Mental Health Officer Award PgCert

1. Overview

The significance and complexity of the role of a Mental Health Officer is such that the course must ensure MHOs are trained and assessed to the highest of standards, and this is best achieved through strong partnerships with a range of key stakeholders.

It is the responsibility of the local authority to secure the training for Mental Health Officers and therefore local authorities are centrally involved in the course design, delivery and management in order to ensure that their responsibilities under legislation are addressed and the training course remains fit for purpose.

In the North of Scotland the local authority partners are Aberdeen City Council, Aberdeenshire Council, Highland Council, Moray Council, Orkney Islands Council, Shetland Islands Council and Comhairle nan Eilean Siar.

This course is delivered on a distance learning basis and you will remain in employment throughout.

2. What you will study

The Postgraduate Certificate Mental Health Officer Award (Pg Cert MHO Award) is a 60 credit course set at Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF) Level 11. It runs over a twelve months period, with modules occurring sequentially.

The course consists of three modules:

  • Mental Wellbeing and Mental Disorder
  • Adults with Incapacity
  • Mental Disorder - Offenders, Young People and Families

Delivery of the course takes place through a combination of online resources, study days and work based experiences. Study days are provided which operate from the Robert Gordon University Garthdee Campus and some parallel sessions are run in Inverness, where there are sufficient numbers to make this viable. The work based experience element of the course is undertaken in the student's workplace. A practice assessor is appointed by the relevant local authority for each student. The practice assessor ensures learning opportunities are made available throughout the course and provides an assessment of the students practice, which contributes to the overall student assessment.

3. Entry Requirements

The course is specifically designed for social work practitioners with at least 2 years post-qualifying experience who are nominated by their local authority employers to train as Mental Health Officers. You will remain in employment throughout the course.

4. Placements and Accreditations

In addition to attendance at study days and teaching blocks, a direct practice element is central to the course and candidates will work with service users and carers as Mental Health Officers in training.

5. Course Fees

For Academic Year 2017/2018

All Students

  • £5,500 entire course


Course fees are reviewed periodically and so are subject to change for new applicants. All tuition fees are fixed for the duration of a course at the rate confirmed in your offer letter. You will also be liable to pay a graduation fee of £40 before receiving a University award.

For further information see Student Finance pages


6. How to apply

If you are interested in applying for this course please contact Iain Fisk (Course Leader at Robert Gordon University).

Admissions Policy

The Terms and Conditions of Admission describe to applicants holding an offer of a place to study at RGU, the principal rights, duties and obligations of both the applicant and the University prior to enrolling on a course of study.

Terms and Conditions of Admissions (PDF 142KB)

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Start Date


Course Length

12 months

Mode of Attendance

Distance Learning

Academic School
School of Applied Social Studies
More Information:
Iain Fisk Lecturer
01224 263233