Mental Health Law and Practice Certificate

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About this course 2018/19

The Certificate in Mental Health Law and Practice is a 6 month distance learning programme consisting of three modules;  Introduction to Mental Health Law; Key Concepts in Mental Health Law; and Policy Requirements of the Code of Practice.  It has been designed to provide professionals engaged in the delivery of mental health services both with an understanding of mental health law, and the ability to apply that knowledge to every day scenarios. 

Upon successful completion of this programme you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of key provisions of mental health law and have an appreciation of the consequences of an unlawful application of mental health law.  You will be able to use a range of basic legal materials, understand the difference between primary and secondary legal sources and distinguish legal rules from good practice.  You will be able to analyse a range of practical situations involving persons suffering from mental disorder and identify the legal issues which arise. You will be able to discuss, explain and apply the basic provisions of mental health law in writing and justify the conclusions that you reach. You will be able to analyse whether policies in your own workplace comply with the law. 

Learn from the best

Northumbria has built up an enviable reputation for practical, innovative law courses. The combination of teaching excellence and workplace relevance ensures that standards remain consistently high.   The quality of our law teaching has been recognised through a variety of awards and nominations. These include Law Teacher of the Year Award, the Attorney General’s Pro Bono Award, and Northern Law Awards.

Northumbria Law School is well-known for its teaching of mental health law. It has offered mental health programmes at postgraduate and undergraduate level for many years. This programme is led by a solicitor who has considerable experience of representing mental health clients in first-tier tribunals and court hearings. She is also a member of the Law Society’s Mental Health Accreditation Scheme.  

Teaching and Assessment

This course is designed to enable you to develop your knowledge of mental health law and practice whilst working within the mental health field. As such you are not required to attend regularly at university.  You will be provided with a module workbook and a case summary pack. These materials will provide you with an overview of the relevant provisions of the law, guidance and policy.  They will provide you with guidance on the activities you should undertake, which will include self-evaluative tasks.   At the end of each chapter of the workbook you are provided with self-test opportunities and opportunities to practice tasks such as case summaries.  You are encouraged to submit answers to these tasks to your tutor for feedback.  By undertaking these formative assessment activities you will be able to gauge how you are progressing during the course of the module.    

On each module you will also be provided with the opportunity to attend two study days (six in total during the programme.)  You are strongly encouraged to attend these study days, when your tutor will provide you with guidance on the law and its application and when you will be able to engage in discussion with your tutor and fellow students.    Through study day discussion you will develop greater understanding of current mental health practice.

In addition you will have access to a programme elearning site and to module elearning sites, from which you will also be able to access course materials.   The reading you should undertake is detailed on the modules’ electronic reading lists.  You will be expected to use the university’s library databases to access key legal source materials, including case law.  To ensure that you are able to access these sources you will be provided with an induction to relevant university webpages and resources at the first of the study days.

Each module is assessed by means of a written assignment.  For example you may be asked to demonstrate your ability to locate and summarise a case or your ability to apply your knowledge and understanding to a practical context; you may be asked to demonstrate your ability to construct an argument supported by authority and to cite your authorities correctly; you may be asked to demonstrate research skills and analytical abilities. For each assessment you will be provided with detailed guidance on the criteria that you should meet. At the study days you will also have time and opportunity to discuss the assessment requirements and to seek feedback from your tutor.  Once you have submitted your assignment, your tutor will provide you with detailed feedback on your work, highlighting its strengths and weaknesses by reference to the assessment criteria and indicating how you can improve your research and writing skills.  You will be encouraged to use this feedback, as part of your reflective development, in the preparation of subsequent module assessments and to enhance your skills more generally.   

Learning Environment

As a distance learner you will have full access to our eLearning Portal, ‘Blackboard Learn’. Blackboard Learn brings together all aspects of course management as well as assessment and feedback. You can contact tutors in other ways too, including by email and telephone.

You will also have online access to Northumbria’s library, which has half a million electronic books that you can read whenever or wherever you need them together with a wealth of electronic journals and law reports. The 24/7 University Library achieves some of the highest levels of student satisfaction in the UK and has held the Cabinet Office accreditation for Customer Service Excellence since 2010.

The range and depth of resources reflects our position as the largest law school in the North East region. 

caption: University Library

Research-rich Learning

Northumbria’s strong research ethos is an essential aspect of how you will develop as a critical, reflective and independent thinker.  Our academics are at the cutting edge of current legal issues. Their knowledge, and their understanding and experience of the law in practice will be used to enhance your learning experience.

We will equip you to undertake and present research that is relevant to your practice.   We will encourage you to explore current knowledge. 

caption: Department Research

Give your career an edge

The successful completion of this programme will demonstrate your ability to work independently and to effectively manage your own time.  Not only will you be able to use the skills, knowledge and understanding you acquire within your working environment, successful completion of this unique programme will provide you with an academic qualification which demonstrates your knowledge and understanding of mental health law, thus improving your employability.

Your Future

Northumbria Law School also offers a linked award programme; PG Cert/PG Dip/LLM programme in mental health law.  Students on the certificate programme who obtain a distinction on the certificate programme and who also meet the other entry criteria for the linked award programme are encouraged to consider applying to study on the linked award programme.  

About this course 2019/20

The Certificate in Mental Health Law and Practice is a 6 month distance learning programme consisting of three modules;  Introduction to Mental Health Law; Key Concepts in Mental Health Law; and Policy Requirements of the Code of Practice.  It has been designed to provide professionals engaged in the delivery of mental health services both with an understanding of mental health law, and the ability to apply that knowledge to every day scenarios. 

Upon successful completion of this programme you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of key provisions of mental health law and have an appreciation of the consequences of an unlawful application of mental health law.  You will be able to use a range of basic legal materials, understand the difference between primary and secondary legal sources and distinguish legal rules from good practice.  You will be able to analyse a range of practical situations involving persons suffering from mental disorder and identify the legal issues which arise. You will be able to discuss, explain and apply the basic provisions of mental health law in writing and justify the conclusions that you reach. You will be able to analyse whether policies in your own workplace comply with the law. 

Learn from the best

Northumbria has built up an enviable reputation for practical, innovative law courses. The combination of teaching excellence and workplace relevance ensures that standards remain consistently high.   The quality of our law teaching has been recognised through a variety of awards and nominations. These include Law Teacher of the Year Award, the Attorney General’s Pro Bono Award, and Northern Law Awards.

Northumbria Law School is well-known for its teaching of mental health law. It has offered mental health programmes at postgraduate and undergraduate level for many years. This programme is led by a solicitor who has considerable experience of representing mental health clients in first-tier tribunals and court hearings. She is also a member of the Law Society’s Mental Health Accreditation Scheme.  

Teaching and Assessment

This course is designed to enable you to develop your knowledge of mental health law and practice whilst working within the mental health field. As such you are not required to attend regularly at university.  You will be provided with a module workbook and a case summary pack. These materials will provide you with an overview of the relevant provisions of the law, guidance and policy.  They will provide you with guidance on the activities you should undertake, which will include self-evaluative tasks.   At the end of each chapter of the workbook you are provided with self-test opportunities and opportunities to practice tasks such as case summaries.  You are encouraged to submit answers to these tasks to your tutor for feedback.  By undertaking these formative assessment activities you will be able to gauge how you are progressing during the course of the module.    

On each module you will also be provided with the opportunity to attend two study days (six in total during the programme.)  You are strongly encouraged to attend these study days, when your tutor will provide you with guidance on the law and its application and when you will be able to engage in discussion with your tutor and fellow students.    Through study day discussion you will develop greater understanding of current mental health practice.

In addition you will have access to a programme elearning site and to module elearning sites, from which you will also be able to access course materials.   The reading you should undertake is detailed on the modules’ electronic reading lists.  You will be expected to use the university’s library databases to access key legal source materials, including case law.  To ensure that you are able to access these sources you will be provided with an induction to relevant university webpages and resources at the first of the study days.

Each module is assessed by means of a written assignment.  For example you may be asked to demonstrate your ability to locate and summarise a case or your ability to apply your knowledge and understanding to a practical context; you may be asked to demonstrate your ability to construct an argument supported by authority and to cite your authorities correctly; you may be asked to demonstrate research skills and analytical abilities. For each assessment you will be provided with detailed guidance on the criteria that you should meet. At the study days you will also have time and opportunity to discuss the assessment requirements and to seek feedback from your tutor.  Once you have submitted your assignment, your tutor will provide you with detailed feedback on your work, highlighting its strengths and weaknesses by reference to the assessment criteria and indicating how you can improve your research and writing skills.  You will be encouraged to use this feedback, as part of your reflective development, in the preparation of subsequent module assessments and to enhance your skills more generally.   

Learning Environment

As a distance learner you will have full access to our eLearning Portal, ‘Blackboard Learn’. Blackboard Learn brings together all aspects of course management as well as assessment and feedback. You can contact tutors in other ways too, including by email and telephone.

You will also have online access to Northumbria’s library, which has half a million electronic books that you can read whenever or wherever you need them together with a wealth of electronic journals and law reports. The 24/7 University Library achieves some of the highest levels of student satisfaction in the UK and has held the Cabinet Office accreditation for Customer Service Excellence since 2010.

The range and depth of resources reflects our position as the largest law school in the North East region. 

caption: University Library

Research-rich Learning

Northumbria’s strong research ethos is an essential aspect of how you will develop as a critical, reflective and independent thinker.  Our academics are at the cutting edge of current legal issues. Their knowledge, and their understanding and experience of the law in practice will be used to enhance your learning experience.

We will equip you to undertake and present research that is relevant to your practice.   We will encourage you to explore current knowledge. 

caption: Department Research

Give your career an edge

The successful completion of this programme will demonstrate your ability to work independently and to effectively manage your own time.  Not only will you be able to use the skills, knowledge and understanding you acquire within your working environment, successful completion of this unique programme will provide you with an academic qualification which demonstrates your knowledge and understanding of mental health law, thus improving your employability.

Your Future

Northumbria Law School also offers a linked award programme; PG Cert/PG Dip/LLM programme in mental health law.  Students on the certificate programme who obtain a distinction on the certificate programme and who also meet the other entry criteria for the linked award programme are encouraged to consider applying to study on the linked award programme.  

Course info

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 9 months Distance Learning, including 6 taught days

Department Northumbria Law School

Location Law and NBS Building, City Campus East

City Newcastle

Start September 2019

Current, Relevant and Inspiring

We continuously review and improve course content in consultation with our students and employers. To make sure we can inform you of any changes to your course register for updates on the course page.

Your Learning Experience find out about our distinctive approach at 
www.northumbria.ac.uk/exp

Terms and Conditions - northumbria.ac.uk/terms
Fees and Funding - northumbria.ac.uk/fees
Admissions Policy - northumbria.ac.uk/adpolicy