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Professional Practice in Mental Health Law - PGCert


Course Description

Are you looking to develop the competencies that are required to become an Approved Clinician for the purposes of the Mental Health Act 1983? Do you want to enhance your ability to manage challenges that you face within a mental health context as a psychiatrist, psychologist, nurse, occupational therapist or social worker?

As a professional practice course, there are no specific topics that must be covered. Instead the emphasis is very much on what you need to study in order to prepare yourself for the Approved Clinician role and/or to continue your professional development.

At the start you will be encouraged to write a learning proposal that identifies your specific learning objectives. You will then work towards these objectives through undertaking further continuing professional development (CPD), reflecting on your CPD and ultimately through completion of a work-based project. On completion you should have developed the skills and knowledge you need for you to make an application to be an Approved Clinician, if that is your goal.

Please note, optional module choices will be grouped and will run in designated blocks, meaning some module combinations will not be possible. Although every effort is made to ensure that these modules are offered, there may be occasions, for example due to staff sabbaticals, where a module may not be offered or module running order may change.

Learn From The Best

Northumbria has built up an enviable reputation for practical, innovative law courses. The combination of teaching excellence and workplace relevance ensures that standards remain consistently high. We are committed to postgraduate studies that will enhance your professional career.

Our team of tutors is led by a solicitor who has considerable experience of representing mental health clients in first-tier tribunals and court hearings. She is also a member of the Law Society’s Mental Health Accreditation Scheme.

The quality of our law teaching has been recognised through a variety of awards and nominations. These include Law Teacher of the Year Award, the Attorney General’s Pro Bono Award, and Northern Law Awards.

Teaching And Assessment

This is a professional practice course and, unlike most courses at Northumbria, there are no prescribed topics. You will be offered the opportunity to attend five optional CPD days. You will also undertake at least one day of CPD away from the University.

Your learning will be tailored to the objectives that you identify in your learning proposal, related to the core elements of the Approved Clinician competency framework.

During the one-year course you will study two modules: ‘Academic Recognition of CPD in Mental Health Law’ and ‘Work-Based Project’. Reflection upon your learning and practice will be an essential part of the learning experience. To encourage this, you will be allocated to a learning set with fellow students. Assessment will be through individual assignments.

Module Overview
Year One
LW7000 - Academic Recognition of CPD in Mental Health Law (Core, 30 Credits)
LW7001 - Work Based Project in Mental Health Law (Core, 30 Credits)

Year Two
LW7001 - Work Based Project in Mental Health Law (Core, 30 Credits)

Learning Environment

As a distance learner you will have full access to our eLearning Portal, ‘Blackboard Learn’. Blackboard Learn brings together all aspects of course management as well as assessment and feedback. You can contact tutors in other ways too, including by email and telephone.

You will also have online access to Northumbria’s library, which has half a million electronic books that you can read whenever or wherever you need them. Our library was ranked #2 in the Times Higher Education Student Experience Survey for 2015 and, since 2010, it has been accredited by the UK Government for Customer Service Excellence.

Our specialist Law Practice Library contains practitioner materials as well as a wide variety of journals and law reports. The range and depth of resources reflects our position as the largest law school in the North East region.

Research-Rich Learning

Northumbria’s strong research ethos is an essential aspect of how you will develop as a critical, reflective and independent thinker.

Our academics are at the cutting edge of current legal issues, which will enhance your learning experience. They will discuss their own research as it relates to the topics you will study, and ask you to explore current knowledge and identify further questions to be addressed.

Additional research-informed experiences will be linked to your work-based project. We will equip you to undertake and present research that is relevant to the particular challenges and issues that you’re facing in your practice.

Give Your Career An Edge

By completing the two modules in this course you will be able to develop the skills required to demonstrate competencies for becoming an Approved Clinician. The documentation from the course will be invaluable as you build your portfolio for the approval process.

Your Future

For a significant proportion of students, the next step after this course is to seek approval as an Approved Clinician. You will have essential knowledge of mental health legislation, related codes of practice, national and local policy, assessment, report writing, communication, care planning, leadership, multi-disciplinary working and equality and diversity.

Whatever your future, you’ll have the transferable skills that employers expect from Northumbria graduates from Northumbria University. These include the ability to reflect on your practice and make appropriate recommendations for improved workplace practice, the ability to handle the legal and ethical issues that may arise in mental health contexts, and the ability to formulate balanced judgements.

Visit the Professional Practice in Mental Health Law - PGCert page on the Northumbria University website for more details!

Entry Requirements

Although no formal qualifications are required, (the programme is suitable for students from a range of backgrounds & experience), some on-going practical experience within the mental health field is necessary as the course builds upon practical experience in its assessment processes.

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Recipient: Northumbria University

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