Course specification and structure
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UDCOUCOA - BSc Counselling and Coaching

Course Specification


Validation status Validated
Highest award Bachelor of Science Level Honours
Possible interim awards Bachelor of Science, Diploma of Higher Education, Certificate of Higher Education, Bachelor of Science
Total credits for course 360
Awarding institution London Metropolitan University
Teaching institutions London Metropolitan University
School School of Social Sciences
Subject Area Psychology
Attendance options
Option Minimum duration Maximum duration
Full-time 3 YEARS  
Part-time Day 6 YEARS  
Course leader  

About the course and its strategy towards teaching and learning and towards blended learning/e-learning

The BSc (Hons) Counselling and Coaching focuses on wellbeing via a biopsychosocial and cross-cultural perspective where counselling and coaching skills have been applied across the lifespan. A balance between working with mental health and long-term conditions with reference to the NHS 5- year plan is a critical foundation guiding component to this course ensuring that students are kept up to date with health care practices. Further, students will develop their competencies in conducting research and analysis in counselling or coaching.

The BSc (Hons) Counselling and Coaching course offers an opportunity to obtain an academic degree and a professional qualification. The BSc (Hons) Counselling and Coaching meets the QAA counselling and psychotherapy benchmark statements including setting and maintaining academic standards and quality (QAA, 2013). Further, the standards of education and training are designed to meet the proficiency required for a British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) registered counsellor. This course will enable students to develop skills and knowledge in each of the core areas in counselling and coaching including cognitive, behavioural, humanistic and psychodynamic counselling. Additionally, the course will enhance students’ communications and IT skills relevant to counselling and coaching; develop students’ research skills and their ethical awareness in this discipline and to develop students’ problem-solving skills. Focus on students will include their ‘ability to communicate effectively both orally and in writing’ (QAA, 2013, p.6). This will include power point presentations, written assignments and examinations and also skills such as ‘the ability to articulate principal concepts and arguments; to give and receive feedback, and to include self-reflection in written and practitioner communications where appropriate’ (ibid).

Assessment and teaching methods are diversified in order to demonstrate competency in a wide range of academic and counselling/coaching skills. A scaffolding and student-centred approach to learning and skills development will be used where students will be encouraged to be actively involved in their own learning practices and to use the available resources to support this (e.g. use of technology-online resources). Since the course has been developed with a view to students working in healthcare/industry acquiring skills in reflexive practice, time management and the ability to work in groups/teams will be part of the student training and assessment.

Students will also be expected to carry out independent scholarly and empirical research in the theories and principles of counselling and coaching and to demonstrate the intellectual skills required to evaluate theory and research in counselling and its application. Research methods and a final year research dissertation will assess the student’s competencies in this area. Further, the course has a research focus aimed at supporting an evidence base in counselling. The BACP emphasises the importance of research to support and promote good counselling practice and to evidence its healthcare applicability via a sociocultural perspective. Many counselling courses do not provide research methods and/or data collection research dissertations in their training, necessary to promote and develop this discipline. Another component of this course is coaching with counselling enabling students to develop their skills set in the application of short-term focused counselling practice.

Access to online learning resources will include lectures (e.g. lecture capture), module and assessment details on weblearn. A PASS scheme will be available to students throughout their studies to boost their academic success and to encourage students to feel more integrated. Students will be encouraged to attend university-based enhancement weeks, in order to support learning practices and transferable skills. Additionally, an academic tutor and mentor will be available to provide additional academic support.

London Metropolitan University’s library has a wide range of books, journals and other online resources, various study rooms and zones, to support students throughout their studies. Mentors will also be available to offer advice and support on student assessment.

The moment students start this course they will be encouraged to apply for BACP student membership. Students may be required to ‘shadow’ or work in an administrative role in healthcare prior to developing their trainee counselling skills. Role play, audio recording and filmed counselling will be part of their training along with developing reflexive practice. As a student member of the BACP students would be encouraged to attend conferences and to access the additional support services the BACP have, such as journals and student’s placement and job searches. On completion of this course, students will be eligible for individual membership. Therefore, students would be expected to graduate with a supervised placement of at least 100 client contact hours. Following completion of the course, graduates can undergo a certificate of proficiency test via the BACP towards obtaining MBACP membership. The course provides 450hrs of counselling tutor contact, and therefore along with a certificate of proficiency and continuing counselling practice towards 450hrs of client contact will enable graduates to achieve MBACP accreditation.

At the commencement of the student’s studies they will be encouraged to seek their placements. London Metropolitan University will aim to facilitate student placement with a list of organisations. However, it is the student’s responsibility to secure their placement. Students must secure a placement by the end of level 4, otherwise they will not be able to continue on to year two. London Metropolitan University would aim to develop a collaborative relationship with students’ placements. Ideally the placement provides clinical supervision - if this is not the case the student will have to obtain independent supervision from a MBACP registered counsellor at their cost. London Metropolitan University will have a list of suitable organisations for students to contact, but placement and supervision organisation will be the responsibility of the student. If a placement cannot be secured by the end of level 4, students will be advised to consider taking an alternative course. This would all be discussed at the initial interview.

This course has been designed in accordance to the BACP, CQC, NHS and NICE guidelines. In addition to students developing counselling and coaching skills, students will be versed with safeguarding matters, psycho-pharmaceutical matters, risk assessment and risk management, all of which are now critical in healthcare. Diverse modules have been developed which incorporate both healthcare and industry (work psychology) interventions aimed at increasing students’ skills set and employment opportunities.

The BACP has developed a coaching division and hence students on completion of the course will be eligible to become a full member of both divisions. However, the counselling component in this course is priority, as without this, the student would not be in a position to apply and be a member of the coaching division.

Clinical healthcare such as mental health and health psychology (e.g. living with long term illness) across the lifespan via a biocultural and psychosocial perspective will be included.
Further, an understanding of specialised populations with (or without) complex needs such as prisoners, those with disabilities, palliative care, BME groups, dual diagnosed and those with enduring mental health problems will be integrated into the curriculum.

London Metropolitan University offers a substantial amount of support to students during and after their studies. The employability factor for this course is potentially quite high - a career and employability service is also available.

Course aims

The course aims are:

(1) To provide a specialist programme in counselling and coaching in accordance to the QAA counselling and psychotherapy benchmark statements and BACP (a prerequisite for progression to full BACP membership) guidelines.
(2) To develop skills and knowledge in each of the core areas in counselling/coaching (e.g. cognitive, behavioural, humanistic and psychodynamic) and to ensure that students develop a thorough understanding of these core areas and are aware of the conceptual and historical context for current theory and knowledge within each of these areas
(3) To develop students counselling skills and core practitioner competencies in accordance to the BACP.
(4) To promote and develop effective and ethical integrative counselling and coaching for the well-being of service users in varying healthcare and work based (industry) settings.
(5) To engage in a wide range of assessment and teaching methods in order to demonstrate competency in both academic and counselling/coaching skills
(6) To acquire and develop competencies in conducting research and analysis in counselling or coaching
(7) To develop a working knowledge of safeguarding matters, psycho-pharmaceutical considerations and risk assessment and risk management in healthcare
(8) To develop an understanding of specialised populations with (or without) complex needs such as prisoners, those with disabilities, palliative care, BME groups, dual diagnosed and those with enduring mental health problems

Course learning outcomes

The following learning outcomes incorporate and depend on systematic understanding of the key aspects of the knowledge base of counselling and coaching, including a coherent and detailed knowledge of some specialist areas in depth.

On successful completion of this course students will be able to:

1. Deploy accurately established techniques of analysis and enquiry within counselling and coaching;

2. Devise and sustain arguments, and/or to solve problems, using ideas and techniques, some of which are at the forefront of counselling and coaching;

3. Describe and comment upon particular aspects of current research, or equivalent advanced scholarship, in counselling and coaching, recognising the uncertainty, ambiguity and limits of knowledge;

4. Manage their own learning, and to make use of scholarly reviews and primary sources, (for example, refereed research articles and/or original materials appropriate to counselling and coaching).

5. Apply the methods and techniques that they have learned to review, consolidate, extend and apply their knowledge and understanding, and to initiate and carry out projects;

6. Critically evaluate arguments, assumptions, abstract concepts and data (that may be incomplete), to make judgements, and to frame appropriate questions to achieve a solution - or identify a range of solutions - to a problem;

7. Communicate information, ideas, problems and solutions to both specialist and non-specialist audiences;

8. Exercise initiative and personal responsibility, including decision-making in complex and unpredictable contexts;

9. Undertake appropriate further training of a professional or equivalent nature

Principle QAA benchmark statements

QAA benchmark statements counselling and psychotherapy (2013)
http://www.qaa.ac.uk/en/Publications/Documents/Subject-benchmark-statement-counselling-psychotherapy.pdf

Assessment strategy

The BSc (Hons) Counselling and Coaching comprises a number of core components that run throughout the programme. These consist of research methods; counselling practice skills workshops and placement; critical reflective practice and core counselling and coaching theory. Both a student-centred and scaffolding approach will build on students’ skills set by developing on the previous year.

The theoretical underpinnings of counselling and coaching run throughout all modules with a particular focus on core modules including for example introduction to counselling skills, counselling across the lifespan and counselling with coaching.

Placement support offers students a series of problem-based learning exercises aimed at developing their listening, counselling and reflexive skills. Counselling placement is central to students three year-long core training which incorporates up to 100 hrs of placement. Students are encouraged to develop their transferable counselling skills and theoretical understanding of the different counselling modalities both in University and counselling practice where assessment includes both a counselling case report and a counselling practice ethics review.


In practice, the standards of proficiency will ‘broadly’ cover the following areas:-
• Professional autonomy and accountability
• Professional relationships
• Ethical counselling practices including supervision
• Knowledge, understanding and skills
• Ability to work with a multidisciplinary health care team

The placement assessment will be monitored throughout the students’ studies and will include logs, confirmation of supervision and counselling competency achievements. These will become part of the students’ placement assessment. Further, ethical considerations in practice and good working practices will be addressed shortly after the student commences their studies as well as developing their counselling skills (see level-4 modules). A learning agreement will be a contract developed between the placement host, trainee and academic ‘supervisor’ in order to ensure that all learning outcomes are identified.

As an adjunct to good working practices a year-long module targeting ethical conduct and safeguarding has been designed in accordance with CQC regulations, making sure that students are familiarised with child and adult safeguarding, risk assessment and management and good working ethical practices. Reflection on the developing self also supports counselling and ethical conduct which is seen as a central throughout the programme.

Students can expect to gain competency in research skills which commence through the programme in preparation for their research dissertation related to counselling and coaching. Students are supported throughout this process and encouraged to publish on completion.

To support student learning a continuous and mixed assessment approach is utilised using both formative and summative assessments. A balance between role play, transferable counselling skills, counselling and academic understanding based on counselling case studies will be used along with critical reflexive practice. The volume, timing and nature of assessment will enable students to demonstrate the extent to which they have achieved the intended learning outcomes.

Assessment and feedback practices are informed by reflection, consideration of professional practice, and subject-specific and educational scholarship. Feedback on assessment is timely, constructive and developmental. Marking assessments and for moderating marks will be clearly articulated and consistently operated by those involved in the assessment process.

Organised work experience, work based learning, sandwich year or year abroad

Potential applicants will be encouraged to secure a placement as soon as possible and will be informed that they are responsible for securing the placement and organising clinical supervision. London Metropolitan University will aim to develop a collaborative relationship with students’ placements. A suitable placement would include charities, refuges, health and social health care settings and business settings.

There are 3 one year-long placement modules. A learning agreement will be a contract developed between the placement host, trainee and academic ‘supervisor’ which will be submitted to the university as part of the students’ professional skills study log.

Some students will already be in a suitable placement. Those who are not will be supported in obtaining one. However, students will be responsible in securing a placement. Trainees will need to demonstrate experiential working through placement for 1-3 years. Students will have to complete 100hrs of counselling. Applicants will also be informed that if they cannot secure a placement by the end of level 4 – that they will not be able to continue on to the second year .

Students will be discouraged from working with vulnerable groups with complex needs who have not been pre-assessed for counselling suitability with a trainee. Students will not be permitted to have private clients.

Whilst student placements are being established, London Met will liaise with these organisations to develop future possibilities with these healthcare et al providers.

Course specific regulations

Student membership of the BACP and the securing of a suitable placement are conditions of progression to level 5.

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Fitness to Practise Procedures – Counselling and Coaching

Fitness to practise therefore represents a standard that is essentially about protecting the public from those who are not fit to practise or whose behaviour impacts on public protection or confidence. Where fitness to practise is ’impaired’ this means that there are concerns about a practitioner’s ability to practise safely and effectively, which may mean that they should not be permitted to practice or should be limited in what they are allowed to do.

To enable fairness and consistency in the assessment of fitness to practise within the training context, it is important to give due consideration to the practitioner’s trainee status and the appropriateness of the work in relation to their level of experience. For example, a trainee may not be ‘fit to practise’ with a high-risk patient with specific medical needs; however, their general standard of proficiency may be appropriate for that stage of training. This kind of scenario can be contrasted with a trainee who, for example:

• is frequently late for or misses appointments with clients or their supervisor
• seems to have persistent difficulty building working alliances with or retaining clients, or maintaining appropriate professional boundaries
• seems to have a difficulty understanding or implementing basic features of the model of therapy they used
• seems to struggle to manage the practical and/or emotional demands of their role
These kinds of characteristics may indicate more fundamental problems with a trainee’s fitness to practise, particularly if they persist in response to feedback and support, or appear to be evident across a number of different placements, as this would clearly fall below the standards expected of
a member of the profession. Similarly, the HCPC suggest that a practitioner’s fitness to practise would normally be regarded as impaired if there was evidence of the following kinds of behaviour:
• serious or persistent failure to meet standards;
• reckless or deliberate acts;
• hiding mistakes or trying to block their investigation;
• sexual misconduct or indecency (including any involvement in child pornography);
• improper relationships with service users;
• failure to respect the autonomy of service users;
• violence or threatening behaviour;
• dishonesty, fraud or an abuse of trust;
• exploitation of a vulnerable person;
• substance abuse or misuse;
• health problems which the registrant has not addressed, and which may affect the safety of service users; and
• other, equally serious, activities which undermine public confidence in the relevant profession.

All trainees are assessed on fitness to practise during their application and intervention for the course as well as through training workshops and ongoing academic supervision. Further information regarding the HCPC’s position and policies regarding fitness to practise can be found at http://www.hpc-uk.org/complaints/fitnesstopractise/

Obviously it is also important for supervisors to take into account the limits of a trainee’s competence and experience to ensure that they only take on work for which they are adequately prepared. The Placements Coordinator will also consider the suitability of a placement for a trainee in relation to the complexity/difficulty of the roles when advising trainees and approving placements. We do also of course recognise the importance of the supervisor’s contextual knowledge of the trainee’s practise and their own clinical judgement in evaluation of particular aspects of a trainee’s practise. However, we would expect placement supervisors to recognise the kinds of minimum standards outlined here and to let us and the trainee know if they have any questions or concerns about whether a trainee is meeting them.

a. Policy

a.1 London Metropolitan University recognises that in conferring certain academic awards that lead to a professional qualification or registration, it has a duty to ensure the fitness of students for practise and registration. As a result students on courses leading to such awards have certain obligations and responsibilities that go beyond those of other students. In ensuring that it abides by its duties in these respects it may not be possible for the University on every occasion to respect students’ confidentiality.

a.2 Fitness to Practise Regulations are necessary: a.2.1 To comply with the requirements of the regulators which accredit the courses; a.2.2 To protect clients and service users with whom the student may come into contact during the training; a.2.3 To show that students are fit to practise their future profession and have developed the requisite professional attitudes and behaviours; a.2.4 To ensure that students do not invest the time and money in qualifying for a career which they are not suited for;

a.3 The aim of this document is to give effect to these principles and obligations, and to provide a procedural framework through which possible issues can be addressed.

a.4 These Regulations enable investigation of a number of areas to be undertaken via a single process: a.4.1 Admissions (in Part d); a.4.2 Continuing Fitness (in part E); and a.4.3 Return to Studies (in part F).

a.5 Reasonable adjustments will be made to this procedure so that a disabled complainant is not substantially disadvantaged by the procedure.

Please consult Course Handbook and WebLearn for full text.

Modules required for interim awards

See paragraph 22.

Arrangements for promoting reflective learning and personal development

The development of graduate skills will be articulated to students as they progress through the programme through tutor, peer and institution-based feedback enabling them to reflect on their achievement based on the evidence available. At each level identified modules (e.g. PC4009, PC5001 and PC6P01) will contain activities and opportunities for students to reflect on their learning process and personal development. Students will be encouraged to develop their personal portfolio, to critically review their learning experiences, to set their future personal and academic goals and to evaluate their progress towards these goals. Employability skills are included in the curriculum counselling training and University based support strategies including employability and career advice and the fast forward festival etc In the final year project (PC6P01), supervisors will initially assist supervisees with the clarifying of the terms of the project, and ethical considerations as well as establishing a timetable for the research and subsequent meetings, directed background reading as well as report format and writing and statistical analysis.

Both a student-centred and scaffolding approach will build on students’ skills set by developing on the previous level. Indeed, the BSc (Hons) Counselling and Coaching comprises a number of core components that run throughout the programme. These consist of research methods; counselling practice skills workshops and placement; critical reflective practice and core counselling and coaching theory. The volume, timing and nature of assessment will enable students to demonstrate the extent to which they have achieved the intended learning outcomes. Assessment and feedback practices are informed by reflection, consideration of professional practice, and subject-specific and educational scholarship. Feedback on assessment is timely, constructive and developmental. Marking assessments and for moderating marks will be clearly articulated and consistently operated by those involved in the assessment process aimed at supporting students reflective learning and development planning.

Career, employability and opportunities for continuing professional development

The BACP has developed a coaching division and hence students on completion of the course will be eligible to apply to become a full member of both divisions. However, the counselling component in this course is priority, as without this, the student would not be in a position to apply and be a member of the coaching division.

On completion of this course, students would be eligible to apply for individual counselling membership and joining the coaching division. This greatly increases the student’s chances of being employed following their studies. Becoming a student member of the BACP at the commencement of their studies will aim to facilitate student placement. Being versed in safeguarding, risk assessment/management and being affiliated with the BACP makes this course CQC compliant and this will facilitate and support increased placement and employability opportunities.

In addition to healthcare, work psychology, palliative care and end of life issues, working with BME groups, drug and alcohol and counselling and coaching (incorporated in coaching, communication and interventions) has been included, enabling students to develop and apply a broader range of skills thus increasing employment opportunities. Students may also progress to postgraduate studies.

Professional Statutory and Regulatory Body (PSRB) accreditations & exemptions

This course is accredited by the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP).

Career opportunities

Completing this course would make you eligible to study at postgraduate level.

This course will help you develop transferable skills such as report writing, teamwork, time management organisation, IT and numeracy skills, which are valued by employers in a wide range of industries.

Since this is a practitioner course, you may be employed by your current placement or choose alternative working environments. This may be private, the workplace, universities, schools, colleges or NHS practices.

Entry requirements

In addition to the University's standard entry requirements, you should have:

  • a minimum of grades BCC in three A levels or minimum grades BC in at least two A levels in academic or business subjects (or a minimum of 104 UCAS points from an equivalent Level 3 qualification, eg BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma/Diploma; or Advanced Diploma; or Progression Diploma; or Access to HE Diploma with 60 credits)
  • English Language and Mathematics GCSE at grade C/grade 4 or above (or equivalent)

Applicants with relevant professional qualifications or extensive professional experience will also be considered on a case by case basis.

Entry from appropriate foundation and access courses will also be considered.

If you don’t have traditional qualifications or can’t meet the entry requirements for this undergraduate degree, applicants may still be able to gain entry by completing the first year of the Psychology Extended Degree BSc.

All applicants must be able to demonstrate proficiency in the English language. Applicants who require a Tier 4 student visa may need to provide a Secure English Language Test (SELT) such as Academic IELTS. For more information about English qualifications please see our English language requirements.

Official use and codes

Approved to run from 2018/19 Specification version 1 Specification status Validated
Original validation date 11 Dec 2019 Last validation date 11 Dec 2019  
Sources of funding HE FUNDING COUNCIL FOR ENGLAND
JACS codes
Route code COUCOA

Course Structure

Stage 1 Level 04 September start Not currently offered

Code Module title Info Type Credits Location Period Day Time
PC4009 Introduction to Research in Psychology Core 30        
PC4010 Introduction to Counselling Skills Core 30        
PC4011 Placement Support and Study Skills Core 30        
PC4012 Safeguarding and Ethics Core 30        

Stage 1 Level 04 January start Offered

Code Module title Info Type Credits Location Period Day Time
PC4009 Introduction to Research in Psychology Core 30 NORTH SPR+SUM TUE AM
PC4010 Introduction to Counselling Skills Core 30 NORTH SPR+SUM MON PM
PC4011 Placement Support and Study Skills Core 30 NORTH SPR+SUM TUE PM
PC4012 Safeguarding and Ethics Core 30 NORTH SPR+SUM FRI AM

Stage 2 Level 05 Not currently offered

Code Module title Info Type Credits Location Period Day Time
PC5001 Research Design and Data Analysis in Psychology Core 30        
PC5007 Placement support (level 2) Core 30        
PC5009 Counselling and Coaching Across the Lifespan Core 30        
PC5050 Psychology and Employment Core 15        
PC5053 Counselling with Coaching Core 15        

Stage 3 Level 06 Not currently offered

Code Module title Info Type Credits Location Period Day Time
PC6010 Placement support - level 3 Core 30        
PC6P01 Psychology Project Core 30        
PC6050 Qualitative Research Methods in Psychology Option 15        
PC6056 Work Psychology Option 15        
PC6061 Understanding psychopathology in counselling pr... Option 15        
PC6063 Drug and alcohol counselling Option 15        
PC6064 The Brain Wise Counsellor Option 15        
PC6065 Palliative Care and End of Life Issues Option 15        
PC6066 Working with Diversity Option 15