Publish date: 5 August 2021

The PgCert teaching team are delighted to re-open applications for Cohort 4 of the PgCert API. Cohort 4 is scheduled to commence in late September 2021 and our first round of recruitment and selection meant we were able to award thirteen places for cohort 4 and a further six for cohort 5. We have seven places left for cohort 4 and will re-open applications for cohort 5 in the Autumn which will have a projected starting date of early Feb 2022.

If you are interested in applying for cohort 4 please consider the following:

  • The course will be delivered via Teams on Tuesday mornings and involves study at Masters level study (Level 7) and is academically accredited by the University of Cumbria.
  • Applicants must be a registered practitioner and due to the nature of the programme have a minimum of 12 months post qualification clinical experience.
  • Applicants must be employed by Mersey Care and to have worked in Local Division for a minimum of 12 months.
  • Applicants must work directly with service users who have mental health problems requiring specialist mental health services.
  • Applicants must have completed all mandatory training and be supported by their manager.


Applications are especially welcome from teams across the division who have not yet been able to support applications.

The programme is led by Dr Julie Owen who is a mental health nurse and consultant psychotherapist, and the core teaching team comprises clinical psychologist Dr Bethan Bell (Senior Tutor) Dr Kayleigh Syrett and Dr Rachael Line. The programme is supported by an extensive network of team based clinical psychologists and psychotherapists from across the division. Programme graduates will have the skills to provide formulation driven interventions in their routine every day working practice and our talented supervisors are helping us to achieve this.

Cohort 3 complete their studies at the end of August and are the first group to have experienced the programme entirely via a virtual medium. We are delighted to report that they all recently passed their clinical OSCE with a 100% first time pass rate. We are inordinately proud of Cohort 3 who have completed their studies during the pandemic and who have taught us a great deal. We asked them to share their views about the programme.


“This course will breathe new life into your current practice. Don’t worry if like me it’s been a while since you studied at this level you will be very well supported and if I can do it you can too!”  -  Jeanette Gillies, Norris Green CMHT.

“I have found this a varied and interesting course so far. It has been challenging due to the impact of the pandemic and the move towards virtual learning however we have continued on despite this. Having completed the first of two assignments has highlighted how challenging the course can be whilst working full time hours. It was a reminder of the academic demands of the course and its requirements. I would recommend this course if you would like to learn and expand on your knowledge base and skills to support the service users in your care”. -  Stephanie Hills, Personality Disorder Hub.

“The PG certificate in psychological interventions is a brilliant programme that as a professional helps provide you with both knowledge and practical skills to work with individuals psychologically. You are guided through psychological assessment, formulation, and intervention processes (step by step) which helps develop your confidence along your learning journey. Your new understanding and skills also enables you to build better therapeutic relationships with individuals and in turn see the positive outcomes for service users of your work together. This also provides and improves job satisfaction and inevitably changes your practice forever. The course is highly recommended”. - Jane Humphreys, Step Forward Service.

“The PG Cert has been really interesting and the teaching has been really engaging. It has helped me understand some of the wider issues faced by those with mental health problems and I have learned valuable skills that I can use in everyday practice. This course is great for anyone who would like to offer a variety of interventions to service users”. - George Rix, Park Lodge CMHT.

From the initial interview process it was evident that the course director and teaching staff had a real passion and commitment for ensuring that the course is delivered fervently, and this has been echoed throughout the teaching and personally I have found it very inspiring and influencing. The teaching delivery has been tailored to a range of different learning styles and it allows also for further reading and studying which is something I find has come naturally as the lectures have been engaging and interesting and left me eager to learn and develop my understanding to a richer depth. The support given during the course is second to none and I have found my clinical supervisor approachable, knowledgeable and understanding. The phrase ‘no ego no problem’ really is embedded into the course and it is a place where everyone feels safe, welcomed, and listened to, where people’s views and experiences are discussed and considered. I found this type of collective exploration to provide a better shared understanding of different service demands and both personal and professional reflections on practice. -  Jessica Murphy CRHT.

‘The PgCert has not only enhanced my learning it has improved my practice and confidence in the care that I deliver. It has given me the tools to enhance my assessment skills and ensure that I am delivering meaningful evidence-based intervention for those who present in crisis. Julie’s passion for learning & teaching is contagious and the academic support offered throughout the course is immeasurable. Despite an absence of classroom-based teaching due to the current pandemic, the academic support has remained in situ. I would encourage anybody who wants to improve their practice to apply for this course, it would be foolish not to. You will need a real passion for learning and be expected to get ‘stuck in’ because whilst the academic support is available there is an expectation that you will also deliver. You get back what you put in!’ -  Chloe Baty CRHT


So, if your curiosity has been ignited by what Cohort 3 have to say and you think the programme might be for you and you are ready to join your highly motivated colleagues who already have places on cohort 4 please send an expression of interest to Dr Julie Owen