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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 explores evidence-based approaches in the management of common and severe and enduring mental health difficulties. The course supports students to develop skills such as reflective practice, self-awareness and interpersonal skills essential for a career within mental health.

You can complete the one year, level 4 CertHE programme or stay with us for two years to complete the level 5 foundation degree. If you wish to progress after the two-year foundation degree onto the one-year top-up degree in Applied Health and Social Care you can complete further study at Worcester such as Masters degrees in Nutritional Therapy, Healthcare Management and Leadership, Physician Associates and PhD study.

It’s not too late to study with us this September. Join us through Clearing and we’ll guarantee you university-managed accommodation.



Key features

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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

  • The normal minimum entry requirement for Foundation Degree courses is the possession of 4 GCSEs (Grade C/4 or above) and 1 A Level (or equivalent Level 3 qualification).
  • Details of acceptable level 3 qualifications, policy in relation to mature students or applicants with few or no formal qualifications can be found in the prospectus or on the University webpages. See the University’s Admissions Policy for other acceptable qualifications and the section below specific to recognition of prior learning.
  • Candidates with non-standard entry applications will be considered on the basis of relevant work experience and attainment of skills. They will be invited to complete an essay, which will demonstrate an ability to study at this level.
  • Students whose first language is not English must have a minimum standard of English at IELTS 6.0
  • All places are conditional upon a UW Occupational Health Clearance.  
  • Students will be required to have an Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check carried out by the University. Students will not be able to commence practice until clearance is confirmed.  

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 the UCAS website.

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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.

Joanne Augustus, Course leader

Course content

What will you study?

Year 1

Certificate in Higher Education (Mental Health) Year 1, Level 4

Mandatory Modules

  • Ethics, values and use of self in practice 
  • Communication skills for practice 
  • Preparing for practice in Mental Health 
  • Contemporary issues in Mental Health and Wellbeing
  • Human development across the life course 


Optional Modules

  • Introduction to anatomy and physiology
  • Working with intersectionality in Social Care 

Year 2

Foundation Degree in Mental Health Year 2, Level 5

Mandatory Modules

  • Research and Evidence-based Practice
  • Understanding Teamwork in Professional Practice
  • Innovative Working in Mental Health
  • Promoting Health and Wellbeing
  • Equality, Diversity and Anti-oppressive Practice
  • Understanding Mental Health Conditions in Person-centred Practice 
Natalie Stanley profile image

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 via the personal academic tutoring system enables you to reflect on progress and build up a profile of skills, achievements and experiences that will help you to flourish and be successful.


You are taught through a combination of interactive workshops, lectures and seminars.

Interactive workshops take a variety of formats and are intended to enable the application of learning through discussion and small group activities. Seminars enable the discussion and development of understanding of topics covered in lectures and are focused on developing subject specific skills and applied individual and group work.

Each work-based learning module requires the completion of a minimum of 150 hours of work-based learning. Students will identify and apply for placement in an area of relevant practice that interests them. 

The timing of practice-based learning will allow for some flexibility, although it is essential that certain parameters are met to ensure opportunities to link university-based learning to practice, facilitate reflection on work-based learning and ensure that assessment deadlines can be met.

Meetings with personal academic tutors are scheduled on at least four occasions in the first year and three occasions in each of the other years of a course. Additional support is available from your module tutors, Student Services and Library Services.

Contact time

In a typical week, students will have around 10 hours of contact teaching, of this, 7 hours will be delivered on-campus and 3 hours will be delivered online. The precise contact hours will depend on the optional modules selected and in the final year you will normally have slightly less contact time in order to complete more independent study. 

A minimum of 7 hours per week in a placement, work-based learning setting is also part of your learning contact time.

In a typical week, for part-time student studying 60 credits, they will have around 4 hours of contact teaching, of this, 3-4 hours will be delivered on-campus and 1-2 hours will be delivered online.


Typically, on-campus contact time will be structured around: 

  • Lectures and seminars
  • Workshops
  • Group work

Online contact hours will be structured around:

  • Group tutorials based on focused activities
  • Assessment workshops
  • Problem based learning
  • Skills development workshops

Independent self-study

In addition to the contact time, you are expected to undertake around 18 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. 


The Foundation Degree in Mental Health runs over 2 years full time. The Certificate in Higher Education (Mental Health) is 1-year full time.

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, professional practitioners and work-based learning tutors all with industry experience.

Teaching is informed by research and consultancy, and (as at February 2021) 80% per cent of lecturers have a higher education teaching qualification or are Fellows of the Higher Education Academy. This may differ for students studying at partner colleges. You can learn more about the staff by visiting our staff profiles.  For students studying at partner colleges, information on teaching staff will be made available at induction.


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, reports, portfolios, presentations and a final year placement project.

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

  • Learning material
  • Case study
  • Essay
  • Resource
  • Group presentation


Year 2

  • Critical paper
  • Individual presentation
  • Case study
  • Essay
  • 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?


The course provides clear progression routes for individuals in mental health and social care work. Service integration collaboration and multi-disciplinary working in health and social care settings has informed the emerging context for this programme. In consultation with employers the course seeks to prepare students for future careers in a range of operational contexts as identified in the section graduate destinations below. 

Graduate destinations 

Graduates are expected to seek employment working in statutory, voluntary and commercial organisations. Examples of the types of paid employment in mental health contexts include: 

  • Care services
  • Advice and guidance services
  • Police and probation
  • Advocacy and rights-based services
  • Preventative health, care and welfare services
  • Housing support services
  • Health care provision


On completion of the course, 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.

Two students are walkng next to each other and smiling

Careers and Employability

Our Graduates pursue exciting and diverse careers in a wide variety of employment sectors.

Find out how we can support you to achieve your potential.

How much will it cost?

Full-time tuition fees

UK and EU students

The standard fee for full-time home and EU undergraduate students enrolling on BA/BSc/LLB degrees and FdA/FdSc degrees in the 2022/23 academic year 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 enrolling on BA/BSc/LLB degrees and FdA/FdSc degrees in the 2022/23 academic year is £13,400 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 2022/23 are £1,156 per 15-credit module, £1,542 per 20-credit module, £2,312 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 an Enhanced 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 £111 per week to 'En-suite Premium' at £189 per week (2022/23 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 our partner college: Herefordshire and Ludlow College, North Shropshire College 



Get in touch

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

Joanne Augustus

Course Leader