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- Course Aims
- Entry Requirements
- Course Content
- Teaching and Assessment
- Additional Costs
- Tuition Fees & Bursaries
- Further Information
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Please note that the structure of this course is being refreshed. Applicants will be informed of any changes.
Keele University, along with the University of Reading, was the first Higher Education Institution to offer counsellor training and has been delivering programmes in counselling since the 1970s. The full-time Masters in Counselling Psychology is a professional training in counselling. This vocational course is accredited by the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) as a route of professional counsellor training. Candidates for accreditation must note that they will also have to meet all other criteria outlined by BACP. The details outlined below relate to the full-time programme.
This MSc programme in Counselling Psychology is founded on a person-centred view of personhood and person-centred ways of being. In this we view the relationship in counselling as central, and support Rogers’ belief in the ‘self-therapeutic capacity and wisdom of clients’. However, we also take a strong ‘anti-schoolism’ stance which reflects our sincere respect for other, non-person-centred practices and practitioners. Our starting point for the Keele Counselling Model is thus a unifying ethos which enables us to respect and welcome a diversity of professional skills and orientations.
We employ a wide variety of teaching and learning strategies including lectures, large group work, community meetings, tutorials and small group work. Within this framework students are introduced to a range of practices which are related to relevant philosophical traditions including existentialism and phenomenology. Throughout the course, students are supported to establish a sense of coherence in their own therapeutic position in line with the course philosophy and aims.
The centrality of a secure and constantly reviewed ethical position, based on the BACP Ethical Framework for Good Practice in Counselling and Psychotherapy (Ethical Framework for the Counselling Professions, from July 2016), is presented to the programme members as a major personal responsibility. We accept the overwhelming evidence of the theorists that the major factor in helping human beings change in a desired positive direction is a relationship in which they feel safe, valued and challenged.
Why study at Keele
- Keele Counselling staff have a wealth of experience in providing counselling training to both UK and international students
- Keele has a thriving counselling community with students from a range of professional, cultural, social and educational backgrounds
- Staff who are up to date with current therapeutic practice, training and research
- All staff are active practitioners in counselling and supervision
- An annual Counselling Conference with internationally renowned keynote speakers and researchers in counselling
Aims of the Course
The programme aims to equip students with the knowledge and expertise to support their work as professional person-centred/ humanistic counsellors. It aims to integrate students’ counselling skills practice with academic study at Masters Level and to facilitate student learning areas of counselling practice: counselling skills, counselling related theory and personal development.
The programme offers to students a thorough theoretical grounding in person-centred/humanistic counselling and an introduction to research methodology. The principles underpinning the programme are empowerment, holistic development, relationships and community.
The entry requirements are a 2i degree in any discipline or equivalent professional qualifications. This is to ensure that students have the required foundational written and analytic skills to study at MSc level.
In line with the requirements of BACP, applicants also need to demonstrate the following attributes: self awareness, maturity and stability; ability to make use of and reflect upon life experience; capacity to cope with the emotional demands of the course; ability to cope with the intellectual and academic requirements; ability to form a helping relationship; ability to be self-critical and use both positive and negative feedback; awareness of the nature of prejudice and oppression; awareness of the nature of difference and equality; ability to recognise the need for personal and professional support; competence in or the aptitude to develop generic personal skills, including: literacy, numeracy, information technology, administrative skills, self-managements skills, communication and interpersonal skills.
We are also looking for students with some experience of working with people in a helping capacity, whether voluntary or paid.
Applicants will need to address these points in their personal statements in the application form and in response to the criteria questions to be completed as part of the application process.
In addition, applicants whose first language is not English must have an IELTS score of at least 7.00 with at least 6.0 in each sub-test (or equivalent).
The application deadline for the MSc in Counselling Psychology is 21st February 2016. Applications received after this date may be considered, but this is at the discretion of the School, dependent on whether there are vacancies.
Please note that, for the MSc Counselling Psychology programme, the School operates a ‘gathered field’ approach. This means that all applications received by the published deadline will be considered together and equally assessed. Therefore, this will mean that applicants will not be sent a decision until after the published deadline date above but we would hope to have informed all applicants by no later than one month after the deadline.
Applicants will be required to initially complete an online application form including a personal statement. Once the application has been received applicants will be sent a list of criteria questions to fill out. If the responses to these questions are satisfactory the applicant will either be offered a conditional or unconditional place depending on references and other conditions that might need to be met (e.g. the completion of required qualifications). The applicant may need to attend an interview with two members of the core counselling team who teach on the MSc Counselling Psychology programme at Keele University.
The course is taken full-time over one year. All Masters students are required to take four 30-credit taught modules (120 credits at Level 7), plus a research training module (15 credits) and a 60-credit dissertation, see below. All modules must be passed for the award to be made (total of 195 credits at level 7).Students who successfully complete only the four 30-credit taught modules (120 credits) may exit with a Postgraduate Diploma, and those successfully completing only the two modules indicated *above (60 credits) may exit with a Postgraduate Certificate. However, it must be noted that these exit awards are not BACP accredited qualifications.
30-credit Taught Modules
- Exploration in counselling (30 credits)*
- Understanding in counselling (30 credits)
- Integration in counselling (30 credits)
- Practicum (30 credits)*
- Research methods (15 credits)
- Dissertation (60 credits) - 15,000-20,000 words. The preparation and submission of a dissertation will give students the opportunity to research, in-depth, a counselling topic or issue of interest to them.
In addition, all students have tutor led training in the practical skills of counselling, as well as access to DVD recording equipment for counselling practice with peers and for the production of case material for critical analysis
Students must complete a minimum of 100 hours of supervised counselling practice and have a minimum of 20 hours of personal therapy (subject to approval by Senate). Students may have to pay for their own counselling supervision and personal therapy and are required to arrange these for themselves. However, our Placement Officer will be happy to help and advise students with this. Some students find it difficult to complete their 100 hours of counselling within the academic year but are entitled to continue with this requirement until the September after the taught element of the programme is completed. The award is withheld until this requirement is met. If students do take longer to meet this requirement, this may have financial implications, especially for overseas students. They may decide to spend an extra year in the UK to finish their counselling hours. To do this, a student would need to arrange a different VISA category to undertake this option. Alternatively, if the completion of a counselling placement is not a requirement for a student’s future plans i.e. they intend to pursue a career in a counselling related field, then they are entitled to transfer to the MSc in Counselling Psychology Studies. In addition at the University's discrection students may be admitted to MSc in Counselling Psychology Studies.
The programme begins with compulsory attendance at a residential weekend and a two week induction. Attendance at the annual counselling conference is also compulsory.
Attendance requirement for this course is set at 90%.
Further information about the 2016/17 programme can be found by reading the Program Specification
Teaching and Assessment
With the exception of a multiple-choice questionnaire classroom test, all modules are assessed on the basis of coursework.
The pass mark for a module is 50%. The dissertation is a piece of independent research written up in 20,000 words. Masters students attaining exceptional performance (course average of at least 70% including 70%+ for the dissertation) may be awarded a distinction.
- Students are required to attend a minimum of 20 hours of personal therapy to complete the course and payment for this is the responsibility of the students. An average cost for personal therapy is approximately £35-£45 per hour.
- When completing the 100 hour placement requirement, students also have to undertake a minimum of 14 hours of supervision for which there may also be a charge. Again, an average cost for supervision is approximately £35-£45 per hour.
- Parking is also an additional cost for students who wish to use their cars on campus. Details of student parking permits are sent out with the pre-enrolment information.
- Students are also expected to pay travel costs to and from their placements.
- Students should also be aware that possible additional costs may be incurred when attending the compulsory non-residential Conference weekend. Refreshments and lunches are provided for the students free of charge during the weekend but there will be an additional cost should students wish to attend the Saturday evening Conference dinner and also if wishing to book local accommodation.
Includes residential fee and attendance at Keele Counselling University annual conference
A non-refundable deposit is required on acceptance of an offer made and should be sent to the Postgraduate Office. (Please contact the School
for application closing date)
There are a number of bursaries on offer to both home and overseas postgraduate students. Please see this page for details and eligibility.
Wednesday and Thursdays
Wednesdays 9 – 5 pm Thursdays 12 – 5 pm
Saturday 17th September & Sunday 18th September
May 2017 (date to be confirmed)
Counselling Term Dates:
Counselling Term Dates: Autumn semester:
How do I apply and will I need to attend an interview?
Applications are made online. Once your application is received by the School an interview questionnaire will be sent to you by email which should be completed and returned within 48 hours of receipt. Occasionally we do invite applicants to attend an interview.
Is there a submission deadline for applications?
The application deadline for the MSc in Counselling is 21st February 2016. Applications received after this date may be considered but this is at the discretion of the School, dependent on whether there are vacancies.
How soon will I know if I will be offered a place?
The School operates a ‘gathered field’ approach for the Certificate in Counselling/Part-Time Professional Counselling Training Route. This means that all applications received by the published deadline will be considered together and equally assessed. Therefore, this will mean that applicants will not be sent a decision until after the published deadline date above but we would hope to have informed all applicants by no later than one month after the deadline.
What are the teaching hours of the course and approximately how much private study time per week should be allowed?
After the Residential Weekend and the Intensive Fortnight (see Further Information tab for details), teaching is from 9 am to 4:30 pm each Wednesday and from 12 noon to 5 pm each Thursday during term-time.
Applicants should note that they will need to find time, outside of the course hours, in which to carry out practice skills, at Keele, with peers from the course and in which to make recordings of those practice sessions. It is envisaged that at least one hour per week would be devoted to this.
The course is a full-time course and we recommend that the remainder of the week is devoted to private study and to carrying out placement, personal therapy and supervision hours.
Is there a placement element within the course?
Students are required to complete a minimum of 100 placement hours at an outside organisation along with a minimum of 14 hours of supervision.
Are there any additional costs apart from the fees?
Students have to attend a minimum of 20 hours of personal therapy (subject to approval by Senate) in order to complete the course and payment for this is the responsibility of the students. As a guide, costs for this on average are £35 per hour.
When completing the 100 hour placement requirement, students also have to undertake a minimum of 14 hours of supervision for which there may also be a charge. Again as a guide, costs for this are on average £35 per hour.
Parking is also an additional cost for students who wish to use their cars on campus. Details of student parking permits are sent out with the pre-enrolment information.
Students should also be aware that possible additional costs may be incurred when attending the compulsory non-residential Conference weekend. Refreshments and lunches are provided for the students free of charge during the weekend but there will be an additional cost should students wish to attend the Saturday evening Conference dinner and also if wishing to book local accommodation.
Is there any funding available to help with the fees?
Applicants can contact Student Financial Support, details of which can be found on the following link http://www.keele.ac.uk/studentfunding to enquire about any funding.