MA Mental Health Practice

Approved by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC), Department of Health approved BIA training

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Course outline

The MA Mental Health Practice is a specialist post-qualifying programme, and successful candidates will be issued with a written transcript of achievement, making them eligible for approval to act as an Approved Mental Health Professional (AMHP), and eligible to act as a Best Interest Assessor (BIA).

The MA Mental Health Practice at Cumbria University is delivered in partnership with Cumbria County Council, and students benefit from an expert teaching team, including: senior lecturers and academic staff in Social Work, Nursing and the Social Sciences; Experts by Experience; Mental Health Legislation experts; AMHPs and BIA Practitioners; Psychiatrists; Psychologists; Pharmacists and other allied professionals. The current programme was revalidated in 2014 and academic modules are complimented by practice experience through two placements, mentorship support and academic tutorials. Most students who gain the AMHP and BIA status go onto successful careers working in Mental Health, as the skills gained by successful completion of this programme are highly desirable to employers.

Throughout your studies the Programme Team aim to provide you with a comprehensive and critically reflective understanding and application of the concepts, values, theories and knowledge base underpinning these specialist areas of mental health practice. Through rigorous adherence to professional values, principles, codes of conduct and ethics, we will improve your critical ability to practice ethically and to manage the implications of ethical dilemmas while undertaking Mental Health Act (1983, as amended 2007) Assessments, and the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards assessments.

The programme is committed to promoting ethical, culturally capable AMHP and BIA practitioners who respect diversity, challenge inequality, and who can support and safeguard the wellbeing of people with Mental Health problems, their families, carers and communities. Service users and carers have been involved in the development of this programme through both the University of Cumbria’s ‘Expert by Experience’ Programme and Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trusts ‘Expert Patients Programme’.

Our study patterns are responsive to the varying needs of students and employers and are reviewed annually with Student Representatives and the Programme Team. We have a range of support systems in place for students returning to study, and recognise that some practitioners may not have studied at level 7 previously, or for some time so academic skills support is offered throughout the programme to address this.

Students will be required to study two additional modules, these are a research methods module and a dissertation module, in which you will be encouraged to undertake primary research and develop academic knowledge in the field of AMHP practice. Please refer to the course outline for further information.