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Qualification type: Foundation Degree
Level: Level 5
Awarding body TU
Academic year: 2018/2019
Start date September 2018
Duration 2 years
Location: Darlington College
Attendance: Part time

Course overview

This course provides professional training in counselling through which you will acquire both a sound theoretical framework and the practitioner skills required to work safely and effectively as a counsellor. The core model of the course is the personal-centred approach with aspects of psychodynamic and cognitive behaviour therapy explored as comparative approaches.

You will be required to undertake a minimum of 100 hours supervised clinical practice with a recognised counselling agency, and undertake a minimum of 20 hours (10 hours in each year) of personal therapy. You shall be expected to attend two mandatory weekend workshops each year, for which there shall be a charge.

Course subject to viable numbers.

Course costs

Costs shown are per course




£4000 per year TBC


£4000 per year TBC

There are also additional costs for personal therapy of £300.00 per year, and 2 weekend workshops costing £80.00 for both.
For details of funding please contact Teesside University.

Entry requirements

Entry is through an application form, interview and references. As a minimum you will have to have achieved a Level 3 (NQF) or equivalent counselling training, or have at least one year within clinical practice in a supervised counselling agency. You will need to demonstrate a level of maturity and a commitment to personal and professional development required on the course.

There is a requirement to attend each of the personal development weekend workshops (2 in each year).

How to enquire/apply

To apply for this course please complete the Teesside University Online Application Form. Once your application has been received you will receive an acknowledgement from Teesside University. Following this you will be contacted by either the course tutor or the Admissions Department at Darlington College with regards to a face to face or telephone interview.

Studying and learning


PSY1039-N Person-Centred Personality Theory

This module is designed to develop student’s knowledge, understanding and application of a core theoretical model – The Person-Centred approach developed by Carl R. Rogers and part of the Humanistic school of therapy.  The module covers the Philosophical Foundations of the approach and the key theorists linked with the Humanistic school of Counselling.  It examines the history and development of the core model, the key concepts of the theory with particular emphasis on Roger’s theory of personality with a focus on application to self.

PSY1040-N Developing Skills for Professional Practice

This module is designed to develop student’s knowledge and understanding of the BACP Ethical Framework for good practice in counselling and psychotherapy which outlines the values, principles and personal moral qualities which underpin ethical practice.  Students will then begin to practice counselling skills working with peers to develop a professional framework for practice.

PSY1041-N Foundations of Personal and Professional Practice

This module aims to introduce students to the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy so they will be better informed when they have to make important decisions that can affect the possibility of achieving their career goals.  In addition students are introduced to personal development planning and a range of study and transferable skills that are relevant to their foundation degree programme.

PSY1042-N Person-Centred Practice

This module is designed to develop student’s knowledge, understanding and application of a core theoretical model – The Person-Centred approach developed by Carl R. Rogers and part of the Humanistic school of therapy.  The module focuses on the qualities of the therapeutic relationship as the primary vehicle for therapeutic change and the key concepts of Roger’s theory of practice with particular emphasis on the ‘necessary and sufficient’ conditions, the therapeutic process, ethical practice and professional issues.

PSY1043-N Counselling Skills Practice

This module is designed to develop student’s counselling skills in order to prepare and support them for external supervised work experience with a counselling agency and to continually develop their counselling skills and personal qualities.

PSY1044-N Personal and Professional Development

This module is designed to develop the students’ personal understanding of self in relation to the core theoretical model.  The module provides an unstructured group similar to Rogerian encounter groups which promote congruent communication, empathic understanding and acceptance of self and others.  Students will learn to manage and cope with situations that vary in complexity and predictability.  This module aims to develop the personal moral qualities inherent in the BACP ethical framework including Humility (the ability to assess accurately ones’ own strengths and weaknesses), Resilience (the capacity to work with clients concerns without being personally diminished) Integrity (commitment to being moral in dealing with others) and Sincerity (a personal commitment to consistency between what is professed and what is done).


PSY2051-N Cognitive Behaviour Therapy

This module is an introduction to the principles and practices of Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) as applied to practice in counselling settings.  The module is aimed towards formulating mental distress and disturbances within the CBT framework and draws on current evidence based practice through reference to the NICE guidelines.  The module starts off by exploring psychological formulation and intervention skills of CBT practice.  An important feature of the module is the emphasis on collaborative working with clients.

PSY2052-N Understanding Research in Counselling

This module is designed to develop student’s critical awareness of research findings in counselling, psychotherapy and related areas through study of the relevant literature and to reflect on how these inform evidence based practice.  Students will gain an awareness and working knowledge of research methodology to enable them to develop basic competences in small scale research projects.

PSY2053-N Psychodynamic Approaches

This module will introduce students to key concepts in Psychodynamic theory.  The fundamental principles of psychodynamic theories lie in the concept of unconscious processes and the transferential relationship existing between the counsellor and their client.  Students will gain an understanding of child development and attachment, the nature of the therapeutic relationship, the therapeutic process and human sexuality. A psychodynamic understanding of mental health will be introduced through exploring splitting, projection and projective identification in the therapeutic context.

PSY2054-N Mental Health and Emotional Wellbeing

This module introduces students to the concept of a continuum of mental wellbeing through to severe psychological and emotional distress.  Students will be made aware of the influence of social and cultural factors on mental health and the interrelatedness of psychological and physical symptoms.  Students will be made aware of the types of medication commonly used in treatment of various psychological states and their effects and possible side effects, including the potential impact on the therapeutic process.  Students will also develop an understanding of the work and roles of other professionals in the mental health field.

PSY2055-N Advanced Counselling Skills

This module is designed to assist students to develop as ethical, accountable and reflective practitioners.  It also assesses student’s skills competence to practice.  This module will support students as practitioners who can apply a coherent theoretical base to respond to clients psychological distress, work within an ethical framework and monitor fitness to practice.

PSY2056-N Professional Development in Practice  

This module is designed to prepare students to take an active role as members of the professional counselling/psychotherapy community.  Students will consider the wider political, social, legal and organisational framework for therapeutic practice; to ensure that they are able to work appropriately in different counselling and psychotherapy contexts.

The module highlights to students the importance of making a commitment to on-going personal and professional development after qualification and throughout their career as a qualified practitioner.  As a result, the professional standards expected to be maintained are embedded in the ethical framework underpinning this programme.

How will I be assessed

To achieve the foundation degree you will need both to demonstrate academic and clinical competence. This is achieved through a variety of written academic assignments, oral presentations, observation and reflection of practice together with records of supervised clinical practice within a counselling agency and completion of individual personal therapy.

Things you may need

There will be two mandatory weekend workshops for each year of the course, which will cost you £30 per weekend (provisional) and is payable upon enrolment. The dates of these weekends will be confirmed during induction week.

It is a requirement of the course that you complete 100 practice hours in a supervised placement setting by the end of the second year of the foundation degree.

You are required to undertake 20 hours of personal therapy during the course (i.e. 10 hours for each year of the course), which will cost approximately £30 per session.

What next

You can apply to the BA (Hons) in Therapeutic Counselling (top-ups). Also you may wish to pursue BACAP accreditation.

Information, advice and support

Darlington College offers a wide range of support including careers guidance, financial assistance, additional learning support, childcare and many more. For more information on any aspect of student support contact the Student Services Team on 01325 503030 and they will direct your call to the appropriate college support team.

Fees and funding

This course is an award of Teesside University delivered in partnership with Darlington College.

Course fee is paid directly to Teesside. Full details of course fees are available from Teesside University. The finance department can be reached on 01642 342172.

All fees are per year.

You can apply for a loan to cover the cost of your course. Study now, pay when you are earning. See
for more details.

What if I need support?

Here at the college we have outstanding support. Our support staff are dedicated to providing you with all the help and guidance you may need throughout your college journey.

You might need help and advice on a wide range of issues such as childcare, counselling and additional learning support. For more information on any aspect of student support contact the Course and Information Team, who will direct your call to the appropriate member of the college support team, call: 01325 503030.

Enquiry Form

If you have any questions about this course, send us a message using the form below.