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BA (Hons) Counselling and the Psychotherapeutic Relationship

A diverse group of adult students sitting in a circle discussing

Find out more about our BA (Hons) Counselling and the Psychotherapeutic Relationship degree

This exciting contemporary programme will give you a thorough grounding in the principles and practice of Counselling and Psychotherapy. This course is founded on Relational principles that put the quality of the therapeutic relationship at its heart. You will learn about, and integrate into your practice, a range of therapeutic approaches, as well as developing a holistic way of working that can meet the therapeutic needs of a range of clients, considering mental health needs and cultural influences. The course will also help develop your academic, professional, and research skills, and provide opportunities for personal development.

Key Features

  • Work-based learning that allows you to combine theory with practice
  • Flexible entry requirements

Entry Requirements

Entry requirements are flexible. An academic qualification at level 3 (or equivalent) is preferred.

Complete an enhanced Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS) check through Warwick. If during the processing of the DBS check it becomes clear that you have lived for six months or more in a different country in the past five years, then we will also add the condition to provide an original overseas police check from that country.

The application form invites you to provide a reflective statement and, if invited to interview, you will be assessed in a group discussion exercise and a written task. If you have not studied for some time, we may require further evidence of your study skills in order to demonstrate your readiness for this BA (Hons) programme.

The degree is designed to be fully supportive to those who are new to university study, whatever your age or or background, and we welcome people who may have felt marginalised or excluded from higher education.

Course Overview

This is a 4 year part-time degree and a recognised professional counselling qualification in which you will develop the skills and awareness necessary to be an effective and ethical counsellor in a range of settings.

A central feature of this programme is the emphasis on personal development and self-awareness, particularly in issues of equality, diversity and inclusion. Through a range of small and large group work, individual reflection, counselling practice and theoretical learning, you will develop the skills and awareness necessary to be an effective and ethical counsellor in a range of settings.

The course is firmly rooted in professional practice and you will undertake a minimum of 100 hours of practice in an agency of your choosing. This allows for rich learning and means you will already be embedded in the professional field, ready to start your career on graduation. Many of our graduates have found employment within their placement agencies and others have used them as a springboard into new roles.

Learning and Assessments

The programme is delivered by a team of experienced, practicing therapists and counselling trainers. Teaching and learning is done in small and large group work, self-directed research groups, lectures, counselling practice groups and self-development workshops. Alongside the core curriculum, you will have opportunities to identify your own learning needs and pursue your own interests. The University provides additional support with academic study skills.

There are no examinations as we use a joint, continuous assessment process with tutors and students, using a variety of different processes, including written work, observed practice, supervisor and agency reports, posters and presentations. Any work you do is self-assessed before it is assessed and marked by a tutor. You will have the opportunity to discuss feedback with the tutor.

University of Warwick was recently awarded Gold in all categories of the government's latest Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) rankings.

Video overview

Hear from Phil Goss, course director introducing the degree.

This video was recorded on Teams in 2021.

BACP accreditation

As a new degree, the course is working towards accreditation for British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP)*.

University of Warwick has a strong history of delivering accredited counselling courses since 2006. Our BA (Hons.) Person Centred Counselling and the Psychotherapeutic Relationship BACP accreditation has been renewed for a further 5 years in 2022, rewarding the high standard of ethical and professional practice we offer.

*BACP requires new courses to be taught through once before accreditation can be finalised and approved. University of Warwick is in contact with the BACP accreditation team in their development and delivery of this new course. Their accreditation assessors are looking forward to visiting during the final year of the first cohort of students in order to complete the accreditation process. Although, there is no guarantee that the course will be accredited, BACP and the course team are working together towards this outcome and confidently anticipate that the course accreditation process will be completed by Summer 2025. This training course meets the training part of the eligibility criteria for graduates to become individual members of BACP and go on to become individually accredited by BACP.

Work-based learning and professional practice

This is a professional course and so is an opportunity to practise and study at the same time.

In your first year, as you develop your counselling skills, you will do a case study of counselling agencies to understand policies, procedures and the issues facing agencies and their clients. This helps you prepare for your counselling placement, which you are required to take on from year 2 until completion of the course, completing a minimum of 100 hours. You will have the opportunity to work in a number of different placements giving you a rich variety of experience. Students have found placements in a variety of well supported settings, including the NHS, schools, colleges, universities and community agencies. Although it is your responsibility to find your placements, we have a strong relationship with many placement providers in the region.

The hours required to be completed by students are as follows (students must ensure they can commit to these additional time commitments):

  • Course attendance is face-to-face 1 day per week* (*for 2023 entry only it will be on Thursdays) from 10am to 5pm, and additional study time of at least 4 hours per week is required.
  • Years 2- 4 – minimum 100 counselling placement hours + fortnightly supervision.
  • Plus 20 hours minimum personal therapy across the whole course.

"It's such an experiential course which I've not come across before, with its practice side. It really puts you in that frame of mind of what it's going to be like when you do have your own clients."

Sara, current part-time Counselling and the Psychotherapeutic Relationship student

Areas of study

The core model is Humanistic and Relational with a foundation in the Person-centred approach to establish the practical, philosophical and theoretical basis of therapeutic work. From this foundation, you will be introduced to other perspectives that will enable you to integrate a range of ways of working therapeutically, including humanistic, experiential, psychodynamic and creative therapeutic approaches.

Your personal and academic learning will be well supported by peers, tutors, and specialists in academic study skills. You will develop:

  • An in-depth understanding of the underlying philosophy and theories of a relational approach to counselling
  • An understanding of how to apply theory to counselling
  • An understanding and awareness of your own attitudes and behaviour with other people, intra and inter-personal and group processes.
  • An understanding of the importance of working equitably and consciously with difference and diversity in counselling and psychotherapy, including race, culture, gender, sexuality, age, social class, and neurodiversity.
  • An ethical and reflective approach to practice with supervised client work in placements
  • Insight into recent counselling and psychotherapy professional developments, mental health and the work of other mental health professionals
  • Confidence in how to use research, building towards doing your own empirical research project in Year 4 based on a theme relevant to Counselling and Psychotherapy that you are interested in.

Throughout this programme, you will develop your ability to work in counselling and psychotherapy, by developing your knowledge and skills in counselling practice, counselling theory and self-awareness, and becoming an independent, ethical and reflective practitioner.

As part of the course, you will learn about counselling agencies and how they run, and will start to build a professional network. Alongside your studies, in years 2 to 4 you will find a counselling placement of your choosing and gain a minimum of 100 hours of counselling practice in an agency of your choosing. This will also involve regular supervision with a qualified clinical supervisor, either within your agency or independently.

You will also undertake a minimum of 20 hours your own counselling as part of your personal development over the 4 years, and will have many opportunities to develop your self awareness.

Careers

This programme is a professional qualification and will qualify you for work in the counselling field.

The clinical placements on the course are good preparation for this. Students have gained experience from placements in specialist agencies including domestic violence and sexual assault organisations, hospices, community-based charities (e.g. MIND), the criminal justice system, and student counselling services.

Developments in counselling and mental health services mean they require practitioners with a varied and deep understanding of an increasing amount of mental health issues and awareness of techniques to support clients. This course enables you to develop those skills, and is designed to prepare you thoroughly for the opportunities and challenges emerging in counselling and allied professions.

Career Pathways

Some of our graduates go on to find employment at their placement agency, others have gained roles in school settings, the NHS, further and higher education, agencies, the voluntary sector and as independent practitioners.

In the UK, many graduates enter professions where any degree would be acceptable and so alternative career pathways could include:

  • Careers in Social Care - Social work, family support worker
  • Advice work - Housing support worker, welfare advice worker
  • Youth & Community work - Youth project worker, youth development lead, young person’s mentor
  • Education - Learning mentor, student counsellor, schools' wellbeing advisor
  • Charity - Community case worker, women’s refugee worker, charity graduate trainee
  • Health - Sexual health adviser, wellbeing practitioner
  • Community & Criminal Justice - Criminal justice support worker, probation officer

Some of these roles may be accessed directly after completing your degree, as part of an employed graduate scheme, or may require further study and professional qualification.

Helping you find the right career

Our department has a dedicated professionally qualified Senior Careers Consultant who offers one-to-one impartial advice and guidance. Students also have access to a range of workshops and career events. Previous events have included

  • careers with children and young people
  • careers in not for profit
  • careers in social justice
  • Warwick careers fairs throughout the year
  • effective CVs & applications.

Find out more about careers supportLink opens in a new windowLink opens in a new window at Warwick.

Fees and Funding

2024/25 cohort fees

Tuition fees for Home Students in 2023/24 are as follows: £4,620 (90 credits) - year 1
*The University will charge Home students £1,540 for each 30 credit module in 2024/25.

See PT Counselling 2023 entry funding information and view potential additional fees. For existing students, please see Funding Information for Part-time Continuous students.

Additional Fees specific to this programme

  • DBS (enhanced) £47.20 for 2 years, students can then choose to renew annually or bi-annually
  • Student membership of BACP £86 annually (or £43 reduced fee if eligible)
  • Residential weekend approx. £300 (held in year 1 only)
  • Professional indemnity insurance £54-£85 annually
  • Placement supervision costs vary but are usually within the range of £60-£100 per hour (in years 2-4). Fortnightly supervision is required by BACP. These costs are influenced by market forces and may increase over the period of the course.
  • Personal therapy £35-£55 per hour (min of 20 hours over the whole course)
  • Travel costs to and from placements
  • There is a well stocked library with the core course reading, however you may wish to purchase your own text books.
  • The course includes elements of blended learning so therefore you will require access to a computer/laptop, headphones and a built in or plug in webcam.

The University of Warwick is NOT currently sponsoring students on part time or distance learning courses with a Student Visa (formerly known as Tier 4 visa) and so if you require a visa to study a part time/distance learning course in the UK which is longer than 6 months, you may wish to consult the 'right to study' page on our Student Immigration & Compliance websiteLink opens in a new window before you make an application.

Location and Dates

2024 cohort

  • The course starts with a compulsory induction residential weekend held at the University, on 28 and 29 September 2024.
  • Classes will take place on Wednesdays between 10am-5pm at Westwood campus, University of Warwick.
  • There may also be one or two Saturday workshops each year; in the first year this will be on 18 January 2025. Further dates are to be confirmed.

2023 cohort

  • The course starts with a compulsory induction residential weekend held at the University, on Saturday 30 September and Sunday 1 October 2023.
  • Classes will take place on Thursdays between 10am-5pm at Westwood campus, University of Warwick.
  • There may also be one or two Saturday workshops each year; in the first year this will be on 20th January 2024. Further dates are to be confirmed.

Student Support

The CLL Student Support TeamLink opens in a new window supports the pastoral and academic needs of our diverse student body, including:

  • Supporting the academic development of undergraduate and postgraduate students
  • Ensuring a learning experience of the highest quality, both at the University and in partner colleges.
  • Communicating with students in order to ensure a positive learning experience at CLL

To do this, we support you in many areas, including:

  • Study skills
  • Student welfare
  • Technology and e-learning
  • Careers and development

4 mature students on Warwick campus

Life at Warwick

Within a close-knit community of staff and students from all over the world, discover a campus alive with possibilities. A place where all the elements of your student experience come together in one place. Our supportive, energising, welcoming space creates the ideal environment for forging new connections, having fun and finding inspiration.

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How to Apply

Applications are now open for 2024 start, which will close on Monday 10 July 2024. Applications made before Monday 22 May 2024 are guaranteed to be considered. Apply now.

Before you apply

Join an online taster session with course director Cathryn Macleod to find out about this challenging but rewarding part-time degree and have all your questions answered. Sign up for Wednesday 26 June 12noon.

Note

This course requires students to share information of a personal nature, and dual relationships (where a student knows another person well outside the course) can significantly disrupt the personal and professional development of the students concerned and impact the whole group. We, therefore, reserve the right to defer an applicant’s place on the course, if there is deemed to be two or more students who have a personal relationship joining the course. In these circumstances, the applicant who made the earliest application will be offered the place first, and the other applicant deferred to start in the following academic year.

How to Apply

Applications are now open for 2024 start, which will close on Monday 10 July 2024. Applications made before Monday 22 May 2024 are guaranteed to be considered. Apply now.

Before you apply

Join an online taster session with course director Cathryn Macleod to find out about this challenging but rewarding part-time degree and have all your questions answered. Sign up for Wednesday 26 June 12noon.

Note

This course requires students to share information of a personal nature, and dual relationships (where a student knows another person well outside the course) can significantly disrupt the personal and professional development of the students concerned and impact the whole group. We, therefore, reserve the right to defer an applicant’s place on the course, if there is deemed to be two or more students who have a personal relationship joining the course. In these circumstances, the applicant who made the earliest application will be offered the place first, and the other applicant deferred to start in the following academic year.