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Humanistic Psychotherapeutic Counselling PGDip (PGCert)

Course Description

Developed in reaction to the dominance of behaviourism and psychoanalysis, the humanistic approach emphasises our capacity for self-determination.

It holds that we have the freedom to shape and give meaning to our own lives, and helps clients to regain their independence.

The PGDip helps to ground your understanding of humanistic counselling in workshop practice and encourages you to develop your own sense of self-awareness.

It is accredited by the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) and therefore recognised as preparing students for work as a professional counsellor. The university itself is an organisational member of the BACP as well as the Universities Psychotherapy and Counselling Association (UCPA).

Course structure

The course consists of eight modules taught over a period of two years. Study involves one day per week at the university, seven non-residential weekends, two two-day blocks in September of the second year and two further study days.

In addition to academic study, you need to complete 100 hours of supervised counselling practice in an approved clinical placement, for example at the South Downs NHS Primary Care Trust, the Youth Advice Centre or Brighton and Sussex University counselling services.

You also need to undertake a personal course of therapy that lasts for the duration of the course, from October of year 1 to June of year 2, and we recommend that you factor in the cost of this therapy before your application.

Assessment consists of four written essays and two audio-taped assignments. You have to monitor and evaluate your own work as well as your personal and professional development through a journal of personal counselling hours, client contact hours and supervision.

Areas of study

The course is designed to:

- provide a sound base of theory and practitioner skills for persons practising counselling;
- illuminate theory and practice by drawing upon students’ personal experience;
- promote personal growth and self-awareness essential to successful counselling.

The philosophy of the course is based on the principle that there is no single presiding theory or model of counselling that commands widespread agreement and support, and that the practice of counselling cannot be separated from underlying values, theoretical assumptions and hypotheses concerning the nature of human experience and change.


Year 1

Humanistic Counselling Theory
Human Growth and Development
Humanistic Counselling Practice and Personal Development
Themes in Professional Practice
Process Groups

Year 2

Research Methods for Counselling and Psychotherapy
Critical Perspectives in Humanistic Counselling
Applied Humanistic Counselling Practice
Process Groups

Visit the Humanistic Psychotherapeutic Counselling PGDip (PGCert) page on the University of Brighton website for more details!

Entry Requirements

You should hold a degree/professional qualification. You also need to have successfully completed an accredited counselling training course that:involved at least 30 hours of face-to-face tuition at Level 2 or Level 3 (online courses are not acceptable)included both theory and practicetook place within the last six years.Ideally, you will have gained some counselling experience through full- or part-time employment, or through voluntary or pastoral work. You also must have experience of working with people in a helping capacity and access to clients throughout the course.Applicants should normally be at least 25 years of age.

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