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Integrative Counselling and Psychotherapy (PGDip)

Course Description

This counselling course is accredited by the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) and emphasises the integration of theory, research, practice, and self-awareness to help you develop and train to become a competent and ethically-sound counsellor.

The PG Diploma Integrative Counselling and Psychotherapy has been designed to serve as professional qualification for students seeking a career as a qualified counsellor/psychotherapist working in the statutory and voluntary sectors, in business or private practice. The course is part of a group of counselling courses delivered at the University of South Wales, which have an established national reputation for excellence.

The core integrative model taught is based on the relational approach comprising of three main elements: the Contemporary Relational Psychodynamic Approach, a Humanisitic-Existential approach and third wave elements of Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy within a post modern/social constructionist overarching framework. The course facilitates students in developing a critical understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of integrative counselling practice, with a view to them developing their own coherent, ethical and effective approach to counselling practice, which can be adapted for use in a wide range of work settings for short term and long term work. You will also be taken on a journey of self-discovery as the programme demands a high level of reflection and self-awareness.

See the website http://courses.southwales.ac.uk/courses/1756-pg-diploma-integrative-counselling-and-psychotherapy

What you will study

The Postgraduate Diploma focuses on training as an integrative counselling and psychotherapy practitioner. On successful completion, you will be ready to work as a trained Integrative therapist.

Year One:
- Integrative Counselling Skills and Practice: Introduces the core model of the course and provides foundation theory & skills in humanistic/existential and relational psychodynamic counselling practice.

- Applied Integrative Practice: Introduces the foundations theory and skills of Cognitive Behavioural counselling and Mindfulness. Students learn to integrate these approaches in applied practice with client issues.

- Personal Development & Counselling Practice: This module runs throughout the year and places emphasis on personal development group work and skills practice within a sound ethical framework.

Year Two:
- Advanced Integrative Theory & Skills Practice: This module aims to further develop students understanding of core integrative theory taught in the course and how theoretical ideas can be applied to practice. Advanced research practices are introduced with a view to students being able to use research to inform their practice.

- Advanced Applied Practice: The emphasis of this module is on applied practice: showing students how the core integrative model taught can be used to work ethically with the range of client issues typically found in professional counselling practice. Research development is consolidated through students conducting a small-scale piece of research.

- Advanced Personal Development & Counselling Practice: This module runs throughout the year and places emphasis on personal development group work and skills practice within a sound ethical framework.

The Postgraduate Diploma is part of a three year MA Programme. After successful completion of the Diploma stage, which is two years, you can choose whether to proceed to the final Masters year.

Learning and teaching methods

Classes include interactive theoretical lectures, experiential workshops, personal development groups, role plays, skills groups, digital recording of skills sessions for assessment and presentations. In addition, you will need to be in placement seeing ‘real’ clients for the duration of the course and will have to have completed a minimum of 100 hours counselling practice by the end of the two years.

This course takes 2 years part-time to complete.

The PG Diploma is taught over 30 days each academic year. For the 2014/15 academic year the main teaching day will be on a Wednesday. Year one of the programme starts with a two-day block (Wednesday 24th & Thursday 25th September) and finishes with a two-day block (Wednesday & Thursday) at the end of May. In addition, students will be required to attend a weekend workshop each academic year (in year one, this is residential) and two one-day summer workshops. We expect that students attend all teaching sessions, and there is a minimum requirement of 80% attendance in order to complete the course successfully.

Work Experience and Employment Prospects

While more practice experience will be required to build the hours to achieve personal BACP accreditation, having successfully completed the formal training hours and assignments, graduates of the course will be ready to look for work in the field of counselling and psychotherapy.

Former students from the course have enhanced their career profile within their current employment or found new positions in the voluntary sector, in health settings, in Higher or Further Education, in Employment Assistance Programmes (EAPs), in business and in private practice. It is also possible to undertake further specialised training in order to work with children and young people, or to apply for a research PhD.

Assessment methods

A range of assessments are used at the PG Diploma stage of this course to test your knowledge, skills, self awareness and practice ability.

Year One: Two essays, Two skills assessments, practice portfolio, research presentation, personal development review and a supervisor’s report

Year Two: A skills assessment, a case study with client audio, an in-class research project and a research portfolio, a personal development review and a supervisor’s report.


We offer a suite of five spacious, dedicated rooms used by the counselling / psychotherapy courses, and a digital recording system for use in class.

Personal Therapy

Students on the Postgraduate Diploma Integrative Counselling and Psychotherapy are encouraged to have therapy to help with their personal and professional development as a counsellor. A course requirement is that students have a minimum of 10 hours personal therapy for each of the two academic years.

Visit the Integrative Counselling and Psychotherapy (PGDip) page on the University of South Wales website for more details!

Entry Requirements

Postgraduate Certificate in Counselling Skills (Integrative pathway) or equivalent (approximately 150 hours training to include counselling skills, integrative counselling. Enhanced DBS Check. Two references uploaded with your application (One from your previous/current Counselling tutor). A degree or a qualification at level 6 or above. A confirmed suitable placement for counselling practice.

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Recipient: University of South Wales

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