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Mental Health Nursing - PGDip

Course Description

This two year, fast-track degree prepares you to provide holistic, compassionate care and support for people with mental health problems.

Who is it for?

The Postgraduate Diploma in Mental Health Nursing is designed for well motivated individuals looking for a rewarding and challenging career.

As a Mental Health Nurse, you should be patient and compassionate in order to recognise individual needs and the appropriate interventions for them. It is all about helping people make positive changes to their lives and supporting them on their journey of recovery.


City’s Postgraduate Diploma in Mental Health Nursing offers you the opportunity to train in one of London’s leading and most well-established departments for nursing education. Our priority is to ensure that you graduate with the skills and knowledge to enter the mental health nursing profession, which can often be a stressful and challenging environment, with confidence.

As a student at City, you will combine theoretical study with clinical experience, working with London's diverse population in leading hospitals and community settings. We will prepare you for all aspects of the profession including supporting people working towards recovery, dealing with crisis and emergency situations, improving the effect of patients’ physical health, detecting deterioration and how to approach, assess and provide the most appropriate care and treatment in differing situations.


Half of your time as a student will be spent gaining practice experience through clinical placements and simulated practice. Placements are a vital factor in promoting understanding and development of professional skills. They help you become fit for practice, fit for purpose and fit for award by the time you complete your programme.

Each placement provides you with educational opportunities to develop your professional skills and allows students to explore the journeys of service users including older people, the severely ill, those in recovery and those detained in secure (forensic) settings. The majority of placements are with the East London NHS Foundation Trust which includes the boroughs of Newham, City & Hackney and Tower Hamlets. There are also opportunities for a 2 week elective placement outside the Trust.

Support in Practice

Students are supported in practice by practice experience staff who liaise between the Institution and the Trust, Mentors and Link Lecturers. At City we also use an innovative method of group work to support students and help them to develop the ability to understand and process the emotional impact of working in mental health.

Academic facilities

Our specialist Clinical Skills Centre at City’s Northampton Square campus has been specially designed for teaching and reflects clinical environments and working wards, so you can familiarise yourself with equipment and practices before commencing your placement. Simulated practice enables you to practise your skills in a safe environment, in preparation for transferring these skills to a 'real life' setting.

Teaching and learning

The teaching on the Mental Health Nursing course includes lecture sessions, workshops, small group activities and discussions and whole class discussion.

We are also using an innovative method of group work to support students and help them to develop the ability to understand and process the emotional impact of working in mental health.


Assessments are varied to meet the practice and academic challenges of the Postgraduate Diploma, while recognising the need for motivating, realistic and relevant activity. The practice element is assessed by the development of a record of achievement in practice and Objective Structured Clinical Examinations. Modules are also assessed through essays or seminars.


Your learning will draw on areas including nursing, psychology, sociology and biology in order for you to develop your communication and evidence based clinical skills.

Our curriculum focuses on relationship centred care and will support you to develop effective working relationships with patients, service users, families and professional colleagues.

The programme is organised into three parts and you must successfully complete each part to move into the next part of the programme. Each part includes theory modules, simulated practice and clinical placements. For more details, see the website: http://www.city.ac.uk/courses/postgraduate/mental-health-nursing

Career prospects

On successful graduation you will gain registration with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC), which provides an internationally-recognised professional qualification enabling you to practice in the UK and overseas. Some countries require additional local registration.

Nursing is a life-long career where you can develop your skills and interests within a range of specialisms and career paths. As well as a career as a mental health nurse, you can move into areas within the health and social care sector including advising on policy and quality of care and academic teaching and research. You will also be able to go onto further study at MSc level, including an MSc Advanced Practice degree at City.

You will receive careers support from your personal tutor during the course and are encouraged to explore your personal career aspirations.

Other admission requirements

Two references are required. At least one reference for recent graduates must be academic; other references could include a current employer). You will need to provide the referees’ work contact details for us to contact the referee separately after we have received your application. Applicants will also be required to complete a DBS and Occupational Health check before commencing the course.

As well as meeting the academic entry criteria for this course, applicants will also be required to attend a Selection Day, where they will be required to demonstrate match those of the NHS Constitution. For further information and example tests, please visit our Selection Day page: http://www.city.ac.uk/health/selection-day

Visit the Mental Health Nursing - PGDip page on the City, University of London website for more details!

Student Profiles

The City Future Fund Postgraduate Accommodation Bursaries - 2 Awards

The City Future Fund Postgraduate Accommodation Bursaries are funded by the generous donations from City alumni and friends through the City Future Fund. These bursaries are aimed at postgraduate students in financial hardship studying PGDip Nursing or Speech and Language Therapy. There are two scholarships to be award worth £1,100 each towards accommodation costs for a maximum of two years.Value
- Each bursary is worth £1,100 per academic year for a maximum of two academic years. Bursary renewal is subject to academic performance at the end of the first year.
- The bursary will be paid in a two equal instalments £550 in January and £550 in April towards accommodation costs.Selection and notification:
Applications will be assessed on the basis of financial hardship and academic merit. Shortlisting will be conducted by a panel consisting of both academic and professional staff. Short-listed applicants may be required to provide further information and/or attend an interview. The panel’s decision will be final and cannot be appealed. All applicants will be contacted by 29th January 2016. Awardees are expected to attend the University Scholarship Event in 2016.

Value of Scholarship(s)



- New Home/UK postgraduates;
- In receipt of a full NHS means tested bursary;
- Studying for their first postgraduate qualification;
- Living in City nominated Halls of residence or independently;
- Studying a Postgraduate Diploma in Nursing (all streams) or Speech and Language Therapy.

Application Procedure

There are two parts to the application form: the online application form and the supporting documents. Students are required to submit:1. A photocopy of your NHS Bursary Entitlement Letter 2015/16 AND
2. A photocopy of your signed rental agreement– the following information must be visible on this document: your full name, date of agreement, weekly/monthly rent amount.Both the application form and supporting evidence must be submitted on/before Monday 16th November 2015. Late and incomplete applications will not be considered.Applications are closed for 2015/16.

Further Information


Entry Requirements

Applications are welcomed from a wide range of disciplines with a lower second class honours degree or above. Applicants must show an awareness of health or health-related care issues. Applicants must have a minimum of five passes at grade 4 (C) at GCSE, including English and Mathematics. Please note, we will not accept any equivalent qualification, only GCSEs. See course description for further admission details.

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