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Nursing (Mental Health Nursing)

Abertay runs the only undergraduate honours-level nursing programme in Scotland with a sole focus on mental health. Public concern about mental health is growing and one in four people in the UK will reportedly experience a common mental health problem each year.

Next Start Date: September

Degree type: BSc (Hons)

UCAS Code: B760 (BSc/MHN)

Duration: 4 years (full-time)


Why choose this course?  

  • The programme is Scotland's only honours level mental health nursing degree.  Grounded in a commitment to recovery as a guiding principle, it has a strong focus on the delivery of research-informed, person-centred care.
  • We attract students from across Scotland and the wider UK, as well as Ireland and further afield.  This makes for a diverse group of learners which will enrich your time at University.
  • There is an active nursing society run by senior students.  Staff encourage you to get involved in their research, which has led to students presenting papers and posters at academic conferences.

With our partners in NHS Fife and NHS Tayside, we have been running mental health nursing programmes at Abertay for many years.  These have changed and developed as the profession has evolved.  This means that our course is modern, dynamic and forward looking.  We are keen to recruit students who are committed to providing excellent mental health care in what can be a challenging, but also very rewarding work context.

Our expertise lies in mental health nursing of individuals across the lifespan, alongside the development of student nurses into recovery focused practitioners.

Our commitment is to provide a stimulating and contemporary programme of study which will help you to develop both personally and professionally, and will equip you with the knowledge, skills and experience you require to practice as a mental health nurse. 


What you study

What you study

You will study the following core areas during your time on the programme:  

  • mental health nursing practice 
  • interpersonal skills and therapeutic interventions 
  • professional issues and ethical practice 
  • cognitive behaviour therapy 
  • physical health and well-being 
  • research and public health

In addition, you can choose an option module in the honours year.  Current options explore physical activity and health, and the sociology of sexuality. 

For more information on the course content, download the Programme information - BSc with Honours in Nursing (Mental Health Nursing)

How you learn and are assessed

Teaching is delivered through a variety of lectures, practical classes, tutorials, independent study and online learning.  This is combined with clinical practice placements which provide experience and the opportunity to put theory into practice through a process of mentoring, and the development of an ongoing achievement record.  Mental health nursing skills are developed on an individual basis as well as through small group work, interactive, and reflective practice.  Students benefit from the use of our interpersonal skills and clinical skills training suites.

Examination techniques

Assessment types are varied to test a breadth of skills.  Assessments include reports, reflective portfolios, essays, presentations - both oral and posters - appraisal of research, exams, class tests and case studies.  Performance on practice is assessed via placement reports. 

Entry routes

Minimum Entrance Requirements

English and Maths: 
All applicants must have passes in English in one of the following: National 5 B or GCSE grade B/5
All applicants must have passes in Maths or Lifeskills Maths in one of the following:  National 5 C or GCSE grade C/4

 ABBB; A Level BCC; Irish Highers H2H3H3H3;  International Baccalaureate 29 Points
Essential subjects: None‌
BTEC Extended Diploma DMM Applied Science or Health & Social Care
SWAP - our Coming from College pages list approved SWAP courses

Not sure if you are eligible for entry?

If you have the potential and motivation to study at university, regardless of your background or personal circumstances, we welcome your application.

We know that some people have faced extra challenges before applying to university and that is why we consider the background in which your academic grades have been achieved when making an offer. 

If you expect to receive passes in 3 Scottish Highers (grades A-C) and have:

  • been in care, or
  • participated in a targeted aspiration-raising programme such as LIFT OFF, LEAPS, FOCUS West, or Aspire North
  • no family background of going to university, or
  • live in an area, or attend a school, where not many people go to university.

We encourage you to submit an application.

International Applicants

You must provide certified proof of your English language level (minimum requirements are listed here).  Our British Council accredited International English Foundation Course can help you reach that level or, if you would like further develop your academic English, Intensive English for Academic Purposes can help you achieve your full potential.

EU applicants:  Entry requirements can be found on our Europe pages.  Overseas (non-EU) applicants:  We're currently developing your country pages, so please email us details of your entry requirements.

Alternative Entrance Requirements
Please email us if you have other qualifications/experience not listed here.

Applicants with non-standard qualifications should contact the admissions tutor for advice.

Fees and scholarships

Fee Category Tuition Fees
Scholarships & Bursaries
Scottish and other EU students

Current fees

Other forms of support
English, Welsh and Northern Irish

Current fees

Bursaries & Scholarships
Overseas (non EU) students

Current fees

Overseas Scholarships

Fees shown are payable annually, and may be subject to increase each year.

Further info

Career prospects

Graduates find employment in a wide variety of settings. For example, working in community and hospital settings in the NHS, the private and third sectors, with a wide range of groups - including older people, those under 65, and children and adolescents - and in substance misuse, acute care and forensic settings.

There are also opportunities for further study on our masters and PhD programmes.  Careers in research and education are also possible for those who go onto further study.

Industry links

You will be taught by an enthusiastic and committed team of teachers, researchers and practitioners with extensive experience.  The team is made up of mental health nurses with a variety of clinical backgrounds some of whom continue to work in practice.  This is complemented by practitioners and colleagues from counselling and nursing.  We have strong links with people with lived experience of mental distress and with those who provide informal care, with both groups contributing to teaching.  In addition, we work closely with the local Health Boards, who provide practice placements and mentors for students, as well as specialist teaching.

More info

You will complete approximately twenty weeks of practice in each of the first three years of the course, and are required to work across the Tayside and Fife region.

Applicants attend for interview and, if successful, must undergo successful health screening and criminal records checks.  Successful candidates make an annual declaration of good health and good character. The University must affirm this declaration before registration with the NMC is possible.

"I have spent four very happy years studying at Abertay University, Dundee.  I cannot praise the academic staff enough, not only for their teaching and guidance over the years, but the support I have received from them has been incredible.  

"Lecturers are approachable and very accommodating during difficult times.  Abertay has helped me achieve my ambition of becoming a registered nurse and has allowed me to flourish as a person; my experiences here have been second to none".  Mary, Ireland

"Studying at Abertay has been the best decision for me, as staff are always more than happy to help.  Having smaller class sizes allows us to have in depth discussions about topics related to the course.  I cannot fault the quality of teaching on the course".  Susan, Scotland 

Want to know more?
Student Recruitment Office
T:  +44 (0) 1382 308080
F:  +44 (0) 1382 308081


"Studying at Abertay has been the best decision for me, staff are always more than happy to help. Smaller class sizes allow us to have in-depth discussions. I cannot fault the quality of teaching."

(Susan, Scotland)

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