Nursing (Mental Health)

Course Information

BSc (Hons) (NFQ Level 8)

Full Time – Undergraduate Studies

CAO Code: DN453
CAO Points Range 2019: 387
Length of Course: 4 Years
Average Intake: 26

Leaving Certificate:
O6/H7 in English, Irish, Mathematics, a laboratory science subject and two other recognised subjects

Please note: Applicants who have previously failed to meet programme requirements in any Nursing or Midwifery programme or have any issues which would affect their registration with the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland will not normally be eligible.

Click below for equivalent entry requirements information for:

Why is this course for me?

If you want to care for the psychological, social, physical, emotional and spiritual well-being of others, becoming a mental health nurse is the first step towards a highly rewarding career. This exciting degree prepares you to meet the mental health needs of adults and their families in the 21st century.

You will study in university and across a wide range of mental health services. Most importantly you will learn from those who are experts by experience: people living with or who have experienced mental health difficulties. You will develop the skills to engage with those suffering mental distress or illness, as well as their families, in a positive and collaborative way, empowering them to cope and recover.

Caring for others requires you to learn how to care for yourself; we will support your learning through instruction in mindfulness, self-awareness and reflection skills.

You will also learn from Assistant Professor-Lecturers and Registered Psychiatric Nurses who practise predominantly within either Saint John of God Hospitaller and Cluain Mhuire Services OR within Community Health Care East.

Career & Graduate Study Opportunities

You will have the opportunity to work as a Registered Psychiatric Nurse to consolidate your learning and further develop your knowledge and expertise. You can later specialise and practice as a Clinical Nurse Specialist in a wide array of areas including for example: Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Addictions, Recovery, Eating Disorders, Rehabilitation and Psychiatry of Later Life.

What Will I Study

You will study a diverse range of subjects related to understanding yourself and others emotionally, psychologically, physically, spiritually and socially. You will learn how to communicate in a therapeutic way and to support and assist people to self-manage their recovery.*

First Year

  • Scholarship of Enquiry
  • Foundations of Mental Health Nursing
  • Scientific Principles
  • Psychology & Communication
  • Nursing practice experience in mental health services for 10 weeks

Second & Third Year

  • Health Promotion
  • Ageing and Health
  • Pharmacology and Specialist clinical placements such as forensic psychiatry
  • Substance misuse
  • Dual diagnosis: mental health and intellectual disability
  • Child and adolescent psychiatry
  • Including a module in General Nursing.

Fourth Year

  • Leadership and Management
  • Evidence-based Practice in Healthcare
  • Clinical placement/internship
  • Preparation for the professional role.

Assessment is through a combination of end-of-semester exams and continuous assessment, including assessment of performance on clinical placements.

Professional Clinical Experience

Clinical placements help you to apply theory to practice and to develop the required competencies for your degree and profession.

* Please Note: Curriculum may be subject to change in line with NMBI Nurse Registration Programmes Standards and Requirements.

For detailed information on subject content click here.

International Study Opportunities

In second year, you have the opportunity to study in Europe for a semester.



“Mental health was the only aspect of nursingI had any interest in. Now in my 4th year, I can safely say I made the right choice. The academic knowledge and clinical experience gained during the 4 years is incredible. UCD creates the right balance, providing as much assistance as possible to ensure success. I couldn’t have picked a better college for my degree.”

Emmanuel Efemuai, Student

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