Postgraduate Taught

MSc/ PgDip/ PgCert Person-Centred Practice (Mental Health and Wellbeing)

Do you want to build on your experience as a health or social care practitioner? Are you keen to develop an understanding of the knowledge and evidence that positively contribute to the health and wellbeing of persons, groups and populations? Our innovative Person-centred Practice Framework offers a flexible suite of course routes that will give you a valuable, career-expanding qualification in person-centred practice.

With part-time and full-time options, the Person-centred Practice Framework is suitable for international, United Kingdom and local practitioners who wish to further develop critical thinking, professional reasoning and research knowledge and skills to develop practice in a way that is informed by evidence and that is person-centred.

This course is for a broad range of health and social care practitioners who wish to develop and advance their mental health assessment and therapeutic based intervention knowledge and skills.  The course would benefit those working with patients, service users or clients’ mental health in differing care settings. This includes those working in the third sector organisations, private sector and statutory services.

Why QMU?

  • You will engage with contemporary, creative and interactive learning approaches that are designed to help you thrive in your studies.
  • You will learn from passionate and internationally renowned person-centred practice academics including Professor Brendan McCormack and Professor Jan
  • Flexible pathways, allowing you to personalise you’re learning to your own situation.
  • More Person-centred Practice routes may be available. Please check our website for updates.

Course overview

This Person-centred Practice Framework approach is for graduates and practitioners who wish to develop their careers in the broad field of health and social care systems. This includes an array of settings in which you support people with their mental health, for example, community based health and social care, residential care settings, criminal justice and education. You can also sign up to study single modules.

The routes in the Person-Centred Practice Framework seek to influence and enable the transformative processes of personal and professional development through engagement, facilitation and evaluation of person-centred teaching and learning approaches. It is designed to meet the professional needs of practitioners from all disciplines working in a variety of different health and care system settings. The framework is innovative and interactive, emphasising application of theory to your practice context. It will enable you to critically engage with, evaluate and synthesise the evidence and research to promote the development and enhancement of person-centred culture and practice. This develops a pro-active, transformative and reflective approach to meeting the health and social needs of individuals, families, groups and populations.

If you wish to study for a Postgraduate Certificate (PgCert) in Mental Health and Wellbeing, there is one core module on mental illness and distress. You can then choose two optional mental health modules to advance practice in your desired area of interest and/or that is relevant to your practice. 

If you wish to further progress your studies, you can study for a Postgraduate Diploma (PgDip) in Person-centred Practice (Mental Health and Wellbeing).  This provides the opportunity to complete two modules on person-centredness. You then have the option to study a module that is appropriate to your desired option or professional background. 

To achieve a Masters (MSc) in Person-centred Practice, there is a core module to complete which is a dissertation project.  This provides the flexibility to focus the project on an area of interest that is related to mental health and wellbeing. 

We are proud of the varied and progressive approaches to learning which we offer, and international students are particularly welcome to apply.

Exit awards

MSc Person-centred Practice (Mental Health and Wellbeing) (180 credits)

PgDip Person-centred Practice (Mental Health and Wellbeing) (120 credits)

PgCert Mental Health and Wellbeing (60 credits)


To obtain a specific postgraduate award at QMU you must complete a number of credit-bearing modules. You can exit the mental health route with a PgCert or PgDip and MSc. You can also register as an associate student to complete a single module for CPD. On completion of a single module, you may wish to complete further modules and progress your studies to a named award.

Teaching, learning and assessment

Our teaching, learning and assessment strategy is framed by our core philosophical concepts of personhood, person-centredness, human valuing, healthful relations, human potential and development, and supportive and enabling environments. Central to this strategy is the need for learners to engage in the learning experiences, a readiness to listen and explore, preparedness to be open to experiences and a resolve to keep going. This environment will generate an ethos of engagement where students can explore and challenge theories, practices and different sources of knowledge creatively in an atmosphere of high challenge and high support.

Students will be supported to challenge their thinking, values and beliefs, through the posing of complex activities and questions, and develop resilient and sustainable approaches to their learning and practice in response to these. Critical to this process is the use of diverse knowledge, scholarly inquiry processes and evidence-informed materials to engage and enliven the processes of learning. Assessment strategies will encourage application to practice. This will be achieved through the use of varied strategies that draw on the student’s own areas of practice such as portfolio development, practice proposals, annotated bibliographies, simulation events, games, seminar presentations and self-determined contextual assignment topics. Tutor, peer and self-assessment, including within virtual environments (eg HUB@QMU), will be an important component of approaches to formative and summative assessment. For students undertaking NMC-recognised specialist qualification and registration (District Nursing, Health Visiting, School Nursing), the course is 50% practice-based and requires placement in an approved practice. To support learners in their practice learning environment they will be assigned to a Practice Supervisor and a Practice Assessor. Placement will be negotiated with your supporting NHS area.

Teaching hours and attendance

Your attendance requirements at QMU will depend on the module you are studying and whether you are studying full-time or part-time.

Links with industry/ professional bodies

These routes allow you to gain the level of knowledge and skills required for advanced practice. They do not receive accreditation with the NMC unless students are undertaking the Specialist Practitioner Qualification in District Nursing or registration as a Specialist Community Public Health Nurse (SCPHN).


To achieve a PgCert, you will complete:

Responding to Mental Distress and Illness: a Person-centred Perspective (20 credits)*

plus, two of the following:

  • Application of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy Informed Practice (20 credits)*
  • Substance misuse: person, family and community (20 credits)
  • Risk and Resilience: Vulnerable Individuals, Families and Groups (20 credits)
  • Developing Professional Practice (20 credits)

To achieve a PgDip, you will also undertake:

  • Theory and Practice of Person-centred Health and Wellbeing (20 credits)
  • Leading Person-centred Practice for Health and Wellbeing (20 credits)
  • Making judgements and decisions in practice (20 credits)

To achieve an MSc, you will also complete a Dissertation (60 credits).

The modules listed are correct at time of posting (July 2021) but are subject to change.  Modules are offered subject to sufficient uptake. In the event that modules change, QMU will seek to use reasonable endeavours to ensure that there is no detrimental impact on students.

* Please send entry requirements tab for module specific information. 

Single modules for CPD

Class sizes

Class sizes vary dependent on pathway and demand.


Graduates have taken up advanced specialist practice and leadership roles within their specialist field of practice.

Entry requirements

Candidates will normally be graduates with evidence of relevant recent academic study.

International: Where your honours degree has not been studied in English, you will be required to provide evidence of English language competence at no less than IELTS 6.5 with no individual component score less than 6.0.

Additional entry requirements for the modules Responding to Mental Distress and Illness: a Person-centred Perspective (core) and Application of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy Informed Practice (optional): during the period of your studies on these modules, you must be working (paid/voluntary) in a role in which you are supporting the wider well-being of persons, including aspects of mental health support. This can be flexibly facilitated by varying full or part-time paid/voluntary roles in wide ranging health/social care settings and specialities. For example, community health, charities, education, social work. This should be evidenced on the personal statement of the application form. For further guidance and support on meeting the pre-requisite, please contact the course tutor Steven Maxwell.  

Application deadline


More information and contacts

For single modules and the MSc, contact Steven Maxwell For the PgDip, contact Alison Bacigalupo.

You can also contact Admissions 

Fees and transitionary scholarships for postgraduate EU students in 21/22 and 22/23

As part of our management of the Brexit transition, for many of our courses, including this one, we have introduced an EU transitional scholarship for EU full-time postgraduate students commencing their studies on campus in academic years 2021/22 and 2022/23. This provides a 40% discount on international tuition fees. The scholarship is available to EU students for whom the international fee rate applies and covers the courses marked with a # in the Postgraduate Fees – Full-Time Study section of our Fees page. This transitional scholarship is not applicable to students from the Republic of Ireland, who will continue to be eligible for the home fee rate.

Please Note:

 The delivery of this course is subject to the terms and conditions set out in our 2021/22 Entry - Terms and Conditions (Postgraduate).