Professional Practice and Mental Health Law PGCert

Professional Practice and Mental Health Law PGCert

School of Social Work, Care and Community


Post- graduate





Contact UCLan

Course Enquiries
University of Central Lancashire
Preston, PR1 2HE, UK.

Tel: +44 (0)1772 892400

  • Duration:

    1-2 years

  • Level:

    Postgraduate, Professional Development

  • Mode:


  • Delivery:

    Campus, Part-time

  • Campus:


  • Start Date:

    Flexible – please discuss options with CPD team

  • Award Type:


Why study this programme?

This PG Cert is a new programme aimed at mental health practitioners across the health and social care sector who would like to develop their CPD through further academic study. The focus of the programme is to evaluate and analyse mental health law and practice and thus it will be attractive to any practitioners who are applying mental health law within their roles and responsibilities at work. This course is also designed for experienced mental health practitioners who may need an alternative to the AMHP pathway.

All of the modules in this programme are structured with the busy practitioner in mind and offer blended learning approaches alongside traditional learning environments. The aim of each module is to consolidate existing knowledge, learn new knowledge and skills, promote research informed practice and most importantly consider the impact on performance, enhancing service delivery and improving the service user experience. The course has been designed to ensure it is relevant and flexible to employer needs.

Register Now for Our Virtual Open Day & Online Chat Events Register Now for Our Virtual Open Day & Online Chat Events

Entry Requirements

This course is available for all practitioners in the field of social work or social care and will form part of their employer’s commitment to CPD alongside their own registration requirements with professional regulators.

There is a standard benchmark of a first degree at 2.2 or above in a relevant subject, but non-standard entrants with suitable experience in social care and evidence of recent study will be considered.

International applications must have an IELTS score of a minimum of 7.0.

Applicants will normally be practitioners in an area of social care or social work.

Programme at a Glance

This course consists of 3 modules

Compulsory Module
  • Responding to Contemporary Issues in Professional Practice and Mental Health Law (SW4726)
    This module seeks to give students the opportunity to undertake a period of advanced study on a project which draws upon contemporary issues in their specialist area of mental health practice.

    Students will negotiate and agree the precise focus with the designated project supervisor.  They will develop a critical and advanced understanding of the impact of the issue within the broader context of mental health legalisation and policy that inform and mandate practice.

Plus 2 modules from:
  • Advanced Mental Health Practice (SW4714)
    This module enables experienced practitioners to practice at an advanced level. The module enables students to critically reflect on their existing mental health knowledge and practice and to explore further the complex challenges and theoretical, moral and ethical dilemmas for their professional decision-making.  The module provides opportunities to enhance knowledge and understanding of changing legal and policy contexts.
  • Best Interest Assessor (SW4120)
    This module aims to enable practitioners to understand the key skills, knowledge and values underpinning the role of the Best Interest Assessor (BIA); to enable practitioners to develop skills and knowledge necessary to implement Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards effectively; to enable practitioners to develop the skills necessary to collect and evaluate complex information in order to make decisions that are in the best interests of the service user.
  • Critical Reflection on Professional Learning and Development (SW4703)
    This module aims to support students to extend their knowledge and analytical skills in relation to their own Continuing Professional Development and to reflect on their capability in relation to their evolving scope of practice.  The module aims to capture students CPD activity to enable them to develop lifelong learning skills through analysis and evaluation of past, current and future critical perspectives.

Further Information

The course will enable and support students to:

  • Critically reflect on and review their professional development to facilitate enhanced performance and service delivery in the area professional practice and mental health law;
  • Critically reflect on complex challenges, current issues and evidence-based practice in the area of mental health law and practice;
  • Critically evaluate advanced theoretical knowledge, law and policy in relation to mental health practice;
  • Critically reflect on the value and ethical base underpinning mental health law and practice;
  • Develop and enhance decision-making skills in complex situations in mental health practice;
  • Demonstrate self-direction and originality in tackling and solving problems, and act autonomously in planning and implementing tasks at a professional level;

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 CPD team on:
Tel: +44 (0)1772 894361/893408

For further details about the course and module options please contact:
Phil O’Hare, Course Leader
Tel: +44 (0)1772 893414


Apply now or see further information about postgraduate study and research. International students should visit our international pages.

Contact Us

Tel: +44 (0)1772 892400


Fees 2020/21

Part-time: TBC

Further information:

For 2019/20 fees please refer to our fees page.

Professional Accreditation

The Centre for CPD has been awarded BASW CPD Provider Accreditation. Valid February 2018 – February 2020.

Learning Environment and Assessment

Compulsory module SW4726 assessment is a project.

Depending on which 2 optional modules you choose, you will also complete the following assessments relating to those modules:

SW4714: Workbook and presentation.

SW4120: Portfolio and exam.

SW4703: Reflective account and action plan.

Progression Routes

On successful completion of this award students can progress to MA Professional Development and Practice award as part of their CPD. Visit the Centre for CPD for full details on our offering and progression routes.