Our postgraduate Counselling Studies and Therapeutic Communication course is for you if you are interested in counselling, or want to develop and hone your existing professional skills. It offers theoretical knowledge and an academic foundation in counselling for a variety of helping skills in professional contexts. Please note, this academic course is not a counseling training course and thus will not make you a registered counsellor.
A central strength of the course is the teaching team, consisting of academics with both practice and research experience in the fields of counselling and counselling psychology. Staff members ensure that the content of the course is continually updated based on innovations in practice and research.
The course provides:
Structured Continuing Professional Development opportunities for individuals who use counselling skills in a range of practice contexts.
Flexibility through optional study to allow students to pursue specialist areas of interest.
A good balance of theoretical and skills training relevant to student need.
A well balanced grounding in the theoretical and practical study of communication in the applied counselling context.
A solid grounding in research methods and skills that will enable students to carry out independent research.
An understanding of key contextual areas relevant to students' work experience and the ability to evaluate their own professional practice.
Some modules are available in block teaching format.
The Pg Diploma is a Professional in Practice approved programme for the NI Specialist Award in Social Work.
The MSc meets three requirements for the Professional in Practice NI Leadership & Strategic Award in Social Work.
Awarded the advanced training status from the National Counselling Society (NCS).
The course on its own does not qualify you to practice as a counsellor. However, the course provides approximately 200 taught hours of training that may be used to contribute to accreditation with professional bodies (please contact relevant professional body directly for guidance on accreditation policy).
Students can complete modules as part of a CPD pathway, PG Certificate, PG Diploma or Masters programme.
Teaching and learning assessment
The objective of the teaching, learning and assessment centres around assisting students to develop competence within the area of counselling. This experiential focus of the teaching is geared to this end. This is achieved through several methods: interactive lectures; seminars; tutorials; workshops and integral part of the course is directed towards developing skills enhancement and competence. This is accomplished by an ongoing utilisation of the University's specialised skills labs, which will assist the student in translating this learning into counselling practice. This approach aims to foster confidence in the student so that they can effectively conceptualise and work therapeutically with client populations.
The assessment is orientated toward helping the student further enhance practice competence. This is achieved by several methods: skills and practice reviews and focused case studies. The assessments are constructed in such a manner that it encourages the student to engage with the ethical, theoretical and practical applications of counselling.
Work placement / study abroad
Although there is no placement on this course, there are opportunities within some modules to work on projects in collaboration with public, private or voluntary organisations and potential employers. In addition, there are opportunities each year with the International Department to apply for short-term various international exchange opportunities.