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Coaching (Postgraduate Certificate)

Course Description

This course provides experienced managers with knowledge of the theory, models and practice of coaching. It is designed to give a strong foundation in the knowledge bases and pragmatic exigencies contemporary coaches are faced with in today's workplaces. By conducting a critical analysis through the leading models and theories of the field, this course creates a space where you can reflexively engage with the dilemmas professional helping relationships in organisations face.

Combining academic study with practical application and skill development, this certificate is the essential starting place for those interested in how relational interventions can help shape the future of work.

Organisations have woken up to the fact that the 'soft' skills of working life are so hard, most employees need some additional perspective to help them be successful in their roles. Coaching as an intervention to address this has grown exponentially. Some pertinent questions remain, and need reflection: why has coaching emerged now? Why is it seen to be so relevant? How can we tell when/if it works? Is it different from counselling and psychotherapy? Are certain types of coaching more effective, under certain conditions, with certain people?

Consisting of 3 modules, the certificate contains a professional development module designed to evaluate learning and aid reflexive practice. Through case studies and client work, you have the opportunity to: analyse and understand your work through a range of lenses; allow for different interpretations; learn to use supervision effectively; explore different responses; and reflect on the coaching relationship process.

A second module tackles all pertinent issues that face the contemporary coach. From ethics and change to boundaries and defences, often overlooked topological issues are highlighted, and theory and practice fused. Rather than looking at the coaching dyad in isolation, the main emphasis in this module is to contextualise the work in the context of evidence frameworks, organisational systems and practices, and organisations as political arenas.

Finally, an introductory module sets the scene and introduces various ranges and flavours of coaching and helping relationships, including a historical perspective of the use of relationships in the helping professions.

This certificate is for people who have an interest in understanding the roles helping relationships play at work, and their impact in and out of organisations. The course suits people who have the ability to critically reflect on their thoughts, emotions, (re)actions and behaviours.

Why study this course at Birkbeck?

The Department of Organizational Psychology is renowned for its quality teaching and expertise in the delivery of part-time programmes.
Access to an extensive range of electronic resources, including specially prepared texts for each module. Use of the online learning environment with a high level of staff support.

Our research

Birkbeck is one of the world’s leading research-intensive institutions. Our cutting-edge scholarship informs public policy, achieves scientific advances, supports the economy, promotes culture and the arts, and makes a positive difference to society.

Birkbeck’s research excellence was confirmed in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework, which placed Birkbeck 30th in the UK for research, with 73% of our research rated world-leading or internationally excellent.

Visit the Coaching (Postgraduate Certificate) page on the Birkbeck, University of London website for more details!

Student Profiles

Postgraduate Support Scheme for final-year undergraduates (full-time) - 20+ Awards

We are pleased to announce that, for October 2015 entry, Birkbeck has a limited number of new £10,000 postgraduate scholarships. These scholarships are for students progressing from a full-time undergraduate degree to a part-time Master’s degree starting in 2015/16.

Value of Scholarship(s)



To be eligible for the scholarship you must be:Starting a 2-year part-time taught Master’s degree in 2015/16
Domiciled in the UK/EU
Progressing from an undergraduate course for which you were charged the higher tuition fee (applicable since 2012–13)
Studying at postgraduate Master’s level for the first time

Application Procedure

If you want to apply for this support, you must follow these steps:Submit an application for your intended course
Submit an application for the Postgraduate Support Scheme

Further Information


Entry Requirements

A first degree in any discipline, or sufficient experience of helping relationships and/or people-oriented activities, such as extensive line management experience.If English is not your first language or you have not previously studied in English, our usual requirement is the equivalent of an International English Language Testing System (IELTS Academic Test) score of 6.5, with not less than 6.0 in each of the sub-tests.

Course Fees

Part-time home/EU students: £ 3500 pa Part-time overseas students: £ 5325 pa

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Recipient: Birkbeck, University of London
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