New UCW mental health and social care degree ‘unique to the South West’

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University Centre Weston is to launch a new Foundation degree focusing on mental health and social care from September 2017.

The FdSc in Integrated Mental Health and Social Care has been designed to train frontline health and social care practitioners to be able to work in partnership with service users who are experiencing mental health issues.

Those who complete the course will also be able to contribute to care plans that promote emotional wellbeing.

The programme will complement UCW’s existing Foundation degree in Health and Social Care, which had a 94% pass rate in 2015/16.

It will be taught by an experienced and multidisciplinary lecturing team with professional backgrounds in nursing, social work, research and mental health and wellbeing.

Content covered by the programme will include communication techniques in care settings, introductions to psychology, sociology and physiology, skills practice in areas such as observation and reporting, and degree-level planning and research methods.

UCW’s Vicki Caldwell is overseeing the development of the degree alongside counterparts from the University of the West of England, Bristol.

She said: “There’s a growing need for highly trained practitioners who are able to support service users with complex mental health needs.

“The Foundation degree has been designed with input from key employers in this sector to make sure that students gain the knowledge and skills they will need in real health and social care settings.

“This combination of academic study and work-based practice in the area of mental health and social care will be unique to the South West of England.

“We are so excited to launch this work-based learning route to upskilling practitioners, so they can develop their careers and help to improve outcomes for service users.

Applicants to this programme will need to be employed in a suitable setting where they can be supported and assessed by an in-work mentor, and be able to attend UCW one day a week during term-time.

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