This Counselling degree offers the learning and training you need to become a professional integrative counsellor. You’ll gain the knowledge, skills and experience to provide counselling across all age ranges, from children and young people to adults. You will study a range of traditional ‘talking therapies’, as well as creative and contemporary approaches such as online counselling.
There is a key focus on employability. Work placements are an important part of this Counselling degree and will fully prepare you for the start of your career. You’ll have placements in every year of the course, including 150 hours of supervised professional practice. This meets placement criteria for individual accreditation with the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP). The University of South Wales has strong links with a wide range of local counselling agencies, employers and counselling services such as the USW Therapy Centre to provide you with the supervised practice hours required.
The counselling qualification will be delivered via a blend of skills practice: direct teaching (lectures, seminars and workshops); personal development activity, practice placements and directed study. As this is professional counselling training, you are required to attend all timetabled classes and other elements of the course.
Training as a counsellor involves taking part in varied activities to help your learning about yourself as a person, as well as learning practical skills and theory. Personal development takes place in all parts of the course, including personal development group work and reflective activity. You will also take part in regular small group skills practice where you take it in turns to be ‘client’, counsellor or observer. You will need to read widely, to do guided literature research and give informal reviews to your tutors and peers. There are practice placements in all three years of the course.
Students will typically have 12 contact hours across four days per week in term time. When a residential or special event is taking place, this may vary. In addition to the contact hours, you will complete independent study and placement hours. Placement based work generally equates to at least half a day a week over the academic year.
Assessment methods are varied in format and will include written assessments; presentations; case studies; skills assessments; examinations and work placement and portfolio assessments.
This Counselling course is subject to validation. The course will be submitted for accreditation by the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) once it has completed one cycle of delivery. The University has three Counselling and Psychotherapy courses accredited by the BACP. See further details of all Counselling and Psychotherapy courses available at USW.
You will undertake placements in every year of the counselling course including 150 hours of supervised professional practice, which will fully prepare you for your counselling career.
USW has long-standing partnerships with public, private and voluntary sector organisations and you will have the opportunity to apply to any of these organisations as part of your placement experience. In addition, USW Therapy Centre, is a service run by USW for people in the local area, which provides an excellent opportunity for placement experience on-campus. You may also be able to apply for a placement in the USW school-based counselling service NISBCS.
You will need to organise your own placements as part of your professional development. The Therapeutic Studies teaching and placement staff will help identify and check possible placement providers and will support you throughout your placement.
Facilities for students on our counselling courses in Newport include a suite of rooms for one-to-one skills practice. These are also used by our in-house counselling service, which can also offer work experience opportunities. We have specialist resources for online counselling techniques, plus dedicated video recording facilities to support all your skills development in class, in private study time and for assessments. Students also have full access to library resources across all USW campuses.
Entry criteria detail typical offers but USW considers all applications on an individual basis which means that we could make offers based on qualifications, personal profile and experience. Combinations of qualifications are acceptable and other qualifications not listed may also be acceptable.
An enhanced DBS check is also requried for this course – details will be sent to applicants at the appropriate time.
An interview is required for this course. Those applying will be provided with further details if successful at the initial selection stage.
BCC - CDD to exclude General Studies (this is equivalent to 104-80 UCAS tariff points).
Pass the Advanced Welsh Baccalaureate Diploma with Grade C/D in the Skills Challenge Certificate and BC - CD at A Level to exclude General Studies (this is equivalent to 104-80 UCAS tariff points).
BTEC Extended Diploma Distinction Merit Merit - Merit Merit Pass (this is equivalent to 112-80 UCAS tariff points).
Pass the International Baccalaureate Diploma with higher grades of between 655-445 (this is equivalent to 112-80 UCAS tariff points)
Pass the Access to HE Diploma with 60 credits overall – the credits should equate to between 106-80 UCAS tariff points (examples below)
45 Level 3 credits equating to 15 Distinctions, 24 Merits and 6 Passes (106 UCAS Tariff Points)
45 Level 3 credits equating to 12 Distinctions, 6 Merits and 27 Passes (80 UCAS Tariff Points)
GCSEs: The University normally requires a minimum 5 GCSEs including Mathematics and English at Grade C or above, or their equivalent but consideration is given to individual circumstances
Relevant Work Experience
In addition to the formal qualifications, work experience with children or with adults with physical, psychological, social or emotional needs is normally required. This can be, for example, full or part-time paid work in a care setting, or volunteering that involves face-to face support for children or adults. This work experience should be equivalent to about 150 hours and must normally be completed before you submit your application. If you are able, you must clearly explain how you meet this requirement in your personal statement. You may be asked to submit an additional reference relating to the work experience confirming you have completed the required hours.
This will usually include the following:
• Direct experience of working with young people, or with adults with social, psychological or emotional difficulties
• Level 2 or 3 Certificate in Counselling Skills
We also welcome international applications with equivalent qualifications. Please visit the country specific pages on our international website for exact details.
In general, international applicants will need to have achieved an overall IELTS grade of 6.0 with a minimum score of 5.5 in each component.
However, if you have previously studied through the medium of English IELTS might not be required, but please visit the country specific page on our international website for exact details. If your country is not featured please contact us.
This course is eligible under the Enhanced Learning Credits scheme for Ex-Armed Forces personnel.
Students have access to a wide range of resources including textbooks, publications, and computers in the University’s library and via online resources. In most cases they are more than sufficient to complete a course of study. Where there are additional costs, either obligatory or optional, these are detailed below. Of course students may choose to purchase their own additional personal resources/tools over and above those listed to support their studies at their own expense. All stationery and printing costs are at a student’s own expense.
|BACP student membership *||£40 - £80|
Fee includes £44 for enhanced DBS certificate and Post Office Administration Fee
|DBS update service||£13||
Whilst optional, we strongly recommend you sign up for this service, especially if you are likely to have placements each year and wish to pursue a career post University where a DBS check is a requirement. Please note the service has to be joined within 19 days of receipt of your enhanced DBS certificate.
|Personal therapy||£30 - £50||
Cost varies - some agencies offer free or low cost counselling.
|Professional indemnity insurance *||
Cost varies depending on individual circumstances. Required each year if not already covered.
The Helen Kegie Bursary is aimed at students aiming to study within the subject areas of Social Work, Youth Work or Early Years, who have a permanent postal address with a CF or NP postcode and come from a low-income background. See more information about the Helen Kegie Bursary.
Apply via UCAS if you are a UK/EU residing applicant, applying for year one of a full-time undergraduate degree, Foundation Year, Foundation Degree or HND and you have not applied through UCAS before. If you are applying to study part-time, to top up your Foundation Degree or HND, or to transfer to USW from another institution, please apply directly.
Apply directly to the University if you live outside the UK/EU.
This Counselling course provides graduates with a broad range of employment pathways. Access to counselling services continues to expand across state, private and third (voluntary) sectors. In addition, the knowledge and skills gained can be used to enhance existing professional roles in other disciplines, e.g. health and social care; human resources.
Students graduating with counselling qualifications have found jobs as counsellors in the NHS, school- based counselling services, colleges and Universities, employee counselling services and voluntary bodies. Some counselling graduates work in other types of people-focused services particularly in the voluntary sector. Progression opportunities at the University include PG Diploma in Systemic Practice in Psychotherapy, PG Diploma Integrative Counselling and Psychotherapy.
As a USW Counselling student, you will have access to advice from the Careers and Employability Service throughout your studies and after you graduate.
This includes: one-to-one appointments from faculty based Career Advisers, in person, over the phone or even on Skype and through email via the "Ask a Question" service. We also have extensive online resources for help with considering your career options and presenting yourself well to employers. Resources include psychometric tests, career assessments, a CV builder, interview simulator and application help. Our employer database has over 2,000 registered employers targeting USW students, you can receive weekly email alerts for jobs.
Our Careers service has dedicated teams: A central work experience team to help you find relevant placements; an employability development team which includes an employability programme called Grad Edge; and an Enterprise team focused on new business ideas and entrepreneurship.