MSc Nursing (Pre-registration) Mental Health

Postgraduate, Full-time

Nursing (Pre-registration) Mental Health MSc

Qualify in two years as a Mental Health Nurse registered with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) and enjoy a flexible study approach.


This full time two-year MSc Nursing (Pre-registration) programme is for graduates from any discipline who meet the necessary entry criteria to study and work in the UK.

During this programme, you will learn in a variety of practice settings, and study contemporary evidence-based nursing modules. To facilitate a breadth of authentic educational experiences, you will learn with inter-professional health and social care teams, and from people accessing health and social care support. You will become a life-long learner; a critical thinker who supports and influences the highest quality evidence base and provides exceptional person-centred care.

You will enter the nursing profession as a confident, proficient and autonomous practitioner, with a strong understanding of current health and social care environments.  You will have the skills to lead, innovate and influence future provision to effectively meet the needs of people.

The School of Health and Social Care is based at our Sighthill Campus in the city of Edinburgh.

The deadline for January 2023 applications has been extended to 24th June 2022. Applicants who reach the next stage of the admissions process will then be invited to submit a portfolio after this date.
Mental Health Nursing student talking to a patient

Mode of Study:



2 years

Start date:


Course details

Nurses today need to be able to demonstrate competence and leadership in nursing care. To deliver this, they need to be able to work flexibly, inter-professionally and collaboratively in a dynamic and ever-evolving health and social care arena.

Our nursing programme takes account of the key initiatives in health and social care at local, national and international levels and is developed in partnership with our clinical partners, students, service users and carers.

You will learn alongside your colleagues on your programme as well as colleagues studying their master's in Adult Health Nursing, colleagues from all fields of nursing on our Bachelor of Nursing (BN) programme and colleagues from our Allied Health and Social Work programmes. Each of your six practice placements will be specific to the Mental Health field of nursing. The course is designed so that you will acquire in-depth knowledge and understanding which gives you specific skills and competences to work within a variety of health and social care teams and settings. The programme will enable you to specialise in your chosen field of nursing to deliver high quality, evidence-informed person-centred care.

On completion, this course will have supported you to become a creative, autonomous, innovative and dynamic nurse with an excellent grounding in nursing theory and practice incorporating current developments within your chosen field of nursing.

Additional mandatory costs

Students are expected to pay for their registration with the Nursing and Midwifery Council, at successful conclusion of their programme, £120.

  • calendar How you’ll be taught The MSc Nursing (Pre-registration) is online and accessible. Self-directed learning within communities of learning enable support. Our clearly structured concept-based curriculum explores the most up to date evidence in health and social sciences, encouraging critical engagement and innovation.

    Your theoretical teaching and some skills teaching will be online. For any face-to-face sessions you will be based at the Sighthill Campus in Edinburgh.
  • note and pen Assessments

    Assessments are varied and include presentations, written editorials, case reports, verbal patient handovers with peers online, simulating clinical skills through online and face to face mediums, critical reflection, and dissertation writing along with ongoing assessment within six practice learning environments.

  • briefcase Work placement

    Integrated into this programme are practice placements within South East Scotland. There is an opportunity to choose one placement experience. We can offer support to help identify an experience further afield, perhaps nationally or internationally (this is called a mobility placement). Within the university there are also opportunities for expanding your practice by volunteering in a range of activities, such as the food bank, charities and working with researchers in the School.  Where possible we encourage you to attend conferences, workshops and participate in exchange programmes.*

    *These experiences may require funding through sponsorship/self-funding.

  • study abroad Study abroad There is an opportunity to have a mobility practice placement nationally or internationally during the programme.
  • library Facilities

    You will have the opportunity to practice in both NHS Lothian and Borders, as well as exposure to social care and voluntary services. Your theoretical and some skills teaching will be online, and for any face to face sessions you will be based at the Sighthill Campus in Edinburgh. Mandatory skills training will take place in a world-class skills unit with simulated clinical and social living space.

    The University is committed to delivering high quality programmes of learning and offers excellent support in terms of study facilities, library services, pastoral and academic skills support. Within the programme you will also have a personal development tutor who will support you and work co-productively to enable you to progress throughout the programme.


Modules that you will study* as part of this course

Assessment and Care Planning ( NUR11121 )

This module focuses on Platform 3 of the NMC Future Nurse Standards (2018), which covers Assessment and Care Planning. The following outcomes from this platform are addressed [3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 3.4, 3.5, 3.7, 3.10, 3.11, 3.12, 3.13, 3.14, 3.15 and 3.16]. In addition outcomes from Platforms 1 [1.14], 4 [4.1] and 7 [7.9] are addressed alongside Annexe A [1.12, 4.2.6,] which focuses on communication and relationship management skills.
In this module you will critically evaluate the role of the nurse in enabling evidence informed person-centred assessment and care, with a view to executing best practice in person-centred assessment and care planning in contemporary nursing. You will begin by exploring and critically analysing the overarching concept of ‘person’ from the perspective of ‘being human’, both physically and mentally. Through engagement with, and critical analysis of the principles and theories informing equality, diversity and inclusion [LO1], human physiology and pathophysiology [LO2], you will gain an in-depth understanding of human health and ill-health all viewed through a lens of complexity, diversity and choice. Through critically engaging with a wide variety of evidence, you will gain an extensive and detailed knowledge about the importance of working in partnership with the individual to enable high-quality person-centred care [LO1-2].

Key evidence is drawn on from the theories of person-centeredness. You will be encouraged to critically analyse and evaluate the validity of this theoretical framework as a foundation for contemporary care [LO3]. This will in turn inform your knowledge of person-centred assessment and care planning. You will explore and critique evidence informing assessment and care planning approaches in nursing, you will then use this knowledge and critique to select valid and reliable person-centred assessment and care planning tools. You will be facilitated to critically evaluate a range of approaches in order to determine the most reliable approach(s) for individuals [LO4].

The module will enable you to develop critical and applied skills in assessment and care planning while working in partnership with individuals to tailor care to suit a range of health conditions. This outcome will be underpinned by the knowledge and application of physiology and pathophysiology, critical evaluation of theories informing the concept of person-centred care and evidence-informed practice. This module has been set up to support the development and enhancement of communities of learning in line with a programme focused approach.

Further information

Health in a Social and Geographical Context ( NUR11120 )

This module predominately addresses outcomes within Platform 2 of the NMC Future Nurse Standards (2018); Promoting Health and Preventing Ill Health. The following outcomes are addresses [2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 2.4, 2.5, 2.6, 2.7, 2.8, 2.11 and 2.12]. In addition, it addresses outcomes in Platform 5 - Leading and Managing Nursing Care and Working in Teams [5.1] and Platform 7 - Co-ordinating Care [7.2, 7.3] as well as Annexe B - Communication and relationship management skills [2.1, 2.2, 2.8].

The module focuses on the interaction of individual and society to inform understanding of people’s experience of physical and mental health and illness and of utilising health and social care provision.

Key theories are drawn on from the social sciences, and specifically from social epidemiology. You will be encouraged to critique and review these theories with a view to determining their validity, you will do this using both peer reviewed literature and contemporary events. Theories will be used as a basis for critical thinking about the role of the nursing profession in identifying meaningful evidence informed opportunities to address wider societal problems [LO1].

A critical view of population health strategies will be taken drawing on evidence as to their effectiveness. Doing so will require you to understand the theory lying behind approaches such as the sensitivity and specificity of screening [LO2, LO3]. This learning will be done with a view to you developing detailed critical knowledge that enables you to consider issues such as accessibility, and demonstrate confidence in communicating complex ideas in lay terms.

The module will encourage you to develop a critical understanding as to the relevance of the theories to themselves and their practice drawing from the social sciences of critical work on structure and agency. Practical ways in which nurses and the nursing profession can make a difference, including screening (for example for depression, problematic alcohol use, cancer, falls risk and so forth), vaccination, education, inter-professional work (for example drawing on the third sector), and advocacy of individuals and communities [LO3]. This linking of theory to practice will be especially encouraged through the production of an editorial advocating for an intervention that has implications for improving population health [LO1-3]. This module has been set up to support the development and enhancement of communities of learning in line with a programme focused approach.

Further information

Theory and Practice 1 (TAP 1) - Accountable Professional ( NUR11119 )

The aim of this module is to help you to develop as an accountable professional nurse. The module will include theoretical study, practice learning and simulation of nursing procedures aligned to NMC Future Nurse: Standards of proficiency for registered nurses (2018). The module content addresses NMC outcomes drawn from Platform 1 - Being an Accountable Professional [1.1, 1.11, 1.12, 1.13, 1.16, 1.15, 1.17, 1.18, 1.19, 1.2, 1.3, 1.4, 1.5, 1.6, 1.7, 1.9, 1.10], Annexe A - Communication and Relationship Management Skills and Annexe B - Nursing Procedures. In addition, outcomes relating to communication, professionalism and evidence informed practice from Platforms 2 - 7 are also addressed. Platform 2 [2.9, 2.10], Platform 3 [3.6, 3.8, 3.9], Platform 4 [4.2, 4.3, 4.12, 4.13], Platform 5 [5.11], Platform 6 [6.11] and Platform 7 [7.4, 7.13].

This module spans all three trimesters within the first year of the MSc Nursing (Pre-registration) programme. Each trimester you will undertake one Practice Learning Experience (PLE); trimester 1 - PLE 1, trimester 2 - PLE 2, and trimester 3 - PLE 3. Each PLE in year 1 will equate to 3 days per week. Practice learning will be integrated with self-directed online theoretical learning for which you are given two days per week. Theoretical and practice learning is complemented by online group tutorials and critical reflection sessions. At the end of each trimester Touch Point weeks will enable further interaction with your peers and be a forum for a range of activities such as, listening to keynote speakers, accessing conferences, attending research seminars, collaboration with other inter-professional and cross institutional Masters students, and taking part in voluntary work and other career development activities.

In order to prepare you for your first practice learning experience (PLE), you will undertake a period of theoretical and simulated skills learning at the beginning of the module, including mandatory skills - cardio-pulmonary resuscitation (CPR), manual handling (MH) and prevention and management of violence and aggression (PMVA).

Theoretical input focuses on the introduction of three essential core concepts - professionalism [LO 1, LO 4], communication [LO 2, LO 5], evidence informed practice [LO 1 - 5]. Module concepts will be presented within online units of study to enable exploration and analysis of key nursing knowledge and procedures [e.g. types of communication, motivational interviewing, breaking bad news etc]. Further context is added through the identification and critical examination of the complexity within the socio-political and economic dimensions of health and social care and evidence underpinning self-leadership, professional relationships and co-production within contemporary nursing practice.
Concepts focused on in the module are relevant to all fields of nursing practice and scenarios used to enable your learning will address content relevant to mental health, adult health, learning disability and child health nursing. This shared approach to learning will prepare you to meet the person-centred and holistic care needs of the people you encounter in practice, who may have a range of mental, physical and behavioural health challenges and be at any stage in their life. This approach also signposts you towards field specific knowledge which is further facilitated through completion of the evidence informed online activities, participating in tutorials and simulation, working in practice and completing the module assessments (theory and practice).

Skills development will also be woven into the Moodle platform throughout the module to provide you with a seamless presentation of evidence based theoretical and procedural concepts. Numeracy, literacy and digital technology within the context of health and social care practice will be explored through understanding and working with service users, health and social care colleagues to support medicines management and monitoring health.

As your conceptualisation of 'being an accountable professional' grows, you will be encouraged to critically reflect upon and analyse any previous assumptions and understandings with a view to identifying your new learning. Importantly, your applied understanding of nursing within an integrated health and social care context should enable you to identify, conceptualise and develop creative responses to situations encountered in practice.

Through engagement with and critical analysis of both key and wider literature, you will build a personalised, field specific and evidence-informed understanding of the module learning outcomes; these will then be critically examine and reflected upon in your formative and summative assessments.

Completion of this module will enhance your critical understanding, analysis and evaluation of communication, professionalism and evidence informed practice both broadly and in relation to your chosen field of nursing practice (Adult Health or Mental Health).

Further information

* These are indicative only and reflect the course structure in the current academic year. Some changes may occur between now and the time that you study.



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

Placement and study abroad opportunities are subject to UK and Scottish Government health and travel advice.

Full information is available in our disclaimer.

Entry requirements

Bachelor (Honours) degree at 2:2 or above in any degree subject.  Alternatively we can accept a Bachelor (Ordinary) degree in nursing with distinction where registration is in an alternative field to the one you are wishing to study (e.g. child health or learning disability). Should you meet the academic entry criteria, you will then be asked to complete an RPL (Recognition of Prior Learning) document to provide evidence of undertaking a minimum of 500 hours (equivalent to 12-14 weeks full-time) of occupational or voluntary work supporting the health and/or wellbeing needs of people, in addition to demonstrating a minimum of 500 hours of appropriate theoretical learning and understanding evidenced from a previous degree and practice.

National 5 Maths and Science (Biology, Chemistry or Physics) at grade C or above taken within the past 5 years is also required  - if applicants do not have these we can suggest alternative online equivalent courses to undertake.

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

To ensure safe and effective practice, all offers to the programme and continuation on the programme will be conditional on a satisfactory Protecting Vulnerable Groups (PVG) check by Disclosure Scotland (which will include a criminal record check), an acceptable Good Health and Good Character assessment as required by the Nursing and Midwifery Council, and that you are passed as fit to practice following an Occupational Health review.

This programme requires a high level of digital literacy to enable engagement with learning materials, using a variety of digital platforms and databases to search for information and evidence, and collaboration as a member of a community of learning during tutorials in a digital space.

Please note that international students are unable to enrol onto this programme.

English Language Requirements

IELTS 7.0 with no less than 7.0 in each component, excluding Writing which requires 6.5.

International students

We welcome applications from students studying a wide range of international qualifications.
Entry requirements by country

Please note that international students are unable to enrol onto the following courses:
  • BN Nursing/MSc Nursing (Pre-registration) (Adult, Mental Health, Child, Learning Disabilities)
  • BM Midwifery/MM Midwifery

Admissions policies

We’re committed to admitting students who have the potential to succeed and benefit from our programmes of study. 

Our admissions policies will help you understand our admissions procedures, and how we use the information you provide us in your application to inform the decisions we make.

Undergraduate admissions policies
Postgraduate admissions policies

Fees & funding

The course fees you'll pay and the funding available to you will depend on a number of factors including your nationality, location, personal circumstances and the course you are studying. We also have a number of bursaries and scholarships available to our students.

Tuition fees
Students from 2021/22 2022/23
Scotland £1,820 £1,820
England Wales Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland £9,250 £9,250

The Nursing and Midwifery Student Bursary (NMSB) Scheme provides financial support for students on pre-registration Nursing and Midwifery courses in Scotland. The scheme is administered by the Student Awards Agency Scotland (SAAS).

From 2020/1, students normally domiciled in Scotland are eligible to claim £10,000 as a non-income-assessed personal allowance per year of study.


Student mental health nurse playing with patient

Edinburgh Napier University is one of the largest providers of nursing professionals in Scotland. This MSc programme will deliver post-graduate nurses who have excellent career prospects. Roles might take them anywhere from working with acute emergency admissions, to providing care in community settings, to leading discussions in the meeting rooms of health boards. They might work in the city of Edinburgh, remote and rural parts of Scotland, or even overseas.

The MSc Nursing (Pre-registration) programme at Edinburgh Napier University aims to cultivate informed decision makers and life-long learners. Nursing is a fluid and constantly changing entity and we work with our students to help them develop the skills to welcome and withstand the changing demands of our evolving profession and operate at the forefront of nursing.

It is anticipated that as a critically reflective practitioner with excellent leadership skills, following a period of consolidation post award, our MSc registrants will be able to apply for roles nationally or internationally, within the NHS, Social Care or in other private and public sectors; examples might include:

  • Lecturer in Nursing
  • Research Nurse
  • Senior Nursing positions
  • Lead clinician for a charity
  • Advanced Practice Nurse
  • Clinical Nurse Specialist
  • Nurse Consultant
People talking at a table