Nursing Practice (Mental Health)

Study options



Key facts

Stoke-on-Trent campus
Study option:
2 Years
Start date:
6 January 2025

Professionally recognised

Approved by The Nursing & Midwifery Council (NMC)

Simulation-based learning

An innovative approach replicating realistic situations for a safe learning experience

REF 2021

100% of research impact is recognised as “very considerable” or “outstanding” (Allied Health)

Nurses across different specialities have a vital and uniquely placed role in supporting individuals, families and communities to achieve meaningful connection and change in their lives. Our pre-registration postgraduate Nursing degree will prepare you to become part of a rewarding profession with care, compassion, communication, courage, competence, and commitment at its centre.

Regulated by The Nursing & Midwifery Council, our course will equip you for a career in Nursing within a diverse range of settings both in hospital, clinic and community environments, and specialties. The Course has two routes:

  • Nursing Practice (Adult) MSc
  • Nursing Practice (Mental Health) MSc

On completing the course, you will be able to evidence and demonstrate the standards and competencies required for entitlement to registration with the Nursing & Midwifery Council. The course will enable you to develop the core skills, knowledge and values fundamental to Nursing practice.

These Masters level pre-registration courses are available to graduates already holding a degree from any discipline, looking to gain a Nursing (either an Adult Nursing or Mental health Nursing) qualification and, eligibility for registration with a professional body in two years rather than three, providing an accelerated route into the profession. You will also be eligible to apply for the NHS bursary.

Teaching and learning are focused on a values based and person centred approach that considers wider determinants that impact on the lived experiences of those who require nursing care throughout the lifespan.
The programme is mapped against the Future Nurse Standards of Proficiency for Registered Nurses (NMC 2018). These form the basis of the curriculum, which incorporates in total 2,300 hours of theory, and 2,300 hours of practice. The learning opportunities offered by the programme include:

  • Practice learning experiences that extend over a wide geographic area offering a broad range of diverse environments to prepare you to practice in a variety of settings. Elective placement of your choice (5 week placement).
  • Digital and enhanced technology will be used to embed learning opportunities throughout the course which may include role play, use of immersion suites, clinical simulation and use of high-fidelity mannequins. To enhance learning there are allocated & specific simulation weeks, allowing practice of skills safely in a controlled environment, before going into practice. This offers opportunities to replicate the challenges that Nursing professionals face in reality, meaning that you’ll be a highly employable graduate with all the skills you need to succeed.
  • Human factors and health inequalities are key themes embedded throughout the curriculum along with opportunities for interprofessional learning (IPE).

Our School and Nursing Department team of experienced staff are on hand to support and enhance your core Nursing skills and we work closely with stakeholders such as service user and carer groups. We also have strong links with regional partner NHS Trusts and organisations who provide, not only high-quality practice-based learning opportunities, but also support with creative and innovative approaches to teaching on the course.

You will also have the opportunity for collaborative, interprofessional working as part of a wider, growing Health and Social Care postgraduate community at Staffordshire University.

Research Excellence Frame work 2021 (REF 2021)

We’re extremely proud of the results for our Allied Health research submissions:

100% of research impact is recognised as “very considerable” or “outstanding” and

73% of research outputs are rated “internationally excellent” or “world leading”.

On successful completion of study, we will issue the following award: MSc Nursing Practice (Mental Health)

Course content

During year one, you will gain the knowledge, skills and values essential to nursing practice exploring:

Physical and Mental Health Assessment, Pathophysiology and Prescribing Preparation
Human Factors, Risk, Decision Making and Uncertainty and their impact on Nursing
Adult or Mental Health Practice Module (4,5,6) which will consist of 3 Field specific practice placements during the year.

During year two, you will gain the knowledge, skills and values essential to nursing practice exploring:
Care Delivery, Leadership and Management, The Evidence Base for Practice, and, complete a further 3 field specific placements and theory alongside this in the Adult or Mental Health Practice Module (7,8,9).
Whether you complete Adult of Mental health practice placements will depend on the route your are registered on.

All modules are either 20 credits which equates to 200 hours of study time or 40 credits which equates to 400 hours of study time. The specific type of study time varies from module to module and includes scheduled teaching and learning activities, such as online lectures, webinars, videos and briefings, online interactive discussions, individual tutorials, on-campus presentations, simulation exercises, and discussion. Guided independent study hours will include accessing online materials, tasks, discussions, and recommended reading. Independent study hours include preparation of summative assessment and portfolios, reading and researching.

Professional body accreditation

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

Ashley 2 Skills Lab (Stoke) Tour

Ashley 2 Skills Lab (Stoke) Tour


Nursing Course Director, Helen Ashwood takes you on a tour of clinical skills labs at the Stoke-on-Trent campus.

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The tables provide an indicative list of the modules that make up the course for the current academic year. Each module is worth a specified number of credits. Our teaching is informed by research, and modules change periodically to reflect developments in the discipline. We aim to ensure that all modules run as scheduled. If for any reason a module cannot be run we will advise you as soon as possible and will provide guidance on selecting an appropriate alternative module.

Year 1 compulsory modules
Year 1 compulsory modules
Human Factors, Risk, Decision Making And Uncertainty 20 credits
Mental Health Nursing In Practice 4,5,6 20 credits
Physical And Mental Health Assessment, Pathophysiology And Prescribing Preparation 40 credits
Year 2 compulsory modules
Year 2 compulsory modules
Care Delivery: Leadership And Management 40 credits
Mental Health Nursing In Practice 7, 8, 9 20 credits
The Evidence Base For Practice 40 credits

Entry requirements

All candidates must hold an Honours degree (Bachelor) at 2:2 or above.

The following entry requirements apply to both UK and international applicants.

All candidates must evidence 675 hours of practical experience (paid or unpaid) in a health care setting within the last five years which has been signed off by a UK-based current NMC registrant. You should have worked with this individual for a period of no less than 150 hours. This registrant should have also signed off your proficiencies detailed in the RPL portfolio.

All candidates must produce evidence that is capable of being mapped to all Part 1 theory outcomes within your RPL portfolio. This includes recognition of your previous academic study and is equivalent to 500 of your theory hours.
Candidates must have literacy and numeracy at level 2.

Applicants who are not from the UK are required to have an English Qualification IELTs score of level 7 or above.

All programmes are subject to Staffordshire University’s Admissions Policy

You will also need undertake a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check and a health check (via Occupational Health) to inform decisions regarding support and suitability for the course. However, disclosure of physical or mental health issues, or specific learning needs at any point of the recruitment process, will not affect whether you are offered a place on the course.

If a conditional offer of a place is made, a health check is undertaken through a student self-declaration, initial occupational health screening and if appropriate, occupational health assessment, to inform decisions regarding support and suitability for the course.

For equivalent entry requirements in your home country, please see the information on our country pages.

Choose your country

Check our entry and English language requirements for your country.



Community House (Stoke)

A fully furnished house used for simulated, scenario-based training. It includes audio and video facilities to record simulated exercises and allow detailed tutor and peer feedback.


We have Libraries and service desks at both sites in Stoke-on-Trent and Stafford. Our experienced and friendly staff can answer your IT queries, help you to access resources, show you how to research for your assignments and help with referencing.


This pre-registration course is available to graduates already holding a degree from any discipline and looking to gain a nursing qualification and registration with a professional body in approximately two years as opposed to the usual three or four, providing an accelerated route into the profession.

Our course is therefore ideal for anyone who is caring and compassionate and looking for a change in career direction to really make a difference in peoples’ lives.

Upon successful completion of the Nursing Practice (Adult) MSc or the Nursing Practice (Mental Health) MSc, graduates will be eligible to apply to register with the NMC as qualified nurses. This internationally recognised qualification opens up a whole world of opportunities. Many of our nursing graduates gain employment with our placement providers, and studying at postgraduate level can lead to a wider range of job roles at a higher level.

Eager for more knowledge? The Nursing Practice MSc courses are the perfect foundation for higher-level, more research focused study and upon completion, you will be ideally placed for further academic study at PhD level.

All students have access to Career Connect, our dedicated careers team.

Teaching and assessment


On this course, you will learn via a combination of masterclasses, workshops, rehearsals, seminars, production meetings and tutorials. Independent study and research also constitute an important part of your learning. You will be given reading assignments on a regular basis. Tutors will provide supporting materials and formative and summative assessments to help you.

On this course, you will learn via a combination of lectures, pre-recorded and live online webinars, small group workshops and tutorials. Students will take part in flipped learning, attend practitioner-led sessions and undertake simulation exercises alongside more 'traditional' teaching methods.

Independent study and research also constitute an important part of your learning. You will be given reading assignments on a regular basis. Tutors will provide supporting materials and formative and summative assessments to help you. You may also be directed to podcasts, documentaries, and news articles as part of your independent learning. You will also be expected to undertake independent critical reflection on practice and learning.

Our teaching is supported through our Virtual Learning Environment called Blackboard. This means you can access a range of materials to support your studies wherever you are.


A range of assessment methods will be utilised throughout the course. Enhanced by technology and simulation, formative assessment will be ongoing within each module. Written assignments, presentations, exams and simulation amongst others are built into the summative assessment strategy to ensure that all students have the opportunity to shine.

Learning support

Your course tutors will provide lots of support. But you can also take advantage of our Academic Skills team, who can help you with:

  • Study skills (including reading, note-taking and presentation skills)
  • Written English (including punctuation, grammar)
  • Academic writing (including how to reference)
  • Research skills
  • Critical thinking
  • Revision, assessment and exam skills (including time management)

Additional support

If you have additional needs like dyslexia or a sensory impairment, then our Student Inclusion Services are here to help make sure nothing stands in your way.


We know that it is important for you to be able to evaluate your progress. Your personal mentor will give you feedback on any practice assessments you do.

We usually give you feedback on formal assessments within 20 working days, but the format will vary for each module.

Feedback will be provided both formally and informally by module tutors, allocated academic mentors and the programme lead. Informal verbal and written feedback will be provided and utilised as a tool to aid in reflection and development.

Students will receive formal written feedback focused on summative assignment, and where appropriate, will be offered individual tutorials to discuss this further.


Our team of experienced staff are always on hand to support you and enhance your core nursing skills All teaching staff are qualified and experienced nurses and academics. The core staff team has a range of specialist knowledge in research and clinical practice.

Helen Ashwood

Senior Lecturer

I am the Course Lead for the MSc Nursing and am passionate about student experience both in university and practice placements.

Helen's profile


For the course starting on 6 January 2025 the tuition fees are:

Tuition fees for MSc-Full-time
Study option UK / Channel Islands International
Full-time £9,250 per year of study £19,000 per year of study

If you would like to know more about the fees listed and what this means to you then please get in touch with our Enquiries Team.

Alumni discount

If you've previously completed a Staffordshire University undergraduate degree (excluding HND and foundation degrees) you may be entitled to a discount of up to 25% off your course fees for any subsequent postgraduate taught course (terms apply, see the alumni discount page for details). If you have any questions about how this relates to you, please contact

Accommodation and living costs
Accommodation and living costs

Accommodation and living costs are not included in our fees. 

For more information on accommodation and living costs, please see: Accommodation

Sources of financial support

Providing you are studying towards a full Masters qualification you may be able to apply for a postgraduate loan of up to £11,570 to help with tuition fees, maintenance and other associated costs. Student loans are available for many of our postgraduate degrees and are provided by the Student Loans Company (SLC). The loan can cover a wide range of postgraduate study options; part-time, full-time and distance learning. 

For more information and how to apply visit masters loan.

Scholarships and additional funding

Students will be eligible to apply for the NHS Nursing bursary.


Location Award Study option Start date Apply Link
Stoke-on-Trent campus MSc Full-time 6 January 2025 Apply now

Rules and regulations

If you are offered a place at Staffordshire University, your offer will be subject to our rules, regulations and enrolment conditions, which may vary from time to time.

Students of Staffordshire University enter into a contract with us and are bound by these rules and regulations, which are subject to change. For more information, please see: University Policies and Regulations

Have you considered?

Nursing Practice (Adult) MSc

Study options

Nursing Practice (Child) MSc

Study options
in the UK for Quality Education

Sustainable Development Goal 4, Times Higher Education Impact Rankings 2023

for Career Prospects

Whatuni Student Choice Awards 2023

for Facilities

Whatuni Student Choice Awards 2023

for Social Inclusion

The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2023

of Research Impact is ‘Outstanding’ or ‘Very Considerable’

Research Excellence Framework 2021

of Research is “Internationally Excellent” or “World Leading”

Research Excellence Framework 2021

Four Star Rating

QS Star Ratings 2021