Mental Health - Postgraduate Diploma Approved Mental Health Practitioner - PgDip

Full Time
September 2019

The key educational aim of the course is to ensure that you are able to promote and safeguard the well-being and welfare of people with mental health and their communities. This includes a strong commitment to inclusiveness, ADP, ensuring the principles of valuing diversity and equality are maintained through a person centred approach. The programme of study is relevant to the needs of employers, inter-professional practitioners and service users who are involved in AMHP work.

What's covered in the course?

The course consists of three 40 credit modules at postgraduate level 7 and a practice placement provided for by your employer in an area of advanced mental health practice. The module team that deliver the following modules consist of experienced academics from nursing and social work backgrounds, practitioners, AMHPs, service users, and carers/professionals. You will be exploring the ethical dilemmas involved in practice focusing on research and evidence-based practice in mental health.

  • Module 1: Role of the AMHP
  • Module 2: The Legal and Policy Framework for Mental Health
  • Module 3: Mental Health Practice

There a range of teaching and learning methodologies available that will meet your needs as a graduate student. The 40-day practice placement can be from a variety of settings, forensic teams, learning disability teams, older adult’s teams and community mental health teams that will offer you a range of experiences from children to older adults.

You will be supported on placement by an AMHP practice assessor mentor and an academic tutor. The staff have practice experience as AMHPs and years of experience of delivering AMHP/ASW 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 a range of students services from services to learning support services, library and an active students union.

Why Choose Us?

  • Experienced academic social work and nursing staff in the field of advanced mental health practice and research who deliver high quality teaching.
  • Pastoral and academic tutorial support. Individual tutor support for each student throughout the programme.
  • Contribution from a range of practicing AMHPs who work in the heart of an inner city to the programme delivery, mentoring and assessment.
  • Block period of study for 6 months which includes five weeks law teaching by legal experts in the field.
  •  Focus on underpinning values of diversity and anti-oppressive practice in Health and Social Care.
  •  City wide practice placement experience with practising AMHP assessor mentors.
This course is not open to International students

Speak to an expert

If you’ve got any questions about the course, we’d love to hear from you. Please email the Course Director: Inderjit Patel.

Email Course Director

Alternatively, you can register for our next postgraduate open day.

Where our students go

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

  • Birmingham City Council
  • Walsall City Council
  • Birmingham & Solihull Mental Health Foundation Trust

And in jobs such as:

  • AMHP-Approved Mental Health practitioner

New £10,609 postgraduate loans

You may be able to take advantage of the government’s plans to make loans of up to £10,609 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 Sep 2019 FT 8 months

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. Fees for 2019/20 will be published as soon as possible. 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 up to a maximum of five per cent.

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 .

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.

Personal statement

Students are required to submit a personal statement as part of their application for this course.

Your postgraduate personal statement is going to shine a light on your personal experience, academic success, personal skills and any other factors that will support your application for further study.

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

Your passion and motivations

Studying a postgraduate course usually means you want to specialise in something. So what’s driving you?

Why this course?

Show that you’ve researched the course offering. What is it about this particular course that appeals to you? Is it the lecturers? The modules? Etc.

What makes you a good postgraduate candidate?

Tutors want to know that you can handle postgraduate study, so show them how your undergraduate experiences or work life has equipped you for a more advanced level of study. Key areas to address are research and group work but this can vary depending on your chosen course.

Relevant academic or work experience

Add anything relevant that relates back to your chosen course and shows how your skills will contribute towards your learning. What extra-curricular activities have you taken part in? What awards have you won? What employment or voluntary experience do you have that has helped you develop transferable skills? How do these specifically relate to the course you are applying for?

You should also mention your future plans and how a postgraduate qualification fits in. Try to look beyond your postgraduate study – do you plan to jump straight into a specific career or follow your studies with a research degree? Lastly, use plain, professional English and, where possible, utilise the language of your chosen industry.

Get more information on writing personal statements


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

Accommodation and living costs

The cost of accommodation and other living costs are not included within your course fees. More information on the cost of accommodation can be found in our accommodation pages.

The additional costs listed here are to be used for indicative purposes only and are based on the additional costs for the 2018/19 academic year. The additional costs for 2019/20 will be published as soon as possible.


Role of the Approved Mental Health Professional
40 credits

As an AMHP student, you 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, including adult safeguarding and child protection. The module provides opportunities for you to identify strategies to overcome their own prejudices and discrimination.

The Legal and Policy Framework for the AMHP
40 credits

This module will enable you to explore legislation that is specific to the role of the Approved Mental Health Professional under the Mental Health Act 1983 as amended in a comprehensive knowledge of the Mental Health Act 1983, as amended in 2007; the Mental Capacity Act 2005; the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards 2009 and the codes of practice, as well as national and local policy guidance.

Evidence Based Mental Health Practice
40 credits

This module prepares you to consolidate your learning on the programme and demonstrate your skills and abilities to work inter-professionally within an evidence-based context. The module includes an assessed practice placement of at least 40 days. It prepares you to engage with the specific roles of the Approved Mental Health Professional (AMHP) under the Mental Health Act 1983 (as amended in 2007) by working directly with services users and carers; as well as other professionals using evidence based approaches

Course structure

The Course is of six month block duration and includes a 5 day Induction programme. Each module spans over 5 weeks in total from Monday to Thursday followed by a three week study block to complete the assessed task. The 40 day block placement is at the end of the course after the last module. Friday of each week is put aside for independent study.

Number of hours in the classroom per week

You will have 28 hours classroom contact per week during module teaching split over Monday to Thursday. 

Teaching breakdown

50 Lectures MidnightBlue
30 Seminars RoyalBlue
20 Independent Study LightSkyBlue

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.

Examples of classroom activities

  • Direct Teaching includes presentations by lead academics and professionals.
  • There is also a variety of seminars, debates, case discussions.
  • Legal debates.
  • Group work and student presentations to peers.
  • Group work includes critique of current research and journals.
  • Service user/carer and input from advocacy groups.

Accreditation or professional associations

This course is approved by the Health & Care Professions Council. 

Enhancing Employability Skills 

At the end of the course you would have met the HCPC criteria in order to be approved to act as an AMHP. You will be able to manage, liaise and co-ordinate professionals carrying out Mental Health Act assessments.

You will be aware of the legal and policy framework in mental health and apply the legislation in accordance with professional codes of practice and carry out the role of the local authority in accordance.

Your practice placement experience would have enabled you to enhance your communication skills with a range of service users /carers and have this assessed by a practicing experienced AMHP assessor mentor to ensure that you are suitable for the role.

By critically reflecting and engaging in debate on current research around risk and safeguarding, your practice as an accredited AMHP will be fit for purpose and meet the needs of the wider community.

You will be prepared to complete the necessary statutory documentation and reports required from an AMHP, using the correct legal terminology and skills by completing these on your practice placement under supervision and guidance from the AMHP assessor mentor.


The practice placement is a minimum of 40 days in a local authority setting.

The employer is responsible for identifying a range of practice placements for you and these are matched to your individual profiles.

Experienced and suitably qualified AMHPs are designated as practice assessor mentors and allocated to the student.

There is a large range of practice experience available from the forensic services, learning disability teams, older adult teams, community mental health teams, specialist services/units, out of hour’s service, RAID, assertive outreach teams.

You will have shadowing opportunities with AMHPS and other professionals involved in the assessment process during their placement which is assessed through completion of a practice portfolio. In addition, you will also have to complete the necessary statutory documentation required, attend meetings, liaise with other professionals and demonstrate an ability to work as independent, autonomous professionals.

There is scope to be involved in renewal applications, guardianship applications and assessment for community treatment orders. You need to be proficient in mental health law, matters pertaining to Human Rights, advocacy and the policies and procedures relevant to their role.

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.

On completion of the course, following approval by the local authority, you will have the additional title of Approved Mental Health Professional and will take the lead in undertaking assessments for compulsory admission to a psychiatric hospital/unit for people with mental health problems on behalf of the local authority.

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 cutting-edge learning facilities.

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.

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.

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.

Ms Caroline Lee

Lecturer in Social Work

Caroline qualified in 1999 and first practiced as a generic adult social worker in Warwickshire before moving on to the Learning Disability Resettlement Team in Birmingham in 2002. In 2004 she qualified as an Approved Social Worker and continued to specialize in working with adults with a learning disability accessing forensic services, before joining Birmingham City University social work department in 2006 as a full-time lecturer on the social work undergraduate degree programme.