Mersey Care Mental Health, Learning Disabilities and Physical Health In the Community Cadet Programme




This programme is for 17½ to 19 year olds who wish to start their career in care in: mental health, learning disabilities, addictions, brain injury and community physical health. You will study for a level 3 CACHE extended Diploma in Health and Social Care at college for three days per week and spend two days per week on placement at Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust rotating across the services, gaining significant practical hands-on experience that will develop your skills and employability further.

Are you interested?

Contact or

You will spend 40 per cent of your week for two years gaining hands-on work experience in a hospital setting. This will be ideal preparation to support you to move into a health profession specialising in mental health. During your placement you will work across Mersey Care in clinical and specialist areas in direct contact with patients, supported by ward and community staff and gaining first-hand experience. In your first year, you’ll be involved in supporting patients and assisting in personal care needs. In your second year you can expect to be involved in ward rounds and non-invasive clinical procedures.

The Mersey Care Mental Health Cadet Programme will prepare you perfectly for university entry onto: nursing, social work, youth work. And band 3 positions in: mental health, learning disabilities, community services, paramedics or other health and care related degrees.

All Mersey Care cadets will receive a uniform to be worn whilst in college and on placement which is provided free of charge. The programme is subject to limited places and involves a selection process run by Hugh Baird College and Mersey Care.

What topics/modules are covered?

The course is made up of 18 health and social care modules - 14 core modules and four specialist modules. The specialist modules explore particular topics in depth. Students will also complete one external examination and two external synoptic assessments that will require research and demonstration of your capability to apply knowledge, understanding and skills.

All students study these 14 core modules:

  • Equality, diversity and rights in health and social care
  • Human growth and development
  • Safeguarding in health and social care
  • Communication in health and social care
  • Infection prevention and control in health and social care
  • Psychological perspectives in health and social care
  • Sociological perspectives in health and social care
  • Working in health and social care
  • Reflective practice
  • Empowerment in health and social care
  • Protection of children, young people and adults in health and social care
  • Anatomy and physiology for health and social care
  • Research skills for health and social care
  • Personal and professional development.


What are the entry requirements?

You will need to have five GCSEs at grade C or above (a grade four or above under the new grading system), including maths and english language. A grade C or above in a GCSE science subject would be advantageous but is not essential.

Through the application process and at interview you will also be expected to demonstrate a passion and commitment for working in the health sector.

The college will always treat each applicant as an individual. Should you not have or not expect to obtain the grades stated above, or not have relevant industry-related experience, the college will still welcome your application for this course as this will enable us to identify whether this course is, in fact, the right course for you or whether another course may be more appropriate.

Please note: to gain access to this course you will need to go through a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check. If you have criminal convictions or cautions, please do not be put off from applying for the course. Your acceptance on to the course will depend on the nature of any convictions and will be at the discretion of the college and your placement provider.

What can I do if I complete this course?

  • Study at university to gain a degree
  • Study as a higher level or degree apprentice whilst in employment
  • Full time employment in a wide variety of health care roles.

Career path

  • Adult nurse
  • Paediatric nurse
  • District nurse
  • Learning disability nurse
  • Mental health nurse

Please note: this list is a small selection of possible opportunities that would be open to you after successful completion.

What qualification will I gain?

Extended Diploma in Health and Social Care level 3. This is graded from A* to D.

 How many days of the week will I be studying?

Three days per week at Hugh Baird College and two days per week at Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust.

Start date

2 September 2019.


Two years.

Who is the awarding body?




As a student of Hugh Baird College you may be eligible for additional support. This would be identified on an individual basis, subject to circumstances.

For further information visit