Best Interest Assessor - 20 credits

Course Code:
Short Course (3 weeks)
March 2018, October 2018
In order to get you to the correct application form, we need to ask you a couple of questions:

The key educational aim of the course is to ensure that you recognise your role in the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards implementation. This includes a strong commitment to   Human Rights, ADP and ensuring the principles of valuing diversity and equality are maintained. The programme of study is relevant to all practitioners who work with adults in a Health and Social Care setting who have a condition that may affect their mental capacity and decision making.

What's covered in the course?

As a BIA, you will need to be employed by the local authority who has a legal responsibility to authorise a Deprivation of Liberty Safeguard as a Best Interest Assessor. This can be as an independent assessor or as a BIA who is already employed by the LA. You will be able to promote and safeguard the well-being of vulnerable adults who lack mental capacity in a care setting and ensure that their detention is compliant with Human Rights legislation.

The Best Interest Assessor course is a standalone 20 credit module at post graduate level 7. The module team that deliver the following modules consist of experienced social work academics, BIA practitioners and a legal expert in mental capacity issues.

You will be exploring the ethical dilemmas involved in practice focusing on case law, cutting edge research and evidence based practice in deprivation of liberty and mental capacity work.

You will shadow a BIA assessment in practice   PRIOR to coming on the course and reflect on this as part of your summative assessment.

There is a range of teaching and learning methodologies available that will meet your needs as a graduate student.

The staff have years of experience of delivering high quality BIA training in the region.

You will be part of one of the largest universities in the country and the learning campus is in the heart of Birmingham, in Edgbaston.

There are a range of students support services from wellbeing services to learning support services, library and an active students union.

Why Choose Us?

  • Experienced academic social work staff in the field of Dols/ mental capacity/ mental health practice who deliver high quality teaching and learning at postgraduate level
  • Pastoral and academic tutorial support. Individual tutor support for each student on the course
  • Contribution from a range of practicing BIAs who work in the heart of an inner city to the course delivery and assessment
  • Period of study leave to prepare for the assessment.
  • Law teaching by a legal expert in the field of deprivation of liberty, human rights and mental capacity
  • Focus on underpinning values of diversity and anti-oppressive practice in Health and Social Care


This course is worth...

20 credits

This course is not open to International students

UK or EU students

Award Start Mode Duration Fees
Mar 2018 SC 3 weeks £656
Oct 2018 SC 3 weeks £656

International Students

Sorry, this course is not available to international students.

If you're unable to use the online form for any reason, you can complete our PDF application form and equal opportunities PDF form instead. The University reserves the right to increase fees in line with inflation based on the Retail Prices Index or to reflect changes in Government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament.

How to apply

You will need to arrange to shadow a Best Interest Assessor prior to coming onto the course and submit a Combined Form 3 as evidence of this, prior to a conditional offer being made as this is a DOH requirement.

You can contact the BIA admissions officer/module co-ordinator for the shadowing guidelines.

You will also need to provide two named referees from practice, one in your present area of employment.

Entry requirements

  • Social work, nursing or health related qualification at degree level in the UK
  • Two years post qualified experience in Health or Social care setting

Sorry, this course is not available part-time

Course structure

The course is of a ten day duration and there is a separate two day induction programme a week before to introduce you to the module.

The week consists of four full days teaching with study time at the end of the week and time for a mock VIVA exam to discuss your shadowing experience.

You will be offered a tutor to support you individually.

Module content

As a BIA student you will be able to explore legislation that is specific to this statutory  role such as the Human Rights Act 98, Mental Capacity Act 2005, Mental health Act 83 amended 2007.

You will be considering case law and judgements made regarding deprivation of liberty safeguards and the less restrictive alternatives.


This course has been approved by the Department of Health and has had excellent student reviews with an intake that spans across the UK.


  • Mock VIVA
  • 3000 word assignment
  • Viva examination 


As a BIA, you will be employed by a local authority in the UK who has a legal responsibility to authorise a Deprivation of Liberty Safeguard, as a Best Interest Assessor. This can be as an independent assessor or as a BIA who is already employed by the LA.

This is a statutory duty with an independent roles and responsibilities.

Our Facilities

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

A fly through of the £41 million expansion of our City South Campus. It will provide specialist laboratories and teaching spaces for the new life sciences courses and a new home for the School of Education.

Science education facilities

Our laboratory and Science Education Learning Room have been newly built for the start of the 2015/16 academic year. The Science Education Lab will enable trainees to encounter and explore the latest Science Education pedagogies, and together with the Science Learning Room will facilitate trainees’ transition from “subject expert” to “expert subject teacher”. Trainees will work in a fully hands-on way with the core science education materials to develop excellent subject and pedagogic knowledge - the twin attributes of the outstanding teacher.


City North is a big, bustling campus, three miles north of Birmingham city centre. It's easy to get to and offers on-site parking. Located 5 minutes from Perry Barr train station, City North Campus is also ideally positioned along major bus routes.

The School of Education will be moving to City South Campus in Edgbaston during the 2017/18 academic year.

City south 1

New developments

Our new development at City South Campus will ensure students have access to the modern facilities, including our specially developed replica classrooms with interactive whiteboards, enabling you to experience the classroom environment.


All our departmental facilities replicate the school learning environment.

  • Art and Design
  • Design and Technology
  • History
  • English
  • Mathematics
  • Religious Education
  • Music
  • Drama

IT Support

Each student has a personal computer user name and server space Specific software for use by teachers and for use in classrooms.

Other items available include:

  • Training and training notes
  • Students can borrow cameras, LCD projector
  • Specialist technician support
  • Dedicated research base for postgraduate research students

Art and Design Department

There are fully equipped art studios suitable for 3D construction, printmaking, drawing and mixed-media. For textile and ceramics specialists, there are sewing machines and facilities for batik work and a large kiln for firing ceramics. The department has an ICT Suite for digital media that includes both Mac and PC computers. There is also access to a bank of Apple iPads for on and off-site digital working including the use of social media.

Design and Technology Department

The department has access to specialist facilities, including a dedicated teaching suite for food and textiles. The textiles area has 10 sewing machines, an overlocker, CAD/CAM embroidery machines, dye sublimation equipment, a felting machine and an electronic microscope that links to the interactive whiteboard. It is also well resourced with surface decoration and construction equipment.

The food area has five electric cookers, combination microwave/ovens, an extensive range of industrial and domestic equipment, eg industrial ice cream makers and electric pasta makers, bench top printer and a CAD/CAM icing printer. The specialist tutor is a Speed Step and basic food hygiene trainer.

There is a specialist room for design and technology teaching and independent work, as well as a well-stocked reference library that contains a wide range of resources that are relevant for undergraduate and postgraduate students.

Other features include a recycling materials area, specialist work benches and a bank of computers linked directly to CAD/CAM equipment.

History Department

There are plenty of replica artefacts in the department and other superb facilities, including a huge library of dedicated subject books and an interactive whiteboard. We also inspire our trainee teachers to bring history to life by offering them opportunities to travel to historic sites.

English Department

The School of Education has two dedicated English teaching rooms that contain a substantial children's collection of works including fiction, non-fiction, poetry, picture books and multicultural text. There is also a selection of phonics teaching materials, puppets and story bags that are used in teaching sessions.

You can explore the links between ICT and literacy through the department's Digital Blue cameras and electronic photo albums.

Mathematics Department

There are two dedicated teaching rooms for mathematics. The rooms make use of Promethean and Smart interactive white boards. Both rooms contain a library of recent and relevant publications as well as a wide range of resources for use while on teaching practice.

Trainees are supplied with the use of a laptop for the duration of the course. The laptops come with Autograph and Geometers Sketchpad software. There are a class set of iPads available for the teaching sessions.

Religious Education Department

This teaching room attempts to bring sacredness in its vicinities and a visitor will find precious collections of artefacts and devotional utilities, audio-visual resources, books, sacred texts and children's books from a range of religious traditions to support learning and teaching.

Early Years Department

As well as enjoying very strong links with local schools and specialist nurseries, we have a specialist teaching room that has a range of story sacks and puppets, an extensive selection of planning resources, copies of key texts, and toys and equipment that are relevant for foundation stage.

Music Department

The music department has two dedicated classrooms and seven practice rooms, five of which contain dedicated computer-based recording/sequencing equipment. There is also a fully equipped sound recording studio and Apple Mac computers for sound manipulation.

Drama Department

There is a fully equipped drama studio with stage lighting.

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.

Robert Wu

Senior Lecturer in Social Work

Robert teaches on the generic social work programme and is the module co-ordinator for the last practice placement for BSc (Hons) Social Work. He is a personal tutor for students on the BSc and the PG Dip Approved Mental Health Practitioner/ MSc Mental Health programmes; this includes support and monitoring of practice placements.

David Collins

Senior Lecturer

David Collins is the admissions tutor for the BSc (Hons) Social Work course, which involves coordinating the process of selecting applicants to join the course. He is the coordinator for a research module in Year 3 of this course, which involves students developing their understanding and research skills culminating in the production of a dissertation. He teaches on a range of modules, in particular Adult law and Policy; Adult Safeguarding; Social Work Skills; and Mental Health related to Older Adults.

In addition, David is the module coordinator for a Social Work Skills module taught in the third year of the BA (Hons) Working with Children, Young People and Families programme. He also contributes to the training of Practice Educators, who are involved in supporting and assessing Social Work students when they are on placement.

Previously he worked in Local Government for nearly 30 years as a Day Centre Manager; Senior Social Worker; Social Work Manager; and Practice Teacher/Mentor. David is a practising artist in the field of painting and print making, and he likes to combine his interests in art, education, mental health and philosophy.

1982-1991 Day Centre Worker/Manager in day centres for Adults with Disabilities and Adults with Dementia and their Carers.

1986-89 Qualified as Social worker (CSS).

1991-94 Social Worker/Senior Social Worker in a large city general hospital, with generic experience in all aspects of Children and Families Social Work, including Fostering and Adoption; working with Adults with severe health conditions including end of life care; and Adults with Disabilities.

1994-98 Assistant Team Manager in a Community Health Team, managing social workers in a number of Multi-Disciplinary Teams supporting people with Dementia and their Carers; a Rehabilitation Unit for Older Adults; and a NHS Hospice.

1998-2010 Assistant team Manager/Team Manager in a large Adults Social Work Team, with specific roles in coordinating Adult Safeguarding; Intermediate Care Teams; and Extra-Care Sheltered Housing.

2011- Senior Lecturer at Birmingham City University.

Course enquiries

If you would like to enquire about this course please contact the module coordinator, Inderjit Patel on:

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?

Contact the admissions team

+44 (0)121 331 6295