BN Nursing (Mental Health)

Undergraduate, Full-Time

Explore the complex and rewarding study of the human mind and gain the skills to understand the conditions that cause mental illness.

  • Napier code:


  • UCAS code:


  • Course type:


  • Duration:

    3 years

  • Award:


  • Location:

    Sighthill campus

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Course introduction

Gain the skills to progress your career in mental health nursing and explore the rewarding benefits care can have on patients and their families.

This dynamic, forward-looking three-year course aims to produce effective and skilled practitioners. It offers a combination of theory and practice with opportunities for you to exercise some choice over what you study, including the option of an international placement.

Students at Sighthill campus

The three-year degree shares common theory modules with other fields of practice and includes shared input on research, leadership and quality development.

You'll concentrate on key mental health topics including communication and therapeutic skills, understanding and working with users and carers in mental health services and knowledge of legal and ethical practice.

There is also a strong emphasis on recovery, positive mental health, values-based practice, user and carer involvement and mental health promotion.

This course allows you to specialise in mental health nursing, providing both an academic qualification and the vocational training to become a registered nurse, underpinned by key themes:

  • Communication, interpersonal and therapeutic skills
  • working in partnership with service users, carers and colleagues
  • respecting diversity, practicing ethically and challenging inequality
  • developing reflective practitioners – with skills in critical thinking, evidence-based practice and life-long learning
  • leading, monitoring and developing care
  • promoting positive mental health

Work placement

50 per cent of course content also consists of putting theory learnt in the classroom into real life practice across the Lothian and Borders area in hospital and community settings.

You’ll become competent, knowledgeable and skilled in mental health nursing and a reflective graduate with the knowledge and skills to contribute positively to practice.

Study modules mentioned above are indicative only. Some changes may occur between now and the time that you study.

Full information on this is available in our disclaimer.

This qualification will give you excellent career prospects, in hospitals and the community; in voluntary organisations and across the private sector. Our graduates have gone on to gain employment across Scotland and you will also be able to work anywhere within the UK.

Minimum year 1

SQA Higher

BBC preferably to include English or a Literary subject* and a Science** 

National 5 Grade C in Maths

National 5 Grade C in English and Biology required for candidates who do not have these subjects at Higher.

A Level

CC preferably to include English or a Literary subject* and a Science**

GCSE Grade C/4 in Maths

GCSE Grade C/4 in English and Biology or Double Award Science required for candidates who do not have these subjects at A Level.

BTEC (QCF) National Extended Diploma Level 3

Minimum grades MMP (Merit, Merit, Pass) in a related subject.*

GCSE English, Maths and Biology (preferred), Chemistry or Physics at Grade C/4.

*Health and Social Care / Applied Sciences

BTEC (QCF) National Diploma 

Minimum grades DM (Distinction, Merit) in a related subject.*

GCSE English, Maths and Biology (preferred), Chemistry or Physics at Grade C/4.

*Health and Social Care / Applied Sciences

Irish Leaving Certificate

Pre-2017 Grading System

B3, B3, B3 at Higher Level preferably to include English or Literary subject* and a Science**

B2 in two Ordinary Level subjects including Maths. 

New Grading System

H3, H3, H3 at Higher Level preferably to include English or Literary subject* and a Science**

O3 in two Ordinary Level subjects including Maths. 


Pass in a related subject* with Grade C in the graded unit for Year 1 entry.

National 5 grade C in English, Maths and Science (Biology - preferred, Chemistry or Physics).

*Care and Administrative Practice, Social Care, Applied Science, Social Sciences, Early Education and Childcare


FETAC Level 5 Pre-Nursing Studies

Minimum of 6 Distinctions must be achieved overall. Distinctions must also be achieved in the Communication Unit and the Anatomy and Physiology Unit.

B2/O3 in Ordinary Level Maths in Irish Leaving Certificate.

Mature students

Adequate and appropriate previous (and recent) study is essential. Please contact us at if you are unsure whether or not you would be eligible to apply. Relevant work experience will be considered alongside recent study.It may necessary for those with limited qualifications to undertake an Access course or other appropriate courses/studies in a Further Education setting.

Interview requirements

There will be a selection interview and all candidates must meet NMC requirements of good health and good character. Competition for places varies from year-to-year and achievement of the typical minimum entry requirements does not always guarantee shortlisting for interview or a place on the course.

Admission to the Programme is dependent upon a satisfactory Protecting Vulnerable Groups Scheme (PVG) Check. This will be sent to you prior to interview and will be conducted on the interview day.  The cost of the PVG check will be paid by the University.

Subjects required

*Literary Subjects include: English/English Literature; History; Modern Studies; Religious, Moral & Philosophical Studies/Christian Theology; Psychology, Geography, Sociology, Health and Social Care, Law.

**Science Subjects include: Biology/Human Biology, Chemistry, Physics, PE

Deferred Applications

Please note that we cannot accept applications for deferred entry for this course.

Previous Nursing Students

Please note that students who have already studied a Nursing degree are unlikely to receive funding for a second Nursing degree.

English Language Requirements

If your first language isn't English, you'll normally need to undertake an approved English language test. The English Language requirements for this programme are IELTS 7.0 (with no less than 7.0 in each component).  For guidance on the acceptability of other English Language tests please contact

This may not apply if you have completed all your school qualifications in English. Check our country pages to find out if this applies to you.

Our entry requirements indicate the minimum qualifications with which we normally accept students. Competition for places varies from year to year and you aren't guaranteed a place if you meet the minimum qualifications.

International students

If your qualifications aren't listed above, visit our country pages to get entry requirements for your country.

Please note that non-EU international students are unable to enrol onto the following courses:

BN Nursing/MN Nursing (Adult, Child, Mental Health or Learning Disability)

BM Midwifery/MM Midwifery

Admissions policies

We're committed to being as accessible as possible to anyone who wants to achieve higher education.

Our admissions policies will help you understand our admissions procedures and how decisions are made.

Tuition fees
Students from 2017/18 2018/19
Scotland/EU Fees are funded by the NHS Scotland* Fees are funded by the NHS Scotland*
England Wales and Northern Ireland £9,000** £9,250**

*Students should apply to the Student Awards Agency for Scotland (SAAS) for funding.

**Following the decision of the UK Government to remove the health bursary in England and move to a loans based support package for nursing, midwifery and AHP students from academic year 2017/18, the Scottish Government has confirmed that students commencing study on Nursing and Midwifery undergraduate programmes in September 2017 will be able to apply for tuition fee and living cost support from their home funding body.

Nursing students will also be eligible to apply for the University’s own generous package of financial support for students from England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Further guidance can be found here