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MA Advanced Mental Health Practice

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The principle aim of the course is to prepare practitioners who will be considered for appointment as approved mental health professionals under the Mental Health Act 2007.

After completing the course, you’ll be able to take on the role of best interest assessor (Mental Health Capacity Act 2005). In meeting the requirements of the Higher Specialist Social Work Award in Mental Health, the course also recognises the diversity of mental health social work and provides practitioners with the opportunity to develop and extend their knowledge and enhance their skills in dealing with complex work. 

Learning includes a mix of interactive workshops, teaching sessions and facilitated group discussions. Service user and carer input will be central to student learning methods. This is combined with individualised self-directed learning with flexibility in units to tailor learning to meet individual student needs.

Opportunities for experiential learning are provided in a supervised practice placement as required by the professional body. Assessment for the course will include completing a portfolio including a report by a practice assessor, based on observation of how you apply learning and competence in showing the requirements. A range of reflective assignments and an in-class test will also be included.

“This course is fast-paced and challenging, but I have really enjoyed the structure of the law and ethics taught sessions, mixed with practice placement learning experiences. I have learned so much and feel confident and ready to work as an enhanced mental health professional.”
Seth Rowles, graduate 

Key information

Next start date:

Please enquire


Bournemouth University, Lansdowne Campus


Maximum 5 years

Entry requirements:

A Bachelors Honours degree with 2:2 in any subject. Applicants are normally expected to have at least one year of professional or management experience.

Applicants for the programme must also meet the professional requirements set out in Schedule 1 of the Mental Health (AMHP) Regulations 2008 and hold a professional qualification in social work, nursing, occupational therapy or psychology and be currently registered to that profession as laid out in Schedule 1.

International entry requirements:

If English is not your first language you'll need IELTS (Academic) 6.5 with a minimum of 6.0 in each component of writing, speaking, listening and reading, or equivalent. Foir more information check out our full entry requirements.

Course details

This is a part-time course delivered in blocks of taught days and placement days. On this course you will usually be taught by a range of staff with relevant expertise and knowledge appropriate to the content of the unit. This will include senior academic staff, qualified professional practitioners, demonstrators, technicians and research students. 

Download the programme specification (pdf 473kb)

Your application

For Advanced Mental Health Practice we are looking for applicants who:

  • Have suitable practice experience in mental health (normally two years post-qualifying).
  • Possess a suitable knowledge around mental health practice, including the relevant legal and policy context as well as having a good understanding of mental disorder and its impact on service users and carers.
  • Display a critical understanding and application of a range of models of mental disorder and in particular must be able to assert a social perspective on mental distress.
  • Have observed at least 4 Mental Health Act assessments and be able to critically reflect on the role of an AMHP.
  • Hold a CPSP in mental health (or PQ1 with a mental health focus) and an appropriate professional qualification in social work, occupational therapy or psychology and be registered.

All applicants must be nominated by their employer, who is required to provide a reference of their suitability for the course and verify that they are able to provide an appropriate placement and practice assessor to evaluate the practice competencies.

Entry requirements

How to apply

We offer a single point of contact for all questions and enquiries regarding Post Qualifying Social Work courses.

Please contact our NCPQSW Administration Team (National Centre for Post Qualifying Social Work) for more information:

Please note: If your fees are to be paid by your employer you should submit your application via your Workforce Development Officer so that your employer can sign the sponsor section of the payment agreement. This must take place before you can be enrolled.

If you are paying your own fees you should submit your application directly to the NCPQSW Administration Team.