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Applied Social Studies - Mental Health

These programmes are designed to meet the continuing professional development needs of those staff working in the care professions (social work, psychology, education, nursing, teaching, medicine, etc). They present opportunities to study a range of areas including direct practice in child care, management and leadership within organisations, family therapy and adult mental health at postgraduate level. In addition, they aim to maintain educational coherence whilst covering diversity and choice. Students can access a range of modules that accumulate into an award, affording the flexibility to work within their own time schedules.

Why Queen's?
These programmes have been accredited by the Northern Ireland Post-Qualifying Education and Training Partnership and the Association of Family Therapy (for the Family Therapy pathways) and offer a range of professional awards and requirements at the specific, specialist and leadership levels. On these pathways there will be restricted access to relevant data by employers, the NISCC, DHSSPS, HSC Boards and any successor bodies.

Entry requirements

MSc Applied Social Studies:
Normally a 2.2 Honours degree or above or equivalent qualification acceptable to the University. Equivalent qualifications include the Pre-2007 Post-Qualifying Award in Social Work. Where this is not met, applicants must show that their experience and qualifications enable them to study at postgraduate level through the uptake of references or through completing a reflective assignment on their practice.

Please note that this programme is only open to applicants who are working as Social Care Professionals within NI/UK. Social Work applicants must have a recognised social work qualification and be registered with the Northern Ireland Social Care Council. It is important that Social Work applicants include their NISCC Social Care Registration Number in the Additional Information section of the application form. Please note that pathways within the programme have additional entrance requirements in relation to qualifications or experience that need to be met by applicants, see the relevant pathway for details.

International Qualifications
For information on international qualification equivalents please select Your Country from the list on our International Students website.

International students (for whom English is not their first language) must be able to demonstrate their proficiency in English in order to benefit fully from their studies. Non-EEA nationals must also satisfy UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) immigration requirements for English language for visa purposes. Evidence of an IELTS* score of 6.5, 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.) For more information on English Language requirements for EEA and non-EEA nationals see: If you need to improve your English language skills before your study, our partner INTO Queen's University Belfast offers a range of English language courses.

Additional Entrance Requirements:
Social Workers seeking nomination to the programme must be registered with the Northern Ireland Social Care Council and have at least two years post-qualifying social work experience or must have successfully completed the Assessed Year in Employment plus have one year's experience by the date of commencement of the programme. They should be nominated by their employer who will undertake to provide support and appropriate learning opportunities. Nominees will have demonstrated that they hold the PQSW part 1 certificate or have passed the University of Ulster's 'Inter-Professional Development' module in mental health or demonstrate equivalent competence through an APL submission. They should also have social work experience of working with clients with a mental disorder (or receive preparation before the programme commences) and be employed for at least 12 hours per week in a social post in Northern Ireland. 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 their carers. Nominees should also have a 2.2 Honours degree or above or equivalent qualification acceptable to the University. Where this academic requirement is not met they must satisfy the Programme Director that their experience and qualifications equip them to undertake postgraduate study 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).


Part-time (MSc normally 3 years, PgDip 2 years).

Learning and Teaching
A variety of assessment methods for the Certificate will be used including written assignments, a reflective analysis on how the student applies relevant theory to their practice in two different cases and an assignment critically reflecting on how the student has enhanced the practice of colleagues drawing on the knowledge in this module. The dissertation is undertaken for a full academic year in the final year.

Careers or further progression

Career Prospects
Continuing professional registration in social work is predicated on continuing professional development, which this programme and its pathways offer. The DHSSPS has directed that social workers demonstrate their competence covered in the curricula of this programme and its pathways.

Queen's postgraduates reap exceptional benefits. Unique initiatives, such as Degree Plus and Researcher Plus bolster our commitment to employability, while innovative leadership and executive programmes alongside sterling integration with business experts helps our students gain key leadership positions both nationally and internationally.

Further enquiries

School Postgraduate Office
School of Sociology, Social Policy and Social Work
Tel: 9097 5117

Subjects taught

MENTAL HEALTH PATHWAY (incorporating the Northern Ireland-approved Social Work Programme)

Meeting all nine of the professional requirements in the 'Specialist' category and giving the specialist award (PG Dip option) and three requirements at the 'Strategy and Leadership' category (Masters option). This pathway is targeted at social workers only and is delivered in partnership with social work agencies.

•Context and Concepts in Mental Health
•Law Ethics and Applied Law in Mental Health

Assessment method

Assessment & Feedback
Assessment methods include written assignments, observations of practice, projects, and a dissertation (for the final 60 credits).

Application date

Postgraduate Taught

In general, there are no closing dates for the majority of courses (those with closing dates will be highlighted in the Course Finder). However we advise you to apply as early as possible, particularly for those courses where there is a high demand for places. Early application is also important for international applicants to allow sufficient time to obtain a student entry visa.

Postgraduate Research

There is no standard closing date. You should however check both the University’s website and refer to the relevant School/Institute webpage for information on deadline dates for postgraduate funding applications, as these will also determine when your application for admission should be submitted.

Enrolment and start dates

Year of entry: 2017

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