BSc (Hons) Nursing (Mental Health)

Key information

Why choose this course?

  • 2nd in the East of England for Nursing (2023 Complete University Guide)
  • no. 12 in the UK for Mental Health Nursing (2023 Guardian League Table)
  • Inclusive teaching delivered by service users and carers. Clinical placements rated Good/Outstanding

Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices. Mental health is important at every stage of life, from childhood and adolescence and throughout adulthood. However, around one in four of the population will be affected by poor mental health. The overall number of people reporting mental health problems has increased in recent years. You have searched for this page because you have a passion for positive mental health. Studying this degree at Hertfordshire offers you the chance to make a difference to people’s lives. You want a high level of flexibility and a career with excellent employment prospects.  Mental Health nursing is a challenging career, but the rewards are priceless. 

As a Herts nurse, you’ll have 24-hour access to our Learning Resource Centre. We’ll provide you with placements to apply your theoretical learning. You’ll work with people from all backgrounds and in a range of community, specialist and hospital mental health teams.  We have excellent links with a wide range of mental health care providers. Our local mental health NHS Trust partners are in Hertfordshire, North London and Milton Keynes and are rated ‘outstanding’ and ‘excellent’ by CQC. You will also be able to spend placement time within a vibrant voluntary and independent sector. You will develop your leadership and management skills alongside your therapeutic engagement skills to deliver the best possible outcome for service users.  

We are proud to offer you innovative and creative learning. You’ll be taught by some of the most imaginative and inspiring lecturers in Mental Health Nursing. A diverse, academic team with a strong research clinical focus. All our teaching is research informed and delivered using recognised teaching and learning approaches. We will help you draw out your imagination, build your confidence and exceed your own goals. 

You’ll now also be able to take advantage of a new financial bonus to nursing. You may be eligible for at least £5,000 in government grants and a possible extra £1,000 especially for aspiring mental health nurses. And it doesn’t stop there. You might receive another £1,000 for childcare, where applicable. These grants won’t even need to be paid back. Consider it a thank you from the government. A thank you for choosing to empower others to live their lives to the fullest. 

What's the course about?

50% of your time will be spent at university and the other 50% will be spent working. You’ll engage in lectures, seminars, workshops, and small grouped learning. Whilst out on placement, you’ll support real people in real patient settings. This could be in hospitals, rehab units and even in their homes. You’ll build relationships with their families and friends. Together, you’ll provide a holistic and inclusive approach to nursing, we will be with you every step of the way helping you build on the latest knowledge and skills with experts in the mental health field.   

In your first year, we will introduce you to the profession, right from the basics. Learn the philosophy behind mental wellbeing. Explore all aspects of psychological mental illnesses. What role does society play in defining mental health? What are the stigmas and notions of exclusion people face? You’ll learn to balance theoretical perspectives. You’ll practically apply your readings. You’ll gain a solid foundation for year two.   

In your second year, you will now be able to assess a patient. You’ll be able to apply ethically safe interventions. This could be cognitive behavioural therapy. Or through active participation of family members. Learn the physical effects of medicines on the brain. Use your compassionate and caring nature to bring people closer to recovery.  

In your final year you’ll find that you have grown to love certain topics. In this year, you can delve deeper in these areas. This could be socio-political issues that impact effective nursing practises. Or, how spiritual, psychosocial, cultural, and emotional aspects can affect how patients receive care. It’s entirely up to you.

Your main campus is College Lane  

This is where the creative arts, science and health-related subjects are based. This means you’ll share the campus with future nurses, scientists, artists and more. You can use the common rooms to relax with friends, work out in the 24-hour gym or have a drink in our on-campus pub or cafes. We also have restaurants for you to eat in or grab something on the go. Our Learning Resources Centres are open 24/7, which means you can study whenever suits you best. Want to pop over to the other campus? You can take the free shuttle bus or walk there in just 15 minutes.   

What will I study?

Degree programmes are structured into levels, 4, 5 and 6. These correspond to your first, second and third/final year of study. Below you can see what modules you’ll be studying in each.   

'The University pointed me towards Work the World after I expressed an interest in undertaking my nursing elective in a developing country. I really felt welcomed by the staff in Work the World, they made me feel as though I was part of the team from day one. It really reflected the culture and friendliness of Tanzanian people. In fact, every moment was fantastic. I thought I’d get homesick, but I didn’t at all. And now that I’m home, I am always dreaming of going back!'

Heather Wilcox

BSc (Hons) Nursing (Mental Health)

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Alumni Stories

Ramatu Nguru

Meet Ramutu Nguru who has excelled as a Registered Nutritionist since graduating in 2016. She currently works as a School Food Nutritionist for Herts Catering Limited (HCL).

Read more stories
Current job roleSchool Food Nutritionist
Year of graduation2016
Course of studyBSc (Hons) Nutrition
Ramutu Nguru headshot

Essential skills for the future

Ramatu graduated having studied Nutrition and has now entered her chosen career as a Registered Nutritionist (RNutr) with the Association for Nutrition (AfN). She currently works as a School Food Nutritionist for Herts Catering Limited (HCL). Her course enabled Ramatu to achieve her career aspirations, providing invaluable experience which included work shadowing, volunteering and practical work placement opportunities alongside various registered nutritionists and dieticians.

Ramatu says, 'Many employers advertise for nutritionists who are already registered with the UK Voluntary Register of Nutritionists (UKVRN). In order to register, you would need to be able to demonstrate that you meet the underpinning knowledge and professional skills required.' Studying a BSc (Hons) in Nutrition or related bioscience degree provides students with an abundance of practicable and transferable experience which will enable you to make crucial inroads into the profession.'

Experience is crucial

Experience is crucial and Ramatu attests that it is even more beneficial than good grades. She advises students to seek out as much opportunity as possible to gain professional experience and says, 'My priority is to continually develop professionally as a Registered Nutritionist as there is always room to improve my own practice and service delivery.' The University provides fantastic opportunities for students through work placements, study abroad schemes as well as the fantastic industry led practical elements embedded into the courses themselves.

Alumni headshot

Alumni Stories

Khan Asghar Iqbal

Meet Khan Asghar Iqbal who is saving lives everyday as a Newly Qualified Paramedic (NQP). He is currently working for the Welsh Ambulance Service Trust.

Read more stories Find out more about this course
Current job roleNewly Qualified Paramedic
Year of graduation2018
Course of studyBSc (Hons) Paramedic Science

A unique degree and experience

Khan says his ambition to work in London and move out of his hometown in Cardiff was a key factor in choosing to study at the University of Hertfordshire. However, his course also provided a unique combination of theoretical and practical study which Khan says, 'prepared me to put my knowledge into practice while out on placement each term. The course also gave me a glimpse of future opportunities for paramedics such as teaching, management and advanced practice.'

The vocational nature of the degree enabled him to transition smoothly into his chosen career providing him with the essential professional skills and hands on experience he required to excel as a paramedic. He says, 'The course gives you the knowledge to make lifesaving decisions but also gives you more advanced knowledge regarding complicated conditions and the various medicines that come with each patient.'

Khan speaks fondly of his time at the University and says, 'I truly miss everyone I became friends with on my degree. Some of the nights out in the Forum were the best I've ever had and they will be everlasting memories, with friends both on and off of my course. I really came out of my shell and comfort zone and it has made me into the confident and outgoing person I am today.'

Get your dream job

Khan says that being a paramedic is the 'best job in the World' and, although he has just started his career, he hopes to go onto postgraduate study and experience new cultures by travelling.