Your feedback is important to us
Please take two minutes at the end of your visit to help us improve our information and services.
Skip to content The Open University
    Back to BSc (Honours) Mental Health Nursing

BSc (Honours) Mental Health Nursing: Standard pathway

On this page
This degree is made up of 360 credits.

What you will study

There are two ways to start a qualification. You can begin your studies at Stage 1, or, if you haven’t studied for a long time, you can get started by studying an Access module as an additional preparatory stage of your chosen qualification. We know from experience that students who have completed an Access module do better in their subsequent modules, so it could be the vital first step you take to help you succeed in your future studies.

To find out the recommended Access module for this pathway, choose your country in the Fees section below.

Stage 1

Stage 1 consists of two compulsory 60-credit modules.

An introduction to health and social care (KYN101)undergraduate.qualification.pathways.Q74-1,module,KYN101,,1 will give you a broad foundation to develop the skills required as a practitioner and lead you towards becoming a registered nurse.  

The practice-based module Enhancing your healthcare practice (KYN117)undergraduate.qualification.pathways.Q74-1,module,KYN117,,1, which is studied online, will help you to maintain the relevance of your practice in an ever-changing healthcare environment.

Together they provide you with appropriate preparation in healthcare practice and the knowledge, understanding and skills needed to reach progression point 1 (NMC requirement). You’ll also be well prepared for studies at Stage 2.

Stage 2

Stage 2 will provide you with the necessary knowledge, understanding and skills to extend your healthcare practice across different service user groups and within diverse healthcare settings in the modules Principles and skills for nursing practice (KYN237)undergraduate.qualification.pathways.Q74-1,module,KYN237,,1 (60 credits) and Exploring perspectives on health and illness (KYN238)undergraduate.qualification.pathways.Q74-1,module,KYN238,,1 (30 credits). This stage also includes more specialist study of the science of mental health with The science of the mind: investigating mental health (SKYN228)undergraduate.qualification.pathways.Q74-1,module,SKYN228,,1 (30 credits).

By the end of this stage, you’ll be at progression point 2 (NMC requirement) and ready to move on to Stage 3.

Stage 3

Your Stage 3 studies will provide you with the knowledge, understanding and skills to confidently manage, innovate, lead and critically review practice through the combination of the two compulsory 60-credit modules Exploring practice (KYN316) planned for October 2015 and Preparing for graduate practice (KYN317)undergraduate.qualification.pathways.Q74-1,module,KYN317,,1. You’ll contribute significantly to the work of the multidisciplinary team, and ensure that service users receive compassionate, person-centred and evidence-based care. 

On successful completion of your degree, you’ll be ready to apply to the NMC for professional registration as a nurse in the field of mental health nursing.

Modules quoted in qualification descriptions are those that are currently available for study. As the structure of our qualifications is reviewed on a regular basis, the University is unable to guarantee that the same selection of modules will continue to be available in future years.

How long it takes

Typically it takes four years part-time study to complete this qualification, but you can take anything from four to seven years.


Code: Q74 Made up of: 360 credits
Type of qualification: Degree

Undergraduate or bachelors degrees are nationally recognised qualifications consisting of academic study designed to help you gain a thorough understanding of a subject.

For a degree in a named subject, such as business studies or humanities, you'll study mainly in your chosen subject, although you may be able to include some modules from other subjects.

With The Open University you could also study an Open degree where you can combine a range of modules from similar or different subjects to suit either your particular career or personal interests.

You can use a degree to:

  • change careers or progress your current career
  • gain an in-depth knowledge and understanding of a subject you are interested in
  • gain professional recognition
  • go onto postgraduate study, such as a diploma or masters degree.

Entry requirements

You can only be registered for this degree, if your employer has ensured that you meet the entry requirements specified by the NMC for entry to pre-registration nurse education. You must be working in healthcare practice in a caring role where mentors are available and your study can only be paid for by your employer. Places on the programme are offered following a selection process. (Please note that this degree is not available in Wales.) All shortlisted applicants will be invited to a face-to-face interview as required by the NMC. 
The current NMC entry requirements include:

  • literacy (Key skills level 2 or equivalent e.g. GCSE Grade C or above in English)
  • numeracy (Key skills level 2 or equivalent e.g. GCSE Grade C or above in Maths)
  • good character evidenced through self-declaration, an enhanced criminal disclosure and two references, one of which must be from your current employer
  • good health evidenced through self-declaration of health status, occupational health screening, review of previous sickness and absence record and two references, one of which must be from your current employer.

 This qualification is only offered by the university in association with partnering employers.

  • If you are interested in this qualification and you meet the entry requirements above, we recommend that you speak to your practice education manager in your own organisation.
  • If you are an employer interested in working in partnership with the OU please contact our Student Registration & Enquiry Service.

Credit for previous study elsewhere

If you have already completed some successful study at higher education level at another institution you may be able to transfer credit for this study and count it towards this qualification. If you wish to apply to transfer credit you must do so as soon as possible, and before you register for this qualification.  

If you are awarded credit for study completed elsewhere, you may find that you need to study fewer OU modules to complete this qualification. This may also mean that the next start date and the maximum time limit for this qualification are different to those shown above.

Visit our Credit Transfer site for more information and details of how to apply for credit transfer.

Are you already an OU student ? Go to StudentHome for information on choosing your next module.

Your questions

Try our frequently asked questions.

Come and meet us at an event near you.

Or contact an adviser by Email or call +44(0) 845 300 60 90 +44(0) 845 366 60 35

Employers' questions

Contact Corporate Enquiries
Visit our website for employers or Email us

Get a prospectus

Download or