2020 applicants
Postgraduate Course

Graduate Certificate Psychological Well-Being Practitioner

(Low Intensity)

Graduate Certificate Psychological Well-Being Practitioner


The details
Psychological Well-Being Practitioner (Low Intensity)
September 2021
9 months
Colchester Campus

Recognition of the personal and social cost of unmet mental health need within primary care has led to a government-supported initiative to broaden access to psychological therapies, introducing the cutting-edge role of psychological well-being practitioners. This brings evidence-based cognitive behavioural treatments to all people who experience mild to moderate depression or anxiety.

You can study Psychological Well-being Practice (PWP) with us at one of two levels. Our Graduate Certificate is relevant for those without an undergraduate degree, who can demonstrate they have the skills to be able to study at level 6, and our Postgraduate Certificate is relevant for those who already have an undergraduate degree.

Our certificates in PWP enable you to work with people who experience common mental health problems. You will learn to use a range of protocols derived from the best evidence based practice methodologies available. The protocols are drawn from cognitive behavioural theory and utilise self-help processes to empower patients to take control of their own well-being needs.

You will learn the coaching and facilitation skills necessary to support this kind of self-help process and receive a full grounding in the theory underpinning these approaches. You will also learn about the service structure underpinning the IAPT (Improving Access Psychological Therapies) initiative which you will be working in during your training.

The University of Essex has a robust academic tradition and achieves regular high levels of student satisfaction. We continue to work with students, service users and practice partners to continue to improve this established track record.

Why we're great.
  • We give you a solid grounding in cognitive behavioural protocols and treatments, allowing you to utilise self-help processes to empower patients
  • We personalise learning and development through small group processes to help you become an effective practitioner
  • We work closely with our local IAPT compliant partners to ensure your training prepares you well for your current role in practice and your future career.
THE Awards 2018 - Winner University of the Year

Our expert staff

A unique feature of our school is the strong relationship with our practice partners. Our present staff group have all worked in local IAPT compliant services, and have a wealth of experience in both delivering and supervising psychological well-being interventions. The teaching team have qualifications in occupational therapy, counselling, and nursing, and we draw on a broad variety of colleagues from other disciplines to enhance learning experiences.

The team's ability to deliver strongly integrated learning, theory and practice allows genuine personal development and skills acquisition to be grounded in the practice arena.

Specialist facilities

As part of the University, you have access to our state-of-the-art library and the very latest equipment and IT facilities to assist you with the effective learning and acquisition of new skills. As a School, we have purpose built facilities where you can meet to discuss your progress and ongoing work.

In 2018, we opened our state-of-the-art telephone exchange training skills lab to support the training of psychological well-being practitioners. This models real-world environments, and builds experience working through telephone based consultation processes, prior to commencing this in practice.

Our staff offer approachable support at all levels. Our university student support network can also offer you help with personal and study issues during your time with us.

You also have access to an excellent theatre and sports and social club experiences at Essex.

Your future

During your training, it is usual for students to be employed at NHS Band 4 or equivalent. Following training, it is usual for your employing organisation to continue your employment at NHS Band 5 or equivalent. This change in banding acknowledges your qualified status.

PWPs may also go on to achieve senior PWP status and role after gaining further experience. You may also choose to extend your role into one of the new developing areas in IAPT. Some PWPs may become more involved in education of new practitioners. Generally PWPs stay within the role deepening their skills and competencies.

Other career development areas may be available in your particular IAPT services.

Entry requirements

UK entry requirements

Entry to the programme is through interview for a trainee PWP post in one of our local IAPT compliant partners. Roles are advertised via the NHS jobs website (hyperlink to: https://www.jobs.nhs.uk/) or other local IAPT compliant provider organisations. Employment as a trainee PWP is a pre-requisite for applying for the programme.

A NQF Level Three qualification (A Level or equivalent) and a demonstrated capacity to study at NQF Level 6 (Degree level study)

International & EU entry requirements

We accept a wide range of qualifications from applicants studying in the EU and other countries. Get in touch with any questions you may have about the qualifications we accept. Remember to tell us about the qualifications you have already completed or are currently taking.

Sorry, the entry requirements for the country that you have selected are not available here. Please select your country page where you'll find this information.

English language requirements

English language requirements for applicants whose first language is not English: IELTS 7.0 overall, with a minimum of 6.5 in each component.

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.


Example structure

As a Graduate Certificate this programme runs over a 9 month period and consists of 3 modules at 20 credits awarding a Graduate Certificate upon successful completion.

The programme had been written and validated against national curriculum requirements for PWP training set out by the British Psychological Society (BPS). It is fully compliant with this curriculum, and is validated by the BPS for the maximum period until 2023.

We’re reactive, we’re pioneering, we never stand still, so modules might change from year to year in response to new developments and innovation. Those listed below show how a typical course might look, but more detail on course structure, including details of all optional modules, is available on our Programme Specification.

Engagement and Assessment of Patients with Common Mental Health Problems

This module introduces the concepts of service user engagement. It uses comprehensive main problem and risk assessment of service users with common mental health problems. You will have the opportunity to explore current evidence-based treatments for such problems and the appropriate use of such interventions.

View Engagement and Assessment of Patients with Common Mental Health Problems on our Module Directory

Evidence-based low-intensity treatment for common mental health disorders

This module introduces you to concepts of evidence-based care. You will explore a range of treatments, and the evidence supporting the use of such treatments, across a range of areas pertinent to low-intensity approaches.

View Evidence-based low-intensity treatment for common mental health disorders on our Module Directory

Values, Employment and Context

On this module, you will be introduced to the concepts of diversity expected to be seen in the kinds of people presenting to a clinical service. You will be expected to understand the impact diversity has, and the relationship with your own values.

View Values, Employment and Context on our Module Directory

Values, Employment and Context

On this module, you will be introduced to the concepts of diversity expected to be seen in the kinds of people presenting to a clinical service. You will be expected to understand the impact diversity has, and the relationship with your own values.

View Values, Employment and Context on our Module Directory


  • We have a range of video and virtual learning materials to support your learning with us
  • Moodle offers a virtual platform to support your learning both on and off campus
  • Extensive experiential exercises and direct feedback from our teaching team make up half of the attendance work during the learning process
  • You will have 1 day a week on campus and 1 day a week completing set university tasks in your practice environment, with the remaining 3 days spent working in practice


  • The modules are examined through a range of assessment methods, including Objective Structured Clinical Examinations (OSCE), evaluation of audio recording in practice, written reflective analysis, case presentation and clinical portfolio.
  • Your employing supervisor will work with you to ensure you are meeting practice outcomes associated with the course, and they will assess your progress on a regular basis utilising a portfolio.

Fees and funding

Home/UK fee


Funded by your employer.

International fee


This course is only available to applicants from the UK or EU EU students commencing their course in the 2021-22 academic year will be liable for the International fee.

Fees will increase for each academic year of study.

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 tours@essex.ac.uk and we’ll arrange an individual campus tour for you.


You must be working within an IAPT service as a trainee psychological wellbeing practitioner. Applicants are advised to search for PWP trainees posts on NHS jobs and also, as many providers are now voluntary or independent sector, through national media. The advertised position will advise where the training will take place.

Our feeder IAPT services are currently HPFT, EPUT, Vita, Suffolk and Thurrock, we work closely with these organisations and we usually form part of their interview selection panels. This ensures that your suitability for training as part of the employment selection process. Following a successful joint interview you will be asked to complete a University of Essex application form. If there is no University representative at your interview, you will need to attend an independent interview to assess your suitability for training.

We are currently unable to accept self-funding students on these programmes at this time.

IAPT Administrator Telephone 01206 874488 Email hhsiapt@essex.ac.uk

Colchester Campus

Visit Colchester Campus

Home to 15,000 students from more than 130 countries, our Colchester Campus is the largest of our three sites, making us one of the most internationally diverse campuses on the planet - we like to think of ourselves as the world in one place.

The Campus is set within 200 acres of beautiful parkland, located two miles from the historic town centre of Colchester – England's oldest recorded town. Our Colchester Campus is also easily reached from London and Stansted Airport in under one hour.


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.


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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 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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