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Undergraduate course

Psychology with Counselling BSc (Hons)

Interested in building your counselling skills as you explore the science of the human mind?

psychology with counselling students in classroom

Our British Psychological Society (BPS) accredited Psychology with Counselling programme provides a sound education in the scientific foundations of Psychology whilst also introducing you to the specific skills required in Counselling. The programme employs the scientific approach to understanding human behaviour and thought and offers training in the practical skills required for effective counselling. This course offers a 75 hour placement module in the second year and the option of a placement year.

94% of Psychology with Counselling students were happy with the opportunities they had to provide feedback on their course. (National Student Survey 2020)

100% of Psychology with Counselling students felt their learning had been well supported by the library resources. (National Student Survey 2020)

  • British Psychological Society

York campus

  • UCAS Code – C8B9
  • Duration – 3 years full-time
  • Start date – September 2021
  • School – School of Education, Language and Psychology

Minimum Entry Requirements

    120 UCAS points

    3 GCSEs graded C/4 or above (or equivalent) including English Language and Maths

Tuition Fees

    UK and EU 2021 entry £9,250 per year full time

    International 2021 entry £12,750 per year full time

School of Psychology

Course overview

Within the first two years of study our students develop an understanding of basis psychological processes by exploring core topics such as individual differences, biological, developmental, social and cognitive psychology. In the final year, you will focus on developing applied counselling skills and undertake research related to a topic of personal interest.

Throughout the programme you will participate in laboratory work and work to the British Psychological Society Code of Ethics. We invest heavily in our
psychological research facilities and equipment which includes eye-tracking and virtual reality tools, a psychometric test library and physiological
measurements systems such as EEG. To assist with your practical laboratory work we will provide you with training in the use of our specialist equipment and in the research methods and data analytic techniques used by psychologists and counsellors. The programme will equip you with the basic scientific grounding, theoretical understanding and counselling skills required for advanced-level studies within the field.

Our graduates find employment in professional areas such as counselling, business, human resources, training and development, marketing and advertising
and recruitment and selection. Successful completion of this programme will prepare you for further studies where you can pursue careers in the professional
practice of psychology including counselling, clinical, forensic or organisational psychology, neuropsychology, research and other specialist areas.

The degree satisfies eligibility for the Graduate Basis for Chartership with the British Psychological Society, provided the minimum standard of qualification of
second class honours is achieved.

Course Structure

Level 1

Compulsory modules

  • Exploring Social Psychology: This module introduces students to classic studies in Social Psychology embedded within the core theoretical concepts of the discipline. Students learn about human behaviour in social contexts, by focusing on such topics as prejudice, aggression, and social influence. (10 credits)
  • Cognition: Students are introduced to Cognitive Psychology, its historical development, core theoretical concepts, and the research methods used to investigate human cognition. The module covers core topics within the discipline, e.g., processes underpinning perception, memory and language. (10 credits)
  • Biological Bases of Behaviour: This module introduces students to Biological Psychology, providing an overview of key concepts in structural and functional neuroanatomy and biological systems. Students learn about the biological underpinnings of various aspects of human cognition and behaviour. (20 credits)
  • Experimental Research Methods & Statistics: Students are trained in the key practical skills required to conduct experimental research in Psychology. The module provides an introduction to key methodological and ethical issues, as well as opportunities to undertake and participate in experiments and analyse quantitative data. (20 credits)
  • Current Psychology: Contemporary research in psychological science is introduced as members of academic staff present their current work, situated within the context of the historical development of the field. (10 credits)
  • Foundations of Human Development: This module introduces students to Developmental Psychology through a focus on change in psychological processes through childhood and adolescence. Key developmental theories are introduced, and students are supported to evaluate classic studies in the light of contemporary research. (10 credits)
  • Personality & Individual Differences: Key concepts in the Psychology of Individual Differences are presented, with a focus on the theories of personality and intelligence. Students are encouraged to develop critical thinking skills in evaluating empirical evidence, research methods, and assessment practices. (10 credits)
  • Survey Research Methods & Statistics: Students are trained in the key practical skills required to conduct survey research in Psychology. Key methodological and ethical issues are explored, and students are provided with opportunities to undertake and participate in survey research and analyse quantitative data. (20 credits)

In addition to these core modules, students are paired with an academic tutor to focus on their Personal, Academic & Professional Development (PAPD). Students are also supported to engage with the Psychology Research Participation Scheme (PReP), which provides the opportunity to gain further knowledge of research in psychological science through hands-on experience as a participant in student and staff research projects.

Level 2

Compulsory modules

  • Social Psychology: Students extend and expand their knowledge of core theories, concepts, and research methodologies in Social Psychology. Key contemporary approaches, including discursive and social constructionist psychology, are introduced. (20 credits)
  • Infant & Child Development: This module builds students’ understanding of Developmental Psychology, by focusing on current topics in neurobiological, cognitive, social and emotional development from birth to 12 years. (20 credits)
  • Qualitative Research Methods: Students are trained in the key practical skills required to conduct qualitative research in Psychology. Key methodological and ethical issues are explored, and students are provided with opportunities to undertake and participate in research and analyse qualitative data. (20 credits)
  • Assessment of Individual Differences: This module examines advanced topics in the Psychology of Individual Differences, with a focus on principles of measurement (psychometrics) and the study of diverse populations (e.g., cross-cultural research). (10 credits)
  • Advanced Topics in Brain & Behaviour: Students’ understanding of critical concepts and contemporary research in Biological Psychology is extended through a focus on ‘hot topics’, such as biological rhythms and the neurobiological bases of psychological disorders. (10 credits)
  • Investigating Cognition: This module provides a deeper and broader exploration of Cognitive Psychology, allowing students to develop their critical evaluation skills in considering contemporary research in the field. Students apply the concepts, theories and principles learned in an original research project. (20 credits)
  • Advanced Research Methods: Students are trained in advanced research design and analytic techniques in Psychology, and engaged in contemporary debates in psychological research. The module provides opportunities to undertake and participate in research and analyse data using advanced techniques. (20 credits)
  • Psychology in Practice: Students are supported to obtain 75 hours of paid or voluntary work experience relevant to their career aspirations and to develop a current CV. Students also gain valuable insights into psychological research by serving as participants in research studies run by third-year dissertation students, postgraduate researchers and academic staff or by completing an online research skills portfolio

In addition to these core modules, students work with their academic tutor to focus on their Personal, Academic & Professional Development (PAPD). Students are also supported to engage with the Psychology Research Participation Scheme (PReP), which provides the opportunity to gain further knowledge of research in psychological science through hands-on experience as a participant in student and staff research projects

Level 3

Compulsory modules

  • Research Paper: In this module, students undertake an empirical research project on a topic of interest under the supervision of a member of academic staff. Students conduct a literature review; design an ethically and methodologically sound research study; collect and analyse data; and disseminate their findings in the form of a research paper and poster presentation. (40 credits)
  • Critical Introduction to Counselling: This module provides an overview of the main schools of counselling practice, from Freud to postmodernism, within their sociocultural contexts. Students’ critical understanding of these schools is supported by examining classic texts and contemporary research. (20 credits)
  • Counselling Skills & Processes 1: Students are introduced to the theory of counselling skills work (e.g., counselling’s purposes and processes) and offered the opportunity to practice the basic micro-skills of counselling practice through tutor-observed skills workshops. (20 credits)
  • Key Professional Issues and Debates in Counselling: This module provides a critical overview of professional issues and concepts in contemporary counselling practice, focusing on key topical debates (e.g., ethical codes and the role of professional bodies; the nature of mental illness; the nature of evidence and its role in guiding practice). (20 credits)
  • Counselling Skills & Processes 2: Students develop the knowledge, understanding, and skills gained on the companion module (ounselling Skills & Processes 1). Students are supported to grow their technical proficiency in counselling skills workshops, e g., through the introduction of modality-specific skills. (20 credits)

Teaching & Assessment

Each module provides structured learning utilising a variety of summative and formative assessment techniques. Module-based learning activities include formal lectures, interactive seminars, practical lab-based workshops, supported open learning, independent study, and the use of virtual learning environments (i.e., Moodle). Module tutors offer weekly office hours when students can access personalised support for their learning.

The programme’s curriculum aims to be inclusive and accessible. The curriculum recognises that your learning is an active, constructive and contextual process that will be relevant to and inform your vocational aspirations. The programme is based on three strands of modules. These consist of core psychology curriculum modules; counselling, coaching and mentoring theory and skills modules, and research skills modules. These strands span all three levels of the programme, culminating in the final level dissertation. The curriculum is developed so that you revisit these threads, building on previous work, as part of what can be described as a spiral curriculum.

You will be exposed to a range of Module-based learning activities. These will include formal lectures, seminars, skills practice sessions, supervision, supported open learning, independent study, and the use of virtual learning environments (e.g. Moodle). All modules you undertake have a supporting Moodle site, which will have information on the module, as well as a variety of teaching and learning activities. The assessments provide an opportunity for you to demonstrate your strengths and to meet the identified programme learning outcomes.

Formative assessment activities are designed to enable students to receive relevant feedback in preparation for subsequent summative assessments. A range of summative assessment formats are incorporated throughout the degree, including lab reports, essays, research proposals, oral presentations, case studies, portfolios, and exams, in order to allow optimal opportunities for students to demonstrate their understanding and skills.

Entry requirements


The minimum entry requirements for this course are:

120 UCAS Tariff points

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

International Students

If you are an international student you will need to show that your qualifications match our entry requirements. Information about international qualifications and entry requirements can be found on our international pages.

If your first language is not English you must show evidence of English language competence at IELTS level 6.0 (with no skill below 5.5) or equivalent.

International entry requirements

This course is available with a foundation year

If you do not yet meet the minimum requirements for entry straight onto this degree course, or feel you are not quite ready for the transition to Higher Education, this is a great option for you. Passing a foundation year guarantees you a place on this degree course the following academic year.

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.

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 depends on whether you live inside the UK or EU, or internationally (outside the UK/EU). Tuition fees may be subject to inflation in future years.

UK and EU 2021 entry

The tuition fee for 2021 entry onto this course is £9,250 per year for full time study.

This price applies to all UK/EU, Jersey, Guernsey and Isle of Man students.

You can find out more about funding your degree by visiting our funding opportunities page.

Funding Opportunities

Placement year funding

If you choose to take a placement year, and your course offers it, you can apply for the Tuition Fee and Maintenance Loan for your placement year. How much you are awarded is based on the type of placement being undertaken and whether it is a paid or unpaid placement. The tuition fee for your placement year will be reduced.

International 2021 entry

The tuition fee for 2021 entry to this course is £12,750 per year for full time study.

This price applies to all students living outside the UK/EU.

Due to immigration laws, if you are an international student on a student 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 degree.

International Fees and Funding

Additional costs and financial support

There may also be some additional costs to take into account throughout your studies, including the cost of accommodation.

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.

Study Abroad

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

Accommodation and living costs

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

Financial help and support

Our Funding Advice team are here to help you with your finances throughout your degree. They offer a personal service that can help you with funding your studies and budgeting for living expenses. 

All undergraduates receive financial support through the York St John Aspire card. Find out more about the Aspire scheme and how it can be used to help you purchase equipment you need for your course. 

Aspire Card

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