Counselling MA, PgDip

The PG Dip is a two year part-time course, designed for students with some prior counselling skills training and experience in using these skills in a helping role. You may also choose to continue for a third year of part-time study and leave with an MA in Counselling. The PgDip programme is accredited by the British Association of Counselling & Psychotherapy (BACP). You will be encouraged to seek student membership of BACP.

York St John University
Course fees
2019 - 2020: Home & EU students: £4,000 per annum for the first two years, £2,000 per annum for the final year.
2 - 3 years part-time
Start date
September 2019
Accredited by
British Association of Counselling & Psychotherapy (BACP)
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 using these skills in a helping role

If you wish to study for a Masters qualification you can apply for the three-year part-time course. This comprises of the two year of the PG dip followed by a further year of part-time study. If you wish to apply for a PG loan you will need to apply for the three-year MA.

Course structure

The PG Dip is a two year part-time only course. The course runs over 30 weeks, starting in September and finishing in June.  Attendance is 9.30 – 5.00pm one day per week in term-time. There is one compulsory residential weekend (usually in late January or early February) in each of the two academic years. 

The MA comprises of the two years of the PG diploma and a further year where you will have the opportunity to study a professional issue of interest by undertaking a supervised research project.

What will I study?

For the PGDip equal weight is given to the importance of counselling theory, counselling practice and personal development in the training of counsellors. The course day normally comprises elements of counselling theory, counselling practice, peer supervision, and personal development activities.  The structure of the course reflects this balance.  The theoretical basis of the course is humanistic-integrative. 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 this, and explores the contribution of other models of counselling. Students will be encouraged to develop a personally integrated style of therapeutic work, based on core humanistic competences, and drawing on the possibilities offered by other approaches.


All assessments are through coursework. The coursework comprises written assignments, such as casework and supervision records, reflections on personal development and evidence of practical skills.  You will also need to complete 150 hours of supervised face-to-face client work. 

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

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

Programme specification

Further information on this course is available in the programme specification. Please note that the programme specification relates to course content that is currently being studied by students at the University. For new programmes, the programme specification will be made available online prior to the start of the course.

Disability Advice

York St John University works hard to create an inclusive environment for all our students. We offer a range of disability advice services to assist students throughout their studies.

Entry requirements


All applicants are interviewed prior to being offered a place on the course, subject to submitting a successful application.

Candidates for the Postgraduate Diploma must normally fulfil the following entry requirements.

  • Have a first degree OR possess a professional qualification and/or experience which is recognised by the University as equivalent of a first degree through its procedures for recognition of prior certificated or experiential learning and
  • Have satisfactorily completed, or be currently in the process of completing, a Certificate in Counselling skills, or equivalent
  • Have experience of the use of counselling skills at work, in education or the helping professions or in voluntary agencies.

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

Applicants whose first language is not English must possess IELTS band score 6 or its equivalent.

Applicants that do not have the traditional academic qualifications for postgraduate study, but satisfy the criteria around professional experience, can be required to undertake and pass the Access module (3ID130), as part of the entry process.

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.

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Fees and funding

Tuition fees

UK & EU 2019 / 20

Fees for the Counselling PG Diploma are £4,000 per annum

Fees for the Counselling MA are £4,000 per annum for the first two years, dropping to £2,000 per annum for the final year.

Postgraduate Loan: A new Postgraduate Loan is now available to help you pay for your Master’s course for students commencing in the 2018-19 academic year. Find out more about the postgraduate loan.

Overseas 2019 / 20

Due to immigration laws, International Students on a Tier 4 visa must be studying full-time. For more information about Visa requirements and Short-term study visas, please visit the International webpages.

How to Apply

Applications for the 2019 intake are now closed.

All Interviews will take place on 16, 20 and 30 May, there is no capacity to interview any applicants at any other time.


Key Dates

Monday 12 November - Applications open for PgDip and MA Counselling 2019 cohort.

Friday 5 April - Applications close for PgDip and MA Counselling 2019 cohort closes at 2:00pm.

Wednesday 10 April - Date for all references and documentation in support applications to be submitted by 12:00 noon. Incomplete applications will be rejected at this point.

Ask a question

Do you have a question about this course? Fill out our form to send a question to our Admissions team. Alternatively, you can call us on 01904 876598.

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