Course details

Subject area

Children, Young People and Families

Start date(s)

2020, 2021

Study mode(s)

Full time (1 year) Part time (2 years)

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 will equip you with the skills, knowledge and understanding to work in a multi-professional environment with individuals and families, with a focus on promoting and supporting positive mental health.

The Student Contract

Your health and wellbeing is important to us which means that we may need to adjust elements of our courses to take into account COVID-19-related government restrictions. However, please be assured that we will do our utmost to limit any impact this has on your university experience. If you have any questions about your course, please contact us at hello@leedstrinity.ac.uk

Financial support

You may be eligible for a scholarship or discount to help fund your postgraduate studies.

Find out more

About this course

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 the skills, knowledge, and experience to make a positive impact on the mental health of children and young people.

Course structure

The MA is 180 credits in total, which comprises the following:

  • Two 30-credit core modules
  • One 30-credit option intervention module
  • One 30-credit option specialist module
  • One 20-credit research methods module
  • One 40-credit dissertation module

There will be a chance to personalise your assessments throughout the course, with negotiated tasks linked to your own strengths to evidence the course outcomes.

The day for both the full-time and part-time route is on a Thursday. If you choose to study full-time, you will be on campus one 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 be on campus for part of the day. However, for both routes you may need to be available for other points in the year for assessments and tutorials outside of a Thursday.

Take the next step

Get more information about your Postgraduate degree by requesting a course guide or asking your course leader a question.

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

Core module: 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.

Core module: 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.

Core module: 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.

Core module: Dissertation

You will have a choice of either an empirical dissertation, major study or work-based project linked to a research interest in mental health.

Option intervention module: 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.

Option intervention module: 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.

Option specialist module: Special Educational Needs (SEN) 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.

Option specialist module: 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 who has the types of support strategies which are effective. The practice of safeguarding within a setting will be examined and best practice methods evaluated.


Learning and teaching

At Leeds Trinity we aim to provide an excellent student experience and a personal approach to helping you achieve your academic and professional potential. We have a strong tradition of supporting student employability, with relevant skills embedded in the curriculum.

The key themes of our strategy are:

  • student confidence
  • professionalism
  • social responsibility.

To help you achieve your potential we emphasise learning as a collaborative process, with a range of student-led and real-world activities. This approach ensures that you fully engage in shaping your own learning, developing your critical thinking and reflective skills so that you can identify your own strengths and weaknesses, and use the extensive learning support system we offer to shape your own development.

For over 50 years, we have developed a strong reputation for the quality of our teaching.

We believe the secret to great learning and teaching is simple: it is about creating an inclusive learning experience that allows all students to thrive through:

  • Personalised support
  • Expert lecturers
  • Strong connections with employers
  • An international outlook
  • The right tools and technology
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We use a range of assessment methods throughout the course, giving you the opportunity to draw on your professional experience as well as  our 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
  • a major research project (dissertation). 

Additional support in the form  of online tutorials, and one-to-one support is provided to ensure all students, from all backgrounds, are able to develop the skills needed to successfully complete assessments at Masters level.

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 following information is designed to give you a general overview of the qualifications we accept. If you are taking qualifications that are not included below, please contact our Admissions Office who will be happy to advise you.

GCSE requirementsGCSE English language at grade C/4 or higher is required.

We welcome applicants with the following qualifications and experience:

  • A good (2:2 or above) BA or BSc degree in a relevant area. If English is not your first language, IELTS 6.0 (with no less than 5.5 in any component) or equivalent is the minimum requirement.
  • You will need to be working, willing to volunteer or to undertake a placement in a relevant setting working with children or young people around emotional wellbeing and developing positive mental health in a universal manner.
  • You will usually need to have three months’ experience of ongoing engagement with groups of children and young people.
  • A DBS is required for safeguarding purposes following entry to ensure you are prepared for the professional placements or volunteering if you are not already employed.

Student Finance

UK & EU Students:

For information about our tuition fees please visit our Student Fees and Finance pages.

If you studied your undergraduate degree at Leeds Trinity University, you are eligible for a discount of up to 50% on the cost of your tuition fees.

International Students:

Visit our web page for international students.

Part-time study is not available for international students on a Tier 4 Student Visa.

Additional costs

We advise students to budget for the following in addition to annual tuition fees:

  • Recommended and required reading lists will be provided at the start of your course. All the books and e-books are available from our Library to borrow but you may choose to purchase your own.
  • Field trips may occur during this course and they will be either fully or partly subsidised by the University. More details will be provided at the start of the course.
  • You'll need to include placement/s travel and associated costs too, however the University will contribute a standard amount towards your total expenditure.
  • The University provides students with a £6 printing credit each academic year which can be topped up either on campus or online

How to apply

Please contact us for an application form and the latest information regarding availability of places on this popular programme.


Admissions Team
Leeds Trinity University
LS18 5HD

What happens next?

They will acknowledge receipt of your application by email, process it, and forward to the relevant Programme Leader within three days.

The programme leader will either make a decision based on your application or invite you to attend an interview day.

If you're selected for an interview, you'll be contacted with details within ten days of your application being processed.

The admissions team will notify you of your interview outcome in writing within five working days of receiving a decision from the Programme Leader.

Made an offer?

You should accept or decline your offer by emailing admissions@leedstrinity.ac.uk.

If you accept, you'll need to prove you satisfy the conditions outlined in your offer letter.

This will usually be by presenting the relevant supporting documentation in person to the student administration office (AM36) on campus.

Our academics say...

"The MA Mental Health in Children and Young People promotes the development of positive mental health. There is a key focus on strategies for promotion and prevention and the use of evidence-based research. 

"This degree has been designed to support the development of mental health practice in line with the recent national strategy outlined in Transforming Children and Young People’s Mental Health Provision: a Green Paper."

Bev Peartree, Programme Leader

Learn while you earn

To help you get the most out of the course, it’s expected that you will be working in the sector while you study – and if not working, then volunteering or undertaking placements with children and young people. We’ve embedded work-related learning into each module and you’ll receive plenty of one-to-one support which will focus on planning your career.