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Counselling & Therapeutic Communication with Professional Practice

A professional practice counselling course, which aims to assist students working towards professional accreditation.

Our Counselling and Therapeutic Communication with Professional Practice course, has been designed to contribute to the educational requirements of those working towards professional accreditation. The course aims to recruit counsellors who are already working in a practice context towards professional accreditation. The course includes two supervised practice modules, wherein students are expected to complete 100 supervised client-contact hours. Only students who complete the supervised practice modules can receive the award of PgCert/PgDip/MSc Counselling and Therapeutic Communication with Professional Practice.

A central strength of the course is the teaching team, consisting of academics with both practice and research experience in counselling. 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 practice counselling in a range of 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, for students who undertake the MSc.
• 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 PQ requirements for the Professional in Practice NI Leadership & Strategic Award in Social Work.
• The course is accredited by the National Counselling Society (NCS)
Students can complete modules as part of a CPD pathway, PG Certificate, PG Diploma or Masters programme.

Work placement / study abroad
In order to meet professional and academic requirments students must complete 100 hours of clinical placement - supervised client-contact hours.

Entry requirements

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. For general entrance requirements go to:

Entry Requirements
(i) Hold an honours or non-honours degree or demonstrate ability to undertake the course through the accreditation of prior experiential learning;


(ii) Must be working (employment or voluntary) within a counselling related post, e.g. working in a counselling, health or social care setting in a counselling role to secure supervised client hours;


(iii) Attend for interview to show evidence of having the personal qualities necessary to undertake counselling training.

English Language Requirements
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.


This programme is available only as part-time
Morning, afternoon and evening classes.

Careers or further progression

Career options
The programme has been designed to meet the needs of Counsellors who are working towards professional registration and/or accreditation.

Further enquiries

Faculty Office
T: +44 (0)28 9036 6184
Course Director: Dr Anne Moorhead
T: +44 (0)28 9036 8905

Subjects taught

Taught Modules
Here is a guide to the subjects studied on this course.
Courses are continually reviewed to take advantage of new teaching approaches and developments in research, industry and the professions. Please be aware that modules may change for your year of entry. The exact modules available and their order may vary depending on course updates, staff availability, timetabling and student demand. Please contact the course team for the most up to date module list.

Year one
Research Methods
Cancer Counselling and Communication

Optional Modules
Human Growth and Transition
Critical Perspectives on Counselling: Clinical Approaches to Therapeutic Work
The Counselling and Therapeutic Framework
Fundamentals of Cognitive Behaviour Therapy Theory and Practice
Trauma management
Working with Children and Young People
Introduction to Counselling for Depression
Humanistic Counselling
Psychodynamic Approaches: The Clinical Application of Psychoanalytic Concepts
Introduction to Interpersonal Psychotherapy

Year two
Supervised Practice 1
Supervised Practice 2

Year three

Bryman, A. (2012). Social Research Methods 4th ed, China: Oxford University Press.
Henn, M., Weinstein, M., Foard, N. (2009). A Critical Introduction to Social Research, Wiltshire: Sage Publications Ltd.
McQueen, R., Knussen, C. (2002). Research Methods for Social Science: An Introduction, Harlow: Pearson Education.

Creswell, J.W. (2009). Research Design: Qualitative, Quantitative & Mixed Methods Approach. (3 ed) (2009). USA: Sage.
Davies, M.B. (2007). Doing a Successful Research Project using Quantitative or Quantitative Methods. China: Palgrave Macmillan.
Dawson, C. (2009). Introduction to Research Methods: A Practical Guide to Anyone Undertaking a Research Project (4th ed). Trowbridge, Wiltshire: How to Books Ltd.
Foster, J.J. (2001). Data Analysis for Windows ? Using SPSS, London: Sage. Greenhalgh, T. How to Read a Paper: The Basics of Evidence-based Medicine (3rd), UK: Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
Hart, C. (2002). Doing a Literature Review, London: Sage.
Matthew, B., Ross L. (2010). Research Methods: A Practical Guide for the Social Sciences. Italy: Pearson Education Ltd.
Silverman, D. (2010). Doing Qualitative Research, London: Sage.
Wray, A., Trott, K., Bloomer, A. (2003). Projects in Linguistics: A Practical Guide to Researching Language, London: Arnold.
Wrench, J.S., Thomas-Maddox, C., Richmond, V.P., McCroskey, J.C. (2008). Quantitative Research Methods for Communication. USA: Oxford University Press.

Assessment method

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; placement – supervised client-contact hours; 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.

*The full range of optional modules is regularly updated and will vary in availability in any academic year.

** Research Methods is compulsory for students who wish to undertake the Dissertation, to be awarded the MSc Counselling and Therapeutic Communication with Professional Practice.

Application date

The closing date for applications is normally 31st July, with interviews for potential applicants scheduled in May and August. Late applications may be considered until 31st August (with applicant interviews in early September). However, where possible applicants should apply before the July deadline.

Course fee

Additional mandatory costs

In year two, students will have two additional costs to consider, there is indemity insurance which is approx £70-100 per year. There is also the cost of clinical supervision which is at the ratio of 1 hour of supervison for every 8 hours client work. Some supervisors offer a reduced student rate of approximately £30-40 per hour.

Enrolment and start dates

Start Date: September 2018

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