This paper examines the British provision for advanced education in psychiatric nursing. Information was derived from a review of the literature, personal contacts with nurse educationalists, and an undergraduate project supervized by the author. After operationally defining advanced education, the paper describes courses at pre-and post-registration levels. These include degree, diploma, clinical, educational and managerial courses. The psychiatric component of nursing degree courses is also considered. Current provision is critically discussed and compared with similar courses for general nurses and educational provision abroad. The paper analyses how and why the current situation has occurred and the effects of current provision on psychiatric nursing practice. The paper concludes with proposals for future developments. These include recommendations for higher education based courses and consideration of a single register of nurses.