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What You Should Know Before Taking A Postgraduate Course In Mental Health?



Are you considering taking a postgraduate course in mental health and don’t know what to expect? Maybe you aren’t sure if a postgraduate mental health course is right for you? Whatever your reason, we have the answers for you. 

Today, we will walk you through what you should know before starting a mental health course so you can decide if it is the right choice for you. 

What Postgraduate Mental Health Courses Can I Choose?

You can choose several postgraduate mental health courses, allowing you to find one that perfectly suits your needs. These include healthcare-based and behavioural courses, covering various topics and allowing you to specialise easily. Popular postgraduate mental health courses include the following: 

  • Mental health nursing
  • Mental health 
  • Child and adolescent mental health 
  • Psychiatry 
  • Youth mental health 
  • Managing youth self-harm and suicide
  • Adolescent health and wellbeing 

These courses are available at various levels, including graduate certificate, diploma, and master’s level. Some of these courses are also available online, allowing you to fit your studies around work or caring responsibilities. Check your course catalogue to see what level your course is and the entry requirements. 

What Will I Learn On A Postgraduate Mental Health Course?

What you will learn in a postgraduate mental health course depends on your chosen course. Generalised mental health courses will cover various topics, whereas more specialised courses will focus on one area of mental health, like adolescent well-being. Typically, a postgraduate mental health course will cover: 

  • Assessment of mental health 
  • Evidence and research 
  • Psychological therapies
  • Addictive behaviours 
  • Mental health foundations
  • Trauma-informed care
  • Child and Adolescent mental health
  • Mental health in later life 

Some courses will include a research project, where you can choose a topic you are passionate about and conduct research, usually presented as a paper. You might also choose electives, like pharmacology approaches to mental health or intervention processes for young people. 

More specific courses will feature units that only apply to the chosen topic; for example, a mental health course focusing on children won’t have any adult mental health units. When selecting your mental health course, you can use the course catalogue to learn about the units available to help you choose the best course.  

How Will I Learn On A Postgraduate Mental Health Course?

The way you study a postgraduate mental health course will vary depending on the course you choose and whether it is online or in-person. Most courses use a mixture of lectures and workshops, where you will gain knowledge and put it to the test. Case studies will also be used so you can see how you would use your knowledge in real-life scenarios. 

Depending on your course, you might have a placement where you will work on a mental health ward or with a charity in the community. This will provide you with hands-on experience and allow you to see if your chosen field is right. Generalised mental health courses might send you on multiple placements so you can experience a variety of environments to see which is right for you. 

Online courses tend to focus on independent study completed at home. You will have constant access to the lectures and reading materials, so you can complete the work at a time that suits you. Case studies will likely be used here, too, and you will have access to group chats or your course leader for feedback.

How Will I Be Assessed On A Postgraduate Mental Health Course?

How you are assessed on a postgraduate mental health course varies depending on the chosen course. Exams, essays, reports, and presentations are typically used to assess your understanding of the knowledge. Courses with placements will use reports from a mentor and your journal of placement experiences to determine how well you use the knowledge in real-life scenarios. 

Online courses typically focus on independent assessments, like reports, essays, and exams. You might have to deliver a presentation, but this would usually be alone. Case studies might be used to assess how you would handle a situation with the knowledge you have gained. Students working in the mental health sector can draw on their experiences for their assessments. 

Your course catalogue will outline the assessments for your course, and your course leader can also provide you with assessment dates. 

Final Thoughts 

Postgraduate mental health courses are a wonderful way to expand your knowledge, specialise, or change careers. There are a variety of courses available, allowing you to access your new career.

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