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Counselling, Coaching & Mentoring BA (Hons)

As a leading UK provider of counsellor training, we believe in the importance of developing professional skills in the workplace alongside your studies. Our Counselling, Coaching & Mentoring Degree is designed with your employability in mind; by combining these three activities into a single degree we can equip you for a variety of careers. You will develop a broad knowledge base, as well as the interpersonal skills and practical experience you’ll need to succeed – whatever your career ambitions.

UCAS course code
York St John University
Course fees
2019 - 2020: Home & EU students: £9,250 per annum, International (non EU) students: £12,750 per annum
3 years full-time
Start date
September 2019
Psychological & Social Sciences

Course overview

Counselling, coaching and mentoring are talking therapies. Each involves frameworks that encourage people to discuss their problems, feelings and ambitions in a confidential, supportive and facilitative environment. As a student on this course, you will develop knowledge of the major theories used in these therapies and of the research methods underpinning them.


By studying Counselling, Coaching & Mentoring with us, you will have the unique opportunity to gain extensive experience through the Counselling and Mental Health Clinic (CMHC) housed within the University. The clinic provides mental health services to residents of York and the wider region, which acts as a real-world training facility and research laboratory to support your studies. You will utilise the psychology research laboratories within the clinic for specialist skills development and group work supervision to support your coursework. The rooms are fitted with cameras to record skills practice sessions.


In each year of the programme you will also have the chance to apply the knowledge and skills learnt on the course in a placement setting. This real-world experience enables you to develop an attractive CV and to build the professional networks which will help your career development after graduation. The programme also provides a firm foundation for postgraduate training in professional disciplines such as counselling, social work, education, human resources, staff development and mental health.


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

DLHE 2017

Course structure

The structure of the course is similar in all three years, with modules focusing on specific aspects of the programme such as skills development, psychological theories, placement activity, career awareness and research.  By exploring and combining these topics, you will develop a clear understanding not only of counselling, coaching and mentoring but also of who you are and where you want to go next.  In the first semester there is also a module which helps you to make the transition to university study.

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.

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.

Teaching & Assessment

Our Philosophy

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.

Personal Development

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.

Contact and Participation

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.

Independent Study

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:

96-112 UCAS Tariff points

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

Calculate your tariff points.

Personal statement

Essential criteria

As well as a strong standard of written English, we also look for evidence of effective communication skills and being able to manage yourself in a supportive helping role. This can be done in a variety of ways, for example, experience of helping in roles at work, home or school and college. We also look for an ability to engage and interact with others, a willingness to be able to present yourself in an open and honest manner and resourcefulness in overcoming any personal problems or issues, for example, organising extra tuition for exams or being able to study around a part time job.

Valued criteria

Candidates can demonstrate a real enthusiasm for the subject that goes beyond achieving good grades in exams. Examples of this include:

  • Demonstrating an ability to write self reflectively and describe one’s own subjective experiences and feelings
  • Undertaking related work experience or shadowing
  • Showing a willingness to listen to and engage with others, e.g. by taking part in group work
  • Membership of school teams or clubs
  • Involvement in group projects such as drama productions

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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Discover life as a York St John student by visiting us. You’ll be able to explore our beautiful city-centre campus, meet our friendly staff and find out more about your chosen course.

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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

UK & EU 2019 / 20

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.

Fees & Funding

Overseas 2019 / 20

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.

International Fees & Funding

Additional costs and financial support

Course-related costs

Whilst studying for your degree, there may be additional costs related to your course. This may include purchasing personal equipment, stationery and books. We provide an excellent range of ebooks and access to online journals, allowing students to access information for coursework and assignments.

Accommodation and living costs

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

Placement costs

Students undertaking placement modules may incur additional costs. Most students secure placements locally, minimising travel costs. Some placement providers may also support students with travel costs.

Financial help and support

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

International students

We welcome international students from all over the world at York St John University and have a vibrant international community. You can find out more on our International Pages about how you can study with us and what it’s like to live and learn in York, one of the UK’s most historic cities.

Unistats data for this course

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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