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Course content

Develop the skills to work as a partner in the care of people across society in the formidable and rewarding field of mental health nursing. On this course you will hone your ability to make complex decisions, learn how to evaluate practice, co-ordinate care and advocate for patients' needs. By studying at the University of Southamptona founder member of the Russell Group, you will also benefit from our global and national pedigree in nursing; 10th in the world and 3rd among UK universities.

Introducing your course

Our two year postgraduate diploma will enable you to deliver exceptional evidence-based nursing care that empowers people to live as independently as possible with their mental health needs. Learning from our world-leading researchers, inspiring and experienced educators and practitioners you will rapidly develop into a highly skilled, knowledgeable nurse, capable of supporting individuals with a wide spectrum of challenges to their mental well-being. We emphasise recognition of personal values such as empathy and compassion, and development of innovative communication and therapeutic interventions shaped by service user preferences and culture. Your theoretical learning is complemented with practical experience in clinical and community settings.


The PGDip comprises theory and practice to ensure appropriate preparation and assessment in both areas. You will gain a wealth of practical experience during your practice placement, helping you to assimilate the role of a nursing professional. Theoretical modules are designed to cover the many subjects needed for nursing, including: health sciences, psychology, sociology, leadership and politics, as well as the fiscal aspects of nursing.

The main emphasis is on developing higher level skills of critical thinking, reasoning and analysis. You will also develop enhanced leadership skills equipping you to supervise, delegate and challenge practice in the future. Cooperative learning is central to the success and support of the programme. You will be an active part of a field-specific ‘action learning group’ where interactions construct new knowledge, place it within a conceptual framework of existing knowledge, and then refine and assess what you know and do not know.

Conference days are an integral part of the programme and is a forum where our distinguished professors share their cutting edge research. It provides opportunities for students to learn, build networks and be part of a conference environment.

View the programme specification document for this course

Career Opportunities

Modern nursing is a demanding vocation that could lead you into employment in a variety of settings in both hospitals and the wider community. As a graduate your degree qualification and practical experience will give you the ideal platform to develop your career in the direction that interests you most. Furthermore, as your knowledge and expertise increase you could move into a more senior position. For example, you could become a consultant nurse, leading a team and/or working in advanced clinical practice.

You could also opt to work in education, where you will train and inspire future generations of nurses. Fast track opportunities to enrol on doctoral programmes will exist if you prove to be a high-flying student. In addition, you may have the option to combine practice and research, or research and education. These are known in the profession as clinical academic careers.

Visit the Nursing (Mental Health) (Pre-registration) - PGDip page on the University of Southampton website for more details!




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