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MA Advanced Mental Health Practice

This part-time course is designed to prepare practitioners who will be considered for appointment as approved mental health professionals under the Mental Health Act 2007.

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Why study MA Advanced Mental Health Practice at BU?

  • After completing this course, you will also be able to take on the role of Best Interest Assessor under the Mental Health Capacity Act 2005 if required by your employer (subject to amendment by the LPS framework)
  • This is a part-time course, which can be taken over a maximum of 5 years. It is arranged in blocks of taught days and placement days
  • Learning includes a mix of interactive workshops, teaching sessions and facilitated group discussions
  • Service user and carer input are central to the course, combined with individualised self-directed learning with flexibility in units to meet your individual needs
  • Opportunities for experiential learning are provided in a supervised practice placement as required by the professional body
  • As part of your Master’s you’ll deliver a Service Improvement Project, which will involve you improving an existing approach to service improvement or developing a new one.  

For April 2023 entry: in order to take advantage of new approaches to learning and teaching, as well as developments in industry to benefit our students we regularly review all of our courses. This course is currently going through this process and we will update this page in August 2022 to give you full information about what we will be offering once the review process has concluded. Successful completion of this course will still offer eligibility for approval as an Approved Mental Health Professional (AMHP), but it is unlikely to continue to fulfil the requirements for the Best Interest Assessor (BIA) role. ​

Career opportunities

The course recognises the diversity of mental health social work, providing practitioners with the opportunity to develop their knowledge and enhance their skills in dealing with complex work. 

Advanced Mental Health Practice graduates can undertake roles such as Approved Mental Health Professional and Best Interest Assessor, and will be able to support roles within mental health and health & social care.

“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:

April 2022, October 2022


Bournemouth University, Lansdowne Campus


Maximum 5 years

Entry requirements:

A Bachelors Honours degree with 2:2 in any subject, or equivalent. 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. Applicants must also follow their local employer’s preparation pathway.

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.

For 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. 

Assessment for the course will require 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.

Download the programme specification (pdf 473kb)

Your application

Entry requirements


Statistics shown throughout this page are taken from Unistats and BU institutional data unless otherwise stated.