is one of the first Higher Education Institutions to offer counsellor training in the UK and has been delivering high quality training programmes since the early 1970s.
The BACP accredited Professional Counselling Training Route/part-time MSc in Counselling Psychology is a part-time vocational training programme which builds up over three years. In Year One students complete the Certificate in Counselling and in Year Two the Postgraduate Diploma in Counselling. In Year Three students undertake the MSc research studies year. Successful completion of each academic year enables either progression onto the next year or an opportunity to exit with the completed qualification.
The first two years of the part-time MSc Counselling Psychology (The Professional Counselling Training Route) are accredited by the British Association of Counsellors and Psychotherapy (BACP) as a route of professional counsellor training. Candidates for accreditation will also have to meet all other criteria in line with BACP accreditation procedures.
- Training Philosophy
This part-time professional counselling training route is founded on a person-centred view of personhood and person-centred ways of being. In this we view the relationship in counselling as central, and support Rogers’ belief in the ‘self-therapeutic capacity and wisdom of clients’. However, we also take a strong ‘anti-schoolism’ stance which reflects our sincere respect for other, non-person-centred practices and practitioners. Our starting point for the Keele Counselling Model is thus a unifying ethos which enables us to respect and welcome a diversity of professional skills and orientations.
The programme as a whole aims to equip students with the knowledge and expertise to support their work as professional person centred/ humanistic counsellors. It aims to integrate students’ counselling skills practice with academic study at each training level and to facilitate student learning in the areas of psychology: counselling skills, counselling related theory and self-development. The principles underpinning the programme are empowerment, holistic development, relationships and community.
- Year One: The Certificate in Counselling
This programme is an introduction to person-centred counselling theory and practice. It is suitable for individuals from a range of professional backgrounds who wish to improve their communication skills or begin training as a professional counsellor. The Certificate is an entry route onto the Postgraduate Diploma in Counselling Psychology for those without traditional academic qualifications. On completion of the Certificate in Counselling students should have gained competencies in a wide range of professional knowledge, skills and self-development relevant to counselling practice.
- Year Two: Postgraduate Diploma in Counselling Psychology
This year follows on from the Certificate in Counselling and offers professional training in counselling practice, theory and self-development. It is based on a person centred/humanistic philosophy with person-centred practice. Students are expected to undertake one hundred hours of supervised counselling practice placement. Applicants must have successfully completed the Certificate in Counselling at Keele University
to access training in Year Two.
It is expected that students will progress to Year 2 in September of the year in which they complete the Certificate and, as long as they meet the requirements for progression, they are guaranteed a place on the Year 2 course starting in that September. Students may defer the commencement of Year 2 but, in this case, they would have to apply for a place and cannot be guaranteed a place in the academic year in which they wish to resume their studies.
Years 1 and 2 of the programme together constitute a BACP accredited training course. However, any other exit awards, e.g. completion of the Certificate in Counselling alone, or a Post Graduate Diploma in Counselling Psychology Studies, which would not include the 100 hours of supervised counselling practice on placement, would not constitute a BACP accredited training course.
- Year Three: MSc Counselling Psychology
Year three of the part-time MSc Counselling Psychology places a particular emphasis on developing the counselling practitioner’s own research interests, including a research based dissertation.
We employ a wide variety of teaching and learning strategies including lectures, large group work, community meetings, tutorials and small group work. Students are encouraged to engage in experiential as well as academic learning methods.
With the exception of a multiple-choice questionnaire classroom test in Year 2, all modules are assessed on the basis of coursework. The pass mark for all modules in Year 1 (Level 6) is 50% and, in Year 2 (Level 7), is 40%.
In year 1 students have to attend a minimum of 8 hours of personal therapy and in year 2 a minimum of 20 hours of personal therapy (Subject to approval by Senate) to complete the course and payment for this is the responsibility of the students. As a guide, costs for this on average are £35 - £45 per hour.
When completing the 100 hour placement requirement in Year 2, students also have to undertake a minimum of 14 hours of supervision for which there may also be a charge. Again, as a guide, costs for this are on average £35 - £45 per hour.
Parking is also an additional cost for students who wish to use their cars on campus. Details of student parking permits are sent out with the pre-enrolment information.
Students should also be aware that possible additional costs may be incurred when attending the compulsory non-residential Conference weekend. Refreshments and lunches are provided for the students free of charge during the weekend but there will be an additional cost should students wish to attend the Saturday evening Conference dinner and also if wishing to book local accommodation.
Traditional academic qualifications are not a necessary requirement to enter the professional counsellor training route at year one. The programme is open to applicants that show appropriate commitment and motivation to participate in a programme that combines experiential learning and academic study.