better time to train as a nurse! Not only is public appreciation for nurses growing, so is the funding. You can now apply for a £5000 grant that you won't need to pay back! Mental Health Nursing has been confirmed as a shortage group which means you will be eligible to apply for an additional £1000. There is also an extra £3000 funding available depending on your personal circumstances.

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. 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.

The School of Health and Social Care is proud to work closely with our Service User Reference Group (SURG). SURG is made up of service users, carers, and volunteers who generously share their first-hand experiences of health and social care. We work collaboratively with SURG to design our courses to ensure that we truly are putting the needs of patients and clients at the heart of what we do. SURG are involved as part of our course application processes and often form part of our interview panels. This helps us to be confident that we are selecting the right applicants for the course and their future careers. SURG members also support the delivery of our teaching sessions and research activity, which means you'll benefit from an insight into their lived experiences of living with a diagnosis, health condition, or circumstance. You'll find that not only does your clinical knowledge expand, but your empathy, compassion and ability to advocate develops also.

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, as well as offering apprenticeships for those already in employment in a healthcare setting and CPD courses for those who already have professional registration. For a full list of our undergraduate and research nursing courses, take a look at our subject pages.

The cost of required uniform will be fully covered by the school.

Location

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.

Whilst this course is offered at both our Southend and Colchester campuses, we recommend that you consider which location would suit you best and apply for that campus. If you apply to multiple campuses, you will only have one interview and your chances of being offered a place will be the same as if you had only applied to one campus.

If you wish to change campus at any point during the admissions process then please contact your Admissions Adviser who will do their best to accommodate your preference. Changing campus is subject to availability.

Placement opportunities

Practice placements

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 travelling to placement.

During your time in placement you will work shift patterns equivalent to approximately a 37.5 hour week. This includes early shifts, late shifts, night shifts, weekend and bank holiday working.

Study abroad

Your education extends beyond the university campus. We support you in expanding your education through offering the opportunity to spend a year or a term studying abroad at one of our partner universities. The four-year version of our degree allows you to spend the third year abroad or employed on a placement abroad, while otherwise remaining identical to the three-year course.

Studying abroad allows you to experience other cultures and languages, to broaden your degree socially and academically, and to demonstrate to employers that you are mature, adaptable, and organised.

Making your application

Before you make your application, take a look at our frequently asked questions section at the bottom of our undergraduate department pages. Here you will find hints and tips on what we are looking for, as well as useful resources to help you prepare for interviews.

DBS and Occupational Health Checks

This course requires a satisfactory Occupational Health Check and enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) Check (including child and adult barred list check) - both of these are organised by the University. Please contact our DBS team or Occupational Health team if you have any questions in relation to these checks.

A satisfactory Overseas Criminal Record Check/Local Police Certificate is also required, in addition to a DBS Check, where you have lived outside of the UK in the last 5 years for 6 months or more. Further information about how to obtain an Overseas Criminal Record check can be found on the Gov.uk website.

Vaccinations

We continue to recommend Covid and flu vaccination. This is to protect both yourself and the vulnerable people that you may meet throughout your placement.

Professional accreditation

Recognised by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) for the purpose of registration as a qualified nurse (mental health).

Why we're great.
  • We are ranked 14th for mental health nursing for overall positivity score (National Student Survey 2023, English Broad Discipline Institutions).
  • We'll nurture you, so upon successful completion of the course you'll be a highly skilled, knowledgeable practitioner who is sought after by employers.
  • Much of your study is spent in a variety of clinical settings, working alongside nurses and other professionals.

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.

Specialist facilities

The School of Health and Social Care 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 to meet the needs of a growing and lively School. View our image gallery and find out more about our nursing facilities.

Our dedicated support tutor will help to develop your academic literacy and clinical numeracy skills. This helps you apply these critically important areas of study to real life situations.

Your future

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.

98% of undergraduate graduates from the School of Health and Social Care are in highly skilled employment or further study (Graduate Outcomes 2022)

Entry requirements

UK entry requirements

Our published entry requirements are a guide and we welcome applications from those who have achieved one of the below qualifications with lower grades but meet our GCSE Mathematics and English (or equivalent) requirement.

  • GCSEs: Mathematics and English Language C/4. Acceptable alternatives are listed further down this page
  • A-levels: BBB - BBC or 120 - 112 UCAS tariff points from a minimum of 2 full A-levels.
  • BTEC: DDM - DMM or 120 - 112 UCAS tariff points from a minimum of the equivalent of 2 full A-levels.
  • Other UCAS tariff qualifications, and combined qualifications: 120 - 112 UCAS tariff points from a minimum of 2 full A levels or equivalent. Tariff point offers may be made if you are taking a qualification, or mixture of qualifications, from the list on our undergraduate application information page.
  • IB: 30 - 29 points or three Higher Level certificates with 555-554.
  • IB Career-related Programme: We consider combinations of IB Diploma Programme courses with BTECs or other qualifications.
  • QAA-approved Access to HE Diploma: 6 level 3 credits at Distinction and 39 level 3 credits at Merit.
  • T-levels: We consider T-levels on a case-by-case basis, depending on subject studied. The offer for most courses is Distinction overall. Depending on the course applied for there may be additional requirements, which may include a specific grade in the Core.

We also consider vocational level 3 qualifications for entry. If you are taking or have achieved any qualifications that are not listed here, email Undergraduate Admissions.

GCSE/level 2 requirements

All applicants must have, or be working towards, acceptable level 2 Mathematics, and English qualifications such as GCSE grade C/4 or equivalent.

  • We accept OFQUAL regulated level 2 maths qualifications, including Functional Skills level 2, Key Skills level 2 or numeracy units taken as part of an Access to HE Diploma.
  • If you don't need a Student visa and are either a first language English speaker or have a lived in the UK for over three years, we can accept OFQUAL regulated level 2 English qualifications, including Functional Skills level 2, Key Skills level 2 or literacy units taken as part of an Access to HE Diploma.

Additional requirements

This course has additional requirements including pass of an interview, a satisfactory reference, Occupational Health Check and Disclosure and Barring (DBS) check. For more information see the Health and Social Care Undergraduate page

Contextual Offers:

We are committed to ensuring that all students with the merit and potential to benefit from an Essex education are supported to do so. For October 2024 entry, if you are a home fee paying student residing in the UK you may be eligible for a Contextual Offer of up to two A-level grades, or equivalent, below our standard conditional offer.
Factors we consider:

  • Applicants from underrepresented groups
  • Applicants progressing from University of Essex Schools Membership schools/colleges
  • Applicants who attend a compulsory admissions interview
  • Applicants who attend an Offer Holder Day at our Colchester or Southend campus

Our contextual offers policy outlines additional circumstances and eligibility criteria.

For further information about what a contextual offer may look like for your specific qualification profile, email ugquery@essex.ac.uk.

If you haven't got the grades you hoped for, have a non-traditional academic background, are a mature student, or have any questions about eligibility for your course, more information can be found on our undergraduate application information page or get in touch with our Undergraduate Admissions Team

International & EU entry requirements

We accept a wide range of qualifications from applicants studying in the EU and other countries. Get in touch with any questions you may have about the qualifications we accept. Remember to tell us about the qualifications you have already completed or are currently taking.

Sorry, the entry requirements for the country that you have selected are not available here. Please contact our Undergraduate Admissions team at ugquery@essex.ac.uk to request the entry requirements for this country.

English language requirements

English language requirements for applicants whose first language is not English: IELTS 7.0 overall with a minimum of 6.5 in writing and 7.0 in all other components, or specified score in another equivalent test that we accept.

Details of English language requirements, including component scores, and the tests we accept can be found here

If we accept the English component of an international qualification it will be included in the academic levels listed above for the relevant countries.

English language shelf-life

Most English language qualifications have a validity period of 5 years. The validity period of Pearson Test of English, TOEFL and CBSE or CISCE English is 2 years.

If you require a Student visa to study in the UK please see our immigration webpages for the latest Home Office guidance on English language qualifications.

Pre-sessional English courses

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.

Pending English language qualifications

You don’t need to achieve the required level before making your application, but it will be one of the conditions of your offer.

If you cannot find the qualification that you have achieved or are pending, then please email ugquery@essex.ac.uk.

Additional Notes

If you’re an international student, but do not meet the English language or academic requirements for direct admission to this degree, you could prepare and gain entry through a pathway course. Find out more about opportunities available to you at the University of Essex International College

Structure

Course structure

Our Nursing programmes consist of three terms per year. This structure adopts a developmental approach to the mastering of nursing skills and development of knowledge and understanding. It has a 50:50 split between theory and practice which means that for 50% of your programme, you undertake clinical practice by working with nurses in a variety of settings. Service user-centred care planning emphasises the holistic nature of health and illness. Alongside this experience, you are given the opportunity to rehearse practical skills in a controlled environment further preparing you for working in the practice environment.

As you undertake a significant part of your programme in placement areas we work in partnership with the NHS and the independent health and social care sector across Essex where you will spend your placement hours so that you gain the best clinical learning experiences. 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 shift patterns whilst in placement equivalent to a 37.5 hour week. This includes early shifts, late shifts, night shifts, weekend and bank holiday working.

Attendance at all parts of this programme is compulsory (as are the modules you study) and must be evidenced in order to register as a nurse.

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.

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.

We understand that deciding where and what to study is a very important decision for you. We'll make all reasonable efforts to provide you with the courses, services and facilities as described on our website and in line with your contract with us. However, if we need to make material changes, for example due to significant disruption, we'll let our applicants and students know as soon as possible.

Components and modules explained

Components

Components are the blocks of study that make up your course. A component may have a set module which you must study, or a number of modules from which you can choose.

Each component has a status and carries a certain number of credits towards your qualification.

Status What this means
Core
You must take the set module for this component and you must pass. No failure can be permitted.
Core with Options
You can choose which module to study from the available options for this component but you must pass. No failure can be permitted.
Compulsory
You must take the set module for this component. There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the qualification if you fail.
Compulsory with Options
You can choose which module to study from the available options for this component. There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the qualification if you fail.
Optional
You can choose which module to study from the available options for this component. There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the qualification if you fail.

The modules that are available for you to choose for each component will depend on several factors, including which modules you have chosen for other components, which modules you have completed in previous years of your course, and which term the module is taught in.

Modules

Modules are the individual units of study for your course. Each module has its own set of learning outcomes and assessment criteria and also carries a certain number of credits.

In most cases you will study one module per component, but in some cases you may need to study more than one module. For example, a 30-credit component may comprise of either one 30-credit module, or two 15-credit modules, depending on the options available.

Modules may be taught at different times of the year and by a different department or school to the one your course is primarily based in. You can find this information from the module code. For example, the module code HR100-4-FY means:

HR 100  4  FY

The department or school the module will be taught by.

In this example, the module would be taught by the Department of History.

The module number. 

The UK academic level of the module.

A standard undergraduate course will comprise of level 4, 5 and 6 modules - increasing as you progress through the course.

A standard postgraduate taught course will comprise of level 7 modules.

A postgraduate research degree is a level 8 qualification.

The term the module will be taught in.

  • AU: Autumn term
  • SP: Spring term
  • SU: Summer term
  • FY: Full year 
  • AP: Autumn and Spring terms
  • PS: Spring and Summer terms
  • AS: Autumn and Summer terms

COMPONENT 01: CORE

HS182-4-AP
(20 CREDITS)

COMPONENT 02: CORE

HS183-4-AP
(20 CREDITS)

COMPONENT 03: CORE

HS184-4-FY
(60 CREDITS)

COMPONENT 04: CORE

HS185-4-SU
(20 CREDITS)

COMPONENT 01: CORE

HS186-5-SU
(20 CREDITS)

COMPONENT 02: CORE

HS187-5-FY
(60 CREDITS)

COMPONENT 03: CORE

HS188-5-SP
(20 CREDITS)

COMPONENT 04: CORE

HS189-5-SP
(20 CREDITS)

COMPONENT 01: CORE

HS195-6-AP
(20 CREDITS)

COMPONENT 02: CORE

HS228-6-FY
(60 CREDITS)

COMPONENT 03: CORE

HS197-6-AU
(20 CREDITS)

COMPONENT 04: CORE

HS241-6-SU
(20 CREDITS)

Teaching

Nursing students undertake 50% of the programme on placement in clinical practice and 50% undertaking campus-based study. On a typical week when on campus , nursing students will undertake 37.5 hours of study, this is usually made up of 30 hours of on-campus teaching and 7.5 hours of self-directed study. On placement in clinical practice, nursing students will work a shift pattern equivalent to approximately 37.5 hours per week, including early shifts, late shifts, night shifts, weekend and bank holiday working. Nursing students are required to gain experience of the range of hours that nurses work and will be expected to follow the shift patterns worked in a range of clinical departments.

  • Lectures inform you of the most important topics, with classes allowing you to consolidate your learning through discussion
  • We work closely in partnership with the NHS and the independent health sector to provide placement opportunities
  • Modules have their own accompanying webpages on Moodle where you can download relevant readings, power-points, podcasts and YouTube clips, and contribute to online discussions

Assessment

  • You will be assessed through presentations, coursework and assessments of practical settings
  • You will also undertake two written exams, one in year one and the other in year two

Fees and funding

Home/UK fee

£9,250 per year

International fee

£22,100 per year

Fees will increase for each academic year of study.

What's next

Open Days

Our events are a great way to find out more about studying at Essex. We run a number of Open Days throughout the year which enable you to discover what our campus has to offer. You have the chance to:

  • tour our campus and accommodation
  • find out answers to your questions about our courses, student finance, graduate employability, student support and more
  • meet our students and staff

Check out our Visit Us pages to find out more information about booking onto one of our events. And if the dates aren’t suitable for you, feel free to book a campus tour here.

2024 Open Days (Colchester Campus)

  • Saturday 17 August 2024 - Colchester Clearing Open Day
  • Saturday 21 September 2024 - September Open Day
  • Saturday 26 October 2024 - October Open Day

Applying

Applications for our full-time undergraduate courses should be made through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS). Full details on how to apply can be found on the filling in your UCAS undergraduate application web page.

Our UK students, and some of our EU and international students, who are still at school or college, can apply through their school. Your school will be able to check and then submit your completed application to UCAS. Our other international applicants (EU or worldwide) or independent applicants in the UK can also apply online through UCAS Apply.

The UCAS code for our University of Essex is ESSEX E70. The individual campus codes for our Loughton and Southend Campuses are ‘L' and ‘S' respectively.

You can find further information on how to apply, including information on transferring from another university, applying if you are not currently at a school or college, and applying for readmission on our How to apply and entry requirements page.

Offer Holder Days

If you receive an undergraduate offer to study with us in October 2024 and live in the UK, you will receive an email invitation to book onto one of our Offer Holder Days. Our Colchester Campus Offer Holder Days run from February to May 2024 on various Wednesdays and Saturdays, and our Southend Campus events run in April and May. These events provide the opportunity to meet your department, tour our campus and accommodation, and chat to current students. To support your attendance, we are offering a travel bursary, allowing you to claim up to £150 as reimbursement for travel expenses. For further information about Offer Holder Days, including terms and conditions and eligibility criteria for our travel bursary, please visit our webpage.

If you are an overseas offer-holder, you will be invited to attend one of our virtual events. However, you are more than welcome to join us at one of our in-person Offer Holder Days if you are able to - we will let you know in your invite email how you can do this.

Interview

Undergraduate students who apply for our health-related courses are required to pass a compulsory interview before an offer can be made. If you are shortlisted for interview based on your application, you will be invited to interview with us via Microsoft Teams. We use the interview as an opportunity to get to know you, to find out about your ambitions, and assess how prepared you are for the course. It's important for us to be sure that you know what you're signing up for, so we'd expect you've done some research about the course and the associated careers it may lead to. We have some more information about how to demonstrate you have what it takes at the bottom of our undergraduate page

If you're successful at interview, you will receive an email invitation to book onto one of our Applicant Days after your offer is made. Our Colchester Campus Applicant Days run from February to May 2023 on various Wednesdays and Saturdays, and our Southend Campus Applicant Days run from March to June 2023 on various weekdays and Saturdays. Applicant Days provide the opportunity to meet your department, tour our campus and accommodation, and chat to current students. For further information, please head to our Applicant Days webpage.

A sunny day with banners flying on Colchester Campus Square 4.

Visit Colchester Campus

Set within 200 acres of award-winning parkland - Wivenhoe Park and located two miles from the historic city centre of Colchester – England's oldest recorded development. Our Colchester Campus is also easily reached from London and Stansted Airport in under one hour.


View from Square 2 outside the Rab Butler Building looking towards Square 3

Virtual tours

If you live too far away to come to Essex (or have a busy lifestyle), no problem. Our 360 degree virtual tours allows you to explore our University from the comfort of your home. Check out our Colchester virtual tour and Southend virtual tour to see accommodation options, facilities and social spaces.

At Essex we pride ourselves on being a welcoming and inclusive student community. We offer a wide range of support to individuals and groups of student members who may have specific requirements, interests or responsibilities.

Find out more

The University makes every effort to ensure that this information on its programme specification is accurate and up-to-date. Exceptionally it can be necessary to make changes, for example to courses, facilities or fees. Examples of such reasons might include, but are not limited to: strikes, other industrial action, staff illness, severe weather, fire, civil commotion, riot, invasion, terrorist attack or threat of terrorist attack (whether declared or not), natural disaster, restrictions imposed by government or public authorities, epidemic or pandemic disease, failure of public utilities or transport systems or the withdrawal/reduction of funding. Changes to courses may for example consist of variations to the content and method of delivery of programmes, courses and other services, to discontinue programmes, courses and other services and to merge or combine programmes or courses. The University will endeavour to keep such changes to a minimum, and will also keep students informed appropriately by updating our programme specifications. The University would inform and engage with you if your course was to be discontinued, and would provide you with options, where appropriate, in line with our Compensation and Refund Policy.

The full Procedures, Rules and Regulations of the University governing how it operates are set out in the Charter, Statutes and Ordinances and in the University Regulations, Policy and Procedures.

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