Psychotherapeutic Counselling

Study options


University Professional Diploma

Key facts

Stoke-on-Trent campus
Study option:
2 Years
Start date:
23 September 2024

Counselling placement

Hands on experience in practice to develop your integrative approach

Integrative approach

Draws on a range of established psychotherapeutic approaches

BACP accredited

British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy accredits Diploma

Our Psychotherapeutic Counselling Professional Diploma will develop you into a reflexive counsellor who can work effectively with clients on a diverse range of issues.

The course aims to:

  • Provide students with an in-depth exploration in integrative counselling and its application to counselling and the mental health field.
  • Equip students with the conceptual understanding, skills and knowledge to assess critically research findings in the context of the developing discipline of counselling.
  • Encourage students to consider and critically reflect on ethical, legal and moral aspects of different approaches to counselling issues.
  • Facilitate a critically reflexive attitude around diversity and difference to develop awareness of the impact of cultural and family messages on development of self and self in relationship with others.
  • Equip students with the skills that will prepare them for employment as professional counsellors.
  • Develop students’ abilities so that they become competent and reflexive practitioners, able to work effectively and professionally with others,
  • Sustain a culture of research and learning, while encouraging students to question their previous assumptions and develop an open and enquiring attitude.

Enable students to develop their ability to carry out independent research at an advanced level and to incorporate this learning into written assignments, demonstrating self-direction and originality. 

On successful completion of study, we will issue the following award: University Professional Diploma Psychotherapeutic Counselling

Course content

You’ll be taught five different counselling approaches:

  • Person-centred
  • Cognitive behavioural
  • Psychodynamic
  • Attachment
  • Systemic

You’ll also be encouraged to reflect on your own integrative approach as it develops over the course.

You’ll need to undertake a counselling placement of at least 100 hours and at least 30 hours of approved personal therapy.

You’ll attend a compulsory residential weekend at the start of the course which offers space to focus on personal development and group dynamics. We also host other compulsory events such as conferences and workshops.

The philosophy of the suite of counselling courses takes a holistic view of the person, incorporating aspects of phenomenological experience, emotional and thought processes, developmental aspects, and family context with an emphasis on social and cultural influences. The overall objective is to facilitate development of reflexive counsellors who value the significance of the therapeutic relationship, who can engage with flexibility in response to a diverse range of client issues and facilitate client change.

A unique aspect of the course is the offering of diversity groups designed to explore aspects of difference and diversity such as gender or privilege and the impact of this on the therapeutic relationship. We also offer ‘safer spaces’ groups to support students who are members of marginalised or minority groups. 

As this course incorporates an element of online learning and skills practice, it is important that you have suitable technology, good internet connection, the technical ability to work online, and access to a private space to attend online taught sessions. This is also a crucial requirement for any remote client work undertaken as part of your practice learning. Consideration and understanding must be given to the BACP Online and Telephone Competence Framework Online and phone therapy (OPT) competence framework and user guide (

Professional body accreditation

Accredited by the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP).

Accredited by BACP logo
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This module map provides an indicative list of the modules that make up your course. Each module is worth a specified number of credits: you may be able to take a combination of compulsory and optional modules, enabling you to cover key subject knowledge while developing your own interest. You must take modules worth a total of 180 credits. The number of optional modules you can take depends on the number of compulsory modules at a given level, you may have more choice in later parts of the course.

Our teaching is informed by research, and modules change periodically to reflect developments in the discipline. You can always find the most up-to-date information about your modules and who is teaching them in our module catalogue. We aim to ensure that all optional modules run as scheduled. If for any reason an optional module cannot be run, we will advise you as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative module.

Year 1 compulsory modules
Year 1 compulsory modules
Becoming A Counsellor 20 credits
Developing Your Integrative Counselling Approach 20 credits
Exploring Self In Relation To Other 20 credits
Year 2 compulsory modules
Year 2 compulsory modules
Developing As A Professional Counsellor 20 credits
Developing Specialisms In Counselling 20 credits
Further Integrative Counseling Development 20 credits

Entry requirements

You must have successfully completed at least a Level 3 Certificate in Counselling or equivalent and should also have a good standard of written and spoken English (IELTS 6.0 or equivalent).

You must obtain a counselling placement involving a minimum of 100 hours of supervised counselling practice during the course.

Your emotional maturity and resilience will be assessed as part of the application and interview process.

University Certificate in Counselling

If you don’t meet the requirements to study at Professional Diploma level, you may be interested in our University Certificate in Counselling, which is studied part-time over one year.

For students who are not equipped to begin Certificate-level study and have little or no counselling experience, a 10-week Introduction to Basic Skills in Counselling course is also available. Successful completion of the Introduction will enable you to apply to enrol on the Certificate.

We understand that you might have experienced a challenging run up to higher education and may have not met the entry requirements as listed. If this is the case don’t worry, contact us and our team of expert advisors can guide you through the next stages of application, or help you find the perfect course for your needs.

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Psychology at Staffordshire University


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When you’ve completed the Professional Diploma plus 450 client hours, you can apply to the BACP to become an accredited counsellor.

All students have access to Career Connect, our dedicated careers team.

Teaching and assessment


Teaching includes formal lectures, small and large group work, triads, discussions, guided reading, video presentations, demonstrations and counselling sessions. During the training, you’ll take on the role of both counsellor and client, and explore your own reflexivity and self-awareness. In Year 2, with permission, there will be the opportunity to review audio recordings of actual practitioner-client sessions.

You’ll be required to critique an audio recording of a client on placement as part of the skills portfolio assessment. 


Among other activities, during Years 1 and 2 assessments include essays and presentations on ethics, theory, skills critiques and personal development activities. In Year 2 you’ll also be assessed on your critique of audio from an actual client session.

Learning support

In addition to the excellent support you will receive from your course teaching team, our central Academic Skills team provides group and one-to-one help to support your learning in a number of areas. These include:

  • study skills such as reading, note-taking and presentation skills
  • written English, including punctuation and grammatical accuracy
  • academic writing and how to reference
  • research skills
  • critical thinking and understanding arguments
  • revision, assessment and examination skills
  • time management

Additional support

Our Student Inclusion Services support students with additional needs such as sensory impairment, or learning difficulties such as dyslexia.


You’ll receive constructive feedback on all work submitted for assessment. Feedback is intended to help you learn and develop, and you’re encouraged to discuss it with your personal tutor. You’ll be continually assessed on your skills during the triad sessions.

Feedback is normally provided within 20 working days following submission of work.

Your overall workload will consist of independent learning and assessment activity, equating to a total study time of approximately three days per week, including placement, supervision and wider reading. You’ll have approximately 7.5 contact hours each week.

Independent learning

When not attending sessions on campus or accessing Blackboard, our Virtual Learning Environment, you’ll be expected to complete research and reading in support of the topics you’ve been taught. You must also keep up-to-date with contemporary research and literature surrounding counselling.


For the course starting on 23 September 2024 the tuition fees are:

Tuition fees for University Professional Diploma-Part-time
Study option

When studied part time, the duration of the course and the amount of fees you’ll pay each year depends on the speed at which you wish to progress. This is called the ‘intensity of study’. The usual study pattern on this programme enables you to complete modules totalling 60 credits in your first year of study. This would be equivalent to studying at 50 per cent course intensity.

If you follow this pattern of study you will complete the course in two years. In your second year you will pay the pro rata (equivalent) fee shown for your first year of study.

If you would like to know more about the fees listed and what this means to you then please get in touch with our Enquiries Team.

Included in tuition fees
Included in the fees:

The compulsory residential weekend, which takes place in Year 1, is normally held in Ambleside, Cumbria, and is included in the course tuition fee. However, travel costs are not included.

Not included in tuition fees
Not included in the fees:

You’ll need to complete 30 hours of personal therapy, which can be done over the two years. On average, counsellors charge around £40 per hour, but this cost will vary. It’s your responsibility to arrange counselling supervision, with a requirement to have one hour every two weeks, working to a ratio of one hour of supervision to six hours of counselling. On average, supervisors charge £40 per hour. Once again, this cost can vary, with some supervisors offering a discount to students.

Disclosure and Barring Service (Enhanced DBS) check

On the first day of the course, you’ll need to complete an Enhanced DBS application form. You’ll be expected to cover the cost of the check.

Accommodation and living costs
Accommodation and living costs

Accommodation and living costs are not included in our fees. 

Sources of financial support

If you receive funding from Student Finance you may be eligible to apply for additional benefits. Details can be obtained by reading our additional funding web pages, or visiting

Scholarships and additional funding

As an undergraduate student at Staffordshire, you may be eligible for additional financial support through one of our scholarships and bursaries. You can visit our funding page to find out more and check your eligibility.


Location Award Study option Start date Apply Link
Stoke-on-Trent campus University Professional Diploma Part-time 23 September 2024 Apply now

Rules and regulations

If you are offered a place at Staffordshire University, your offer will be subject to our rules, regulations and enrolment conditions, which may vary from time to time.

Students of Staffordshire University enter into a contract with us and are bound by these rules and regulations, which are subject to change. For more information, please see: University Policies and Regulations.

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