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Entry Requirements

Minimum of 48 UCAS points

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Study Mode

Full time


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Full time:

2 years

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Key Features & Benefits

  • Validated by UK Top 15 Lancaster University
  • Enjoy the opportunity to present your dissertation research at our annual Health, Counselling and Psychology conference.

Our Foundation Degree in Integrative Counselling and Psychotherapy, qualifies you as a therapeutic counsellor working with individuals experiencing a range of mild to moderate mental health challenges.

  • Overview

    Our Foundation Degree in Integrative Counselling and Psychotherapy, qualifies you as a therapeutic counsellor working with individuals experiencing a range of mild to moderate mental health challenges.

    The overall aim of the FdA is to produce safe, effective and critically aware counselling practitioners with the knowledge and skills relevant to the sector. To achieve this, FdA Integrative Counselling and Psychotherapy focuses on three distinctive strands: counselling skills, personal and professional development, and research informed practice.

    Upon completion you will be able to work as a counsellor within an organisation or private practice. A popular progression route is via the BA (Hons) Integrative Counselling Psychotherapy (Top Up), which will enable you to develop a wider range of advanced counselling skills and access postgraduate study. 

    The experienced teaching team will complement your studies with their experience in the voluntary, private and statutory sectors - every one of them is a practising counsellor who will be able to add to your learning experience, develop your knowledge and skills and provide real insight into the role of a counsellor.

  • What will I study?

    Key themes run throughout the course. In the first year of full-time study you will learn the theory and practice of person-centred counselling. In the second year of full-time study you will move onto study a different range of counselling models. Throughout the programme you will learn about professionalism and ethics (eg. setting boundaries), difference and diversity and ethical codes. A large amount of personal development forms part of the programme. You will be encouraged to explore your own histories and experiences to enable you to relate to your clients. The course also involves a large research element - you will learn to read and understand academic material and research your own area of choosing to enable you to pursue an academic career in counselling if you wish.

    In addition to attending classroom lectures you will also complete 100 hours of supervised counselling practice. We have strong employer links to counselling organisations to help source your placement.

    Modules include:

    Level 4 (all modules are mandatory and are non-condonable):

    • Person Centred Skills
    • The Practice Framework
    • Psychological Foundations of Therapy
    • Building the Therapeutic Relationship
    • Personal Development and Resilience
    • Research Project 1

    Level 5 (all modules are mandatory and are non-condonable):

    • Integrative and Contemporary Practice
    • Professional Practice and Supervision
    • Mental Health
    • Brief Interventions
    • Interpersonal Communication
    • Research Project 2

    During the programme you will find that there are some additional costs. These include:

    • Student Membership of the British Association of Counselling & Psychotherapy (BCAP) – a cost of around £82 for the year
    • Professional Indemnity Insurance – this can cost between £45 and £150 depending on the insurance that you choose
    • Monthly clinical supervision costs – typically between £20-60 per month
    • You will also incur the costs of travel to/from counselling placements.
  • Entry Requirements

    You’ll need a minimum of 48 UCAS Tariff points (formerly 120 UCAS points) to join this programme.

    All applicants must show that they have a good level of spoken or written English, and if English is not your first language you’ll need to demonstrate the ability to study in English.

    Applicants without the standard entry requirements but with relevant work / life experience will be considered on an individual basis. An assessment task issued at interview may be used as part of the decision-making process regarding the applicant. Admission will be based on the interviewers’ satisfaction that you have demonstrated sufficient prior knowledge, skill, aptitude and interest to be equally able to succeed as a candidate offering the standard entry criteria.

    Completion of the Level 2 Counselling qualification is desirable.

    All applicants will be required to attend a formal interview, partake in a group exercise and submit a small piece of reflective writing. The design of this follows ‘best practice guidance’ and ensures that applicants will be able to demonstrate an ability to engage with the core competences of the programme.

    These are:

    1. the ability to engage in productive and respectful discussion with others who may have differing opinions.

    2. the ability to reflect on ones’ own performance. This can be undertaken orally if the candidate prefers and

    3. the ability to represent oneself in a formal arena when exploring personal rationale and past experiences.

    This will form part of the interview process for every candidate and involve several members of the teaching team to ensure that the decision to offer a place does not rest with a sole member of staff. A minimum of two staff members will form the interview panel and similarly two (other) staff members will observe the group discussion. The reflective writing task is explained by a staff member who has observed the discussion. The applicant’s written work is then read and considered by all staff members who have met with the group of applicants in either capacity. Hence there will be a minimum of four staff members involved in the interview process. 

    Care Leavers or Young Carers

    We want students from all backgrounds to have the opportunity to go to University. If you have spent three months or more in local authority care OR are a young carer, you will be eligible for a contextual offer. This is a grade reduction of 1-A Level grade below our standard entry requirements. For example, a standard offer of CCC, would become CCD. MMM at Level 3 Extended Diploma would become MMP. To apply we advise that you tick the box on your UCAS application which identifies you have spent time in care and to help identify you as eligible for our contextual offer.

  • How will I be assessed?

    Throughout the course a full range of assessment techniques will be used. You could be assessed by examinations, including open-book examinations, practical assessments, assignments, briefs, essays, presentations (including group presentations), reports and portfolio building. 

    Each module is formally assessed through, for example, examinations, open book examinations, group projects, essays, assignments or briefs, presentations, group presentations, portfolio building, self-assessment, peer assessments and a dissertation. This formal assessment will count towards your module mark and feedback is usually given within 3 weeks following the submission of your formal submission of work.

    Additionally, some lecturers will provide informal feedback, for example, following an examination they may choose to work through the exam paper in a tutorial. It should be noted that feedback is part of the ongoing learning cycle which is not limited to written feedback. Other forms of feedback include one-to-one meetings with a personal tutor, dissertation and project supervision meetings, a lecturer responding to learner questions or responses during topic or situation discussions. 

    Feedback is intended to help you learn and you are encouraged to discuss it with your module tutor.

  • Teaching and Learning

    The learning environment and facilities could include lecture theatres, classrooms, technology suites, laboratories and workshops, library and skills labs, art and photography studios, small group and quiet zones. Learning methods will vary according to the programme of study but will include lectures and group tutorials. In addition, seminars, field trips, work placements, role play or scenario activities, laboratory and workshop practical, demonstrations, guest lectures, discussions and debates all contribute to the learning experience to support the acquisition of subject specific skills and knowledge and the development of transferable and employment related skills.

    You should typically expect to have around 15 contact hours per week if you are studying full time.

    In addition, you will have timetabled meetings with your personal tutor.  

    You will be taught by an experienced teaching team whose expertise and knowledge are closely matched to the content of the modules on the course.  The team could include senior academics, professional practitioners with industry experience, demonstrators and technical officers.  You can learn more about our staff by visiting our staff profiles.


    On this course, students generally spend up to 2 days a week in College, if you choose to study the course full-time. As all course timetables are subject to change you should not make definite plans based on this information; this information is intended as a guide only. Please remember that you will be expected to carry out work in your own time in addition to the time you spend in College.

    Overall Workload

    You overall workload consists of class contact hours, around 15 hours of independent learning and assessment activity and any field trips which may take place.

    Academic Support

    We have a dedicated Student Engagement Team who will be able to provide support in the following areas;

    • Study Skills (including reading, note-taking and presentation skills)
    • Written English
    • Academic Writing (including referencing)
    • Research Skills
  • What can I do next?

    Counselling employment opportunities are available in a variety of diverse areas such as education, the criminal justice system, primary and secondary health care, human resources and also in private independent practice (to mention a few).

    We expect the majority of graduates from the FdA Integrative Counselling and Psychotherapy to progress on to study at the University Centre at Blackburn College to gain a full BA (Hons) Integrative Counselling and Psychotherapy Top Up degree.

    Past students who have completed have progressed into roles including: Counselling Coordinator at Lancashire Women's Centre, Counsellor at Child Action North West, Private Counselling Practice, Outreach Drugs Worker for a local authority and a mental health specialist for the Police.

  • Supplementary Information

    Supplementary Information

    The Programme Specification will give you further information about the course structure, learning outcomes and detailed information about the assessment you can expect during the course.

    Work Placements

    Work placements are subject to availability. You are also responsible for any costs in travelling to and from your work placements, for any accommodation costs and in some instances the cost of acquiring a satisfactory Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) report.

Group of graduates and staff throwing graduate hats into the air