Mental Health Social Work

Art work event - Photo by Dom Ennis

Think Ahead programme logo‌ 
The Think Ahead programme
is a new route into social work, for graduates and career-changers  remarkable enough to make a real difference to people with mental health problems. The University of York and its partners provide the academic content of the programme, which consists of two elements:

Master’s/Postgraduate Diploma in Social Work Practice (Think Ahead)

This programme is a fast-track scheme for exceptional graduates and career changers to become mental health social workers. It is managed by Think Ahead with the University of York providing the academic content in partnership with the University of Central Lancashire.

This two-year programme combines paid on-the-job experience and academic learning. In the first year of the programme you complete the PGDip in Social Work Practice, allowing you to apply for registration as a social worker. In the second year you work as a qualified social worker, and complete your ‘Assessed and Supported Year in Employment’ simultaneously with your MA in Social Work Practice.

You can find more information about the programme, and apply, at the Think Ahead website:

Postgraduate Certificate in Advanced Social Work

This programme is for Consultant Social Workers recruited to supervise participants of the Think Ahead programme.

It is composed of two modules. The first provides advanced practice training in social interventions for people with mental health problems. The second enables you to work towards Practice Educator Professional Standards stages 1 and 2 with Think Ahead participants.

To access this programme, you will need to apply for opportunities to work as a Think Ahead Consultant Social Worker via recruitment processes within your agency. Once you are accepted onto this you then need to complete a University of York application:

  1. Apply now (link to Think Ahead)
  2. University of York Application(when applying you will need:
    • a copy of your reference from your Think Ahead application to upload
    • your CV can be uploaded in place of entering your employment history
    • to enter your education history on the form.)

More information about the start of the Think Ahead programme at York: Our key role in new graduate route into mental health social work