module specification

PC4010 - Introduction to Counselling Skills (2021/22)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2021/22
Module title Introduction to Counselling Skills
Module level Certificate (04)
Credit rating for module 30
School School of Social Sciences and Professions
Total study hours 300
219 hours Guided independent study
81 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 50%   Record of counselling and coaching session
Coursework 50%   Summary and reflexive overview
Running in 2021/22
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Year (Spring and Summer) North Monday Afternoon
Year North Monday Morning

Module summary

This module will enable students to develop an appreciation and good level of theoretical understanding on core areas in basic counselling and coaching.  This module sets out to explore psychodynamic, humanistic and cognitive modalities in counselling and coaching practice.  The module will also target good working practices ensuring that students are versed with how to ask appropriate counselling and coaching questions, how to open a session, closing a session and how to carry out an assessment.


Key words: counselling, psychodynamic, humanistic, cognitive, empathy, rapport, therapeutic relationship, reflection, paraphrasing, appropriate questioning, closing a counselling session, assessment

Learning Outcomes LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

Delivery and discussion of the module syllabi will be via interactive lectures and tutorials. In addition to the weekly seminar workshops which will provide a forum for the application of theory to practical problems, students are expected to work in groups to learn from each other and learn how to independently use other resources available, e.g. library, the internet, WebLearn and own organisation. The module will also have its own dedicated Web Learn site to enables staff and students to readily contact each other and offers an on-line support/learning.

Workshops and seminars:

Information and materials relating to the workshop will be circulated once the course has commenced.   The seminars and workshops will familiarize students with various aspect of the course.  All workshops will relate to lecture topics and may be tested in the examination.   Hence, each student is expected to do the prior reading and consult few recommended texts and be actively involved in the seminar activities and group discussion.

The usual programme each week will comprise of a lecture followed by seminar workshop activities and group discussion. The workshops will use the content of the lecture and pre-circulated material for class discussion and group work. 

Students will gain core knowledge and understanding of the topics through lectures, but deeper understanding, evaluation and skill development will be promoted through directed study of recommended reading material, seminars, and online resources.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module, students will:

1) Be able to provide a critical framework for evaluating the main counselling modalities
2) Be able to demonstrate basic counselling skills in practice with reference to humanistic, cognitive and psychodynamic modalities
3} Be able to critically draw reference to the relevant research/literature and to apply this practically.
4) Be able to carry out an assessment based on a counselling case study which is appropriate and proportionate.
5) Be able to respect differences in pleural society and cultural values of minority groups and those from varying socioeconomic backgrounds.

Assessment strategy

1. Students will conduct a counselling and coaching session (one-on-one student and combining both counselling and coaching skills) exercise in an appropriate location in the University and submit a 20 minute recording of this along with the transcript (50%).

2. A written summary of the counselling and coaching session, accompanied by a reflexive overview (2000 words, 50%).


American Psychiatric Association., (APA, 2013). Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. 5th Ed.  Arlington. American Psychiatric Publishing. Washington

Bager-Charleson, S, & Van Rijn, B., (2011). Understanding Assessment in Counselling and Psychotherapy. 1st ed. Exeter, Learning Matters, Ltd. (Core)

Bor, R & Watts, M, (2016). The Trainee Handbook. A guide for counselling and psychotherapy trainees. London: Sage. (Core)

Dryden, W., (2007). Handbook of individual therapy, 5th ed. London: Sage. (Core)

Kenneth, K., (2017). Basic Counselling Skills. A Student Guide. A Guide for Students of Counselling and Psychotherapy UKlevel 2,3, and 4. London, Counselling Tutor. (Core).

Kirk, H.W., Weisbrod, J.O.A., Ericson, K.A., (2003). Psychosocial and Behavioural Aspects of Medicine. Baltimore and Philadelphia. Lippincott Williams and Wilkins.

Milner, J & O’Byrne, P (2003). Assessment in Counselling: theory, process and decision making. 3rd ed. Hampshire, New York, Palgrave.

Whyte, L., (2016). Coaching Skills for Healthcare Professionals. London, CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform.