PGCert Approved Mental Health Professional

Course Overview

This course aims to meet the key competencies required by the Welsh Government and the Key Skills considered by Social Care Wales to be appropriate for the role of Approved Mental Health Professionals (AMHPs)

Key Features


  • The only course of its kind in Wales

Teaching and Employability:

  • a 60 credit postgraduate certificate at Master’s level (Level 7)
  • students study over one academic year with an arranged placement to gain practical experience
  • successful completion of the programme may lead to warranting as an AMHP.  However this is at the prerogative of employers. 


Disclaimer: Module selection options may change.

Year 1 (Level 7 PGT)

FHEQ 7 Taught Masters / PGDip / PGCert
Compulsory Modules
Module CodeSemesterCreditsModule Name
SWSM01Semester 1 and Semester 2 (Sep-Jun Taught)10Values based Practice and Ethical Decision Making in Mental Health Services
SWSM02Semester 1 and Semester 2 (Sep-Jun Taught)20Policy and Law in mental health services
SWSM03Semester 1 and Semester 2 (Sep-Jun Taught)10Understanding Mental Health and Mental Distress
SWSM04Semester 1 and Semester 2 (Sep-Jun Taught)20Professional Decision Making and Partnership in Mental Health


AMHPs take on the functions that prior to The Mental Health Act 2007 have been those of the Approved Social Worker (Mental Health Act 1983). An AMHP is a professional role with the responsibility to undertake an assessment of a person with a mental disorder, taking into account social circumstances, and to consider the need for an application for formal admission to a psychiatric hospital. This is a Welsh qualification which reflects the requirements to practice in a devolved Wales.

The course has been introduced to meet the new roles and responsibilities for professionals working with individuals who are considered for, and who become subject to compulsory hospital admission and/ or treatment and aftercare introduced in the Mental Health Act 2007. 

Entry Requirements

Candidates (who may be social workers, nurses, psychologists or occupational therapists) should:

  • be registered with a professional body
  • have at least two years’ post qualifying experience
  • have relevant experience of working with people with mental disorders
  • have the support of their employer and access to appropriate learning opportunities
  • have either a Bachelor or Master’s Degree or, in exceptional circumstances, where this academic requirement is not met, applicants must satisfy the Director of the Programme that their experience and qualifications equip them to undertake postgraduate study. This can be evidenced by, for example, a relevant Post Qualifying Award.
  • candidates who do not hold a degree may be required to attend an interview

How To Apply

Interested health and social service staff should make initial contact with the Agency Liaison Person from their Local Authority to seek agreement for nominations.

Nominations are typically sought from partnership agencies (LSSAs) in the Spring. The application process is in two stages.

Stage 1. the Swansea University AMHP Programme’s Nomination and Selection Form  must be completed by the candidate and approved by the Agency Liaison Person in the local authority and submitted to Swansea University.

Stage 2. submit an ‘Application for Admission to Postgraduate Studies’.

For further information and application forms contact Deborah Davies on or +44 (0)1792 295798; Heather Edwards on; Margaret Lougher at 

PGCert Approved Mental Health Professional is not currently available for international applicants.

Tuition Fees

Annual tuition fees for entry in the academic year 2019/20 are as follows:

UK/EU International
PGCert Full-time £5,350 N/A

Tuition fees for years of study after your first year are subject to an increase of 3%.

You can find further information on fees and how to pay on our tuition fees page.

You may be eligible for funding to help support your study. To find out about scholarships, bursaries and other funding opportunities that are available please visit the University's scholarships and bursaries page.

Current students: You can find further information of your fee costs on our tuition fees page.

Additional Costs

Students are likely to encounter additional costs at university. These can include, amongst others:

  • buying stationery and equipment, such as USB sticks, etc.
  • printing and photocopying
  • binding of research projects/ dissertations

Please note there are no mandatory additional costs specified for this course. 

Course Structure

There are four core modules taught between October and April, following two induction days in September. 

Students study over one academic year with an arranged placement to gain practical experience. 


Students are assessed throughout their coursework (written assignments and a practice portfolio). The programme has a 50% pass mark for all modules.


All students are sponsored by their employers who have responsibility for arranging placements.

Who should apply?

This course would be suitable for; 

  • social workers
  • registered mental health nurses
  • occupational therapists
  • psychologists

Candidates must demonstrate that they have the support of an employer who will ensure they are provided with the necessary context within which to develop AMHP  skills and meet the requirements of programme’s approach to assessment; written assignments and a practice portfolio, observation of AMHP practice and opportunity to carry out supported AMHP assessments.

For practical purposes this will almost invariably be within Local Social Service Authorities (LSSAs).

Staff Expertise

Co-Director Margaret Lougher has a wealth of experience in mental health service practice and management in both the public and private sectors. She is still a practising AMHP (and previously an ASW) and has proven experience in teaching and supporting students at Master’s level study.

Her current specialist areas of interest are links between Mental Health Act 1983 (2007) with other relevant legislation, national and local policy and guidance, in particular the Children Acts 1989 and 2004, the Human Rights Act and Mental Capacity Act. The service user experience and developing updated methods to integrate those key messages into service delivery are central to her perspective.

Co-Director Heather Edwards has 17 years experience in mental health social work, both as a practitioner and manager.  Prior to that she was a Probation Officer for over 10 years. She has undertaken research for her Master’s degrees, into probation orders with conditions of psychiatric treatment, and the management of regional forensic mental health social work services. 

She is an experienced Practice Assessor for social work students, a role she continues to hold. Her particular areas of interest include mentoring and supporting social work staff and students, and the interface between mental health and criminal justice services.

Postgraduate Community

The College of Human and Health Sciences has a vibrant postgraduate community with students drawn from a variety of backgrounds and nationalities. The College is known for its friendly, welcoming and supportive environment, which combined with its extensive facilities, state-of-the-art technology and superb beachside location, helps to ensure that students benefit from an exceptional student experience. 


In addition, students have access to a wide range of excellent facilities and equipment for realistic workplace experiences find out more here  or take a virtual tour  of the college.