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Becoming an autonomous practitioner: mental health

Becoming an autonomous practitioner: mental health (KYN327) is a 60-credit practice module that sits alongside Assimilating nursing: knowledge and theory (KYN325) to form Stage 3 of the BSc (Honours) Nursing (R39). It builds on field-specific content from Stage 2 and allows you the opportunity to put into practice the knowledge you’ve acquired, and to develop this during Stage 3 for your development as a nearly qualified registrant with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC). You’ll study theoretical content related to nursing leadership and management of complex care. This includes safeguarding, medicines management, reflexive practice, and gaining a wider appreciation of the impact nurses and nursing leadership can have in healthcare. You will undertake this study alongside practice placement in clinical settings where you will be expected to complete your Practice Assessment Document.

Modules count towards OU qualifications

OU qualifications are modular in structure; the credits from this undergraduate module could count towards a certificate of higher education, diploma of higher education, foundation degree or honours degree.

Browse qualifications in related subjects


Module code


  • Credits measure the student workload required for the successful completion of a module or qualification.
  • One credit represents about 10 hours of study over the duration of the course.
  • You are awarded credits after you have successfully completed a module.
  • For example, if you study a 60-credit module and successfully pass it, you will be awarded 60 credits.
Study level
Across the UK, there are two parallel frameworks for higher education qualifications, the Framework for Higher Education Qualifications in England, Northern Ireland and Wales (FHEQ) and the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF). These define a hierarchy of levels and describe the achievement expected at each level. The information provided shows how OU module levels correspond to these frameworks.
3 10 6
Study method
Distance Learning
Module cost
See Module registration
Entry requirements
See Entry requirements

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What you will study

In this module, you will undertake 770 hours of practice learning. Alongside this you will also study 5 topics which will cover the following:

Topic 1 – Learning to lead

  • Becoming autonomous
  • Political awareness
  • Leadership and managing complexities

Topic 2 – Leadership in a global context

  • Influential leadership
  • Impact on healthcare policy

Topic 3 – Being a reflexive practitioner

  • Critical reflection
  • Critical awareness
  • Supervision and mentoring others

Topic 4 – Safeguarding across the lifespan

  • Safeguarding and the family context
  • Serious case reviews and public inquiries

Topic 5 – Medicines management and optimisation

  • Medicines calculations
  • Complexity in medicines management, long term conditions and polypharmacy
  • Clinical trials
  • Preparation for becoming a registrant, accountability in practice

Professional recognition

For students pursuing the BSc (Honours) Nursing (R39), this module is one of a set that together lead to the professional qualification of Registered Nurse (Part 1: NMC).

Teaching and assessment

Support from your tutor

Online tuition will be via synchronous Adobe Connect meetings with monthly 1.5hrs tutorials. Learning materials will be labelled as Core and Optional, but you'll be expected to study outside OU learning materials by seeking further information from the internet, as well as drawing on local trust and national policies to inform your tuition and practice.

Tutorials will run with groups of 20 students. Students seeking individual support will be able to do so with their tutor. You will also be supported in practice by a Practice Supervisor and a Practice Tutor who will act as your Academic Assessor.

Contact us if you want to know more about study with The Open University before you register.


The assessment details can be found in the facts box.

You must use the online eTMA system to submit your tutor-marked assignments (TMAs) unless there are some difficulties which prevent you from doing so. In these circumstances, you must negotiate with your tutor to get their agreement to submit your assignment on paper. The interactive computer-marked assignment (iCMA) is completed online via the module website.

Future availability

Becoming an autonomous practitioner: mental health starts three times a year – in April, July and November.

This page describes the module that will start in April 2023. We expect it to start for the last time in August 2029.


As a student of The Open University, you should be aware of the content of the academic regulations which are available on our Student Policies and Regulations website.

    Course work includes:

    2 Tutor-marked assignments (TMAs)
    2 Interactive computer-marked assignments (iCMAs)
    End-of-module assessment
    No residential school

    Entry requirements

    This module is not available for standalone study. To study this module, you should be registered on the BSc (Honours) Nursing, and have:

    • satisfied the entry requirements for the qualification
    • normally completed the following OU level 1 modules: Introducing health and social care (KYN102) and Introduction to healthcare practice (KYN104), and the OU level 2 modules Understanding nursing: knowledge and theory (KYN210), and Developing nursing practice (KYN211) or demonstrate equivalent.
    • met the NMC entry requirements; demonstrated good character and health status through self-declaration; enhanced criminal disclosure; occupational health screening; review of previous sickness and absence; two references, including one from your current employer.
    If you have any doubt about the suitability of the module, please speak to an adviser.


    Start End England fee Register
    22 Apr 2023 Mar 2024 £0.00

    To register for this course - see 'Entry requirements'. Registration closes 09/03/23

    29 Jul 2023 Jun 2024 £0.00

    To register for this course - see 'Entry requirements'. Registration closes 13/07/23

    This module is expected to start for the last time in July 2029.

    To register for this module, please refer to the entry requirements and contact our Student Registration & Enquiry Service (online registration is not available).

    Additional Costs

    Study costs

    There may be extra costs on top of the tuition fee, such as set books, a computer and internet access.

    If your income is not more than £25,000 or you are in receipt of a qualifying benefit, you might be eligible for help with some of these costs after your module has started.

    Ways to pay for this module

    Open University Student Budget Account

    The Open University Student Budget Accounts Ltd (OUSBA) offers a convenient 'pay as you go' option to pay your OU fees, which is a secure, quick and easy way to pay. Please note that The Open University works exclusively with OUSBA and is not able to offer you credit facilities from any other provider. All credit is subject to status and proof that you can afford the repayments.

    You pay the OU through OUSBA in one of the following ways:

    • Register now, pay later – OUSBA pays your module fee direct to the OU. You then repay OUSBA interest-free and in full just before your module starts. 0% APR representative. This option could give you the extra time you may need to secure the funding to repay OUSBA.
    • Pay by instalments – OUSBA calculates your monthly fee and number of instalments based on the cost of the module you are studying. APR 5.1% representative.

    Joint loan applications

    If you feel you would be unable to obtain an OUSBA loan on your own due to credit history or affordability issues, OUSBA offers the option to apply for a joint loan application with a third party. For example, your husband, wife, partner, parent, sibling or friend. In such cases, OUSBA will be required to carry out additional affordability checks separately and/or collectively for both joint applicants who will be jointly and severally liable for loan repayments.

    As additional affordability checks are required when processing joint loan applications, unfortunately, an instant decision cannot be given. On average the processing time for a joint loan application is five working days from receipt of the required documentation.

    Read more about Open University Student Budget Accounts (OUSBA).  

    Employer sponsorship

    Studying with The Open University can boost your employability. OU courses are recognised and respected by employers for their excellence and the commitment they take to complete. They also value the skills that students learn and can apply in the workplace.

    More than one in ten OU students are sponsored by their employer, and over 30,000 employers have used the OU to develop staff so far. If the module you’ve chosen is geared towards your job or developing your career, you could approach your employer to see if they will sponsor you by paying some or all of the fees. 

    • Your employer just needs to complete a simple form to confirm how much they will be paying and we will invoice them.
    • You won’t need to get your employer to complete the form until after you’ve chosen your module.  

    Credit/debit card

    You can pay part or all of your tuition fees upfront with a debit or credit card when you register for each module. 

    We accept American Express, Mastercard, Visa and Visa Electron. 

    Mixed payments

    We know that sometimes you may want to combine payment options. For example, you may wish to pay part of your tuition fee with a debit card and pay the remainder in instalments through an Open University Student Budget Account (OUSBA).

    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 2023. Fees normally increase annually in line with inflation and the University's strategic approach to fees. 

    This information was provided on 28/01/2023.

    Can you study an Access module for free?

    In order to qualify you must:

    1. be resident in England
    2. have a personal income of less than £25,000 (or receive qualifying benefits)
    3. have not completed one year or more on any full-time undergraduate programme at FHEQ level 4 or above, or completed 30 credits or more of OU study

    How to apply to study an Access module for free

    Once you've started the registration process , either online or over the phone, we'll contact you about your payment options. This will include instructions on how you can apply to study for free if you are eligible.

    If you're unsure if you meet the criteria to study for free, you can check with one of our friendly advisers on +44 (0)300 303 0069 or you can request a call back.

    Not eligible to study for free?

    Don't worry! We offer a choice of flexible ways to help spread the cost of your Access module. The most popular options include:

    • monthly payments through OUSBA
    • part-time tuition fee loan (you'll need to be registered on a qualification for this option)

    To explore all the options available to you, visit Fees and Funding.

    What's included

    Online learning materials and resources. You will have access to a module website, through which teaching and library resources are available that provide links to current information and relevant research-based materials relating to module content.

    Computing requirements

    You’ll need broadband internet access and a desktop or laptop computer with an up-to-date version of Windows (10 or 11), or macOS (11 'Big Sur' or higher).

    Any additional software will be provided or is generally freely available.

    To join in spoken conversations in tutorials, we recommend a wired headset (headphones/earphones with a built-in microphone).

    Our module websites comply with web standards, and any modern browser is suitable for most activities.

    Our OU Study mobile app will operate on all current, supported versions of Android and iOS. It’s not available on Kindle.

    It’s also possible to access some module materials on a mobile phone, tablet device or Chromebook. However, as you may be asked to install additional software or use certain applications, you’ll also require a desktop or laptop as described above.

    If you have a disability

    The OU strives to make all aspects of study accessible to everyone and this Accessibility Statement outlines what studying KYN327 involves. You should use this information to inform your study preparations and any discussions with us about how we can meet your needs.

    To find out more about what kind of support and adjustments might be available, contact us or visit our Disability support website.