course page main image

Nursing - Mental Health and Learning Disabilities - Dual Award - MSci

Currently viewing course to start in 2024/25 Entry.

Our four-year undergraduate Nursing – Dual Award course gives you practice experience in two different fields of nursing as well as developing your leadership skills in a research-informed way, ultimately providing the opportunity to register as a nurse in two fields....

  • Level Undergraduate
  • Study mode Full Time
  • Location City South
  • School School of Nursing and Midwifery
  • Faculty Faculty of Health, Education and Life Sciences

This course is:

Overview

Our four-year undergraduate Nursing – Dual Award course gives you practice experience in two different fields of nursing as well as developing your leadership skills in a research-informed way, ultimately providing the opportunity to register as a nurse in two fields.

This MSci is an integrated degree, meaning that you complete both undergraduate and postgraduate-level study, and runs alongside our BSc (Hons) Nursing programme. You will learn together with students from different fields of nursing (Adult, Mental Health, Learning Disabilities and Child) and have tailored support to help you achieve the Level 7 elements of the course in year four.

As a dual award course, you will spend time on placement in different hospital and clinical settings across the West Midlands area to help you qualify in your chosen fields of nursing.

The course is accredited by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) and you will be able to apply for Registered Nurse status in two fields of nursing on successful completion of the course.

This course is not open to International students.

What's covered in this course?

In the first two years you will study with BSc (Hons) Nursing students on modules with integrated theoretical content, learning about all fields of nursing - Adult, Child, Mental Health and Learning Disabilities. The early part of the course aimed at developing your confidence and competence in working with and caring for people of all ages across the lifespan, with a range of health needs.

During the third and fourth year, the course focuses on your dual award. You will take adult and child nursing specific modules aligned to practice placements, which will help to build on your previous learning and develop proficiency in your chosen fields of practice. These modules will help develop you as a leader and critical thinker to apply research-informed, evidence-based care, to plan, evaluate and coordinate care, supervise other health professionals and gain confidence in the safe management of medication.

You will also benefit from having personalised, field specific academic and clinical support to accelerate your research-informed, evidence-based decision-making. 

Your placement learning experiences may be within community, hospital or home environment settings and at a location within the West Midlands that is accessible by public transport. While on placement, you will be supported, supervised and assessed by practice and academic staff to develop your knowledge and skills.  

You will benefit from being taught amongst learners from our RNDA (Degree Apprenticeship) and BSc course. These groups will vary in size, some very large groups others smaller sessions. Sessions are delivered face to face on campus and online throughout the course. Independent learning is required throughout the course to develop your knowledge base.

We are committed to providing excellent, innovative, learning, teaching and assessment experiences through the use of technology, which we use to enhance your learning, through lectures, seminars, skills simulation and virtual learning. Engaging with practice partners and service users is also integral to our approach.

Our MSci Nursing dual award course has been designed to comply with the new Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) standards (2018) meaning that successful completion of this course makes you eligible to apply and be entered onto the NMC register in two of the four fields of nursing, Mental Health and Learning Disabilities.

Accredited By

This course is accredited by:

  • Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC)
  • Athena Swan Bronze Award

Why Choose Us?

  • Funding - Nursing students who are eligible for a student loan will receive at least £5,000 a year in additional funding for maintenance and associated study costs. Download the funding FAQs.
  • You will study at our City South Campus where we’ve recently invested nearly £5 million to update our skills and simulations facilities, complete with real-life hospital environments (wards, operating theatre), basic and advanced life support training facilities and simulation equipment to practice your practical skills.
  • Birmingham is one of the UK’s most diverse cities outside of London, which will provide you with a wide variety of experience that will be valuable to take forward into your future career.
  • Opportunities to Go Abroad if this is something you would like to explore during your time studying with us.
  • Student finance - have you already had a student loan to study an undergraduate degree but would like to do a second degree in nursing? You may still be eligible for funding.

Similar Courses

Open Days

Join us for an on-campus Open Day where you'll be able to meet us in person, hear from our trailblazing academics and explore our innovative £400m facilities.

Next Open Day: 23 March 2024

Book Now

Entry Requirements

These entry requirements apply for entry in 2024/25.

All required qualifications/grades must have been achieved and evidenced at the earliest opportunity after accepting an offer to help confirm admission and allow for on-time enrolment. This can also include other requirements, like a fee status form and relevant documents. Applicants can track their application and outstanding information requests through their BCU mySRS account.

We accept a range of qualifications, the most popular of which are detailed below.

Essential

120 UCAS tariff points from A/AS Level

Please note: If you qualify for our BCU Accelerate scheme, you could receive an offer that is two grades below our normal entry requirements. Find out more about BCU Accelerate.

Applicants are required to undertake a face-to-face engagement, normally in the format of an interview

Interviews are currently taking place via Microsoft Teams. Find out more about online interviews.

Places are subject to a satisfactory Occupational Health Check, Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service check and registration with the Independent Safeguarding Authority.

Qualifications, personal statement, and references all form part of the selection criteria for this course.

Applicants must demonstrate evidence of literacy, numeracy, and IT skills in line with the Nursing and Midwifery Council requirements.

Applicants must normally have evidence of formal study within the last five years. However, we are sometimes able to waive this requirement if a candidate has a significant amount of professional experience in a relevant field, for example healthcare, social care, or education.

You must provide evidence of having been in general education for a minimum of ten years.

Level 2 qualifications

GCSE

GCSE English Language or Literature, GCSE Maths and GCSE Science at grade C/4 or above. If you do not have these or are not undertaking them, we accept other Level 2 equivalents, or we may ask you to pass BCU's GCSE equivalency tests.

Irish Leaving Certificate (Ordinary Level)

See level 3 entry requirements under Irish Leaving Certificate for full details.

Scottish National 5

English Language or Literature, Maths and Science at grade C or above. If you do not have these or are not undertaking them, we accept other Level 2 equivalents, or we may ask you to pass BCU's GCSE equivalency tests.

Plus one of the following Level 3 (and above) qualifications

A level and Advanced VCE

  • BBB / 120 UCAS points
  • Including Health and Social Care, Psychology, Sociology or a Science subject at A-level or Level 3 equivalent
  • Excluding General Studies, Critical Thinking and Extended Project
  • A maximum of 3 subjects are considered. These can be other A-levels or Level 3 equivalents

Access to HE Diploma

  • Health or Science related pathway
  • Pass with 60 credits overall. At least 45 credits at Level 3 with 30 credits at Merit or Distinction (of which 24 must be in a Science or Health related subject)
  • If applying with an Access course you only need GCSE Mathematics and English Language at grade C/4 or above or accepted equivalent. You are not required to hold three GCSEs in total and GCSE Science is not required

British bachelor's degree

  • Minimum 2.2 at full honours, in a relevant subject
  • Considered on an individual basis
  • Pearson BTEC National Extended Diploma (2016 – present)
  • Pearson BTEC Extended Diploma (QCF) (2010 - 2016)
  • BTEC Level 3 National Diploma (2002 – 2010)
  • DDM
  • Must be in either Health and Social Care or Science subject
  • Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Diploma (2016 – present)
  • Pearson BTEC Diploma (QCF) (2010 – 2016)
  • BTEC Level 3 National Certificate (2002 – 2010)
  • 120 UCAS points
  • Considered with one A-level or an equivalent level 3 qualification
  • Either the BTEC level 3 National Diploma or the accompanying A-level / level 3 equivalent must be in Health and Social Care, Psychology, Social Science or a relevant Science subject (e.g. Applied Science, Biology, Chemistry, Physics)
  • Pearson BTEC National Foundation Diploma (2016 to present)
  • Pearson BTEC 90-Credit Diploma (QCF) (2010 - 2016)
  • 120 UCAS points
  • Considered with one A-level or an equivalent level 3 qualification
  • Either the BTEC level 3 National Foundation Diploma or the accompanying A-level / level 3 equivalent must be in Health and Social Care, Psychology, Social Science or a relevant Science subject (e.g. Applied Science, Biology, Chemistry, Physics)
  • Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Certificate (2016 – present)
  • Pearson BTEC Subsidiary Diploma (QCF) (2010 - 2016)
  • BTEC Level 3 National Award (2002 - 2010)
  • 120 UCAS points
  • Considered with two A-levels or equivalent level 3 qualification(s)
  • Either the BTEC level 3 National Extended Certificate or one of the accompanying A-levels / level 3 equivalents must be in Health and Social Care, Psychology, Social Science or a relevant Science subject (e.g. Applied Science, Biology, Chemistry, Physics)
  • Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Certificate
    (2016 - present)
  • BTEC Level 3 Certificate (QCF)
    (2010 - 2016)
  • 120 UCAS points
  • Considered with two A-levels or equivalent level 3 qualification(s)
  • Either the BTEC level 3 National Certificate or one of the accompanying A-levels / level 3 equivalents must be in Health and Social Care, Psychology, Social Science or a relevant Science subject (e.g. Applied Science, Biology, Chemistry, Physics)
  • NCFE CACHE Level 3 Diploma in Child Care and Education
  • NCFE CACHE Level 3 Diploma in Childcare and Education (Early Years Educator) (from September 2014)
  • NCFE CACHE Technical Level 3 Diploma in Childcare and Education (Early Years Educator)
  • Grade B overall

NCFE CACHE Level 3 Extended Diploma for Children’s Care, Learning and Development (Wales and Northern Ireland)

  • Grade B overall

NCFE CACHE Level 3 Extended Diploma for the Children and Young People’s Workforce

  • Grade B overall
  • NCFE CACHE Level 3 Diploma in Early Years Education and Care (Early Years Educator)
  • NCFE CACHE Technical Level 3 Diploma in Early Years Education and Care (Early Years Educator)
  • 120 UCAS points
  • NCFE CACHE Level 3 Extended Diploma in Health and Social Care
  • NCFE CACHE Technical Level 3 Extended Diploma in Health and Social Care
  • Grade B overall

City and Guilds Level 3 Advanced Technical Extended Diploma (1080)

  • 120 UCAS points
  • Must be in Health and Social Care

International Baccalaureate Diploma

  • Obtain a minimum of 30 points overall with grade 4 or above in at least one Higher Level subject from Group 4 (Biology, Chemistry and Physics)
  • For students who do not already hold a GCSE in Mathematics at Grade C/4 or above, we will accept grade 5 in Maths (Standard Level) from the IB Diploma
  • For students who do not already hold a GCSE in English Language at Grade C/4 or above, we will accept Standard Level English Language (not literature) English A - Grade 4 or above or English B - Grade 5 from the IB

Irish Leaving Certificate (Highers)

  • Pass the Irish Leaving Certificate with a minimum of 120 tariff points, achieved in five Higher level subjects. This must include Maths and English Language taken at either Ordinary level (minimum grade O1-O4 (or A-C/A1-C3)) or Higher level (minimum grade H1-H7 (or A-D/A1-D3))
  • Must include a Health, Psychology, Social Science or Science related subject at Higher level

OCR Cambridge Technical Extended Diploma

  • DDM
  • Must be in Health and Social Care or Applied Science

OCR Cambridge Technical Diploma

  • 120 UCAS points
  • Considered with one A-level or an equivalent level 3 qualification
  • Either the OCR Level 3 Cambridge Technical Diploma or the accompanying A-level / level 3 equivalent must be in Health and Social Care, Psychology, Social Science or Science subject (e.g. Applied Science, Biology, Chemistry, Physics)
  • OCR Level 3 Cambridge Technical Foundation Diploma
    (2016 - present)
  • OCR Level 3 Cambridge Technical Subsidiary Diploma
    (until-2016)
  • 120 UCAS points
  • Considered with one A-level or an equivalent level 3 qualification
  • Either the OCR Level 3 Cambridge Technical Foundation Diploma or the accompanying A-level / level 3 equivalent must be in Health and Social Care, Psychology, Social Science or Science subject (e.g. Applied Science, Biology, Chemistry, Physics)
  • OCR Level 3 Cambridge Technical Extended Certificate
    (2016 – present)
  • OCR Level 3 Cambridge Technical Introductory Diploma
  • 120 UCAS points
  • Considered with two A-levels or equivalent level 3 qualification(s)
  • Either the OCR level 3 Cambridge Technical Extended Certificate or one of the accompanying A-levels / level 3 equivalents must be in Health and Social Care, Psychology, Social Science or Science subject (e.g. Applied Science, Biology, Chemistry, Physics)

Open University courses

  • Considered on an individual basis
  • Must be in K101 - An Introduction to Health and Social Care

Scottish Higher/Advanced Higher

  • Achieve a minimum of 120 tariff points achieved in either three Advanced Highers or from a combination of two Advanced Highers plus two Highers.
  • Where three Advanced Highers have been taken achieve a minimum of grades CCC.
  • Where a combination of Highers and Advanced Highers have been taken you must achieve (grades of CC in two Advanced Highers plus grades of CC in two Highers).
  • Must include a Health, Psychology, Social Science or Science subject at Higher level or above

T-Levels

  • 120 UCAS points (Merit overall)
  • Must be in either Healthcare Science or Science

Advanced Welsh Baccalaureate - Skills Challenge Certificate (first teaching September 2015)

  • 120 UCAS points
  • Considered with two A-level or equivalent level 3 qualification(s)
  • One of the A-level / equivalent qualifications being taken must be in Health and Social Care, Psychology, Social Science or Science subject (e.g Applied Science, Biology, Chemistry, Physics)

Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Diploma – Core (awarded until 2016) ESW/KS Combined component

  • 120 UCAS points
  • Considered with two A-level or equivalent level 3 qualification(s)
  • One of the A-level / equivalent qualifications being taken must be in Health and Social Care, Psychology, Social Science or Science subject (e.g Applied Science, Biology, Chemistry, Physics)
Other qualifications

If you have a qualification that is not listed in the table please refer to our full entry requirements on UCAS.

Further guidance on tariff points can be found on the UCAS website.

Extra information for EU/international students

IELTS

  • Applicants who have not received their secondary school education in English will require an overall IELTS score of 6.5, with no subtest below 6.
  • If English is studied at GCSE Level but as a second language, IELTS must be completed to qualify for UK L2 requirement

I really want to become a nurse but do not meet your entry requirements. What advice can you give me?

  • All applicants must meet our academic entry requirements in order to be considered for the course.
  • If you do not have sufficient Level 3 qualifications, you could consider taking an Access to Higher Education Diploma qualification in a relevant subject such as Nursing, Midwifery or Health. You can search for Access course providers via https://www.accesstohe.ac.uk/course-search. Maths and English language GCSE qualifications need to have been achieved at grade C/4 or above. In terms of acceptable equivalents to GCSEs, if you are taking an Access course we can consider Functional Skills level 2 in maths and English.

If you are applying to enter year 2 or year 3 of this course, we require a reference from your previous institution before enrolment.

Fees & How to Apply

Please select your student status to view fees and apply
  • UK Student
  • International Student

UK students

Annual and modular tuition fees shown are applicable to the first year of study. The University reserves the right to increase fees for subsequent years of study in line with increases in inflation (capped at 5%) or to reflect changes in Government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament. View fees for continuing students.

Award: MSci

Starting: Sep 2024

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees

International students

Sorry, this course is not available to International students.

Access to computer equipment

You will require use of a laptop, and most students do prefer to have their own. However, you can borrow a laptop from the university or use one of our shared computer rooms.

Printing

You will receive £5 print credit in each year of your course, available after enrolment.

Field trips

All essential field trips and associated travel costs will be included in your course fees.

Access to Microsoft Office 365

Every student at the University can download a free copy of Microsoft Office 365 to use whilst at university and for 18 months after graduation.

Key Software

You will be able to download SPSS and Nvivo to your home computer to support with your studies and research.

Key subscriptions

Subscriptions to key journals and websites are available through our library.

Uniform

You will be provided with four sets of uniform (tunic and trousers). If you need additional sets of uniform, you will need to purchase them.

Clothing and safety equipment

You will need to buy suitable placement shoes, cardigan and fob watch (price from £5).

Placement expenses (mandatory)

There may be some costs for travel or temporary accommodation associated with placements. The NHS Learning Support Fund can help with these costs. Information about what the fund covers and eligibility criteria can be found online.

Excess printing (optional)

Once you have spent your £5 credit, additional printing on campus costs from 5p per sheet.

Books (optional)

All module key texts will be in the University library, but in limited numbers. You may choose to purchase a copy.

Field trips (optional)

This course includes the option of additional trips that may enhance your experience, at extra cost.

Memberships (optional)

You may wish to join a union or professional body related to your course. We would advise joining the Royal College of Nursing or Unison. You will need to pay membership fees to join the Nursing and Midwifery Council on graduation.

Subscriptions (optional)

You may wish to purchase subscriptions to additional journals and websites.

Accommodation and living costs

The cost of accommodation and other living costs are not included within your course fees. More information on the cost of accommodation can be found in our accommodation pages.

Guidance for UK students

UCAS

UK students applying for most undergraduate degree courses in the UK will need to apply through UCAS.

The Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) is a UK organisation responsible for managing applications to university and college.

Applying through UCAS
 Register with UCAS
 Login to UCAS
 Complete your details
 Select your course
 Write a personal statement
 Get a reference
 Pay your application fee
 Send UCAS your application

Our advice for applying to a health care course

Applying for a course and preparing for an interview can be a daunting process, so we have created a series of films to help you through the process, including what to put in your personal statement.

More guidance

Personal statement

Your personal statement is a highly important part of your application. It gives you a crucial opportunity to say why you’re applying and why the institution should accept you.

Here are the key areas you’ll need to address:

Course choice

Why does this course appeal? What areas are of particular interest?

Career plans

If you have a specific career in mind, say how your chosen course will help you pursue this goal.

Work experience

Mention any work that is relevant to your subject, highlighting the skills and experience gained.

School or college experience

Highlight skills gained at school/college, eg summer schools or mentoring activities.

Non-accredited skills or achievement

eg Duke of Edinburgh Award, Young Enterprise scheme.

You should also mention your future plans – if you’re planning to take a year out, don't forget to give your reasons. Talk about any subjects you’re studying that don’t have a formal assessment and any sponsorships or placements you’ve applied for. And don't be scared to add in details about your social, sports or leisure interests.

Get more information on writing personal statements.

Course in Depth

Year One

In order to fully complete this course and be eligible for application for entry onto the NMC register, a student must successfully achieve all 480 credits.

Year Two

Year Three

Year Four

Download course specification

Download now

Course Structure

Year One

As an undergraduate, the first year prepares you for further study and facilitates your understanding of the principles which underpin nursing. This is supported by numerous placement learning experiences over the year.

Your University Modules are taught and assessed alongside your BSc (Hons) Nursing colleagues. Your Practice Placements are organised around a practice hub (e.g. hospital ward/unit/community hub) and allied experience, for example, Mental Health hub and Learning Disability allied experiences. For your practice assessment you will be assessed in one Field only.

Year Two

During this year university modules will continue to have a generic focus and help develop core nursing skills and knowledge in: leadership, assessment and evaluation of care. Clinical placements will be more targeted to your dual award, with placements in both fields of practice. At the end of the second year, clinical practice assessment will be in the opposite field to year one. 

Years Three and Four

During these two years, your placements will be split between adult and child fields and will be assessed as a year long assessments in each year.

You'll experience a mixture of teaching, self-directed study and practice-based clinical placements, spending half of your time each year on placement.

Upon successful completion you'll graduate with a MSci Nursing – dual award worth 480 credits and be eligible to apply for Registered Nurse status with the Nursing and Midwifery Council in both the Mental Health and Learning Disability fields of practice. 

Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC)
The Nursing and Midwifery Council

The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) works with partner organisations to set and maintain high standards of nursing and midwifery education across the UK.

This course has been approved and monitored by the NMC to make sure that the education and training on offer meets their standards.

To work as a nurse or midwife, you must pass an NMC approved course at a higher education institution (HEI) in pre-registration nursing and midwifery, leading to registration with the NMC.

Athena Swan Bronze Award
Athena Swan Bronze Award

We have successfully secured the Athena SWAN Departmental Bronze Award recognising a commitment to gender equality.

The Athena Swan Charter is a framework which is used across the globe to support and transform gender equality within higher education (HE) and research.

Employability

Employability

We have collaborated with clinical practice colleagues, service users and carers in the West Midlands region to design our dual awards to meet the changing health care needs and services of the region, and beyond, nationally.  This is a highly relevant, exciting, varied and timely course, positioning you at the centre of the changing scope of patient care and services care in the 21st century.

Holding a dual award offers more employment options. Choosing either to specialise in one field of practice or work towards specialising in clinical roles where being qualified in two fields of practice is required for specialist roles in emergency care, primary care and clinical liaison roles in large hospitals.

Once qualified and registered with the Nursing and Midwifery Council you can practice in the UK and many countries overseas. As a qualified nurse you could find yourself working within the NHS, the private sector, in the community, at GP surgeries, at schools, plus many more - the options are endless.

Facilities & Staff

 

Our Facilities

Our School of Nursing and Midwifery is based at our City South campus in leafy Edgbaston.

We’ve spent £41million expanding our facilities at City South. These facilities offer hands-on practical experience, replicating the spaces you will come across in professional practice.

In a sector where new techniques are constantly being discovered, we work hard to ensure that you learn using the most up-to-date equipment available. Alongside physical spaces such as a mock operating theatre and wards, we also make use of online and virtual technology, such as our virtual ward and virtual case creator.

See more of our skills facilities at City South

Centre for Skills and Simulation

The Centre for Skills and Simulation offers a range of different spaces which replicate situations that you will encounter in practice. These include hospital wards, an operating theatre and a home environment room.

Our mock wards enable you to get a feel of what a ward is really like before you head out for your first placement. The hospital wards can be adapted from low care to high dependency care environment with the necessary monitoring equipment.

The home environment room is the perfect space for teaching communications skills and allows us to simulate a community setting for our students. It is particularly useful for mental health nurses, learning disability nurses and midwives.

Simulation Manikins

We have several Simulation men (SIM men) and simulation babies (SIM babies) which are anatomically correct manikins used for teaching specific techniques such as advanced adult and paediatric life support skills, acute and high dependency clinical skills, first aid and communication skills. The manikins contain software which replicates real symptoms, and can manipulate indicators such as blood pressure, pulse and heart rate for extra realism. SIM man can even ‘talk’ to the students as they are treating him, to add another dimension to learning.

Computer Facilities

The Seacole building has two open-access IT Suites which offer PCs, printers, photocopiers and scanners. There is also an IT Helpdesk for quick and easy help with your computing or internet issues.

Our PCs utilise the latest Intel i5 core technology, all with:

  • Fast (unrestricted) internet connectivity
  • Ability to save files to USB, DVD & CD
  • Microsoft Office software
  • Research and statistical software
  • Storage space which can be accessed from any PC across the University and from home

Our PCs are also designed to support students who may have difficulties with reading and writing, featuring specialised software with zooming/magnification and screen reading capabilities, which may also be customised for individual student needs.

In addition to desktop PCs, we also offer a laptop loan facility, allowing students to borrow a laptop for up to six hours while on campus.

Our staff

Helen Davis-Miles

Course Lead for MSci Nursing and Senior Lecturer

Helen is part of the Future Nurse Programme team as MSci Nursing course which runs alongside the BSc Nursing and Registered Nurse Degree Apprentice courses. Helen qualified as a nurse from the University of Birmingham in 2011 with a 1:1 and began her career at Great Ormond Street Hospital in the Haematology/Oncology unit.

More about Helen

Susie Guthrie

Senior Lecturer Placement Development and Support (Child Nursing)

Susie is dual qualified as both an adult and child nurse. She has extensive experience within the field of Children’s intensive care nursing and joined the university in 2003 from a London university where she delivered specialist Children’s intensive care nursing modules.

More about Susie

Jaye Ryan

Senior Lecturer in Nursing

Jaye has worked within the Children and Young People’s Health department since March 2003.  Before arriving at BCU she worked at Birmingham Women’s and Children’s NHS Foundation Trust, within the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) as a Junior Sister.  She has fond and lasting memories of caring with critically ill children...

More about Jaye

Robin Wilkinson

Assistant Lecturer in Learning Disabilities

Robin’s initial involvement with people with Learning Disabilities was through working with voluntary therapy services as a level 3 technician, after being on a Fine Art Degree program in Exeter Devon. Where Robin worked alongside Art and Drama Therapist. Running art and craft activities, one of his favorite memories was creating a Whale for a...

More about Robin