Undergraduate BSc (Hons)

Counselling and Psychotherapy: Professional Practice

School of Health and Society





Three year

Six year

Next enrolment

September 2023


In a nutshell

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.  The course meets the training requirements for professional registration with the British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy (BACP), and opens the progression route to individual BACP accreditation.

The course is structured around modules that deliver professional training components, and that broaden and deepen your understanding of counselling-related issues.  You will develop your competence in working with the person-centred counselling approach, and you will develop a wide range of professional skills, including communication, reflective practice and self-awareness, research skills, mindfulness and cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT). 

You will further develop your understanding and skills under integrated supervision by undertaking a placement.

You will:

  • Develop your personal and professional potential supported by a very experienced and friendly team
  • Have the opportunity to graduate as a fully trained professional counsellor
  • Work in a real-world placement honing your counselling skills

Counselling and Psychotherapy Blog Image - Sasha's story

Click here to hear from graduate Sasha

You will:

  • Develop your personal and professional potential supported by a very experienced and friendly team
  • Have the opportunity to graduate as a fully trained professional counsellor
  • Be working with potentially vulnerable members of the public

options available


students accepted

This is for you if...


You can see yourself working with people from all kinds of backgrounds


You are committed to helping others


You can reflect on your own personal development and growth


You want to make a real difference


You are good at solving problems


You are creative and flexible

Course details

All about the course

This course is delivered by a very experienced team and builds on our established expertise in offering high quality professional training in counselling and psychotherapy.

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.  Year one 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 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, topics which are explored in more depth in second year.  

The main focus of your third 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 develop therapeutic relationships. You will be fully supervised and supported in this 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.

Year one

Counselling and Communication Skills

This module will introduce you to the theory and practice of internationally recognised self-management and problem solving skills. You will work as part of a team to develop and reflect on the application of counselling skills in a personal and professional context.

Counselling and Psychotherapy Skills

This module will help you to develop the knowledge, critical evaluation and practical application skills of person centred counselling theory and practice. It will explain the key concepts of Humanistic and Rogerian counselling theory.

Counselling and Psychotherapeutic Approaches

This module will introduce key Freudian concepts and explore how to critically analyse them. You will have the opportunity to apply active listening skills in skills practice and reflect on your own values and beliefs.

Introduction to Counselling, Philosophy and Research

This module will develop your academic research skills and the processes involved in critically reviewing literature, identifying appropriate resources and applying models of research design.

Mindfulness and Wellbeing

This module will enable you to understand the principles of mindfuness-based approaches and their relevance to counselling and psychotherapy. 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

Therapy, Ethics and Human Rights

This module will define the terms of ethics and how they relate to Human Rights. You will explore the ethical boundaries of a therapeutic relationship and consider national, international and global issues that can impact on clients and therapists.

Year two

Personal and Professional Development 1

Through a personal development plan, you will reflect on your own self-awareness and experiences and how they might affect how you communicate with others. You will evaluate both group and one-to-one processes, identifying potential barriers to communication.

Practice-based Reflection and Research

This module will develop your research skills so that you are able to write a strong, original project proposal using literature searches, analysis and evaluation. You will also learn about qualitative and quantitative research methods.

Professional Issues, Ethics and Supervision

This module will further develop your understanding of the professional expectations, contracts and boundaries you will encounter in your practice, helping you to develop ways of resolving ethical dilemmas.

Preparation for Counselling and Psychotherapy Practice

The aim of this module is to prepare you for professional practice and the factors involved in multi-disciplinary working. You will explore humanistic approaches and evaluate the effectiveness of Person-Centred therapeutic practice.

    Professional Counselling and Psychotherapy Skills

    This module will enhance your ability to evaluate your own counselling practice and develop your capacity as a reflective practitioner.

    Theory of Counselling and Psychotherapy Practice

    This module will develop your understanding and critical awareness of theoretical traditions in this field of practice. You will also learn to identify relational dynamics in your practice, e.g., use of self, transference and attachment theory.

    Year three

    Professional Practice Placement

    This 40 credit module gives you the opportunity to put your learning in to practice in a real world setting, working with clients vin a counselling and psychotherapy setting. You will be fully supported and supervised, but will be able to develop and reflect on your practice in a professional setting and gain valuable experience.

    Personal and Professional Development 2

    The module further prepares you for professional practice by strengthening your ability to work in a positive, non-discriminatory and culturally sensitive way. You will participate in a personal development group and a facilitated clinical supervision group.

      Counselling and Mental Health

      This module covers a range of issues related to mental health with respect to the needs of several disadvantaged groups in society e.g., people of colour, women. You will analyse the psychological and support needs of a range of client groups that use psychological services.

      Counselling and Psychotherapy for Children and Young People

      This module will develop your understanding and critical awareness of theoretical traditions in this field of practice. You will also learn to identify relational dynamics in your practice, e.g., use of self, transference and attachment theory.

      Expressive Therapies

      This module aims to examine, compare and evaluate the use of expressive therapies with specific societal groups such as children, terminally ill clients, people with learning disabilities, those with English as an additional language. In addition to examining practical applications this module aims to track their historical emergence and theoretical development and current evidence base.

      Cognitive Behaviour Therapy

      On completion of this module you will be able to describe and critically evaluate the key features of the CBT model and discuss new developments in CBT. As well as developing highly relevant and useful skills, this module is very important for supporting your future employment in those services that require these specialist skills.

      Professional Practice

      This module will introduce you to theories of life-span psychological development and explore the use of Person Centred Counselling in various organisational settings. You will also develop a deeper understanding of specialist areas of counselling.

      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.

      What will I be doing?


      You will be taught by a supportive team with nationally recognised expertise in counselling and psychotherapy. All of our lecturers are practitioners, so sessions are rooted in what is relevant to professional practice.

      One-to-one supervision associated with your professional placement enables you to develop your skills and understanding according to your individual needs and interests.  Unlike many counselling programmes, this supervision is provided at no additional cost. 


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

      • Essays 50%
      • Practical skills assessments 25%

      The remaining 25% will be split between:

      • Group work
      • Presentations
      • Reflective writing

      School of Health and Society

      The School of Health and Society is a forward-thinking, dynamic school with a commitment to lifelong learning and real world impact.

      Our courses are informed by the latest research and we work closely with organisations from both the public and private sector to ensure our teaching is at the forefront of practice.


      We have recently opened a specialist Counselling Centre which is used to help train students to become professional counsellors and psychotherapists.

      The suite, featuring therapeutic areas where one-to-one, family and group interactions can occur, is open to members of the local community.  The University is working closely with local organisations to make best use of the facility, and the Centre provides placement opportunities for our students.

      Employment and stats

      What about after uni?

      Graduates of this qualifying programme have highly transferable skills, and could expect to find employment 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
      • Schools and colleges
      • Counselling in the voluntary sector
      • 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, transferable skills are embedded in the programme, including people skills, communication skills, and skills in independent working. These are highly sought after by a wide variety of graduate employers.

      A taste of what you could become

      A qualified counsellor

      A private therapist

      A mental health worker

      A researcher

      and more...

      Career Links

      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.


      What you need to know


      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. As part of the application process you might be invited to take part in a telephone interview - if this is the case, we will contact you with further details. Your offer of a place on this programmes is also subject to receipt of satisfactory Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) clearance.

      For any queries relating to your eligibility for this course, please contact the course admissions team on 0161 295 8102 or by email to counselling-admissions@salford.ac.uk


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

      Standard entry requirements


      GCSE English language/literature and mathematics at grade C/grade 4 or above. Level 2 equivalencies will also be accepted.

      You must fulfill our GCSE entry requirements as well as one of the requirements listed below.

      UCAS tariff points

      112 points


      112 points from a minimum of three A-Levels 

      BTEC National Diploma


      BTEC Higher National Diploma



      If applying to start from September 2024, you will need T Level - Merit

      Foundation Degree


      Access to HE

      112 points

      Scottish Highers

      112 points

      Irish Leaving Certificate

      112 points

      International Baccalaureate

      31 points

      Alternative entry requirements

      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.

      To be considered for the Salford Alternative Entry Scheme you must have already achieved or be working towards GCSE Maths and English Grade C/4 (or equivalent).

      Practicing counsellor / psychotherapist

      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 counselling-admissions@salford.ac.uk.

      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 and 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 Postgraduate Admissions Tutors for the course: pg-counselling-admissions@salford.ac.uk

      How much?

      Clinical supervision is an essential element in your training and development; unlike many professional training courses in Counselling, the cost of this in the second and third years of the course is covered by the University, as is your DBS clearance and professional indemnity insurance.

      Type of study Year Fees
      Full-time home 2023/24 £9,250per year
      Full-time international 2023/24 £15,120per year

      Additional costs

      It is a professional training requirement that students receive 20 hours of personal counselling during the three years of the course. We provide details to students of counsellors who offer a discounted rates for trainees of between £25-35 per hour but typically fees would start from £35 per hour.

      Depending on where you do your clinical placement, there may be additional expenses associated with travelling to your placement.

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

      Unlike many counselling training programmes, practice supervision is integrated into the course provision and is not an additional cost.

      Scholarships for international students

      If you are a high-achieving international student, you may be eligible for one of our scholarships. Explore our International Scholarships.


      Apply now

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      Enrolment dates

      September 2023

      September 2024

      UCAS information

      Course ID B9C8

      Institution S03