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Important notice – campus change This course will move to the Belfast campus in September 2019.  Students will change campus part way through this course. Find out more

An innovative approach to studying counselling combined with communication as it is applied in therapeutic and helping contexts.


Study Therapeutic Communication and Counselling Studies at Ulster University in the United Kingdom.

This is an innovative course which has been designed to meet the needs of students who wish to undertake the study of communication with a specific focus on its application within therapeutic and helping contexts.

This creative programme is for people who are interested in:

  • Learning more about themselves and other people
  • Developing their understanding of the areas of human growth and development; personal development; mental health and well-being
  • Studying how we communicate as individuals and as groups
  • Developing relationship building skills
  • Gaining an understanding the complex nature of counselling as a professional activity and the contexts in which it occurs
  • Acquiring a knowledge of therapeutic orientations and the philosophies and ethics which underpin them
  • Gaining knowledge of the skills practised within counselling
  • Developing their ability to undertake research projects

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About this course

In this section


The creativity of the programme aims to facilitate the development of comprehensive and critical understanding of the complex nature of counselling as a professional activity; the contexts in which it occurs; relationship building; knowledge of therapeutic orientations; the skills based practice within counselling; research; monitoring, evaluation and reflective practice. It also aims to develop students’ understanding of human growth and development; personal development; mental health and well-being; philosophy and ethics; developing the therapeutic alliance and research evidence, with the outcome of developing a critical understanding of the interplay between these factors within the therapeutic setting. Students will also study key aspects of communication processes with a particular focus on interpersonal relationship interactions, group processes and language and communication.

Teaching and assessment within the School of Communication take place through a variety of methods and contexts. During your degree you will participate in lectures, seminars, small group work, examine case studies and undertake practical exercises in our communication labs. Our programmes facilitate participation and interaction and you will be encouraged and supported to become an independent learner 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 the friendly and supportive atmosphere. Teaching will be delivered by research active academic staff, many of whom are practising counsellors and members of various professional bodies. Your learning experience will be supported via the allocation of a study skills advisor who will provide you with individual support and guidance throughout your studies.

The School of Communication has innovative recording practice labs which allow students to practice 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.


Between four and six years part-time.

Two semesters per year.

One or two modules per semester (a maximum of four modules per year).

Each module usually involves two hours of lectures plus a one hour seminar each week. In addition, students are required to undertake substantial directed independent learning.

Start dates

  • September 2016
How to apply

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.

In this section

A level

The Subject Committee will consider a range of qualifications, experience and other evidence of ability to complete the course satisfactorily when considering applications for part-time study.


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). The Faculty of Social Sciences will accept Essential Skills Level 2 Communication as equivalent to GCSE English Language.

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.

Exemptions and transferability

Students enter into first year. Transfer may be possible between full-time and part-time modes of study.

Careers & opportunities

In this section

Career options

Our overall aim is that students develop knowledge and skills to enhance their prospects for employment, academic progress and continuing professional development.

The Therapeutic Communication & Counselling Studies programme in itself is not counsellor training and will not provide the graduate with a professional counselling qualification but rather is concerned with equipping students with a knowledge base of therapeutic communication and associated counselling skills which can be built upon after graduation.

The programme provides an excellent springboard for students who wish to pursue professional counselling accreditation following graduation or who wish to pursue careers in range of therapeutic or helping roles. Additionally the degree can be used as a route into the area of more generic graduate schemes. It is ideal for graduate entry into careers such as civil service, police, retail management, human resource management. Students will also have opportunities to apply for doctoral level research.

During your time at Ulster you will have opportunities to engage with our Careers Development staff for advice and support . They will help you identify the skills and experience you need to gain along the way to enhance your CV and employability.


Please apply at

How to apply

Start dates

  • September 2016


Course Director

Dr Maggie Long

School of Communication


T: 028 9036 6282