Integrative Counselling and Psychotherapy Foundation Degree FdA

Location: University Centre at Blackburn College
UCAS Code: B990
Code: SS2601A19
Fees: View fees and financial information
Study Mode: Full Time
Duration: Full time: 2 academic years
Part time: 2 academic years
Start Dates: september 2022
Term Dates: View term dates

Our Foundation Degree in Integrative Counselling and Psychotherapy, qualifies you as a therapeutic counsellor working with individuals experiencing a range of mild to moderate mental health challenges.

The overall aim of the FdA is to produce safe, effective and critically aware counselling practitioners with the knowledge and skills relevant to the sector. To achieve this, FdA Integrative Counselling and Psychotherapy focuses on three distinctive strands: counselling skills, personal and professional development, and research informed practice.

Upon completion you will be able to work as a counsellor within an organisation or private practice. A popular progression route is via the BA (Hons) Integrative Counselling Psychotherapy (Top Up), which will enable you to develop a wider range of advanced counselling skills and access postgraduate study. 

The experienced teaching team will complement your studies with their experience in the voluntary, private and statutory sectors - every one of them is a practising counsellor who will be able to add to your learning experience, develop your knowledge and skills and provide real insight into the role of a counsellor.

What will I study?

Key themes run throughout the course. In the first year of full-time study you will learn the theory and practice of person-centred counselling. In the second year of full-time study you will move onto study a different range of counselling models. Throughout the programme you will learn about professionalism and ethics (eg. setting boundaries), difference and diversity and ethical codes. A large amount of personal development forms part of the programme. You will be encouraged to explore your own histories and experiences to enable you to relate to your clients. The course also involves a large research element - you will learn to read and understand academic material and research your own area of choosing to enable you to pursue an academic career in counselling if you wish.

In addition to attending classroom lectures you will also complete 100 hours of supervised counselling practice. We have strong employer links to counselling organisations to help source your placement.

Modules include:

Level 4 (all modules are mandatory):

  • Person Centred Skills
  • The Practice Framework
  • Psychological Foundations of Therapy
  • Building the Therapeutic Relationship
  • Personal Development and Resilience
  • Research Project 1

Level 5 (all modules are mandatory):

  • Integrative and Contemporary Practice
  • Professional Practice and Supervision
  • Mental Health
  • Brief Interventions
  • Interpersonal Communication
  • Research Project 2

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

  • Student Membership of the British Association of Counselling & Psychotherapy (BCAP) – a cost of around £82 for the year
  • Professional Indemnity Insurance – this can cost between £45 and £150 depending on the insurance that you choose
  • Monthly clinical supervision costs – typically between £20-60 per month
  • You will also incur the costs of travel to/from counselling placements.
Entry Requirements

You’ll need a minimum of 48 UCAS Tariff points (formerly 120 UCAS points) to join this programme.

All applicants must show that they have a good level of spoken or written English, and if English is not your first language you’ll need to demonstrate the ability to study in English.

Applicants without the standard entry requirements but with relevant work / life experience will be considered on an individual basis. An assessment task issued at interview may be used as part of the decision-making process regarding the applicant. Admission will be based on the interviewers’ satisfaction that you have demonstrated sufficient prior knowledge, skill, aptitude and interest to be equally able to succeed as a candidate offering the standard entry criteria.

Completion of the Level 2 Counselling qualification is desirable.

All applicants will be required to attend a formal interview, partake in a group exercise and submit a small piece of reflective writing. The design of this follows ‘best practice guidance’ and ensures that applicants will be able to demonstrate an ability to engage with the core competences of the programme.

These are:

1. the ability to engage in productive and respectful discussion with others who may have differing opinions.

2. the ability to reflect on ones’ own performance. This can be undertaken orally if the candidate prefers and

3. the ability to represent oneself in a formal arena when exploring personal rationale and past experiences.

This will form part of the interview process for every candidate and involve several members of the teaching team to ensure that the decision to offer a place does not rest with a sole member of staff. A minimum of two staff members will form the interview panel and similarly two (other) staff members will observe the group discussion. The reflective writing task is explained by a staff member who has observed the discussion. The applicant’s written work is then read and considered by all staff members who have met with the group of applicants in either capacity. Hence there will be a minimum of four staff members involved in the interview process. 

Care Leavers or Young Carers

We want students from all backgrounds to have the opportunity to go to University. If you have spent three months or more in local authority care OR are a young carer, you will be eligible for a contextual offer. This is a grade reduction of 1-A Level grade below our standard entry requirements. For example, a standard offer of CCC, would become CCD. MMM at Level 3 Extended Diploma would become MMP. To apply we advise that you tick the box on your UCAS application which identifies you have spent time in care and to help identify you as eligible for our contextual offer.

See our General Entry Requirements.

How will I be assessed?

Throughout the course a full range of assessment techniques will be used. You could be assessed by examinations, including open-book examinations, practical assessments, assignments, briefs, essays, presentations (including group presentations), reports and portfolio building. 

Each module is formally assessed through, for example, examinations, open book examinations, group projects, essays, assignments or briefs, presentations, group presentations, portfolio building, self-assessment, peer assessments and a dissertation. This formal assessment will count towards your module mark and feedback is usually given within 3 weeks following the submission of your formal submission of work.

Additionally, some lecturers will provide informal 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. 

Feedback is intended to help you learn and you are encouraged to discuss it with your module tutor.

Teaching and Learning

The learning environment and facilities could 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.

You should typically expect to have around 15 contact hours per week if you are studying full time.

In addition, you will have timetabled meetings with your personal tutor.  

You will be taught by an experienced teaching team whose expertise and knowledge are closely matched to the content of the modules on the course.  The team could include senior academics, professional practitioners with industry experience, demonstrators and technical officers.  You can learn more about our staff by visiting our staff profiles.


On this course, students generally spend up to 2 days a week in College, if you choose to study the course full-time. As all course timetables are subject to change you should not make definite plans based on this information; this information is intended as a guide only. Please remember that you will be expected to carry out work in your own time in addition to the time you spend in College.

Overall Workload

You overall workload consists of class contact hours, around 15 hours of independent learning and assessment activity and any field trips which may take place.

Academic Support

We have a dedicated Student Engagement Team who will be able to provide support in the following areas;

  • Study Skills (including reading, note-taking and presentation skills)
  • Written English
  • Academic Writing (including referencing)
  • Research Skills
What can I do next?

Counselling employment opportunities are available in a variety of diverse areas such as education, the criminal justice system, primary and secondary health care, human resources and also in private independent practice (to mention a few).

We expect the majority of graduates from the FdA Integrative Counselling and Psychotherapy to progress on to study at the University Centre at Blackburn College to gain a full BA (Hons) Integrative Counselling and Psychotherapy Top Up degree.

Past students who have completed 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.

Supplementary Information

Download the Programme Specification. 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.

Work Placements

Work placements are subject to availability. You are also responsible for any costs in travelling to and from your work placements, for any accommodation costs and in some instances the cost of acquiring a satisfactory Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) report.

What will my timetable be like?

If you choose to study this course in September 2022, your timetable will consist of the following days of study at our University Centre.

The days that have been set for this course, for the first year intake only, are Thursday and Friday.

You will be required to undertake work in your own time and also undertake private study. This will be in addition to your taught hours in class. You may also be required to undertake a work placement/work-based learning. This is in addition to the taught timetabled classes, please bear this in mind with your planning. 

The University Centre reserves the right to change timetables for the year ahead and this information is provided to you as a guide. The days of study in subsequent years of the course may vary.

Career Options


If you enjoy helping people with their problems and want to make a positive difference to their lives, this could be the perfect job for you. As a counsellor, you would spend time with people and help them talk about their feelings.

You will need some training to be a counsellor and most employers prefer you to have accreditation with a professional body. Counselling is often a second or third career, and life experience is highly valued.

To become a counsellor you will need to able to build trust and make people feel relaxed. You will need patience and sensitivity. You will be non-judgemental and be able to work with people from all backgrounds.

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Volunteering is a great way to build skills and experience. No formal entry requirements apply but you would be expected to gain qualifications in substance misuse. You would also need a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check.

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As a victim care officer, you would give support to people who have experienced crime and also to witnesses of crime who may be involved in court proceedings.

You don’t need any specific qualifications for this career but you will need to be a good listener, and be able to deal with people in a sensitive way. You would normally get into this role by volunteering with a victim support charity or through experience gained from working with vulnerable people in related areas, such as counselling or the justice system.

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To become a qualified youth worker, you will need a professional level youth work qualification such as a BA (Hons) degree that is recognised by the National Youth Agency (NYA) .???

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Many youth offending services will ask for qualifications in social work or probation. If you don't have qualifications but you have plenty of relevant experience as a volunteer, you may be able to start as a support worker.

Being a youth offending team officer can sometimes be challenging. You will need to stay calm under pressure. You also need to be able to handle difficult behaviour.

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