Counselling BA (Hons) Top Up

This course is validated by: Lancaster University
Award: BA (Hons) in Counselling with Brief Interventions
Location: University Centre at Blackburn College
UCAS Code: 3D66
Code: EH3510A12
Fees: View fees and financial information
Validated by: Lancaster University
Study Mode: Full Time, Part Time
Start Dates: january 2018
september 2018
Term Dates: View term dates

Our BA Counselling Top Up programme is for students who have studied FdA Counselling at University Centre at Blackburn College who now wish to Top Up their foundation degree to Honours level by studying for an additional year, full-time.

This is a one year, full-time top up programme, validated by Lancaster University. It has been specifically designed to offer a progression route to students from FdA Counselling  from University Centre at Blackburn College who hold a pass or higher.

The programme has been design to build upon the subjects already learnt within the foundation degree but also to deepen understanding of the subject with a focus on graduate employability and higher level graduate roles. Over the past years there has been a move towards professionalisation of counselling and to make it a graduate profession and the honours degree top up has been designed with this in mind.

Successful completion of the honours degree programme will enable you to work at greater emotional depth, with groups as well as individuals and with children and young people. You will be able to specialise in either Cognitive Behavioural Therapy or the Solution Focused Approach.

Guest speakers, workshops and small conferences are a feature of the programme. Past speakers have included Professor Colin Felton, existential therapists and specialists on eating disorders. A range of employers contribute to the programme and an exciting range of employer talks and conferences take place.

What will I study?

You will study four mandatory modules and one optional module. The optional module with be either Advanced Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) or The Solution Focused Approach: Extending Theory and Practice.

The course includes a module on group dynamics and group work – enabling you to work therapeutically with groups as well as individuals. The module on working with children and young people we expect to be particularly popular as it will deepen your understanding of developmental trauma and the more creative elements of counselling – such as art and play therapy.

All students will complete a dissertation which will allow you to specialise in area of your choosing and build your research skills and ensuring you become a research-informed practitioner.

As part of the BA (Hons) programme you will need to continue in your placement and accrue, for the purposes of this programme, at least another at 50 hours of supervised counselling practice. This will help you achieve accreditation with the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) in the future.

Modules can include:

  • Dissertation
  • Contemporary Issues in Professional Practice
  • Group Dynamics and Group Process
  • Brief Therapy with Children and Young People
  • Advanced Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
  • The Solution Focused Approach: Extending Theory and Practice

Download the Programme Specification for BA (Hons) Counselling (Top Up). The Programme Specification will give you further information about the course structure, learning outcomes and detailed information about the assessment you can expect during the course.

During the programme you will find that there are some additional costs. These include:

  • Student Membership of the British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy (BACP) - £76
  • Professional Indemnity Insurance – costs range between £45 and £150
  • Monthly clinical supervision costs – between £20 - £60 per month.

You will also incur the costs of travel to/from counselling placements.

Entry Requirements

In order to join this BA (Hons) Counselling (Top Up) programme you will need to have successfully completed Counselling Foundation Degree FdA. If you have received less than a Merit grade overall in your Foundation Degree you will be required to attend a guidance interview first to ensure you are fully prepared for the Top Up programme. Additional preparation for study at the Top Up programme may be required.

How will I be assessed?

You will be assessed through a mixture of strategies including coursework, case studies, presentations, portfolio production, online discussions/blogging and one open book examination.

Formative and summative assessments enable lecturers or tutors to monitor the learning that has/is taking place. Summative assessment is not always noticeable by the student as it is a continuous process; lecturers or assessors may observe participation and responses to class discussions and group work, a student’s response to question and answer sessions, participation in workshop practical and engagement with demonstrations. Each module is formally assessed through, for example, examination, open-book test, individual and group presentation, essay, observation of practice, assessment of course work e.g. art portfolio, written report, reflective practice and portfolios of evidence.

Students receive both formal and informal feedback. Formal feedback is through assessments, is usually in writing and given within 3 weeks following the submission date. However, some lecturers will provide group feedback, for example, following an examination they may choose to work through the exam paper in a tutorial. It should be noted that feedback is part of the ongoing learning cycle which is not limited to written feedback. Other forms of feedback include one-to-one meetings with a personal tutor, dissertation and project supervision meetings, a lecturer responding to learner questions or responses during topic or situation discussions.

Teaching and Learning

The learning environment and facilities include lecture theatres, classrooms, technology suites, laboratories and workshops, library and skills labs, art and photography studios, small group and quiet zones. Learning methods will vary according to the programme of study but will include lectures and group tutorials. In addition, seminars, field trips, work placements, role play or scenario activities, laboratory and workshop practical, demonstrations, guest lectures, discussions and debates all contribute to the learning experience to support the acquisition of subject specific skills and knowledge and the development of transferable and employment related skills.

What can I do next?

Upon completion of the course, graduates have gone on to work in a range of counselling roles within the statutory, voluntary and private sector. You will be equipped to work as counselling coordinators and managers, mental health workers, as counsellors within the NHS and in schools, within the drug and alcohol fields, the criminal justice system and in private practice.

Past students who have completed the course have progressed into roles including: Counselling Coordinator at Lancashire Women's Centre, Counsellor at Child Action North West, Private Counselling Practice, Outreach Drugs Worker for a local authority and a mental health specialist for the Police.

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