Bachelor of Science with Honours
Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
School of Communication and Media
This interdisciplinary course facilitates students 'topping up' their Foundation degree (FdSc) in Counselling to an honours degree level.
This interdisciplinary and skills-focused degree programme:
•Holds Advanced Training Status for counselling studies from the National Counselling Society (NCS).
•Advances students' current knowledge of counselling theories, skills and ethical-decision-making.
•Promotes the usefulness of communication studies and psychosocial studies for counselling practice.
•Equips students with knowledge to identify opportunities to plan and undertake interdisciplinary research in the applied fields of counselling studies, mental health and health communication.
•Facilitates the honing of students’ organisational, observation, analytical and reflective skills for continuing personal and professional development, all of which are required for counselling practice.
•Teaching is by an award-winning team of lecturers, researchers and practitioners with experience in the applied field of mental health, including counselling, psychotherapy and health communication.
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The emphasis in this course is on developing an enhanced understanding of the emotional and psychological development of the person within family, social and cultural settings. The course also emphasises the importance of continuous development of rigorous and reflective ethical decision-making practices for working with vulnerable populations and clients within counselling and healthcare settings. Students take a range of core and optional modules which provide a firm grounding in theories, practices, skills and capacities needed for effective communication in interpersonal and professional contexts. Each module combines lectures, seminars and group tasks to facilitate students gaining a comprehensive intellectual knowledge, while learning from experience.
Our programme facilitates participation and interaction. Thus, this course also offers students opportunities to apply theory to practice in the composition of a range of assignments (case studies, work-based learning report, reflective journal, essays, presentations, dissertation). Students will be encouraged and supported to become independent learners who can understand, evaluate and challenge new ideas and concepts. We believe that this supportive environment caters for the diverse range of learning styles students bring with them to the University.
Within the School we pride ourselves on a friendly and supportive atmosphere. Students' learning experience will be supported via the allocation of a study skills advisor who will provide students with individual support and guidance throughout their studies. The School also has innovative recording practice labs, which allow students to practise communication and counselling skills within a safe and secure environment. The University boasts a state of the art Learning Resource Centre with library staff dedicated to faculties and subject areas.
This is a part-time course of minimum two years duration but taking up to three years to complete. Classes are during the day and students will be required to attend one or two days per week depending upon number of modules undertaken.
The content for each course is summarised on the relevant course page, along with an overview of the modules that make up the course.
Each course is approved by the University and meets the expectations of:
As part of your course induction, you will be provided with details of the organisation and management of the course, including attendance and assessment requirements - usually in the form of a timetable. For full-time courses, the precise timetable for each semester is not confirmed until near the start date and may be subject to change in the early weeks as all courses settle into their planned patterns. For part-time courses which require attendance on particular days and times, an expectation of the days of attendance will often be included in the letter of offer. A course handbook is also made available.
Courses comprise modules for which the notional effort involved is indicated by its credit rating. Each credit point represents 10 hours of student effort. Undergraduate courses typically contain 10- or 20-credit modules and postgraduate course typically 15- or 30-credit modules.
The normal study load expectation for an undergraduate full-time course of study in the standard academic year is 120 credit points. This amounts to around 36-42 hours of expected teaching and learning per week, inclusive of attendance requirements for lectures, seminars, tutorials, practical work, fieldwork or other scheduled classes, private study, and assessment. Part-time study load is the same as full-time pro-rata, with each credit point representing 10 hours of student effort.
Postgraduate Masters courses typically comprise 180 credits, taken in three semesters when studied full-time. A Postgraduate Certificate (PGCert) comprises 60 credits and can usually be completed on a part-time basis in one year. A 120-credit Postgraduate Diploma (PGDip) can usually be completed on a part-time basis in two years.
Class contact times vary by course and type of module. Typically, for a module predominantly delivered through lectures you can expect at least 3 contact hours per week (lectures/seminars/tutorials). Laboratory classes often require a greater intensity of attendance in blocks. Some modules may combine lecture and laboratory. The precise model will depend on the course you apply for and may be subject to change from year to year for quality or enhancement reasons. Prospective students will be consulted about any significant changes.
Assessment methods vary and are defined explicitly in each module. Assessment can be via one method or a combination e.g. examination and coursework . Assessment is designed to assess your achievement of the module’s stated learning outcomes. You can expect to receive timely feedback on all coursework assessment. The precise assessment will depend on the module and may be subject to change from year to year for quality or enhancement reasons. You will be consulted about any significant changes.
Coursework can take many forms, for example: essay, report, seminar paper, test, presentation, dissertation, design, artefacts, portfolio, journal, group work. The precise form and combination of assessment will depend on the course you apply for and the module. Details will be made available in advance through induction, the course handbook, the module specification and the assessment timetable. The details are subject to change from year to year for quality or enhancement reasons. You will be consulted about any significant changes.
Normally, a module will have four learning outcomes, and no more than two items of assessment. An item of assessment can comprise more than one task. The notional workload and the equivalence across types of assessment is standardised.
The class of Honours awarded in Bachelor’s degrees is usually determined by calculation of an aggregate mark based on performance across the modules at Levels 5 and 6 (which correspond to the second and third year of full-time attendance).
Level 6 modules contribute 70% of the aggregate mark and Level 5 contributes 30% to the calculation of the class of the award. Classification of integrated Masters degrees with Honours include a Level 7 component. The calculation in this case is: 50% Level 7, 30% Level 6, 20% Level 5. At least half the Level 5 modules must be studied at the University for Level 5 to be included in the calculation of the class.
All other qualifications have an overall grade determined by results in modules from the final level of study. In Masters degrees of more than 200 credit points the final 120 points usually determine the overall grading.
Figures correct for academic year 2019-2020.
This course is team-taught by staff across the School of Communication and Media, all of whom are highly-experienced, internationally-recognised experts in their respective fields of study: Counselling and Health Communication, Communication Studies, Media and Cultural Studies, and Language and Linguistics. The course team includes practitioner and researcher members of a range of professional clinical and scholarly bodies, including the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy, the Irish Council for Psychotherapy, the Northern Ireland Institute of Human Relations, the British Psychological Society, the Association for Healthcare Communications and Marketing, the UK Council for Psychotherapy, the Association for Nutrition, the College for Psychoanalysis and Jungian Analysis, the Institute of Clinical Research, the Association for Psychosocial Studies, the Science Council, the Higher Education Academy, and the British Psychoanalytic Council. The team also includes the Vice-Chair of the NHS Research Ethics Committee, Office of Research Ethics Committees for Northern Ireland.
The award-winning Counselling and Health Communication Team, which directs and manages the course, has a strong commitment to providing civic engagement activities, including CPD for counsellors and other professionals. The Team co-directs the Mental Health and the Arts interdisciplinary, cross-border initiative. The Team also has an active Twitter account (@UlsterCHC) connecting with organisations, professional bodies, practitioners, students and alumni.
The University employs over 1,000 suitably qualified and experienced academic staff - 59% have PhDs in their subject field and many have professional body recognition.
Courses are taught by staff who are Professors (25%), Readers, Senior Lecturers (20%) or Lecturers (55%).
We require most academic staff to be qualified to teach in higher education: 82% hold either Postgraduate Certificates in Higher Education Practice or higher. Most academic staff (81%) are accredited fellows of the Higher Education Academy (HEA) by Advanced HE - the university sector professional body for teaching and learning. Many academic and technical staff hold other professional body designations related to their subject or scholarly practice.
The profiles of many academic staff can be found on the University’s departmental websites and give a detailed insight into the range of staffing and expertise. The precise staffing for a course will depend on the department(s) involved and the availability and management of staff. This is subject to change annually and is confirmed in the timetable issued at the start of the course.
Occasionally, teaching may be supplemented by suitably qualified part-time staff (usually qualified researchers) and specialist guest lecturers. In these cases, all staff are inducted, mostly through our staff development programme ‘First Steps to Teaching’. In some cases, usually for provision in one of our out-centres, Recognised University Teachers are involved, supported by the University in suitable professional development for teaching.
Figures correct for academic year 2021-2022.
The Belfast campus is situated in the artistic and cultural centre of the city, the Cathedral Quarter.
High quality apartment living in Belfast city centre adjacent to the university campus.
At Student Wellbeing we provide many services to help students through their time at Ulster University.
Here is a guide to the subjects studied on this course.
Courses are continually reviewed to take advantage of new teaching approaches and developments in research, industry and the professions. Please be aware that modules may change for your year of entry. The exact modules available and their order may vary depending on course updates, staff availability, timetabling and student demand. Please contact the course team for the most up to date module list.
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This module builds on students' appreciation and understanding of research by examining more advanced techniques of design and analysis. It has been designed to enable students to develop their skills in designing, executing and writing up quantitative and qualitative research projects. This module will provide an important foundation for the Project.
This module is optional
The module focuses on the study of inter-group communication and the way in which this relates to both personal identity processes and macro-level societal and cultural issues such as prejudice, discrimination and conflict. Throughout, there a strong emphasis on empirical research applications.
This module is optional
This module provides students with an understanding of one of the major areas of applied communication. The module will enable students to gain an overview of the major theoretical and empirical literature in the area of counselling and psychotherapy. The wider issues relating to professional, legal and ethical matters will also be addressed. The module is assessed by coursework and examination.
This module is optional
This module will introduce students to the interdisciplinary field of psychosocial studies and its relevance for counselling. Research in psychosocial studies focuses on how a person's subjectivity, sense of self and identity are formed through the interaction of internal and external factors. The field of psychosocial studies is underpinned by psychoanalysis, emphasising the development of observation and analytic skills, self-reflectivity and insight.
This module is optional
This module introduces students to a cultural studies approach to examining the role of popular media forms (in film, television, advertising and photography) in the construction of gendered identities (masculinity and femininity). It does this through key examples and case studies from the 1960s to the present day and post feminism. It also provides students with examples of alternative feminist practices.
The project enables students to apply methods and techniques to exending and applying their knowledge and understanding of Communication and allows them to further develop their conceptual, rational and creative thinking within the field of Communication. It incorporates all aspects of completing a research project, from topic selection through to writing up and builds upon research skills acquired in Years 1 and 2.
We recognise a range of qualifications for admission to our courses. In addition to the specific entry conditions for this course you must also meet the University’s General Entrance Requirements.
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This is a "top-up" degree and therefore does not require A-levels. Please see Additional Entry Requirements for further information.
You must satisfy the General Entrance Requirements for admission to a first degree course and hold a GCSE pass in English Language at grade C or above (or equivalent).
English language requirements for international applicants
The minimum requirement for this course is Academic IELTS 6.0 with no band score less than 5.5. Trinity ISE: Pass at level III also meets this requirement for Tier 4 visa purposes.
Ulster recognises a number of other English language tests and comparable IELTS equivalent scores.
Applicants must satisfy the University’s general entry requirements and provide evidence of competence in written and spoken English (GCSE grade C or equivalent) and in numeracy (GCSE grade C or equivalent – Essential Skills L2 Communication and Use of Number is accepted).
Hold an Ulster University Foundation Degree in Counselling/ Foundation Degree in Integrative Counselling Practice.
Demonstrate their ability to undertake the course through the accreditation of prior experiential learning (APEL) for applicants with 240 credits of study in equivalent study.
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The course builds upon students' current counselling practice, which will contribute to their current career development and possible promotion.
Graduates will be in a strong position to apply for a Masters degree and later a Doctorate by PhD research.
Students will have opportunities to engage with our Careers Development staff for advice and support. Careers and Employability staff provide tailored classes specifically for students on the BSc Hons Professional Development in Counselling, to support them with their career goals and aspirations. Careers and Employability staff will help students to identify the skills and experience they need to gain along the way to enhance their CV and employability.
The course builds upon the placement in the Foundation degree and students' current counselling practice.
The programme offers students opportunities to apply theory to practice in the composition of written assignments (case studies, work based learning report, reflective journal, essays, presentations).
Fees illustrated are based on academic year 22/23 entry and are subject to an annual increase.
If your study continues into future academic years your fees are subject to an annual increase. Please take this into consideration when you estimate your total fees for a degree.
Additional mandatory costs are highlighted where they are known in advance. There are other costs associated with university study.
Correct at the time of publishing. Terms and conditions apply.
The price of your overall programme will be determined by the number of credit points that you initiate in the relevant academic year.
For modules commenced in the academic year 2022/23, the following fees apply:
|Credit Points||NI/ROI Cost||GB Cost||International Cost|
NB: A standard full-time undergraduate degree is equivalent to 120 credit points per year.
It is important to remember that costs associated with accommodation, travel (including car parking charges) and normal living will need to be covered in addition to tuition fees.
Where a course has additional mandatory expenses (in addition to tuition fees) we make every effort to highlight them above. We aim to provide students with the learning materials needed to support their studies. Our libraries are a valuable resource with an extensive collection of books and journals, as well as first-class facilities and IT equipment. Computer suites and free Wi-Fi are also available on each of the campuses.
There are additional fees for graduation ceremonies, examination resits and library fines.
Students choosing a period of paid work placement or study abroad as a part of their course should be aware that there may be additional travel and living costs, as well as tuition fees.
See the tuition fees on our student guide for most up to date costs.
Course Director: Dr Paula Brogan
Admissions Contact: Amber Crozier
T: +44 (0) 28 90366957