Learning and assessment
How you will learn
- Group study
- Small group learning
This course is based on the principles of the person-centred experiential approach to learning. A foundation to this is the belief that people learn best when the social-relational atmosphere is optimal.
Students and staff actively engage in a process of relationship building and dialogue to form the curriculum, establish content for group discussions and create reading lists. The curriculum is then a reflection of the group’s needs for learning. Theories are applied to our experience as a way for sense making; therapeutic attitudes are developed through self-reflection, encounter and personal growth.
Classes are organised to provide multiple opportunities for learning through small, medium and large group activities, so that you have a range of spaces in which to express your feelings, thoughts and experiences.
You can read more information about experiential learning and course learning methods on the School of Education website, as well as some recommended reading.
How you will be assessed
- Case studies
- Workplace-based assessment
- Reflective portfolios
You must complete and pass all assessment tasks and be an active member of the learning community. You will be required to take a Readiness to Practice examination during the first (full-time) or second year (part-time). If you successfully demonstrate your readiness to practice, you will be required to engage in a supervised counselling placement of 100 hours beginning in your second (full-time students) or third (part-time students) year.
Assignments vary in length and you will be given clear guidelines at the beginning of each module about its assessment requirements. You will also be assigned an academic tutor for each module who will discuss your assignment plan and ideas with you. You will be able to select your own topics for assignments, focusing on some area of interest related to the module aims and personal learning agenda.
Placement supervisors are required to submit regular reports on your development as a counsellor within the context of the placement agency and your engagement with clients and supervision.
Contact time and study hours
Full-time students will study at least 240 hours per year, while part-time students will study at least 120 hours per year. In addition, you will be expected to spend a substantial amount of time in course-related learning (skills practice, research, reading, assignment preparation, writing, presentations, journaling) and practice-based learning, (personal therapy, placement activities, placement supervision). Overall, this amounts to approximately 30 hours per week full-time and 15 hours per week part-time, not including travel time.
Class meetings typically takes place from 1.30-5.30pm on Tuesday and Wednesday each week with occasional attendance required at other times including at least one weekend per semester and a community meeting at the start and end of every semester. A minimum of 85% attendance of all elements of the course is required.
On some weeks, particularly where there are intensive workshops, the 30-hour average may be exceeded. It should be noted that in order to achieve the taught contact hours expected by the BACP, we have high expectations of attendance and participation.