BSc in Nursing - Mental Health

University of Stirling

Program Description

BSc in Nursing - Mental Health

University of Stirling


Mental health nursing is a challenging yet rewarding profession which allows its practitioners to establish strong therapeutic relationships with their clients.

Our mental health nursing students are provided with every opportunity to achieve the competencies required by the Nursing and Midwifery Council. They are offered a vibrant, thought-provoking and challenging academic course coupled with a wide range of practice learning experiences.

The mental health degree course is derived from the firm belief that mental health and well-being services must provide excellent services which respect the intrinsic value of people and their individuality (Repper and Perkins, 2004). This philosophy is firmly held by all members of the programme team and underpins the whole mental health programme.

You will achieve your Mental Health Nursing degree within our 330-acre, multi-award winning campus in Stirling.

From 2017 entry onwards nurse education at the Highland Campus in Inverness and the Western Isles Campus in Stornoway is now conducted by the University of the Highlands and Islands.

Top Reasons To Study With Us

  1. We are the highest ranked provider of Mental Health Nursing in Scotland, (The Complete University Guide, 2016).
  2. As well as providing the foundation for a future career in mental health nursing it provides the basis for future academic development either through post-graduate study or research.
  3. A Mental Health Nursing degree from the University of Stirling will prepare you to meet the needs the modern profession and to provide the best possible patient care. You will leave us as a confident and capable practitioner, fully equipped to join a clinical team on graduation.
  4. You will gain a degree in Adult Nursing or Mental Health Nursing from a multi-award winning faculty of Health Sciences, led by a group of world-leading academics, with strong and established research records, real nursing experience and a wealth of world-class publications who will support you both personally and academically.
  5. Our curriculum is informed by research and encourages students to take an evidence-based approach to nursing care. There is also a strong articulation between our course and the Scottish Government’s Healthcare Quality Strategy for NHS Scotland.


The course is approved by the Nursing and Midwifery Council.

Course objectives

The overarching programme outcomes reflect the NMC Standards for Pre‐registrationNursing Education (NMC, 2010) and will aim to ensure our graduate nurses are able to:

  1. Deliver high-quality essential care to all.
  2. Deliver complex care to service users across their field of practice.
  3. Act to safeguard the public, and be responsible and accountable for safe, person‐
  4. centred, evidence‐based nursing practice.
  5. Act with professionalism and integrity, and work within agreed professional,ethical and legal frameworks and processes to maintain and improve standards.5. Practise in a compassionate, respectful way, maintaining dignity and wellbeing and
  6. Practise in a compassionate, respectful way, maintaining dignity and wellbeing and
  7. communicating effectively.
  8. Act on their understanding of how people’s lifestyles, environments and the location of care delivery influence their health and wellbeing.
  9. Seek out every opportunity to promote health and prevent illness.
  10. Work in partnership with other health and social care professionals and agencies,service users, carers and families ensuring that decisions about care are shared.
  11. Use leadership skills to supervise and manage others and contribute to planning, designing, delivering and improving future services.

What makes us different?

At the Student Nursing Times Awards 2016, the University of Stirling was named Nurse Education Provider of the Year for pre-registration nursing. Final-year student Robert Murray also picked up the award for Student Nurse of the Year: Mental Health.

Entry requirements

Academic requirements

SQA Higher: BBB

GCE A-level: CCC

IB Diploma: 28 points

Other qualifications

Year one entry
Scottish HNC/D - Bs in graded units
English, Welsh and NI HNC/D - Merits and Distinctions

Advanced entry
Not available.

Access courses:
Access courses and other UK/EU and international qualifications are also welcomed.

Additional information
General entrance requirements apply
Mathematics Standard Grade (3), National 5 (C), Intermediate 2 (C), GCSE (C) or Level 4 or equivalent required. English Standard Grade (3), National 5 (C), Intermediate 2 (C), GCSE (C) or Level 4 or equivalent required.

If examinations are taken over two sittings, or there are repeats or upgrades, the entrance requirements may be higher.

English language requirements

If English is not your first language you must have evidence of your English language skills:

International (non-EU) students must have:

  • IELTS with overall score of 7.0 with at least 7.0 in each skill; this is the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) English language requirement for all non EU applicants.

EU Students must have one of the following:

  • IELTS score of 6.0, with at least 5.5 in each skill
  • Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE): Grade B
  • Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English (CAE): Grade A
  • Pearson Test of English (Academic): 67 with a minimum of 55 in each component
  • IBT TOEFL: 100 with no subtest less than 20

If you need to improve your English language skills before you enter this course, our partner INTO University of Stirling offers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability for entry to this degree.

Scholarships & funding

Students who meet the residence eligibility criteria may be eligible for the Nursing and Midwifery Student Bursary. Further details are available from the Student Awards Agency for Scotland (SAAS)

Delivery and assessment

Students are encouraged to demonstrate a growing appreciation of life sciences, health and wellbeing , social and behavioural sciences, values , law , ethics nursing care and compassion , communication and quality improvement. These themes are coupled with evidence-informed clinical skills as the basis of our programme.

All the material shared with students and during the practice learning experiences is built around health, well-being and a shared values base for mental health nursing. Students are encouraged to embrace the mental health continuum, across the lifespan, to acknowledge the centrality of positive relationships, rights, respect, reaching out and recovery and responsibility in their chosen profession.

Students taking the course are introduced to the mental health and well-being continuum. This embraces a values base and utilises the NHS Education for Scotland learning materials Ten Essential Shared Capabilities, 2012.

These materials highlight the inherent importance of:

  • Relationships;
  • Rights;
  • Respect;
  • Recovery;
  • Reaching out;
  • Responsibility.

The focus of the course is on developing skills which facilitate our students’ capacity to work alongside service users in their life journey. This work can take place in a wide range of locations (occurs irrespective of the location of engagement).

This philosophy underpins:

  • NHS Education for Scotland Realising Recovery learning materials (2008)
  • Scottish Recovery Network

The programme develops students’ critical and reflective thinking and in doing so improves their self-awareness, self-confidence and personal resilience.

Our course combines generic and mental health field specific learning throughout the three years with the field specific learning increasing over the three years of the course.

Advances in knowledge require that Mental Health Nurses continually incorporate new research findings into their practice; this awareness is embedded in our programme. The need for our students to acknowledge and incorporate evidence-based, outcomes-orientated practice is also acknowledged within the course philosophy.

A wide range of approaches to teaching and learning is adopted by the Faculty. Central to this is a student-centred approach which uses small group teaching (enquiry-based learning or EBL) in combination with lectures, seminars, group work and clinical skills teaching. You will be assessed by a range of methods including examinations, essays, reports, clinical skills assessments, presentations and assessments of practice.

Study abroad opportunities

We are committed to encouraging students to add an international dimension their programme of study and support students interested in applying for international elective practice learning experiences. There is opportunity for students to engage in national or international elective practice opportunities during their time on the programme. The three independent study weeks at the end of years one and two afford the opportunity for students to attend an elective practice learning experience.

Current partner universities include the University of South Florida, Tampa, U.S.A; University of Navarra, Pamplona, Spain; and Paracelsus University, Austria. We also have a practice learning agreement in place with EMSMedical Centre in Nazareth, Israel. We are continuing to expand practice learning opportunities following positive student feedback that elective practice learning experiences were an asset to their personal and professional development and enhanced their employability.

Honours students

In addition to the above, students enrolled in the Honours route have the opportunity to apply for an international elective exchange practice learning experience via an ERASMUSagreement or with one of the School’s partner universities listed above or a national elective practice learning experience within the UK. This elective practice learning experience would take place during year three whilst peers in the BSc Nursing route are undertaking their sign‐off practice learning experience. Elective national or international practice learning experiences are an invaluable opportunity to gain insight and perspective into health and wellbeing in different social, cultural, political and economic contexts and settings. Moreover, they promote personal and professional growth, enhance employability and build self‐confidence to become lifelong learners.


We have excellent relationships with each of the main partner NHS Boards associated with our Faculty – NHS Forth Valley, NHS Highland and NHS Western Isles – which means that we work together to ensure that our course remains clinically excellent and that our students get the best possible experience while they are studying.

Academic strengths

Our curriculum is informed by research and encourages students to take an evidence-based approach to nursing care. There is also a strong articulation between our course and the Scottish Government’s Healthcare Quality Strategy for NHS Scotland.

Feedback from our clinical partners indicates that, as newly-qualified nurses, our students are seen as committed, enthusiastic and adaptable; confident and with the flexibility required to meet current service needs.

Career opportunities

This course is the beginning of a career which involves ongoing professional development. Some of our graduates focus on initially consolidating their learning by working in practice, whilst others progress to postgraduate studies. Career options may include working in acute units, in the community or in specialist areas such as forensic psychiatry, alcohol or substance misuse or psychological therapists.

A mental health nursing degree from the University of Stirling will prepare you to meet the needs of a modern profession and to provide the best possible patient care in a range of settings. You will leave us as a confident and capable practitioner, fully equipped to join a health care team on graduation. 97% of BSc Nursing (Mental Health) graduates were in work and/or study six months after leaving the course, 95% in a professional or managerial role. (UNISTATS 2016).

The majority entering employment find roles within the NHS, while others have found employment in other areas of the public sector, as well as with private healthcare providers and the voluntary sector.

In addition, internships may be available through the Scottish Government’s One-year Job Guarantee scheme

This school offers programs in:
  • English

Cost & Fees


  • Overseas students (non-EU) £ 13,760.00
  • Scottish and EU students n/a
  • Students from the rest of the UK n/a

Please note that students who are classed as being from the rest of the UK are not eligible to apply to Student Finance for a loan as they can apply to SAAS for a Nursing Bursary.

You should expect to pay fees for every year you are in attendance and be aware fees are subject to revision and may increase annually. Students on programmes of study of more than one year should take this into account when applying.

Please note there is an additional charge for the conferral of your degree. This will be charged at the rate applicable when you complete your studies.

Last updated September 28, 2017
Duration & Price
This course is Campus based
Start Date
Start date
Sept. 2018
3 years
Full time
United Kingdom - Stirling, Scotland
Start date: Sept. 2018
Application deadline Request Info
End date Request Info
Sept. 2018
United Kingdom - Stirling, Scotland
Application deadline Request Info
End date Request Info
Price Overseas students (non-EU): £ 13,760 - Scottish and EU students: n/a - Students from the rest of the UK: n/a