Mental Health Law and Practice Cert

Mental Health Law and Practice Cert

The Certificate in Mental Health Law and Practice will enable and support students to advance their knowledge and understanding of mental health law and allied legislation, policy and codes of practice. 

The course is designed to explore the practical application of mental health law within the context of a ‘patient’s experience’ so that students may identify and explain the statutory frameworks and safeguards that are available to individuals with a mental disorder and which should support their voluntary or compulsory care and treatment.

The course will encourage students to reflect upon professional decision making, the complexities of interdisciplinary working and professional boundaries whilst also understanding the impact of mental health law and policy on services users and their family and carers.

Entry and Admissions

Award Type:




Study Mode:

Part time

Delivery Method:

Mixed Mode

Course Length:

One academic year


School of Social Work, Care and Community

Partner Colleges:

No Partner College



Start Date:


Entry Requirements:

The course has been designed for practitioners working in an area of mental health who require a practical understanding of the law.  In particular, the course will be of interest to Mental Health Act Administrators and other professionals responsible for the coordination and administration of statutory processes. Applicants are normally nominated by their employer.

  • 5 GCSE’s including grade C or above in Maths and English;
  • Applicants will normally have two A Levels or equivalent;
  • Non-standard applicants with experience will be considered and may be required to undertake a piece of written work as part of the application process.

Course Content

Course Outline:
The programme consists of two modules taught over the course of an academic year. The modules will be delivered by blended learning and will include online activities, self-test questions, seminars and discussions. Students will participate in discussions to support and consolidate their learning and are required to use e-learn resources, a dedicated discussion board and to read widely around the subject. Students will be given a task and relevant reading to complete each week and students will be expected to engage with this and evidence they have undertaken the set task. Students will demonstrate initiative and self-direction in completing the modules. The modules will encourage students to begin to develop their skills in identifying and interpreting primary sources of law and applying their legal knowledge to practice situations. Students will also develop their academic reading and writing skills.

Course Highlights:

  • Blended learning via classroom taught days, online study and self-directed learning
  • Students are encouraged to share and reflect on ‘live’ case examples and experiences
  • A total of 6 classroom taught days
  • Direct application to practice
  • Teaching delivered by experienced facilitators and experts who remain current in practice
Module content

Each module is a self-contained block of learning with defined aims, learning outcomes and assessment:

Module 1: SW1811 Introduction to Mental Health Law (20 Credits)

October - December

This module aims to develop the student’s knowledge and understanding of the legal system in England and Wales. Students will learn the main principles of Mental Health law and policy in relation to voluntary and compulsory care of individuals with a mental disorder.

Module 2: SW1812 Key Concepts of Mental Health Law and Policy (40 credits)

January - June

The module will develop specialist knowledge of Mental Health law and policy in relation to admission, treatment and aftercare of individuals with a mental disorder. The module will enable students to apply Mental Health law and policy to real-life scenarios and to communicate accurate and coherent legal arguments. Students will be able to reflect on the complexities and challenges of ethical and lawful practice in mental health services.

Learning Environment & Assessment:

Module 1 (SW1811) will be assessed by a case study which will test your knowledge and understanding of relevant law.

Module 2 (SW1812) will be assessed by a portfolio which will be a series of scenarios designed to test your knowledge of the relevant law and your ability to analyse the legal and ethical issues arising from each situation.

Academic Expertise

The teaching staff on this programme will bring a range of specialist mental health practice experience. They are also engaged in knowledge transfer activities with national authorities and agencies in specialist areas of mental health and law. The School runs an AMHP programme, BIA training and refresher training.

Detailed summaries of the teaching and research interests of each member of staff can be found on the School of Social Work, Care and Community’s homepage.


Learning outcome & aims

Aims of the course include:

· To provide students with opportunities to advance their knowledge and understanding of relevant, specialist knowledge of mental health law and allied legislation, policy and codes;

· To enable students to apply specialist knowledge of mental health law and allied legislation, policy and codes to practice;

·To enable students to identify and explain the statutory frameworks and safeguards for voluntary and compulsory care and treatment which supports individuals with a mental disorder;

· To encourage reflection on professional decision making, complexities of interdisciplinary working and professional boundaries;

· To understand the impact of mental health law and policy on services users and their family and carers.

Industry links & professional accreditation

The School of Social Work, Care and Community has worked closely with some of the key local statutory employers in the development of this course. The learning from this course can be used to requirements for continuing professional development and continuing education.

Work experience and international opportunities

At UCLan we work with a range of businesses and organisations, many of which provide work experience opportunities and project briefs to enable to you gain real work experience whilst you undertake your postgraduate programme. Your course tutor will advise on opportunities available within your course and the UCLan Careers Team can provide help, advice and guidance on how to apply for them and how to make the most of these opportunities.

Graduate Careers

The UCLan Careers Team offer ongoing supportive careers advice and guidance throughout your course and after graduation, along with a range of modules, work experience opportunities and events to help you acquire the skills to make you stand out to potential employers in today’s competitive market.


UCLan is recognised for its outstanding course provision which gives students the skills, knowledge, and personal attributes necessary to succeed at the University and in their future careers. To find out more about the experiences of our students, read our success stories.

Progression Routes

Discussions about your progression through the course normally take place with your personal tutor; these discussions are likely to coincide with receipt of your results from module assessments. These provide an opportunity for you to make plans for your study over the next academic year.

Fees & Funding

You can contact the Student Fees and Funding Team via phone, email, or post. If you are on the campus you can call into The 'i', for advice.
Tel: +44 (0)1772 892440
Student Fees and Funding Team, Foster Building 117, UCLan, Preston, PR1 2HE

For 2018/19 fees please refer to our fees page.

How to Apply

Please contact the CPD team for specific guidance to support you in completing an application and to ensure it is directed appropriately once submitted. You will be advised to apply through the University Online Application System. 

Individuals should initially discuss their application with their employer as arrangements may be in place for financial and study leave support.

Should you have any further questions about the application or enrolment process please contact the Centre for CPD team on:
Tel: +44 (0)1772 894361

For further details about the course and module options please contact:

Amanda Murphy, Course Leader
Tel: +44 (0)1772 894362

About UCLan

Centre for CPD

School of Social Work, Care & Community

University of Central Lancashire,
United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0)1772 894361