Mental Health - PostGraduate Diploma Approved Mental Health Practitioner - PgDip / MSc

Full Time
September 2016
£800 per 20-credit module for UK/EU Full Time 2016 entry (view all fees)

This course will enable you to build on your previous knowledge, skills and values in order for you to practice as an approved mental health professional (AMHP).

The course has a national reputation for delivering mental health teaching, and we will equip you with the knowledge and attributes you’ll need to further your career. Previous students have progressed into roles as primary mental health nurses and staff nurses, at institutions including HMP Bedford and the NHS.

If you are dyslexic, have a specific learning difference or a disability, we have a Disability Tutor who can help and support you.

What's covered in the course?

If you’re currently working as a social worker, mental health / learning disability nurse, occupational therapist or psychologist, and have at least two years’ post-qualification experience in mental health, then you’ll be eligible to learn how to practice as an AMHP.

The course has been specifically designed to equip relevant professionals with the attributes needed to engage in effective AMHP practice, including a 40-day practice placement opportunity, which will provide you with experience of an AMHP’s responsibilities and roles.

You’ll be prepared to undertake the statutory role and requirements of the Mental Health Act, as well as building on your previous knowledge, skills and values to develop the competencies required to carry out an AMHP’s duties. On satisfactory completion of the course, you’ll be immediately eligible to be approved as an AMHP by the local authority.

Why Choose Us?

  • By joining us, you’ll be enrolling in the region’s largest provider of qualified health and social care professionals to the NHS.
  • You’ll be part of the School of Allied and Public Health Professions, which boasts state-of-the-art facilities, experienced staff and excellent resources.
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Postgraduate Open Day

Our next Postgraduate Open Day will be on Wednesday 23 November. Registration will open shortly.

In the meantime, register your details and we'll contact you when more information is available.

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This course is not open to International students
School of Allied and Public Health Professions

Discover the School of Allied and Public Health Professions

Visit our School site for more student work and extra information.

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Where our students go

Our students have gone on to work with companies such as:

  • HMP Bedford
  • National Health Service

And in jobs such as:

  • Primary Mental Health Nurse
  • Staff Nurse

New £10,000 postgraduate loans

You may be able to take advantage of the government’s plans to make loans of up to £10,000 available for postgraduate study.

More about postgraduate loans

Entry Requirements

UK students

Applicant must have at least two years post qualification experience as a Registered Mental Health/ Learning Disability Nurse, Social Worker, Occupational Therapist or Psychologist in mental health.

They must have undertaken preparation for engaging with the AMHP training and provided full release and sponsorship by relevant employers e.g. Local Authority or Health Trust. Applicants need to have an enhanced up to date DBS clearance.

UK or EU students

Award Start Mode Duration Fees
PgDip / MSc Sep 2016 FT 2 years £800 per 20-credit module

International Students

Sorry, this course is not available to international students.

The University reserves the right to increase fees broadly in line with increases in inflation, or to reflect changes in government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament.

If you are applying to undertake a post-registration / continuing professional development course you will fall in to one of three funding categories:

i) You are being funded either fully or partially for your course or module by your NHS Health Trust.

ii)  You are being funded for you course or module by an employer other than an NHS Health Trust .

Forms for this option can be found here:

University application form

Finance support form

iii) You are paying for the course or module yourself.

Click on the correct link above for guidance on the process you should follow (depending on how you are being funded) and access to our application form.
The guidance also contains the appropriate return address for completed application forms.
If you have any problems completing our application form, you may need to update your version of Adobe Reader.

This course is not available to International Students

Please note: All communication from the University is sent via email. Please ensure that you supply an email address on your application form that you check regularly.

Additional costs

We offer a wide range of professionally accredited and vocational courses that require the purchase of, among other things, uniforms, equipment, subscriptions, professional body memberships and DBS checks, and may require you to pay to attend conferences or participate in placements.

The link below provides our estimate of the possible costs associated with key activities on specific courses. Please bear in mind that these are only estimates of costs based on past student experience and feedback. The actual costs to you could vary considerably (either greater or lower than these estimates) depending on your choices as you progress through the course. We set out where we can, based on experience, where these indicative costs are for activities that are optional or compulsory.

All our students are provided with 100 free pages of printing each year to a maximum total value of £15.

Find additional costs for your course

Your personal statement

Your personal statement is a highly important part of your application. It gives you a crucial opportunity to say why you’re applying and why the institution should accept you.

Here are the key areas you’ll need to address:

Course choice

Why does this course appeal? What areas are of particular interest?

Career plans

If you have a specific career in mind, say how your chosen course will help you pursue this goal.

Work experience

Mention any work that is relevant to your subject, highlighting the skills and experience gained.

School or college experience

Highlight skills gained at school/college, eg summer schools or mentoring activities.

Non-accredited skills or achievement

eg Duke of Edinburgh Award, Young Enterprise scheme.

You should also mention your future plans – if you’re planning to take a year out, don't forget to give your reasons. Talk about any subjects you’re studying that don’t have a formal assessment and any sponsorships or placements you’ve applied for. And don't be scared to add in details about your social, sports or leisure interests.

Get more information on writing personal statements.

This course is not available part-time

Got any questions?

Search our Frequently Asked Questions for a range of information about our courses and studying here.


PgDip modules explained:
The Role of the Approved Mental Health Professional
40 credits

You will critically explore your role in regards to your legal responsibilities, the ethical dilemmas involved and compliance with equality legislation. You will identify areas of discrimination in mental health practice and the impact it has on individuals.

The AMHP students will be able to identify areas of discrimination in mental health practice, the impact it has on individuals and use of the least restrictive option, when carrying out their statutory duties. The module provides opportunities for students to identify strategies to overcome their own prejudices and discrimination.

The Legal and Policy Framework for Mental Health
40 credits

This prepares you to understand and evaluate the legislation that’s specific to the role of the Approved Mental Health Professional under the Mental Health Act. You’ll be provided with a thorough education of that Act, as well as the Mental Capacity Act, the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards and the codes of practice, as well as national and local policy guidance.

Evidence Based Mental Health Practice
40 credits

This module has been designed to prepare you to consolidate all your learning on the programme and demonstrate your skills and abilities to work inter-professionally within an evidence-based context. It includes an assessed practice placement of at least 40 days, working directly with service users and carers, as well as other professionals.


MSc module explained:


Once you have successfully completed the PgDip, you can enrol on to the MSc in Mental Health, which is a 60 credit Dissertation module. This module is also open to experienced AMHPs.

Course structure

Study on the programme includes three 40-credit modules, plus an assessed practice placement of at least 40 days. There is a range of learning and teaching strategies as well as tutorial support.

The AMHP requirements have been incorporated into the course and is delivered full time up to a year through three 40 credit modules at Masters Level.

The course is delivered in close collaboration with sponsoring agencies/ service users and carers and involves practitioners and educators with significant experience of statutory mental health practice. A range of teaching and learning methodologies are utilised including structured tutorial support to ensure full and effectively engagement by the student.

Assessment methods

Assessment of academic modules includes formative and summative assessment for example presentations, assignments, law exam and assessment of practice.

You are required to demonstrate "evidence" of competency through the compilation of a practice portfolio that contains assessed direct observations of AMHP practice. The core theme of the assessment approach is about how you critically apply your understanding of theory to enhance practice, using case law and evidence base practice.

Module dates

The following spreadsheet gives 2015/16 dates for all Health-related modules:

Postgraduate Module Dates 2015/16

Employment opportunities

You will already be employed when it comes to enrolling on this course, but upon graduation you will become eligible for approval as an AMHP by a local authority. The role is a recognised, unique status and independent role and is a significant achievement that will really enhance your career opportunities.


For those wishing to become AMHPs, placements are provided by your employer and must be agreed before you start the course.

The programme offers you learning opportunities in a range of settings within mental health practice including community mental health teams, home treatments, hospital settings, forensic teams, assertive outreach teams, children and adolescent mental health services and older adults.

More about our placement opportunities...


OpportUNIty Student Ambassador

OpportUNIty: Student Jobs on Campus ensures that our students are given a first opportunity to fill many part-time temporary positions within the University. This allows you to work while you study with us, fitting the job around your course commitments. By taking part in the scheme, you will gain valuable experiences and employability skills, enhancing your prospects in the job market.

It will also allow you to become more involved in University life by delivering, leading and supporting many aspects of the learning experience, from administration to research and mentoring roles.

Our Facilities

We are constantly investing in our estate and are currently in the process of spending £260 million on new learning facilities.

We boast up-to-date, innovative facilities that simulate the real situations that medical staff may come across.

These resources are essential in offering students a hands-on introduction to health and social care practice. Much of our teaching is carried out within our state-of-the-art, £30m Seacole Building, which houses some of the best learning facilities in the UK.

Take a virtual tour of our skills suites at Seacole

In a sector where new techniques are constantly being discovered, we work hard to ensure that students learn using the most up-to-date equipment available. These include the only mock operating theatre in an English university and a cutting-edge radiography virtual clinical training facility, virtual ward and virtual case creator.

Virtual Case Creator

For pre-registration midwives, Virtual Case Creator software contains a range of scenarios to let you experience birthing situations and decide on appropriate interventions in a safe environment.

Hospital Ward

Our mock wards enable you to get a feel of what a ward is really like before you head out for your first placement. They contain ‘Sim Men’, which are demonstration dummies that develop ailments, allowing you to treat them as you would a real patient and build your confidence in reacting to the changing needs of patients.

The Hospital Ward can be adapted from a low care to high dependency care environment with the necessary monitoring equipment.

Part of the package is our SIM baby, SIM man and Mega code kid. There are also nursing manikins for fundamental skills teaching and various equipment to support essential skills teaching, such as blood pressure monitoring venepuncture and cannulation equipment.

Skills Practice and Clinical Enhancement facility

The SPACE (Skills Practice And Clinical Enhancement) learning facility lets you further practice the skills taught in class, at your own pace and convenience.

It is fully stocked with the specialist items and equipment needed for procedures such as taking blood pressure, giving an injection, abdominal examination of a pregnant woman and caring for ill babies in an incubator.

Biomedical Laboratories

We have recently installed new laboratory facilities to help you explore understand the scientific principles underpinning many of our courses. The physiology laboratory is equipped to help you learn about the way the human body works by performing investigative experiments. The biomedical science laboratory is undergoing an upgrade over the summer and will allow you to learn about anatomy, cellular processes, immunology and enzymology in a hands-on way that links directly to day-to-day health care.

Simulation Mannequins

We have several Simulation men (SIM men) and Simulation babies (SIM babies) which are leading edge, anatomically correct mannequins used for teaching specific techniques such as advanced adult and paediatric life support skills, acute and high dependency clinical skills, first aid and communication skills.

The SIM men and SIM baby mannequins are complete with software, which is used to replicate real symptoms, and are enhanced by the manipulation of for example blood pressure, pulse and heart rate for extra realism. SIM Man can also “talk” to the students which adds another dimension to their use in teaching clinical skills and in simulation exercises.

Mary Seacole Library

The Seacole library, based at City South Campus, is one of the UK's largest specialist health education libraries. The state-of-the art facility offers an extensive range of range of information and reference materials set out in a relaxing environment, conducive to studying. There are comfortable seating areas, group study areas, a silent study area and private study rooms.

You will have access to all of the University’s libraries, including the main Kenrick Library on the City North Campus, which is open for almost 90 hours a week and holds more than 320,000 books, 2,000 print journals and carries more than 4,000 electronic journals online.

Computer Facilities

The Seacole building houses a large open access IT Suite which comprises of 96 PCs, full colour printers, photocopiers and scanners. Our PCs utilise the latest Intel i5 core technology, all with:

  • Fast (unrestricted) internet connectivity
  • Ability to save files to USB, DVD & CD
  • Microsoft Office software
  • Research and statistical software
  • Storage space which can be accessed from any PC across the University and from home

Our PCs are also designed to support students who may have difficulties with reading and writing, featuring specialised software with zooming/magnification and screen reading capabilities, which may also be customised for individual student needs.

The IT Suite offers extended opening hours and is supported by a specialist Open Access Assistant during term time. In addition to the open access PCs within the IT Suite, there are 12 networked student PCs available within Seacole library.

Inderjit Patel

Senior Lecturer/Programme Director

Inderjit has delivered teaching and learning across a range of modules on professional social work programmes including Social Work Theory and Method, Law, Values and Ethics, Sociology, Child Protection, Mental Health and Inter professional practice during the last 10 years as a Senior Lecturer in Social Work. She has also delivered teaching and learning across programmes in Health and Social Care across the Faculty. She is currently the Module Co-ordinator for Law for Social work Level 6 and the Programme Director for the Post Graduate Mental Health award. She is involved with the design and delivery of a Best Interest Assessor Module at Level 7 which is about the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards.

Inderjit has also been admissions tutor for the PG Cert/Dip Mental Health since 2008.

Her areas of teaching now focus around Human rights issues in Mental health and Values, Ethical Dilemmas in Social Work and the Law.

She is also a tutor on the BSc Social Work course and her role is to support students academically and while on placement.

UK prospective students:

UK enquiry form

+44 (0)121 331 5595

EU / International prospective students:

International enquiry form

+44 (0)121 331 5389

Already applied?

Email the applications team

+44 (0)121 331 6295