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Undergraduate study

Counselling FdA

Our FdA Counselling course provides professional training and equips you with a sound theoretical framework and the practitioner skills required to work safely and effectively as a counsellor. The programme adopts a personal-centred approach with aspects of psychodynamic and cognitive behaviour therapy explored as comparative approaches.


C894 FdA/Coun


Course overview

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

We are ranked 4th for graduate prospects for counselling, psychotherapy and occupational therapy in the Complete University Guide 2023. (53 institutions were ranked,

This is an award of Teesside University delivered in partnership with Stockton Riverside College, Darlington College and Hartlepool College. Days and times to be confirmed.

Apply via UCAS.
Darlington College: campus 1
Hartlepool College: campus 5
Stockton Riverside College: campus 3

See apply link on this page, the course is delivered at:
Darlington College
Stockton Riverside College

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Course details

The programme consists of core modules, personal and professional development and work-based practice.

Course structure

Year 1 core modules

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 formulates mental distress and disturbances within the CBT framework and draws on current evidence-based practice through reference to the NICE guidelines. You explore psychological formulation and intervention skills of CBT practice.

An important feature of the module is the emphasis on collaborative working with clients.

Counselling Skills Practice

This module develops your counselling skills to prepare and support you for external supervised work experience with a counselling agency, and to continually develop your counselling skills and personal qualities.

Developing Skills for Professional Practice

This module develops your 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. You then begin to practice counselling skills working with peers to develop a professional framework for practice.

Foundations of Personal and Professional Practice

This module introduces you to the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy so you are better informed when you have to make important decisions that can affect the possibility of achieving your career goals.

In addition, you are introduced to personal development planning and a range of study and transferable skills that are relevant to your foundation degree programme.

Personal and Professional Development

This module develops your personal understanding of self in relation to the core theoretical model.

It provides an unstructured group similar to Rogerian encounter groups, which promote congruent communication, empathic understanding and acceptance of self and others.

You learn to manage and cope with situations that vary in complexity and predictability and 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)
- sincerity (a personal commitment to consistency between what is professed and what is done).

Person-centred Theory and Practice

You develop your 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.
You focus on the qualities of the therapeutic relationship as the primary vehicle for therapeutic change and the key concepts of Rogers’ theory of personality and practice with particular emphasis on the self-concept, organismic self, ‘necessary and sufficient’ conditions, the therapeutic process, ethical practice and professional issues.


Year 2 core modules

Advanced Counselling Skills

This module assists you to develop as ethical, accountable and reflective practitioners. It also assesses your skills competence to practice.

This module will support you 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.

Counselling Approaches and Practice

You are introduced to the principles and practices of working from an integrative perspective as applied to practice in counselling settings. The module formulates mental distress and disturbances within an Integrative framework and draws on current evidence based practice through reference to NICE guidelines. You will explore psychological formulation and the skills of Integrative practice. An important feature of the module is the emphasis on collaborative working with clients.

Mental Health and Emotional Wellbeing

This module introduces you to the concept of a continuum of mental wellbeing through to severe psychological and emotional distress.

You will be made aware of the influence of social and cultural factors on mental health and the interrelatedness of psychological and physical symptoms.

You learn about 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.

You also develop an understanding of the work and roles of other professionals in the mental health field.

Professional Development in Practice

This module prepares you to take an active role as a member of the professional counselling/psychotherapy community.

You consider the wider political, social, legal and organisational framework for therapeutic practice to ensure that you are able to work appropriately in different counselling and psychotherapy contexts.

The module highlights the importance of making a commitment to on-going personal and professional development after qualification and throughout your career as a qualified practitioner.

Psychodynamic Approaches

This module introduces you 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.

You 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.

Understanding Research in Counselling

This module develops your critical awareness of research findings in counselling, psychotherapy and related areas through study of the relevant literature, and through reflection on how these inform evidence-based practice.

You gain an awareness and working knowledge of research methodology to enable you to develop basic competences in small scale research projects.


Modules offered may vary.


How you learn

Modules are taught through a combination of lectures and seminars. In lectures specific information is delivered to larger groups while, in the smaller seminar groups, you can explore issues in more depth supported by independent study.

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

How you are assessed

A wide variety of assessment methods is used on the course. These include written assignments, essays, case studies, group work and individual presentations and portfolios.

Our Disability Services team provide an inclusive and empowering learning environment and have specialist staff to support disabled students access any additional tailored resources needed. If you have a specific learning difficulty, mental health condition, autism, sensory impairment, chronic health condition or any other disability please contact a Disability Services as early as possible.
Find out more about our disability services

Find out more about financial support
Find out more about our course related costs


Entry requirements

Entry requirements

Grade C (or 4) English GCSE and a QCF Level 3 achievement or equivalent in counselling.

Prospective students with a minimum of two years’ counselling experience within a counselling agency, supported by agency/work-based or subject-specific training and mentoring will be considered following a successful interview.

You are required to complete 100 practice hours in a supervised placement setting by the end of the second year of the course, and to undertake 20 hours of personal therapy during the course (ten hours for each year of the course), which will cost approximately £30 per session.

You need to provide written references from two sources to demonstrate your appropriateness to undertake professional counselling training and your ability to cope with the academic requirements. You will be asked to declare any criminal convictions and be aware that DBS enhanced checks for regulated activity (formerly CRB checks) will be carried out prior to you undertaking clinical practice.

We are not accepting applications from international students requiring a Student Visa.

Suitable candidates will be selected and invited for interview. The interview process will evaluate your suitability for the programme.

For general information please see our overview of entry requirements

You can gain considerable knowledge from work, volunteering and life. Under recognition of prior learning (RPL) you may be awarded credit for this which can be credited towards the course you want to study.
Find out more about RPL



Career opportunities

Your employability skills will be directly addressed through the professionally related curriculum of the programme in relation to the requirements of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) and through the professional reflection aspect of assignments.

This course will allow you to consolidate learning in practical counselling techniques, informed by the theory of counselling practice. We hope that you will be able to develop skills and training and add to the knowledge and skills base in order to develop as professionals. Graduates will also be encouraged to work towards accreditation with the BACP.



Entry to 2024/25 academic year

Fee for UK applicants
£6,150 a year

More details about our fees

What is included in your tuition fee?

  • Length: 2 years
  • UCAS code: C894 FdA/Coun
  • Start date: September
  • Semester dates

Apply online (full-time) through UCAS



2024/25 entry

Fee for UK applicants
£660 (20 credits)

£2640 (80 credits)

More details about our fees

Apply online (part-time)


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Telephone: 01642 738801

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