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Anyone know much about studying and career paths?

(4 Posts)
auntysocial Thu 16-Aug-07 00:30:44

I want to work in Mental Health but have no experience of this at all so it order to start off my qualifications I have enrolled on "Understanding Health and Social Care" with the open uni as a "base" so to speak...this starts in October.

Anyway I've just been looking at my local college and they do a certificate in councelling level 1, 2 and 3. Level 1 and 2 are only 5 weeks long each so would it be worth me doing these on top of the open uni thing? Its only one day a week...would I be allowed and would it be beneficial?

Level 3 is a bit longer but that leads onto the degree in councelling which then qualifies you as a proffesional councellor which sounds I looking at this with rose tinted glasses? it seems a bit too good to be true?

Any advice?

HorseyWoman Thu 16-Aug-07 12:10:42

Do you have a degree? If you do, you can do a postgraduate degree in Mental Health, which is one year f/t. I looked into doing this or social work as a diversion from my rather set in stone wish to teach (which I am about to do). You do need a degree for that route though, and it qualifies you to become a mental health practitioner for the LAs, who are in desperate need. The start salary is reasonable and I think there's a training bursary. You could even do a three year degree in Mental Health. But the route you are choosing seems sensible.

Do the foundation part with OU and then make sure you choose related courses that will get you the qualification you need, to do the job you want to do. Counselling courses will help you in general, but if you don't specifically want to be a counsellor then I wouldn't go too hell for leather on that side. Don't burn yourself out!

Having reread your post it does sound like you want to be a counsellor, though. You don't need the degree to become a counsellor. Your local college will have night courses, as well as the OU (who are very good, by the way). You need a recognised qualification - this could be diploma, NVQ or whatever - talk to an advisor to find the best route for you and your experience/quals to date. I enrolled on a distance learning course in child and adolescent counselling (diploma), with Oxford College, and would have been able to practice when I finished the course.

Good luck.

HorseyWoman Thu 16-Aug-07 12:12:18

PS. It's not usually open uni that care if you do other courses at the same time, it's the college/uni you attend. When I wanted to do the understanding English Lit to compliment my teacher studies, I had to get a letter from the uni to say it was OK. Uni wouldn't give one, but some do. It was only because I was a final year student, though. If I had been first or second year, I would have been fine.

HorseyWoman Thu 16-Aug-07 12:13:30

And you need to ask the college whether you would be allowed to do levels 3-5 if you didn't have levels 1-2. Would levels 1 and 2 be more beneficial to you than the OU course which will be very general and not specific to counselling. Having said that, if you want to work in MH, you do need that understanding.

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