MSc/PGDip Primary Mental Health Care pathway - APIMH

Year of entry: 2024


Degree awarded
36 months (PT)

Full entry requirements

How to apply

You should complete the online application form or request a printed form. You also need to complete an employer support form (Word, 56KB).

Course overview

  • Develop the knowledge/skills to work with people experiencing common mental health problems.
  • Choose to study for a PGCert, PGDip or MSc qualification.
  • The PGCert meets the national competencies for IAPT Psychological Wellbeing Practitioners (PWPs) and is a mandatory requirement for newly appointed trainee PWPs.
  • The PGCert IAPT PWP course is approved by the British Psychological Society.
  • PGCert fees for those working in the Improving Access to Psychological Therapies NHS/organisations are funded through a contract with Health Education England.
  • Study at a university ranked 3rd in the UK for Nursing, and top 10 for Psychology and Medicine (QS World University Rankings 2022).

Open days

Attending an open day is a great way to find out what studying at Manchester is like. Find out about our  upcoming open days .


To be announced.

The fees quoted above will be fully inclusive for the course tuition, administration and computational costs during your studies.

All fees for entry will be subject to yearly review and incremental rises per annum are also likely over the duration of courses lasting more than a year for UK students (fees are typically fixed for International students, for the course duration at the year of entry). For general fees information please visit: postgraduate fees . Always contact the department if you are unsure which fee applies to your qualification award and method of attendance.

Policy on additional costs

All students should normally be able to complete their programme of study without incurring additional study costs over and above the tuition fee for that programme. Any unavoidable additional compulsory costs totalling more than 1% of the annual home undergraduate fee per annum, regardless of whether the programme in question is undergraduate or postgraduate taught, will be made clear to you at the point of application. Further information can be found in the University's Policy on additional costs incurred by students on undergraduate and postgraduate taught programmes (PDF document, 91KB).


PGCert fees for those working in the Improving Access to Psychological Therapies NHS/organisations are funded through a contract with Health Education England.

Should you wish to proceed to PGDip or MSc, this will be on a self-funded basis.

For the latest scholarship and bursary information please visit the fees and funding page.

Contact details

Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health
+44 (0)161 529 4563
School/Faculty overview
Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health

Courses in related subject areas

Use the links below to view lists of courses in related subject areas.

Entry requirements

Home-schooled applicants

If you have followed a non-standard educational route and have been, for example, educated at home, your application will be considered against the standard entry criteria of the course to which you applied. You will be required to demonstrate that you meet the academic entry requirements as specified for the course. We will also require a reference which should be written by somebody who knows you well enough, in an official capacity, to write about you and your suitability for higher education.

Academic entry qualification overview

We require an honours degree (Lower Second or above) or equivalent from a recognised institution, or an approved and relevant postgraduate qualification (minimum PGDip or equivalent - 120 credits at master's level), or evidence of previous advanced study, research or professional experience, which the University accepts as qualifying you for entry.

For entry to the PGCert at level 6 we require a FHEQ at level 5 (eg foundation degree, diploma of higher education, or higher national diploma).

Places are available to applicants without a the above qualifications who are able to demonstrate evidence of appropriate academic ability. See Portfolio for non-standard application (Word, 171 KB).

English language

International students must demonstrate English proficiency through a secure and approved testing system. We ask for English language proof if you are from non-majority English speaking countries (a list of majority English speaking countries, as defined by the UK Home Office, can be found here).

Specifically, we require a minimum of:

  • IELTS at grade 7.0 or above, with a score of 6.0 or above in each component;
  • TOEFL test with a score of 600 (paper-based) or 250 (computer-based) or above;
  • GCSE English with grade C or above;
  • Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency.
See further information about requirements for your country .

English language test validity

Some English Language test results are only valid for two years. Your English Language test report must be valid on the start date of the course.

Application and selection

How to apply

You should complete the online application form or request a printed form. You also need to complete an employer support form (Word, 56KB).

Advice to applicants

We require you to have written employer support to attend the course and to be given time to complete any necessary practice requirements, including any practice supervision/mentorship arrangements.

As well as applying online, an employer support form (Word, 56KB) must be completed, which can also be requested from .

Overseas (non-UK) applicants

Due to funding arrangements and practice requirements, this course is not available to international students.


If you applied in the previous year and your application was not successful you may apply again. Your application will be considered against the standard course entry criteria for that year of entry.

In your new application you should demonstrate how your application has improved. We may draw upon all information from your previous applications or any previous registrations at the University as a student when assessing your suitability for your chosen course.

Course details

Course description

Common mental health problems, including anxiety and depression, account for one-third of all primary care consultations in the UK. The impact of these on individuals, families, communities and healthcare resources is recognised at a global level.

Our part-time MSc in Primary Mental Health Care (a pathway of the Advanced Practice Interventions for Mental Health (APIMH) programme) aims to equip primary care professionals with the knowledge and skills to improve services for these individuals.

A key strategy to address current and future challenges of this immense area of need is to equip those working in primary care in both existing and new roles with relevant knowledge and skills to increase access to and deliver effective services through evidence-based, innovative approaches.

Our course is directly relevant to clinical practice and uses a bio-psychosocial framework so you can develop knowledge and skills in evidence-based interventions delivered through a range of methods (eg face-to-face, telephone, computerised).

You will learn how to offer high-quality, evidence-based interventions and contribute to service developments that promote socially inclusive mental health care for individuals, families and communities.

The first year of the pathway (PGCert) meets the national competencies for IAPT Psychological Wellbeing Practitioners (PWPs) and is a mandatory requirement, funded through an NHS contract, for newly appointed PWPs.

Please note: the PGCert can also be completed as a graduate certificate and also meets national competencies for becoming a psychological Wellbeing Practitioner. Please contact us about completing the qualification at graduate level.

PhD with integrated master's

If you're planning to undertake a PhD after your master's, our Integrated PhD programme will enable you to combine your postgraduate taught course with a related PhD project in biology, medicine or health.

You can also visit this page for examples of projects related to integrated master's courses.


The course aims to equip you with the advanced knowledge and skills necessary to deliver patient-focused, low intensity interventions outlined in the National Institute of Clinical Excellence's guidelines for people experiencing common mental health problems (PGCert), as well as contribute to innovations and developments in mental health care and service delivery (PGDip/MSc).

Teaching and learning

You will participate in a range of teaching and learning methods, including lectures, small group work, student-led seminars, problem-based learning scenarios, online learning and clinical simulations.

There is a strong emphasis on skills development through the use of role play, experiential exercises and analysis. Supervised practice and clinical hours are essential to achieve practical skills outcomes for the course.

In addition, you will undertake independent study to further develop and consolidate your learning. All pathways involve sessions by users and/or carers who are seen as essential contributors to student learning as experts by experience.

The course involves attendance at the University for part of the week and the rest is spent in clinical practice. You are required to identify a suitable practice supervisor/mentor to oversee and assess the clinical and/or practice work required for the programme and pathway.

Student trainees working within an IAPT service are expected to receive supervision from supervisors who have completed IAPT Supervisor Training. This is an accredited five-day training programme currently provided by the University.

Coursework and assessment

We use a variety of assessments within each course unit and across the course as a whole. All assessments require you to integrate knowledge and understanding and apply this to your own area of practice relevant to the outcomes of each unit and the focus of each pathway.

Assessment methods include essays, case studies, seminar presentations, literature reviews, recorded clinical simulations and/or recordings of actual client interactions. You are also required to submit practice supervision and clinical hours records.

Course unit details

The course consists of units on the following themes:


  • Engagement and Assessment of Patients with Common Mental Health Problems
  • Evidence based low intensity interventions in Primary Mental Health Care
  • Values, Diversity and Context


Core course units are shared with students studying other pathways and programmes but retain a pathway-specific focus through group work and assessments. Core course units focus on the following themes:

  • Advanced Evidence Based Practice and Leadership
  • Long Term Conditions (LTCs) in Primary Mental Health
  • Developing Practice and Managing Change

On completion of the taught units (PGDip), successful students who meet progression requirements are able to continue onto their research dissertation for the MSc.


The Year 3 dissertation consists of a 12,000 to 15,000-word dissertation that undertakes an extended literature-based review/proposal for practice development.

The dissertation enables you, with the support of an individual supervisor, to undertake an extended written piece of work that focuses on a specific aspect of primary mental health care practice in the form of an extended literature-based review.

Scholarships and bursaries

For the latest scholarship and bursary information please visit the fees and funding page.

Course collaborators

This course has been designed in collaboration with practice colleagues and is delivered by nationally renowned and published experts in the field. The pathway has an excellent track record of working with service user and carer organisations as an integral part of the teaching team.


You will have access a range of facilities throughout the University.

Disability support

Practical support and advice for current students and applicants is available from the Disability Advisory and Support Service .


Career opportunities

This course is for trainee Psychological Wellbeing Practitioners (as part of the 'Increasing Access to Psychological Therapies' (IAPT) initiative) who are employed in the NHS in Greater Manchester, as well as other statutory/voluntary services that have been commissioned to provide an IAPT Primary Mental Health Care Service.