Nicola Clarke

Senior Lecturer in Nursing

Nicola is a registered mental health nurse and is currently a senior lecturer with over two decades experience of learning and teaching at BCU, teaching reflection and reflective practice, academic skills, and mental health nursing.

  • Expert
  • Senior Lecturer
  • Active in industry
  • Mental health nursing


I am a Registered mental health nurse lecturer, SEDA (Staff and Educational Development Association) recognised doctoral supervisor, an experienced external examiner and mentor, and Faculty Recognition of Prior Learning and Continuing Professional Development advisor. I am a single mum with one wonderful daughter, three rather lazy cats, a passion for fitness and lifting weights and an absolute love of country music. I am hoping one day I will get to Nashville and experience some real country music!

Academic history

My academic journey started in 1993 when I began my 4-year degree with honours to train as a mental health nurse. I entered onto this programme by accident, I thought I was taking a psychology degree – I didn’t really pay attention as I didn’t want to leave home. However, I ended up loving my training and met an amazing mentor who helped me to start to become the best version of myself. As a result, I worked clinically as a mental health nurse in the area of substance misuse prior for around 6 years prior to starting life as a senior lecturer here at BCU. When I came to BCU in 2003 I continued to undertake some work clinically until I had my daughter. During this time, I was also still undertaking my MSc in General Psychiatry at Keele Medical school. I became the first non-medic to undertake and complete this MSc. Something I have always been very proud of. I enrolled onto this masters thinking that if I knew more than I could advocate for myself and my patients in a more knowledgeable manner. Whilst doing this I also managed to train as a beautician - something I realised I had no patience for and I also undertook personnel training, I love to study!. I had only been with BCU for just over a year or so when I decided to undertake my EdD. I just fancied doing one! I thought it might be fun! I never envisaged finishing it, as I was not a particularly accomplished during my first degree! But I did and Loved every minute of it.

Teaching in Birmingham

Being a mental health nurse is a privilege, and an honour. Another person trusting you enough to let you into their distress, hoping you can create a safe space for them to be heard and hopefully understood is a humble and a responsible position to be in. Birmingham City is the university for Birmingham to continue your professional development (CPD) as a qualified professional practitioner or to train as a mental health nurse. We have a wonderful diverse student body, that represents the exciting diversity of Birmingham. We aim to support the local population and support our post registration students to have access to CPD that is flexible and bespoke to your interests and study requirements, and to ensure our undergraduates gain placement experience in a clinical environment for mental health and wellbeing that supports and empowers Birmingham people. Being a student in Birmingham is wonderful, the city has a rich history and a vibrant city centre, that our campus is within walking distance of. Birmingham is also a vast locality and can offer our students an array of amazing placement experiences. Birmingham City University also in my humble opinion has amazing academic staff to support your journey here, and the level of support offered to students is exceptional. BCU wants to help you to also be the best version of yourself.