Minimum of 4 GCSEs at Grade C/4 or above, or equivalent qualifications, including English and Mathematics plus relevant work experience.
1 academic year
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Key Features & Benefits
- Get an Advanced Learner Loan - pay nothing upfront for this course
- You can get help with childcare costs
- Get onto University courses with just one year of study
The Access to Higher Education Diploma: Health and Wellbeing is excellent preparation for people who wish to study Mental Health Nursing or related disciplines at University level. This course is especially designed for mature students who do not currently have the necessary academic qualifications to apply for University level study.
Working within careers in Mental Health, you will be required to have professionalism, dedication and:
- a sensitive, understanding and considerate nature
- good communication skills
- the ability to work in a team
- good organisational skills
- the ability to think things through and solve problems
- observational skills and sound judgement
- the personality to remain calm and clear-headed when patients or their relatives are distressed
- Sound personal mental health.
In most areas of health care work you are expected to do shift work, and take turns in working weekends and on public holidays. Please note: You must check the individual entry requirements of institutions to ensure that this Access to HE Diploma will allow you to progress on to your chosen area of study. The Access to Health Care Professions Diploma is excellent preparation for people who wish to study Mental Health Nursing or related disciplines at University level. This course is especially designed for mature students who do not currently have the necessary academic qualifications to apply for University level study.
We strongly advise you to check the entry criteria for the degree you wish to progress to at University to ensure you meet all the requirements.
What will I study?
You will study on this programme for 12 hours per week, completing three subjects at Level 3 (the equivalent of A-levels). In addition you will attend a tutorial session where your study skills will be developed and you will receive excellent preparation for University level study with our 'Study Skills' module. The Access to Higher Education Diploma is a modular course which involves you studying a combination of units. All units are compulsory and must be completed by all students who wish to achieve this award.
You will study the following subjects at Level 3:
- Psychology Level 3
- Criminology Level 3
- Mental Health Level 3
As this is a demanding A-level equivalent programme, you should have a minimum of 4 GCSEs at Grade C/4 or above, or equivalent qualifications, including English and Mathematics.
You must have relevant work experience for this course. The following is an example of the work we regard as suitable to demonstrate your aptitude for a career:
- HCA/Care Assistant roles. preferably working with people with mental health issues
- Volunteer roles in Hospitals/Care settings
Applicants who do not have recent experience of study but have relevant work or life experience will be considered on an individual basis and may be invited to interview, you should still apply in this case. The interview will consider prior formal qualifications, and evidence of experience gained through employment or other verifiable sources.
How will I be assessed?
You'll be assessed by examinations and essays throughout the course. Successfully gaining a place on a training course at university requires:
- Having excellent attendance on your Access Diploma
- Completing all work to a very high standard (Degrees will usually expect a mixture of Merits and Distinctions in all your work)
- Having some relevant work experience to ensure you have detailed knowledge of the day-to-day role involved in the career you wish to progress onto.
What can I do next?
This programme is designed to prepare you for study at Degree level.
Your study programme
Mental Health Nurse
If you're a good communicator and want to help people with mental health problems, a job in mental health could be perfect for you.
Mental health nurses work in hospitals and the community to support people with a range of mental health issues. They aim to build good relationships with clients and their families so that everyone is involved in the therapy process.
A mental health nurse has to be sympathetic and non-judgmental. You will need to be able to gain a patient’s trust. You’ll also need to manage emotional situations.
To work as a mental health nurse, you will need to complete a Nursing and Midwifery Council approved degree in nursing.
Learning Disability Nurse
If you want to work as part of a team to support people with learning disabilities and their families to get the best out of life, then this could be the ideal job for you.
Learning disability nurses are based in a variety of settings in the community and in hospitals. They promote the health and wellbeing of their patients, and work to improve their quality of life to help them live as independently as they can.
You will need to be sensitive to the needs of your patients, have excellent communication skills and be able to deal with a challenging health and social care environment. To work as a learning disability nurse, you will need to complete a Nursing and Midwifery Council approved degree in nursing.
Primary Care Graduate Mental Health Worker
If you would like to use a range of therapeutic techniques to help individuals and groups with mental health problems, this type of work might suit you.
As a primary care graduate mental health worker (PCGMHW) you would provide treatment and support to people with common mental health problems, such as anxiety and depression.
In this job you would need to have an in-depth knowledge of mental health issues. You would need to be able to communicate well with patients, to explain the options open to them. You would also need to be a good listener and able to gain patients' trust.
You will need a qualification in a relevant subject, such as psychology – many employers will expect you to have a degree, and the ability to work towards a related postgraduate certificate. Voluntary experience and a driving licence will also be very useful.
If you enjoy helping people with their problems and want to make a positive difference to their lives, this could be the perfect job for you. As a counsellor, you would spend time with people and help them talk about their feelings.
You will need some training to be a counsellor and most employers prefer you to have accreditation with a professional body. Counselling is often a second or third career, and life experience is highly valued.
To become a counsellor you will need to able to build trust and make people feel relaxed. You will need patience and sensitivity. You will be non-judgemental and be able to work with people from all backgrounds.
Psychologists study people's behaviour, motivations, thoughts and feelings, and help them overcome or control their problems. As a psychologist, you would specialise in a particular area such as clinical psychology, or educational psychology.
If you would enjoy helping people with psychological difficulties and have excellent communication and listening skills, this could be an ideal job for you.
To work as a psychologist you will need to complete a three-year degree in psychology, and a three-year postgraduate qualification which relates to your chosen specialism.
If you're interested in people's emotions, and want to help them deal with problems in their lives, this could be an ideal career for you.
Psychotherapists help people who are distressed. They use a variety of techniques and therapies, rather than using drugs or physical treatments.
To become a psychotherapist, you will normally need postgraduate training. You also need to be a good ‘listener’ with an energetic and positive outlook, and a non-judgemental attitude.