School of Nursing

PGDip Mental Health Nursing

Start date(s)
16 September 2024
Course specifications
Course length
Full-time (1 year)
Campus location
University: City Campus
UCAS points calculator

Why choose this course?

Are you already a qualified Adult nurse on the NMC register ? If so consider our PG Diploma in Mental Health  Nursing. It is ideal for existing nursing registrants who want to qualify and register with the NMC in a second field of nursing. This PG Dip allows applicants to gain a second registration in 12 months following their initial pre-registration adult  nursing programme.

Our Postgraduate Diploma in Mental Health Nursing recognises the increasingly integrated nature of health service delivery and meets the demand for highly employable nurses who can work with patients with complex morbidities across different settings. It provides an option for nurses with an adult specialism to gain an NMC-approved second qualification in mental health nursing.

This option is ideal for existing nursing registrants who want to qualify and register with the NMC in a second field of nursing. It allows applicants to gain a second registration in 12 months following their initial pre-registration adult nursing programme.

This additional qualification would meet growing workforce needs and contribute towards improved quality of care. In addition to meeting workforce demands, dual registration could also enhance your career aspirations/trajectory in NHS trusts and private organisations looking for nurses with dual qualifications, providing you with a valuable advantage in the employment market.

Our Postgraduate Diploma in Mental Health Nursing course adopts a person-centred approach to enable you to develop the knowledge, skills and attitudes required to provide safe and effective nursing care for individuals of all ages experiencing mental distress.

It will enable you, if successful, to apply for a second registration with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) to practise as a registered Mental Health Nurse in a range of diverse health and social care settings. As a student on this course, the experience you gain will allow you to pursue a range of pathways, in addition you will also have exposure to patients from other areas including adult and learning disability nursing. The opportunities you have coming into nursing are vast: working clinically, becoming a manager, working in a research environment, working abroad and in education.

Nursing is a demanding profession which requires hard work, commitment, the ability to problem-solve, work independently and contribute to care as part of a team. This demanding route is designed to meet the needs of highly motivated graduates, looking to rapidly advance their career within the nursing profession. This course has been closely developed with local trust partners to reflect the increasing and rapidly changing requirements in patient care provision. The PG Dip Mental Health Nursing will create autonomous nurses with the clinical and leadership skills to synthesise data that will optimise the best possible patient care for people with mental illness.

The course will be split 50% in a clinical practice environment and 50% in academic setting of the University. As well as graduating with a Post Graduate Diploma in Mental health Nursing, upon successful completion you will be able to apply for registration with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) Upon completion of the course, you will be able to practise as a Registered Nurse in the field of Mental Health Nursing.

What happens on the course?

50% of your course will be based at the University and 50% on placements in a variety of practice areas.

During some of the course delivery Postgraduate Diploma, Masters in Adult Nursing and Masters in Mental Health Nursing students are taught together to utilise opportunities for shared experiential learning. You will also study a range of academic field (Mental health-focused) modules based on theory and practice experiences.

Semester 1

Advancing Skills for Evidence-based Mental Health Nursing Practice (20 credits)

This module enables you to advance your skills of mental, physical, cognitive and behavioural health needs assessment and interventions through the exploration of models and approaches to assessing and planning care. You will focus on specific conditions and safe evidence-based responses and associated pharmacology and pharmacodynamics in relation to the administration of safe medication. You will also further explore methods of evaluating the impact of care.

Healthcare Improvement and Patient Safety in Mental Health Nursing (40 credits)

This module enables you to independently, consistently and confidently assess plan lead and evaluate safe and effective nursing interventions for in a range of mental health care settings. You will explore the impact of human factors on healthcare in relation to both systems and individual elements and learn how to assess and respond appropriately to potential hazardous situations. Care improvement methodologies will be explored as a means to improving and enhancing the safety and quality of mental health nursing practice.

Semester 2

Advancing Evidence-Based Decision-Making in Mental Health Nursing (20 credits)

This module enables you to explore how evidence underpins the care of individuals with specific conditions and co-morbidities and the demands of meeting individual complex nursing and social care needs. During the module you will explore and develop your knowledge and skills associated with safe and effective mental health nursing practice. You will also examine the significance of your emerging role in safeguarding the public.

Preparing For Your Transition to Mental Health Nurse (40 credits)

You will further develop the knowledge, skills and attitudes required to deliver high-quality mental health nursing care to service users in a variety of diverse settings. You will develop your practical and critical thinking skills, knowledge of evidence-based practice as part of a multi-disciplinary team. You will demonstrate professionalism and leadership to and the NMC standards of proficiency required at the point of registration.

The development of complex mental health nursing practice will be acquired from a variety of community and acute settings reflecting the key drivers within the health sector. Academic mastery will be cultivated through problem-based learning approaches with opportunities for skills simulation in our laboratories. Learning will be supported by academic experts and researchers in the field of nursing and inter-professional learning with other healthcare disciplines.

A lot of what you’ll do on the course is based in our on-campus skills labs, which gives you the opportunity to test out your skills in a safe environment. Placements include providing nursing care to some of society’s most vulnerable people including the elderly and those who are physically ill or have a physical or mental health problems. In order to ensure all the people you care for are protected and kept safe, you will be expected to abide by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) guidance for student nurses.

As a student nurse, you are required to work shifts, including weekends and bank holidays. Shifts can be in the day or at night to ensure you gain experience of the different types of care patients receive at different times of day.

Placements for Mental Health Nursing at Wolverhampton City Campus will be across the Black Country and you will be expected to travel.

Travel expenses to University placements are not funded/subsidised.

Course Modules

Potential Career Paths

Successful completion of Postgraduate Diploma in Mental Health Nursing will lead to a  second registration with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) and will then open up the prospect of many jobs in clinical practice, hospital or community settings, research, teaching or managerial roles.

Mental Health nurses work in a variety of diverse settings caring for adults of working age and older people who are experiencing mental health problems. Mental health nurses work alongside many other professionals including social workers, psychiatrists, psychologists, occupational therapists, and GPs to plan and deliver person-centred care. Registered Nurses continue to study after they have qualified, often in a specialist area, as they develop their career path within the UK or working abroad.

Additional Information

Everything you need to know about this course!

State-of-the-art facilities at City Campus Wolverhampton include our skills labs. In the immersive simulation suite we can change the environment without moving our students – so we can recreate a road traffic accident, simulate someone who is having an acute mental health crisis, or produce an imitation intensive care unit. Through these simulations, you will get a sense of the environment you may end up in clinical practice and apply appropriate responses. 

Our mock hospital wards and Laerdal patient simulators allow you to practise without peril and gain confidence in a safe and risk-free environment.  

You will gain hands-on experiences in a variety of hospital, community and excellent nursing/residential homes, where you work alongside a range of healthcare and other professionals. You will experience opportunities for inter-disciplinary learning across all nursing pathways and with midwifery, social work and social care.

When you apply to the University of Wolverhampton, we provide you with a list of all of our placement providers. You get to indicate your placement choices (although your preferred placement cannot always be guaranteed). Student feedback on this is positive as it means you get to know your local Trust – the Trust gets to grow their own workforce, and you as the student have a greater chance of earning a job at the end of your course.

Who will teach you on this course?

All of the staff that teach you on this course are Registered Nurses. You will benefit from the team’s expertise, which draws on a wealth of different experiences including acute inpatient care and community care, as well as years of experience as advanced nurse practitioners, ward managers and commissioners.

As a Registered Mental Health Nurse you will:

  • meet the NMC Standards of proficiency for pre-registration nursing education
  • provide nursing care that is safe, effective and ethical and assume full responsibility and accountability for your own practice as a Nurse registered on the NMC register within the legal framework of the country in which you are employed
  • reflect upon and critically evaluate evidence to reach sound nursing judgements and exercise effective decision-making in complex situations within the mental health sphere of practice
  • critically examine the impact of political, professional and social contexts on your provision of person-centred mental health nursing care within the context of a multidisciplinary team
  • effectively apply your learning to identify, manage and lead enterprising innovations and service improvements in mental health nursing practice
  • demonstrate competence in the use of advanced technologies to quality assure and enhance your mental health nursing practice and maintain your life-long learning.

Location Mode Fee Year
Home Full-time £9250 per year 2022-23
Home Full-time £9250 per year 2023-24
Home Full-time £9250 per year 2023-24
Home Full-time £9250 per year 2024-25

These fees relate to new entrants only for the academic year indicated for entry onto the course, any subsequent years study may be subject to an annual increase, usually in line with inflation.

Candidates must be:

  • A registered nurse in the UK on Part 1 of the NMC register post 2011
  • or
  • A registered nurse in the UK on Part 1 of the NMC register pre 2011 with an honours degree 2.2 or above

GCSEs at grade C+/ 4 in an English-based subject and Maths or equivalent qualifications (e.g. Key Skills Level 2/ Learn Direct Level 2/ Functional Skills Level 2).

Please note we do NOT accept GCSE Short Courses


Other Requirements

You will need a computer and reliable internet access to successfully engage with your course. However, access to these facilities is also available in the University libraries during opening hours.

Applicants will need to demonstrate that on entry to the programme they have capability for digital and technological literacy to meet course outcomes. Evidence of digital literacy and technological literacy capability will therefore be aligned to the online application process.

Applicants will also be required to provide satisfactory personal statement and reference (academic or employer).

Those meeting the entry requirements may be shortlisted for a values-based selection process and will be subsequently required to meet a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) Check and Occupational Health requirements.

Read further information regarding interview preparation

Previous Study

Where an applicant has previously studied a professional course at another higher education institution, we will require an academic reference from your previous higher education institution.

Additional Information

During the Nursing course you will be required to attend placements.   When you are asked for your choice of placement area we will endeavour to meet your request however we must emphasise that this cannot be guaranteed and therefore you must ensure you are able to travel to the final placement area you are allocated.

Don't have GCSE English and/or Maths? Take our Equivalency Assessments

We understand that not everyone is able to achieve GCSE Maths and English for a variety of reasons. Our equivalency assessments provide an opportunity for you to further your English and/or Maths skills ready for your studies, as well as being able to meet part of the entry requirements for many of our undergraduate and postgraduate courses. Our online equivalency assessments are free of charge and accepted as the equivalent to a GCSE for the majority of our courses, however applicants of Initial Teacher Training courses will need to sit an on-campus equivalency test which costs £35. Find out more about our equivalency tests.

Free Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) and Occupational Health Check:

Due to the professional nature of some of our courses you may also be required to complete a Declaration of Health and Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) Check.  We will coordinate both of these non-academic conditions with you should your course require this and you receive an offer from us

There will be no cost for the DBS this is free to applicants who have secured an offer and have chosen to study at the University of Wolverhampton.

Student Visa Requirements:

Applicants who require a student visa to enter the UK are not eligible to be considered for this course. 

Skilled Worker Visa Requirements:

Applicants who are in the UK on a Skilled Worker Visa or are a dependent of a Skilled worker are not eligible to be considered for this course. 

“Really love flipped learning as a dyslexic learner it really does level the playing field in giving you opportunity to prepare.”

“The strengths of the module? It covered a diverse range of subjects but appropriate to practice. I liked that we had lots of additional sources that we could go back in our own time and revisit.”

“Not only have we received the knowledge and skills to be nursing registrants but we have also been taught how to lead person-centred care. As a part of the course, I have reflected upon my own values and moral compass which has not just been useful for my professional life but also my personal life.”

Tuition Fees Loan (Home Fee Status):

By studying an undergraduate or postgraduate pre-registration programme you are eligible for a Tuition Fee loan. of up to £9,250. The loan will support your studies and enable you to start a rewarding career in healthcare.

Changes for EU students:

The UK government has confirmed that EU students starting courses from 1 August 2021 will normally be classified as Overseas (International) students for fee purposes. More information about the change is available at UKCISA:

EU citizens living in the UK with 'settled' status, and Irish nationals living in the UK or Ireland, will still be classified as Home students, providing they meet the usual residency requirements, for more information about EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) click here.

NHS Grant:

All new and continuing nursing, midwifery and most allied health professionals’ students on pre-registration courses will also receive a grant of at least £5,000 per year that is not means-tested and will not have to be repaid.

An additional payment of up to £3,000 per academic year will be available to eligible students. Eligibility will include the following:

• £1,000 towards childcare costs • £1,000 if studying in a region that is struggling to recruit • £1,000 if studying a shortage specialism

Among others, the shortage specialisms have been confirmed to include:

• Mental health nursing

• Learning disability nursing

Read the full press release on the Government website to find out more or access“The recent grants for health courses explained"

Additional funding:

Is available via NHS Business Services Authority

The Learning Support Fund offers students additional support while studying for their degree. This includes:

• Dependants allowance of £1,000 per student per year

• Additional travel and accommodation costs to clinical placements over their normal daily travel costs

• An exceptional hardship fund of up to £3,000 per student per academic year

You can find more information on the University’s Funding, cost, fee and support pages.


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