Postgraduate Course

Graduate Certificate Specialist Adult Mental Health

(Mental Health and Wellbeing Practitioner)

Graduate Certificate Specialist Adult Mental Health


The details
Specialist Adult Mental Health (Mental Health and Wellbeing Practitioner)
October 2024
1 year
Colchester Campus

The Specialist Adult Mental Health course aims to support and develop trainee Mental Health Wellbeing Practitioners (MHWPs) in their knowledge and understanding of the complexities of severe mental health problems.

You will learn how to deliver a range of wellbeing-focused, psychologically informed, interventions and coordinate care plans for adults. The course will generate understanding of the purpose of collaborative care planning, and how to work alongside other members of the multi-disciplinary team, as well as families.

Specialists in the School of Health and Social Care will facilitate your understanding of mental health theory and practice and guide you to develop a critical knowledge of the theoretical and research literature relating to wellbeing interventions. You will study adaptable clinical management in our mock wards, and hone your collaboration and decision-making competencies in groups simulating clinical cases.

To practice working as a safe practitioner within a community setting, you will have direct contact with patients and other practitioners on placement. As a trainee MHWP you will learn about how to support personal recovery and promote hope and connectedness and will gain a greater understanding of issues of culture and diversity within mental health.

Our expert staff

A unique feature of our School is that many of our staff work with local NHS Trusts and other local agencies, which enhances our grasp of the contemporary links between academic research, the major issues of the day and practice.

We specialise in applied, multidisciplinary research that addresses issues of national and international concern to health and social care policy and practice and related fields. We also host the NIHR Research Design Service for the East of England.

Specialist facilities

The School of Health and Social Care is located at two sites; in the Kimmy Eldridge building at our Colchester campus and in the Gateway Building at our Southend campus. Delivering the course across two campuses means that we have small, interactive classes to create a stronger learning environment.

We have purpose-built new consultation rooms with windows for group assessments. We offer excellent physical and online resources in terms of libraries, computer labs, data-sets, archives and other research materials.

Our dedicated support tutor will help to develop your academic literacy and clinical numeracy skills. This helps you apply these critically important areas of study to real life situations.

Your future

This course has been designed in line with the demand for psychological professional roles in England, UK.

Entry requirements

UK entry requirements

Entry to the programme is subject to successful interview.

Employment as a Trainee Mental Health Wellbeing Practitioner is a pre-requisite for applying for the programme. Alternatively, transferrable experience within the mental health field or other as appropriate will be considered.

Applicants must have achieved a minimum of NQF Level Five (5) or have proof of degree level study.

International & EU entry requirements

This course is not available to EU and International applicants.

English language requirements

English language requirements for applicants whose first language is not English: IELTS with an overall score of 7.0, and minimum component scores of 6.5.

Other English language qualifications may be acceptable so please contact us for further details. If we accept the English component of an international qualification then it will be included in the information given about the academic levels listed above.

Please note that date restrictions may apply to some English language qualifications.


Components and modules explained


Components are the blocks of study that make up your course. A component may have a set module which you must study, or a number of modules from which you can choose.

Each component has a status and carries a certain number of credits towards your qualification.

Status What this means
You must take the set module for this component and you must pass. No failure can be permitted.
Core with Options
You can choose which module to study from the available options for this component but you must pass. No failure can be permitted.
You must take the set module for this component. There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the qualification if you fail.
Compulsory with Options
You can choose which module to study from the available options for this component. There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the qualification if you fail.
You can choose which module to study from the available options for this component. There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the qualification if you fail.

The modules that are available for you to choose for each component will depend on several factors, including which modules you have chosen for other components, which modules you have completed in previous years of your course, and which term the module is taught in.


Modules are the individual units of study for your course. Each module has its own set of learning outcomes and assessment criteria and also carries a certain number of credits.

In most cases you will study one module per component, but in some cases you may need to study more than one module. For example, a 30-credit component may comprise of either one 30-credit module, or two 15-credit modules, depending on the options available.

Modules may be taught at different times of the year and by a different department or school to the one your course is primarily based in. You can find this information from the module code. For example, the module code HR100-4-FY means:

HR 100  4  FY

The department or school the module will be taught by.

In this example, the module would be taught by the Department of History.

The module number. 

The UK academic level of the module.

A standard undergraduate course will comprise of level 4, 5 and 6 modules - increasing as you progress through the course.

A standard postgraduate taught course will comprise of level 7 modules.

A postgraduate research degree is a level 8 qualification.

The term the module will be taught in.

  • AU: Autumn term
  • SP: Spring term
  • SU: Summer term
  • FY: Full year 
  • AP: Autumn and Spring terms
  • PS: Spring and Summer terms
  • AS: Autumn and Summer terms


Engagement and assessment with people with severe mental health problems

In this module, we will equip you to deliver wellbeing-focused psychologically-informed interventions that support connectedness, hope, identity, meaning and empowerment (CHIME). You will develop the knowledge, critical awareness of the subject, and the skills to deliver a person-centred, collaborative assessment that engages patients and those that support them.

View Engagement and assessment with people with severe mental health problems on our Module Directory


Care Planning in Partnership

During this module you will develop the knowledge and critical awareness of the subject as well as the skills to work collaboratively with service users and those that support them in using a range of resources to develop a care plan that supports personal recovery. We will support you to grow your skills to use supervision effectively and look after your own well-being.

View Care Planning in Partnership on our Module Directory


Wellbeing-focused Psychologically-informed Interventions for Severe Mental Health Problems

During this module, you will develop the knowledge and critical awareness of a range of evidence-based interventions used in goal-focused treatment. You'll build on the skills gained in previous modules to ensure collaborative practice and learn how routine patient-reported outcome measures support clinical decision making and evaluate progress.

View Wellbeing-focused Psychologically-informed Interventions for Severe Mental Health Problems on our Module Directory


Typically students can expect to have a full day at University and a 'practice-based learning day' completing homework tasks, per week. The rest of week is spent working in service.

What's next

Open Days

We hold Open Days for all our applicants throughout the year. Our Colchester Campus events are a great way to find out more about studying at Essex, and give you the chance to:

  • tour our campus and accommodation
  • find out answers to your questions about our courses, student finance, graduate employability, student support and more
  • meet our students and staff

If the dates of our organised events aren’t suitable for you, feel free to get in touch by emailing and we’ll arrange an individual campus tour for you.

2024 Open Days (Colchester Campus)

  • Saturday 15 June 2024 - June Open Day
  • Saturday 21 September 2024 - September Open Day
  • Saturday 26 October 2024 - October Open Day


This course is open for applications from those eligible for UK home fees only.

Once applications are made via the NHS Jobs portal and once you have been accepted you can apply via UCAS to our programme.

UCAS is the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS). Applications are online at: Full details on this process can be obtained from the UCAS website in the how to apply section.

Our UK students, and some of our EU and international students, who are still at school or college, can apply through their school. Your school will be able to check and then submit your completed application to UCAS. Our other international applicants (EU or worldwide) or independent applicants in the UK can also apply online through UCAS Apply.

The UCAS code for our University of Essex is ESSEX E70. The individual campus codes for our Loughton and Southend Campuses are ‘L' and ‘S' respectively.

A sunny day with banners flying on Colchester Campus Square 4.

Visit Colchester Campus

Set within 200 acres of award-winning parkland - Wivenhoe Park and located two miles from the historic city centre of Colchester – England's oldest recorded development. Our Colchester Campus is also easily reached from London and Stansted Airport in under one hour.

View from Square 2 outside the Rab Butler Building looking towards Square 3

Virtual tours

If you live too far away to come to Essex (or have a busy lifestyle), no problem. Our 360 degree virtual tour allows you to explore the Colchester Campus from the comfort of your home. Check out our accommodation options, facilities and social spaces.

At Essex we pride ourselves on being a welcoming and inclusive student community. We offer a wide range of support to individuals and groups of student members who may have specific requirements, interests or responsibilities.

Find out more

The University makes every effort to ensure that this information on its programme specification is accurate and up-to-date. Exceptionally it can be necessary to make changes, for example to courses, facilities or fees. Examples of such reasons might include, but are not limited to: strikes, other industrial action, staff illness, severe weather, fire, civil commotion, riot, invasion, terrorist attack or threat of terrorist attack (whether declared or not), natural disaster, restrictions imposed by government or public authorities, epidemic or pandemic disease, failure of public utilities or transport systems or the withdrawal/reduction of funding. Changes to courses may for example consist of variations to the content and method of delivery of programmes, courses and other services, to discontinue programmes, courses and other services and to merge or combine programmes or courses. The University will endeavour to keep such changes to a minimum, and will also keep students informed appropriately by updating our programme specifications. The University would inform and engage with you if your course was to be discontinued, and would provide you with options, where appropriate, in line with our Compensation and Refund Policy.

The full Procedures, Rules and Regulations of the University governing how it operates are set out in the Charter, Statutes and Ordinances and in the University Regulations, Policy and Procedures.

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