Educational Mental Health Practitioner PG Dip

London, King's Cross (Anna Freud Centre)

This programme is a shared initiative between the Department of Education and Department of Health and supports the government's priority to increase access to mental health and wellbeing support for children and young people. The Education Mental Health Practitioner (EMHP) role is an exciting opportunity to deliver evidence-based early interventions for children and young people in educational settings such as schools and colleges in England.

UK students International students
Study mode
UK tuition fees (2024/25)
See Fees Note
Overseas tuition fees (2024/25)
See Fees Note
1 calendar year
Programme starts
September 2024
Applications accepted
September 2024 entry: 01 May – 28 Jun 2024

Applications not yet open

Entry requirements

Normally a minimum of a second-class Bachelor's degree from a UK university or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard is required (in any academic subject). Evidence of prior experience working with children and young people is preferred.

The English language level for this programme is: Level 2

UCL Pre-Master's and Pre-sessional English courses are for international students who are aiming to study for a postgraduate degree at UCL. The courses will develop your academic English and academic skills required to succeed at postgraduate level.

Further information can be found on our English language requirements page.

Equivalent qualifications

Country-specific information, including details of when UCL representatives are visiting your part of the world, can be obtained from the International Students website.

International applicants can find out the equivalent qualification for their country by selecting from the list below. Please note that the equivalency will correspond to the broad UK degree classification stated on this page (e.g. upper second-class). Where a specific overall percentage is required in the UK qualification, the international equivalency will be higher than that stated below. Please contact Graduate Admissions should you require further advice.

About this degree

This is a full-time employment training programme. On successful completion of this year-long programme, trainees will qualify as Educational Mental Health Practitioner (EMHP). This is a role where EMHPs will play a key role in promoting emotional wellbeing in educational settings. They will work as part of Mental Health Support Teams as outlined in Transforming Children and Young People's Mental Health Provision: a Green Paper.

The EMHP programme trains wellbeing practitioners to offer low intensity evidence-based interventions for mild to moderate mental health difficulties in educational settings. This includes group interventions and psychoeducation workshops. 

Who this course is for

Applicants are required to show evidence of ability to study successfully at postgraduate level and evidence of prior experience working with children and young people is preferred.

Although not essential, it would also be preferable if applicants could demonstrate a broad understanding of mental health and emotional wellbeing issues combined with an ability to form a good helping relationship with children and young people facing such problems.

Prior experience working in an educational setting such as a primary or secondary school or college is also desirable but not essential.

The programme is part of an initiative which requires trainees to be appointed to the role of Education Mental Health Practitioner, prospective trainees therefore need to be able to work in the UK.

Students are advised to apply as early as possible due to competition for places.

What this course will give you

UCL has a formal partnership with Anna Freud, a national charity with a worldwide reputation. This programme will be delivered by Anna Freud where you will have the opportunity to learn from experienced practitioners in the field.

At Anna Freud, we aim to equip trainees with the knowledge and skills to work effectively in promoting the resilience and wellbeing of children, young people and families.

Entry to this programme is through a training contract with a relevant Mental Health Support Team site that is linked to UCL.

The foundation of your career

Following completion of the programme, the expectation is that EMHPs will continue to work in Mental Health Support Teams who will provide emotional wellbeing support directly to schools, colleges and/or other educational settings.


On successful completion of training, EMHPs will develop the necessary knowledge and skills to offer low intensity evidence-based interventions for mild to moderate mental health difficulties in educational settings.


EMHP trainees will meet and learn with EMHP trainees from a range of Mental Health Support Teams. 

Teaching and learning

The programme is taught via a combination of whole group lecture style teaching and smaller Practice Tutor Groups. In Practice Tutor Groups, skills are developed through live practice as well as trainee's presentation of video recordings of case work undertaken at their Mental Health Support Team site.  The learning acquired will include theory and practical skills.  Teaching takes place on specific in-person and online days and includes online pre-recorded materials and/or livestreamed lectures. 

During university days, trainees will develop theoretical knowledge and practical skills in delivering low intensity evidence-based interventions for mild to moderate mental health difficulties in educational settings, this includes children and young people presenting with difficulties with anxiety, low mood and mild-moderate behavioural difficulties. The interventions taught on the programme focus primarily on working with adolescents and parents/ carer in an educational setting. Programme trainees will develop these skills further undertaking case work within the Mental Health Support Teams in which they are employed. 

Trainees will be expected to attend teaching approximately three days a week for part of the year, and approximately 1-2 days for the remaining part (time for remote engagement in online teaching materials and self-directed study time may be included in this).

There are approximately 64 university teaching days across the year and 2-5 hours of self-directed study a week.


This is a full-time programme, taught across one year. The delivery of the programme will be provided through a combination of taught days at Anna Freud, independent self-directed study days, as well as through working directly with children, young people, parents/carers in educational settings. Throughout the year, you will typically attend a maximum of three days per week of university training and will spend the remaining days working within your Mental Health Support Team.

The teaching programme is made up of six compulsory modules totalling 120 credits designed to enable you to extend your knowledge and understanding of effective interventions for the mental health needs of children and young people and to develop transferable skills, including literature searching and critical appraisal.

Please note that the list of modules given here is indicative. This information is published a long time in advance of enrolment and module content and availability are subject to change. Modules that are in use for the current academic year are linked for further information. Where no link is present, further information is not yet available.

The programme is divided into six compulsory modules which are delivered across the year. Upon successful completion of 120 credits, you will be awarded a PG Dip in Educational Mental Health Practitioner.


Site Learning

All trainees will undertake this programme alongside full-time employment in a Mental Health Support Team employing site.

Clinical Commissioning Groups are invited by NHS England to create Mental Health Support Teams as discussed in the Green Paper. These teams will be employed by emotional wellbeing and mental health services across London and the South East and will be working in educational settings with children and young people. The EMHP role will form part of the Mental Health Support Team.


As part of the training, the post-holder will work under supervision at their site to gain experience in educational settings. This will enable them to gain the level of competence required to deliver high-quality, evidence-based early interventions for children and young people experiencing mild to moderate mental health problems in schools.

N.B. Any students applying for this programme need to also secure a relevant EMHP post with a Mental Health Support Team site that is linked to UCL.


Details of the accessibility of UCL buildings can be obtained from AccessAble Further information can also be obtained from the UCL Student Support and Wellbeing team.

Fees and funding

Fees for this course

UK students International students
Fee description Full-time
Tuition fees (2024/25) See Fees Note
Tuition fees (2024/25) See Fees Note

Fees for this programme are available on request from the department.

The tuition fees shown are for the year indicated above. Fees for subsequent years may increase or otherwise vary. Where the programme is offered on a flexible/modular basis, fees are charged pro-rata to the appropriate full-time Master's fee taken in an academic session. Further information on fee status, fee increases and the fee schedule can be viewed on the UCL Students website:

Additional costs

There are no additional costs for this programme.

For more information on additional costs for prospective students please go to our estimated cost of essential expenditure at Accommodation and living costs.

Funding your studies

Places on this programme are funded by NHS England (formerly Health Education England). For further details, please visit the Educational Mental Health Practitioner programme webpage on the Anna Freud website.

For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.

Next steps

For programmes commencing in the 2020/21 academic session, e.g. before 1 August 2021, there is an application processing fee of £80 for online applications and £105 for paper applications.

When we assess your application we would like to learn:

  • Why you want to study Educational Mental Health Practitioner at graduate level
  • Why you want to study Educational Mental Health Practitioner at UCL
  • What particularly attracts you to the chosen programme
  • How your academic and professional background meets the demands of this challenging programme
  • What you would like to do professionally with your qualification

Together with essential academic requirements, the personal statement is your opportunity to illustrate whether your reasons for applying to this programme match what the programme will deliver.

Additionally, your supporting statement should be tailored to the position of EMHP trainee and state clearly how you meet the person specification for this role.

Applicants are also required to show:

  • Evidence of ability to study successfully at postgraduate level.
  • Evidence of prior experience working with children and young people is preferred.
  • Evidence that they have a broad understanding of mental health issues and the UK's educational systems.
  • The skills to form a good helping relationship with children and young people with mental health problems.

If you are interested in the EMHP role, you will need to apply to a partner Mental Health Support Team Service of your choice in the first instance. Please be aware that you can only access the UCL EMHP programme following successful appointment for an EMHP trainee position. Please be aware that you can only apply to the UCL EMHP programme following successful appointment at a partner Mental Health Support Team site.

Please note that you may submit applications for a maximum of two graduate programmes (or one application for the Law LLM) in any application cycle.

UCL is regulated by the Office for Students.