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Counselling psychologists deal with a wide range of mental health problems concerning life issues including bereavement, self-harm, and traumas. They use psychological theory and research, combined with counselling skills, in designing and delivering interventions to help clients with a range of difficult life issues and/or mental health conditions. They make decisions to support the individual, empower them to recover, and to minimise stress they may be experiencing.
This BSc (Hons) Counselling Psychology with Integrated Foundation Year degree is ideal if you want to start your journey to become a BPS Counselling Psychologist, as you develop your knowledge of psychology and counselling psychology theories and skills.
You will examine biological, cognitive, developmental, and individual differences alongside the social psychological principles underlying everyday experience and behaviour.
This degree prepares you to work with life issues and mental health in a particular setting such as health, forensics, or education services, and with a diverse range of individuals.
Although you will be learning counselling skills, this degree does not qualify you to practice privately as a counsellor. If you are interested in becoming a counsellor, see our BA (Hons) Humanistic Counselling course.
This course has an integrated foundation year. This means you will complete an extra year of study before starting your BSc degree to build your subject knowledge and develop your academic writing, reading and research skills.
This option is for you if you are interested in psychology but do not meet the course entry requirements for BSc (Hons) Counselling Psychology yet, or if you want more time to prepare for higher education.
This BSc (Hons) Counselling Psychology course is accredited by the British Psychological Society (BPS).
On this course you will:
- Study both counselling psychology and general psychology modules.
- Complete practical and laboratory experiments.
- Learn to use research and analytic skills to explain everyday experiences.
- Discover, apply, and reflect on counselling skills.
- Learn to understand and support people with a variety of life issues.
- Explore ethical issues in counselling psychology.
- Engage in self-reflection.
- Explore emotions and decision making.
What you will study
You will study a selection of core and optional 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 list is indicative and subject to change.
Select a year
Foundation in Knowledge and Skills
In this module, you will develop your basic knowledge and skills to support your academic development and improve your confidence in your academic writing and reading.
Foundations in Psychology 1: Being and Feeling
In this module you will explore ‘being’ and ‘feeling’ — two components that enable us to experience the inside and outside worlds. Understanding these primary aspects of human psychology will create the foundation of your learning.
Foundations in Psychology 2: Thinking and Developing
This module is designed to develop your personal study skills. You will undertake an independent study into an aspect of education under the guidance of the module co-ordinator. You will accommodate new principles and new knowledge through your own study. This will involve knowing the complex interactions between education and broader contexts. Through carrying out your personal study, students should learn how to analyse the complex situations concerning human learning and development.
This module is an applied piece of work related to your chosen degree. It will require you to apply the knowledge and skills developed throughout the foundation year and will enhance your ability to work individually and as part of a team.
During the project, you will develop in-depth knowledge of your chosen future specialisation. You will be encouraged to demonstrate creativity in the design, planning and execution of a project.
Analysing Attitudes to Work & Performance
This module helps define a range of everyday experiences using psychological models of attitudes, as you learn how to analyse attitudes and explore psychological constructs, methodology and theories associated with experiences. Fundamental data analysis skills will be developed through lectures and the use of statistical software, with a focus on understanding patterns of data via visualisation.
You will be assessed through a coursework assignment and a practical report.
This module aims to enable students to become familiar with some of the major theoretical approaches to counselling.
The module will familiarise students with aspects of a common core within counselling frameworks with specific reference to the course philosophy and principles.
The module will also enable students to recognise some of the areas where counselling philosophies diverges along with some of the differences in counselling techniques.
The module also gives students an opportunity to reflect on their individual responses and relationship to the counselling frameworks. the practical aim is to enhance student’s ability to link theory with practice and to critically examine counselling theories.
Counselling Psychology Skills
In this module, you will develop your competence in the use of counselling skills through both your active participation and tutor led skills demonstrations.
Personal growth is often a by-product of entering into the experiential mode of learning, enhancing the possibilities for change in an individual’s life.
The Humanistic approach recognises the importance of self-discovery and provides you with a useful platform for the acquisition of both personal effectiveness in using counselling skills and personal insight.
Counselling Skills With Ethics
You will become familiar with the Psychotherapy Scale (PCEPS) and be introduced to PC10 on learning to offer clients choice and autonomy.
You will practise and be assessed in PC1-6; setting the therapeutic frame with clients, establishing the working alliance, working in the client’s frame of reference, counsellor warmth, clarity of language which communicates simply and clearly to the client, and therapist’s responses which intend to direct the client’s content.
Familiarity with the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy’s (BACP) Ethical Framework for Good Practice in Counselling and Psychotherapy underpins this module and you will be assessed through an essay and a live counselling session.
Experimental Design in Context: Usability and Cognition
This module explores functions and experiences relevant to using technology, focusing on the criteria used to assess technology’s usability and how human limitations relate to this usability and usage. You will be introduced to certain psychological theories and empirical findings from investigations into information processing by the mind, and discuss a range of methodologies and analyses such as laboratory experimentation and inferential statistics.
You will be assessed through a practical report and research participation.
Perspectives On Psychology
This module seeks to enable you to understand the contribution of key thinkers to the development of modern psychology and to appreciate their biographical backgrounds. The lives and work of key thinkers will be introduced and contextualised with reference to contemporary ideas and more.
Study & Research Skills for Social Scientists
This module is an opportunity to advance your personal, research and study skills and will support other content-led teaching. You will be assessed through a report and research participation.
This module explores the ways biological processes have been studied, for example through brain lesions and cell stimulation methodologies.
The areas of behavioural genetics, neuro-imaging, neuropsychology, socio-biology and evolutionary psychology will be investigated in terms of underlying theory and empirical research.
This module will introduce you to the ways cognitive processes have been studied in the past. This includes studying experimental and cognitive neuropsychological methodologies. You will investigate the areas of attention, perception, learning, thinking and language and relate your findings to underlying theory and empirical research.
This module explores the study of development and maturation in cognitive, personality, and social processes, as well as introduce you to basic theory, research findings, and methods of investigation in childhood, adolescence, and lifespan development.
You will consider the ways in which behaviour is influenced by developmental factors, the nature of developmental processes, and the ways in which empirical research can help us to understand how developmental processes influence what we do.
Individual Differences Psychology
On this module, you will be introduced to how individual differences processes have been studied in the past, for example through psychometrics and case study methodologies.
You will investigate areas of personality, intelligence, cognitive style, motivation, gender, and ethnicity in terms of underlying theory and empirical research.
You will be assessed through an essay and a lab report.
This module aims to enable students to understand some of the major theories of developmental psychology.
The module will familiarise students with the diversity of lifespan development models and enable students to recognise critical and transitional points in human development and the influence of these in later life.
This will include an introduction to psychopathology reviewed from counselling and therapeutic perspectives. the practical aim is to enable students to appreciate the multi-dimensional nature of the human life course, thus developing a flexible practice framework which includes a clarity about theories of development and psychopathology.
This module will prepare students to work with clients from various stages in their developmental process (students are permitted to work with clients aged 16 or over) as well as accommodating the uniqueness of individuality.
Research Methods: Experimental Designs & Analysis
This module will develop your understanding of experimental designs and associated methods of analysis, and introduce you to research ethics.
Research Methods: Survey and Qualitative Designs and Analysis
The module aims to develop your understanding of survey and qualitative designs and associated methods of analysis related to Psychology.
Understanding the Therapeutic Process and Working With Diversity
This module gives you an opportunity to revise and consolidate your growing familiarity and expertise in applying the Humanistic attitudes and skills PC1-10 from the PCEPS Scale (V.10.5, 01/03/11).
You will practise therapist accepting presence, therapist’s attitude conveying an unconditional acceptance of whatever the client brings and therapist responses which genuinely convey their moment to moment experiencing with the client.
This module also aims to explore the factors that may affect mental health in diverse populations in society. The roots of prejudice will be examined and how issues such as difference and discrimination can be experienced as a result.
The module will explore how prejudice can be counteracted through policies and projects aimed at equality of provision of psychological services in health and social services.
You will be encouraged to explore your own prejudices through a phenomenological approach.
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.
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.
In this module, you are encouraged to adopt a problem-oriented approach. The first stage is to identify a problem in psychology of interest and relevance to your studies.
You will determine an appropriate approach to addressing the problem through discussion with tutors who have relevant theoretical and practical expertise.
Your investigation may be based within a single discipline, or it may involve more than one discipline, but it must be based within your chosen degree programme.
Mindfulness and Compassion-Focussed Therapies
The broad aim of the module is to provide a critical understanding of mindfulness and compassion-focussed psychotherapies, including studies of mechanisms of change, acceptance and commitment-based therapy, and dialectical behaviour therapy.
Person-Centred Therapy & Professional Development
You will develop your understanding of Roger’s ‘Conditions Statement’ and explore the ‘Tribes of the Person-centred Nation’ including the classical approach, focusing, experiential work, existential ideas and integration.
Project Management and Presentation Skills
This project will support you to develop a wide range of skills from project management to the ability to present your research results in an accessible form. You will develop their scientific reasoning and reporting skills and produce a poster to present your research work.
Working in Counselling Psychology
This module provides students with an opportunity to review and clarify many of the practice issues raised in previous modules, giving students a chance to continue to develop their ethical and professional awareness, as well as their employability. Further aspects of employability such as developing the CV, preparing for interviews and answering job applications will be discussed. Students will have an opportunity to review and clarify their values and beliefs in relation to professionalism, assessment, outcome measures and contemporary developments in the world of counselling psychology.
Teaching and Assessment
How you will learn
This course uses a range of teaching strategies including lectures, workshops and tutorials. Sessions will encourage theoretical and critical inquiry and debate using discussions that require a high level of self awareness. You should be able to discuss your experiences of mental health — whether this is your own mental health or the experiences of others.
You will build your subject knowledge and practical experience through core and optional teaching modules and develop skills central to professional practice and psychological research.
Accessing Class Materials
All lectures and teaching classes are recorded and placed on Chi Player after the lecture takes place, where practical. Course handbooks, powerpoints and associated materials used in lecturers are also made available online. You can access electronic copies of core texts on the course reading list through the library services.
Each module has three hours of contact time per week. You will study four modules per semester so you will have 12 contact hours per week. This time includes lectures, seminars and workshops.
You will be assessed through a range of assignments including scientific reports, essays, group and individual presentations, poster design, multiple choice papers, short answer papers, research participation, essays and exams.
Use industry standard equipment
Use facilities including the Brain Imaging Unit, VR Immersive Suite, Psychological Test Centre, Interview and Observation Suite and individual fully equipped testing cubicles and use industry standard equipment and software throughout your studies.
Brain Imaging Unit and Neuroimaging: NIRScout
Virtual Reality Unit and Immersive Suite
Advanced Physiological Data Acquisition system
Eye tracking software
Specialist Advanced Research Software
Learning Resource Centre
Dedicated Lab Technician
Expand your experience
You may complete an international or European exchange as part of your studies. You may choose to undertake an exchange for one semester or a whole year at one of our partnership institutions.
Psychology supports students in both the BSc programme pathways who wish to broaden their academic and cultural experience by choosing to study abroad for one semester as part of their degree studies. This is an exciting chance for students who wish to widen their horizons and immerse themselves in a different culture and encounter how the discipline of Psychology is viewed and taught at universities in Europe or North America.
We are currently expanding the range of international exchange opportunities that we offer our students.
For example, under Erasmus agreements, students might like to study for a semester at either Maastricht or Radboud universities in the Netherlands, where Psychology classes are delivered through the English language.
Where you could go after your studies
Counselling psychologists work as part of a team in a larger setting than private counsellors, and often work in health services or the NHS. If you choose to pursue a career in the health service, you could work with acute admissions, psychiatric intensive care, or rehabilitation.
Counselling psychologists may work with children, young people, adults, families, groups or at organisation level.
You could work in health centres, Improving Access to Psychology Therapist services (IAPT), community mental health teams, Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS), forensic settings, or education, research, or corporate institutions.
You may work with people experiencing bereavement and personal losses, or support people in relationship contexts or people who have been able to escape a situation where they were dealing with domestic violence or sexual abuse. You will support people with all sorts of traumas and mental health problems.
BSc (Hons) Counselling Psychology could lead to a career as a professional psychologist in:
- Working with children, adults and families
- Civil Service
Becoming a Chartered Counselling Psychologist
After your degree you may choose to work in one of the settings mentioned above, or you could become a chartered counselling psychologist through a BSP accredited doctorate or stage 2 training in counselling psychology.
This BSc (Hons) Counselling Psychology degree has the status of the Graduate Basis for Registration (GBR) with the BPS. You will need a Graduate Basis to progress to specialist areas of psychology and become a Chartered Psychologist.
You may choose to continue your studies to postgraduate level.
Course Fees 2023/24
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.
Typical offers (individual offers may vary):
Non-standard Application Entry Routes
The University has an alternative entry route for applicants who have relevant skills and experience but who do not hold the formal minimum entry qualifications required. Applicants who demonstrate the necessary skills and experience to enter a course of higher education will be asked to complete an entry task involving the completion of specially set assignments.
Are you interested in this course and would like to learn more? Please email Professor Esther Burkitt on firstname.lastname@example.org for admissions queries.
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