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MSc/PgDip/PgCert Child and Adolescent Mental Health

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University of Salford
Health and Social care Faculty
Contact Provider
University of Salford, Salford, M6 6PU, Greater Manchester, United Kingdom

Whatever your educational background or area of involvement, this child and adolescent mental health course provides the opportunity to empower your clients and their families while learning to challenge current practice.

Designed in conjunction with Child and Adolescent Mental Health (CAMHS) practitioners as well as service users and their representatives, this practice-led course will help you develop a comprehensive understanding of child development, mental health and mental disorder, therapeutic intervention and the policy, legal, ethical and organisational frameworks that guide inter-professional practice in this area.

The course is mapped against the national CAMHS practitioner competency framework.

Because it appeals to a wide audience, this postgraduate course also give you the chance to network with a range of professionals including CAMHS practitioners, voluntary sector workers, teachers, police, social workers and private sector mental health services.

What qualifications do I need to study Child and Adolescent Mental Health?

Studying Child and Adolescent Mental Health at Salford

The courseallows you to exit at various levels depending on your development needs, practice requirements, time and finances:

  • Option 1: A Postgraduate Certificate can be taken over two semesters part-time and will give you a greater understanding of the key principles of CAMHS and current frameworks
  • Option 2: A Postgraduate Diploma can be taken over 18 months and allows you to take two additional modules and study Child and Adolescent Mental Health practice in greater depth as well as explore how to conduct research and how the evidence base relates to practice
  • Option 3: MSc over two years

You will explore the underpinning theory and evidence that will strengthen and enhance your practice, including:

  • A range of therapeutic interventions, policy, legal and ethical issues in relation to child and adolescent mental health
  • How you can empower children, young people and families
  • The rights of the child and young person and the complexities of working in the practice situation
  • Inter-agency and inter-professional working
  • Leadership and change within the workplace

Course content

The modules are designed to give you an insight into current thinking on CAMHS and how to integrate this with your own practice.

CAMHS: Concepts and Theories

  • Child and adolescent developmental theories, mental health disorders and the experience of mental distress for children and young people
  • Factors that influence the mental health of children and young people in planning and intervention
  • The anti-oppressive and anti-discriminatory values used in planning, implementing and evaluating therapeutic interventions

CAMHS: Frameworks for Practice

  • The matrix of service delivery in CAMHS and related services in the UK
  • Legal and ethical issues in work with children and families where mental distress is occurring
  • Working with families
  • Planning and consultation
  • Supervision skills

Contextualising CAMH Advanced practice

  • Using an action learning approach, this module provides a framework for you to consolidate and apply your learning and to critically reflect on your development in order to bring about change in practice

Research Methods

  • Develop a rigorous approach to the process of research
  • Prepares you to complete a dissertation/ research project

Dissertation: usually a 15,000 word review of evidence, research proposal or project related to your area of professional practice.

What you can expect from Salford

You'll find us on the Allerton Campus of the University which includes the Mary Seacole Building, a brand new development with clinical rooms, lecture theatres and offices, providing some of the most up-to-date facilities in the UK.

Our courses are delivered by teams of dynamic and supportive staff who are committed to helping you move professional practice forward. We have a strong tradition of working closely with local and national mental health organisations and this ensures the course is up-to-date and will meet your needs.

How do I apply?

Virtual Learning

You will get additional support through Blackboard, our Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). It can be accessed by registered users from anywhere in the world by using the Internet and provides a range of possibilities, including:

  • The delivery of course materials, such as handbooks, lecture handouts, slides and web links which can be accessed easily by students both on and off campus
  • The use of discussion boards that allows discussion between staff, students and others
  • Online exchanges between staff, students and others who can be logged into a virtual classroom
  • Taking online assessments with automatic marking and feedback facilities

What students think about the Child and Adolescent Mental Health course

We also value the opinion of our students and use it to further develop the course. Evaluations from past students have highlighted the following strong points:

  • The application of theory and research to practice
  • The development of critical analytic thinking that challenges practice
  • The space to reflect on practice and sound out new ideas that make a difference in practice
  • Raising awareness of young people’s rights and of the importance of anti-oppressive practice
  • Meeting and networking with other professionals in CAMHS
  • Learning resources that are high quality, varied and relevant to practice
  • Self-development and being able to recognise and articulate one's own knowledge and skills

Exploring the evidence base

While our aim is to provide you with all the support and guidance you need to successfully complete this course, you will also have access to a vibrant research community:

  • A creative and dynamic environment for the conduct of ground-breaking research that has a direct impact upon health and social care policy and practice
  • Inter-disciplinary research that unites academics, researchers, postgraduate students and research users in a shared community of enquiry
  • Partnerships and collaborations with a wide range of organisations and researchers in the UK and internationally

This means that we are able to offer a wealth of experience across a diverse range of disciplines that will enhance your learning experience.


You may self-fund or be wholly or partially funded by your employer. If you are being funded by your employer, please contact your line manager before applying to the University.

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