module specification

PC5068 - Brief Interventions (2021/22)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2021/22
Module title Brief Interventions
Module level Intermediate (05)
Credit rating for module 15
School School of Social Sciences and Professions
Total study hours 150
15 hours Assessment Preparation / Delivery
102 hours Guided independent study
33 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Oral Examination 50%   Oral assessment
Coursework 50%   Written coursework
Running in 2021/22
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Spring semester North Monday Afternoon

Module summary

This module brings together the goal-orientated and solution-focused components of coaching whilst utilising the professional boundaries, ethics and emotional processing of counselling practice.  In this module you will explore a range of brief intervention approaches and will consider the relative merits and appropriate uses of each intervention.  You will, through a combination of conceptual learning and practical application, be invited to consider and develop an understanding of the role that coaching and other solution-focused strategies have as an adjunct integrative strategy in counselling practice.

The module aims to builds upon your previous learning of the nature and core skills of coaching, and of critical self-reflexive practices. We aim to challenge your understanding of traditional counselling modalities and enable you to critically consider how - in context and through correct application - the use of solution-focused or goal-orientated strategies might assist both client and practitioner in supporting successful brief interventions.  The module further aims to develop your practical skills in goal-oriented and solution-focused brief intervention approaches, as well as your reflexive practice skills.

Prior learning requirements

Pre-requisite: pass in PC4010
Available for Study Abroad? NO


This module will explore approaches to brief intervention in counselling and coaching, including but not limited to goal-oriented and solution-focused approaches.  (LO 1) The module will also explore motivational interviewing and new developments in brief intervention (e.g., emotional freedom techniques).  For each technique, appropriate contexts, clients and tools will be considered.  (LOs 2 and 3)

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

Delivery and discussion of the module syllabus will be via interactive lectures. In addition, in-class activities will provide a forum for the application of theory to practical scenarios, and for reflection on practice. Students are expected to work in groups within classes to learn from each other, and also to collaborate both within and outside of the classes in order to develop their ability to independently identify and use other appropriate resources to support their learning, e.g. the Learning Centre, the internet. The University’s virtual learning environment will be used to enable staff and students to readily communicate with each other, and to share resources and support as appropriate.

To make the most of the classroom learning opportunities provided, each student is expected to do any suggested preparatory reading or other specified activities and to be actively involved in the in-class activities and group discussion.

Students will gain core knowledge and understanding of the topics through the classroom sessions, but deeper understanding, evaluation and skill development will be promoted through directed and self-directed study of recommended reading material, active engagement in the in-class and suggested independent learning activities, and appropriate engagement with supplementary online resources.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module, students will:

1. Have developed a critical understanding of a range of approaches to brief intervention in counselling and coaching;
2. Be able to demonstrate goal-oriented and solution-focused counselling and coaching skills in practice; 
3. Be able to demonstrate critical reflexive skills in the context of brief counselling and coaching techniques and practice.

Assessment strategy

Assessment for this module comprises an oral examination (worth 50% of the module mark) and the submission of a piece of written coursework (worth 50% of the module mark).

The oral examination will take the form of one student coaching another student whilst being observed and assessed by two invigilators. Each coaching session will take approximately 20 minutes. All students will be involved as both the coach/counsellor (once only) and as the ‘client’ (up to two times per student according to cohort numbers). The coaching session will be recorded. This recorded counselling/coaching session will then form the basis of a 1,500-word assignment which will include a critical self-reflective overview of the coaching session in which the student acted as coach/counsellor. The transcript of this interview will also be included as an appendix to the assignment.

Both assessment components on this module will address learning outcomes 1,2 and 3.


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