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MSc/PgDip Counselling Studies (Professional Training)

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University of Salford
Health and Social care Faculty
Contact Provider
University of Salford, Salford, M6 6PU, Greater Manchester, United Kingdom

This part-time Masters course in Counselling can be taken over 3-5 years and replaces the Diploma in Counselling which ran successfully over a number of years. It is aimed at those who have previous counselling experience and now wish to develop these skills further to become a qualified counsellor.

On completion you will be able to work with adults and young people (over 12 years of age) in private practice and in the public and voluntary sectors.

The course provides a balance between academic work, skills development, professional practice and individual personal development and self-awareness.

  • Function as a counsellor in various settings, within the guidelines laid down by the BACP
  • Focus on the Person Centred Model of counselling and explore it's philosophical and theoretical background as well as the implications for practice.
  • Explore other approaches and theoretical models (including Psychodynamic, Cognitive, Behavioural and Humanistic), identifying their contribution to counselling and comparing them with the Person Centred approach

What qualifications do I need to study the MSc in Counselling Studies?

This course will enhance and increase your range of counselling skills. You'll gain a deeper knowledge and understanding of yourself and learn how this influences the work of a counsellor.

Why Study the MSc in Counselling Studies at Salford?

You will have access to a highly qualified team of counselling staff who will support you every step of the way. All are highly knowledgeable and experienced practitioners working in current practice. We also have a healthy research community with a national and international reputation, including:

  • Elaine Beaumont: Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)
  • Richard Bracegirdle: The therapeutic relationship
  • Liz Coldridge: Counselling assessment
  • Vee Howard-Jones: Patient anxiety during diagnostic procedures
  • Peter Jenkins: Legal issues in counselling and psychotherapy
  • Sheila King: Groups and groupwork
  • Parveen Marrington-Mir: Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) inequality in mental health and society
  • Helen Millar: Post traumatic stress disorder and vicarious trauma

If you add to this, excellent facilities and the chance to meet other students from a wide range of professions, there really is no better place to study.

What will I learn on the MSc in Counselling Studies?

Depending on how many credits you accrue, you can exit the course with a PgCert, PgDip or full Masters. To qualify as a professional counsellor you need to complete at least the PgDip (four 60 credit modules).

PgCert (60 Credits):

Introduction to Person-Centred Theory and Practice: This module is designed to enhance your knowledge, understanding and application in this important area and prepares you for undertaking a counselling placement. It covers counselling theory and professional issues including:

  • Groupwork Theory: definitions of groups; purpose and tasks of groups; communication in groups; roles and relationships in groups; leaders and leadership; group process
  • Values and Philosophy of the Person Centred Approach to Counselling
  • Rogers six conditons for therapeutic change
  • Person Centred Theory of Personality
  • Self disclosure in counselling training
  • BACP Ethical Framework for Counselling and Psychotherapy
  • Reflective Practice
  • Anti-discriminatory practice and working with difference
  • The role and use of supervision
  • Beginning a counselling session
  • Counselling contracts and contracting with clients
  • The application of the core conditions of Person Centred Theory: Empathy, Unconditional Positive Regard and Congruence
  • The micro skills of counselling: active listening; summarising; paraphrasing; focusing and challenging
  • Ending a counselling session
  • Giving and receiving feedback
  • Evaluating counselling practice

Mental Health Issues and Person-Centred Practice: This module gives you the chance to develop your knowledge of a comprehensive range of mental health models and constructs used within therapeutic contexts.

  • Diagnostic mental health criteria (e.g. DSMIV; ICD-10)
  • Critical and historical perspectives on mental health constructs
  • Users perspectives on mental health categories and systems
  • Cultural perspectives on mental health
  • Gender and mental health
  • Mental health and social inequalities and discrimination
  • Sexuality and mental health
  • Counselling and depression
  • Counselling and anxiety
  • Psychosexual constructs and therapeutic interventions
  • Supervised counselling practice
  • Personal development

PG Dip (120 Credits)

As above, plus:

Contemporary and Comparative Theory and Practice: This module will develop your critical awareness of the key theoretical perspective s in counselling and psychotherapy, particularly psychodynamic and cognitive behavioural appraoches. It includes:

  • Psychodynamic therapy
  • Cognitive-behavioural therapy
  • Process-experiential approaches
  • Theories of psychological processes
  • Contemporary perspectives on the self
  • Methods of process identification and process guiding
  • Facilitating intrapersonal and interpersonal therapeutic dialogue
  • Working with emotion
  • Methods of working with complex psychological processes
  • Working with diversity
  • Developing increased awareness of self through interpersonal interaction

Research Methods in counselling and Psychotherapy: This module provides you with a critical understanding of the research and prepares you for the dissertation.

  • Reflective stances in counselling practice and research
  • Contemporary issues and debates in research
  • Theories/paradigms of research; Quantitative, qualitative and mixed methodologies
  • Ethics of, and in, research
  • Reviewing literature and the critical analysis of existing research
  • Developing a research question/hypothesis
  • Designing appropriate research; Role and function of the pilot study
  • Developing a research proposal; Access and sampling
  • Methods of data collection; Fundamentals of frequently used statistical tests
  • Presentation, analysis and interpretation of data
  • Uses and application of ICT
  • Dissemination and publication of research

MSc Counselling Studies (Professional Training) 180 Credits

As above, plus:

Dissertation: The dissertation module gives you the opportunity to undertake an in-depth, evidence based exploration of a key area relevant to your own practice and is needed to graduate with a full Masters.

Practicing your counselling skills

During semester one of the first year you will have your competence to practice assessed by observed role play within a group. If you are successful at this, you will commence a practice placement within a counselling service at the beginning of semester 2.

You will be required to complete 150 hours of face-to-face client work together with 50 hours of associated administrative activities.

How will I be assessed?

You will be expected to keep a professional log of your counselling experience throughout the course. Other assessment strategies include:

  • Essay
  • Case Study
  • Literature Review
  • Presentation

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