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Mental Health Nursing PGDip

New course, subject to validation


Course facts

  • Name: Mental Health Nursing
  • Qualification: PGDip
  • Duration: 2 years full-time

Please note: this course is also available as a MSc. The Dissertation for the full MSc is additional to the 2 years funding (4 months full-time, 1 year part time).

The PGDip / MSc in Mental Health Nursing leads to registration with the Nursing and Midwifery Council and offers graduates a funded route over two-years into mental health nursing whilst simultaneously obtaining a postgraduate qualification. This postgraduate qualification is aimed at graduates who wish to develop and apply the knowledge gained through their undergraduate degree and relevant life experiences to pursue a career in mental health nursing. The aim of this course is to prepare a registered nurse who is able to offer excellent and compassionate care, enhanced leadership, management and strong inter-professional and research skills that influence practice and initiate change. 

Our exceptional teaching provision based upon contemporary research, (a key focus of the schools highly ranked research activity), is grounded in modern mental health practice. The Mental Health Nursing PGDip will equip graduates to develop and thrive in rapidly changing environments, taking into account how early trauma and adversity, culture, socioeconomic influences, stigma and other factors can impact resilience, function, health status and mental health outcomes. The programme will equip students with engagement and assessment skills necessary for planning and delivery of compassionate high-quality care and manage complex practice across the lifespan.

PGDip Students will graduate from this programme as creative and skilled mental health nurses in a position to apply to part one of the NMC register. If they complete the additional dissertation module they will also be awarded an MSc. The successful graduate will have the necessary values, knowledge and skills to practice to the highest standards of safe, compassionate care in mental health services.

Welsh Government, through NHS Wales, is continuing to fund commissioned programmes for nursing, midwifery, radiography and physiotherapy for courses commencing in September 2020 and spring 2021. Please look at this website for further information.

Course content is for guidance purposes only and may be subject to change.

Course Content

Throughout the programme, practice placements in acute and community and specialist mental health services in North Wales are designed to provide a range of experiences. You will have compulsory theoretical study in addition to clinical placements designed to equip you for practise. During placements you are supernumerary, and this allows you to work alongside your practice supervisors and assessors to participate in delivery of nursing care. Support is available from a personal tutor who is a registered nurse and an academic member of staff and supervision from practicing registered nurses and other professional on placement. Theoretical and practical work is assessed through assignments, examinations, presentations and the Once for Wales Practice Assessment Document and On-going Record of Achievement.

Course Structure

Year 1

  • Engagement and assessment in mental health
  • Legal & Ethical Concepts
  • Planning and delivering humanised care in mental health
  • Physiology & Pathophysiology
  • Nursing Practice 1 PGD

Year 2

  • Managing risk and complexity in mental health
  • Lead, Innovate and Implement
  • Clinical Decision Making & Evidence Based Practice
  • Nursing Practice 2 PGD

An addition dissertation module enables the student to obtain a full MSc, 4mths fF/T 1yr P/T.

Teaching, Learning and Assessment

The teaching and learning strategy for the course will take a student-centred approach and build on the graduate skills developed during your first degree. Whilst there will be some taught lectures for each module, the main emphasis will be on working as a group to develop your knowledge, clinical decision-making skills and finding solutions to real life problems. 

Entry Requirements

To apply for the Post Graduate Diploma Mental Health Nursing an applicant would normally have achieved a 2.2 honours degree in a health / life or social science related subject, within the last 5 years, and be able to demonstrate undertaken 700 hours of healthcare related experience which can be mapped to the NMC progression point one core competencies.  

In addition to the attainment of a suitable degree, the NMC require that all applicants must demonstrate evidence of communication and numeracy, and these must be demonstrated normally via GCSE at C or above in English or Welsh 1st language and Mathematics.

As this is a funded programme by the Health Education and Improvement Wales (HEIW) international students will not be able to apply for this programme of study.

The NMC also require that evidence of ‘Good Health and Good Character’ be obtained, and in addition to the supportive reference to the application, the School has adopted the All Wales Good Character reference. Good Character is further assessed by way of a Full/Enhanced DBS report, and these are risk assessed by the partnership in accordance with the School’s policy. Good Health is assessed by the local Health Board’s Health at Work Unit, and students are monitored throughout the programme and supported where required.

Selection processes: 

  1. Completion of application – direct application with personal statement and references.
  2. Short listing from personal statement and reference against agreed criteria (to include numeracy and literacy at GCSE).
  3. Character references taken and reviewed.
  4. Formal interview with interactive group work activities and MMI.
  5. Numeracy / medication calculation
  6. Written essay on seen question – confidentiality and data protection.
  7. Enhanced DBS disclosure check.
  8. Occupational health review.

Selection events and processes will involve lecturers in Mental Health nursing, Health Board clinical staff, service user participants. Participants in the selection processes undergo training and support in diversity and equality as part of their professional development.

If successful at interview applicants will be invited to progress to part two and complete and submit their RPL/REPL portfolio.  Admissions to the programme are made on a time frame to allow for the completion of the RP(E)L process, so early applications are encouraged. 

Further details on this process can be obtained following interview.

Dyslexia / Disability:

Applicants with particular needs in relation to dyslexia or a disability are encouraged to declare this on the front cover of their RPL/REPL portfolio so that this can be taken into account when reviewing the evidence.  This will be reviewed by a RPL/RPEL panel to ascertain completion of required criteria (see below). 

Additional requirements:

A set number of places on the programme are funded HEIW (criteria for the funding and information is available on the HEIW website).

Students who accept a funded place for the Post Graduate Diploma will be required to work within Wales for two years following graduation.

Students with disabilities, on application, are supported by the University’s Disabilities Officer and the School’s Disabilities Advisor, and relevant risk assessments undertaken and adaptations where required, explored.

Where there may be issues relating to Good Character, Good Health, or Disability that require further exploration or investigation, the School and the local Health Board’s Fitness for Practice Committee would be consulted.

Evidence of achievement:

Applicants will be required to complete a RP(E)L reflective portfolio which demonstrates achievement of the Year 1 progression points indicated in the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) Standards for Pre-registration Nursing Education (NMC, 2018).  As part of this portfolio of evidence applicants will be required to submit the BSc / BA certificate and a transcript of the modules undertaken as part of the degree.

Applicants will be required to complete a reflective portfolio which demonstrates the knowledge and skills gained from previous health related experience and this must be mapped against the NMC Year 1 progression points indicated in the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) Standards for Pre-registration Nursing Programmes (NMC, 2018).

Portfolio of evidence:

This reflective portfolio will contain specific examples and evidence of how the claimed health care experience allows the applicant to demonstrate attainment of the progression points.  Evidence can be demonstrated with examples from practice experiences, study days attended, mandatory training and the references provided by employers.

Applicants will be required to complete a Declaration of Own Work to indicate that they have exclusively completed the PRL/RPEL portfolio.

The assessment criteria for the portfolio will be as follows:

Authenticity: is there unmistakable evidence to support the full achievement of the Year 1 NMC progression criteria?

Legitimacy: is the achievement sufficient to meet the required level of part one as specified by the NMC 2018 Standards.

Time Frame: are the claims made against experiences which have currency to the current healthcare setting i.e. in the last 3 years?

Sufficiency: is the evidence sufficient to fully demonstrate attainment of the learning/experiences claimed?

Graduate skills: is the applicant able to demonstrate the expected level of study skills for entry at Level 7.

The portfolio will be reviewed by an academic member of staff and will be assessed as pass or fail. Guidance and support will be provided by School staff to assist your completion of this requirement.

On successful completion of the portfolio the applicant will receive a formal offer of a HIEWS funded place


Please note: this course is not open to international students.

The Mental Health MSc PGDip is subject to validation and due to commence September 2020 and applications are being accepted subject to course approval.

The University will accept applications throughout the year, but we would generally advise that you send in your application form by the end of June to ensure that you have time to make any funding and/or accommodation arrangements, and for documents such as transcripts and references to be obtained if not submitted with the application. This will also give you more time to meet any conditions we may potentially attach to an offer.

How to Apply

Home/EU students

Home/EU students: apply online yourself with the help of our Guidance Notes on online application for Home/EU students. We strongly recommend you read these before you start to apply online.

Apply online

Once you have read the Guidance Notes you should apply using our Online Application form.

Need help applying? Home/EU students please contact:

Postgraduate Admissions: or write to:

Admissions Office
Bangor University
LL57 2TF

Telephone: +44 (0)1248 383717.

International students

  • Agents: if you are an agent applying on behalf of the student, then you can Apply here. For further guidance click here

Need help applying? International students please contact:

International Education Office: or write to

International Education Centre
Bangor University
LL57 2DG

Telephone: +44 (0) 1248 382028

When to apply

The University will accept applications throughout the year, but we would generally advise that you send in your application form by the end of June to ensure that you have time to make any funding and/or accommodation arrangements, and for documents such as transcripts and references to be obtained if not submitted with the application. This will also give you more time to meet any conditions we may potentially attach to an offer. If you are making an application for one of our professional courses, which has limited place availability, you are advised to contact the academic school for advice on the final dates for applications.

Careers and Employability

Students successfully completing the Msc PG Mental Health nursing are able to register their professional status with the Nursing and Midwifery Council and seek employment as a registered nurse.

Those completing the Post Graduate Diploma and who are able to register with the NMC will be required to work in Wales for a minimum period of two years in accordance with the guidance provided by Welsh Government.

Employability rates are high in comparison to other graduates, given the professional competence and qualification in association with a degree. Career opportunities once employed as registered nurse are excellent and can lead to promotion opportunities in clinical practice/specialism, research or education. Career pathways and progression frequently facilitate opportunity to undertake further study to complete a full Master’s degree or /and Doctoral Study level.

Our employability record is excellent and you can view current statistics as well as other essential information about our programmes at Unistats:

  • Currently 100% of graduates of all undergraduate nursing degrees are in a professional/managerial position after 6 months (KIS)” and
  • 100% of midwifery students and;
  • 100% radiography students go on to work
  • We’d anticipate graduates from this new programme will be equally in demand

Careers Advice

Careers advice is gained from healthcare professionals both in practice and in dedicated careers sessions and NHS Careers has more details of the career opportunities that are available to Midwifery graduates. You are also eligible to register for the Bangor Employability Award to further enhance career prospects and advice is also available from the Bangor University Careers & Employability Service.

Also see the Careers information here.


This is a commissioned programme and students that begin by April 2021 will have their fees paid by NHS Wales. Living cost contributions may be available. Please look at this website for further information.

The MSc PGDip Mental Health Nursing attracts NHS Bursary Package funding support that covers fees and a small contribution towards living expenses. Applicants may need to consider other sources of funding to support living costs whilst doing the course e.g. part-time employment etc. 

NHS Funding is available to students who have previously had finding through the Student Loan Scheme to complete a non-NHS bursary funded degree.


Student Awards Services implements the NHS Wales Bursary Schemes, which provides funding for healthcare students on NHS funded courses in Wales. If you are considering a professional career in health care and would like to know more about the financial support you will get during your training, then please contact:

Bursary Enquiries: 02920 376854

The Council of Deans also has a funding website with a wealth of information for students considering studying in Wales and beyond.

Further information

Why study with the School of Health Sciences

If you haven't already, do have a look at this page for a list of reasons that we think mean that if you are interested in an MSc PGDip Mental Health Nursing (leading to NMC registration) you should consider studying with us.

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