[Print version]

Bachelor of Science (Honours) Scheme in Nursing - Mental Health Nursing

Sept 2022 Entry

Programme code: JS3337

Faculty of Health and Social Sciences
School of Nursing
Mode of Study Full-time

Normal Duration

5 years

Credits Required for Graduation

116 (plus 41 clinical/field credits)

Fund Type Government-Funded
Consider Second Choice Applications No

Scheme/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.
  • Students will be awarded the following award upon successful completion of the graduation requirements:
    • BSc (Hons) in Mental Health Nursing

Aims & Characteristics

Programme Aims & Learning Outcomes

Our mission is to equip young people to take up professional careers in mental health nursing, one of the world’s most “caring” professions. This innovative academic programme develops students’ competence in delivering high-quality care, carrying out relevant research and making significant contributions to mental healthcare services.


Students develop skills in clinical reasoning, critical thinking, problem-solving, therapeutic communication and the management of change in mental health nursing. They also learn how to work both independently and with other healthcare professionals to provide high-quality mental healthcare in a range of contexts, from psychiatric clinical settings 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 our students’ critical thinking and clinical decision making. This programme builds on our successful experience of conducting the psychiatric stream of the part-time Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Nursing programme, which is 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 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.


In this programme, field practice is arranged in a variety of healthcare settings, including general hospitals, psychiatric hospitals, psychiatric rehabilitation units, community psychiatric nursing services, mental health out-reaching services and other community settings. We also offer a wide range of overseas student exchange opportunities.

Recognition & Prospects

Professional Recognition

The programme is accredited by the Nursing Council of Hong Kong, and graduates are eligible to apply for registration as Registered Nurses (Psychiatric).


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 organisations.


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


Graduates may also pursue further studies. They can pursue the Master of Science in Nursing programme or other postgraduate programmes offered by the School.


Graduates may also undertake research work or work overseas.


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 equip students to become competent, creative, and caring practitioners of psychiatric/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 provided to clients of all ages and their families in various mental healthcare settings, recognising their central role in managing mental healthcare. Students have opportunities to develop sensitivity through interactions with individuals, families, groups, communities, and other healthcare providers. Through their participation in the healthcare system, they are prepared to become key players in health promotion and care for psychiatric patients.


The programme curriculum is based on the Bio–Psycho–Social Model of Psychiatric Nursing Care and includes the following major content:

  • In junior years, studies include health foundation subjects to enhance students’ understanding of the factors predisposing and precipitating stresses. Applied sciences and nursing arts subjects 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 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 programme broadens the focus from illness to health to develop nurses’ understanding of people and their experiences with 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 such as Medical and Surgical Nursing II, Psychotherapeutic Practice, Quality and Patient Safety, 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 are introduced.
  • In Year 5, the programme focuses on preparing students to take up the role of Registered Nurse. Subjects such as Psychotherapeutic Practice II and Leadership Roles and Management Functions in Health Care are offered.
  • There is an emphasis throughout the programme on practical experience as the foundation for integrating psychiatric nursing theory into practice. Students are encouraged to be thoughtful and reflective in their nursing practice. Psychiatric/mental health nursing practice experience is essential. 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, such as Leadership & Intra-personal Development, Freshman Seminar, Healthy Lifestyle, Language and Communication, Service Learning, and broader subjects provide students with a comprehensive knowledge base for holistic professional learning.


Information on the subjects offered can be found here.

Entrance Requirements

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


Other Information

  • Preference is given to those who are competent in written English and Chinese, and in oral English and Cantonese. (Applicants for clinical placements 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: sn.enquiry@polyu.edu.hk; website: sn.polyu.edu.hk).