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Counselling & Psychotherapeutic Skills FdSc

Counselling & Psychotherapeutic Skills FdSc

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Key Information

Start date:September

Institutional code:O10

UCAS code:PS74

Duration:2 Years Full-time / 3 Years Part-time

Course type:Full-time and Part-time

Fees:Full-time £7500; Part-time £5000

Additional costs: Enhanced DBS - £50.

Delivery Method:Face-to-face via Lectures, Seminars and Tutorials


FdSc Counselling and Psychotherapeutic Skills validated by Sheffield Hallam University

Course Regulations
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This course offers the opportunity to develop wide-ranging skills in counselling, which will support students in working towards meeting the requirements of professional registration post-qualification. The Foundation Degree also provides an opportunity to advance to Level 6, furthering education and skills by progressing onto the BSc (Hons) top-up at University Campus Oldham. The course is structured around modules that deliver professional training components. This allows students to broaden and deepen their understanding of counselling-related issues.

Students will develop their competence in working with both the person-centred and integrative counselling approaches. This course will aid students in developing and enhancing their professional skills, including communication; reflective practice; self-awareness; research skills; and understanding of other therapeutic models, such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT).

Students will undertake a counselling placement in a real-world organisation. Students will seek an appropriately qualified and experienced external supervisor, who will support them with their client work. This individual supervision will further assist students in developing their understanding and skills in personal and professional reflection and development.

Who is the course for?

The course will be of interest to anyone who wishes to develop a deeper understanding of counselling and psychotherapeutic skills and who wishes to work towards meeting counselling practitioner status. As part of the course, all students are required to complete and pass a placement of at least 100 client hours under supervision, in which they have the opportunity to further develop and enhance their knowledge and skills.

Course content: Level 4

All of the modules on the FdSc Counselling and Psychotherapeutic Skills are compulsory. The Foundation Degree does not include any elective modules, therefore for students to successfully complete the course, completion of all modules is required.

• Academic Development and Personal Reflection
This module is designed to support students to make the transition to the requirements and expectations of independent academic study in Higher Education and begin to develop the skill sets required for the professional environment.

• Introduction to Person-Centred Counselling
The module will provide students with an initial understanding and knowledge of a classical, Rogerian person-centred approach to therapeutic counselling and the potential to develop person-centred attitudes, abilities and communication skills. The module is primarily experiential, providing opportunities for students to increase their awareness of self and others through reflective processes and group work.

• Introduction to Mental Health and other Therapeutic Approaches and Interventions
The module will give students a wider understanding and knowledge of different therapeutic approaches, which will broaden job opportunities. Additionally, it will give the student a basic knowledge of mental health conditions they may work with as a counsellor.

• Professional Practice and Ethics
This module will allow students to work through the BACP Ethical Framework to gain the knowledge and understanding of the main principles it projects. They will also be able to use this knowledge as part of their practical-based module when practising counselling skills with other students, before seeing clients.

• Practical Demonstrations of Core Conditions and Personal Development (Placement Preparation)

The aim of this module is for students to gain experience in practicing their therapeutic skills, using the core conditions with peers. This will prepare students to be signed-off ready for their placement where they will be working with real clients. This module will also aim to increase students’ self-awareness and reflective practice through written work.

Course content: Level 5

• Advanced Counselling Skills
The aim of this module is to develop further counselling skills, focussing on how relationships are built within the counselling process. Further exploration of other modules will enhance student knowledge of other counselling modalities.

• Introduction to Ethical Research in Counselling and Psychotherapy

This module will increase students’ awareness of the importance of research and working with either primary or secondary data within a counselling setting. It will introduce the students to key concepts within research methods and ethics, including data confidentiality. This module will equip students to understand and make use of research findings and be encouraged to become research active.

• Mental Health Conditions – Managing Risk and Implications

This module aims to increase students’ knowledge around different mental health conditions they may encounter when in practice. They will gain knowledge around different mental health models e.g social and medical. This also draws on medication and how this can impact therapy. Students will gain knowledge of safeguarding adults and assessing risk.

• Supervision and Reflective Practice
The students will gain a broader knowledge of supervision modalities, they will gain understanding of different reflective practices and the importance of using these within their own practice with clients, in supervision and in personal development.

• Practical Counselling and Psychotherapy and Reflective Practice (Placement module)
This module will support students into their chosen placement to practice with clients. Students are required to pursue personal counselling of 20 hours and should engage with appropriate levels of supervision. By the end of this module students should have recorded and completed 100 client hours and be signed off by their tutor, supervisor and placement as competent.

Placements and work experience

As part of the course, all students are required to complete and pass a placement of at least 100 client hours under supervision during the FdSc, in which they have the opportunity to further develop and enhance their knowledge and skills.

The Counselling & Psychotherapeutic Skills team is responsive to the local social, economic and environmental setting of Oldham and has strong links with a range of employers and voluntary organisations. These working relationships will provide opportunities for a range of quality placements to meet the diverse demands of the FdSc students.

What careers can the course lead to?

FdSc Counselling and Psychotherapeutic Skills graduates of this programme have highly transferable skills, and could expect to find employment in a wide range of sectors including:

  • NHS and community mental health services
  • IAPT (the government’s Improving Access to Psychological Therapies major initiative) with additional training
  • Employee support services
  • Schools and colleges
  • Counselling in the voluntary sector
  • Coaching and guidance services
  • Self-employment as a private therapist
  • Higher Education establishments
  • Mental Health support roles

Counselling and psychotherapy offers rewarding and versatile career opportunities. Some counsellors find employment in a single role whereas others may develop portfolio careers that mix different types of employment in a number of sectors, such as public health care, education and as private therapists. Often counsellors develop a specialist niche in which they become favourable as providers of therapy and training in a particular field, such as working with children and young people, adults, people with addictions or those experiencing bereavement and loss. Some specialist areas require additional post-qualification training.

Upon completion of the FdSc, students may choose to progress to the BSc (Hons) top-up course at UCO, which allows students to further explore specific interests within the counselling field, giving them a broader range for employability opportunities or progression to postgraduate study.

Teaching and Assessment methods

The modules have been developed collectively by the experienced staff in both counselling, psychotherapy and education, to ensure that there is close integration between the modules and a sense of a progression, in terms of the accumulation of knowledge and skills development. Ensuring that students are well equipped for the world of work, our aim is to provide a high quality and comprehensive learning environment for all of our students so that they can each achieve their full potential. We use a wide range of learning methods, for example, lectures, seminars, workshops, practical classes, small group and individual tutorials and reflective activities incorporated into a blended learning approach, to ensure that all students can contribute significantly to and benefit from the learning community. Attendance at classes is very important and all students are expected to maintain a minimum of 80% attendance.  

Assessments may take various forms and could include essays, presentations, reflections on learning, practical demonstrations, practising skills with other students and portfolios.

Additional Costs

In addition to the course fees, students may also need to pay for the following course-related expenses:

Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS, formerly Criminal Records Bureau) clearance check. Additional costs – £50.

Additional Costs
Entry Requirements

64 UCAS Tariff points from a relevant Level 3 qualification

GCSE Grade C/4 English or equivalent Level 2 qualification. GCSE Maths grade C/4 is desirable.

Where English is not an applicant’s first language, they will be expected to possess an IELTS band score of 6.0 (with no less than 5.5 in any one element) or a recognised English language Level 2 qualification. Alternatively, they may complete the College’s English diagnostic assessment.

Completion of a Level 3 Counselling Certificate or equivalent is desirable.

All applicants will be interviewed and will undertake a skills assessment as part of the application process. Applicants who do not have the qualifications specified above but who hold alternative qualifications and/or experience demonstrating appropriate knowledge and skills at Level 3 may be admitted to the programme following an interview.

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