MA Mental Health in Children and Young People - Leeds Trinity University

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DEVELOP THE SKILLS NEEDED TO PROMOTE AND SUPPORT POSITIVE MENTAL HEALTH Welcome to the MA Mental Health in Children and Young People at Leeds Trinity University. We aim to help you develop the skills, knowledge and confidence to progress in your career working with children and young people and support their development of positive mental health. We have designed the course to broaden your existing knowledge and develop advanced practice skills. By doing this, we hope that by the end of the MA you will feel confident in taking the next step towards developing advanced level practice in the area of social, emotional and mental health work with children and young people. Crucially, we’ve aligned this degree to the national strategy which focuses on the development of skilled mental health professionals who work in universal provision. If you have a desire to make a real and practical difference to children and young people’s mental health and wellbeing, then this course could be the one for you. I hope to welcome you to Leeds Trinity University. Richard Baron MA Mental Health in Children and Young People Programme Leader

About Leeds Trinity University A small university with a big reputation, Leeds Trinity University is renowned for teaching excellence and producing highly employable graduates. We’re proud to be known as the University where you’re a name, not a number, thanks to our commitment to ensuring everyone in our community, whatever their faith, feels supported and valued. Leeds Trinity has always been characterised by this sense of community spirit, offering a truly personalised university experience that enables students to flourish. Our reputation for teaching quality and excellence has been developed thanks to a commitment to delivering outstanding teaching, led by research, scholarship and practice. Our teaching staff have extensive professional experience in their fields and many are active researchers, contributing to our increasing reputation for research excellence.


COURSE OVERVIEW The MA Mental Health in Children and Young People focuses on the nature of mental health in educational and social care environments for children and young people, examining how mental health can impact on an individual. This is a practitioner-focused course that aims to equip you with the skills, knowledge and understanding needed to work in a multi-professional environment with individuals and families, with a focus on promoting and supporting positive mental health. The course is suitable for graduates looking for a career in the sector as well as current practitioners keen to enhance their skills and knowledge in order to progress to a more senior role or a career change into the area of mental health. It is also ideal for professionals who are looking to gain a qualification that can support them in their current role and enhance their ability as a designated lead for mental health within a setting. We’ve designed this course in the context of present challenges in working with young people and families in supporting positive mental health. You will address issues at an advanced practical level, such as how to identify wellbeing concerns, as well as how organisations can understand their role in supporting mental health and emotional wellbeing. You will look into support offered to children and young people with identified needs and how provision is designed, monitored, evaluated and implemented as well as developing a preventative approach to meeting need. We will also focus on emerging issues within mental health, ensuring that you are at the forefront of practice nationally and internationally. The course will adopt a multidisciplinary approach, with three elements that focus on theory, practice and research in mental health that are integrated into each module. You will explore a range of evidence-based practice in early intervention methods for promoting emotional wellbeing. We also make sure there is plenty of focus on employability and progression within the area of mental health in education and social care, which will include one-to-one support for individual career planning. By the time you graduate, you’ll have had the opportunity to develop the necessary skills, knowledge and experience you need to make a positive impact on the mental health of children and young people.

“I have been trying to move into mental health support for a number of years. This MA and the knowledge I have gained on it has been instrumental in getting my dream job.” Katy Collins Emotional Health Worker at a children and families mental health charity MA Mental Health in Children and Young People


COURSE STRUCTURE The MA Mental Health in Children and Young People can be studied full time over one year, or part-time over two years. The MA is 180 credits in total, which comprises: • Two 30-credit core modules • One 20-credit core module • One 40-credit independent project core module • One 30-credit intervention option module • One 30-credit specialist option module If you choose to study full time, you will be on campus one full day per week – this will incorporate a morning, afternoon and evening session. If you decide to study this course on a part-time basis, you will only need to be on campus for part of the day. However, for both routes you may need to be available on other days and times at various points throughout the year for assessments and tutorials.

“I chose to study the MA Mental Health in Children and Young People as the issue was becoming increasingly prominent within schools and with a large number of young children in this country. I wanted to feel prepared to tackle these issues among my students as and when they appear and ensure that I was doing everything I possibly could to support those who may require it.” Jordan Stringer Primary School Teacher MA Mental Health in Children and Young People 4


Option modules

The module details given below are subject to change and are the latest example of the curriculum available on this course of study.

You have a choice between the following intervention modules:

Core modules Mental Health in Context This module will examine policy, current context, issues and debates. You will critically analyse the present strategy in developing and responding to the mental health needs of children and young people. You will develop a deep level of understanding of how mental health strategy has been developed by the government and how other guidance links into this emerging area. Social, Emotional and Mental Health (SEMH) Needs This module will examine the different social, emotional and mental health (SEMH) needs. Young people and children who have a SEMH need often have severe difficulties in managing emotions and behaviour, the causes and triggers to these will be explored. SEMH does not have to be a lifelong condition and with appropriate support and intervention, children and young people can move forward and live successful lives. The types of support at a universal and early intervention level will be studied. There will also be a focus on the key mental health needs of anxiety and depression. Research Methods There will be a range of research methods covered and the module will explore the issues linked to research in mental health with children and young people. You will learn how to develop research proposals for your chosen dissertation option and be introduced to the relevant skills and resources to complete your project. Independent Project You will have a choice of either an empirical study, major study, (systematic review of literature) or workplace project linked to a research interest in mental health.

Individual Intervention Strategies in Practice This module will focus on developing your own practice with children and young people using evidence-based intervention strategies in SEMH. These will include using motivational interviewing and mentoring techniques, cognitive behaviour strategies, stress management, anxiety reduction, mindfulness, art-based interventions and other therapeutic style practice. Family Intervention Strategies in Practice This module will focus on developing your own practice with working with families using evidence-based intervention and support strategies. This will include learning how families can be strengthened through practice and support strategies which can be used across a range of settings. There is a practical focus on intervention including assessing needs and building resilience in families with children and young people with SEMH needs. You have a choice between the following specialist modules: Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) in Practice This module will focus on developing your practice with children and young people who have a special educational need or disability using evidence-based strategies linked to their SEMH needs. This will include investigating different SEN including those of children with autism, ADHD and specific learning difficulties. Identification, assessment and intervention-linked SEMH will be examined in practice. Safeguarding and Supervision in Practice This module will focus on the safeguarding needs of children and young people who have SEMH needs, including the impact of SEN, vulnerable families and child sexual or economic exploitation. There will also be an opportunity to investigate the impact on a child or young person of a parent or family member who has mental health needs and the types of support strategies which are effective. The practice of safeguarding within a setting will be examined and best practice methods evaluated.


LEARNING, TEACHING AND ASSESSMENT You’ll be taught through a combination of blended learning and work-based experience. Learning will take the form of lectures, seminars, tutorials, workshops, problem-based learning, case studies, and directed and self-directed activities. Practical work, such as presentations, groupwork and practice activities, forms an essential part of the programme, which reflects the practical nature of the field. You’ll also have the opportunity to consolidate and practically apply your learning, with flexible assessment opportunities linked to workplace settings. When you start your studies, you’ll be assigned a personal tutor who will offer you individual support to ensure you’re able to develop the skills needed to successfully complete assessments at Master’s level.

Assessment We use a range of assessment methods throughout the course, giving you the opportunity to draw on your professional experience as well as your academic learning. These include: formal written essays, case study reports, development of an SEMH intervention, research proposal, research critique, cost-benefit evaluations, reflective portfolio, online seminars and an independent research project.

Entry requirements Leeds Trinity University is committed to recruiting students with talent and potential and who we feel will benefit greatly from their academic and non-academic experiences here. We treat every application on its own merits; we value highly the experience you illustrate in your personal statement. The typical entry requirement for our MA Mental Health in Children and Young People is a good (2:2 or above) degree in a relevant area. You will also need to have at least three months’ experience working with groups of children and young people and it is expected that you will be working full-time, part-time, volunteering or have the ability to undertake a placement in an educational or social care setting. If you will be required to undertake a placement as part of your course, you will be required to undergo an Enhanced DBS check. For further information on entry requirements, visit our website.

You can also personalise your assessments throughout the course, with negotiated tasks linked to your own strengths to evidence the course outcomes.

How to apply Applications for the MA Mental Health in Children and Young People are made online via our website. Please visit for the latest course information, including tuition fees, and to access the online application form. For more information about applying, contact our Admissions team at or on 0113 283 7123.


WHY STUDY WITH US? Learn how to deliver interventions

Have the opportunity to specialise

We’ve designed our MA as a practitioner-focused programme to increase your ability to respond to the mental health needs of children and young people.

You can personalise the course to focus on your particular areas of practice interest, thanks to the option modules and aspects of the assessment tasks you can negotiate with your tutor. You will also get opportunities to network and collaborate with other students and sector specialists and improve your own expertise in mental health.

This degree focuses on the need to have trained staff in schools, social care and related settings who fall into one of two categories. They are either the lead for mental health in their setting, or they work with this lead to deliver interventions that meet the needs of children and young people who have additional barriers to their social and emotional wellbeing or identified mental health issues.

Respond to the latest contemporary issues Our degree explores the national context related to mental health in children and young people.

Flexible study that fits in with you We appreciate that most people will complete the MA alongside a full-time job or other commitments. We’ve designed the course with this in mind, with flexibility in the teaching. You can either complete the course over one year (full-time) or two years (part-time).

You will consider the impact of the latest national strategies on staff and students in schools and colleges, specialist mental health services, families and communities.

To help you get the most out of the course, it’s expected that you will be working or volunteering in the sector while you study. We’ve embedded work-related learning into each module and you’ll receive plenty of one-to-one support which will focus on planning the next steps in your career.

Take a non-clinical approach at a universal level

Receive an alumni discount

Unlike most MA courses, this degree will focus on the skills you’ll need to work with children and young people at a universal level to promote good mental health, rather than just at a clinical level. We’ll help you to develop the skills needed for early intervention in a setting prior to the involvement of clinical services, or to complement clinical provision. There will also be content specifically linked to the role of Designated School Lead for mental health and the skills needed to make effective referrals to relevant clinical services.

If you studied your undergraduate degree at Leeds Trinity University, you may be eligible for a discount of up to 50% on the cost of your MA tuition fees. For more information on eligibility and discounts available, visit

“I’ve met some fantastic people; a mixture of mature students like myself who work in similar contexts, to younger graduates of different fields. The mix is great as it offers an interesting collaboration of views and experience in topical debates.” Shelly Johnson Progress Tutor at a Sixth Form College MA Mental Health in Children and Young People


Leeds Trinity University Horsforth Leeds, LS18 5HD 0113 283 7150 Information correct at time of publication, September 2022. Please visit to review our latest course information before you make your application. The information in this booklet is available in alternative formats. Please call 0113 283 7150 or email



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