Counselling and Psychotherapy: Professional Practice
BSc (Hons)

Clinical Placement
Part-time study available
Work placement opportunity
International Students can apply

3 good reasons to study Counselling and Psychotherapy: Professional Practice at Salford


Opportunity to graduate as a fully trained professional counsellor


Develop your personal and professional potential supported by a very experienced and friendly team


Benefit from our work placement opportunities

Course Summary

Human relationships are at the heart of almost every aspect of our personal and working lives. Training to be a professional counsellor develops your understanding of effective relationships and enables you to help people who are struggling with themselves or with others to find their own ways to transform their situation.

This course offers you the opportunity to graduate as a highly skilled professional counsellor with many exciting and rewarding career paths open to you. It is delivered by a very experienced team and builds on our established expertise in offering high quality professional training in counselling and psychotherapy.

At the end of the second year you can choose to transfer to the non-qualifying degree, the BSc (Hons) Counselling and Psychotherapy: Theoretical Studies, which has a greater focus on research and does not include the professional placement.

Course Details

The course is structured with modules that deliver professional training components and that broaden and deepen your understanding of counselling-related issues. You will develop a wide range of professional skills, including communication, reflective practice and self awareness, research skills, stress management and cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT).

In the first year of your degree you will develop your theoretical understanding of counselling and psychotherapy and enhance key skills whilst working with your fellow students.

You will then further develop your understanding and skills under supervision by undertaking a placement at an organisation, which could include community health centres, charitable or voluntary organisations, GP surgeries or NHS services. Your second year is focused on preparing you for your placement, which will be undertaken in your third year. It is necessary that your counselling skills have reached a minimal level before you start your placement, as you will be working with potentially vulnerable members of the public.

Year 1

Year 1 will introduce you to counselling theory and practice and will enable you to establish and develop your counselling skills. You will develop counselling competency to Graduate Certificate level (in itself considered a desirable qualification by employers).

You will also be introduced to academic research skills and will learn how counselling theory can be applied in everyday life. In the Mindfulness and Wellbeing module you will learn specific skills to minimise stress and improve your general wellbeing, and this is an approach which is currently becoming more widely known.

  • Counselling and Psychotherapeutic Approaches
  • Counselling and Communication Skills
  • Introduction to the Research and Philosophy of Counselling
  • Intermediate Counselling Skills – Therapy, Ethics and Human Rights
  • Intermediate Counselling Skills – Therapeutic Skills
  • Mindfulness and Wellbeing

Year 2

This year consolidates and deepens your counselling skills and prepares you thoroughly for professional practice on your placement.

At the end of the second year you can choose to transfer to the non-qualifying degree, the BSc (Hons) Counselling and Psychotherapy: Theoretical Studies, which has a greater focus on research and does not include the professional placement.

  • Preparation for Practice
  • Reflective Practice & Research
  • Professional Issues, Ethics and Supervision
  • Professional Skills
  • Theory of Counselling and Psychotherapy Practice
  • Personal and Professional Development 1

Year 3

The main focus of this year is the supervised professional placement. This is an opportunity to work in a real professional situation applying the skills you have learnt in the previous two years and developing therapeutic relationships with people in real need. You will be fully supervised and supported in this placement.

This year also develops your understanding of how counselling and psychotherapy are used in a range of situations and for a range of issues.

As well as developing highly relevant and useful skills, the CBT module is very important for supporting your future employment in those services that require CBT skills.

  • Personal and Professional Development 2
  • Professional Practice
  • Professional Practice Placement
  • CBT Skills
  • Counselling and Mental Health

Please note that it may not be possible to deliver the full list of options every year as this will depend on factors such as how many students choose a particular option. Exact modules may also vary in order to keep content current. When accepting your offer of a place to study on this programme, you should be aware that not all optional modules will be running each year. Your tutor will be able to advise you as to the available options on or before the start of the programme. Whilst the University tries to ensure that you are able to undertake your preferred options, it cannot guarantee this.

Entry Requirements

Qualification Entry requirements
GCSE GCSE or equivalent Level 2 certificated qualifications in English
UCAS tariff points 280 points
BTEC National Diploma MMM - DMM
BTEC Higher National Diploma Pass
Foundation Degree Pass
Scottish Highers 280 points
Irish Leaving Certificate 280 points

Salford Alternative Entry Scheme (SAES)

We welcome applications from students who may not meet the stated entry criteria but who can demonstrate their ability to pursue the course successfully. Once we have received your application we will assess it and recommend it for SAES if you are an eligible candidate.

There are two different routes through the Salford Alternative Entry Scheme and applicants will be directed to the one appropriate for their course. Assessment will either be through a review of prior learning or through a formal test.

English Language Requirements

International applicants will be required to show a proficiency in English. An IELTS score of 6.0 (no element below 5.5) is proof of this.

Applicant profile

You are an ideal applicant if you are fascinated by people and are willing to develop your own skills so that you can develop relationships with people in distress or in need of support.

We expect you to have demonstrated your commitment to helping others through your track record of voluntary work or employment in a role that involves helping people. We also expect you to be able to reflect on your own personal development - how your attitudes and abilities have changed and grown with your life experience. 

We welcome applicants from a diverse range of backgrounds – from school leavers to those seeking a career change. Everyone applying for the course needs to complete a telephone interview before an offer can be confirmed.

If you are currently in practice as a Counsellor/Psychotherapist and have evidence of professional membership (BACP/UKCP or equivalent) then other progression routes may be open to you.

If you have a Level 3 or Level 4 Diploma in Counselling you may be able to join the final year of the BSc (Hons) Counselling and Psychotherapy (Theoretical Studies) and 'top-up' your diploma to this honours degree.
To find out if you are eligible to apply for this top-up course, please contact the admissions tutor for this course, Tim Duerden, on 0161 295 2429 or email

If you have a Level 4 or 5 Diploma in Counselling (or a Level 5 Diploma in other forms of psychotherapy) you may be able to move straight onto our MSc/PgDip/PgCert Advanced Counselling & Psychotherapy Studies programme through an Accreditation of Prior Learning. To find out if you are eligible to apply for this postgraduate course, please contact the admissions tutor for this course, Anthony Hickey, on 0161 295 2142 or email

We positively welcome applications from students who meet our expectations for helping others and the ability to reflect on their personal development, but who may not meet the stated academic entry requirements. Students who do not have formal entry qualifications are required to sit a written assessment which is designed to identify those who can demonstrate their ability to successfully pursue a programme of study in higher education. Please contact Gill Colgan the Director of Admissions for further information.


  • You will be taught by a very supportive team of lecturers with nationally recognised expertise in many areas of counselling and psychotherapy.
  • As almost all the teaching will be delivered by lecturers who are also practitioners, you can expect the sessions to be rooted in what is relevant to professional practice.
  • As skill development is at the heart of this course, much of the teaching is experiential and practical. Where more theoretical content is delivered by lecture this is usually developed through small group discussion and tutorials.
  • One-to-one supervision associated with your professional placement enables you to develop your skills and understanding according to your individual needs and interests.


Assessment methods will vary depending on the modules you choose. You can expect:

  • Essays 50%
  • Written reports and case work 25%

The remaining 25% will be split between:

  • Group work
  • Presentations
  • Practical assessments


Graduates of this qualifying programme could expect to find employment as counsellors in a wide range of sectors including:

  • NHS and community mental health services
  • IAPT (the government’s Improving Access to Psychological Therapies major initiative)
  • Employee support services
  • Counselling in the voluntary organisations
  • Coaching and guidance services
  • Self-employment as a private therapist

Counselling and psychotherapy offers rewarding and diverse career opportunities. While some counsellors find employment in a single role, many develop portfolio careers that mix different types of employment in a number of sectors, such as in community health agencies, schools and as private therapists.

Often counsellors develop specialist interests so that they become sought after as providers of therapy and training in a particular field, such as working with young people, people with addictions or those experiencing bereavement.

While this qualifying degree has a strong vocational focus, it also provides you with training in the key areas sought after by graduate employers.

Placement Opportunities

The professional placement module in the final year includes at least 100 hours of client work in a professional counselling and psychotherapy context. We will support you in finding a placement through our extensive links with local organisations. By choosing a placement relevant to your area of interest you enhance your prospects of working in that field as a graduate. We have particularly strong links with The Place2be, which is a charity organisation committed to putting counsellors in every school nationwide.

Further Study

Fees and Funding

Fees 2016-17

Type of StudyFee
Full-time International£13,300

Additional costs

A professional training requirement is that students must receive 20 hours of personal counselling during the three years of the course. This typically costs £25-30 for each hour and so the total cost would be approximately £500-600.

You should also consider further costs which may include books, stationery, printing, binding and general subsistence on trips and visits.

Financial support for this course