Mental Health Officer Award
Mode of Attendance
Mode of Study
Mode of Attendance
- Online Distance Learning
Mode of Study
- Part Time
Course Length1 year
This is a 60 credit course set at Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF) Level 11, with modules occurring sequentially: Mental Wellbeing and Mental Disorder, Adults with Incapacity and Mental Disorder - Offenders, Young People and Families.
You will gain the knowledge, skills and practice experience to exercise the civil powers and duties of the MHO within the Mental Health (Care and Treatment) (Scotland) Act 2003, and Adults with Incapacity (Scotland) Act 2000 and guidance pertaining to mentally disordered offenders and children, young people and families. You will take full account of the interface with related legislation and guidance within the relevant policy and procedural contexts, and critically analyse and evaluate your learning and practice with individuals, families, carers and significant others when undertaking your role.
An important element of the course is a 3 day teaching block, based around a day of simulated practice, whereby professional actors, advised and supported by a mental health user group, play out roles. This enables students to practise acquired skills, with support from practitioners and staff.
Modules and delivery order may change for operational purposes. The University regularly reviews its courses. Course content and structure may change over time. See our course and module disclaimer for more information.Detailed module information
The course takes approximately a year and is undertaken on a part-time basis. The expectation is that students will undertake approximately 600 hours of study across all elements including practice elements.
The average number of students is about 15. Teaching is mainly in lecture format, though there is a three day teaching block which focuses on simulated practice and there are practice elements, undertaken in the students own workplace.
A significant portion of this courses is underpinned by independent learning, and you will be expected to be responsible for managing your coursework, reading and other learning activities appropriately.
Staff Delivering on This Course
The teaching on the course is mostly provided by RGU-based staff who have considerable expertise and direct experience working in Mental Health Officer services. Another major contributor to the course is employed on a sessional basis and has considerable experience working with local authority and the Scottish Government in developing processes related to the Mental Health Officer role. In addition, there is teaching from external providers including service users, Carers, Psychiatrists, Psychologists and representatives of regulatory bodies. The practice element is overseen by local authority Mental Health Officers with considerable experience in this role.
Typically students are assessed by:
- 6 written assignments, including essay
- 3 practical skills assessments
We aim to provide you with feedback within 20 working days of hand-in for all written exams, coursework and practical exams.
The Disability & Dyslexia Centre advises and supports students who disclose a sensory or mobility impairment, chronic medical condition, mental health issue, dyslexia and other specific learning differences. Applicants are encouraged to arrange a pre-entry visit to discuss any concerns and to view the facilities.
Study Skills Support
The Study Support Team provides training and support to all students in:
- Academic writing
- Study skills (note taking, exam techniques, time management, presentation)
- Maths and statistics
- English language
- Information technology support
The work-based experience element of the course is undertaken in your workplace. A Practice Assessor is appointed by the relevant local authority for you. The Practice Assessor ensures learning opportunities are made available throughout the course and provides an assessment of your practice, which contributes to the overall assessment of your work. 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.
Completion of this course will allow you to work as a Mental Health Officer. The MHO Award attracts 60 academic credits which could be used towards a range of other courses, though none are specifically linked. Many who successfully complete the MHO Award go on to promoted posts as the core skills are very much transferable to management, such as the ability to work independently, critical analysis, effective joint working and managing complexity which are seen as good management attributes. Social workers practising in mental health teams are usually expected to have this qualification so employment prospects are also expanded.
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.
English Language Requirements
We accept a variety of in-country and secure English language tests, find out more:
Please note, some courses may require a higher standard of English than stated in this page. Contact email@example.com (undergraduate courses) or firstname.lastname@example.org (postgraduate courses) for further information.
For Academic Year 2018/2019
- £1,940 entire course
FOR ACADEMIC YEAR 2019/2020
- £2,000 entire course
The following course-related costs are not included in the course fees:
- The cost of books that you may wish to purchase.
Find your reading list by module.
- Costs associated with your placement / study abroad
- Accommodation and living costs
Robert Gordon University is delighted to offer a 20% loyalty discount on course fees for all alumni who have graduated from RGU.
Postgraduate students will normally make their own arrangements for payment of fees. However, there are a limited number of SAAS funded places on certain postgraduate courses.
There are also sources of funding that are applicable to categories of student.
Scholarships and Financial Awards
You may also qualify for a scholarship or financial award:
For new intakes course fees are reviewed and published annually for each mode of delivery. Tuition fees are fixed for the duration of a course at the rate confirmed in the offer letter. For further information see:
This course is accredited by the Scottish Social Services Council.
Taking this course, you will have access to some of the world's best facilities.
We've invested more than £100 million in the development of our campus, new facilities and new resources.University Wide Facilities
Have a question about the course or how to apply? Get in touch with the course leader who will be delighted to help.
Ready to apply for this course? Contact the course leader for further infromation.