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Course content

The PG Dip is a two year part-time course, designed for students with some prior counselling skills training and experience in using these skills in a helping role

If you wish to study for a Masters qualification you can apply for the three-year part-time course. This comprises of the two year of the PG dip followed by a further year of part-time study. If you wish to apply for a PG loan you will need to apply for the three-year MA.

Course structure

The PG Dip is a two year part-time only course. The course runs over 30 weeks, starting in September and finishing in June. Attendance is 9.30 – 5.00pm one day per week in term-time. There is one compulsory residential weekend (usually in late January or early February) in each of the two academic years. 

The MA comprises of the two years of the PG diploma and a further year where you will have the opportunity to study a professional issue of interest by undertaking a supervised research project.

What will I study?

For the PGDip equal weight is given to the importance of counselling theory, counselling practice and personal development in the training of counsellors. The course day normally comprises elements of counselling theory, counselling practice, peer supervision, and personal development activities. The structure of the course reflects this balance. The theoretical basis of the course is humanistic-integrative. The first year is devoted to exploring elements of the therapeutic relationship, preparation for practice and draws heavily on humanistic theory and practice. The second year builds on this, and explores the contribution of other models of counselling. Students will be encouraged to develop a personally integrated style of therapeutic work, based on core humanistic competences, and drawing on the possibilities offered by other approaches.


All assessments are through coursework. The coursework comprises written assignments, such as casework and supervision records, reflections on personal development and evidence of practical skills. You will also need to complete 150 hours of supervised face-to-face client work. 

All modules are compulsory as the course is developmental and provides an integrated training in theory, process and skills as prescribed by the BACP.

For the MA you will study one module and assessment is via a research paper.

Programme specification

Further information on this course is available in the programme specification. Please note that the programme specification relates to course content that is currently being studied by students at the University. For new programmes, the programme specification will be made available online prior to the start of the course.

Learning support

York St John University works hard to create an inclusive environment for all our students. We offer a range of learning support services to assist students throughout their studies.

Visit the Counselling (MA) page on the York St John University website for more details!




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