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BA (Hons) Counselling

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Three years full-time 

Typical Offer: 

112 UCAS tariff points (or above), BBC (A-Level), DMM (BTEC) and enhanced DBS.

Applicants will normally be 21 or over at the start of the course.


This dynamic BA (Hons) Counselling course provides you with the theory and skills required to work as a counsellor, psychotherapist or therapist in a variety of settings. 

Vocational training will ensure you are equipped with the theory, skills and self-awareness to become practising therapists able to work from humanistic, psychodynamic and cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) approaches. 

This course adheres to the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy guidelines and ethics. You will be able to apply to become student members, leading to the opportunity to become registered members by the end of the course and apply for individual accreditation. 

You will learn both research and evidence-based approaches to therapy. This course has no examinations, using a variety of student assessment including essays, course and placement presentations. 

Brand new Health and Wellbeing building, opening early 2022, with dedicated specialist counselling facilities.

Course modules

This course is full-time with one or two days in class, one self-directed study day and during the first year, we recommend a day in an appropriate voluntary role. 

By second and third year, you will be required to spend up to two days in a counselling placement to fulfil the required 100 placement hours and to build valuable work experience. 

Full downloadable information regarding all University of Suffolk courses, including Key Facts, Course Aims, Course Structure and Assessment, is available in the Definitive Course Record.

Introduction to Counselling (Mandatory)

This module introduces you to an overview of the major theoretical approaches: Psychodynamic, Humanistic-Existential and Cognitive-Behavioural. You will consider the underlying assumptions of these approaches and examine concepts of psychological health and dysfunction, evaluate the methods for change and personal growth and begin to consider how these theories might inform an integrating approach to practice.

Counselling Skills (Mandatory)

You are introduced to reflective practice and given the opportunity to apply this to skills practice in small group settings. This allows you to develop competency with counselling skills and understand the professional and ethical considerations required for a secure and containing counselling environment, which is required for eligibility for a counselling placement in your second year of study.

Self-Awareness (Mandatory)

It is an essential aspect of any counselling training that you reflect not only on knowledge learnt but also on the inner emotional life of themselves and others. This module addresses the BACP requirements for a substantial self-awareness component and is designed around a core experiential group which forms the central learning resource of the module.

Personal and Professional Development (Mandatory)

You will be introduced to the necessary professional skills and knowledge required for the development of competent counselling practice including risk assessment, the purpose and use of supervision, the application of the BACP Ethical Framework for Good Practice (BACP EFGP), business and therapeutic contracting, issues of equality and diversity, legal aspects of practice, and guidance regarding placements.

Counselling Skills (Mandatory)

This module continues to develop applied practice by providing a dedicated opportunity for students to further develop their counselling skills and awareness of the therapeutic process. Students develop competency with counselling skills, understanding of the professional and ethical considerations required for a secure and containing counselling environment, and the self-awareness required as they commence counselling placement in their second year of study.

Self-Awareness and Reflective Practice (Mandatory)

This module continues the theme of personal development by providing you with a dedicated structure and opportunity to identify personal development needs and to promote and enhance self-awareness. The overall aim is to provide a sound foundation for the development of your counselling practice

Working as a Practitioner/Case Discussion (Mandatory)

This module builds on the Personal and Professional Development module from the first year and looks in detail at important professional issues such as ethical dilemmas, boundaries, law, and competence. This module will encourage you to consider how you can plan a career supported by a professional organisation with a solid ethical framework for practice.

Humanistic Developments in Counselling (Mandatory)

In this module, you will build on the humanistic perspective introduced in the first year and will be introduced to how Gestalt and Existential approaches to counselling can be utilised in an integrating framework of practice.

Research Skills (Mandatory)

The Research Skills module aims to introduce you to the basic principles of introductory research relevant to counselling and psychotherapy. You will learn about qualitative and quantitative research methods, using examples from current published research and apply these skills in a small scale pilot research project.

Psychodynamic Therapy (Mandatory)

You will consider the emotional roots of early life and the significance this holds for relationships through an exploration of Attachment Theory and recent developments and discoveries in the field of neuroscience. 

Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (Mandatory)

This module will enable students to acquire a sound knowledge of Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) and the capacity to bring this understanding to consideration of clinical case examples. Students will learn the broad principles underlying CBT to understand the clinical value of this approach which refers to interventions and treatments that address cognitions (thoughts, beliefs and assumptions) which directly or indirectly cause emotional difficulties and distress.

Dissertation (Personal Integrative Approach) and Reflective Practice (Mandatory)

This module draws together the taught elements of student experience, your practice experience, and the personal models and application of integration. You are encouraged to explore integrative practice at both the theoretical and practical level in order that you can express your own unique approach to integrative counselling for both academic and professional audiences.

Issues in the Counselling Room (Mandatory)

This module focuses on the problems which commonly present in the counselling room alongside an in-depth look at emotions like shame and guilt, anger and an exploration of the processes that arise out of the relational dynamics within the counselling room like power and attraction. The module acknowledges that understanding of these various issues will come from a wide range of different theories and philosophical bases.

Career opportunities

This is a vocational counselling training with humanistic, psychodynamic and cognitive behaviour therapy, leading to work in the voluntary or statutory provision of counselling and supportive care and private practice.

You will have completed 100 hours of placement working with individual counselling clients, building valuable work experience required for a variety of employment. 

Placements settings can be in voluntary, private or statutory settings, such as the NHS, college counselling services, hospice, local specialist charities offering general mental health or specialist care. You will be equipped to work with people who are in difficult or distressing circumstances or are dealing with challenging life events.

You will also acquire research skills and evidence-based approaches to therapy, which can lead to Masters level training or continue to develop your professional membership of bodies such as the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy, (BACP) or to build on training to apply to the British Association of Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies (BABCP).

Student profiles

After completing an Insights into Counselling course at the University of Suffolk, I was encouraged by my lecturer to continue my studies into counselling by applying for the degree course. Initially, I was very apprehensive at the idea of entering higher education. I do not conside...

Fees and finance


  • UK full-time tuition fee: £9,250 p.a
  • Full-time International tuition fee: £12,996 p.a

Further Information

At University of Suffolk, your tuition fees provide access to all the usual teaching and learning facilities that you would expect. However, there may be additional costs associated with you course that you will need to budget for. 

* 2022-23 tuition fees are subject to change in line with inflation, or a government change in the fee cap.

Entry requirements


Lecturer in Counselling

Lecturer in Counselling

Senior Lecturer in Counselling

Senior Lecturer in Counselling

Facilities and Resources

Teaching will take place in the modern Waterfront Building at our Ipswich campus. The course uses recording equipment to aid the development of clinical counselling skills.

Located close to Ipswich town, you can take advantage of being within close proximity to many of the organisations who have offered placements to our students.

We include opportunities to work in clinical and experiential learning groups to build the skills needed for successful teamworking. 

View the below video to find out more about our brand new Health and Wellbeing building, opening early 2022.