BA (Hons) Counselling and Therapeutic Practice

The Counselling and Therapeutic Practice 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.

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.


UCAS Code Study Mode
Duration Start Date Campus Campus Code
BB99 Full-time 3 Years September Newport City C
UCAS Code Study Mode
Duration Start Date Campus Campus Code
BB99 Full-time 3 Years September Newport City C

Year One: Counselling and Therapeutic Practice Degree

  • Introduction to Counselling (60 credits) - An introduction to professional skills, ethics and law in the counselling context and how these are used within the therapeutic relationship in a range of mainstream therapies. This module is also designed to stimulate your understanding of yourself and how you relate to others, and help you develop your reflective practice.

  • Counselling Children and Young People 1 (20 credits) – An understanding of child and adolescent development, the formation of a young person’s identity, and developing a therapeutic relationship with children and young people.

  • Academic Skills for Practice-Focused Learning (20 credits) – Developing your academic skills and understanding recent research findings to support your developing practice.

  • Mental Health and Wellbeing (20 credits) – Understanding mental health and wellbeing from different perspectives. An introduction to common mental health difficulties and how to work with these.

Year Two Modules: Counselling and Therapeutic Practice Degree

  • Integrative Practice 1 (60 credits) - Building on your learning from Year One, you will study professional practice skills such as writing case notes and using supervision, and apply your knowledge of ethics and law in the professional counselling context. You will continue to develop your reflective practice through personal development and provide evidence through an increasing portfolio. You will develop your use of an integrative model, which involves using different counselling approaches to meet the specific needs of your individual clients. You will develop a sound working knowledge of integrating a range of short term, change-orientated helping skills.

  • Counselling Children and Young People 2 (20 credits) – Expanding your understanding and skills in working therapeutically with children and young people. 

  • Working Creatively (20 credits) – Using creative ways of working therapeutically with clients across the lifespan.

  • Counselling Older Adults (20 credits) – Developing your knowledge of older adults and honing your skills to work with this client group.

Year Three: Counselling and Therapeutic Practice Degree

  • Integrative Practice 2 (60 credits) - Enhancing your application of legal and ethical frameworks and professional practice to demonstrate your emerging competence. Consolidating your model of therapeutic work, demonstrating your understanding and growing competence in therapeutic work.

  • Counselling Children and Young People 3 (20 credits) – Critically reflecting on your developing practice in counselling children and young people, you will acquire new skills and techniques, and expand your understanding of different contexts for this work.

  • Online Counselling (20 credits) – An introduction to a rapidly developing area of practice in which you will be discovering the difference between counselling face-to-face and counselling online.

  • Evidence-Based Practice (20 credits) – You will develop an understanding of the underpinnings of evidence based practice informing counselling, alongside the skills necessary to critically respond to research evidence and propose an approach to undertaking a small scale research project.



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.


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.


All lead teaching staff are experienced practicing counsellors and psychotherapists, accredited and registered with the BACP or an equivalent professional body.

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.

Typical A-Level Offer

BCC - CDD to exclude General Studies (this is equivalent to 104-80 UCAS tariff points).

Typical Welsh BACC Offer

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).

Typical BTEC Offer

BTEC Extended Diploma Distinction Merit Merit - Merit Merit Pass (this is equivalent to 112-80 UCAS tariff points).

Typical IB Offer

Pass the International Baccalaureate Diploma with a minimum score of 29 overall including 5 or above in English at standard level

Typical Access to HE Offer

Pass the Access to HE Diploma with a minimum of 80 UCAS tariff points

Additional Requirements

GCSEs: The University normally requires a minimum 5 GCSEs including Mathematics/Numeracy and English at Grade C or Grade 4 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

International Entry Requirements

We also welcome international applications with equivalent qualifications. Please visit the country specific pages on our international website for exact details.

English Requirements

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.

Full-time fees are per year. Part-time fees are per 20 credits. Once enrolled, the fee will remain at the same rate throughout the duration of your study on this course.

Find out how to pay your tuition fees in full or by payment plan.

This course is eligible under the Enhanced Learning Credits scheme for Ex-Armed Forces personnel.

International Scholarships are available for self-funding international students.

August 2019 - July 2020 Fees

  • Full-time UK and EU:  £9000

  • Full-time International:  £12600 

August 2020 - July 2021 Fees

  • Full-time UK and EU: TBC

  • Full-time International: TBC

Additional Costs

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.

* Obligatory

Item Cost
BACP student membership * £40 - £80
DBS * £57.20
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 people studying 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. Find out more about the Helen Kegie Bursary.


UK and EU students

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

International students

Apply directly to the University if you live outside the UK/EU. 

Admissions statement

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.

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.