PgCert Improving Access to Psychological Therapies in Primary Care

Start date(s)
October 2022
Study mode
Part-time (1 year)
Part-time (2 years)

Tuition fees 23/24

Home (per credit): £45

About this course

Meet NICE guidelines for supporting those with depression and anxiety disorders on LJMU's Improving Access to Psychological Therapies in Primary Care course.

  • Study to meet National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) guidelines for supporting people suffering from depression and anxiety disorders
  • Follow a curriculum that 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
  • New Apprenticeship route also available - contact Karen Rea for more information:

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. 


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

Counselling Room

Professional body recognition

LJMU's Improving Access to Psychological Therapies PgCert is accredited by the British Psychological Society, meeting the Psychological Wellbeing Practitioners Accreditation 2014.

Fees and funding

There are many ways to fund postgraduate study for home and international students


The fees quoted at the top of this page cover registration, tuition, supervision, assessment and examinations as well as:

  • Library membership with access to printed, multimedia and digital resources
  • Access to programme-appropriate software
  • Library and student IT support
  • Free on-campus wifi via eduroam

Additional costs

Although not all of the following are compulsory/relevant, you should keep in mind the costs of:

  • accommodation and living expenditure
  • books (should you wish to have your own copies)
  • printing, photocopying and stationery
  • PC/laptop (should you prefer to purchase your own for independent study and online learning activities)
  • mobile phone/tablet (to access online services)
  • field trips (travel and activity costs)
  • placements (travel expenses and living costs)
  • student visas (international students only)

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  • study abroad opportunities (travel costs, accommodation, visas and immunisations)
  • academic conferences (travel costs)
  • professional-body membership
  • graduation (gown hire etc)


There are many ways to fund postgraduate study for home and international students. From loans to International Scholarships and subject-specific funding, you’ll find all of the information you need on our specialist postgraduate funding pages.

Please be aware that the UK’s departure from the EU may affect your tuition fees. Learn more about your fee status and which tuition fees are relevant to you.


Further your career prospects

LJMU has an excellent employability record with 96% (HESA 2018) of our postgraduates in work or further study six months after graduation. Our applied learning techniques and strong industry connections ensure our students are fully prepared for the workplace on graduation and understand how to apply their knowledge in a real world context.

The engagement, assessment, decision-making and evaluation skills acquired on the programme, will allow you to work as a Mental Health Practitioner in a primary health setting. 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.

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The student experience

Discover life as a postgraduate student at LJMU.

Course modules

Discover the building blocks of your programme

Your programme is made up of a number of core modules which are part of the course framework.

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Core modules

Evidence Based Low Intensity Treatments for Common Mental Health Disorders
20 credits

This module demonstrates experience and competence in the selection and delivery of treatment of a range of presenting problems. It uses evidence-based low intensity interventions across a range of problems including depression and two or more anxiety disorders.

Engagement and Assessment of Patients with Common Mental Health Problems
20 credits

This module will equip you with a good understanding of the incidence, prevalence and presentation of common mental health problems and evidenced-based treatment choices.

Values, Diversity and Context
20 credits

This module will equip you with an understanding of the complexity of people’s health, social and occupational needs and the services which can support them in recovery. It will develop your decision making abilities and enable you use supervision and to recognise when and where it is appropriate to seek further advice, a step up or a signposted service.  It aims to:

  • develop the necessary knowledge, attitude and competencies to function at all time from an inclusive values base which promotes recovery and recognises and respects diversity
  • demonstrate an understanding and awareness of power issues in professional/patient relationships and to take steps in clinical practice to reduce any potential for negative impact these might have
  • respond respectfully and sensitively to all aspects of diversity, to demonstrate commitment to equal opportunities and encourage people's active participation in every aspect of their care and treatment


An insight into teaching on your course

Study hours

There is one day a week timetabled study supported by an equal amount of self-guided study (a university directed learning day in service) for semester 1. For semester 2 students will alternate each week between timetabled study and university directed learning day in services.

Teaching methods

The course uses different methods of learning, including lectures from LJMU staff, past students and visiting experts as well as seminars, case discussion groups, experiential learning session, reflective practice, formative skills assessment, practice-based learning, guided reading and independent study.

Throughout the programme you will be supported by: the Programme Leader, 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 and the programme team who will provide administrative guidance.

Applied learning

During your studies, you will be employed in a primary care setting on a full-time basis. In addition, you will be able to implement the skills you have acquired in practice on an ongoing basis.

You will gain a better understanding of the concepts of mental health, mental illness and various diagnostic tools.

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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.

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How learning is monitored on your programme

To cater for the wide-ranging content of our courses and the varied learning preferences of our students, we offer a range of assessment methods on each programme.

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. To authenticate the full-time placement, you will submit a practice skills assessment document for approval by your Supervisor.

School facilities

What you can expect from your School

Situated in the City Campus, the School of Nursing and Allied Health works with a wide range of health and social care organisations to design, deliver and evaluate a dynamic suite of postgraduate programmes. In addition to specialist facilities, you will find high quality meeting and seminar rooms and lecture theatres, the Avril Robarts Library which is open 24/7 during semesters plus a large café, IT facilities and social spaces.

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Entry requirements

You will need:

  • to be employed as a psychological wellbeing practitioner trainee within a primary care setting


  • 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

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Additional information:

  • All students are required to undertake a joint academic and service interview

If you have any specific queries, please contact

Application and selection

Securing your place at LJMU

External applications are made through NHS jobs direct in response to recruitment drives. The selection and recruitment process is jointly undertaken by both the service and LJMU IAPT teaching team.

Please note: the applications deadline for October 2022 entry has now passed.

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.