Mental Health & Mental Capacity Law
The MSc in Mental Health and Mental Capacity Law provides the required training for social workers to undertake the role of Approved Social Worker under the Mental Health (Northern Ireland) Order 1986 and the Mental Capacity Act (Northern Ireland) 2016.
This is a statutory role and applications must have the support of a Health and Social Care Trust. The PG Diploma provides the qualification for practising as an Approved Social Worker (ASW) and then the Dissertation Module must be successfully completed for the MSc.
Contributors to the taught element of the ASW Programme are drawn from a wide range of backgrounds and professions including service users and carers; ASWs and other social work staff, psychiatrists, psychologists and nursing staff; representatives from the courts, Review Tribunal; Regulation Quality Improvement Authority; legal advisers and researchers.
Please note that this course is not eligible for a Tier 4 visa.
Learning and Teaching
Learning opportunities associated with this course are a combination of lectures, small group work, skills workshops and practice:
In addition to the 37 taught days, practice days will also be available to enable candidates to gather the necessary evidence of competence. Candidates should be able to address many of the core practice and competence requirements in their own work setting. However, where this is not possible, it is envisaged that no more than 35 practice days will be spent outside of that setting. In addition, 4 private study days are allocated to each Module (12 days in total) and 5 days, for meetings with the practice assessor.
You will have an individual training profile and learning agreement around which your full programme, including practice, supervision and private study will be developed.
Canvas is the university's VLE (Virtual Learning Environment). You will have a Canvas site for each module which will work a little like a website where you can click on information to download or view it. For each module, the Canvas site will include resources such as: recorded audio/ visual lectures; readings (some of which are downloadable); video links; useful web links; discussion forums; activities. This is also where you will submit your coursework and receive feedback.
The MSc in Mental Health and Mental Capacity Law is awarded to students who successfully complete taught modules (PG Diploma,120 CATS points) and a 15,000 – 20,000 word dissertation (60 CATS points).
Core Modules (40 CATS points each):
Context and Concepts in Mental Health
This module will facilitate Approved Social Workers in training to apply to their practice knowledge and critical understanding of the context and concepts of the field of mental health in order to make informed decisions regarding the care and treatment of people with a mental disorder.
To ensure that candidates have a critical understanding of the context within which mental health work is undertaken, including the perspectives of service users and carers.
To enable candidates in fulfilling their statutory role and responsibilities to promote equal opportunities and challenge and confront racism, sectarianism and other forms of discrimination which may disadvantage mental health service users, relatives or carers.
To enhance candidates' understanding of different models relating to a range of mental disorders.
To encourage candidates to be aware of a range of treatments and interventions based on medical and alternative models in a family social, cultural and ethnic context.
To enable self and others to identify and explore issues, improve and develop and share best practice.
To enable candidates to work effectively within a multidisciplinary service, ensuring best outcomes for service users and their carers.
Law Ethics and Applied Law in Mental Health
This module will facilitate Approved Social Workers in training to acquire the knowledge and critical understanding of the legal and policy framework for practising ethically as an Approved Social Worker in Northern Ireland. The module will also facilitate a critical understanding of codes of practice, standards and policies guiding mental health practice and the ability to use these creatively to safeguard and promote the welfare of service users, their carers and others.
To ensure that candidates have a critical understanding of the legal framework governing mental health practice and the ability to use this creatively to safeguard and promote the welfare of service users and carers.
To ensure that candidates have a critical understanding of codes of practice, standards and policies guiding mental health practice and the ability to use these creatively to safeguard and promote the welfare of service users, and support their carers, within the legal framework.
To explore ethical practice within a legal framework.
To reinforce candidates' confidence in their decision making within multi-professional practice.
Social Work Practice Development in Mental Health
This module will facilitate Approved Social Workers in training to acquire the knowledge and critical understanding of the legal and policy framework for practising ethically as an ASW in Northern Ireland. The module will also facilitate a critical understanding of codes of practice, standards and policies guiding mental health practice and the ability to use these creatively to safeguard and promote the welfare of service users, their carers and others.
To enable candidates to demonstrate that they have acquired the knowledge and skills necessary to practise as an ASW.
To ensure that candidates can reflect on and critically analyse their practice.
To support candidates in evaluating their own practice against agency, National and Northern Ireland standards and research.
To enable self and others to identify and explore issues, improve and develop and share best practice.
To reinforce the confidence of candidates in promoting their own professional learning.
Dissertation (60 CATS points)
This module provides the opportunity for candidates to draw on their work experience and knowledge gained from previous pathways. These dimensions will be brought together with new learning through a dissertation based on: managing projects; empirical research undertaking, an evaluation of a particular area of practice; carrying out an audit or case study; or completing a systematic review of research/literature.
Normally a 2.2 Honours degree or above or equivalent qualification acceptable to the University. Where this is not met, applicants must demonstrate that their experience and qualifications enable them to study at postgraduate level by showing either that they have the Pre-2007 Post-Qualifying Social Work Award or by producing a reflective assignment on their practice in this area (2,000 words).
Applicants must be nominated by their Health and Social Care Trust/employer who will undertake to provide support and appropriate learning opportunities. It will be the responsibility of employers to ensure that applicants have the opportunity to develop and demonstrate social work competence in their work with people who have a mental disorder and/or lack capacity, and their carers.
Applicants are advised to apply as early as possible. In the event that any programme receives a high number of applications, the University reserves the right to close the application portal prior to the deadline stated on course finder. Notifications to this effect will appear on the Direct Application Portal against the programme application page.
For information on international qualification equivalents, please check the specific information for your country.
English Language Requirements
Evidence of an IELTS* score of 6.0, with not less than 5.5 in any component, or an equivalent qualification acceptable to the University is required. *Taken within the last 2 years
International students wishing to apply to Queen's University Belfast (and for whom English is not their first language), must be able to demonstrate their proficiency in English in order to benefit fully from their course of study or research. Non-EEA nationals must also satisfy UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) immigration requirements for English language for visa purposes.
For more information on English Language requirements for EEA and non-EEA nationals see: www.qub.ac.uk/EnglishLanguageReqs.
If you need to improve your English language skills before you enter this degree programme, INTO Queen's University Belfast offers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability for admission to this degree.
• Academic English: an intensive English language and study skills course for successful university study at degree level
• Pre-sessional English: a short intensive academic English course for students starting a degree programme at Queen's University Belfast and who need to improve their English.
Applicants are advised to apply as early as possible and ideally no later than 31st July 2023 for courses which commence in late September. In the event that any programme receives a high number of applications, the University reserves the right to close the application portal. Notifications to this effect will appear on the Direct Application Portal against the programme application page.
How to Apply
Applications should be submitted online via the Postgraduate Applications Portal for admission to the vast majority of postgraduate programmes.
New applicants will need to register via the Portal to create an application account. If you are already a Queen's student with an active Qsis account, you can log in using your student number and Qsis password. Guidance on how to complete an application is provided within the Portal and it is possible to save application data and return to complete it at a later date, if you wish. After core details about yourself and your academic background have been provided, you can submit an application, or multiple applications, if required.
If you applied in a previous cycle through the Portal and are re-applying, you should use your previous log in details. Please review and update your personal and contact details, academic and professional qualifications before submitting a new application.
Important – please ensure that the email address you provide is correct and active, as this will be used by us to communicate the progress of your application to you.
Closing date for applications: Monday 31st July 2023 at 4 pm. Late applications may be considered.
•Module specific Academic Assignment
•Module specific group and individual presentation
•Incremental Project Development and delivery over the duration of the Programme
•Final project presentation to UCD expert panel (candidates must pass this assessment to be eligible for a academic award)
3 years (Part Time).
In addition to the 37 taught days (normally taught in blocks of 1-5 days), practice days will also be available to enable candidates to gather the necessary evidence of competence.
The fees for your programme can be found at the links below. Search using your major code (the four-digit code beginning with 'X' which can be found in the key information box on this page).
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Please note that UCD fees are subject to change annually. The fees shown include the student centre levy which must be paid by all students.
If you are being funded to do your programme, please make sure your organisation gets in contact with firstname.lastname@example.org. Please note that all applicants are required to pay the €50 application fee. Your application cannot be processed fully unless the application fee has been paid.
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Next Intake: September 2020
Post Course Info
Continuing professional registration in social work is predicated on continuing professional development, which this programme and its pathways offer. The Dept. of Health has directed that social workers demonstrate their competence covered in the curricula of this programme and its pathways.
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