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Pg Cert Applied Mental Health Practice

Key information

Course Leader: John Paul Anastasiadis

Level: 7

Start date: Semester A: 2nd September 2024 or Semester B: 24th February 2025

Mode of delivery: Full time approximately over 4 months. Part time approximately over 6 months. Semester A or B entry points.

School: Health & Social Work

"A massive thank you for providing a wonderful and life changing experience on the AMHP course."

“Thank you so much for the support you gave throughout the course… The whole course has changed my perspective on Mental Health as well as on my own profession. It marked a turning point in my practice and outlook in life.”  

“One of the toughest most rewarding things I have ever done.”

 “The course is very demanding but it has birthed something new in me; the way I look at things and the ability to be reflective and critical. It has made me question my own practice and what I have learned will make me a better practitioner going forward.” 

“The course is amazing. I never thought I would learn so much in such a short time 

“Overall, thoroughly enjoyed it and have learnt a lot about AMHPing but also more generally the provision of services and the support we offer.”

“The AMHP course was intense and crammed full of learning. It pushed me to consider life, legislation, and professional analysis in entirely new ways”                 

“This has been the best course I’ve ever done”

Who should attend the course?

The PG Cert Applied Mental Health Practice Programme is a dynamic and very well-regarded course which has been designed to enable suitably qualified and experienced practitioners to demonstrate that they are competent to undertake the statutory role of the Approved Mental Health Professional (AMHP).    

This course ensures that candidates are trained and assessed to the highest of standards, through strong partnerships with a range of key stakeholders including AMHPs, AMHP trainees, Trust and Local Authority representatives and people with lived experience who are centrally involved in the course design, delivery and management.

Normal Entry Requirements

A professional qualification and full registration (with the respective regulatory body) as a social worker, mental health or learning disability nurse, occupational therapist or psychologist.

Evidence of completing a relevant post-qualifying course at masters level (level 7).  

Completion of the university’s Pre-AMHP Foundation course.

Post-qualifying practical experience working in either full or part-time capacity in a statutory mental health setting for two years or more. Candidates in connected areas such as Adult Social Care with relevant mental health experience can also be considered for the course.

Employment on either full or part time basis is normally required, together with financial and personal support from the employing authority.

Support from a Local Authority/ Trust who will offer a statutory placement in a mental health setting which will provide the relevant experience to achieve the module learning outcomes and who will also provide a suitably qualified and experienced AMHP Practice Learning Educator. A document signed by the AMHP lead/ manager advising as such will need to be included with the application.

Experience of shadowing at least 5 Mental Health Act Assessments (3 if candidates are based within a mental health team) prior to the start of the programme – a brief 500-1000 word reflective summary of which will also need to be included with the application.

The candidate will need to confirm they are in agreement for information about their grades, attendance and performance to be shared by the University with the employing authority, the AMHP lead and their AMHP Practice Learning Educator.

A successful University interview is also necessary.

On placement, trainee AMHPs will necessarily undertake work with vulnerable adults and children. Where students are employed by a Local Authority or Trust, given their own robust processes, the University is satisfied that an up-to-date enhanced DBS check will be in place. Where applicants/ students are self employed or not employed by a Local Authority or Trust, however, DBS and Occupational Health clearances, by the University, will be required before commencing any placement activity.

The programme is subject to the University's Principles, Policies and Regulations for the Admission of Students to Undergraduate and Taught Postgraduate Programmes (in UPR SA03), along with associated procedures.  These will take account of University policies and guidelines for assessing accredited prior certificated learning (APCL) and accredited prior experiential learning (APEL).


Course aims

This course aims to enable suitably qualified and experienced practitioners to demonstrate that they are competent to undertake the statutory role of the AMHP under the Mental Health 1983 (MHA), and to do so in a safe and effective way. 

It aims to ensure that practitioners meet the regulatory criteria as required by the regulatory body who regulate and approve AMHP training (Social Work England), ensuring that professionals meet the key areas of competence within the MHA Regulations.

Course design

Taught sessions employ a combination of lectures/ seminars, individual and groupwork, quizzes, formative tests and assignments.

Practice examples and case examples will be used to help make the necessary links between the academic and practice elements and to support the learning process. It is noted that trainees will already be able to draw on the significant experience, knowledge and skills that they bring to the programme to support peer learning within the taught sessions.

The practice placement is a central part of the programme. It provides the opportunity to put theory into practice and for trainees to develop and demonstrate in practice the necessary knowledge, understanding and skills required to be an AMHP.  It includes formal supervision sessions to contribute to the learning and development of the trainee. Supervision will facilitate reflection and discussion of practice, including decision-making, as well as evidencing of competencies.

The design of the programme with integration of taught sessions amongst practice placement supports trainees to bring practice experiences back into the classroom environment for discussion and critical reflection. It also supports trainees being able to put what they learned in the classroom into practice and to consider its application in the placement setting. 

Private study time is built into the programme and throughout the training the trainees will need to undertake independent study in their own time as well, both to supplement and consolidate what is being taught/learnt and to broaden their individual knowledge and understanding of the subject.


A range of assessments are used, including coursework assignments/ assessments, open book testing as well as a portfolio of practice evidence and the sufficient demonstration of competencies as required by the regulatory body.


Where is the course taught and by whom?

There will be some online sessions but most sessions will be taught face-to-face in Hatfield, usually at College Lane campus or another Hatfield campus. It is noted that a hybrid model is offered, meaning that students will have the option to join most face-to-face sessions online. Depending on Covid, it may sometimes be necessary to teach all or part of the sessions online.

The course is delivered by qualified and practicing AMHPs. Other university and visiting speakers are involved in course delivery including people with lived experience, AMHPs, mental health solicitor, psychiatrists and other professionals with specialist knowledge and experience relevant to the AMHP role.


When does this course run?

The AMHP Programme is usually run twice each year. Each course is approximately 16 weeks long. The first programme usually runs from September to December. The second programme usually run from late-February – mid-June.

Semester A dates for 2024-2025:

Introductory days: 22nd and 23rd July 2024

Full course commences: 2nd September 2024

Final completion date: 18th December 2024

Semester B dates for 2024-2025:

Introductory days: 27th and 28th January 2025

Full course commences: 24th February 2025

Final completion date: 18th June 2025

For full time students, ratification of Semester A marks usually takes place at a University examination board in February each year and ratification of Semester B marks usually takes place at a University examination board in July each year.

Part-time option: It is noted that the AMHP Programme is also offered on a part-time basis, normally over 6 months. Part-time students need to commit to the course Mon – Wed each week. Those wishing to complete the course on a part-time basis are advised to contact the UH AMHP Programme Lead at the earliest opportunity to discuss this further.

The following is noted:

Completing the course: Trainee AMHPs should be aware that the training is very intensive and demanding. They will need to focus exclusively on the training and should not do other work, training nor take annual leave during the AMHP programme, including the mandatory introductory days. 

Warranting as an AMHP: Successful completion of this approved course does not make someone an AMHP by itself but does make an individual eligible to be approved/warranted to act as an AMHP by a Local Authority in England. 

Ongoing study: Successful candidates can use their credits gained towards a masters course at the University of Hertfordshire. More will be discussed towards the end of the course. Those that plan to continue with ongoing study are encouraged to contact the UH AMHP Programme Lead for further information as soon as possible.

Pre-AMHP Foundation Course: It is noted that the Pre-AMHP Foundation course also usually runs twice a year.  There is a separate flyer available about these courses. 

Computer equipment requirement

Delivery of the course incorporates online elements and blended learning which aims to combine e-learning activities with class based learning. Candidates therefore need to have access to a suitable personal computer and a good reliable Internet connection. If candidates have any queries or need any additional support with IT skills, the School employs an e-learning technologist who will be pleased to help and advise you:

Course Enquiries

John Paul Anastasiadis

AMHP Programme Lead

Cost and Booking Enquiries

Health and Social Work CPD Team

Tel 01707 284956 





Course Leader

John Paul Anastasiadis

Start date

Semester A: 2nd September 2024 or Semester B: 24th February 2025

Mode of delivery

Full time approximately over 4 months. Part time approximately over 6 months. Semester A or B entry points.


Health & Social Work


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