PGCert Approved Mental Health Practice

Entry year
Course code
School of Health and Social Wellbeing
Six months
Full-time; starts September
Programme leader
Robert Lomax

Please note we are no longer offering this course to new applicants.

Page last updated 1 March 2024


Created and delivered with local authorities, practicing professionals and service users, you will develop confidence and skills in simulated community homes and via work based learning.

Accreditations and partnerships:

Why study PGCert Mental Health Practice?

In accordance with The Mental Health Act, all local authorities must have sufficient approved professionals who can undertake mental health act assessments. To do this, practitioners including social workers, mental health nurses, occupational therapists and clinical psychologists must be qualified Approved Mental Health Professionals (AMHP).

Why study our course?

Developed in collaboration with local authorities, service users and carers from across the South West, this flexible course equips mental health practitioners with the knowledge and skills to become a qualified AMHP.

Delivered by academics, practicing AMHP leads, service users and carers, you will learn through a blend of academic theory and practice.

Working alongside diverse stakeholders, you will learn how to lead effective mental health act assessments and, where necessary, present evidence at legal hearings.

You will also develop vital confidence and skills practising in simulated environments including work based learning, simulation community house and mooting courtrooms.

Real world experience

Once you have studied the relevant law, knowledge, social perspectives and theory, you will apply this through work-based learning with the Approved Mental Health Team (AMT) in your sponsoring local authority.

Working in diverse environments, this will involve conducting, and leading, mental health interventions with a range of different service users.

Where it can take you

After successfully completing the course, you will become a qualified AMHP. You will be ready to apply for a warrant to practice with your employing local authority, and can then conduct assessments on their behalf.

You can also progress by studying our MSc Professional Development.



You will study:

  • Assessment and Planning under the Mental Health Act
  • The AMHP role amd complex decision making
  • Comtemporary Themes in Mental Health
  • Mental Health Policy, Law and Ethics.

The University continually enhances our offer by responding to feedback from our students and other stakeholders, ensuring the curriculum is kept up to date and our graduates are equipped with the knowledge and skills they need for the real world. This may result in changes to the course. If changes to your course are approved, we will inform you.

Learning and Teaching

You will learn through a combination of lectures, simulations, seminars and work-based experience. Throughout the course, you will be supported through on-line materials on Blackboard.

An academic tutor will give you support and guidance throughout the course. You will also be accompanied by a practice educator while you are on your practice placement.

See our full glossary of learning and teaching terms.

Study time

You will also be expected to study in your own time - time is allocated in the programme schedule to support this.


You will be assessed through a variety of methods - all focused on showing how you have applied learning to real world scenarios.

As well as developing a portfolio of evidence from your practice, you will undertake a law exam, oral presentation and written assignment.

An AMHP practice assessor will assess your ability to meet AMHP regulations through regular supervision sessions and formal observation during practice.

See our full glossary of assessment terms.


Professional accreditation

This course is approved by Social Work England and leads to eligibility to apply to Social Work England for registration.


You will apply your learning on a minimum of 40 days of work-based learning in an approved mental health setting with your sponsoring local authority. This will involve work with a range of different service users and carers with whom you will undertake approved Mental Health Act work.

Study facilities

Studying at Glenside Campus and Frenchay campus means you will have access to our large well-equipped libraries and multi-million pound simulation facilities.

You will be able to:

  • Develop confidence and experience assessing and representing clients in simulated environments such as work based learning, simulation community house and mooting courtrooms.
  • Start creating your online professional portfolio using Pebble Pad  
  • Develop skills including essay writing and referencing in our library or through our facilities and resources

    Take a Virtual Tour of the Social Work, Environmental and Public Health facilities and see what's on offer here for you.

    Service user and carer centred care

    To make sure that this course meets service user and carer requirements, we encourage members of the public to get involved in programme activity. Service users and carers are referred to as 'experts by experience' and our links with local groups have led to these being increasingly involved in learning scenarios.


Postgraduate support

Our support includes access to fantastic facilities, study tools and career consultants, plus practical help to access everything from funding to childcare.


A stunning city for student living with all the qualities to make you want to stay.

Sports, societies and activities

There is more to your experience here than study. Choose to make the most of it and try new things.

Health and Wellbeing

We provide support in the way you need it.

Campus and facilities

Discover our campuses and the wealth of facilities provided for our students.


Careers / Further study

Once you have successfully completed the course, you will qualify as an AMHP and can lead mental health assessments on behalf of your local authority once you have been warranted.

You may also go on to further study on an MSc in Professional Development at UWE Bristol.


Supplementary fee information

See our funding pages for more information.


Entry requirements

To be accepted onto the course you will need to be fully qualified and registered in one of the following professions:

  • a social worker registered with Social Work England
  • a first level nurse, registered in Sub-Part 1 of the Nurses' Part of the Register maintained under article 5 of the Nursing and Midwifery Order 2001(a), with the inclusion of an entry indicating their field of practice is mental health or learning disabilities nursing
  • an occupational therapist registered in Part 6 of the Register maintained under article 5 of the Health Professions Order 2001(a)
  • a chartered psychologist who is listed in the British Psychological Society's Register of Chartered Psychologists and who holds a relevant practising certificate issued by that Society(b).

You will need to have at least two years' experience in mental health or undertaken an evidencing work based learning module at UWE Bristol.

You will also need a letter of support from your sponsoring local authority.

How to apply

Read more about postgraduate applications.

For further information