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Psychology (Counselling) BSc (Hons)

Key Facts

  • UCAS Code:


  • Level:


  • Duration:

    3 years full time
    4 years full time (with foundation)
    4-6 years part time

  • Starting:


  • Fees UK:

    Full Time: £9,250
    Part Time: £1,465 per 20 credit module
    Integrated Foundation Year: £6,780

  • Fees International:

    Full Time: £13,000
    Integrated Foundation Year:

  • Location:


Get in touch

For questions regarding study and admissions please contact us:

UK/EU Students enquiries
0300 303 2772

International Students enquiries
+44 (0)1604 894503

TEF Gold. Teaching Excellence Framework.


If you are interested in pursuing a career in counselling or clinical psychology, or another helping profession where interactive skills are essential, this course is one of only a few national programmes that is designed specifically for you.

Our Psychology and Counselling course will introduce you to the central concepts of both psychology and counselling before moving on to explore the subject in more depth, according to your interests. You will have the opportunity to study areas as diverse as positive psychology, parapsychology and neuroscience of mind.

Professional Accreditation: British Psychological Society (BPS)

Updated 13/09/2021


  • This course is accredited by BPS (British Psychological Society)
  • Provides you with the Graduate Basis for BPS Chartered Membership and eligibility for MSc and professional doctorates in Psychology (2:2 degree classification or higher)
  • Experiential learning in small groups
  • Teaching staff with extensive professional experience
  • Guaranteed paid internship with the Northampton Employment Promise.
  • HP Laptop and software included with this course for eligible students.*  (*See eligibility criteria, terms and conditions apply)



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Course Content

  • This course has been designed to contribute towards achieving the following United Nations Sustainable Development Goal: SDG3 Good Health and Wellbeing.

    This course is made up of psychological theory, counselling skills and practice, and personal reflections and development.

    You will have an opportunity to develop your understanding of the key theories and concepts in psychology and counselling, learning basic counselling skills and gaining an understanding of the professional context of counselling work. The applied nature of counselling psychology will be emphasised throughout the programme.

    In addition to a focus on counselling concepts, issues and skills, this course will allow you to analyse and understand human behaviour, thought and emotions, from many different psychological perspectives. If you are looking to become a counsellor then this course provides you with a basis for professional level training.

    If you are studying this course full-time you will take 120 credits each academic year. You will study a mix of core subjects and can choose from a range of modules which reflect your interests. At each level, you will take a core module in Counselling combining three key elements:

    • key theoretical concepts and therapeutic practices
    • the development of self-awareness
    • the development of counselling skills
    Stage one

    At stage one, the core Counselling module is Introduction to Counselling which explores key concepts and research approaches in counselling, while developing your awareness of different counselling settings and developing your presentation skills. You are given an excellent grounding in counselling and psychology that you will continue to build upon throughout the course.

    Stage two

    Stage two aims to provide you with a thorough grounding in the main theoretical models used in counselling (person-centred, CBT and psychodynamic) and an opportunity to develop your counselling skills and awareness of the therapeutic process through theory, group work and practicing with your peers.

    You will also have the option of studying either a module on the psychology of wellbeing or taking a work-based placement: The Psychology of Learning and Teaching in Educational Settings. Please note that if you do select this work-based placement module then a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check will be required.

    Stage three

    In stage three, you will undertake a module in counselling psychology theory and counselling skills which will introduce you to a range of issues worked with by counsellors. The knowledge and skills gained will be applicable in a range of therapeutic professions. You will also undertake an empirical dissertation, under the guidance of a psychology or counselling lecturer with particular expertise in your chosen area. You will immerse yourself in a topic of your choosing, subject to staff and ethical approval, and exercise the research skills you have acquired through the course.

    It is important to note that this is primarily an academic course rather than a professional training course, and that those who complete the course will not be immediately qualified as counsellors or counselling psychologists. However, on successful completion of the course, with a 2:2 or above, you should have the knowledge, skills and experience to enable you to pursue professional training in counselling or counselling/clinical psychology at postgraduate level.

    List of modules
      • Module code: PSY1001
        Status: Compulsory
        This module introduces students to applications of psychological knowledge in the real world. It aims to help students acquire knowledge and understanding of theory and research relating to key topics in Applied Psychology and to develop the critical skills necessary to the evaluation of different approaches within Applied Psychology.
      • Module code: PSY1003
        Status: Compulsory
        The purpose of this module is to provide students with a broad understanding of psychology by introducing four core areas (social developmental cognitive and biological psychology). Students will develop critical thinking and evaluative skills of psychological material by focusing on theory empirical research and real-life examples.
      • Module code: PSY1006
        Status: Compulsory
        The purpose of this module is to provide a fundamental introduction to research design analysis and interpretation in psychology. Students need to understand common methods of investigation in order to appreciate the source and context of theories and research findings encountered in specific subject areas studied in other psychology modules.
      • Module code: PSY1009
        Status: Compulsory
        This module provides a grounding in moral ethical legal and professional issues which underpin the practice of counselling. It also provides an opportunity to develop critical engagement with original psychological materials in counselling.
      • Module code: PSY1011
        Status: Compulsory
        This module aims to develop student?s intra-and-inter-personal skills through exploring Positive Psychology theory and application and increasing self-awareness. Throughout the module you will gain understanding for how these are experienced how we relate to them and what psychology has begun to understand about them.
      • Module code: PSY1012
        Status: Compulsory
        The purpose of this module is to be personally relevant to students? psychological studies and enable them to start to build psychological literacy - using psychological skills and knowledge to solve real-world problems and interact ethically and responsibly with others.
      • Module code: PSY2005
        Status: Compulsory
        The purpose of this module is to continue development in research skills established in ?Becoming a Psychologist? (PSY1006). Students will increase psychological competency in preparation for the dissertation via engaging in ethical thinking and enhancing core skills at all levels of the research process
      • Module code: PSY2006
        Status: Designate
        The aim of this module is to introduce students to the notion that our understanding of human beings their thinking and behaviour can be enhanced if we understand them in terms of their biology evolution and ecology. Principles of evolution will be applied to a variety of psychological mechanisms.
      • Module code: PSY2007
        Status: Designate
        The objective of this module is to further develop the knowledge acquired in Positive Psychology (PSY1011) by specifically considering the application of theories to a range of contexts. The module refers to a range of psychological processes recognizing the importance of biological cognitive emotional and social factors in understanding well-being.
      • Module code: PSY2018
        Status: Compulsory
        This module aims to build on PSY1009 to provide students with a thorough grounding in the main theoretical models used in counselling alongside developing self-awareness and general counselling skills including awareness of the counselling contract and the different stages of the counselling process.
      • Module code: PSY2025
        Status: Designate
        The purpose of this module is to enable students to view education from a psychological perspective and to become aware of the ways in which Psychology can be used to understand and to improve learning and teaching. Students will spend time observing and/or participating in an educational environment which could be a school college training environment or other relevant setting.
      • Module code: PSY2029
        Status: Designate
        The purpose of this module is to build on the introduction to biological and cognitive approaches in psychology provided in Introduction to Psychology (PSY1003). It introduces new and more complex material with a view to developing students' knowledge understanding and critical appreciation of the theories and research applied in these approaches
      • Module code: PSY2030
        Status: Compulsory
        The purpose of this module is to build on the Social and Developmental Psychology material introduced in the Level 4 module PSY1003 - Introduction to Psychology. This module covers contemporary and critical perspectives related to development across the lifespan within complex social worlds and will be of interest to students wishing to deepen their knowledge of theories research and methods in Social and Developmental Psychology.
      • Module code: PSY2031
        Status: Compulsory
        The purpose of this module is to build upon material presented at Level 4 by tracing the historical development of Psychology as an academic discipline and exploring key theories and research in personality and individual differences. Special consideration will be given to conceptual issues that continue to generate debate.
      • Module code: PSY3004
        Status: Designate
        This module aims to explore contemporary understandings of mental health and experience of individuals with mental health disorders. The module explores social ethical and scientific issues around the field of mental health and offers an environment for students to engage in critical analysis and debate.
      • Module code: PSY3007
        Status: Designate
        The purpose of this module is to explore in depth two areas of psychology concerned with the important yet often poorly understood areas of experimental parapsychology and the psychology of anomalous experience
      • Module code: PSY3013
        Status: Designate
        The purpose of this module to build on curriculum provided in Psychology in Practice (PSY1001) surrounding the Health Psychology profession and application of theoretical models from Health Psychology and allied professions (e.g. medicine). Health Psychology advances the health care system and aids formulation of policy alongside focusing service provisions for individuals and communities.
      • Module code: PSY3023
        Status: Designate
        The purpose of this module is to develop an understanding and critical appreciation of relevant theory research and practice within Educational Psychology and provide the opportunity for advanced study of the psychology of education with practical experience of applying such knowledge in an educational context.
      • Module code: PSY3027
        Status: Designate
        The purpose of this module is to explore the unique contribution to Psychology provided by the related fields of Transpersonal Psychology and the Psychology of religion. This is achieved by a combination of rigorous academic inquiry with a structured experiential programme of personal interpersonal cultural and social development. Transpersonal Psychology and the Psychology of religion are concerned with important aspects of human experience related to spirituality religious experience and behaviour personal happiness and wellbeing with Transpersonal Psychology emphasising experiential and transformative approaches and the Psychology of religion emphasising an application of mainstream psychological approaches and normative descriptions. The module offers students the opportunity to engage fully in a process of personal transpersonal and social development (Integral Transpersonal Development / ITD) designed for this module.
      • Module code: PSY3028
        Status: Compulsory
        This module builds on PSY2018 and introduces students to the complex range of issues that clients may bring to counselling and how issues of difference may affect the counselling process. It also develops ways of working with clients in terms of the application of theory research and skills to issues presented in counselling contexts.
      • Module code: PSY3053
        Status: Designate
        The purpose of this module is to develop a critical appreciation of the strengths and limitations of key psychological theory and research in the area of lifespan development and develop knowledge and understanding of a range of psychological issues relevant to children?s adolescent?s and adult?s lives.
      • Module code: PSY3054
        Status: Designate
        This module builds on the biological approaches to Psychology introduced in the second year Biological Psychology module PSY2011. It introduces newer and more complex material with a view to developing students? knowledge understanding and critical appreciation of the theories and methods applied in these approaches.
      • Module code: PSY3055
        Status: Designate
        The purpose of this module is to build on and extend the knowledge acquired by students at levels four and five. It will examine critically the impact of positive psychological processes in families organizations and communities and evaluate how these may help or hinder the development of individual and collective strengths.
      • Module code: PSY4008
        Status: Compulsory
        The dissertation builds on and expands students? prior knowledge of research methodology acquired at levels 4 and 5. It aims to foster the development of expertise in methodology and skills in the planning conduct and write up of research reports. This form of independent experiential learning will require students to ask logical questions to diagnose and define problems generate and implement solutions and evaluate the effectiveness of their action-outcomes. It therefore develops the students? ability to work independently and to reflect on the research process.
  • BBC at A Level or DDM at BTEC Extended Diploma.

    In addition, you will be expected to have achieved GCSE Maths at Grade C/4 or above. Domestic equivalencies are not accepted, apart from Access applicants who must take 12 credits of Maths Level 2 or 6 credits of Maths Level 3 as part of their Access course.  International equivalencies will be reviewed on application.

    Integrated Foundation Year (IFY) Entry Requirements

    The standard entry requirements for the Integrated Foundation Year are DEE at A level or MPP at BTEC.

    If you would like more information on how to make an application as a Home or EU student, please visit our How to Apply page.

    If you are an International student and would like more information on how to make an application, please visit our How to Apply page.

    English Language Requirements

    All International and EU students applying for a course with us must meet the following minimum English language requirements:

    • IELTS 6.0 (or equivalent) with a minimum of 5.5 in all bands
      for study at undergraduate level.

    For information regarding English language requirements at the University, please see our IELTS page.

  • 2021/22 Tuition Fees

    Fees quoted relate to study in the Academic Year 21/22 only and may be subject to inflationary increases in future years.

    • UK – Full Time: £9,250
    • UK – Part Time: £1,465 per 20 credit module
    • UK – Integrated Foundation Year (IFY): £6,780 as part of a four year programme (subsequent years will be charged at standard BA/BSc rate).
    • International – Full Time: £13,000
    • International – Integrated Foundation Year (IFY): £13,000
    2020/21 Tuition Fees

    Fees quoted relate to study in the Academic Year 20/21 only and may be subject to inflationary increases in future years.

    • Home and EU Full Time: £9,250
    • Home and EU Part Time: £1,450 per 20 credit module
    • Home and EU Integrated Foundation Year (IFY): £6,750 as part of a four year programme (subsequent years will be charged at standard BA/BSc rate).
    • International: £12,900
    • International Integrated Foundation Year (IFY): £12,900
    Additional costs

    Travel costs to and from placements, and extra costs associated with placements, may be incurred throughout your studies depending on where you are based.

    Scholarships and Bursaries

    For information on the scholarships available to you, please see our scholarships page.

  • British Psychological Society

    Our Psychology and Counselling course is accredited by the British Psychological Society (BPS)*, conferring eligibility for the Graduate Basis for Chartered membership, provided that you achieve the minimum of a second class honours in your degree. This is the first step towards becoming a Chartered Psychologist.

    * Accreditation applicable to undergraduate Single Honours Psychology degrees and Joint Honours degrees where Psychology is the major subject.

    British Psychological Society accredited logo

  • Our postgraduate courses are a great way to enhance the skills you have already learnt. Benefit from our 20% alumni discount on postgraduate fees to give you a CV that will catch the eye of employers.

  • At the University of Northampton, everything we do, from funded trips to paid internships, is to give you everything you need to make a difference when you leave.

    If you join this full time degree at Northampton you will receive a laptop when your course begins. The laptops are built to a bespoke custom specification ideal for use in the seminar room, collaborative group work or studying at home.

    Whatever your ambitions, we’re here to help you to achieve them. We’ll support you to identify the skills you’re learning during your course, find your strengths and secure practical experience so that when it comes to applying for jobs or further study you’ll feel confident in standing out from the crowd. We’ve created the Northampton Employment Promise because we are so confident that if you focus on your studies and complete one of our awards you’ll be highly employable by the time you graduate. Putting you in a great position to secure employment or continue your studies.

    To check out the full list of perks visit our Student Perks page.

  • The Integrated Foundation Year (IFY) offers a new and exciting route into studying for a degree, attracting ambitious and driven students who are willing to learn and advance.

    If you have non-standard qualifications or do not quite meet the admissions requirements we can offer you a fantastic opportunity to study a four year programme which includes an Integrated Foundation Year. The Integrated Foundation Year will help you develop the theoretical/practical and academic skills you need, in order to successfully progress to the full award.

    Featuring a reduced tuition fee in the first year, our four-year courses will enable you to successfully follow the degree pathway of your choice while gaining essential study skills. The foundation year of your chosen degree will be studied on a full-time basis and is aimed at supporting the transition to higher education. Years two, three and four are then studied as a standard degree programme.

    • as part of the course, you will have the opportunity to undertake a work-based placement
    • students have access to excellent facilities and resources for research
    • you will be taught by internationally and nationally recognised researchers in several topics including parapsychology, mental health and wellbeing and qualitative psychology
    • Counselling modules will be taught by experienced counsellors and therapists

    Facilities and equipment available:

    • Three dedicated psychology technicians available to support students
    • Six research cubicles
    • Perception lab
    • Observation suite
    • BioPac MP30, MP36 & MP36r: A tool for measuring EEG, ECG, EDA and Respiration.
    • Bitalino smart wearables: enables anyone to create projects for wearable health tracking.
    • SmartBCI 18-channel wireless EEG: An electroencephalogram (EEG) is a device used to measure the electrical activity of the brain. An EEG tracks and records brain wave patterns.
    • Muse EEG: Muse is a wearable brain sensing headband. The device measures brain activity via 4 electroencephalography sensors.
    • Rubber Hand Illusion: The illusion comes on when the real and fake hands are stroked at the same time and speed for a minute or two.
    • HTC Vive VR Headsets: The HTC Vive is a virtual reality headset developed by HTC and Valve Corporation. The headset uses “room scale” tracking technology, allowing the user to move in 3D space and use motion-tracked handheld controllers to interact with the environment.

    Listed below are some of the key tests you can administer within our psychometrics library:

    • Intelligence scales: Weschler Adult Intelligence Scale, Weschler Intelligence Scale for Children, and the Weschler Abbreviated Intelligence Scale x 2
    • Personality measures: NEO Five Factor Inventory & PI-R, Eysenck Personality Scales, Myers-Briggs Type Indicator and Cattell’s 16PF Form (A&B)
    • Health Psychology Portfolio
    • Mental Health Portfolio
    • Measures of Children’s Mental Health & Psychological Well-Being
    • Child Behaviour Checklist
    • Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking – Verbal/Figural
    • Rorschach test
    • Witkin’s Group Embedded Figures test
  • What can I do with a bachelor’s degree in psychology and counselling?

    With a psychology and counselling degree, you can specialise within different pathways and develop within an area of your choice in the field of psychology. You may also choose to follow various career paths outside of the psychological profession, as you will have gained such an invaluable set of skills and a knowledge base that enables you to succeed in areas outside of psychology.

    For example, our graduates are employed in education, the health service, the police force, human resources management, marketing, the civil service, broadcasting, social work and many other professions. The work-based elements of this course provide valuable careers-based skills.

    As well as our annual Psychology Careers Event, at the University of Northampton, we also offer other volunteering opportunities through our Changemaker Hub, Employability Plus recognition, STEAM Opportunities and support from our careers team. Upon completion of this course, and depending on degree classification, you can progress to postgraduate training to obtain British Psychological Society (BPS) ‘chartered’ status (GBC) as counselling, clinical, educational, occupational, health or forensic psychologist. You could pursue a career as an academic psychologist, conducting research and teaching in higher education. More information about psychology careers can be found on the BPS website.

    Is this degree good for a career in counselling?

    This course is a good ground for careers in chartered counselling psychology, or even clinical, occupational, education or forensic psychology. This course will prepare you for roles such as a coach, counselling psychologist, counsellor, psychotherapist and wider helping professions. As well as an introduction to counselling, this course will give you a deeper understanding of counselling theories, ethics and self-awareness. Furthermore, our changemaker team is available to help support you with work experience in the appropriate field from the start of your studies, until after you graduate.

    How is this course different to single honours psychology?

    Within this course, you will have the opportunity to choose modules from levels from 4, 5 and 6 which focus on counselling and wellbeing. These include, Introduction to Counselling, Counselling: From theory to practice, The Psychology of Wellbeing and Counselling in context. Furthermore, your level 6 dissertation project will focus on a counselling topic. These modules will focus on transferable therapeutic skills, self-awareness and knowledge required for a career in counselling.

    Is Psychology (Counselling) a good degree?

    One of the main draws for a degree in psychology and counselling, is that it does not limit you to just working within psychology or counselling. Of course those options are available (and more information about psychology careers can be found through the BPS website), but the skills that are acquired throughout a psychology and counselling degree are applicable to careers much more broadly. Such examples that you can expect to develop across the course include critical thinking and writing, computer literacy, effective communication via a variety of different channels, and thorough and ethical research practices. Many of the skills from a psychology and counselling degree are transferable across many different careers, and therefore gives you the opportunity to develop yourself towards any route you would like to pursue.

    How long is a Psychology (Counselling) degree?

    The BSc Psychology (Counselling) route here at the University is between 3-6 years, depending on your availability to study. This gives time to not only develop a foundational knowledge of psychology and appropriate research skills, but also for you to develop towards the areas that are of interest to you, and time to explore career opportunities and areas of expertise, alongside our staff team.

    Are there work placements?

    There are a couple of different places within the course where there are opportunities for work placements. During Stage One, there is a short work placement to complete as part of a module assessment. Following from here, there are work placement opportunities within our Education-focused modules at Stages Two and Three. We also run an optional placement year, between Stage Two and Stage Three, giving you the opportunity to strengthen career skills alongside your degree, should you so wish.

    Does this course qualify me to be a counsellor?

    Taking this course does not automatically qualify you to become a counsellor. However, this course is accredited by the professional body that oversees Psychology in the United Kingdom, the British Psychological Society (BPS).

    This means, that providing you meet the minimum standard of a lower second class honours (2:2) level you are eligible for the Graduate Basis for Chartered (GBC) membership of the BPS. GBC is considered the first stage necessary for becoming a chartered practitioner, in counselling psychology as well as several other areas. If you wish to pursue a counselling career or a related profession, such as a psychotherapist, you will need to complete core practitioner training that is at a minimum level of a psychotherapy or counselling diploma or masters.

    How will I learn?

    Teaching methods on BSc Psychology (Counselling) include an innovative, active blended approach to learning which makes the acquisition of knowledge more dynamic and flexible for students than ever before. This involves face-to-face seminars, tutorials, practical or laboratory workshops and computer assisted learning. Independent and group work will be supplemented with online seminars, self-directed learning and virtual tasks.

    You are encouraged to actively engage and participate with your course material both online and in class discussions to further enhance your learning and will be expected to complete independent study alongside attending your classes. Practical work represents an important component of the Psychology course in each of your three years of study.

    Throughout the course, you are exposed to different research approaches, and will develop an ability to apply both quantitative and qualitative techniques to research questions. We have extensive online resources that support face-to-face contact in class. You are taught by experienced, well-qualified staff that are experts within their disciplines. Staff in the Subject Group are active researchers, producing research that is nationally and internationally recognised.

    How will I be assessed?

    A variety of assessment strategies are used at each level to ascertain your level of competence in a range of academic and transferable skills. These strategies include essays, practical reports, multiple-choice tests, oral presentations, time-constrained essays, seen and unseen examinations, critical reviews, group project work, patchwork blogs, audio-visual presentations, and reflective reports, for example.

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Careers and Employability

This course prepares you for postgraduate training in counselling and counselling psychology as well as other areas. Upon completion of such a postgraduate course you can also obtain ‘chartered’ status as a counselling, clinical, educational, occupational, health or forensic psychologist.

Continue your studies and become a qualified counsellor by studying our MSc in Counselling Children and Young People or our MSc Counselling.

Choose to pursue a career as an educator as as an academic psychologist, conducting research and teaching in higher education.

Psychology degrees provide an excellent grounding for a diverse range of non-psychological careers. The listening and communication skills developed on this degree course will be highly valuable in a range of health and social care professions.

Student Story

"One of the main reasons I picked the University of Northampton is the three years of skills practice we had. We worked in triads and very quickly, you become comfortable and supported. Being able to state on my CV that I had three years of skills practice has proven to be worth its weight in gold!"