Our Counselling MSc course provides you with a level of knowledge and skills in counselling which will allow you to develop as counsellors, and once you have gained further experience and client hours you will be able to pursue a range of professional opportunities. If you have a first degree in Psychology that is Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC) accredited your postgraduate training opportunities will include doctoral training on British Psychological Society (BPS) accredited courses in Counselling Psychology.
The course will also provide you with a range of skills that will be highly relevant to if you wishing to undertake further training in a range of related careers and specialisms. In addition to careers options, the degree will provide you with a range of communication skills and personal development skills that will be highly valued in a range of organisations and situations. Most of all, this course enables you to feel that you belong to a process of development that is enriching and supportive.
This course allows you to examine different counselling theories and issues within a variety of contexts and situations. Course modules will concentrate upon developing your skills and therapeutic competencies within organisational settings. Importantly, the course offers you the opportunity to maximise your self-awareness and reflect on your process and as well as the way that others practice. The placement module allows you to take your competencies to organisations to work with clients.
Throughout the course you will be encouraged to develop a critical, evaluative approach to the knowledge which underpins present-day professional practice as well as building your ability to make evidence-based decisions. Current issues within counselling and therapy will be considered critically with particular emphasis on their relationship to client practice.
Park Campus, the larger of the two campuses, is set in 80 acres of open green parkland, occupying an impressive and spacious site.
Facilities available on-site include a sports hall, restaurant, Students’ Union, Student Centre, shop, bar and nightclub. Safe and secure accommodation for more than 1,300 students is spread throughout Park Campus, with the majority placed within our student village combining stunning green spaces with welcoming Halls of Residence.
A Multi-Faith Chaplaincy and Medical Centre (providing a full GP service and free counselling) are also available at Park Campus.
Park Campus is within easy walking distance of a busy, local shopping area, complete with banks, supermarkets, shops and pubs.
The University of Northampton
Boughton Green Road
Course modules (17/18)
Counselling Theory and Practice (30 Credits)
- Module code: PSYM087
- Core module Y
This module examines relational integrative models of counselling, which will involve developing an understanding of the main models of psychodynamic, humanistic and cognitive behavioural approaches. Organisational issues vital to the counselling environment are introduced and there is opportunity to debate ethical dilemmas, especially with regard to multicultural differences and counselling in a diverse society, legal issues pertaining to the workplace and the BACP ethical framework. Assessment, including risk assessment and use of therapeutic outcome measures, and supervision, including different models of supervision and how to use it effectively will be covered. The module examines the genesis of human problems and introduces a range of issues that clients may present in practice. 30 credits.
Counselling Skills and Process (30 Credits)
- Module code: PSYM088
- Core module Y
This module will offer the opportunity for students to learn and practice advanced counselling skills within role play scenarios. Emphasis will be placed on the development of the therapeutic relationship and an understanding of the ‘process’ of counselling, the ‘space in-between’ and the content of a counselling session. Students will develop their ability to ‘be’ with clients in role play sessions and to underpin their skills with their own developing integrative theoretical approach. In the first part of the course, students will learn basic and advanced counselling skills and practice these in role play situations. They will learn how to conduct appropriate beginnings and endings. They will also be encouraged to practice the skills with peers outside the formal teaching periods. They will then undertake the role play assessment to ascertain their readiness for supervised placement. The second part of the course offers an exciting opportunity to practice skills in role play with clients in front of larger groups and discuss, as a group, the theoretical orientation and skills apparent in the ‘gold-fish bowl’ scenario. 30 credits.
Self-Awareness and Reflectiveness (30 Credits)
- Module code: PSYM089
- Core module Y
This module provides the opportunity to critically reflect on personal development, including ways in which life experiences affect self and relationships. It allows the time and space to engage in rigorous self-examination, monitoring thoughts, feelings, physical sensations and behaviour in reflectivity of therapeutic relationships and in life. In addition to academic demands, this course as a whole will make complex demands on the student as a person and therefore this module offers the opportunity for students to question their values and beliefs and sense of self in a safe, supportive and controlled setting. Constructive criticism is an important aspect of personal development and this module will expect students to self-explore, to relate their outer environmental experiences to their inner processes and to be able to articulate these to others. 30 credits.
Placement and Supervision (30 Credits)
- Module code: PSYM090P
- Core module Y
In this module students on placement will carry out at least 100 hours of supervised practice with face to face adult clients (students should refer to the placement handbook for details of placements). The skills students have developed are taken to another level in this module, where work with ‘real’ clients within supervised practice is experienced. Through working with clients and discussing this work with an experienced practitioner in supervision, students will develop their skills as well as their understanding of theory and practice. 30 credits.
Qualitative and Quantitative Research Methods (10 Credits)
- Module code: PSYM085
- Core module Y
The rationale for the module is to build research skills in quantitative and qualitative research methods. This module is designed to develop the skills needed for independent research, and to design a proposal for an empirical research project. 10 credits.
Dissertation and Research Methods (50 Credits)
- Module code: PSYM086
- Core module Y
The rationale for the dissertation module is to build advanced research skills, and to provide students with the opportunity to engage in supervised but independently undertaken research. This module is designed to develop the skills needed for independent research, and to support students to autonomously formulate and conduct an empirical research project under supervision. 50 credits.
Clinical Hours (0 Credits)
- Module code: PSYM076P
- Core module N
Module information is quoted for 17/18 entry. Please note that modules run subject to student numbers and staff availability, any changes will be communicated to applicants accordingly.
Methods of Learning
Teaching methods on the MSc Counselling include:
- one-to-one sessions
- private study
- group work
- role plays
‘Counselling Theory and Practice’ and ‘Counselling Skills and Process’ each involve approximately 144 formal taught hours, 75 hours preparation for assessment, and 81 independent study hours.
‘Self-awareness and Reflectiveness’ involves approximately 75 formal taught hours, 75 hours preparation for assessment, 40 hours of personal therapy and 113 independent study hours;
‘Placement and Supervision’ involves approximately 135 practice and supervision hours; 75 hours preparation for assessment and 90 independent study hours.
Formal teaching takes place on one day per week in the first year for part-time and two full days per week for full-time students. In addition, there is a three day taught intensive session for all students three times per year (first year only). In addition to this, students will be expected to attend one-to-one tutorials at least twice per trimester.
There is a minimum 80% attendance requirement across each element of the course.
Length of study
Full-time: one year. Part-time: two years.
Assessment methods include coursework and a dissertation. The dissertation will require you to write 12,000 to 15,000 words on any aspect of counselling. Many counselling students take a qualitative approach to their research and previous dissertations have included working with autistic clients, the implications of money for therapists and a personal experience of bereavement.
Facilities and Special Features
It is important that those attending this course are prepared to carry out a placement when they will be working with clients. Therefore, individuals on this course will need a high level of critical self-awareness and a willingness to reflect on their own process.
Upon completion of this course you may find employment opportunities within NHS settings or schools, as well as further or higher educational counselling settings. Various opportunities are available within organisational settings and police settings, as well as in continuing professional development (CPD) work. The government agenda for Improved Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) offers good opportunity for trained counsellors.
Work placements are a compulsory element of this course. You will need to have completed at least 100 hours of supervised face-to-face client placement work in order to obtain the MSc award.
How to apply
For application information please see our how to apply page.
You will need to hold a first or second class bachelors’ degree in order to be eligible to apply for this course. You will need to be prepared to carry out placements where you will be working with clients. You will need a high level of critical self-awareness and a willingness to reflect on your own process throughout this course. Voluntary or professional experience of support work with adults is desirable, but not essential.
If English is not your first language you will need to demonstrate that you meet the minimum English language requirement of IELTS 7 in all categories (or equivalent).
To count towards a professional body accreditation, such as UKCP or BACP, this course requires you to undertake a supervised placement practice of a minimum of 100 hours plus supervision and a minimum 40 hours of personal therapy with an approved and registered or accredited counsellor or therapist. A student membership of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) is advised and professional indemnity insurance and a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check will be required for entry onto this course. Please note that all of these requirements involve additional costs in addition to the course fee.
For information regarding English language requirements at the University, please see our IELTS page.
Fees and funding
Fees quoted relate to study in the Academic Year 17/18 only and may be subject to inflationary increases in future years.
|Part Time:||£1,080 per 30 credit module|
If you are starting a postgraduate Master’s course in 2017/18 either full-time or part-time* you may be able to apply for a loan of up to £10,250 Postgraduate Loan (PGL) through Student Finance England.
*Please note that the maximum period of study allowed for part-time courses is two years.
This course is available to international students.
Full-time international tuition fees
For information on our international tuition fees, please see our Tuition fees for international students page.
Please note that tuition fees for EU students will remain the same as UK fees for 2018/19. For more information, please visit the Gov UK website.
How to apply as an international student
For information on how to apply to study with us, please see our How to apply page.
Scholarships available to international students
For information on the scholarships available to you as an international student, please see our International scholarships page.