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Postgraduate course

Humanistic Counselling MA, PG Dip

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

psychology with counselling students in classroom

This Postgraduate Diploma provides professional counselling training. Once you have completed the 2 year part time PG Dip, you can study towards the MA. The PG Dip is accredited by the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP).

York campus

  • Duration – 2 years part time (PG Dip) | 3 years part time (MA)
  • Start date – September 2022
  • School – School of Education, Language and Psychology

Tuition Fees

    UK and EU 2021-22 £4,500 per year part time

    International 2021-22 £5,100 per year part time

Course overview

Our academic staff draw on a 30 year tradition of counsellor training at York St John University. We are experienced practitioners, trainers and active researchers. We actively adopt an anti-racist, anti-homophobic, anti-sexist approach in all of our teaching.

Humanistic is an umbrella term for a range of approaches to counselling. These share a philosophical stance that every person is unique and capable of taking appropriate responsibility for managing their lives to their satisfaction. Humanistic counselling emphasises the client’s active role in the counselling process. It pays particular attention to the here-and-now experience, the counselling relationship and the broader context of the client’s life.

The first 2 years of study cover humanistic counselling theory, counselling skills and reflective practice, and personal and professional development. You will complete a total of 150 contracted counselling hours over the course of the PG Dip. Should you choose to study for the MA, the 2 year PG Dip will be followed by a year of specialised research on a topic of your choice.

Professional accreditation

The Postgraduate 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).

We will encourage you to seek student membership of BACP. If you do not have the traditional qualifications for postgraduate study, but have the relevant professional experience, you can undertake the Access to Postgraduate Study module (COU6006M) as part of your entry process.

Course structure

Year 1

You can only study this postgraduate course part time. This allows you to fit your studies around other commitments.

In your first year you will study:

  • 3 compulsory modules

You can find out which modules are available in each term on the Course Specifications.

Modules

Credits: 15

Compulsory module

This module examines the development of the humanistic movement over time and the main theories associated with it. You will gain a solid understanding of person-centred, existential and gestalt approaches. You will learn to analyse and evaluate humanistic approaches, locating it within the other main philosophical approaches to counselling, such as cognitive-behavioural and psychodynamic. You will also develop a knowledge of the essential ethical and professional issues of working safely with therapeutic issues.

Credits: 30

Compulsory module

Develop the skills to effectively and ethically practise humanistic counselling. You will have the opportunity to practise, and receive feedback on, the use of counselling skills and management of the counselling process.  Studying this module will prepare and support you in undertaking a minimum of 40 contracted counselling hours. This will be in an organisation offering 1 to 1 supervised counselling to clients and staffed by experienced practitioners.

Credits: 15

Compulsory module

This module facilitates the development of a co-created learning environment where you will develop your awareness of self and self in relationship. Personal development groups and a residential weekend provide the opportunity for you to assess the impact of intra- and inter-personal relationships. You will explore the role of evolving self-awareness and self-acceptance in the development of effective, ethical and theory-informed practice.

Year 2

In your second year you will study:

  • 3 compulsory modules

You can find out which modules are available in each term on the Course Specifications.

Modules

Credits: 15

Compulsory module

On this module you will deepen your understanding of humanistic theory. You will consider its place in the spectrum of counselling approaches. We will introduce you to different perspectives on the causes of psychological, behavioural and relational distress. You will debate and examine the evidence for alternative viewpoints by examining the therapeutic efficacy of these approaches. You will also explore your own developing approach to practice.

Credits: 30

Compulsory module

Extend and deepen your understanding of professional practice and supervision. You will develop your ability to use a complex range of counselling skills across different contexts. You will continue to engage in contracted counselling placements to complete the remainder of the required 150 hours. you will develop your capacity to make full use of individual and group supervision to support effective counselling practice.

Credits: 15

Compulsory module

This module equips you for on-going personal and professional development, providing a good model for developing practice as a counsellor. Personal development groups and a residential weekend support you in developing your understanding of relational dynamics.

Year 3

In your third year, for MA qualification only, you will study:

  • 1 compulsory module

You can find out which modules are available in each term on the Course Specifications.

Modules

Credits: 60

MA qualification only

On this module you will develop your ability to utilise and conduct research. You will explore different approaches to knowledge construction. This includes research designs, research methods and the ethical principles which guide research. You will then apply this knowledge by planning and conducting an independent piece of research. This will address an an issue that interests you, in an area of academic or practical relevance. Your finished piece will take the format of a peer-reviewed journal.

Teaching and assessment

Teaching and Learning

The course runs part time over 30 weeks, starting in September and finishing in June. You will attend 1 full day per week in term time. There is 1 compulsory residential weekend, usually in late January or early February, in each academic year. A contact day on campus will normally contain elements of counselling theory, counselling practice, peer supervision and personal development activities. In total you will receive 400 teaching hours.

You will have access to multiple sources of support including an induction at the start of the course. In addition to tutorial time, support is offered by Central Services on study skills such as finding resources, referencing, critical thinking, critical writing, time management, planning assignments, proofreading and presentation skills. Central services also offer support in careers and digital training.

Assessment

You will be assessed through coursework. This comprises of written assignments, such as casework and supervision records, reflections on personal development and assessment of practical skills.

For the MA you will study 1 further module and assessment will be through a research paper.

Placements

Over the 2 years you will also complete 150 hours of supervised face-to-face client work in a placement setting.

Professional skills

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

Our teaching draws on both our research and professional experience. This means your learning is informed by the most current thinking in the subject area. You can find out more about our research and backgrounds by visiting our staff pages.

Entry Requirements

Qualifications

You must have a 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.

If you do not have the traditional academic qualifications for postgraduate study, but satisfy the criteria around professional experience, you can undertake the Access to Postgraduate Study module (COU6006M), as part of the entry process.

Access to Postgraduate Study

10 credits | optional

This module provides an entry route for you if you would like to join the course but do not have a first degree. It is designed to develop your knowledge and understanding of a range of key academic study skills, including comprehension, application, analysis, synthesis, reflection and evaluation. This will help prepare you for postgraduate level study. Material relevant to counselling professions will be used and evaluated. You will be encouraged to extend your learning by sharing knowledge and resources within the group.

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 Counselling PG Diploma.

Interview

If your application meets the entry criteria you will be offered an interview.

International Students

International students can apply for this course but must meet the entry criteria. In particular, the Certificate in Counselling Skills and counselling experience must have been gained in the UK and cannot be transferred from overseas.

Terms and conditions

Our terms and conditions, policies and procedures contain important information about studying at York St John University. You can read them on our Admissions page.

Career outcomes

Where could Humanistic Counselling take you?

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)

Our careers service, LaunchPad, provides career support tailored to your ambitions. Through this service you can access:

  • Employer events
  • LinkedIn, CV and cover letter sessions
  • Workshops on application writing and interview skills
  • Work experience and volunteering opportunities
  • Personalised career advice.

This support does not end when you graduate. You can access our expert career advice for the rest of your life. We will help you gain the experience and confidence you need to succeed.

Fees and Funding

UK and EU 2022 - 2023

The tuition fee for 2022 entry to the PG Diploma is £9000:

  • £4,500 per year for 2 years, part time

The tuition fee for 2022 entry to the MA is £11,250:

  • £4,500 per year for the first 2 years, part time
  • £2,250 for the final year, part time.

These costs apply to all UK/EU, Jersey, Guernsey and Isle of Man students.

Postgraduate loans are available to help you pay for your master’s course. Find out more about funding your postgraduate studies.

postgraduate funding opportunities

International (non-EU) 2022-2023 entry

The tuition fee for 2022 entry to the PG Diploma is £10,200:

  • £5,100 per year for 2 years, part time

The tuition fee for 2022 entry to the MA is £12,750:

  • £5,100 per year for the first 2 years, part time
  • £2,550 for the final year, part time.

These costs apply to all students living outside the UK/EU.

Due to immigration laws, if you are an international student on a Tier 4 visa, you must study full time. For more information about visa requirements and short-term study visas, please visit the International Visa and Immigration pages.

Find out more about funding your postgraduate studies.

International Fees and Funding 

Tuition Fees

    UK and EU 2021-22 £4,500 per year part time

    International 2021-22 £5,100 per year part time

Alumni Scholarships 

If you are alumni of York St John University we have scholarships available to help you continue your studies.

Scholarships for alumni

Additional costs and financial support

Course related costs

While studying for your degree, there may be additional costs related to your course. This may include purchasing personal equipment and stationery, books and optional field trips.

Accommodation and living costs

View our accommodation pages for detailed information on accommodation and living costs.

 

Key dates

Monday 4 January 2021

Applications open for PG Dip and MA Humanistic Counselling starting in 2021.

Tuesday 20 April 2021

Applications close for PG Dip and MA Humanistic Counselling starting in 2021.

Friday 23 April 2021

All references and documentation, in support of applications, to be submitted.

Apply for this course

Applications for this course are now closed.

Important Dates

Important datesDates
Applications open 04 January 2021
Applications close 20 April 2021
Deadline for all documentation to be received by admissions 23 April 2021
Applications sent to Academics to review 26 April 2021
Interview Invites sent to Successful Applicants From 8 May 2021
Interview Dates 24 May to 10 June 2021
Successful Applicants advised of decision 28 June 2021
Deadline for all applicants to meet offer conditions 30 August 2021
Welcome Week 13 September 2021
Teaching Begins 20 September 2021

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