Mental Health Peer Support PDA

What is special about this course?

Peer support workers in the mental health sector, often now acknowledged as ‘experts by experience’, offer a unique insight and understanding that can only be gained through having been there yourself.

This course has been specifically developed to equip students with the learning and values necessary to utilise their own experiences to support others recovering from mental illness.

Special features

Developed by the Scottish Recovery Network, the PDA will help you to build up your skills in:

  • Developing mutually empowering relationships
  • Sharing personal voyages of recovery in a way that inspires hope
  • Offering help and support as an equal rather than as an expert

Entry requirements

No specific entry requirements, although applicants should have personal experience of mental health problems and be able to provide evidence of good written and oral communication skills (SCQF level 5 or above)

Year 1 - PDA

The PDA consists of two mandatory units:

Recovery Context which includes the following outcomes:

  • Define and understand peer support and its role in recovery
  • Describe and explain the key concepts of formalised peer support

Developing Practice, outcomes include:

  • Apply a range of theories and concepts in the peer support role
  • Develop relationships based on peer support principles
  • Understand perspectives of the work role

How will I study my course?

  • Part Time (Structured)

You will learn through a combination of workshops and self-study.

How long will my course last?

  • Part Time (structured): 12 weeks. Each module will take approximately 40 hours of study.

Where can I study my course?

  • Inverness College UHI
  • Perth College UHI

Start date

  • September
  • January (Inverness only)


For information on costs of this course please contact the college at which you wish to study.


Contact the relevant college for more information.

What can I do on completion of my course?

Successful completion of the PDA may lead to opportunities for employment as a Peer Supporter. It may also offer access to a range of other related mental health and social services qualifications.

Is there more information available online?

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Apply for Mental Health Peer Support PDA

I want to start in Jan/Feb 2020

We are delighted that you are thinking about studying at the University of the Highlands and Islands. We operate a fair and open admissions system committed to equality of opportunity and non-discrimination. We consider all applications on merit and on the basis of ability to achieve, without discrimination on grounds of gender, age, disability, ethnicity and socio-economic background. We welcome applications from all prospective students and aim to provide appropriate and efficient services to students with disabilities.