Undergraduate course

Counselling, Coaching & Mentoring BA (Hons)

Help people to make positive personal change. Learn from experienced counselling and coaching staff on this BA course.

We have over 30 years' experience of teaching the theory and practice of counselling. Working with us, you'll develop the professional skills you need to succeed in this field. You can make a real difference to people's lives.

  • Available in Clearing

100% of Graduates from our Counselling, Coaching & Mentoring course were in employment or further study within six months. DLHE 2017

  • UCAS Code – BX91
  • Location – York campus
  • Duration – 3 years full-time | 6 years part-time
  • Start date – September 2019, September 2020
  • School – Psychological & Social Sciences

Minimum Entry Requirements

    96 UCAS Tariff points

    3 GCSEs at grade C/4 or above (or equivalent) including English Language

Tuition Fees

    UK and EU 2019-20 £9,250 per year

    International 2019-20 £12,750 per year

The York St John Experience

Course overview

On our Counselling and Mental Health programme you’ll learn to help people in a range of settings. This course will allow you to:

  • Develop the in-depth knowledge, interpersonal skills and practical experience needed to achieve your ambitions.
  • Build your self-awareness and confidence working alongside our professionally-qualified counsellors and coaches.
  • Equip yourself with key employability skills such as team-work, resourcefulness and critical thinking.
  • Discover the range of opportunities open to you.
  • Gain experience and enhance your degree through our placements programme. This also allows you to build a professional network that you can draw on after your degree. 

We'll help you discover your ambitions and open doors to a variety of job roles or further study . Our alumni are working in counselling, education, social work, probation and mental health nursing. They've also gone on to study at Postgraduate level for their master's and PhD. 

We offer you more than a degree. You'll gain the CMI Certificate in Management Coaching and Mentoring on completion of your second year. In your final year you can take the CMI Certificate in Management and Leadership. These are appealing qualifications that can help you stand out to employers.

Course structure

Level 1


  • Foundations of Helping Relationships: Introduction to the theory and practice of helping work, with lectures followed by weekly skills practice.
  • Introduction to Reading, Writing and Researching: This module will help you to develop the knowledge, skills and habits you need for effective undergraduate study.
  • Humanistic Theories: A deeper exploration of the philosophies and theories which guide humanistic practice.
  • Developing Humanistic Theory and Practice: Developing the skills and knowledge gained in ‘Foundations of Helping Relationships.’ Weekly skills practice.
  • Introduction to Professional Practice: 20 hours (minimum) of placement activity, an introduction to professional ethics and standards, and career planning.
  • Difference and Diversity in Helping: Explores issues such as gender, class, ethnicity, sexuality and disability, and how these affect helping work.


All modules are worth 20 credits unless otherwise stated.

Level 2


  • Theory and Practice of Coaching and Mentoring 1: Introduces the main theories, models and techniques used in these activities, and applies them in weekly skills practice.
  • Research Methods for Counselling, Coaching and Mentoring: Develops your understanding of key approaches to research, and helps you to prepare for the Independent Research Project in your final year.
  • Psychodynamic and Cognitive-Behavioural Approaches: A detailed look at these two theoretical schools and their contrasting approaches to helping work.
  • Theory and Practice of Coaching and Mentoring 2: Builds on the knowledge and skills gained in Semester 1, once again with weekly skills practice.
  • Developing Professional Practice: This module features 50 hours (minimum) of placement activity, develops your understanding of the world of work and organisations, and further develops your career-related knowledge and skills.
  • Key Presenting Issues: A closer look at issues which counsellors, coaches and mentors work with, such as depression, anxiety, self-harm, stress, trauma, career choices and life decisions.

All modules are worth 20 credits unless otherwise stated.

Level 3


  • Critical Practice 1: This module introduces narrative and other postmodern approaches to helping work, and enables you to focus on either counselling or coaching in your weekly skills practice.
  • Independent Research Project: In this module you complete a research proposal, then carry out a piece of independent research on a topic of your choice relating to the broad field of counselling, coaching and / or mentoring. (40 credits)
  • The Ethical and Reflective Professional: Along with the companion module Professional Identity, this module involves a minimum of 40 hours of placement activity, as well as an introduction to the theory and practice of professional supervision, with fortnightly supervision groups.
  • Critical Practice 2: This module enables you to develop a critical perspective on the field of helping work, and to develop your own personalised approach to counselling or coaching. Weekly skills practice.
  • Professional Identity: As well as placement activity and group supervision, this module enables you to further develop and finesse your career-related knowledge, skills, plans and objectives.

All modules are worth 20 credits unless otherwise stated.

Teaching & Assessment

Our approach to teaching and assessment is based on the Humanistic philosophy which underpins our work as helpers. We see each student as a person who is striving to make sense of the world in their own unique way. This means that when we introduce you to new ideas, we invite you to examine, discuss and reflect on them in relation to your experience of the world, rather than viewing them as hard facts that you need to learn.

We also see knowledge as something that’s created in relationships and a lot of your learning on the programme results from engaging with your peers and tutors in a learning community; in interactive lectures, small discussion groups, skills workshops and supervision groups.  The course tutors are all trained practitioners in the fields of counselling, coaching and mentoring, and we bring our many thousands of hours of real-world experience to our teaching work.

In addition to the academic aspects of the programme, the Counselling, Coaching and Mentoring BA (Hons) places a strong emphasis on personal development, which is a vital part of becoming an effective helper.  We require you to be willing to learn about your characteristic ways of thinking, feeling and acting, to be open to feedback from your peers and tutors about how they experience you and to be willing to make some changes.  This kind of personal development work can be challenging and on occasion, unsettling, but the rewards can be substantial, not only in relation to your development as a helper but also for your life in general.

The approach to teaching outlined above means that you have to be physically (and psychologically) present.  Whilst we expect you to do many hours of independent learning (see Independent Study tab below), this course is not the right choice of programme for students who prefer to learn only through solitary study, and/or who are unable or unwilling to commit to a high level of presence and participation.  There will be three modules in each semester, with ten hours of contact per week typically spread over two or three days.  Contact hours in the final year are a little lower, in order to enable you to focus on your independent research project.

In addition to reading and completing your placement hours (see Course Overview and Course Structure above), you will also be required to keep a journal in which you reflect on your experiences across all of the course modules and your placement activity.  You will also need to allow time for working on your assignments.  It is very difficult to successfully engage with all of the aspects of the course if you are doing more than 20 hours of paid work, and we ask you to bear this in mind.

So that you can flourish as an independent learner, we have introduced a first-year module that will enable you to make the transition to university-style education.  You will learn how to search, evaluate and cite academic sources; how to make sense of instructions for assignments; how to structure your work and write in an appropriately academic style; and how to develop good study habits. 

Our approach to assessment is informed by the same relationship-based philosophy.  The original meaning of the word ‘assess’ was ‘sit alongside,’ and we see assessment as one part of our ongoing conversation with you about your development as a learner.  Assessment isn’t confined to those times when you submit assignments, but is an integral part of your week-by-week experience, for example when tutors provide feedback on your skills practice with your peers, or offer comments on pieces of written work.

In keeping with this philosophy (which is sometimes referred to as assessment for learning, rather than assessment of learning), most of your assignments will be coursework-based, and will be designed to help you extend and deepen your knowledge and understanding of topics that are relevant to your overall development.  However, whilst this coursework-based approach to assessment is very effective in promoting deeper learning, this depth can sometimes be achieved at the expense of breadth.  For this reason, in order to ensure that you also develop knowledge of a broad range of topics, we require you to sit one written exam in each semester of the programme.


Entry Requirements


The minimum entry requirements for this course are:

96 UCAS Tariff points

3 GCSEs at grade C/4 or above (or equivalent) including English Language

Terms and conditions

Our terms and conditions, policies and procedures contain important information about studying at York St John University. These can be accessed through our Admissions webpages.

Fees and funding

To study for an undergraduate 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.

Find out more about funding for Foundation Year and/or Placement Year by visiting the Funding Advice pages of our website. York St John offer special reductions to students graduating from York St John University Undergraduate degrees in 2019 and continuing directly onto Postgraduate study. Find out more about discounts and scholarships. There may also be some additional costs to take into account throughout your studies, including the cost of accommodation

Tuition fees

Home / EU students

The York St John University tuition fee for the 2019 entry to Foundation Degree, BA and BSc, PGCE Primary and Secondary and UG Health Programme degrees is £9,250 per year for UK/EU, Jersey, Guernsey and Isle of Man students.

Tuition fees may be subject to inflation in future years.

Overseas students

The York St John University tuition fee for the 2019 entry to Foundation Degree, BA and BSc, PGCE degrees is £12,750 per year for international students.

Tuition fees may be subject to inflation in future years.

Funding your course

Additional costs and financial support


Whilst 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.


For more information on tuition fee reductions and additional costs for studying abroad, please visit our study abroad webpages.



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


Help and advice on funding your studies at York St John is available through our Money Advice service.

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