Nursing Studies: Mental Health Nursing

MSc / Postgraduate Diploma / Postgraduate Certificate Mental Health

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Poor mental health affects a wide range of factors including our physical health, our relationships and our desire to take part in the world around us.

Research highlights that poor mental health is an inevitable consequence of inequalities, adverse childhood experiences and trauma. How can we best respond to people whose lives are most affected by these factors?  What are the key challenges faced by mental health service users and service providers?

The MSc in Mental Health will provide structured learning to support the development of informed, inclusive and skilled practitioners and researchers. The course covers current issues in mental health provision both in the UK and in a wider international context.

You will benefit from an exciting and challenging educational experience provided by academics, practitioners and service users. We make use of a blended learning approach so that students can continue their learning outside the classroom. Learning and teaching includes interactive seminars and lectures, self- directed learning, presentations and discussions.

Successful completion of each stage of the course could lead to either an MSc, PGDip or PGCert award.

There are specialist pathways for trained Social Workers seeking to become Approved Mental Health Professionals or Best Interest Assessors. You will need the approval and sponsorship of your local social services authorities (LSSA) to follow these routes. The AMHP and BIA pathways through the course provide the required training  framework to fulfil mandatory functions in accordance with both the Mental Health Act 1983 (amended 2007) and the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (Schedule A1 of the Mental Capacity Act (amended 2007). 

The MSc in Mental Health programme is suitable for graduates who want to start a career in mental health or for practitioners seeking to improve their practice. It would also suit researchers and policy makers with an interest in improving outcomes for people experiencing mental distress.

The course provides flexible options for study and individual modules for Continuing Professional Development (CPD) can be studied to meet the needs of a wide range of professionals including:

  • Psychologists
  • Social Workers
  • Nurses
  • Occupational Therapists
  • Paramedics
  • Probation Officers
  • Police Officers
  • Medical Practitioners
  • Healthcare workers


The course will lead you through a sequence of modules that build up your knowledge and skills. You can exit the programme at various stages to obtain the awards of PGCert, PG Dip or MSc.

Core modules are subject to confirmation but may include:

  • Understanding and assessing mental distress
  • Contemporary issues in mental health
  • Mental Health Statutory Practice: Rights, Risks and Responsibilities

Optional modules may include:

  • The mental health impacts of domestic violence and sexual abuse
  • Safeguarding in Mental Health
  • Inclusive and reflective practice
  • Migration and Mental Health
  • Research approaches and methods 

To obtain the award of MSc you will also need to complete a dissertation.

Students undertaking the MSc Mental Health will be graduates entering the field or experienced practitioners who will bring their existing knowledge and skills to the course. It will provide the opportunity to share and learn from other practitioners from across the health and social care sector.

The MSc Mental Health is designed to enhance the possibility of career progression and promotes the habits and value of life-long learning.

You will be required to complete a number of 20 credit modules as you progress through the course. Each module requires 30 hours of attendance at the University and 170 hours of self-directed study. Our aim is to teach two modules per term, which would require you to attend for one full day each week over a 10-week period.

We may offer some of that teaching as weekend teaching sessions so that working students are more able to negotiate study time.  A full-time student over one year would be required to attend the university for 10 full days each term.


2019/20 tuition fees for this course

Full-time N/A N/A
Part-time £855 per module £1,485 per module

Alumni of Canterbury Christ Church University are eligible for a 20% discount on this course, subject to terms and conditions.

Tuition fees for all courses which last more than one academic year are payable on an annual basis, except where stated.

There will be an annual inflationary increase in tuition fees for this course where the course lasts more than one academic year. For further information read the 2019/20 Tuition fee statements and continuing fee information.

Government loans of up to £10,906 are available for some postgraduate Master’s courses for students starting their course from 1 August 2018. Loans are subject to both personal and course eligibility criteria.

The rules around course eligibility mean that in some cases it may depend on how you are studying (full-time or part-time) as to whether you can apply for a postgraduate loan. To check whether your course is eligible, you can  email the Student Fees Team or call 01227 923 948.

Read more about  postgraduate masters student loans.

Students may self-fund their course or a sponsor may fund or part-fund. Bursaries, scholarships and fee discounts may also be available.

Further information


Additional course costs

Although we aim to minimise any additional costs to students over and above the course tuition fee, there will be some additional costs which students are expected to meet.

Costs applicable to all students

Text books Own purchase text books
Travel to other sites Where travel to other sites is required, this will be payable by the student
Library Fees and Fines Where students fail to return loaned items within the required time they will be responsible for the cost of any library fees and fines applicable
Printing & Photocopying The cost of printing and photocopying undertaken by students to support their individual learning are payable by the student
Graduation ceremonies It is free for the student to attend the ceremony itself. Guest tickets and robe hire / photography are additional costs payable by the student

General principle policy

The University’s general principles policy for additional course fees are set out here

CategoryIncluded in the tuition feeAdditional cost to student
Field trips (including trips abroad and trips to museums, theatres, workshops etc) No, if the trip contributes to the course as an optional module. Yes if the trip is optional.
Travel and accommodation costs for placements  No

Travel and accommodation costs for professional placements within the Education and Health & Wellbeing Faculties.

Travel and accommodation costs for other work placements. 
Text books No Own purchase text books.
DBS / Health checks No Yes
Professional Body registration No Yes
Travel to other sites (e.g. travel to swimming pool for lessons) No Yes
Clothing / Kit Yes, where the clothing / kit is essential for Health & Safety reasons. Yes, where the clothing is kept by the student and not essential for health and safety reasons.
Learning materials Essential learning materials (excluding text books) in connection with the course. Additional materials beyond the standard provision essential for the course or where the costs are determined by the student’s area of interest and the outputs are retained by the student.
Library fees and fines No Yes
Printing and photocopying No Yes
Social events No, unless the event forms an essential part of the course. Yes, unless the event forms an essential part of the course.
Graduation ceremonies It is free for the student to attend the ceremony itself. Guest tickets and robe hire/ photography are additional costs payable by the student.

The assessments accommodate a broad range of learning styles and have been selected to enhance your capacity to apply theory to practice. Assessment activities include case studies, presentations, and essays.

The full MSc Mental Health award is made of 180 credits. Each module carries 20 credits with the exception of the 40 or 60 credit bearing Dissertation/Project.

The entry requirements for the Postgraduate Diploma/MSc in Mental Health are guided by the standards set by Canterbury Christ Church University Regulation and Credit Framework for the Conferment of Awards:

You should normally hold a good honours degree, which is defined as a first class or second class honours degree, in a relevant subject discipline.

For professional programmes, as an alternative to a good honours degree, consideration will be given to applicants who

  • have a professional diploma, or equivalent, at an appropriate level in a relevant subject discipline; or
  • demonstrate significant professional experience at an appropriate level, together with relevant qualifications.

You should normally be working in a field of practice relevant to your proposed study or have sufficient access to it to support your studies.  Consideration is given to other, non-professionally registered specialists, who can demonstrate the relevance of the award to their professional and career development.

There are additional requirements for people applying to undertake both AMHP and BIA trainings. Please contact the Programme Director,, for further details.

Fact file

UCAS institution code

  • C10


  • 1 year full-time
    3 years part-time


  • September 2019

Entry requirements

  • You should normally hold a good honours degree at 2.2 or above, which is defined as a first class or second class honours degree, in a relevant subject discipline. See further entry requirements for alternative entry criteria.



Last edited 01/05/2019 14:37:00

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Last edited: 01/05/2019 14:37:00