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.
The cost of required uniform will be fully covered by the school.
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.
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 a 37.5 hour week. This includes early shifts, late shifts, night shifts, weekend and bank holiday working.
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.
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 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 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.
100% of our undergraduate School of Health and Social Care students are in professional employment or postgraduate study within six months of graduating from Essex (DLHE 2017).
GCSE: Mathematics and English Language C/4
BTEC Extended Diploma: DDD (in relevant subjects)
Access to HE Diploma: 45 credits at Level 3 at merit or above
You must also have 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. 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.
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.
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.
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English language requirements for applicants whose first language is not English: IELTS 7.0 overall, with 6.5 in writing, and 7.0 in all other components.
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.
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.
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:
Applications for our full-time undergraduate courses should be made through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS). Applications are online at: www.ucas.com. Full details on this process can be obtained from the UCAS website in the how to apply section.
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.
Our BSc Nursing (Mental Health) course is available at both our Colchester and Southend campuses, and you'll need to apply to one or the other. If your application is successful, and we are able to invite you to an interview, the campus you have selected is where your interview will take place. We are unable to offer an interview or consider you for the same course at both campuses. For applicants who are not based in the UK, we are able to offer interviews by Skype and remote testing. Contact our undergraduate admissions office for further information.
If you’re shortlisted for interview based on your application, you will be invited onto campus. As part of your visit you will complete a literacy and numeracy test. If you successfully complete this you will then have an interview on the same day. Offers for the course will only be made after a successful interview.
The interview and test will form part of the wider day where you will also be able to tour the campus, meet our academics and students and ask any questions you might have about studying with us.
With its lively, state-of-the-art facilities and a close-knit international community, Southend is the perfect environment for living and learning.
If you're joining our School of Health and Social Care, East 15 Acting School, Department of Psychosocial and Psychoanalytic Studies, or Essex Business School, you may well be studying at our Southend Campus.
Famous for its beach resort and pier, Southend-on-Sea stretches along seven miles of award-winning coastline, providing plenty of opportunities for a wide range of water sports and leisure activities.
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.
Our staff travel the world to speak to people about the courses on offer at Essex. Take a look at our list of exhibition dates to see if we’ll be near you in the future.
The University makes every effort to ensure that this information on its course finder 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 a change of law or regulatory requirements, industrial action, lack of demand, departure of key personnel, change in government policy, or 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 prospective students informed appropriately by updating our programme specifications.
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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