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Start your journey to become a qualified counsellor

This course is now full for 2022 entry and closed for further applications.

4 years Part Time
Bishop Otter Campus

Top 30

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1. Guardian University Guide 2022


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3. Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2021


Counsellors play a key role in helping people find clarity and resolve feelings in often complex situations.

During this BA (Hons) Humanistic Counselling degree you will become a qualified counsellor after completing your second year. You will practise counselling in a variety of contexts to support you to become a robust and thoughtful practitioner. You will attend university for 1 day per week, complete supervised practice placements, and receive 20 hours of personal therapy each academic year.

This four-year, part-time degree combines Humanistic theory with professional and ethical practice. You will explore how you can contribute to the contemporary and growing field of counselling and psychotherapy, interact with peers, and cultivate new ways of understanding therapy and yourselves.

The course has an emphasis on professionalism, employability, and personal development. You will work towards a total of 300 hours of work experience as part of the course, gaining 100 hours by the end of Year 2 and 300 hours by the end of Year 4.

80% of our graduates are working as counsellors.


BA (Hons) Humanistic Counselling is a British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) Accredited Course to the Gold Book curriculum standard. This means the full four-year course includes professional training to become qualified as a counsellor and enables you to apply for Individual Accreditation through the BACP training route after you graduate.

You need to meet additional criteria to earn personal accreditation and qualify as a counsellor after you graduate, such as having an active BACP membership and completing 450 hours of work experience. The 300 hours of work experience you complete during this degree make up a large portion of this. You can purchase a BACP student membership during your studies.

If you complete all four years of this BA (Hons) Humanistic Counselling degree you will complete the requisite training hours and topics, you need to show on your BACP Individual Accreditation application. If you choose to exit the degree after two years (or take a non-Accredited course elsewhere) you will need to demonstrate how you have made up the rest of the training hours when you apply for accreditation.

BACP accredited course

Teaching and Assessment

How you will learn

You will be taught interactively and encouraged to engage with all study material and learn through discussion.

This course uses a variety of types of teaching and learning. During your degree you will complete independent study, receive coaching in practical skills, complete personal development activities and work with clients.

You will complete several types of study modules including:

  • Theory modules to equip you with knowledge of counselling theory, client and diversity issues and specialist Humanistic theory.
  • Skills and professionalism modules to develop your mastery of therapeutic interventions and professional awareness.
  • Personal development modules.
  • Research modules to introduce you to research methods.
  • Placements where you will work with clients.
  • Personal counselling.
  • One-to-one tutorials.

You will be assessed through observed skills practice, written assignments, supervisor’s reports and the completion of placement and personal counselling hours. This course has no exams.

The Course

What you will study

The course uses the following philosophy and principles:

  • People have inherent worth and deserve respect,
  • People have an innate tendency towards growth, change and realising their individual potential.
  • People are naturally creative and unique.
  • All aspects of the human experience have the potential to be a resource.

We aim to create an environment which facilitates hope, possibility, autonomy, resilience and personal/professional transformation and embrace the diverse range of humanistic therapeutic approaches based on these philosophies.

You will study a selection of core modules in each year. Each module is worth a number of credits and is delivered differently depending on its content and focus of study.

This modules list is indicative and subject to change.

Select a year

Humanistic Frameworks

You will be introduced to the rationale and theory behind Humanistic counselling, with reference to well-known writers in the field. You will explore Person-Centred, Gestalt and Transactional Analysis models and discover the core beliefs of all Humanistic practitioners. You will be assessed through a 1750 word essay.

Skills 1: Counselling Skills

You will discuss and practice counselling skills appropriate to the humanistic approach, and analyse the rationale behind skills and their use. You will debate and evaluate ethical issues as they arise in experiential work and consider issues such as confidentiality, equal opportunities and boundary setting. You will explore codes of ethics such as BACP and be introduced to the PCEPS Scale. You will be assessed through a 3500 word process recording.

Personal and Professional Development Group One

This module runs throughout the year and aims to provide a reflective and creative space within the context of a group. The group has no fixed agenda and is based on Humanistic Principles. You will have the opportunity to increase your self-awareness and how you function in a group through the experiential group process. A focus of the group process is to develop your knowledge of: who I am and how do I relate in the group process in the here and now? Each person will interpret the experience in their own way. Your group facilitator will follow a Humanistic approach and offer sensitive interjections when necessary. These will illustrate ways to set and develop a safe group experience along with opportunities for exploring difference in the group. This phenomenological approach to understanding difference and individual world views is a key concept throughout the module.

Skills 2: Counselling Skills with Ethics

You will discuss and practise counselling skills appropriate to the humanistic approach, and explore the rationale behind the skills and their appropriate use. You will debate and evaluate ethical issues as they arise in experiential work and consider issues such as confidentiality, equal opportunities and boundary setting. You will also consider the study of the code of Ethics such as BACP /UKCP and will continue to study the PCEPS Scale. You will be assessed through a 1750 word essay and a personal counselling log of 20 hours.

Human Development

You will be introduced to the rationale and major theories of life-span development from childhood to old age and explore the influence of such elements with reference to well-known writers in the field. You will study theories of Developmental Psychology such as the advances in neuroscience, attachment in infant development and post-structuralist/post-modern thinking on agency and human development. You will consider these topics in relation to human development and across diverse cultures as you learn to reflect on your own psychological development to support your counselling practice. You will be assessed through a 3500 word essay.

Skills 3: Understanding the Therapeutic Process and Ethical Awareness

You will report on and critically review your client work in a group setting. You will have on-going practise giving and receiving effective feedback and be encouraged to develop an understanding of the areas of responsibility of the professional counsellor. These areas include responsibility to clients, colleagues, agencies, associations, to society and to yourself. You will be encouraged to explore where conflicts might occur regarding responsibility and to use ethical problem-solving techniques to reach conclusions. You will be assessed through a 3500 word process recording.


You will be introduced to the rationale and theory behind supervision with reference to well-known writers in the field. You will explore supervision skills such as creating contracts and presenting to clients, as well as self-supervision and peer feedback. You will learn to reflect on your own use of supervision to support your counselling practice and be assessed through a 1750 word essay.

Personal and Professional Development Group Two

This module continues to provide a reflective and creative Humanistic group space with a focus on developing self-awareness of personal communication patterns. You will further develop your appreciation of difference as you and other members take risks to share thoughts and feelings that are different to others. The safety of the group allows for discussion, exploration and dialogue about difference, enhancing further understanding about oneself and others. It is through learning to trust and accept other group members and their views that members learn to trust and accept themselves, and in doing so share more of their concerns and anxieties, further contributing to the cohesiveness and trust in the group. The realisation that others have similar issues strengthens the bond between members and by talking things out in a safe environment, individuals have the opportunity to correct misperceptions, misunderstandings and assumptions.

Skills 4: Counselling Skills in Context

You will report on and critically review your casework in the group setting. You will continue to practise giving and receiving peer feedback with a focus on the quality of your therapeutic work, ethical or diversity issues and professionalism. You will be assessed through a 3500 word case study.

Client Issues

You will research a particular issue such as eating disorders, sexual abuse, bereavement, addiction, transitions, self-harming, body dysmorphia and obsessive-compulsive order. You will be assessed through a 1750 word essay.

Expressive Arts Therapy

You will discover the historical developments of the expressive arts with links to psychological modalities. You will analyse the debates surrounding the flexibility of the expressive arts for particular groups and client needs, and explore the efficacy of using the expressive arts for those with limited verbal expression. This includes non-verbal and pre-verbal members of society. You will experience a range of expressive arts therapies and explore their relationships to auto-ethnographic research. Your assessment will be a 3500 word diary analysis.

Personal and Professional Development Group Three

This module aims to deepen your self-awareness skills. The focus of self-reflection in the group will be: ‘How do I experience myself and relate to others within the group?’. You will also further explore the topic: ‘How do issues of authority and intimacy influence my experience?’. The group provides a reflective and creative space for this exploration and has no fixed agenda. The focus is on the ‘here and now’ experience. You will have the opportunity to identify your responses by examining your thoughts, feelings and physical senses. You can then use this information to further explore and analyse your experience, identifying any patterns of behaviour in your reactions. The group is a vehicle for understanding how relationship dynamics impact us and change us.

Critical Thinking in Humanistic Counselling

This module will deepen your critical understanding of Humanistic theory as you consider whether you can coherently integrate aspects of non-Humanistic theory into your Humanistic base. You will explore humanistic counselling in its historical context and make comparisons between the Humanistic model, the Psychodynamic model and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) as you analyse similarities and differences in the models’ varying theoretical perspectives and practices. You will be assessed through a 1750 word essay.

Professional Counselling Practice

This module in an opportunity to review and clarify the practice issues raised in previous modules, and a chance for you to continue to develop your ethical and professional awareness as well as your employability. You will discuss aspects of employability such as developing your CV, preparing for interviews and answering job applications, and have the opportunity to review and clarify your values and beliefs in relation to professionalism, assessment, outcome measures and contemporary developments in the world of counselling. You will be assessed through a 3500 word essay.

Person-Centred Therapy

You will develop your understanding of Rogers' ‘Conditions Statement’ and explore the ‘Tribes of the Person-centred Nation’ including the classical approach, focusing, experiential work, existential ideas and integration. You will be assessed on an essay of 3500 words.

Brief Therapy

You will be introduced to the history of brief therapy and the characteristics of the main schools. You will explore the brief therapy humanistic beliefs about people and their potential and be introduced to some of the main ways of working in brief time frames, noting the differences between these and ‘budget therapy'. You will be invited to check how this approach works with your own therapeutic philosophy and practice, and to consider its efficacy, uses and application in the contemporary therapeutic context. You will be assessed through a 1750 word essay.

Personal and Professional Development Group Four

This module runs throughout the year and you will continue to develop your skills in self-awareness. As in Year 3, the overall aim of this module is to deepen those skills using the group experience. The focus of self-reflection will continue to be ‘How do I experience myself and relate to others within the group?’. Within this final year a key requirement is to deepen and consolidate your awareness of your practice style and growing edges as a Humanistic therapist.

Independent Case Study – Humanistic Counselling Research Dissertation

You will be introduced to a range of methodology and methods undertaken in counselling research. You will employ a method of a counselling case study dissertation and learn how to apply methodology theories and counselling themes and theories to deepen your awareness of process and develop your professional practice. You will learn to evaluate and analyse all aspects of professional practice, particularly ethics and diversity, and be assessed through a 7000 word dissertation.

Diversity in Society

You will be introduced to the phenomenology of perception and discover how we form judgements and prejudice. This module covers Systems Theory and explores diversity and difference in groups in British society as trigger for and as a result of prejudice. You will examine Health and Social policies and projects that aim to support mental health provision and choose a research topic to focus on. You could research social attitudes to key aspects of ageing, disability, sexuality, gender, culture, religion, abuse, substance misuse, or illness. You will be assessed through a 1750 word essay.


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Work Placements

Gain practical experience

You will complete supervised practice hours in counselling placements. You could work in areas including addiction, young adults, bereavement, sexual trauma and abuse victims, and with people with disabilities.

You will work towards a total of 300 placement hours as part of the course, completing 100 hours by the end of Year 2.

You need a total of 450 hours (an additional 150 hours after completing the hours required on the course) to apply for BACP Individual Accreditation.


BA (Hons) Humanistic Counselling
"I chose to study this course at Chichester because I found that this course was highly regarded in the counselling sector. The best feature of the course was the chance for experiential learning. Working in pairs and groups and interacting with others has helped to encourage and deepen my confidence and enhance my learning. I loved working with my placements which has given me the experience of working with real clients. Once again this has built my confidence and self-esteem. The course has created a profound change for the positive within me and given me the career of my dreams. The advice I would give to anyone applying for the course would be, don’t hold back, trust yourself and the university. They have your best interests at heart, they will help you through it and it can be life changing."

Study Abroad

Explore the opportunity to study part of your course abroad

As a student at the University of Chichester, you can explore opportunities to study abroad during your studies as you enrich and broaden your educational experiences.

Students who have undertaken this in the past have found it to be an amazing experience to broaden their horizons, a great opportunity to meet new people, undertake further travelling and to immerse themselves within a new culture.

You will be fully supported throughout the process to help find the right destination institution for you and your course. We can take you through everything that you will need to consider, from visas to financial support, to help ensure that you can get the best out of your time studying abroad.


Where you could go after your studies

80% of our graduates are working as counsellors.

Routes past graduates have taken include:

  • Accredited Counsellors (after meeting the requirements of individual accrediting bodies such as BACP)
  • Counsellors in private practice or schools, universities, the NHS, for EAPs, colleges or companies
  • Youth and community workers (usually with further training)

Further Study

You may choose to continue your studies with a postgraduate degree after you graduate.


BA (Hons) Humanistic Counselling
"Chichester came highly recommended for this course. It is the only course I have ever participated in my lifetime that has changed my life and given me a direct route into my chosen career, it has essentially created that career for me. I am working in a private counselling practice, and this course has not only given me the skills to be successful and additionally the confidence and courage to step out of employment into self employment. I think the changes people have seen in me personally, as well as the success in my new career is the biggest recommendation that can me made."

Course Costs

Course Fees 2022/23

UK fee

Personal counselling

Personal counselling is a requirement of the programme. It is seen as essential to the practice of professional counselling because it supports the student’s personal and professional growth. The requirement of the programme is that students undertake a minimum of 20 sessions (50 mins/1 hour per session) in each year of the programme.  Before you begin the BA, we will provide you with details of the specific criteria for selecting an appropriate counsellor.

For further details about fees, please see our Tuition Fee page.

For further details about international scholarships, please see our Scholarships page.

To find out about any additional costs on this course, please see our Additional Costs page.

Entry Requirements

Typical Offer (individual offers may vary):

  • To apply for Year 1 you need to provide evidence of foundation level training in counselling is essential (such as our Certificate in Counselling Skills). You also need to either: demonstrate the equivalent of 120 Level 4 credits, OR demonstrate accreditation of prior experiential learning (instead of the credits), which is available through the completion of a portfolio task following a successful interview.
  • To apply to enter at Year 3 you need a Diploma in Counselling and 100 placement hours, plus 120 Level 4 and 120 Level 5 credits (usually from your Diploma). If you do not have a previous L5 qualification you can apply using a portfolio, following a successful interview.

You will also need:

  • IELTS 6.0 overall with no element lower than 5.5 if you are an international student.
  • An enhanced DBS check.

Offers are subject to interview.

Are you interested in this course and would like to learn more? Please email Jo Taylor-Jones on for admissions queries.


Frequently asked questions

How do I apply?

This programme is full for 2022 and is no longer open for applications.

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