Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Mental Health Nursing

Sept 2019 Entry

Programme code: JS3337

Duration and Credit Requirement

Mode of Study
Normal Duration

5 years

Credits Required for Graduation

122 (plus 41 clinical/field credits)

Fund Type
Consider Second Choice Applications
Programme Leader(s)

Dr Sau Fong LEUNG

PhD (Syd.); MSc (HC) [PolyU (HK)]; BN (Syd.); Dip(PN) (H.K.G.H.S.P.N.); PRegDip(N) (HKPoly); RN (HK); RN (NSW); RN (UKCC); RNT (HK)

  • This programme does not consider second choice applications.
  • Applicants should check with the professional bodies in their own countries for licensing requirements.

Aims and Characteristics

Programme Aims & Learning Outcomes

Our mission is to educate young people for professional careers in mental health nursing, one of the worlds most caring professions. This innovative academic programme develops students competency to deliver high-quality care, carry out relevant research and make significant contributions to mental health care services.


Students develop abilities in clinical reasoning, critical thinking, problem-solving, therapeutic communication and the management of change in mental health nursing. They also learn how to work effectively, both independently and with other health care professionals, in providing quality mental health care in various settings from clinical psychiatric to community mental health services.


Programme Characteristics

PolyU was the first university in Hong Kong to provide a pre-registration degree programme in nursing. Our innovative approaches to learning and teaching enhance students critical thinking and clinical decision making. This programme builds on our successful experience of delivering the psychiatric stream of the part-time Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Nursing programme, accredited by the Nursing Council of Hong Kong.


Our modern facilities include Nursing Therapeutics Laboratories, Mental Health Nursing Laboratories, The Yuen Yuen Institute Chinese Medicinal Nursing Laboratory, the Dorothy Wong Intensive Care Laboratory, the Integrative Health Clinic, the PolyU-Henry G. Leong Mobile Integrative Health Centre, the Centre for Smart Health, the Herbal Medicine Learning Centre, the World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Community Health Services and the Yuen Yuen Institute Learning Resources Centre.


Field practice in this programme is arranged in a variety of health care settings, including general hospitals, psychiatric hospitals, psychiatric rehabilitation units, community psychiatric nursing services, mental health out-reach services and other community settings. We also offer a wide range of overseas student exchange programmes.


This is a 5-year full-time programme leading to registration with the Nursing Council of Hong Kong as a Registered Nurse (Psychiatric). The programme aims to educate students to be competent, creative and caring practitioners of psychiatric and mental health nursing, and to apply their creativity and critical thinking skills in the care of their clients.


The programme equips students to provide holistic care that encompasses safe, ethical, legal and culturally sensitive nursing therapeutics to clients of all ages and their families in various mental healthcare settings, and recognizes their central role in managing mental health care. Students have opportunities to develop sensitivity in their partnerships with individuals, families, groups, communities and other healthcare providers. Through their participation in the healthcare system, they will become key players in the health promotion and care of psychiatric patients.


The programme curriculum is based on The Bio-Psycho-Social Model and includes the following major content:

  • In junior years, studies include health foundation subjects to facilitate students’ understanding of the predisposing and precipitating factors of stress. Applied sciences and nursing arts subjects are introduced, such as Public Health and Infection Control, Human Physiology, Sociology of Health, Introduction to Psychology, Human Anatomy, Fundamentals of Mental Health Nursing, Pathophysiology and Pharmacology, Medical and Surgical Nursing I, Communication Skills and Group Dynamics, Fundamentals of Nursing Therapeutics I & II, Abnormal Psychology and Mental Health Nursing Therapeutics I & II, Clinical Microbiology and Generic Social Work Practice with Individuals and Families. Fundamentals of Nursing Therapeutics in Chinese Medicine and Chinese Communication for Nursing are introduced in the first two years of study.
  • In senior years, the focus broadens from illness to health to develop students’ understanding of people and their experiences of health and recovery. Inherent in this orientation is the use of blended teaching methodologies, which encourage students to develop their critical thinking, enhance their self-awareness and discover the world around them. Subjects include Medical and Surgical Nursing II, Psychotherapeutic Practice, Generic Social Work Practice with Groups, Organizations and Communities, Mental Health Nursing Therapeutics III & IV, Mental Health Education and Promotion, Neurobiological Basis in Mental Health, Ethical and Legal Aspects in Health Care, Mental Health Nursing Therapeutics in Community, Nursing Research and the Honours Project.
  • In Year Five, the programme focuses on preparing students to take up the role of Registered Nurse. Subjects such as Quality and Patient Safety, Psychotherapeutic Practice II and Leadership Roles and Management Functions in Health Care are offered.
  • There is also an emphasis throughout the programme on practical experience as the grounds for integrating psychiatric nursing theory into practice. Students are encouraged to be thoughtful and reflective in their nursing practice. Psychiatric and mental health nursing practice experience is an essential part of the programme. Students are directly involved with clients in their homes, and in hospitals and community settings. This may involve working in shifts.
  • A specific set of General University Requirement subjects including Leadership and Intra-personal Development, Freshman Seminar, Healthy Lifestyle, Language and Communication and Service Learning, together with broadening subjects provides our students with a broad knowledge base for holistic professional learning.


Information on the subjects offered can be obtained here.

Recognition and Prospects

Professional Recognition

Graduates are eligible for registration as Registered Nurses (Psychiatric) with the Nursing Council of Hong Kong.

(subject to re-accreditation of the programme by the Nursing Council of Hong Kong )

Career Prospects

Graduates are eligible to become Registered Nurses (Psychiatric) in Hong Kong. They can find employment in the Hospital Authority, government departments and non-government organizations.


Graduates find employment opportunities in various mental health settings, such as major psychiatric hospitals in Hong Kong, the psychiatric units of general hospitals, and various rehabilitation sectors run by non-government organizations.


Graduates may also pursue further studies. They can continue to study in a Master of Science in Nursing and other postgraduate programmes offered by the School.


Graduates may also undertake research work or work overseas.

Entrance Requirements

Please click here to view the entrance requirements for international applicants.


Other Information

  • Preference will be given to those who are competent in written English and Chinese, and in oral English and Cantonese. (For clinical placement, applicants are expected to communicate in Cantonese, including speaking and listening.)
  • Students must pass a health check before clinical training.


For further programme information, please contact:

The General Office (tel: 2766 4369; fax: 2364 9663; email:; website:

Student Message

Studying at the School of Nursing has been a novel experience – a complete departure from secondary-school life. PolyU has provided me with numerous opportunities to meet people from different backgrounds and try new things.


In the first semester, I had the chance to study with freshmen from different programmes, and through the cooperative work I gained precious friendships with my classmates.


Throughout my first academic year, I gathered fundamental knowledge related to the nursing profession, such as the structure and functions of the human body, professional communication skills and public health and infection control. These subjects not only helped me to develop a solid foundation for further study, but also gave me a better understanding of the role that nurses play. Through group projects, I learned how to get along with others and appreciate different viewpoints. These skills are essential because as professional nurses, we have to cooperate well with other health care professionals and patients to provide high-quality care.


University life is interesting and full of learning opportunities. Welcome to PolyU!

Lo Wing Ki





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