Humanistic Counselling Practice BA

   
   
  

Fact file - 2017 entry

UCAS code:B940
Qualification:BA Hons
Type and duration:3 year UG
Qualification name:Humanistic Counselling Practice
UCAS code
UCAS code
B940
Qualification
Humanistic Counselling Practice | BA Hons
Duration
3 years full-time
A level offer
BBB
Required subjects
Introduction to Counselling or Basic Counselling Skills Certificate or equivalent experience or training
IB score
28
Course location
Jubilee Campus
Course places
30 
School/department
 

This course may still be open to international applicants for 2016 entry. Please visit our international pages for details of courses and application procedures from now until the end of August.

Overview

Providing students with more than the required number of training hours for individual BACP accreditation, this course is ideal for those wishing to practice as a professional counsellor.
Read full overview

The humanistic approach to counselling suggests that each person has their own unique way of perceiving and understanding the world, which in turn influences their actions and the way they behave. Focused on helping clients to achieve their highest potential, humanistic counsellors work to understand a person's subjective experience and, as such, the kinds of questions they ask about people differ from those asked by practitioners who take other approaches.

Delivered through a school with a 45-year history of humanistic psychology, this course is designed for those wishing to practice as a professional counsellor. It has been developed through research in humanistic and experiential learning approaches, and is grounded in the belief that people grow through reflection on experience.

A key component of this training is the development of self-awareness, which will enhance your capacity to respond to clients with awareness, and ensure that your use of self is always in service of your clients' needs, rather than your own. You will therefore be required to take part in self-funded personal counselling in order to understand the experience from the client's perspective.

You'll be taught by trained counsellors and psychotherapists, and will build your practical experience through micro-skills training, skills practice groups and a supervised counselling placement. You will complete more than the required number of training hours for individual accreditation by the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP).

Sam McManus"This course makes you see things differently; teaching you to be more aware and how to interact with people. You learn through a mixture of small and large group work and there's a lot of emphasis on talking about relevant experience and personal growth. I've met some really interesting people of all ages - my peers are between 18 and 60 and we all get on well. Be open to the course and expect it to change you, in a good way."

Sam McManus, BA Humanistic Counselling Practice

Year one

Providing you with a solid theoretical and practical foundation, the first year of this course is designed to introduce you to humanistic counselling practice and prepare you for your second year placement. You will need to undertake a minimum of 40 hours of self-funded personal therapy alongside your studies.

Year two

Grounded in the person-centred approach, your second year will include 150 hours of face-to-face tuition in a single core module, which is one of the criteria for individual BACP accreditation. You will also be required to continue the self-funded personal therapy you began in year one, and pass a Readiness to Practice assessment before beginning a 100-hour supervised counselling placement.

Year three

Your final year will enable you to complete your counselling placement hours, consolidate your professional learning and delve further into specialist areas through a selection of optional modules. Typical choices include Sex and Sexuality, Understanding Trauma, and Solution-Focused Brief Therapy.

Why study at Nottingham?

As a student on this course, you will:

  • complete more than the required number of training hours for individual BACP accreditation
  • benefit from the expertise of trained counsellors and psychotherapists who have experience in a wide range of areas including teenagers and young adults, addiction, and sexuality
  • take part in experiential activities and active discussion, with both playing an important part in small and large group sessions
  • undergo assessment through a variety of methods including essays, presentations, case studies and reflective journals (instead of exams)
  • develop professionally and acquire new skills in an academically-challenging and supportive environment
  • have the opportunity to improve your employability through the Nottingham Advantage Award
  • be part of one of the UK's top education departments, having placed at 8th in the UK and in the top 30 worldwide according to the latest QS World University Rankings

Please visit the school website for further useful information.

Student experience

Our staff and students describe the course.

 

Entry requirements

A levels: BBB or above in a relevant subject or evidence of comparable qualifications or experience

If you do not have A levels or other formal qualifications, you must provide evidence of your ability to undertake study at this level. You will need to provide a full CV.

All applicants will need to have attended an Introduction to Counselling course of at least 10 hours or have other comparable experience.

All applicants will need to submit two references specifically relating to your ability to undertake the course and, if relevant, refer to any experience of this subject. Download the reference form

English language requirements

IELTS: 6.5 (including 6.0 in writing)

Students who require extra support to meet the English language requirements for their academic course can attend a presessional course at the Centre for English Language Education (CELE) to prepare for their future studies. Students who pass at the required level can progress directly to their academic programme without needing to retake IELTS. Please visit the CELE webpages for more information.

Alternative qualifications

View the alternative qualifications page for details.

Flexible admissions policy

In recognition of our applicants’ varied experience and educational pathways, The University of Nottingham employs a flexible admissions policy. We may make some applicants an offer lower than advertised, depending on their personal and educational circumstances. Please see the University’s admissions policies and procedures for more information.

Notes for applicants

We are looking for students who have the ability and motivation to benefit from our courses, and who will make a valued contribution to the school and the University. When considering your application, we will look for evidence that you will be able to fulfil the objectives of the programme of study and achieve the standards required.

Recognition of Other Learning (ROL)

If you have higher education credits from other institutions, you may be eligible to transfer them into this programme of study at The University of Nottingham. If you do not have formal qualifications but have suitable employment experience (experiential learning), you may also be eligible for some credit exemption.

We have a positive approach to accrediting prior learning. However, unfortunately we are unable to advise on the level of entry over the telephone. Please supply photocopies of certificates with your application.

All applicants are invited for interview. At interview we will discuss with you your goals as well as previous qualifications and experience to determine the best level of entry for you. Please be assured that we aim to help you meet your personal and professional goals via the shortest route possible.

Applications for consideration for remission under this scheme should be made at the time of application for admission and at least four weeks before the start of the course. All ROL applications for this programme are processed free of charge.

For any ROL enquiries, please contact heather.blackburn@nottingham.ac.uk

 
 

Modules

Typical year one modules

Core

Awareness and Communication 1

This module entails intensive work on self-awareness and communication skills. Students will evaluate the development of their own self-awareness and communications skills within the framework of counselling professional development. Emphasis will be placed on the need for continuous intrapersonal development and awareness of personal cultural conditioning for counsellor competence. This will be achieved through a comparative study of one or other counselling approach, skills practice and group work tasks and discussions.

The module aims to:

  • develop competent counselling and communication skills in cross-cultural settings
  • increase self-awareness in the use of counselling skills in a variety of contexts
  • reflect on the value of self-awareness in a helping relationship
 
Awareness and Communication 2

This module entails intensive work on self-awareness and communication skills. Students will evaluate the development of their own self-awareness and communications skills within the framework of counselling professional development. Emphasis will be placed on the need for continuous intrapersonal development and awareness of personal culture conditioning for counsellor competence.

The module aims to:

  • develop competent counselling and communication skills in cross-cultural settings
  • increase self-awareness in the use of counselling skills in a variety of contexts
  • reflect on the value of self-awareness in a helping relationship
 
The Challenge of Individual Growth

This module will focus on the cross-cultural dimensions of verbal and non-verbal communication in counselling relationships. There will be an exploration of the sources and development of blocks and defences in self, counsellor and client and how these affect communication. Experience in this module will help to develop the skills of advanced empathy, immediacy, self-disclosure, and challenging. There will be some exploration of individual and group dynamics.

The module aims to:

  • explore the significance of the individuality of experience
  • examine how this affects attitudes to counselling and the counselling relationship
  • analyse the sources and uses of blocks, defences and non-verbal communication within therapeutic relationships
  • provide an opportunity for a summative assessment of counselling skills development
  • provide an opportunity for sustained reflection on personal development
 
Coping with Change

Work in this module will focus on the process of identity development as it relates to counselling theory and practice. Theory associated with life stages, transitions, identity development models, and the impact of loss and bereavement will be examined in relation to appropriate counselling practice. Study in this module will involve an exploration of how the major schools of counselling and psychotherapy theorise on loss and grief.

The module aims to:

  • explore factors affecting identity development and their impact on the client
  • study the effects of change and loss on the individual and consider the challenges such experience may present in the counselling relationship and for those using counselling skills
  • practice and develop appropriate counselling skills in response to issues that may arise as a result of change
 
Counselling and Personal Growth

The module will introduce participants to the programme and form a community of learners. Topics to be covered include:

  • basic counselling skills
  • rationale for interventions in a counselling interview
  • importance of monitoring self-awareness
  • introduction to Person-Centred Counselling

The module aims to:

  • explore the interaction between self-experience and self in relationship within the counselling relationship
 
Introduction to the Culture of Counselling

The module will focus on the culture of the client and the counsellor examining how cultural and individual similarities/differences have an impact on the counselling relationship. Topics to be explored:

  • Enculturation and equality opportunity
  • Working with diversity and difference
  • Advanced counselling skills
  • Fundamentals of Person-Centred theory

The module aims to:

  • introduce the humanistic model of the counselling process, its roots and practice with a particular on the focus on the Person-Centred approach to counselling
  • create a positive and safe learning environment at an individual and group level
  • explore the culture of the client and the counsellor and its relevance to relationship building
  • create a working contract, examine ethical issues, boundary and referral issues, confidentiality within the group, putting all of these in a wider context
 
Issues of Power and Oppression

This module will examine power within relationships and the impact of suppression and oppression on the individual. Students will explore their personal experiences of power and oppression. Issues of race, culture, gender, poverty, disability, age, sexuality, class and education will be explored in terms of the counsellor's own cultural conditioning. There will be analysis and reflection on how differences in power between the counsellor and the client affect the development of the relationship. The focus will be on the process of facilitating client empowerment.

The module aims to:

  • consider the significant impact of power in the counselling relationship
  • explore and analyse the use and abuse of personal power
  • examine the effects of oppression on the individual
 
 

Typical year two modules

Core

Ethical Foundation and Professional Practice

This module will examine the elements of good professional practice by focusing on professional practice issues and case study material. Topics to be covered include:

  • a range of cultural issues and client groups
  • an exploration of the role and impact of the counsellor in the community
  • major practice issues: communication links with other agencies, complaints procedures, confidentiality, conflicting roles, contracts and boundaries, codes of conduct, membership of professional bodies, continuing professional development, referrals, supervision, self care, issues of transference

The module aims to:

  • study the ethical and professional practice issues associated with safe and competent counselling practice in a variety of settings and with a wide range of client groups
 
Human Development Theory and Psychopathology

In this module, Rogers' work on personality theory and theory of development (19 propositions) will be studied in depth. Topics to be covered include:

  • theorists such as Winnicott, Bowlby, Adler, Miller and Stern exploration of child and adult development theories
  • human development theory and its impact on the work of a counselling practitioner
  • Person-Centred approach and psychpathology
  • recent work of Person-Centred theorists on diagnosis and psychiatric assessment will 

The module aims to:

  • study and analyse human development theory and theories of identity development in depth as they relate to professional counselling practice
  • address the issues and potential needs of different client groups whilst recognising the individual and unique needs of the client
 
Person-Centred Theory and Practice

This module will focus on a review and critical analysis of the Person-Centred approach to counselling and therapy. Topics to be covered include:

  • Rogers' theory and therapeutic growth in individual work and in groups
  • Rogers' six conditions for therapeutic change, seven stages of process and self-concept theory
  • Core conditions: Empathy, Congruence and Unconditional Positive Regard; and their impact on the counselling relationships and other professional relationships
  • Current Person-Centred counselling practice issues
  • Contemporary Person-Centred theorists and practitioners
  • Potential for the Person-Centred approach to be used in a variety of working environments

The module aims to:

  • develop and consolidate students' understanding and skilled use of the theory and practice of the Person-Centred approach to counselling
  • identify how the philosophy and practice of the Person-Centred approach can be applied effectively in a range of professional working environments by examining actual examples, strengths and limitations
 
Personal Therapy and Personal Development

This module will examine the elements of good professional practice as experienced by the student through attendance of 20 hours of personal therapy. There will be an exploration of the personal development experienced throughout the counselling process.

The module aims to:

  • study and experience the counselling relationship as a client, and to examine their individual responses to the process
  • provide an opportunity for a summative assessment of counselling skills development
  • provide an opportunity for sustained reflection on personal development
 
Supervised Counselling Practice and Case Study

During this module, students will study in depth elements of case study preparation and case analysis methods for professional use in counselling and psychotherapy. Students will produce their own case study drawing from their placement experience. They will review published case study material and the work of those engaged in counselling research. A major focus will be studying the supervisory relationship and its importance as a source of support, education and challenge for the counselling practitioner.

The module aims to:

  • provide students with the necessary skills to produce a case study reflecting their learning gained on placement
  • develop a theoretical and practical framework for the individualised use of supervision within the professional counselling practice
  • encourage and develop effective use of supervisory principles and processes in all aspects of professional counselling work
 
 

Typical year three modules

Core

Comparative Humanistic Counselling

This module will examine the theoretical foundations of Humanistic Counselling. Topics to be covered include:

  • Gestalt counselling
  • Existential counselling
  • Transactional analysis
  • Transpersonal therapy
  • Person-Centred counselling in context
  • A critical examination of the work and methodology of counselling practitioners using approaches other than Person-Centred

The module aims to:

  • provide a sound knowledge base of the roots of humanistic counselling and psychotherapy
  • provide an opportunity for students to compare and contrast their own Person-Centred practice with two other Humanistic paradigms
 
Consolidation of Professional Development

During this module, students will study in depth elements of case study preparation and case analysis methods for professional use in counselling and psychotherapy. Students will produce their own case study drawing from their placement experience. They will review published case study material and the work of those engaged in counselling research. A major focus will be studying the supervisory relationship and its importance as a source of support, education and challenge for the counselling practitioner.

The module aims to:

  • provide students with the necessary skills to produce a case study reflecting their learning gained on placement
  • develop a theoretical and practical framework for the individualised use of supervision within the professional counselling practice
  • encourage and develop effective use of supervisory principles and processes in all aspects of professional counselling work
 
Integration of Personal Development

This module will examine the elements of good professional practice as experienced by the student through attendance of 20 hours of personal therapy. There will be an exploration of the personal development experienced throughout the counselling process and in the learning group.

The module aims to:

  • study and experience the counselling relationship as a client
  • examine their individual responses to the process
  • recognise and describe personal growth stages in terms of Person-Centred theory
  • participate fully in the process of the learning group
 

Optional

Sex and Sexuality

This module will cover the following:

  • Understanding how sex and sexuality issues can be brought into the counselling environment
  • Theoretical perspectives on sexual identities and working with sexual problems
  • Creative ways of working with sex and sexuality in counselling and helping roles including referral issues

The module aims to:

  • provide a theoretical and practical introduction to sex and sexuality in counselling
  • consider the effective strategies in helping clients with sexuality issues
  • provide a challenging learning environment which will support students to deepen their understanding of themselves
  • promote personal and professional development through reflection and experiential learning
 
Solution Focused Brief Therapy

This module will examine the broad context of brief or time limited therapy. In particular a solution-focussed collaborative approach to therapy. Topics to be explored include:

  • outline of the solution-focussed approach
  • theoretical underpinnings of interventions
  • solution-focussed interventions: miracle question, scaling, identifying exceptions, normalising and reframing
  • identifying and building on change
  • goal setting and maintenance
  • obstacles and setbacks

The module aims to:

  • provide a theoretical and practical introduction to brief therapy and solution-focussed ways of working with clients
  • consider what constitutes effective working relationships with clients and the specific interventions that support this
  • provide an opportunity for participants to practice solution-focussed techniques and consider how these can be integrated into their own practice
  • promote personal and professional development via reflection on experiential learning
 
Understanding Trauma

This module will cover the following:

  • Definitions of Trauma and PTSD
  • Theoretical perspectives
  • Creative ways of working with trauma and traumatic stress in counselling and helping roles
  • Working with trauma and traumatic stress in counselling: vicarious traumatisation, self-care and working with clients

The module aims to:

  • provide a theoretical and practical introduction to trauma and PTSD in counselling
  • consider the problems in defining trauma/PTSD
  • provide a challenging learning environment which will support students to deepen their understanding of themselves
  • promote personal and professional development through reflection and experiential learning
 
Working with Grief and Loss

This module will examine the broad context of grief and loss: models of grief and loss; theoretical underpinnings of counselling interventions; the impact of cultural identity and of similarities and differences between counsellor and client on perception of grief and loss; grief and loss in the therapeutic relationship itself. The 'self' of the counsellor will provide focus for examining and developing specific competences and skills.

The module aims to:

  • provide a theoretical and practical introduction to the concept of grief and loss
  • consider what constitutes effective counselling practice and the role that grief and loss plays in developing and sustaining the therapeutic alliance itself
  • provide a challenging learning environment which will support students to deepen and broaden their understanding of themselves and their interpersonal functioning within the counselling relationship
  • develop a critical understanding of theories of grief and loss
  • promote personal and professional development via reflection on experiential learning
 
Working with Stress

This module will cover the following:

  • Definitions of stress
  • Theoretical perspectives
  • Personal and creative ways of working with stress
  • Working with stress in counselling: self-care and working with clients

The module aims to:

  • provide a theoretical and practical introduction to stress in counselling
  • consider the problems in defining stress
  • provide a challenging learning environment which will support students to deepen their understanding of themselves
  • promote personal and professional development through reflection and experiential learning
 
 

 

The modules we offer are inspired by the research interests of our staff and as a result may change for reasons of, for example, research developments or legislation changes. The above list is a sample of typical modules we offer, not a definitive list.

 
 

Placements

We recognise that employers are often looking for more than just a great degree. Completing a placement as part of your studies allows you to gain practical experience in your chosen field and enhance your employability.

Designed to help you develop the skills needed to practice as a professional counsellor, this course includes a supervised placement and you'll need to complete this as part of your studies. The University has good relationships with local placement providers through its placement partnership but you will ultimately be responsible for sourcing your own placement with support from the course team.

The design of the course means that you'll have already achieved the minimum required for professional registration as counsellor by some of the professional bodies under the Professional Standards Authority Scheme. You will also have completed all the tuition requirements for individual BACP accreditation and some of the practice requirements by the time you graduate.

 

Careers

Nottingham is one of the top institutions targeted by graduate employers* and our graduates go on to pursue a variety of different careers, having developed a wide range of transferable skills, knowledge and understanding through an excellent educational and cultural experience.

Students taking this course can consider a range of pathways, including making an impact in the community by volunteering in a third sector counselling agency, progressing to postgraduate study in counselling or social work, working in schools, colleges, charities and rehabilitation centres, or eventually setting up a private practice.

This course meets both the training and personal development requirements for individual BACP accreditation, although graduates will need to continue to build their counselling experience to the required level after completing their studies. The application and assessment procedure is rigorous and accreditation is not guaranteed even if the applicant meets all the stated requirements.

Counselling is an extremely rewarding profession, however, it is important to realise that paid, full-time counselling positions are rare and therefore competition for these roles is high. Private practice is difficult to establish, and is often an unreliable income source. It is almost always irresponsible for trainee counsellors, and those without substantive experience of clinical work under supervision and personal therapy, to work in private practice.

* The Graduate Market in 2013-2016, High Fliers Research.

Average starting salary and career progression

Availability for employment and salary data for the School of Education is not attainable due to a small sample size. Please contact the school for guidance.

Careers support and advice

Studying for a degree at The University of Nottingham will provide you with the type of skills and experiences that will prove invaluable in any career, whichever direction you decide to take.

Throughout your time with us, our Careers and Employability Service can work with you to improve your employability skills even further; assisting with job or course applications, searching for appropriate work experience placements and hosting events to bring you closer to a wide range of prospective employers.

Have a look at our Careers page for an overview of all the employability support and opportunities that we provide to current students.  

 
 

Fees and funding

Scholarships and bursaries

The University of Nottingham offers a wide range of bursaries and scholarships. These funds can provide you with an additional source of non-repayable financial help. For up to date information regarding tuition fees, visit our fees and finance pages.

Home students*

Over one third of our UK students receive our means-tested core bursary, worth up to £2,000 a year. Full details can be found on our financial support pages.

* A 'home' student is one who meets certain UK residence criteria. These are the same criteria as apply to eligibility for home funding from Student Finance.

International/EU students

The University of Nottingham provides information and advice on financing your degree and managing your finances as an international student. The International Office offers a range of High Achiever Prizes for students from selected schools and colleges to help with the cost of tuition fees.  
 

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Disclaimer
This online prospectus has been drafted in advance of the academic year to which it applies. Every effort has been made to ensure that the information is accurate at the time of publishing, but changes (for example to course content) are likely to occur given the interval between publishing and commencement of the course. It is therefore very important to check this website for any updates before you apply for the course where there has been an interval between you reading this website and applying.

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