Improving Access to Psychological Therapies in Primary Care

Improving Access to Psychological Therapies in Primary Care PgCert

Course fees (2018/19 entry)

Option / fee Value
Home/EU full-time annual tuition fee: 
Home/EU part-time tuition fee: £5,000 per annum
International full time annual tuition fee: 

Course type



Nursing and Allied Health

Study mode

Part Time (1 year)

About your course

Meet NICE guidelines for supporting people with depression and anxiety disorders when you take this Improving Access to Psychological Therapies in Primary Care course at Liverpool John Moores University.

  • Masters degree available to study part time (one year)
  • Study to meet National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) guidelines for supporting people suffering from depression and anxiety disorders
  • Follow a curriculum which combines theoretical learning and practical experience and is strongly influenced by student feedback
  • Enjoy exceptional levels of learner support
  • Benefit from excellent training facilities and strong links with local service providers
  • This course will only run subject to minimum numbers

LJMU is carrying out internationally important health-related research and this directly impacts on what you will study on this degree.

This degree is informed by our close working relationships with key organisations such as Merseycare NHS Trust, St Helens and Knowsley Hospitals NHS Trust, Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospitals NHS Trust and the North West Ambulance Service.

Introduction to the School

The innovative training delivered by LJMU's School of Nursing and Allied Health provides you with the skills, confidence and competence to provide first class support to patients entrusted in your care.

Our courses meet the needs of the current healthcare agenda plus the growing demand from this ever-evolving sector for increasingly skilled healthcare professionals. They will enhance your existing skills, develop specialised knowledge and expertise and improve your long-term job prospects.

All of our courses are informed by the latest research, ensuring they are at the forefront of developments in the field. Indeed, in the 2014 REF, 68% of LJMU’s health-related research was considered world leading or internationally excellent.

Why study this course at LJMU?

This course helps Primary Care Trusts to implement National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) guidelines for people suffering from depression and anxiety disorders.

It trains Low Intensity workers to assess and support patients in the self-management of their recovery. And, with common mental health problems accounting for a third of all primary care consultations in the UK, this training not only reduces the impact on individuals, families and communities but also on key resources.

The programme is built around the bio-psychosocial model of mental health and wellbeing and will provide you with the knowledge and skills to:

  • work within primary care settings

  • deliver a range of low intensity, evidence-based interventions, including: cognitive behavioural interventions; collaborative case management; social interventions (including employment and occupational) and structured pharmacological support

Multi-professional, flexible and innovative, the course will train you to work in a case management capacity. You will liaise and network with other agencies to offer individual, patient-centred mental health care and ensure that medication and treatment are coordinated effectively. You will manage patient relationships, working individually with service users and respecting cultural diversities.

Programme outline and structure

This is a part time course studied over a year. There is one day a week timetabled study supported by an equal amount of self-guided study.

During the course you will gain a better understanding of the concepts of mental health, mental illness and various diagnostic tools.
You will learn to help patients manage their emotional distress and disturbance, understanding their perspective and their attitude to treatment.
You will discover the importance of building and maintaining good patient relationships, managing the emotional content of interactions, effectively communicating treatment choices and dealing with needs sensitively. You will use standard symptom assessment tools, maintain effective records, recognise typical symptom patterns, identify any risks that patients pose and work with other agencies to get the best possible outcome for your patients.

Throughout the programme you will be supported by:

  • the programme leader/manager
  • a personal tutor who will monitor your progress
  • module and route leaders for academic support
  • a practice-based supervisor to facilitate and support learning opportunities in clinical practice
  • the programme team who will provide administrative guidance

What you will study on this degree

Please see guidance below on core and option modules for further information on what you will study.

Level 7

  • Engagement and Assessment of Patients with Common Mental Health Problems
  • Evidence-Based Low Intensity Treatments for Common Mental Health Disorders
  • Values, Policy, Culture and Diversity
  • Working within an Employment, Social and Healthcare Context

Further guidance on modules

The information listed in the section entitled ‘What you will study’ is an overview of the academic content of the programme that will take the form of either core or option modules. Modules are designated as core or option in accordance with professional body requirements and internal Academic Framework review, so may be subject to change. Students will be required to undertake modules that the University designates as core and will have a choice of designated option modules. Additionally, option modules may be offered subject to meeting minimum student numbers.


Academic Framework reviews are conducted by LJMU from time to time to ensure that academic standards continue to be maintained. A review is currently in progress and will be operational for the academic year 2016/2017. Final details of this programme’s designated core and option modules will be made available on LJMU’s website as soon as possible and prior to formal enrolment for the academic year 2016/2017.

Please email if you require further guidance or clarification.

How will I be assessed?

The course uses a blended learning approach with lectures from LJMU staff, past students and visiting experts.

There are tutorials, seminars, group discussions, role play sessions, clinical simulations, experiential learning sessions, reflective practice, formative skills assessment, practice-based learning, guided reading and independent study.
To pass each module you need to demonstrate that you have achieved all of its learning outcomes. Assessment methods include written critical reflection, assignments, exams, clinical simulations, presentations, practice skill assessments and the completion of workplace clinical documentation.

As you will be employed in a primary care setting on a full time basis, you will be able to implement the skills you have acquired in practice on an ongoing basis. To authenticate this work, you will submit a practice skills assessment document for approval by your supervisor.

Staff research interests

The School works with key stakeholders locally, nationally and internationally in:

  • health and social care e.g. with health authorities including Merseycare NHS Trust, St Helens and Knowsley Hospitals NHS Trust, Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospitals NHS Trust and the North West Ambulance Service
  • education, with the City of Liverpool College; Alexian Research Centre, Germany; Eindhoven University of Technology, Netherlands; University College Thomas More, Belgium and KPY University, Malaysia
  • the charity, community and voluntary group sector

Such links ensure our degrees remain professionally relevant and enable you to forge useful contacts within the health and social care sector.

Entry requirements (Home)

You need to be employed as a psychological wellbeing practitioner trainee within a primary care setting. External applications are made through NHS jobs direct in response to recruitment drives. The selection and recruitment process is jointly undertaken by both service and LJMU IAPT teaching team.

You will require:

  • an honours degree (minimum 2:2) or equivalent in a health or social care-related subject from a recognised institution


  • an approved and relevant postgraduate qualification (minimum Postgraduate Diploma or equivalent - 120 credits at Masters Level)


  • evidence of previous advanced study, research or professional experience, which the University accepts as qualifying the candidate for entry

If you do not have a degree, please contact the Programme Leader for Portfolio guidelines and requirements.

Low Intensity Workers need to be employed in a primary care setting which will sponsor the student’s training and provide the environment in which the clinical components of the course can be achieved (under clinical supervision).

This course will only run subject to minimum numbers.

Entry requirements (International)

LJMU welcomes applications from international students. In addition to normal entry requirements, you will be expected to demonstrate a very good level of English language competence, for example an IELTS score of 6.0-6.5 or equivalent. Please note: specific courses may require higher levels of English language competence. If you have applied to study a full-time taught Masters, MRes, MPhil or PhD at LJMU, you should check if you require an Academic Technology Approval Scheme or ATAS certificate. It can take four to six weeks to receive an ATAS certificate, so please make sure you apply as early as possible. You can find out more on the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) website. Alternatively, contact LJMU’s International Admissions Team for guidance. Please note: international students entering on a Tier 4 visa cannot study part time. Students entering the UK on alternate types of visa may be in a position to study part time. Please contact LJMU’s International Admissions Team for further details before making your application.  In order to obtain a visa you will also need to show evidence that the money required to cover your tuition fees and living expenses has been in your bank account for at least 28 days prior to submitting your visa application. So please make sure that your finances are in place before applying. For more details, go to our international website

For advice on any aspect of the application process, please contact LJMU’s International Admissions Team.

Will I be interviewed?

Yes, all students are required to undertake a joint academic and service interview beforehand.

Is RPL accepted on this programme?


Please Note: All international qualifications are subject to a qualification equivalency check via NARIC.

Financial support

Tuition fees

All students enrolled on postgraduate taught programmes at LJMU are liable to pay an annual tuition fee. You can opt to pay your tuition fees in full at the start of each academic year or in instalments. If you need advice about how to pay your tuition fees, please email LJMU’s Student Funding Team.

Funding sources

There are many ways to fund postgraduate study for home and international students. From Postgraduate Masters Loans and Professional and Career Development Loans (PCDLs) to International Scholarships and subject-specific funding, you’ll find all of the information you need on our specialist postgraduate funding pages.

Graduate employment

At the end of the programme you will be able to work as a mental health practitioner in a primary health setting, using your engagement, assessment, decision-making and evaluation skills.

Past graduates have also gone on to work in psychological wellbeing, clinical psychology and high intensity therapy.

There is also the option to undertake further study in this area.

International Study

International applicants are required to demonstrate equivalent qualifications to the standard requirements for entry when applying for courses at LJMU.

Students must also demonstrate a proficiency in communicating through English, for example via an IELTS tests or equivalent.

Please note: UK visa restrictions mean that international students are only permitted to study on a full-time basis.

Please contact LJMU’s International Team by visiting for more information and advice.


LJMU has launched a range of generous international scholarships for students enrolling at the University.

These prestigious scholarships take the form of tuition fee waivers and are available for outstanding international students applying for taught postgraduate programmes and research degrees.

You will need to complete an additional application form in order to be considered for these scholarships. Full eligibility criteria and the online application form are available here:

Applications for these scholarships are welcomed from:

  • new international applicants
  • current LJMU international students hoping to progress onto postgraduate study at the University
  • LJMU international alumni

The University reserves the right to withdraw or make alterations to a course and facilities if necessary; this may be because such changes are deemed to be beneficial to students, are minor in nature and unlikely to impact negatively upon students or become necessary due to circumstances beyond the control of the University. Where this does happen, the University operates a policy of consultation, advice and support to all enrolled students affected by the proposed change to their course or module.
Further information on the terms and conditions of any offer made, our admissions policy and the complaints and appeals process.

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