Why study this course

*Students who are accepted on the BA (Hons) Counselling programme will have the additional costs of 40 hours of personal therapy and any supervision costs paid for them by University*

Our Counselling courses are taught by experienced counsellors, many of whom have their own practices

A real focus on developing your interpersonal and relationship skills

Course summary

If you don’t have, or don’t think you will attain, the normal tariff points for studying at BGU, this course will enable you to study for a degree without any UCAS points. The course is delivered over four years and includes a Foundation Year, which gives you a perfect introduction to what it means to be a university student and prepares you for effective undergraduate study. In your Foundation Year, you will study eight modules, all of which are designed to equip you with the necessary academic skills and knowledge to progress successfully in your chosen subject. You will also engage in a series of bespoke subject sessions delivered by experts, designed to introduce you to your chosen subject area.

You can find out more about our Foundation Year programme by clicking here.

Our counselling course will offer you the opportunity to learn about a wealth of topics, such as self awareness, diversity, mental wellbeing and supporting clients facing a range of difficulties and issues. You are likely to explore different Counselling approaches, including psychodynamic, humanistic, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and mindfulness.

Key facts


BA (Hons)

UCAS code



4 years

Mode of study


Start date


Awarding institution

Bishop Grosseteste University

Institution code


Course details

About this course

Our counselling course will offer you the opportunity to learn about a wealth of topics, such as self awareness, diversity, mental wellbeing and supporting clients facing a range of difficulties and issues. You are likely to explore different Counselling approaches, including psychodynamic, humanistic, cognitive Behavioural therapy and mindfulness.

Students on this undergraduate degree will study and learn practical counselling skills in integrated counselling, including elements of humanistic, psychodynamic and Cognitive behavioural approaches. Course themes explore a range of counselling modalities, from more traditional talking therapies through to contemporary wellbeing and creative approaches. Students will engage in a diverse range of assessments, including written coursework, projects and practical counselling skills to demonstrate their learning.

This course offers transferable skills, particularly relevant when working closely with other people in a helping profession such as caring, nursing, social work and probation, as well as in human resources, management or mediation and advocacy positions.

Our students come away from this course with a variety of transferable skills, such as relationship building and improved written and oral communication skills. As part of your course reflection and personal development, you will be guided to develop your own areas of interest and specialism, and encouraged to begin your own analytical journey.

What you will study

Students on this course currently study some or all of the following modules:

In this module you will explore and consider what it means to be a successful learner at university. You’ll explore the principles of effective learning and engage with a range of tools and techniques to practise and develop strategies for your own learning. These include for example, understanding your needs as a learner, effective time management and organisational skills.

You will learn about a range of resources and practise locating and using these resources to support effective learning. These resources will include, for example, textbooks, websites, academic journals, and popular press. In addition to these key techniques, the module covers academic conventions including referencing, citation and the risks of plagiarism.

This module will allow you to learn to utilise sources in a considered and critical way. You will begin to engage effectively with literature and other sources in a meaningful manner that promotes deep learning and enables knowledge and understanding of a topic. You will also begin to differentiate qualitative and quantitative data and consider their appropriate interpretation and use.

Critical thinking is an integral part of university study. While studying this module you will define critical thinking, its importance and how it can help you in your learning. A range of critical thinking models will be utilised to demonstrate how this works in action, allowing you to recognise critical thinking and identify barriers and challenges.

The skilled use of digital technologies is an important element in university study and is used to support both the obtaining and demonstration of knowledge. This module will develop your digital capabilities and confidence, encouraging you to develop techniques for the purposeful use of a range of digital tools to support learning. These include specific tools such as the Virtual Learning Environment and appropriate and effective uses of wider applications such as social media, email and the internet.

This module explores, compares and evaluates a range of communication types, giving you opportunities to combine written and spoken communication in a range of contexts and for a range of audiences. From a theoretical, sociological perspective you will explore different communication media and styles of discourse, for example, discussion, debate, enquiry and reporting.

Reflection is a powerful learning tool that enables you to consider your existing knowledge and also to plan for your future learning and professional development. The module content includes the principles of reflective learning and collaborative planning with reference to structured models.

Academic writing is an essential element of successful university study, so this module explores a range of techniques to help develop your own academic writing style. It will enable you to draw together your learning throughout the Foundation Year and reflect on the feedback you have received. You will structure a clear and effective piece of academic writing on a subject-linked topic in which you will apply standard academic conventions.

You will explore the main exponents in shaping the world of counselling today. There will be exploration of how historical developments, ethics and different theoretical approaches influence the practice of counselling, with consideration given to issues and debates surrounding diversity in relation to the counselling approaches and theories examined.

By definition, counselling is about using skills with clients in an understanding atmosphere. You will develop helping skills through practice, observation and reflection and will be encouraged to keep a reflective journal to chart your learning from practical work and how this has fed into your development.

This module introduces students to key theories and approaches within an integrative model of counselling. Students will be orientated to the philosophical underpinnings and influences that inform the theory and practice of integrative counselling. The module provides an introduction to issues arising from integrating approaches, such as contrasting views of human nature, or of the origin of psychological distress, which may take seemingly incompatible approaches to counselling practice.

This module focuses on developing students’ self-awareness and therapeutic competences. Students will explore their own interpersonal patterns of relating and emotional intelligence through experiential process groups. They will explore themes related to counselling practice such as ethics and the law; the functioning of groups; the relational self in counselling; monitoring and evaluation of client progress; relationship building; strategies and interventions; self-awareness; reflective practice and; working with clients prescribed common medications.

Debates within the field of counselling have centred around the tension between a bio-medical model of psychological distress, and psycho-social models that consider the effects of culture, environment, diversity and social inequalities. The syllabus of this module will consider issues and debates surrounding diversity in counselling and the ways the culture and belief systems of both counselling clients and counsellors influence how psychological distress is conceptualised and addressed

This module is designed to explore the importance of the role of supervision and of being a reflective practitioner to ensure sound counselling practice. Supervision provides support to a counsellor, which promotes client and practitioner well-being and encourages reflective practice whilst developing further learning.

This module will provide you with an experience of the world of work in the form of a placement work experience or a project with employer involvement. It also enables you to apply knowledge and skills in a real-life context offering you a valuable experience to draw on when presenting yourself to employers or selectors upon graduation.

This module will explore theories of human development. Students will engage critically with theories of human development with awareness of their philosophical origins. Key theorists such as Bowlby and Erikson may, for example, be considered alongside perspectives on human development within wider frameworks that inform integrative counselling (for example, Humanistic, Psychodynamic, Transactional Analysis, CBT or social constructivist). Students will consider how these theories may apply to themselves and their clients, and subsequently reflect on implications they may have within integrative counselling practice.

This module is designed to support students development as reflective counselling practitioners, to ensure sound counselling practice during progression into counselling placement work with clients. The module will build on and develop skills, knowledge and competencies gained at level 4, as students begin to develop and engage with the nuanced complexities of integration and the counselling relationship. Themes may include: developing competencies in integration of methods; working at relational depth; exploring transference and countertransference; working with imagery, metaphor and dreams and; use of the self in therapy (e.g. transparency, immedicacy, self disclosure and resonance). Foundational elements of self awareness, reflective practice, practitioner self care and attention to ethical considerations will underpin learning and module themes.

This research methods module provides students with the opportunity to develop their knowledge and skills in counselling research. Lectures will critically consider different research methods, including qualitative and quantitative approaches, as well as philosophical positioning in research. The module will also explore research ethics and integrity, considering the complexities and challenges of research in counselling. Ultimately the module will prepare students for applying this learning to a dissertation research project at Level 6.

The module will explore the importance of empowering clients to find their own voice in counselling. There will be exploration of the ways counsellors support clients to express their issues, views and experiences, to articulate needs while assuming autonomy within the counselling relationship.

This module provides an opportunity for you to build upon and apply the key learning gained at Levels 4 and 5 to an appropriate small-scale research project. In particular, the module builds on Level 5 Professional Contexts in Counselling. The research project will relate to a counselling issue and will be centred around answering a research question. It may be carried out in a relevant setting, or it may be desk/library based.

This module provides an opportunity for you to build upon and apply the key learning gained at Levels 4 and 5 to a chosen piece of recorded client work. You will begin to develop your own counselling approach as an emergent practitioner, via a series of counselling role plays. The module will enable you to conduct a small-scale process report, in order to demonstrate and systematically analyse your counselling skills and ability.

This module will encourage students to consider how they work with some specific issues within the counselling room such as grief, loss, transition, trauma, shame, addiction and suicidality/self-harm. Students will reflect on their own counselling practice, drawing on experience from their counselling placement.

This dissertation module provides an opportunity for students to build upon and apply the key intellectual, transferable and practical skills gained at Levels 4 and 5 of the programme to an appropriate research project. Through largely directed independent study, students will develop as research practitioners in the wider world of counselling research. To achieve this students will act in accordance with University codes of conduct for research ethics and integrity in order to carry out an empirical research project to completion, employing a systematic and analytical approach.

This module will look at the wider world of therapy and consider contemporary and emerging counselling approaches, for example: constructivist approaches (narrative/solution focused), mindfulness, systemic approaches to working with more than one person or client, feminist approaches, nature as therapy, holistic and social prescribing and the influence of neuroscience in counselling practice.

This is a non-credit bearing pass or fail module. To align with the PRSB guidelines for BACP Stage 3 Core Practitioner training, students are required to complete 100 hours counselling placement as an integral part of the programme. Students are able to begin their placements at Level 5 and accumulate these hours through levels 5 & 6 of the programme. They must also engage in clinical supervision for their counselling practice in alignment with the PRSB required hours.

Entry requirements

Application for this course is via UCAS, although there is no formal requirement for UCAS points to access the course (normally GCSE English or equivalent is desirable). As part of your application you will have the opportunity to speak with a member of BGU Admissions staff to resolve any questions or queries you may have.

Different degree subjects may have specific entry requirements to allow you to progress from the Foundation Year. Whilst not a condition of entry onto the Foundation Year, you will need to have met these by the time you complete the first year of this four year course.

In order to progress forward after your Foundation Year, you will also a level 2 counselling qualification.

For applicants who don't have a level 2 counselling qualification before starting the course there is an opportunity to undertake a short 'Foundational Listening Skills' course.

This short course, running over two-days (15 hours learning time), will enable you to develop the foundational listening skills used by counsellors and those in helping or support roles. You will learn listening and responding skills that help others to more easily talk about their concerns. These skills are applicable in a wide variety of professional settings, and can help to enhance communication at work and in personal relationships. This course provides a useful foundation for further study in counselling or related fields.

This is only available to our applicants for the BA Counselling who don't meet the criteria of having a level 2 counselling qualification.

Further information

Click here for important information about this course including additional costs, resources and key policies.

The Foundation Year syllabus does not include any specific element of upskilling in English language and you are not entitled to apply for Accredited Prior Learning, AP(C)L into a Foundation Year.

How you will be taught

There is no one-size-fits-all method of teaching at BGU – we shape our methods to suit each subject and each group, combining the best aspects of traditional university teaching with innovative techniques to promote student participation and interactivity.

You will be taught in a variety of ways, from lectures, tutorials and seminars, to practical workshops, coursework and work-based placements. Small group seminars and workshops will provide you with an opportunity to review issues raised in lectures, and you will be expected to carry out independent study.

Placements are a key part of degree study within many courses at BGU. They provide an enriching learning experience for you to apply the skills and knowledge you will gain from your course and, in doing so, give valuable real-world experience to boost your career.


During the Foundation Year, you will have opportunities to experience a range of formative and summative assessments. These include short-form writing, annotated bibliographies, presentations, digital technologies, reflective journals, and academic essays. All modules involve early, small, and frequent informal and formal assessments so as to be supportive and build confidence, while ensuring development of the core academic skills required for successful study throughout your degree. Assessment strategies are balanced, diverse, and inclusive, ensuring that you will experience a range of assessments to support comprehensive preparation for undergraduate study. You will also have the opportunity for self-evaluation and personal reflection on your own learning progress and development of skills.

In Counselling, assessment is carried out using wide-range of approaches, including written assignments, coursework, essays and reports. You will carry out a small number of oral presentations, produce portfolios of research material, and undertake some practical assessments.

Careers & Further study

By the end of a Counselling course at BGU you will be ready to successfully complete further study to become a professional counsellor. You will also be equipped for a range of graduate employment in other career areas, including Psychology, Sociology and Health and Social Care.

What Our Students Say

Discover what life is like at Bishop Grosseteste University from our students.


Studying at BGU is a student-centred experience. Staff and students work together in a friendly and supportive atmosphere as part of an intimate campus community. You will know every member of staff personally and feel confident approaching them for help and advice, and staff members will recognise you, not just by sight, but as an individual with unique talents and interests.

We will be there to support you, personally and academically, from induction to graduation.

Fees & Finance

A lot of student finance information is available from numerous sources, but it is sometimes confusing and contradictory. That’s why at BGU we try to give you all the information and support we can to help to throughout the process. Our Student Advice team are experts in helping you sort out the funding arrangements for your studies, offering a range of services to guide you through all aspects of student finance step by step.

Click here to find information about fees, loans and support which will help to make the whole process a little easier to understand.

Undergraduate course applicants must apply via UCAS using the relevant UCAS code. For 2022 entry, the application fee is £22 for a single choice, or £26.50 for more than one choice. For all applicants, there are full instructions at UCAS to make it as easy as possible for you to fill in your online application, plus help text where appropriate.