Postgraduate course

Counselling PG Dip/MA

Develop the knowledge and skills needed to become an effective and ethical counsellor on this BACP accredited course.

psychology with counselling students in classroom

The Postgraduate Diploma (Pg Dip) programme will appeal if you have prior counselling skills training and experience in a helping role. Once you have completed the part-time Pg Dip you can study towards the MA in Counselling. The PG Dip is accredited by the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP). You will be encouraged to seek student membership of BACP.

  • Location – York campus
  • Duration – 2 years part-time (PGDip) | 3 years part-time (MA)
  • Start date – September 2020
  • School – Psychological & Social Sciences

Course overview

The PG Dip is a two year part-time course, designed for students with some prior counselling skills training and experience in a helping role. The theoretical basis of the course is humanistic-integrative. Equal weight is given to the study of counselling theory, counselling practice and personal development in the training of counsellors.

Our academics draw on a 30 year tradition of counsellor training at York St John University. They are experienced practitioners, trainers and active researchers.

The first year is devoted to exploring elements of the therapeutic relationship, preparation for practice and draws heavily on humanistic theory and practice.

The second year builds on the subjects from the first year of study and explores the contribution of other models of counselling. You will get to develop a personally integrated style of therapeutic work, based on core humanistic competences, and draw on the possibilities offered by other approaches.

Should you choose to study for the MA, the two year PG Dip will be followed by a year of specialised research on a topic of your choice.

Professional accreditation
The PG Diploma is accredited by the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP). On successful completion of the PG Dip, you will be eligible to apply for membership of the BACP Register (register of psychological therapists accredited under the Professional Standards Authority accredited register programme).

Course structure

Modules include:

  • Counselling Theory 1 (15 credits)
  • Core Counselling Competencies 1 (30 credits)
  • Self, Theory & Practice 1 (15 credits)
  • Counselling Theory 2 (15 credits)
  • Core Counselling Competencies 2 (30 credits)
  • Self, Theory & Practice 2 (15 credits)
  • Research Investigation (60 credits) - MA qualification only

Teaching and assessment

The course runs over 30 weeks, starting in September and finishing in June. You will attend one full day per week in term time. There is one compulsory residential weekend (usually in late January or early February) in each academic year. A contact day will normally contain elements of counselling theory, counselling practice, peer supervision, and personal development activities.


Course work is used for the PG Dip assessments are through coursework which comprises of written assignments, such as casework and supervision records, reflections on personal development and evidence of practical skills. Over the two years, you will also complete 150 hours of supervised face-to-face client work.

The course is developmental and provides integrated training in theory, process and skills as prescribed by the BACP. All modules are compulsory.

For the MA you will study one module and assessment will be via a research paper.

Entry requirements


You must have a first degree or other recognised professional qualification.

You must have satisfactorily completed, or be currently in the process of completing, a Certificate in Counselling skills, or equivalent.


You will be interviewed prior to being offered a place on the course and subject to submitting a successful application.

Work Experience

You must have experience of the use of counselling skills at work, in education, helping professions or in voluntary agencies.

Progression onto the MA is achieved through successful completion of the PG diploma in counselling.

If you do not have the traditional academic qualifications for postgraduate study, but satisfy the criteria around professional experience, you can undertake the Access module (3ID130), as part of the entry process. 

International Students 

This course is not open to International Students. 

Fees and funding

To study for a Postgraduate degree with us, you will need to pay tuition fees for your course. How much you pay will depend on whether you're a UK & EU student or an international (non-EU) student. Tuition fees are charged for each year of your course.

Tuition fees

Home / EU students

Year 1: £4,000

Year 2: £4,000

Year 3: £2,000

Tuition fees may be subject to inflation in future years.

Funding your course

Apply for this course

Applications for the 2019 intake are now closed.


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