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Course content


Our Counselling Studies and Therapeutic Communication course will help you if you are interested in starting a career in counselling, or want to develop and hone your existing professional skills. It offers theoretical knowledge and an academic foundation in counselling and for a variety of helping skills in professional contexts. The optional modules enable you to study the niche you would like to work in. This course has received recognition from a professional body, awarded the advanced training status from the National Counselling Society (NCS).

This course does not include professional practice hours, those students who wish to be on Government register for Counselling, upon successful completion of this course can apply for the PgCert Counselling and Therapeutic Communication with Professional Practice, which will provide client hours. The PgCert/PgDip/MSc Counselling and Therapeutic Communication with Professional Practice has been designed to contribute to the educational requirements of practising counsellors working towards professional accreditation. The practical course aims to recruit counsellors who are already working in a practice context towards professional accreditation. Only students who complete the supervised practice modules (100 client hours) can receive the award of PgCert/PgDip/MSc Counselling and Therapeutic Communication with Professional Practice.


A central strength of the course is the teaching team, consisting of academics with both practice and research experience in counselling. Staff members ensure that the content of the course is continually updated based on innovations in practice and research.

The course provides:

  • Structured Continuing Professional Development opportunities for individuals who use counselling skills in a range of practice contexts.
  • Flexibility through optional study to allow students to pursue specialist areas of interest.
  • A good balance of theoretical and skills training relevant to student need.
  • A well balanced grounding in the theoretical and practical study of communication in the applied counselling context.
  • A solid grounding in research methods and skills that will enable students to carry out independent research.
  • An understanding of key contextual areas relevant to students’ work experience and the ability to evaluate their own professional practice.
  • Some modules are available in block teaching format.
  • The Pg Diploma is a PQ accredited programme for the NI Specialist Award in Social Work.
  • The MSc meets three PQ requirements for the NI Leadership & Strategic Award in Social Work.

The course on its own does not qualify you to practice as a counsellor. However, the course provides approximately 200 taught hours of training that may be used to contribute to accreditation with professional bodies (please contact relevant professional body directly for guidance on accreditation policy).

The full range of optional modules is regularly updated and will vary in availability in any academic year.

Students can complete modules as part of a CPD pathway, PG Certificate, PG Diploma or Masters programme.


This course is available both full-time and part-time.

The Course offers Exit Points at PG Dip and MSc levels.

Full-time: PgDip – one academic year (two semesters); MSc – three semesters.

Part-time:PgDip – two academic years (four semesters); MSc – three calendar years.

Career options

What areas of work are previous students now engaged in?

Previous students have developed their work activities in Counselling and associated areas. Additionally, past students have used the programme themes to support their existing work in areas including community work, youth work, education, and health care.

Will completion of the course qualify me as a counsellor?

The course currently would not enable you to practice as a qualified counsellor. However, as stated above the course can contribute towards accreditation with professional bodies.

What steps would I need to take to become a fully registered counsellor?

For further information contact a professional body directly for details on the eligibility criteria for counsellor accreditation.

British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) –  ;

National Counselling Society (NCS) -  ;

Would the course provide me with the necessary training and accreditation to become a qualified counselling psychologist?

No, there are specific qualifications required to become a qualified counselling psychologist, for example you would need to have an undergraduate degree in Psychology. Please see contact further details: British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) –  ;

Visit the Counselling Studies and Therapeutic Communication - MSc/PGDip page on the Ulster University website for more details!




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