September 2021

Counselling Studies Top-Up Degree BA (Hons)

Top-up Degree, September 2021

counselling lecturer with students

Overview

The Counselling Studies BA (Hons) top-up award is a level 6 course designed to build upon previous counselling training or enhance knowledge and understanding of the counselling profession for those who have studied an aligned subject. The programme provides a deeper theoretical base for those who have an interest in applying counselling theory within a variety of practice contexts. The top up programme will also equip students with research knowledge and skills.

Why study this course?

  • This Top Up programme integrates with and builds on students’ existing training to provide an academic top up qualification at degree level
  • Students on the Counselling Studies top up award will develop and practice the ability to critically reflect on counselling texts, ideas and practice
  • All students take a year-long research methods module, which will enhance their understanding of the role of research within counselling and prepare them for the dissertation module
  • The experience of conducting research will equip students to work alongside other graduate professionals
  • The programme will enhance students’ academic understanding and employability

What does the course cover?

This is a part-time programme running across two academic years. During the first year, students study a year-long research methods module and two additional modules (one per semester). The compulsory research methods module is designed to assist students in developing the research skills and understanding necessary for them to embark on a dissertation in counselling. In the second year, students study one module (in either semester 1 or 2) and a year-long dissertation. As part of the dissertation, students design, plan and execute an in-depth empirical research project enabling them to investigate their own specific area of interest.

The selection of optional modules includes: Counselling Children and Families; Psychological Distress and Mental Well-being; Psychodynamic Counselling Theory and Skills, Working with Addiction; Health, Wellbeing and Psychological Interventions; Advanced CBT. These module options enable students to select an area of interest or make module choices to support their career aspirations.

How will I be assessed?

Learning outcomes will be assessed using a variety of methods, depending on module choices, these include: a research report, a proposal, case study, critical essay, reflective commentary, written analysis, examination, research dissertation or systematic literature review and poster presentation.

What careers could I consider?

The completion of this qualification enables graduates to demonstrate to potential employers that they have the skills and knowledge expected of a graduate. These skills relate to evidence-based practice.

Students who successfully complete the top-up award may apply for the MSc Integrative Counselling and Psychotherapy Studies at Newman University.

Studying and living in Birmingham

Newman University is located in Britain’s second city – Birmingham. With one of the youngest city populations in Europe, it is a vibrant and dynamic place to study.

Studying at Newman University, you have the advantage of being near to the city, but living in, or commuting to peaceful and comfortable surroundings on campus.

Dining out

Birmingham has lots of wonderful places to dine out with a range of different cuisines. Places where you can dine out include; Brindley Place, Mailbox and Hagley Road (just 10 minutes’ from Newman).

Entertainment

Whether you like to go to; the theatre, gigs or clubs, or enjoy: sports, shopping visiting art galleries or exhibitions – Birmingham will not disappoint and you will be spoilt for choice!

Location

Getting around Birmingham is easy via train, bus or by car. Birmingham has excellent transport links to the rest of Britain, making it easy for those weekend getaways!

Why not explore the city for yourself by visiting one of our Open Days?

Want to find out more about Birmingham? Then take a look at some Birmingham City Secrets.

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Join us in September

We have been voted 1st in Birmingham for Student Satisfaction (NSS 2020) and 3rd in the UK for Student Support (WhatUni Awards 2020).

A friendly, student centred community, that focuses on each and every students’ academic development and achievement.​

We welcome applications throughout the year up until September enrolment.

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Entry Requirements

Students who have successfully completed Newman’s Foundation Degree in Integrative Counselling will be eligible to progress to the BA (Hons) Counselling Studies top-up award.

We also encourage applications from those who have completed a Foundation Degree or an equivalent qualification in counselling or an aligned subject with 120 credits at Level 4 and 120 credits at Level 5, and have experience of using counselling skills in a related context.

If your application meets our entry requirements, you will be invited to attend an interview.

International Students
Newman University is not licenced by the UK Government to sponsor migrant students under the Student route and is therefore unable to accept applications from international students at present.

If you have any questions regarding entry onto this course please contact our friendly and helpful admissions team via our Admissions Enquiry Form

Course Fees

Total Course Fee for Top-Up Degree

UK students: £9,250 *

* Fees shown are for 2021/22 academic year. The University will review tuition fees and increase fees in line with any inflationary uplift as determined by the UK Government, if permitted by law or government policy, on enrolment and in subsequent years of your course. It is anticipated that such increases would be linked to RPI (the Retail Price Index excluding mortgage interest payments).

Students who completed their foundation degree at Newman will pay a discounted total course fee of £7,200.

If applying for student finance you will be asked to provide details on the credits of the course. For reference there are 60 credits in year 1 and 60 credits in year 2.

Students are expected to purchase a copy of the programme core text: Reeves, A. (2018) An Introduction to Counselling and Psychotherapy. From Theory to Practice. London: Sage.

As part of the core dissertation module there may also be additional costs associated with data collection depending on the research undertaken for example printing of questionnaires.

Modules

In order to complete the BA (Hons) Counselling Studies top-up degree, students must gain 120 credits, studying 60 credits per year.

In year 1 all students will study the compulsory 20 credit module ‘Research in Counselling’.

There are a number of optional 20 credit modules that are offered each year. Students must choose two of these in Year 1, and a further one in Year 2.  In total students will study 3 optional modules across the 2 years, totalling 60 credits.

Finally students must then complete one of the optional 40 credit modules – either ‘Counselling Studies Dissertation’ or ‘Counselling Studies Literature Review with Systematic Methodology and Narrative Synthesis’.

Further information about each module can be found below:

  1. This module aims to enable students who already have a foundation in counselling theory and skills to fully appreciate the role and application of research in this area.  In the course of the module students will be introduced to a variety of methods and approaches, which will be examined with a highly practical focus.  Emphasis will be placed on the kinds of issues and research questions which are commonly addressed in counselling, and which might be addressed using different research approaches. Students will demonstrate their acquisition of the knowledge by carrying out a small research project and writing a research proposal suitable for a final year dissertation.
  2. This module examines child and adolescent development in the context of family, society and culture, and explores a range of issues that arise in relation to therapeutic work.  The principles of multi-agency work will be explored. Students will study factors that contribute to resilience and vulnerability with reference to a basic knowledge of neurological development.
  3. This module covers the key concepts related to psychological distress and mental wellbeing. The module will present different models of psychological distress including biological, psychological, social approaches as well as integrative bio-psychosocial models. The pervasiveness of medical views will also be discussed with typical use of terms such as mental illness, disorders, abnormality and clinical psychology as well as concepts of categorical (caseness) and dimensional views of psychological distress/illness.
  4. Health psychology is an exciting field within psychology that has important contributions to make to our understanding of health, wellbeing and illness, from a biopsychosocial perspective. The module will explore key theoretical models (e.g., TPB HBM, SOC), which attempt to explain and predict health-related behaviour (e.g., smoking, alcohol, diet, physical activity & ultra violet radiation rays), and examine the practical applications of these models on health, wellbeing and illness. A multitude of health interventions will be reviewed and critically evaluated. Consideration will be given to the research methodology underpinning the evidence based explored within this module. Implications of the module requirements for student employability will also be reflected on.
  5. This module will introduce theories of addictions, and ways of working therapeutically with addictions. Definitions and explanations of addiction and addictive/compulsive behaviour will be explored. It will principally focus on contemporary approaches, methods of assessment and treatment plans. A range of effective ways of working therapeutically with addictions will be introduced and critically evaluated.
  6. This module extends students’ knowledge and understanding beyond humanistic and CBT approaches to include the third major therapeutic tradition, the psychodynamic approach. Following a grounding in the historical influences of this approach on the development of counselling, students will gain an understanding of core psychodynamic theory and the associated skills, with emphasis on those that are most applicable to counselling practice.  There will be a focus on understanding counselling process from the psychodynamic perspective and an opportunity to critically reflect on the use of psychodynamic concepts within the counselling context.  There will be opportunities for students to continue to develop their ethical and professional awareness, and opportunities to continue the process of self-reflection.
  7. This module further extends students’ knowledge of applied psychology through consideration of the area of counselling psychology and the work of psychologists in the fields of mental health and mental wellbeing. Key psychological theories used to work with clients in wellbeing & mental health settings will be considered and critically evaluated. Consideration will be given to the research methodologies underpinning the evidence base in the field of counselling psychology  The philosophy and professional context of the discipline will be explored through further consideration of the medical and psychosocial models of distress, and students will have the opportunity to develop a range of intra- and inter-personal skills which are appropriate for those likely to seek employment in the helping professions, thus further applying graduate employability to module content.
  1. This tutored double module provides students with the opportunity to select an area of particular interest to them within the field of Counselling and to design, plan and execute an in-depth empirical research project in their chosen area. Students will be required to produce a brief initial research proposal, for discussion with their supervisor. The proposal is then used as a basis for developing an application for Newman University ethical approval, which must be achieved prior to commencing data collection. The research design should include either quantitative and/or qualitative analyses and draw upon and critically evaluate a range of both classic and contemporary research findings throughout.  A poster presentation detailing the research process and findings will also be assessed.
  2. This tutored double module provides students with the opportunity to select an area of particular interest to them within the field of Counselling. Students design, plan and execute an in-depth Literature Review with a systematic search strategy and methodology and a narrative synthesis. Students will consider applications for counselling practice. Students will be required to produce a brief initial research proposal, for discussion with their supervisor. The proposal is then used as a basis for developing an application for Newman University ethical approval, which must be achieved prior to carrying out the Systematic Literature Review. The Systematic Literature Review should draw upon and critically evaluate a range of both classic and contemporary research findings through a clearly identified systematic search strategy using the following databases: PsycINFO, Psychology and Behavioural Sciences and PsycARTICLES.  A poster presentation detailing the review process will also be assessed.
  3. This module examines child and adolescent development in the context of family, society and culture, and explores a range of issues that arise in relation to therapeutic work.  The principles of multi-agency work will be explored. Students will study factors that contribute to resilience and vulnerability with reference to a basic knowledge of neurological development.
  4. This module covers the key concepts related to psychological distress and mental wellbeing. The module will present different models of psychological distress including biological, psychological, social approaches as well as integrative bio-psychosocial models. The pervasiveness of medical views will also be discussed with typical use of terms such as mental illness, disorders, abnormality and clinical psychology as well as concepts of categorical (caseness) and dimensional views of psychological distress/illness.
  5. Health psychology is an exciting field within psychology that has important contributions to make to our understanding of health, wellbeing and illness, from a biopsychosocial perspective. The module will explore key theoretical models (e.g., TPB HBM, SOC), which attempt to explain and predict health-related behaviour (e.g., smoking, alcohol, diet, physical activity & ultra violet radiation rays), and examine the practical applications of these models on health, wellbeing and illness. A multitude of health interventions will be reviewed and critically evaluated. Consideration will be given to the research methodology underpinning the evidence based explored within this module. Implications of the module requirements for student employability will also be reflected on.
  6. This module will introduce theories of addictions, and ways of working therapeutically with addictions. Definitions and explanations of addiction and addictive/compulsive behaviour will be explored. It will principally focus on contemporary approaches, methods of assessment and treatment plans. A range of effective ways of working therapeutically with addictions will be introduced and critically evaluated.
  7. This module extends students’ knowledge and understanding beyond humanistic and CBT approaches to include the third major therapeutic tradition, the psychodynamic approach. Following a grounding in the historical influences of this approach on the development of counselling, students will gain an understanding of core psychodynamic theory and the associated skills, with emphasis on those that are most applicable to counselling practice.  There will be a focus on understanding counselling process from the psychodynamic perspective and an opportunity to critically reflect on the use of psychodynamic concepts within the counselling context.  There will be opportunities for students to continue to develop their ethical and professional awareness, and opportunities to continue the process of self-reflection.
  8. This module further extends students’ knowledge of applied psychology through consideration of the area of counselling psychology and the work of psychologists in the fields of mental health and mental wellbeing. Key psychological theories used to work with clients in wellbeing & mental health settings will be considered and critically evaluated. Consideration will be given to the research methodologies underpinning the evidence base in the field of counselling psychology  The philosophy and professional context of the discipline will be explored through further consideration of the medical and psychosocial models of distress, and students will have the opportunity to develop a range of intra- and inter-personal skills which are appropriate for those likely to seek employment in the helping professions, thus further applying graduate employability to module content.

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