BNurs Mental Health Nursing / Course details

Year of entry: 2020

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Course description

Our BNurs/MNurs Mental Health Nursing course will help you become a skilled and highly sought-after graduate nurse specialising in caring for mental health patients in a range of settings.

You will split your time equally between learning theory on campus and applying your knowledge to practice alongside other health professionals on your placements , which include those at specialist trusts and the opportunity to work in alternative settings in the UK and overseas.

You will receive support from both our staff and your fellow students throughout your time at Manchester, as well as from experienced mentors while on placement.

As a graduate, you'll have the choice of practicing as a nurse, going into a specialist or a leadership role, or undertaking further study, research opportunities or teaching.  

The BNurs award is for the three-year undergraduate course. Depending on your performance in Years 1 and 2, you will have the opportunity to apply to extend your studies by a year to undertake an integrated master's in nursing. This will also involve an additional year of tuition fees.

By choosing to complete the integrated master's, you are preparing for career progression within nursing by developing your leadership and research skills.

The integrated master's will deliver units at postgraduate level, developing your skills in critical engagement with issues at the forefront of your chosen field of nursing.  You will learn how to critically examine, reflect and develop new insights, contributing to nursing research, education and clinical practice agenda through your research study.

Special features

Superb reputation

Manchester has been ranked 3rd in the world and 2nd in the UK for nursing study in the 2019 QS World University Rankings.

Simulation training

We use high fidelity simulation in drama and theatre workshops to train mental health nurses, helping students increase their confidence and work better within a team.

Varied and high-quality placements

You will experience a range of practice placements in both community and hospital settings, with support from experienced mentors. Placements include those at trusts offering specialist services. You may also choose to gain experience elsewhere in the UK or even overseas.

Student-focused course

You will learn how to apply theory to practice through our course's 50:50 split of on-campus learning and practical experience, ensuring you receive the tutor support you need while also consolidating your knowledge of nursing theory.

Family-friendly learning

Addressing the philosophy of Athena SWAN, we look to minimise early starts and late finishes and ensure - where possible - that public holidays are included in your annual leave entitlement.

Additional course information

You will spend 50% of your learning time in a clinical placement learning what it is like to work within the modern NHS, developing clinical knowledge, skills and confidence as a key member of the professional healthcare team.

We have excellent working relationships with local NHS Trusts in Greater Manchester and the north-west, and you will undertake a range of practice placements in both community and hospital settings.

See the nursing placements page for more information.

Teaching and learning

Our course is designed to include both theory and practice, linking the most current research-based knowledge with practice in a student-centred approach.

You will engage in problem-based learning, skills laboratories and computer-based learning, as well as the more traditional lecture and seminar-based formats. Lectures take place in a large group with small group teaching for seminars.

The practice element of our course is given equal status to the theoretical work and practical placements are undertaken in a range of placement settings in Greater Manchester and the wider north-west.

Find out more about nursing teaching and learning at Manchester .

Dedicated student support

We offer dedicated student support to all of our students, helping you to handle the demands of both academic work and placements.

See the student support page for more information.

Coursework and assessment

Learning is divided into a number of units in each year. The content and assessments for each unit are planned and delivered by a small team of lecturers with the relevant expertise related to those topic areas.

Unit assessments vary and include written and multiple-choice exams, essays, case studies, poster presentations, online work and a skills lab-based exam.

Most units of learning also include the assessment of relevant skills in practice, which are carried out by the nursing mentors during the clinical placements.

To complete the course, you are required to pass all theory and practice assessments.

Course content for year 1

In your first year you will examine core aspects of nursing knowledge in lectures and fields-specific seminars.

You will also develop your interpersonal communication skills, which will be recorded and monitored in your personal development portfolio throughout the course.

Practical skills will be developed through our practice on campus placement and two further practice placements in Greater Manchester and the wider north-west. All placements are supervised by a member of university staff or a member of clinical staff who will assess your practice.

You also have the opportunity to undertake spoke placements. These are short and discrete opportunities for practical experience to help you learn about other fields of nursing practice. These take place within your Year 1 practice placements but also throughout placement learning in Year 2 and 3.

Course units for year 1

The course unit details given below are subject to change, and are the latest example of the curriculum available on this course of study.

TitleCodeCredit ratingMandatory/optional
Public Health, Society and Nursing NURS10021 10 Mandatory
Fundamentals of Anatomy and Physiology for Nursing Practice NURS10030 20 Mandatory
Evidence Based Nursing Practice NURS10042 10 Mandatory
Collaborative Care Planning NURS10052 10 Mandatory
Essential Skills for Nursing Practice 1 NURS10061 20 Mandatory
Clinical Placement 2 (Year 1) NURS10072 20 Mandatory
Clinical Placement 3 (Year 1) NURS10082 20 Mandatory
Values Based Nursing NURS10091 10 Mandatory

Course content for year 2

In Year 2 you will develop further your knowledge of:

  • the application of biosciences to nursing practice;
  • the development of your field-specific knowledge and skills.

You may also choose to personalise your learning by selecting two discovery units from a menu of choices (limits apply). Please see the list below for optional units.

You may also pick from the University College for Interdisciplinary Learning (limits apply).

You will continue developing your portfolio of learning this year, reflecting on how you can improve your skills.

There will be three practice placements in Year 2, which involve caring for individuals from your field of practice in a variety of settings.

You will also have the opportunity to state a preference for one placement type within Greater Manchester practice circuit that is related to deduction, research, or leadership and management. Where possible this type of placement will be facilitated.

Alternatively, you can undertake a placement outside Greater Manchester, either in the UK or overseas.

Course units for year 2

The course unit details given below are subject to change, and are the latest example of the curriculum available on this course of study.

TitleCodeCredit ratingMandatory/optional
Applied Biosciences for Nursing Practice (Bioscience 2) NURS23100 20 Mandatory
Developing Nursing Knowledge & Skills NURS23101 20 Mandatory
Year 2 Clinical Placement 2 NURS23132 20 Mandatory
Year 2 Clinical Placement 1 NURS23141 20 Mandatory
Year 2 Clinical Placement 3 NURS23142 20 Mandatory
Mental Health and Mental Ill Health in Children and Young People NURS23102 10 Optional
Negotiated Study NURS23110 10 Optional
Dementia: Empowering and Creative Practice NURS23111 10 Optional
Principles of Adult Critical and Intensive Care Nursing NURS23112 10 Optional
Delivering Harm Free Care in Infection prevention & Tissue Viability NURS23121 10 Optional
Palliative and End of Life Care NURS23122 10 Optional
Introduction to Neonatal Low Dependency Care NURS23131 10 Optional
Displaying 10 of 12 course units for year 2

Course content for year 3

Year 3 is about consolidating your knowledge and building confidence for practice. While studying on campus and undertaking three practice placements you will continue to reflect on your learning and practice through your portfolio.

In Year 3 all units are mandatory, with the exception of Advancing Care - The Social and Political Context of Health and Social Care. This unit is completed by students progressing to the MNurs in place of clinical placement 3.

Course units for year 3

The course unit details given below are subject to change, and are the latest example of the curriculum available on this course of study.

TitleCodeCredit ratingMandatory/optional
Nurse as a Leader, Manager and Coordinator of Care NURS31300 20 Mandatory
Nurse as an Inquirer of Clinical Evidence NURS31301 20 Mandatory
The Nurse as a Supervisor and Educator NURS31302 20 Mandatory
Year 3 Clinical Placement 1 NURS31311 20 Mandatory
Year 3 Clinical Placement 2 NURS31312 20 Mandatory
Year 3 Clinical Placement 3 NURS31322 20 Optional
Advancing Care - The Social and Political Context of Health and Social Care NURS31342 20 Optional

Course content for year 4

If you achieve grades equivalent to an Upper Second in your Year 1 and Year 2 assessments, you will be eligible to apply to undertake the integrated master's (Year 4) component of the course.

This is a 120-credit course that will involve studying a mixture of units at postgraduate level (following a bridging undergraduate theory unit in Year 3 that will prepare you for higher level study).

All units are mandatory for successful completion of the MNurs.

The taught components of the course allow you to develop your knowledge of the theoretical underpinnings of nursing, clinical practice, education, and improve your leadership skills.

Course units for year 4

The course unit details given below are subject to change, and are the latest example of the curriculum available on this course of study.

TitleCodeCredit ratingMandatory/optional
Research in Professional Practice (Major Project) NURS41000 45 Optional
Leadership and Professional Practice NURS41001 15 Optional
Shaping Nurses Recognition and Response to Serious Illness NURS41002 15 Optional
Year 4 Clinical Practice and Portfolio NURS41010 30 Optional
Nurse Education in Practice NURS41012 15 Optional

What our students say

The best thing is the placement and putting theory into practice. Getting to meet members of the public and make a difference to their lives is so rewarding.

Louis Southall

Find out more about what it's like to study at Manchester on the  Biology, Medicine and Health Student Blog .


We have extensive facilities in place to support you throughout your studies, including skills laboratories and workshops, as well as online resources and the vast wealth of information in the University's library.

See more information about our nursing learning facilities , or find out more about the University's facilities for all undergraduates.

Disability support

Practical support and advice for current students and applicants is available from the Disability Advisory and Support Service. Email:

Students are encouraged to contact the disability support office either before accepting an offer from the University of Manchester or as soon as possible thereafter in order to avoid delays in getting help and assistance.