Mental Health Officer Social Work (MHO) Award

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Mental Health Officer Award Programme Information

The Postgraduate Certificate in Mental Health Social Work (Mental Health Officer) Award prepares experienced and qualified, Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC) registered, social workers to undertake the statutory role of Mental Health Officer.  As such it is only available to those qualified social workers currently employed by local authorities.

The primary purpose of this Award is to train social workers for appointment to the role of Mental Health Officer, as defined in Section 32 of the Mental Health (Care and Treatment) (Scotland) Act 2003, and as qualified by the direction of the Scottish Ministers (Requirements for appointment as Mental Health Officers) Direction (January 2009).  In 2007, the SSSC published a new set of standards and practice competencies for MHO training, which stated that the Award must be provided by a University, within a programme provider partnership, delivered at SCQF Level 11, which equates with Masters level, and be approved by the SSSC as a Specialist Course.  Consequently a partnership involving University of Strathclyde (School of Social Work and Social Policy) , Glasgow Caledonian University and the 13 local authorities in the West of Scotland, represented by the Scottish Social Services Council Learning Network West, was established to develop and deliver the new Postgraduate Certificate in Mental Health Social Work (MHO) Award.

The Postgraduate Certificate in Mental Health Social Work (Mental Health Officers) Award is taught over the period of an academic year, normally August to June, over two modules.  This requires a student to attend for 30 days of direct teaching/contact time during term time, with additional work and self-directed learning to be completed as directed.  In addition, students will also be required to undertake programme directed assessed practice learning in each of the modules.  As a 60 credit, SCQF Level 11, post-graduate Certificate course, the time commitment is a minimum of 600 hours of study, practice learning and assessment within an academic year.  Students are required to have time to attend these sessions during term time and to have agreed study time out with term time to complete the course.

The University of Strathclyde (UofS) is the administering University for the Award, and consequently students will be registered with UofS for the duration of the award, and will be subject to their rules and requirements.

Introduction to the Selection Pack

The MHO Award Student Selection Pack contains information about, and forms for, an application to the Joint Programme of the School of Social Work and Social Policy , Glasgow Caledonian University and the Scottish Social Services Learning Network West - Post graduate Certificate Mental Health Social Work (MHO Award).

It contains the following:

1.    Programme Information
2.    Entry Requirements
3.    Professional Registration Requirements
4.    Post-graduate Application Form – University of Strathclyde
5.    Course Specific Candidate Application Form
6.    Information for Operational Managers/Area Managers/Head of Services
7.    Practice Learning and Practice Assessment
8.    Nomination Form
9.    Agency Report from Line Manager
10.    Undertaking of Release Form
11.    MHO Programme Dates 2015/2016

A full application is required for each individual seeking a place on the Programme.  Applications should be submitted in the first instance, according to the agreed procedures for each partner authority, in time to be forwarded to the Course Secretary by Friday 20th March 2015.  

A complete application will constitute the following: -

  1. A completed online application form from the University website along with two completed references
  2. A course specific candidate application form
  3. An agency report from the line manager
  4. A nomination form
  5. An undertaking of release form
  6. Confirmation of funding letter on local authority headed paper
  7. One passport size photograph of the candidate


Making your application

A University of Strathclyde Postgraduate Application Form should be completed online via the University website (see below).

When you have completed the electronic application online, please click on the link to download the Student Selection Pack :

MHO Selection Pack 2015.2016

The student selection pack can also be emailed to you by contacting the Course Secretary, Kelly Claffey.

All completed applications should be returned by post, with original signatures where requested, to :

Kelly Claffey , Course Secretary, MHO Programme
HASS, University of Strathclyde, Level 6
Lord Hope Building ,
141 St James Rd, Glasgow G4  0lt

Any enquiries should be directed in the first instance to Ailsa Stewart (Joint Course Director) by telephone on 0141 444 8655  or e-mail.

for Aug 2015 entry to part-time PG Certificate mental health social work (Admission Code : SWPCMH)

Postgraduate entry requirements are in our prospectus.

for Aug 2014 entry to part-time non-graduating mental health social work (Admission Code : SWNGMH)

Postgraduate entry requirements are in our prospectus.

for Aug 2015 entry to part-time non-graduating mental health social work (Admission Code : SWNGMH)

Postgraduate entry requirements are in our prospectus.