Division of Mental Health Nursing and Counselling


Head of Division: Kate Smith

Mental health is key to living in contemporary society, and our graduates enter a range of careers in mental health professions.  We deliver professional programme in Counselling.  We deliver the joint BSc (Hons) Psychology and Counselling with the Division of Psychology.  We also offer Continuing Professional Development for practitioners through our Open Minds programmes.

Our BSc (Hons) Mental Health Nursing is approved by the Nursing and Midwifery Council and leads to registration as a Mental Health Nurse.  It develops students to become competent, confident and highly skills professionals capable of entering a one of a range of specialisms in mental health nursing.  Key areas covered include the core skills in nursing, mental health perspectives and contexts, professional working, and practice-based learning, all of which enables students to combine academic study with learning on-site with our partners in the NHS, voluntary and private sectors.

MSc Counselling is a BACP accredited programme which confers professional status on qualification and entry to the BACP register of Counsellors and Psychotherapists.  The programme has been developed over a long period and is a market leader in the delivery of the Pluralistic Framework for Psychotherapy Integration.  Our programme ensures that graduates meet the increasingly high academic and practice standards for this competitive field.

BSc (Hons) Psychology and Counselling is a joint degree offered in collaboration with the Division of Psychology.  Alongside a BPS accredited psychology degree, students study core concepts in mental health, learn psychological interventions, and develop professional skills which can form the foundation of a range of future careers in social care, mental health and psychology.



The broad aim of our research is to explore the factors that facilitate recovery in people experiencing mental health and emotional difficulties. Current projects include:

Continuous Professional Development

Our Open Minds CPD programme includes a range of credit-bearing modules and short workshops including

Examples of online and blended learning credit-bearing modules:

  • Cognitive Behaviour Therapy
  • Motivational Interviewing
  • Crisis intervention and resolution
  • Leadership for Health and Social Care Professionals

Examples of short workshops:

  • Acceptance and Commitment Therapy
  • Counselling skills for Professionals
  • Introduction to Pluralistic Supervision

Our workshop events look at a diverse range of mental health topics and will include a combination of specialist speakers and Abertay’s own mental health and counselling experts.


Headspace is the mental health newsletter powered by Abertay University's Mental Health Team, designed for readers to learn about the latest research that the team are undertaking at the University, gain free resources and view the latest Mental Health CPD on offer from the University. 


Counselling and Interpersonal Skills Suite

This bespoke suite of rooms is essential to teaching our students in a range of interpersonal skills and therapeutic interventions.  The suite is designed in the format of a therapeutic clinical environment with comfortably furnished private rooms, a larger meeting space, and a central waiting area.  The suite is used by undergraduate and post-graduate students and provides a confidential and naturalistic environment to practice.  The suite is also used for assessments of skills, and therapy methods such as CBT. 

On non-teaching days the rooms are host to the Tayside Centre for Counselling, a research clinic which provides student placements and counselling to the local community.  It is host to a number of research projects including Counselling for Sight-loss

Clinical Skills Suite

The clinical skills lab has been created to mimic the healthcare environment, and is set up to allow students to learn core nursing skills and practices on campus.  It provides opportunities for students to learn a range of practical skills for example, basic life support, vital signs (blood pressure, temperature, and pulse), the management of sensory impairments, aseptic technique, and administration of medication.