MSc/PGDip Primary Mental Health Care pathway - APIMH

Year of entry: 2021

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Course unit details:
Evidence Based Low-Intensity Treatment Common Mental Health Disorders

Unit code NURS60183
Credit rating 30
Unit level FHEQ level 7 – master's degree or fourth year of an integrated master's degree
Teaching period(s) Variable teaching patterns
Offered by School of Health Sciences
Available as a free choice unit? No


The Department of Health (DH) commissioned a review of the PWP curriculum, for a number of reasons, including developments in the evidence base, the need to refine the assessment process, the changing demands on Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) services, new roles emerging with IAPT services and the need for a better integration of PWP course accreditation and the national curriculum, in particular the assessment of trainee competence.



Enable students to develop a critical understanding of the management and delivery of evidence-based low intensity interventions for primary mental health care.

Equip students with the knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary to function as clinically effective facilitators of low intensity, evidence based interventions for people with common mental disorders.

Develop students awareness of diversity and to identify and manage reasonable adjustments that enhance recovery and engagement with low intensity evidence based interventions.

Develop students’ clinical decision-making skills within a system of clinical and case management supervision which supports the student to evaluate care and respond appropriately.

Teaching and learning methods

The unit will be predominantly delivered via face to face teaching and skills workshops (equivalent to 15 days). This will be supplemented by a number of (10 days) practice based learning that extends learning into practice. Directed practice-based learning tasks include shadowing/observation, role play/practice with peers/colleagues of assessment and interventions, self-practice of interventions with reflection (i.e. applying techniques to issues from own life), and directed problem-based learning.

Students will also develop their clinical skills via simulation exercises conducted in the clinical skills labs or classroom.

Supportive materials will be available on Blackboard and these will include: handouts, presentations, lecture notes, links to key journal papers, key policy documents and reputable web sites. 

Knowledge and understanding

  • Demonstrate in-depth and critical understanding of, and competence in the use of, a range of low-intensity, evidence-based psychological interventions for common mental health problems.
  • Demonstrate knowledge and critical understanding of, and competence in using behaviour change models and strategies in the delivery of low-intensity interventions.

Intellectual skills

  • Critically evaluate a range of evidence-based interventions and strategies to assist patients to manage their emotional distress and disturbance.
  • Critically evaluate the role of case management and stepped care approaches to managing common mental health problems in primary care including ongoing risk management appropriate to service protocols.

Practical skills

  • Demonstrate knowledge of, and competence in developing and maintaining a therapeutic alliance with patients during their treatment programme, including dealing with issues and events that threaten the alliance.
  • Demonstrate competence in planning a collaborative low-intensity psychological or pharmacological treatment programme for common mental health problems, including managing the ending of contact.
  • Demonstrate competency in delivering low-intensity interventions using a range of methods including face-to-face, telephone and electronic communication.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of, and competence in supporting people with medication for common mental disorders to help them optimise their use of pharmacological treatment and minimise any adverse effects.

Transferable skills and personal qualities

  • Demonstrate knowledge of, and commitment to a non-discriminatory, recovery orientated values base to mental health care and to equal opportunities for all and encourage people’s active participation in every aspect of care and treatment.
  • Demonstrate respect for and the value of individual differences in age, sexuality, disability, gender, spirituality, race and culture.
  • Demonstrate competence in managing a caseload of people with common mental health problems efficiently and safely.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of, and competence in using supervision to assist the worker’s delivery of low-intensity psychological and/or pharmacological treatment programmes for common mental health problems.

Assessment methods

Method Weight
Written assignment (inc essay) 20%
Portfolio 20%
Oral assessment/presentation 60%

Feedback methods

Students will normally have the opportunity to receive feedback on formative work submitted prior to the summative assessment. Other feedback opportunities will also be available in class and online discussion boards. Online feedback is provided in Grademark. Provisional feedback based on internal marking will be made available prior to the Exam Board on the basis that these marks are yet to be ratified at the Exam Board and therefore may be subject to change. A standard feedback mechanism in Grademark is utilised across all postgraduate programmes within the School which provides detailed and constructive feedback on each component and aspect of assessment and identifies areas of strength and those aspects which could be enhanced.

Student feedback is obtained through open discussion forums on blackboard, in class discussions, via formal University unit evaluation forms and also qualitative, in house evaluations at the end of the unit. 

Recommended reading

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Lectures 90
Practical classes & workshops 60
Work based learning 75
Independent study hours
Independent study 75

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Clare Stephenson Unit coordinator

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