Counselling - Professional Development

BSc (Hons)

2023/24 Part-time Undergraduate course

Award:

Bachelor of Science with Honours

Faculty:

Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences

School:

School of Communication and Media

Campus:

Belfast campus

Start date:

September 2023

This course is now closed for International applications for September 2023

With this degree you could become:

  • Counsellor

Overview

This interdisciplinary course facilitates students 'topping up' their Foundation degree (FdSc) in Counselling to an honours degree level.

Summary

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.

Visit the School of Communication and Media homepage

We’d love to hear from you!

We know that choosing to study at university is a big decision, and you may not always be able to find the information you need online.

Please contact Ulster University with any queries or questions you might have about:

  • Course specific information
  • Fees and Finance
  • Admissions

For any queries regarding getting help with your application, please select Admissions in the drop down below.

For queries related to course content, including modules and placements, please select Course specific information.

We look forward to hearing from you.

About this course

About

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 course has achieved advanced training status from a professional boby, National Counselling Society.

Attendance

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.

Start dates

  • September 2023

Teaching, Learning and Assessment

This course is delivered in-person on the Belfast campus using a range of teaching methods including lectures, seminars and workshops. The assesement is 100% coursework with no exams. The assessment methods are diverse providing various opportunities for learning and developement including essays, class test, reports, reflective journals, case studies, and dissertation.

Academic profile

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.

Belfast campus

Accommodation

High quality apartment living in Belfast city centre adjacent to the university campus.

Find out more - information about accommodation  


Student Wellbeing

At Student Wellbeing we provide many services to help students through their time at Ulster University.

Find out more - information about student wellbeing  


Belfast Campus Location

The Belfast campus is situated in the artistic and cultural centre of the city, the Cathedral Quarter.

Find out more about our Belfast Campus.

Campus Address

Ulster University,
2-24 York Street,
Belfast
BT15 1AP

T: 02870 123 456

Modules

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.

In this section

Year one

Research Methods

Year: 1

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.

Groups, Identities and Relations

Year: 1

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.

Critical Issues in Counselling Studies

Year: 1

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.

Psychosocial Issues

Year: 1

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.

Gender and Representation

Year: 1

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.

Year two

Dissertation

Year: 2

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.

Standard entry conditions

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.

A level

This is a "top-up" degree and therefore does not accept A-levels. Please see Additional Entry Requirements for further information.

GCSE

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

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.

Additional Entry Requirements

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).

And

Hold an Ulster University Foundation Degree in Counselling/ Foundation Degree in Integrative Counselling Practice.

Or

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.

Careers & opportunities

Job roles

With this degree you could become:

  • Counsellor

Career options

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.

Work placement / study abroad

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).

Apply

Start dates

  • September 2023

Fees and funding

Module Pricing

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 2023/24, the following fees apply:

Module Pricing
Credit Points NI/ROI Cost GB Cost International Cost*
120 £4,710 £9,249.60 £15,840
60  £2,355 £4,624.80 £7,920
30 £1,177.50 £2,312.40 £3,960
20  £785 £1,541.60£2,640

NB: A standard full-time undergraduate degree is equivalent to 120 credit points per year.

*Please note our on campus part-time postgraduate courses are not open to international (non-EU) students.

Additional mandatory costs

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.

Contact

We’d love to hear from you!

We know that choosing to study at university is a big decision, and you may not always be able to find the information you need online.

Please contact Ulster University with any queries or questions you might have about:

  • Course specific information
  • Fees and Finance
  • Admissions

For any queries regarding getting help with your application, please select Admissions in the drop down below.

For queries related to course content, including modules and placements, please select Course specific information.

We look forward to hearing from you.


For more information visit

Disclaimer

  1. Although reasonable steps are taken to provide the programmes and services described, the University cannot guarantee the provision of any course or facility and the University may make variations to the contents or methods of delivery of courses, discontinue, merge or combine courses and introduce new courses if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Such circumstances include (but are not limited to) industrial action, lack of demand, departure of key staff, changes in legislation or government policy including changes, if any, resulting from the UK departing the European Union, withdrawal or reduction of funding or other circumstances beyond the University’s reasonable control.
  1. If the University discontinues any courses, it will use its best endeavours to provide a suitable alternative course. In addition, courses may change during the course of study and in such circumstances the University will normally undertake a consultation process prior to any such changes being introduced and seek to ensure that no student is unreasonably prejudiced as a consequence of any such change.
  1. The University does not accept responsibility (other than through the negligence of the University, its staff or agents), for the consequences of any modification or cancellation of any course, or part of a course, offered by the University but will take into consideration the effects on individual students and seek to minimise the impact of such effects where reasonably practicable.
  1. The University cannot accept any liability for disruption to its provision of educational or other services caused by circumstances beyond its control, but the University will take all reasonable steps to minimise the resultant disruption to such services.
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