Course at a glance


This Quality Assured, Level 3 Diploma in Mental Health & Social Care is aimed at those with some social care experience and/or introductory qualifications, in a care setting.

The course will teach the student the many and varied skills that underpin the good practice in mental health & social care settings and will enhance their professional approach as either a care worker; support worker or, in a supervisory role. This qualification will clearly support knowledge gained from the specialist NVQ in Promoting Independence/Heath & Social Care.

Learning Aims

The Learning programme for the student, offers choice and scope in regards to the wider study of mental health in social care settings. The core aims of the diploma are to:

  • Specifically offers student a theoretical academic approach to the study of this area of health & social care; through a robust programme of learning that will enhance careers in the wider field of most health & social care settings, that the student currently engages within or seeks employment.
  • The Diploma Mental Health & Social Care encourages students to: develop their interest in, and professional knowledge of this growing and demanding sector of care provision.
  • Rigorous study of the subject/topics at this specialist level is explores; they include: the core theories and their application currently enshrined in legislation and associated regulations.

Learning Objectives

  • Students will have an opportunity to study aspects of social care theory and practice that is current and informs good practice in the field of mental health.
  • To undertake a broader study of the subject of mental health, through the selection of a variety of topics: legislation; care practice; assessment planning; health & safety; accountability; safeguarding and other important topics.
  • Some prior knowledge of social care is recommended, or experience in working with a care setting. However, the opportunity is provided for candidates who have studied a social care subject at IGCSE Level/NVQ II or III (either as a Full or Short Course) to build on knowledge, understanding and skills gained at that level. Or simply starting from a point of wanting to enhance professional care skills.
  • The course encourages students to develop the critical, analytical and evaluative skills which will enable them to either go on to Higher Education to study a wide range of health & social care courses, including: nursing; social work; counselling; psychology; care management and other similar subjects.

This course consists of Ten Units and is a qualification awarded by Oxford Learning College, in its own right; with the quality assurance of a leading awarding body (CIE Global) that hallmarks this professional qualification.

Assessment Objectives (AO)

AO: 1

Students must select and demonstrate clearly relevant knowledge and understanding through the use of evidence, examples and correct language and terminology appropriate to the course of study. In addition, for synoptic assessment, students should demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the connections between different elements of their course of study. This assessment, involves two written assignments: one halfway through the course and following the final unit. Both are assessed and graded by the assigned tutor, according to college procedures.

AO: 2

Students must critically evaluate and justify a point of view through the use of evidence and reasoned argument. In addition, for synoptic assessment, students should relate elements of their course of study to their broader context and to aspects of human experience.

Quality of Written Communication (QWC)

In addition, OLC require students’ to produce written material in English, candidates must: ensure that text is legible and that spelling, punctuation and grammar (SPG) are accurate so that meaning is clear; select and use a form and style of writing appropriate to studying a complex subject matter; organise information clearly and coherently, using specialist vocabulary when appropriate and Harvard referencing of citation and sources. In this Specification, SPG will be assessed in all tutor marked assignments (TMAs)

To ensure that we maintain quality standards; all our students written assignments are subject to our plagiarism policy and procedure.

Key Features

OLC offer the opportunity to study Mental Health & Social Care at a professional level 3 validated diploma course. The student will learn and/or review the many aspects of social care; be able to apply and use that gained knowledge in most mental health care sectors.

This course has several features:

  • To develop an understanding of heath & social care theory.
  • To treat the subject as a professional discipline, providing the academic knowledge, understanding and skills appropriate for specialist study.
  • To teach students an enquiring, reflective and critical approach to the study of mental health in social care and, it’s many features.
  • To encourage students to reflect on their own professional care practice, the norms, perceptions, values and opinions in the light of their study.

Accredited Level 3 Mental Health + Social Care Diploma Entry Requirement

Entry to this Accredited Level 3 Mental Health + Social Care Diploma requires that potential students have gained GCSE/IGCSE or equivalent qualifications and have, good English oral, reading and writing skills.

Advice on enrolment and guidance of prior learning (APL) can be obtained through out contact centre. The course is a rolling programme and can be started at any point in the year. Successful students can go on to Higher Education, including remaining as students at OLC to complete courses in our portfolio of higher awards.

All students must be aged 16 or over.


The coursework is assessed through continuous assessment with no formal exit examinations.

Study Hours

Approximately: 200 hours of personal study time for the entire course is recommended. All of which is supported by the OLC Course Tutor, who we greatly encourage students to access support from throughout their course.

Quality Assurance

This course has been developed by the College’s professional team of tutors to meet the needs of sector based employers and employees. It is also part of the College’s validated level three Diplomas’, recognised internationally, as verified and moderated Centre for Interactive Education (CIE Global). Further details of our accreditations are provided on our website.

Accredited Level 3 Mental Health + Social Care Diploma Course Length

1 Year.

Awarding Body


Accredited Level 3 Mental Health + Social Care Diploma Course Content

The whole level three diploma has TEN (10) specific units of study, which are sub-divided into topic areas these are:

Accredited Level 3 Mental Health + Social Care Diploma Unit 1: The History, Definition of Mental Health & Social Care

In this unit, student will explore the history and social stigma that has been mental health; the current trends for community caring; the notion of “what is care”; legislative impact; attitudes and the typography of “mental health suffers/service users” – formally known as: patients!

Accredited Level 3 Mental Health + Social Care Diploma Unit 2: Research and Statistics

The unit explores how mental health has been measured and studied. This will include: how raw research data has been gathered; the typography and demographics of mental health; current research; interpretation of statistics; patient profiling and future service planning.

Accredited Level 3 Mental Health + Social Care Diploma Unit 3: Diagnosis & Treatment of Mental Health Conditions

The unit explores the different diagnostic tools used in diagnosis of conditions – GAINS; K6; ASI; PDSQ and ICD etc. What does a diagnosis involve; the treatment plan; primary and secondary care; the role of the professionals and associated care teams.

Accredited Level 3 Mental Health + Social Care Diploma Unit 4: Mental Health Conditions

This unit helps the student explore some of the core conditions diagnosed in mental health; the features; psychological and anatomical assessments; diagnosed and staging; the treatment plan. How and why different treatments are used is explored.

Accredited Level 3 Mental Health + Social Care Diploma Unit 5: Social Inclusion

The unit will help the student understand the wider concerns of the stigma of being a mental health suffers; the isolation; social exclusion etc. How should suffers be helped within society – how is social inclusion planned, encouraged to promote independence, coping strategies and networking support.

Accredited Level 3 Mental Health + Social Care Diploma Unit 6: Our Ageing Society

The general consensus from research is that the UK is experiencing a greater impact on resources including health as the demographic of larger elderly population becomes a reality. This unit considers ageing impact on caring services; mental health diagnostics/treatments and how training models for care personnel are changing to meet this demand.

Accredited Level 3 Mental Health + Social Care Diploma Unit 7: Care Services and Support

The crucial collaboration between health and social care has never been more necessary; in this unit we explore how these once, finite services are coping in a 21st century. The unit topics will be: legislation; care eligibility; care staff competence/training and much more.

Accredited Level 3 Mental Health + Social Care Diploma Unit 8: The Community Mental Health Team (CMHT)

The unit offers the student an overview of the professionals and the work that this important NHS led service provides; to support mental health suffers in the community. This will include: collaborative partnering; engaging; assessing crisis and managing care.

Accredited Level 3 Mental Health + Social Care Diploma Unit 9: Assessment of Risk

This unit explores important and crucial assessment of risk, both for the sufferer; the care team and community. What is a good ‘risk strategy’; how is it managed – what happens when things go wrong? Students will learn about: institutional risks; community risk assessment and patient/suffer risks.

Accredited Level 3 Mental Health + Social Care Diploma Unit 10: The Future of Mental Health &Social Care

In this final unit we bring together the learning from the preceding units. In doing so, and with additional study material, the student will explore how the sector is radically different from just a decade ago; how economic; demographics and lifestyle are impacting on a once finite service.


This Accredited Level 3 Mental Health + Social Care Diploma can be used to gain entry to a Level 4 Diploma or higher.