Taught course

Mental Health Nursing (Pre-registration)

Manchester Metropolitan University · Faculty of Health, Psychology and Social Care

Entry requirements

All applicants must have achieved a minimum of a first degree (2:2 or above) and should have a minimum of five GCSEs at grade C/4 or above, including mathematics, English language, science, and provide evidence of IT skills through a formal qualification or the completion of a self-assessment questionnaire.

We will accept GCSE science, biology, additional science, applied science, physics or chemistry. BTEC Level 2 science (Pass) as an acceptable equivalent.

We will accept the Manchester Met's mathematics or science equivalency test as an equivalence to GCSEs. We will only consider one equivalent (as outlined above), i.e. either mathematics or science, not both.

Applicants must evidence recent study within the last five years. Plus, evidence of relevant, practice related experience through the pre-entry portfolio (detailed below).

International applicants must have achieved an overall score of 6.5 in the academic version of IELTS. You should not achieve less than the equivalent of an IELTS academic score of 6.5 in each of the sections of reading, listening and speaking and 6.0 in the section of writing as an alternative to GCSE English Language.

A satisfactory Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check is required for this programme. In addition, students who have resided outside the UK will be required to provide evidence of a satisfactory overseas police check. Instructions on how to complete these checks will be provided once you hold a firm offer for this course.

Satisfactory occupational health clearance is also required to participate in this course. Our placement providers and future employers may require COVID 19 vaccinations so, if you are considering this course, we would strongly advise you to take your covid-19 vaccines.

Interview attendance

All applications are considered by the admissions team on an individual basis; consideration throughout the application process and during interview is also given to relevant additional educational achievements, life experience and transferable skills, alongside references, personal statements (utilising values-based recruitment criteria set by the NHS) and the overall interview score.

All shortlisted candidates are required to attend a group interview remotely.

Personal statement

Your personal statement is expected to demonstrate an insight into your chosen field of nursing, including an understanding of care environments and current issues in contemporary nursing or health care, and should include an understanding of the NHS core values.

You should describe the concept of a professional attitude, effective communication skills, good time-management skills, and an awareness of your own strengths and weaknesses. An awareness of the NMC code and the vision for the training of the future nurse and how this can support the delivery of high-quality person-centred care should be included. You should convey your ability to work both independently and as part of a team and demonstrate motivation and a commitment to preparing to study as a nurse, demonstrating an ability to solve problems and to think creatively in conveying a capacity for leadership and how this is important in the nursing profession.

Pre-Entry Portfolio: mandatory prior study and relevant experience.

Download the Pre-Entry Portfolio here.

What is the portfolio and why do I need it?

The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) requires all students on pre-registration nursing programmes to undertake a minimum of 4,600 hours of theory and practice combined to enter the professional register.

This is normally achieved over a period of three years on a BSc pre-registration course. In order to ensure students on the accelerated two-year MSC programme can meet the NMC requirements for registration, you’ll need to complete 1,000 hours of both theoretical and practice related prior to entry.

You’ll document and evidence your 1,000 hours in your pre-entry portfolio. We’ve designed the portfolio to assist you with both understanding the pre-entry requirements and compiling the evidence to help prepare you for the programme.

What does the portfolio consist of?

The pre-entry portfolio amounts to 500 hours of practice related experience (practice) and 500 hours of academic-related study (theory) associated with the programme outcomes.

For your practice-related experience, you can undertake paid or voluntary work experience in a variety of care and health settings. For independent theoretical learning, we will provide candidates with access to online learning resources following your group interview if required.

For full guidance on gaining relevant experience and what evidence you’ll need to provide, please see the Pre-Entry Portfolio here.

How long will it take to complete the portfolio?

If you have existing care experience amounting to the required hours:

  • we advise it may take between 4-6 weeks to complete

If you do not have existing care experience amounting to the required care experience hours:

  • we advise it may take between 12-14 weeks to obtain the 500 hours and complete the portfolio

When should I complete and submit the portfolio?

You do not need to start your portfolio until after receiving your offer.

You can download the portfolio prior to application but you must have submitted a UCAS application to Manchester Met in order to gain access to the supporting learning resources.

Following your application and successful group interview, you'll receive further guidance on what to include in the portfolio from our admissions tutor. Any offer will be conditional on the completion of the assessed portfolio guidance.

What happens once I have completed the portfolio?

Once you have completed your portfolio and supporting evidence, you’ll submit it by email to the health admissions team.

An academic panel and external examiner for the programme will assess your portfolio and advise if you have met the required criteria. You may be requested to provide further evidence if the panel feel you have not demonstrated sufficient evidence.

Please submit the portfolio in Microsoft Word format.

You’ll find full guidance on Pre-Entry Portfolio here.

Months of entry


Course content

The MSc Mental Health Nursing (pre-registration) has been designed with graduates in mind, building upon those existing skills you achieved through your undergraduate degree, and applying these at masters level.

One in every eight people in the world live with a mental disorder. This is often characterised by a clinically significant disturbance in an individual’s cognition, emotional regulation, or behaviour (WHO 2022).

In addition to exploring a range of mental health conditions and presentations, for example psychosis, depression, self-harm and suicide risk, you’ll identify the variant determinants of health as well as the inequality that exists across populations. You’ll be introduced to the psychosocial interventions and medical treatments that are available.

Working within an ethos of patient-centred care and collaboration, you’ll start to build therapeutic relationships with individuals from your first placement experience. You’ll become an advocate for vulnerable patients, adhering to capacity and mental health law yet questioning and challenging coercive practices.

Throughout your study, you will split your time equally between placement/simulation-based learning and theory. This course is designed to equip you with both the practical skills and theoretical knowledge needed for you to become a future leader.

At Manchester Met, all our academic team in the Department of Nursing have been practising registered nurses from a range of clinical and managerial backgrounds. Our mental health team has been recruited from a diverse background, including community mental health care, alcohol and substance use, acute inpatient, and liaison psychiatry, peri/post-natal mental health and mental health law

To fund your postgraduate pre-registration nursing degree, you'll be able to access standard student loans in line with undergraduate funding for pre-registration courses. Find out more about funding your MSc Mental Health Nursing (Pre-registration).

Hear more about mental health nursing within the NHS here.

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • MSc
    full time
    24 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details

Course Enquiries Team
+44 (0)161 247 6969