Advanced Practice in Psychological Wellbeing PGCert – 2024 entry
Why choose this course
- Be introduced to the assessment and treatment of patients with mild to moderate common mental health difficulties and acquire the skills to add value and make a real difference to patients' lives using evidence-based talking therapies
- Spend part of your training in clinical employment to practise your skills in healthcare settings under the supervision of qualified practitioners
- Study a syllabus designed to meet the British Psychological Society’s (BPS) programme accreditation standards for the education of psychological wellbeing practitioners, and underpinned by the following core NHS values:
- Commitment to quality of care
- Everyone counts
- Improving people’s lives
- Respect and dignity for all
- Working together for patients
- Get the academic requirements needed to register with the BPS or BABCP as a psychological wellbeing practitioner
- Embark on a career change using your existing experience working in a healthcare setting.
What you will study
You’ll learn how to effectively assess and treat patients presenting with common mental health difficulties using a range of low intensity cognitive behavioural-based interventions. You’ll develop your competencies as a reflective practitioner who’s able to critically engage with literature.
You’ll gain an appreciation of diversity, inclusion and multi-culturalism to support you to effectively work in an inclusive value driven service. We’ll prepare you for clinical settings by introducing you to the personal impact of working with clients in distress and the associated ethical concerns.
You’ll be employed by NHS talking therapies for anxiety and depression in the local area during training. This will enable you to gain clinical experience. At work, you’ll have a supervisor who’s a senior clinician. They'll guide you through your experience and feed into your evidence portfolio. You’ll be evaluated on your clinical competence as part of your practical learning experiences.
Our Surrey facilities have recently undergone a £5 million investment, giving you access to the latest equipment, including a six-room virtual reality suite to simulate real-life scenarios and two observation labs. You’ll also have access to 20 bookable project rooms, a breakout space, equipment lockers and a computer lab.
You’ll be taught by a team of experienced clinicians, including senior psychological wellbeing practitioners, clinical and counselling psychologists, and psychotherapists. This will help to ensure that everything you learn is up-to-date and relevant to employers.
Your university-based teaching will be delivered through a combination of:
- Group work (e.g. discussion groups)
- Role plays
Outside of these, you’ll be expected to carry out independent study, including coursework, essays and reading.
Your teaching will be delivered through a combination of:
- Supervised practice
You’ll be expected to keep a log of your clinical activity and supervision.
We use a variety of methods to assess your competence. These include coursework, an observed structured clinical examination, audio recordings of your clinical work, an oral presentation, essays, a case report and a written examination. When you’re working in service, your clinical competence will be assessed by your service supervisors.
Check individual module information to see full details at a module level.
PGCert - British Psychological Society (BPS)
Accredited by the British Psychological Society (BPS) against the requirements for qualification as a Psychological Wellbeing Practitioner.
Careers and graduate prospects
We offer careers information, advice and guidance to all students whilst studying with us, which is extended to our alumni for three years after leaving the University.
NHS talking therapies for anxiety and depression look to improve access to evidence-based talking therapies within the NHS and through other qualified healthcare providers, by continuous growth of the psychological therapy workforce and its services. As a graduate of this course, you’ll become part of this workforce.
100 per cent of our postgraduate psychology graduates go on to employment or further study (Graduate Outcomes 2023, HESA). Our alumni work for NHS trusts and mental health organisations throughout the UK.
Learn more about psychology careers on the BPS website.
Modules listed are indicative, reflecting the information available at the time of publication. Please note that modules may be subject to teaching availability, student demand and/or class size caps.
The University operates a credit framework for all taught programmes based on a 15-credit tariff. Modules can be either 15, 30, 45, 75 and 120 credits, and additionally for some masters dissertations, 90 credits.
The structure of our programmes follows clear educational aims that are tailored to each programme. These are all outlined in the programme specifications which include further details such as the learning outcomes:
Teaching takes place mainly on Wednesday's and Thursday's and you’ll be in practice for the remaining days of the week. Course timetables are normally available one month before the start of the semester.
Contact hours can vary across our modules. Full details of the contact hours for each module are available from the University of Surrey's module catalogue. See the modules section for more information.
While many PWPs are psychology graduates this is not a necessity. Applications are welcomed from people with experience working in mental health or similar services who may not have been in education recently. Services will also have individual person specifications you are required to meet. For further details please visit the NHS careers website.
Accumulated credit volume of 360 FHEQ Level 4-6 credits (achieved to 2:1), of which at least 120 will be at FHEQ Level 6. Students should be working/ have recent experience in a relevant healthcare setting.
Other entry requirements: Each student that is employed by NHS talking therapies for anxiety and depression is subject to the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act (1974) Section 4 (2) (Exemptions) Order 1975 and DHSS Circular HC (88)9 guidelines regarding police checks and child protection.
International entry requirements
Applicants must have the right to work in the UK. To qualify for salary support they must not be subject to any restrictions on their length of stay in the UK.
Do I meet the requirements for this course?
We require you to submit a full application so that we can formally assess whether you meet the criteria published. Unfortunately, we are unable to provide an outcome based on an enquiry (via email, webform enquiry, phone or live chat).
English language requirements
Academic IELTS: 6.5 overall including 6.0 in each category.
These are the English language qualifications and levels that we can accept.
If you do not currently meet the level required for your programme, we offer intensive pre-sessional English language courses, designed to take you to the level of English ability and skill required for your studies here.
Application link is provided to apply post internal trust interview with University of Surrey representative. Applicants should apply through NHS jobs initially.
The University of Surrey recognises that many students enter their higher education course with valuable knowledge and skills developed through a range of professional, vocational and community contexts. If your experience exceeds the typical requirements for entry to the programme, a process called recognition of prior learning (RPL) may allow you to enter your course at a point appropriate to your previous learning and experience.
If you can demonstrate that you have met the learning outcomes for specific modules through your previous learning, it may be possible to exempt you from those modules, and for you to be awarded credit based on your previous qualifications/experience. There are restrictions on RPL for some courses and fees may be payable for certain claims.
In some cases, prior knowledge and skills may allow applicants to join the start of a course without meeting the formal entry requirements.
Please see our credit transfer and recognition of prior learning guide (PDF) and recognition of prior learning and prior credit web page for further information. Please email Admissions (firstname.lastname@example.org) with any queries.
This course is normally conducted as a fully-funded placement through our partnered NHS trusts, and as such has no tuition fee costs to the student.
The full cost of tuition fees for eligible trainees are paid by Health Education England.
- Travelling expenses such as those incurred for travelling between the employer and the University or venue where teaching will take place
- General programme related costs such as study materials
- Potential costs involved in working/studying remotely e.g. internet connection etc.
Scholarships and bursaries
We're committed to making sure that we offer support for students who might need it.
How to apply
All applicants should apply directly through local NHS talking therapies for anxiety and depression service providers with joint interviews taking place with University programme staff. There are two cohorts per year that typically start in May and September.
We are unable to consider direct individual applications.
Please look out for advertisements for this role in the relevant service providers’ websites or NHS jobs website.
Once you have been recruited by the PCT/service provider, you will be automatically sent to the University of Surrey for training on this course.
Our code of practice for postgraduate admissions policy provides the basis for admissions practice across the University and gives a framework for how we encourage, consider applications and admit students. You can also read our postgraduate applicant guidance.
Terms and conditions
When you accept an offer of a place at the University of Surrey, you are agreeing to comply with our Charter, Statutes, Ordinances, Policies, Regulations and our terms and conditions. These terms and conditions are provided in two stages: first when we make an offer and second when students who have accepted their offers register to study at the University. View our offer terms and conditions and our registration terms and conditions (PDF) for the 2023/24 academic year, as an example of what to expect.
Please note: the offer terms and conditions and registration terms and conditions which you will be asked to agree to may be different from those detailed in the examples.
Our offer terms and conditions will generally be available in the September of the calendar year prior to the year in which you begin your studies. Our registration terms and conditions will be available at the start of each academic year and will vary to take into account specifics of your course and changes for the specific academic year.
This online prospectus has been prepared and published in advance of the academic year to which it applies. The University of Surrey has used its reasonable efforts to ensure that the information is accurate at the time of publishing but changes (for example, to course content or additional costs) may occur given the interval between publishing and commencement of the course. It is therefore very important to check this website for any updates before you apply for a course with us. Read our full disclaimer.
Campus locationStag Hill
Stag Hill is the University's main campus and where the majority of our courses are taught.
For the May intake teaching will be held at a venue in Kent.
You’ll have 18 face-to-face days at the Stag Hill campus for the September intake, or a Kent venue for the May intake. For the remaining 18 days, you’ll study remotely.
You’ll be expected to attend clinical employment off campus. Please see the clinical experience section for more details.