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What makes Mental Health at Worcester special?

There are few challenges in society today as significant as the need to tackle the complex question of mental health.

This foundation degree is ideal for anyone working or wanting to work to improve the psychological wellbeing of individuals, families and their support networks. Whether you are looking to develop new skills or enhance your existing expertise and further your career, this course provides an excellent platform for your next steps.

At Worcester you will be working with a team of academics, clinicians and researchers with a range of expertise and experience from across the broad spectrum of mental health services. High quality teaching, mixed with a strong work-based learning element within the course, will equip you with everything you need to develop new insights whilst linking them to practice through your placements.



Key features

  • Flexible locations: study at the University of Worcester, Herefordshire and Ludlow College or Coleg Gwent
  • Foundation degree students who have completed 400 hours in a suitable placement with a registered mentor can apply for entry on to Year 2 of the Nursing BSc
  • This course is a professionally recognised qualification in its own right, that will contribute to your personal and professional development, as well as a route in to further study
  • Progression routes exist on to the BA Applied Health & Social Care top-up degree programme
  • 200 hours a year of work-based learning to develop your experience and enhance your employability

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University of the Year - Finalist 2020

We're proud to have been shortlisted for the prestigious Times Higher Education University of the Year for the second year running.

Find out more

Certificate in Higher Education (Cert HE): Mental Health

The Certificate in Higher Education (Cert HE) offers you the opportunity to complete a one-year course, studying at level 4, at the University of Worcester and partner colleges.

This course has become a recognised route into careers within the NHS, independent and third sector organisations, including Adult Nursing, Mental Health Nursing, Occupational Therapy, Psychology and Social Work, for those who do not meet the initial entry criteria. Progression onto such professional programmes is subject to successful application and therefore not guaranteed.

When you successfully complete the requirements of the Cert HE, you may choose to continue to study in the following year towards the Foundation degree rather than exit with the Cert HE. This will enable you to undertake the two year Foundation Degree in Mental Health, after which you may choose to complete a top-up degree.

Entry requirements

What qualifications will you need?

UCAS tariff points

Entry requirements

32 UCAS Tariff points

An Enhanced Criminal Records Bureau disclosure is required for this course, plus an Occupational Health check

Other information

If you have any questions about entry requirements, please contact the Admissions Office on 01905 855111 or email for advice.

Further information about the UCAS Tariff can be obtained from 

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Want to know why so many students love living and studying in Worcester?

Our Open Days are the perfect way to find out.

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The Foundation degree in mental health is a relevant and practical course for those who want to increase their knowledge and understanding of mental health issues.

Briony Williams, Course leader

Open Days at our Partner Institutions

Visit Coleg Gwent at one of their Open Days

Visit Herefordshire and Ludlow College at one of their Open Days

Course content

What will you study?

The modules for this course are currently being reviewed and updated for 2021 entry. Full details will be available on this page soon. For the latest information, please contact the course leader.

Year 1


  • Understanding Experiences of and Practices in Mental Health
  • Mental Health: Legislation, Policy and Improving Quality
  • Mental Health: Personal and Professional Development in the Work Place
  • Ethics, Values and Use of Self
  • Communication Skills for Practice

Year 2


  • Applied Research and Evidence Based Practice
  • Team Working and Empowerment
  • Conditions and Interventions: Mental Distress
  • Mental Health: Individual Project in the Work Place


  • Applied Human Biology and Managing Health Conditions
  • Reviewing Academic Literature in Mental Health

Natalie Stanley - Herefordshire and Ludlow College

“I previously worked in the probation service for 20 years, with some work in mental health before that. I initially came across the Foundation Degree in Mental Health when I was looking for something in Law. Mental health is quite a prevalent subject in probation and I have also encountered it in my family.

I have learnt a lot from the course and my projects have been focused on the challenges offenders face in accessing mental health services. I am now much more aware of sectioning procedures and the role of mental health teams. It has helped me to see gaps in the systems much more clearly, particularly in relation to probation services. I’ve implemented a pilot scheme within the service and it is now a standardised form which flags up a record of concern.

My advice to other people interested in the course is for them to think that whilst returning to education is challenging, it is achievable. There is often funding available to help you and lots of support.”

Teaching and assessment

How will you be taught?

The University places emphasis on enabling students to develop the independent learning capabilities that will equip you for lifelong learning and future employment, as well as academic achievement. A mixture of independent study, teaching and academic support through the personal academic tutoring system enables you to reflect on progress and build up a profile of skills, achievements and experiences that will enable you to flourish and be successful.


You are taught through a combination of lectures, e-lectures and seminars, all of which are interactive to encourage your learning. Lectures will focus on subject specific information and will take a variety of different formats to promote your learning. Seminars will support your understanding through tasks designed to develop your understanding. E-lectures will provide you with the opportunity to deepen your understanding of the material presented through online learning.

In addition, meetings with personal academic tutors are scheduled on at least 4 occasions in the first year and three occasions in each of the other years of a course.

You will undertake at least 200 hours each academic year in a relevant placement setting. You will be supported in placement by a mentor and a University tutor, in order to complete agreed project work. This is a placement of your choice and one we help to arrange independently.

Contact time

In a typical week you will have around 7 hours contact hours of teaching.

Typically class contact time will be structured around:

  • 9.15-11.15am: 2 hour lecture (1 hour of lecture and 1 of seminar)
  • 11.30-13.30pm: 2 hour lecture
  • 2.15-4.15pm: 2 hour lecture (1 hour of lecture and 1 of seminar)
  • 4.14-5.15pm: 1 hour seminar

Usually you will spend at least one day in your placement setting.

Independent self-study

In addition to the contact time, you are expected to undertake around 15 hours of personal self-study per week. Typically, this will involve completing online activities, reading journal articles and books, working on individual and group projects, undertaking research in the library and online, preparing coursework assignments and presentations, and preparing for examinations.

Independent learning is supported by a range of excellent learning facilities, including the Hive and library resources, the virtual learning environment, and extensive electronic learning resources.

Teaching staff

You will be taught by a teaching team whose expertise and knowledge are closely matched to the content of the modules on the course. The team includes senior academics and professional practitioners with relevant experience.

Teaching is informed by the research and consultancy, and 80% per cent of course lecturers have a higher education teaching qualification or are Fellows of the Higher Education Academy. You can learn more about the staff by visiting our staff profiles.


The course provides opportunities to test understanding and learning informally through the completion of practice or 'formative' assignments. Each module has one or more formal or 'summative' assessments which are graded and count towards the overall module grade.

Assessment methods include written examinations and a range of coursework assessments such as essays, case studies, reflective portfolios and presentations.

The precise assessment requirements for an individual student in an academic year will vary according to the mandatory and optional modules taken, but a typical formal summative assessment pattern for each year of the course is:

Year 1

  • Group presentation
  • Case Study
  • Essay
  • Reflective portfolio

Year 2

  • Individual presentation
  • Case Study
  • Essay
  • Literature review or examination (elective module)
  • Project report


You will receive feedback on practice assessments and on formal assessments undertaken by coursework. Feedback on examination performance is available upon request from the module leader. Feedback is intended to support learning and you are encouraged to discuss it with personal academic tutors and module tutors as appropriate.

We aim to provide you with feedback on formal course work assessments within 20 working days of hand-in.

Programme specification

For comprehensive details on the aims and intended learning outcomes of the course, and the means by which these are achieved through learning, teaching and assessment, please download the latest programme specification document.

The Foundation Degree in Mental Health (FdSc)

Your experiences of the Foundation Degree

Meet the team

You will be taught by a teaching team whose expertise and knowledge are closely matched to the content of the modules on the course. 


Joanne Augustus

Before joining the University of Worcester Joanne spent 10 years working in the NHS and the independent sector, providing individual and group based psychological interventions. During this time she worked in different services including, the primary care assessment and treatment team  and improving access to psychological therapies. 

As a Cognitive Behaviour Therapist she has worked in Primary Care mental health and more recently in an independent psychiatric hospital, specialising in the management and treatment of acute and complex mental health problems.


Where could it take you?


There should be opportunities in the health and caring professions and in statutory, voluntary and private organisations.

On completion, you are eligible to apply for direct entry to the third year of the Undergraduate Modular Scheme at the University of Worcester on Health related Top-up degrees.

Cover of the 2020 University of Worcester prospectus

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How much will it cost?

Full-time tuition fees

UK and EU students

The standard tuition fee for full-time UK and EU students registering in the academic year 2021/22 is £9,250 per year.

For more details, please visit our course fees page.

International students

The standard tuition fee for full-time international students registering in the academic year 2021/22 is £13,100 per year.

For more details, please visit our course fees page.

Part-time tuition fees

UK and EU students

The standard tuition fees for part-time UK and EU students registering on this course in the academic year 2021/22 are £1,156 per 15-credit module, £1,542 per 20 credit module, £2,313 per 30-credit module, £3,083 per 40-credit module, £3,469 per 45-credit module and £4,625 per 60 credit module.

For more details, please visit our course fees page.

Additional costs

Every course has day-to-day costs for basic books, stationery, printing and photocopying. The amounts vary between courses.

If your course offers a placement opportunity, you may need to pay for a Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS) check.


Finding the right accommodation is paramount to your university experience. Our halls of residence are home to friendly student communities, making them great places to live and study.

We have over 1,000 rooms across our range of student halls. With rooms to suit every budget and need, from our 'Traditional Hall' at £108 per week to 'En-suite Extra' at £184 per week (2021/22 prices).

For full details visit our accommodation page.

How to apply

How do you apply?

Applying through UCAS

Mental Health Cert HE (one year): L516
Mental Health FdSc (two year): L515

UCAS is the central organisation through which applications are processed for entry onto full-time undergraduate courses in Higher Education in the UK.

Read our How to apply pages for more information on applying and to find out what happens to your application.

Partner colleges

You can also study this course at one of our partner colleges: Herefordshire and Ludlow College or Coleg Gwent.



Get in touch

If you have any questions, please get in touch. We're here to help you every step of the way.