A counselling degree will teach you the comprehensive skills required to work with and help individuals who are experiencing difficulties in meeting the demands of their day-to-day life.

It will introduce you to the realities of the profession, and provide you with the practical skills, understanding, and theoretical knowledge required for a career in counselling. You will learn how to support the development of your clients in their everyday environments throughout the full range of human experience, in times of happiness, difficulty and resolution.

The counselling programme will train and qualify you for a career as a hands-on practitioner in fields such as hospitals, government departments or as a private consultant. People with a professional counselling qualification are typically employed in front line community positions where they will listen to their clients, help them to explore their feelings and emotions and assist them to deal with challenges in their life.

There will be a strong focus on developing interpersonal skills, as a key part of the job involves encouraging individuals to talk openly about issues they cannot normally share with others. Although the nature of problems encountered vary according to setting, counsellors will not have to deal with seriously disturbed clients and they do not give advice.

Counselling degree course overview

This is a practice-based professional qualification that usually requires placement work. The course integrates an exciting range of subject areas, and may include residential stays with fellow students and tutors. Emphasis is placed on the practical and vocational elements of professional practice, so that graduates can demonstrate a safe, ethical and professional counselling practice.

You will be taught by experienced and committed members of staff who have a vast knowledge of the subject area. Teaching methodologies typically involve a combination of lectures, tutorials, seminars, examinations, projects, presentations, assignments, and case studies. Assessment is through a variety of methods including assignments, individual projects, written reports, presentations and external exams.

Typical course modules and areas of study on a Counselling Degree 

  • Counselling Theory
  • The Culture of Counselling
  • Awareness & Communication Personal Therapy and Personal Development
  • Working With Trauma
  • Working With Addictions
  • Working With Grief and Loss
  • Understanding and changing Human Behaviour
  • Functional Analysis & Treatment in Counselling
  • Ethical, Legal and Professional Issues in Counselling
  • Human Communication
  • Counselling in the Mental Health Context
  • Cognitive Behavioural Approaches
  • Assessment and Treatment Planning
  • Motivational Interviewing
  • Intervention for Alcohol and Drug Problems
  • Key Issues in Working with Adolescents
  • Narrative Therapy
  • Gambling & Other Impulse Control Disorders
  • Counselling Children and Youth
  • Mental Health in Childhood and Adolescence
  • Family Violence, Abuse and Recovery
  • Psychology
  • Philosophy
  • Health/social care
  • Counselling tools
  • Internal and external supervision
  • Working with Diversity

Students will learn about

  • Drug rehabilitation
  • Counselling interviews
  • Self awareness
  • Identity development
  • Child protection
  • Analytical and reflective thinking
  • Research methods

Students will learn how to

  • Act independently as well as part of a team of health care professionals
  • Apply practical approaches to help clients overcome their personal difficulties.
  • Help clients made positive changes and choices in their lives.
  • Establish a relationship with clients.
  • Empathise with and empower people.
  • Develop a patient, tolerant and calm manner.
  • Cope with highly emotional situations.
  • Offer their clients hope.
  • Refer clients to other healthcare professionals.
  • Being able to work with people from different backgrounds, and become aware of different cultures.


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