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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.


Three years full-time. 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 2017
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 A Level requirement for this course is BCC - BBC.

The final listed A-level grade (eg BCC or BBC) can be substituted by a combination of alternative qualifications to the same standard as defined by UCAS.


Overall BTEC award profile DMM (to include a minimum of 7 distinctions if the asking grades are set at BCC equivalent, or a minimum of 8 distinctions if they are set at BBC equivalent).

Irish Leaving Certificate

Overall Irish Leaving Certificate profile B2B2C1C1C1 - B2B2B3B3C1.

International Baccalaureate

Overall International Baccalaureate profile minimum of 24 points (12 at higher level) - 25 points (12 at higher level).

Access to Higher Education (HE)

Currently under review with UCAS for 2017 entry. Please refer to the Equivalence of Qualifications for indicative requirement.


GCSE Profile to include CGSE English Language 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.

Exemptions and transferability

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

Careers & opportunities

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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.


Applications to full-time undergraduate degrees at Ulster are made through UCAS.

How to apply

Start dates

  • September 2017

Fees and funding

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Fees (per year)

Important notice - fees information Tuition fees shown are for last years entry. Fees are correct at the time of publishing and may be subject to an annual increase. Additional mandatory costs are highlighted where they are known in advance. There are other costs associated with university study. Read our Tuition Fees Payment Policy

Northern Ireland & EU:
England, Scotland & Wales:

Additional mandatory costs

Tuition fees and costs associated with accommodation, travel and normal living are a part of university life. 

Where a course has additional mandatory expenses we make every effort to highlight them in the online prospectus. These may include residential visits, field trips, materials (e.g. art, design, engineering) inoculations, security checks, computer equipment, uniforms, professional memberships etc.

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 wifi is also available on each of the campuses.

There will be some additional costs to being a student which cannot be itemised and these will be different for each student. You may choose to purchase your own textbooks and course materials or prefer your own computer and software. Printing and binding may also be required. There are additional fees for graduation ceremonies, examination resits and library fines. Additional costs vary from course to course. 

Students choosing a period of paid work placement or study abroad as part of their course should be aware that there may be additional travel and living costs as well as tuition fees. 

Please contact the course team for more information.


Course Director: Dr Maggie Long

T: +44 (0) 28 9036 6282