Entry requirements

Please note that this qualification is not currently available in Wales. 

The University offers this practice-based qualification in association with partnering employers who undertake significant preparation in order to be able to support you. So before you consider an application, you will need to discuss the opportunity with your employer.

Following a selection process, shortlisted applicants will be invited to an interview in order to meet the requirement of the programme for a face-to-face element to be included in recruitment processes and the broader ‘Values Based Recruitment’ approach required by Health Education England. In addition, the interview will assess the alignment of your personal values with those set out in the following documents:

You will need to produce the education certificates that show you meet the entry qualifications specified by the programme 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 must be paid for by your employer or a sponsor (please note that funding arrangements will change from Autumn 2017; more detail will be provided via this website as it emerges).

The current programme 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.

The pre-registration nursing programme is not available in all areas although where it is not currently available it may be possible to introduce the programme if there is sufficient demand. 

How to apply If you’re interested in this qualification and meet the entry requirements above, or if you are an employer looking to develop your staff, please contact us.  

General study skills

Anyone can study with The Open University, but if it's a while since you did any academic work it's worth checking that your time management, computing and English skills are up to speed. Visit Can I do it? to find out more.

How much time do I need?

  • Most of our students study part time completing 60 credits a year.
  • This will normally mean studying for 16–18 hours a week.
Read about how some of our students have fitted OU study into their lives, then find out if you have enough time to study by completing our time planner.

Help! I'm not sure I'm ready!

Study for free

If your study skills are a bit rusty or you want to try out Open University study before committing yourself, don’t worry! You can get started with an Access module – fascinating courses designed to introduce subject areas, build your confidence and prepare you for further study.

The credit gained from the Access module will be in addition to the other credit required for the qualification.

For this qualification, we recommend:

People, work and society Access module

What you will study

This is a multidisciplinary module that allows you to develop your subject knowledge and your general study skills. It provides an excellent introduction to a wide range of subject areas, including children and young people, health, law, management, psychology and social sciences.

View full details of People, work and society Access module

Your next step

Call us on +44 (0)1908 659253 or book a call back. Our friendly team of advisers will discuss your study options with you, and help you decide on the best starting point for you. Or come and meet us at an event near you.

Ways to pay for your qualification and other support

This unique practice-based qualification is offered by the University in association with partnering employers. New funding options are being introduced for new nursing students from 1 August 2017. The funding clinic tells you more about what will be available. So, if you’re interested in becoming a student, please share this information with your line manager and encourage them to contact us.

Disabled Students' Allowances

Disabled Students’ Allowances (DSAs) help with additional study costs that result directly from your disability or specific learning difficulty.

Allowances are not means-tested and may go towards specialist equipment (such as an adapted computer), non-medical study support (for example, a sign-language interpreter; a note-taker or a dyslexia support worker) or other related expenses. You can also apply for help with study-related travel costs that directly result from your disability.

You may be eligible for a DSA if you’re studying at least 30 credits towards an OU undergraduate qualification that lasts for more than one year.

For further information, visit our Services for disabled students website.

Please note: your permanent address/domicile will affect your fee status and therefore the fees you are charged and any financial support available to you. The fees and funding information provided here is valid for modules starting before 31 July 2017. Fees normally increase annually in line with inflation and the University's strategic approach to fees.
An OU qualification will always help you stand out from the crowd, now and in the future – whether you’re just starting out, developing your career, or changing direction entirely.

Skills for career development

In addition to meeting the NMC competencies, the practice learning part of this degree develops skills that are highly transferable in the labour market – including critical analysis, numeracy, literacy, communication, team working, problem solving/solution finding, ICT proficiency, leadership, management and innovation.

Career relevance

The learning outcomes for this degree course have been mapped to (and fully comply with) the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) standards for pre-registration nursing programmes, and to subject benchmarking statements for Nursing. On successful completion of your studies, you can apply for registration as a qualified nurse (mental health nursing).


On graduating from the BSc (Honours) Mental Health Nursing, you’ll be eligible to apply for entry to the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) register.

Other careers

Many graduate-level jobs are open to graduates of any discipline, particularly in business, finance, management consultancy and the public sector. Some careers may require further study, training and/or work experience beyond your degree.

In addition to improving your career prospects, studying with the OU is an enriching experience that broadens your horizons, develops your knowledge, builds your confidence and enhances your life skills. 

Exploring your options

Once you register with us (and for up to three years after you finish your studies), you’ll have full access to our careers service for a wide range of information and advice – including online forums, website, interview simulation, vacancy service as well as the option to email or speak to a careers adviser. Some areas of the careers service website are available for you to see now, including help with looking for and applying for jobs. You can also read more general information about how OU study enhances your career.

In the meantime if you want to do some research around this qualification and where it might take you, we’ve put together a list of relevant job titles as a starting point (note that some careers may require further study, training and/or work experience beyond your degree):

  • Staff nurse
  • Senior staff nurse
  • Ward manager
  • Community psychiatric nurse
  • Forensic mental health nurse
  • Custody nurse practitioner
  • Mental health nurse assessor
  • Mental health practice development nurse
  • Specialist practitioner in emergency mental health
  • Nurse lecturer.

Want to see more jobs? Use the career explorer for job ideas from the National Careers Service, PlanIT Plus in Scotland and Prospects across all nations. You can also visit GradIreland for the Republic of Ireland.


Register for this course


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Our prospectuses help you choose your course, understand what it's like to be an OU student and register for study.

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