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Course content

This level 7 course is for social workers, occupational therapists, nurses and psychologists who are working in the mental health services and looking for approval by a local authority to practise as an Approved Mental Health Professional (AMHP).

This is a specific, legally defined role under the Mental Health Act 1983 that qualifies you to assess whether there are grounds to detain mentally disordered individuals, a responsibility that used to be the preserve of social workers but that has since been opened up to other mental health professionals.

The course operates in close partnership with four local authorities: Brighton & Hove City Council, East Sussex County Council, West Sussex County Council and Surrey County Council. Applicants from other local authorities or NHS Mental Health Trusts are also welcome. If you are an independent (ie non-seconded) applicant, you must have a written agreement from a local authority or NHS trust saying that they will provide and assess your AMHP placement.

Since August 2012 AMHP training has been regulated by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC). This course addresses sections one and two of the HCPC approval criteria for AMHPs and is an approved programme with the HCPC. 

Course structure

The course operates on a full-time basis from early January to early June. Your time is divided each week between learning at the university and working in an Approved Mental Health Professional (AMHP) placement, where you are supervised and assessed by a practice supervisor. Your placement is arranged before the course begins by the university and your sponsor.

Areas of study

At level 7, the integration of academic and vocational learning is essential. The course material aims to cover: the ethical dilemmas involved in compulsory admissions; the application of legal and theoretical knowledge to AMHP practice; and the ability to reflect on and critically analyse your work.


  • Ethics, Values and Equality in Mental Health [20 credits]
  • Social and Psychological Contexts of Mental Health [40 credits]
  • Applied Mental Health Law and Policy [20 credits]
  • Managing Mental Health Act Assessments and Interventions [40 credits]

Careers and employability

Successful students are eligible to apply for approval as an Approved Mental Health Professional by a local authority.

Visit the Approved Mental Health Practice (PGDip) page on the University of Brighton website for more details!




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