BSc (with Honors) in Psychiatric Nursing

Key Points

  • Work permit while you study

  • Post Graduation Work Permit for 12 months

  • Start dates: September

  • Duration: 4 years
  • Level 8 qualification

  • Type: Full Time
  • Hours: Daytime
  • Enrollment Fee: From € 8,000 / year

Write to us for more information


This four-year ab initio honors degree offered by AIT in conjunction with the Health Service Executive Midlands area and the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland, has been developed in response to the changing mental health needs of the Irish public. The course involves the study of theoretical and practical modules. Students will be exposed to classroom instruction and placements taught in a variety of clinical and non-clinical settings within Longford / Westmeath Mental Health Services and Laois / Offaly Mental Health Services.

In this course you can:

You will complete 1,740 hours of theoretical study and 2,925 hours of clinical practice during the four years. This psychiatric nursing training program will provide you with a substantive knowledge base and facilitate the development of professional skills that will enable you to respond constructively to mental health care needs. Successful completion of the program leads to earning of a Bachelor of Science (Hons) in Nursing in Psychiatric Nursing from AIT and registration with the Irish Board of Nursing and Midwifery. Registration with the Irish Nursing and Midwifery Board as a Registered Psychiatric Nurse (RPN) allows you to work as a Psychiatric Nurse nationally and internationally.

Career opportunities

Upon successful completion of the course and registering as a psychiatric nurse with the Irish Nursing and Midwifery Board, you will be qualified to apply for a variety of psychiatric nursing positions and can apply for a position in the staff nurse degree in the sector of Irish healthcare, in addition to seeking promotional positions in clinical nursing, nursing administration, and nursing training.

As a graduate of this course, you can take advantage of more academic / professional courses in clinical specialties, for example, gerontology, behavioral nursing psychotherapy, addiction counseling, family and cognitive therapies, at AIT or other tertiary institutions. If you want to pursue a career in skilled nursing practice, you can apply for higher diploma courses in areas such as psychotherapy and behavioral counseling. Alternatively, you can choose to pursue advanced studies in nursing education or nursing management.

Additional information

100% of the class of 2014 had a job six months after completing their degree.

AIT uses the Garda Central Verification Unit (GCVU) to assess the suitability of applicants for this program. This is due to the considerable amount of placements made with children and vulnerable groups in society. Therefore, offers for this program are conditional and could subsequently be withdrawn if applicants do not meet Garda’s research requirements.

Professional recognition:

Successful completion of the program leads to a Bachelor of Nursing in Psychiatric Nursing from AIT and registration at An Bord Altranais. The An Bord Altranais Award, Registered Psychiatric Nurse (RPN), is recognized nationally and internationally.

Program structure

  • Preparation for practice (psychiatric nursing)
  • Anatomy
  • Physiology and microbiology
  • Learning and development in higher education
  • Clinical Placement (Psychiatric Nursing)
  • Principles and practice of nursing care anatomy, physiology and pharmacology, emotional and mood disorders, professional, legal
  • Ethical aspects in mental health nursing, community mental health nursing, psychology and communication
  • Schizophrenia Spectrum Psychosis
  • Child and Adolescent Mental Health
  • Health Studies, Clinical Placement
  • Adult Care in the General Hospital
  • Adult Specialized Care Groups
  • Group and Group Therapies
  • Lasting Mental Illness
  • Psychiatric Emergencies
  • Grief and loss, clinical placement (psychiatric nursing)
  • Appreciation of the research
  • Physical health and mental illness
  • Therapeutic Approaches and Counseling Skills
  • Applied sociology and applied psychology: psychiatric, normal and abnormal personality
  • Neuroanatomy and electroconvulsive therapy
  • Elderly care Person (General Nursing)
  • Law and Ethics (Psychiatric Nursing)
  • Integrated Practice of Psychiatric Nursing
  • Ethical and Challenging Issues in Psychiatric Nursing
  • Preparation for Internship
  • Clinical Placement VII (Psychiatric Nursing Pre-internship)
  • Health Studies
  • Clinical Placement VIII (Psychiatric Nursing Internship)

Admission requirements

Students applying to enter undergraduate or graduate programs must provide the following information directly to the International Office, Athlone Institute of Technology on or before May 1 for programs beginning in September:

  • Complete AIT application form
  • Detailed CV
  • Certified transcripts of test results and English translations of grades not issued in English
  • Evidence of ability to follow classes in the English language (which must satisfy the entrance requirements to the Institute for the following programs)
    • Basic level program: Certificate in English for academic studies: Minimum IELTS 4.5 or equivalent
    • Pre-session summer program in English from June to August: minimum IELTS 5.0 or equivalent
    • Undergraduate programs: Minimum IELTS 5.5 without Band less than 5.0
    • Postgraduate programs: Minimum IELTS 6.0 without Band less than 5.5 *

* Please note that some graduate programs require a minimum of IELTS 6.5.

  • Letter of recommendation from the corresponding department head of the institution itself
  • Any other relevant information about qualifications or previous work experience

For this program:

  • 6 places reserved for QQI students. QQI applicants for this program must have one of the following awards: Nursing Studies (5M4349), Community Health Services (5M4468), Healthcare (5M4339) included in their award. They must have distinctions in 5 modules that must include: 5N0749, 5N4325, 5N1279 or 5N2746

Learn more about our educational offer

Athlone Institute of Technology

Request your quote

An advisor will contact you by phone and email within the following hours