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Counselling Children and Young People MSc

Course Description

This multidisciplinary course aims to promote an advanced level of knowledge and understanding underpinning practice in the area of Counselling with Children Young People and their families.

Course content

This exciting course supports students in developing skills and theoretical knowledge of counselling with children, young people and their families. It is designed for individuals with a significant interest in counselling work with children, who may be practitioners from health, social or voluntary services who work in some capacity with children and young people, or who may be graduates of psychology and other cognate disciplines, social and behavioural sciences, education, health, social care and related fields.

The course is taught by experienced counsellors and therapists with a varied background, supported by some practitioners from allied professions (e.g. psychology, social work, nursing, psychiatric nursing, law and psychiatry).

Students of Counselling with Children and Young People can graduate with either a Postgraduate Diploma or an MSc.

Child and Adolescent Mental Health Conference

The CAHMS Conference at the University of Northampton is a three day conference, and you have the option of either volunteering for a couple of hours and attending for free, or pay (last year it was about £15 per day) to cover the cost of lunches and printed materials.

Course modules (16/17)

-Understanding Mental Health in Children and Young People
-Core Skills for Working with Children and Young People
-Counselling with Children, Young People and Families
-Counselling Children, Young People and Families in Practice
-Qualitative and Quantitative Research Methods
-Dissertation and Research Methods

Methods of Learning

Lectures, workshops, one-to-one, private study, online activities, group work, role play.


Formal teaching takes place and on one to two full days per week for full-time students and on one full day per week in the first year and one full day approximately every other week in the second year for part-time students.

In addition, there is a three day taught intensive session for all students three times per year (first year only). In addition to this, students will be expected to attend one-to-one tutorials at least twice per trimester.


The assessment strategy is designed to include a broad range of assessment methods, in order to ensure that students have the maximum opportunity to demonstrate that they have met the learning outcomes for the programme. These include: essays, case studies, self-reflective log books, critical reviews, video recorded role plays and oral presentations. There are no examinations.

The Research Methods and Dissertation module supports the students in completing a supervised but original and independently undertaken research and it is assessed through a 12,000 to 15,000 word dissertation.

Facilities and Special Features

-The MSc promotes an advanced theoretical understanding of Counselling with Children and Young People, integrating opportunities to develop practical and professional counselling skills.
-The programme equips students with a working knowledge of child development, psychological difficulties in children and young people in their contexts and counselling based skills for working with them and their carers within an an eco-systemic perspective integrating Systemic Family Therapy, CBT, and Creative therapies.
-This is developed through roleplays, small group process and other skill oriented taught sessions. Supervised placement in a counselling context is mandatory to the enhancement of skills.
-In addition, opportunities for students are structured into the programme to engage in personal development, self-awareness, reflective practice and to benefit from the supervisory relationship. Our CAMH conference (see highlight video below) is an excellent example of extra opportunities available as part of the course.
-Our experienced course team includes specific expertise in CBT, systemic family therapy, Creative therapies, Play therapy and Gestalt approaches, who are able to teach students and integrated approach to counselling with children and young people.


As a professional master programme, the MSc CCYP leads to a counselling qualification and opens a range of employment possibilities up for its graduates (e.g. private practice, educational and healthcare institutions, community and youth work services, third sector organizations, residential facilities). Graduates may take the MSc as a stepping stone towards further postgraduate study (e.g. Clinical Doctorate).

For students with a first degree in psychology (which is Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC) accredited) further postgraduate training opportunities will include doctoral training on British Psychological Society (BPS) accredited courses in Counselling Psychology. Graduates of the programme will be able to work as a counsellor in a range of settings such as healthcare and educational institutions, residential facilities and community and youth work agencies.

For students with a professional background (such as teaching, nursing and social work) the programme will strengthen your skills and competencies and allow you to develop a strong specialism in children’s mental health. You will have the skills to appropriately position yourself as a counsellor and will have a good critical and in-depth understanding of professional practices when working with children, young people, families, parents and carers.

Work Experience - A supervised placement practice of a minimum of 100 hours is compulsory.

On-course requirements

To count towards a professional body accreditation, such as UKCP or BACP, the course require students to undertake a supervised placement practice of a minimum of 100 hours and a minimum 40 hours of personal therapy with an approved and BACP or UKCP accredited counsellor or therapist. A student membership of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP), a professional indemnity insurance and a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check are also mandatory. These requirements imply additional costs on the top of the fee.

Visit the Counselling Children and Young People MSc page on the University of Northampton website for more details!

Entry Requirements

Candidates will normally have a first or second class bachelors’ degree. Voluntary or professional experience of work with children and young people is desirable, but not essential.

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Recipient: University of Northampton
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