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Developing Specialist Skills and Knowledge in Mental Health Care (NR3195)

Module code:    







The aim of this module is for practitioners to develop their skills and knowledge in particular areas (for example, in caring for people in crisis with the aim of avoiding hospital admission, or in working with people using forensic mental health services, or in caring for people with combined mental and physical health problems). This learning contract-driven module provides students with an opportunity to achieve this goal, and is designed for allied health professionals, social workers and nurses practising in mental health.

The development and delivery of the module is underpinned by contemporary health and social policy and law pertaining to mental health practice across the lifespan (National Assembly for Wales 2001, Welsh Assembly Government 2005, 2011, 2012).

Skills that will be practised and developed

  • Students will develop practitioner skills supporting effective, values-led, mental health care and academic skills commensurate with the level at which the module is offered.
  • The ten essential shared capabilities underpin the student's critical development of collaborative, interprofessional recovery-focused mental health practice (Department of Health 2004).

Course content

The specific content of this module will be determined by the selection of specialist areas by individual students.


The module is part-time, and will normally comprise five taught study days supplemented by nine student-led study days. Taught days are scheduled at strategic times. In week 1 the module will be launched in a face-to-face study day, followed in week 3 by a taught day in which students and their academic supervisors meet to agree and sign off individual action plans aligned to each of the module’s theory learning outcomes. Students and their academic supervisors meet again mid-way through the module to review plans and progress. A taught day is then scheduled to give students the opportunity to participate in formative presentations, and a final study day is scheduled for summative presentations and module evaluation. This approach to student learning is guided by an underlying philosophy which recognises students as mature individuals, who are able, with support, to identify personal learning needs and take action to meet these.

Students will also learn in practice settings under the supervision of an identified mentor. The mentor will practise in mental health and meet the professional standards of the relevant professional body and, where such systems exist, will be recorded on a professional mentor database.

Admission criteria for the module include:
• Professional qualification and evidence of current professional body registration [e.g NMC; HPC]
• Stakeholder verification of Criminal Record Bureau [CRB] status
• Access to a minimum of 10 practice hours per week within a relevant mental health setting
• Availability of a mentor [verified as meeting the standards of relevant professional body] within the identified mental health setting



Module leader:

Dr Ben Hannigan

Dr Ben Hannigan
Telephone: +44 (0)29 2091 7726Extension: 7726

Module Dates 2015:

Start date Mon 13 April 2015 (study skills S/D) followed by 5 contact days on Fridays: 24 April; 8 May, 29 May, 19 June (formative presentation), 10 July 2015 (summative presentation).