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Undergraduate study
counselling and psychology course, degree in counselling psychology, bsc psychology and counselling

Psychology and Counselling (with Foundation Year) BSc (Hons)

Counselling psychology involves developing an understanding of why and how people experience psychological distress and learning the skills to help alleviate this, promoting wellbeing and mental health.


L551 BSc/PCoFY

Course routes:


Course overview


You gain the core skills included in a psychology degree, working with cognitive processes and neurology, understanding behaviour, group processes and how a child’s development impacts their future, and you develop specific counselling related skills which are applicable to future careers in a range of helping professions.

These will include modules with a focus on mental health and wellbeing, the process of counselling, eco-psychology and being a ‘wounded healer’. You practice your counselling skills with your peer group and learn to reflect on your practice. In your final year you work with local organisations on a service evaluation in the community, previous projects have included services which focus on homelessness, young people’s mental health, addiction services and those who work with military veterans.

Although this course does not qualify you to be a counsellor, you develop relevant counselling skills which are valued in a arrange of sectors including education, housing, mental health services, probation and prison, and private and voluntary organisations, or can progress on to one of our postgraduate courses.

This course includes a foundation year - ideal if you need additional preparation or if you don't have sufficient grades to join Year 1 of a degree.

Top reasons to study this course

  • Graduate outcomes: we are ranked 1st for graduate prospects for counselling, psychotherapy and occupational therapy in the Complete University Guide 2024 (45 institutions participated,
  • Expert teaching: 96% of BSc (Hons) Psychology and Counselling students agreed staff were good at explaining things (National Student Survey 2022,
  • You learn counselling skills alongside your peers
  • Gain the first step to professional accreditation with BPS.
  • Learn about supporting people to manage their mental health.
  • Develop a deeper understanding of yourself and your relationships.
  • Work with real world organisations and develop skills around service evaluation - valuable in your future career.

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Course details

Course structure

Foundation year core modules

Discovering the Social Sciences, Humanities and Law

You are introduced to the historical and contemporary development of social science disciplines, exploring examples of theoretical challenges and ways in which research is practically applied in society. Gain an understanding of both similarities and differences between disciplines, and how interdisciplinary research is fostered through collaboration. Explore academic standards, ethical guidelines and research protocols, personal development, and both study and transferable skills relevant to your studies and career.

This is a 40-credit module.

Investigating Society and Culture: The Case of Crime

Taking a multidisciplinary approach, explore crime through history, politics, English and creative writing, criminology, sociology, psychology and education to investigate the problems within society and culture.

This is a 20-credit module.

Your Foundation Year Project

Identify and explore an area of interest related to your area of study through small-scale research using secondary data or desk-based research. You analyse an appropriate area of focus for your project using academic support.

This is a 20-credit module.

Your Toolkit for University Success

You develop your personal and academic skills to help prepare you for searching and retrieving information, evaluating different types of evidence, critical thinking and reading skills, note-taking and summarising evidence, presentation skills, groupwork, digital literacy and employability.

This is a 40-credit module.


Year 1 core modules

Critical Thinking about Psychology

This module provides students with many of the skills needed to critically evaluate psychological theories and studies. It uses examples from psychology to highlight the common errors that people make when assessing arguments and evaluating evidence.

The module provides step-by-step guidance on how to overcome widespread mistakes and how to construct logical, balanced and coherent arguments. The module also requires students to assess the validity of a number of extraordinary claims, such as parapsychology, alternative medicine, astrology and mediumship. Students will be encouraged to be open-minded, yet require appropriate standards of proof when evaluating such claims.

Human Development and Social Psychology

You gain an understanding of two of the five core areas of study specified by the British Psychological Society (BPS): developmental psychology and social psychology. You consider theoretical and empirical work within human development and social psychology and are introduced to ethics in psychology, psychological research skills and report writing.

Introduction to Counselling and Counselling Theories

You are introduced to the field of counselling and the theories it uses, how it relates to other disciplines, where counselling takes place, different kinds of people counselling can support, social problems it tackles, the history of counselling from its beginnings through to modern day, the contemporary issues it faces. You will develop formative counselling skills including developing a supportive relationship, professional boundaries and using questions appropriately. Major theoretical approaches that may be helpful for counsellors attempting to support people facing life difficulties are considered.

Mental Health and Wellbeing

You are introduced to the field of mental health and wellbeing. The module includes discussion of key theories and specific conditions which are amenable to psychological intervention. Brief introductions are given to different therapeutic approaches, medical, social and resilience-based models of mental health and wellbeing. You are given the opportunity to participate in weekly discussion workshops/taster sessions, where topics from the lecture are considered in more depth. During discussion groups you have the opportunity to work on your interpersonal and group management skills using a compassion focused approach to group skills management.

Psychobiology, Cognition and Individual Differences

You gain an understanding of three of the five core areas of study specified by the British Psychological Society (BPS): biological psychology, cognitive psychology and individual differences. You consider theoretical and empirical work within biological and developmental psychology and individual differences and also develop psychological research skills and report writing in more depth to provide you with the skills necessary to plan, conduct and report psychological research.

Psychological Research Design and Analysis 1

Providing a foundation in psychological research methods and analysis, this module covers a range of experimental and non-experimental methodological approaches.

You are introduced to the Windows SPSS package for statistical analysis and graph drawing, and you learn about simple qualitative research and data collection methods.

The module covers ethics in research, qualitative and quantitative methods, survey design, simple non-experimental and experimental designs, reliability and validity, probability, hypothesis testing, descriptive data analysis, simple non-parametric and parametric statistical analysis and research report writing.

By the end of the module, you’ll be able to identify the appropriate method for a range of research questions, analyse the resulting data and draw appropriate conclusions.


Year 2 core modules

Applied Counselling Skills and Theory

You focus on the counselling relationship as a key theme in contemporary theory and practice. Within this, the process of counselling will be covered together with an exploration of the skills required of a counsellor to facilitate an individual through the counselling process. Practical seminar sessions will allow you to build upon existing counselling skills, and also begin to move towards using interventions such as signposting, problem solving and use of specific self-help materials.

Applied Research in Psychology

The module continues to foster advanced research design and analysis, building on the Conducting Research in Psychology module. It will facilitate the further development of knowledge and skills in using advanced research designs, including the use of quantitative and qualitative analysis techniques. Module content includes conceptual issues in advanced research designs, focusing on experimental and quasi-experimental quantitative research designs, planning of sample size, quantitative data analysis (ANOVA and ANCOVA), and advanced qualitative research techniques.

Biological and Social Psychology

The module is divided into two halves: biopsychology and social psychology. Biological, neurological and social explanations for a series of identified psychological topics are explored, as well as introducing the concept of evolutionary explanations for human behaviour and the scientific approach to the study of our social behaviour.

You are required to complete a two-hour unseen written examination for your assessment on this module.

Conducting Research in Psychology

The module deals with advanced research design and analysis, building on the module Research Design and Analysis 1. It facilitates the development of knowledge and skills in using advanced research designs, including the use of quantitative and qualitative analysis techniques. Module content includes conceptual issues in advanced research designs, a focus on non-experimental/correlational quantitative research designs, regression techniques, assessment design and qualitative data collection and analysis.

Development, Cognitive Processes and Disorders

This module is delivered in two parts. In the first half, competing perspectives, contemporary debates, historical perspectives and applied topics within developmental psychology are studied using a lifespan perspective. In the second half, a range of cognitive processes are discussed in relation to both healthy and disordered functioning, drawing evidence from experimental psychology, neuropsychological case studies and cognitive neuroscience perspectives.

Psychopathologies and Individual Differences

You develop a knowledge and understanding of psychopathologies and individual differences in psychology. In addition, you develop skills in psychometric measurement and an in-depth knowledge of these areas along with the necessary skills to distinguish between theories and critically evaluate them.


Final-year core modules

Counselling, Complexity and Contemporary Issues

You develop awareness of the applications of counselling and psychological therapies, contemporary issues in counselling, settings in which counselling occur and individual and group problems counselling can be used to support, at increased levels of complexity. You are encouraged to explore your own beliefs and values and develop an awareness of how they can affect your approach to the counselling process.

Issues in Psychology

This module is aimed to introduce students to a number of debates in applied psychology. The module content is aimed to meet learning needs of students interested in aspects of applied psychology and to foster self-directed learning.

Psychology Dissertation

Your dissertation is based around the investigation of a topic linked to your programme of study, selected by you in consultation with a dissertation supervisor. It represents a core compulsory element for British Psychological Society membership accreditation.

The dissertation involves a poster presentation, a pass/fail ethical approval and a written project report. It also includes a PDP element which involves you creating a personal statement and a CV written to address the person specifications of a graduate job.


and two optional modules (one must be a psychology module)

Current Issues in Neurodevelopmental Disorders

This module is aimed at students who have an interest in applied aspects of cognitive psychology, especially educational psychology, as well as those interested in developmental and bio-psychology.
The module introduces you to a range of different neurodevelopmental disorders e.g. autistic spectrum disorder, dyslexia, ADHD, specific-language impairment, Williams syndrome, Dyscalculia, Fragile X and Downs syndrome. Each disorder will be considered in terms of its diagnostic criteria, characteristics, theoretical perspectives and issues with comorbidity. As such we will discuss each condition at the levels of biology (including genetics), cognition, behaviour and the environment.
Wider issues such as the social aspects of neurodevelopmental disorders, including integration in education, lifespan changes and methodological and ethical issues in researching neurodevelopmental disorders will also be addressed.

Developing Skills for Educational and Community Support

This module provides you with experience and knowledge of working as a support worker with Neuro Partners ( You develop transferable / employability skills, such as confidentiality, data protection, communications, problem-solving, group work, time management, self-management, and record keeping. The work experience enables you to work within a team whilst maintaining boundaries and a professional relationship with an individual. The service users will have a range of conditions, including mental health conditions and possibly co-morbid disorders and considerations when approaching support. You will be working on any combination of the following types of support:

Education-based support: Sighted Guide, Mobility Support, Travel Support, Note Taker, Transcriber, Library Assistant, Proof reading, Reader, Exam Support

Community-based support: Personal Care, Community access, Accessing social and leisure activities with service users, Assisting the service user during Physiotherapy, Occupational Therapy, Speech and Language Therapy. Community-based hours will include evenings and weekends.

Prior to commencing the module, you are required to apply for Disclosure and Barring Services (DBS) enhanced disclosure and successfully complete the Neuro Partners interview, assessment centre and training. DBS applications will be made during the interview. You will receive full training for the role of support worker (delivered by Neuro Partners) and have regular contact with an Assistant Psychologist, who will appraise you 3 times throughout the year.

You will have 6 hours contact at Teesside University to introduce the module and go through assessment requirements. This will be delivered as 3 x 2hour lectures (delivered throughout the year). The module requires you to be available for the full duration of the academic year (30 weeks) and accumulate a minimum of 70 hours of support work experience. It is expected that you will gain 2-3 hours support work experience per week and will document your experience by completing logs after every session.

Employability and Work Experience

Gain academic credit for participating in work experience related to criminology, criminal justice and sociology. You may find your own work experience (subject to approval from your module tutor) or you can take advantage of work experience opportunities offered as part of the module.

Work experience must be performed to an agreed job description and person specification for a minimum of 60 working hours. To take part you must complete a DBS check, along with any other security checks required by your work experience provider. You must also agree to and sign a legal agreement outlining the obligations of yourself, the University and the work experience provider. Alongside your work experience you explore employability issues and skills through a number of interactive workshops led by professionals from within and outside the University.

This module has limited places and participation is subject to a selection process involving an application, shortlisting and interview.

Promoting Health, Preventing Illness

This module explores psychology’s role in progressing, treating and managing illness. You will consider the dominant discussions of health and illness and explore the methods used to measure and assess health and illness. This module explores health promotion interventions, particularly the associated psychological issues that need to be considered when you are addressing the health and illness needs of individuals across the lifespan.

The Psychology of Criminal Behaviour

This modules aims to develop an understanding of the psychological explanations of criminal behaviour in relation to a number of specific crimes. The role of the Forensic Psychologist and psychological evidence are explored for topics including sexual offending, CSA, aggression, stalking, and arson. Further, the value of theoretical explanations is considered in relation to the evolution of crimes such as online grooming and cyberstalking

The Psychology of Everyday Self

This module provides an arena for you to study in depth one of the most intriguing and misunderstood aspects of psychological experience – that of selfhood.
It brings together a number of sub-disciplines that throw light on selfhood and subjective experience. Perspectives from social, developmental, and clinical psychology are combined in this module to offer you the opportunity to explore what selfhood means to you and how different constructs of selfhood can be enriching to the human experience.

Therapeutic Care and Meaningful Interactions

Therapeutic Care and Meaningful Interactions provides you with experience and knowledge of working as a Therapeutic Care Volunteer (TCV) within South Tees NHS Trust. You have the opportunity to develop transferable knowledge and employability skills. You cover confidentiality, data protection, communications, problem-solving, group work, time management, self-management, and record keeping. You have the opportunity to work within a health care team across any combination of wards across the Trust and community hospitals, whilst maintaining boundaries and a professional relationship with individuals.


Modules across the school also available

Modules offered may vary.


How you learn

Teaching is delivered using a range of lectures, seminars and laboratory classes. We emphasise study skills so you learn how to use all our extensive facilities such as electronic journals, virtual learning environments and computer programs. You also have access to our computer suites and specialist laboratories where you develop practical skills in the investigation of human behaviour.

How you are assessed

Our varied assessments develop the skills most valued by employers. They include essays, exams, group and individual presentations, poster presentations, portfolios, reflective reports and a dissertation. There is even opportunity to take part in recorded role play in your second year assessment.

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

A typical offer is 32-64 tariff points from at least two A levels, T level or equivalent, and GCSE grade 4 (grade C) or equivalent in English and maths.

For general information please see our overview of entry requirements

International applicants can find out what qualifications they need by visiting Your Country

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

Although this is an academic course rather than a professional training course, on successful completion with a 2.2 or above, you will be eligible to apply for Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC) status with the British Psychological Society ( As with all our psychology degrees, upon graduation you can proceed to further study in any area of psychology. You can also utilise your enhanced critical thinking, research aptitude and analytical skill in a range of graduate-level careers. However, the skills and abilities developed in this course are particularly suited to the postgraduate training in counselling psychology you will need in order to become a chartered counselling psychologist.

All programmes are designed to incorporate employability skills development alongside your degree course. Our staff utilise their extensive connections to provide many and varied opportunities to engage with potential employers through fairs, guest lecture sessions, live projects and site visits. In addition we offer a series of workshops and events in the first, second and third year that ensure all students are equipped with both degree level subject knowledge PLUS the practical skills that employers are looking for in new graduate recruits.

Our award winning careers service works with regional and national employers to advertise graduate positions, in addition to providing post-graduation support for all Teesside University alumni.


Information for international applicants


International applicants - find out what qualifications you need by selecting your country below.

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Useful information

Visit our international pages for useful information for non-UK students and applicants.

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Professional accreditation

The British Psycholigical Society Accredited

This course is accredited by the British Psychological Society. However, it does not provide you with a counselling accreditation.

Other course routes


Entry to 2024/25 academic year

Fee for UK applicants
£9,250 a year

More details about our fees

Fee for international applicants
£17,000 a year

More details about our fees for international applicants

What is included in your tuition fee?

  • Length: 4 years
  • UCAS code: L551 BSc/PCoFY
  • Start date: September
  • Semester dates
  • Typical offer: 32-64 tariff points from at least 2 A levels (or equivalent)

Apply online (full-time) through UCAS



  • Not available part-time

Choose Teesside

  • Student and graduate profiles
    Lynda McPherson

    Lynda McPherson

    BSc (Hons) Psychology and Counselling/MSc Health Psychology

    I have had such amazing experiences during my time here. The teaching has been outstanding, it’s been incredible.

    Meet Lynda



Studying Psychology at the School of Social Sciences, Humanities & Law gives you access to outstanding facilities, including eye-trackers, EEG and Near-infrared Spectroscopy (NIRS). You also get to use specialist interviewing labs and our replica courtroom.


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Telephone: 01642 738801

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Telephone: +44 (0) 1642 738900

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