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Ulster University Foundation Degree in Integrative Counselling

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Level 5
Mode of Study
Part Time
Course Type
Higher Education
Newry Campus


This practice-based professional programme in counselling, responds to evidenced public need in NI and has been designed in consultation with industry partners, professional and academic bodies. The course is offered part-time over 3 years of study.  It is awarded and validated by Ulster University and is accredited by the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) and the National Counselling Society (NCS). Successful completion of the full award confers fitness to practice counselling.  

The course aims to develop students with the required attributes, skills and competencies to work effectively and ethically with adults who wish to avail of professional counselling.  

Exit Award

Students not wishing to become a professional counsellor may exit at the mid-point of the course. The exit award of Certificate in Higher Education (CERTHE) in Counselling Studies, is awarded on successful completion of 120 credits at Level 4. This non-practice option, acknowledges counselling knowledge and skill development, but not to the level required for professional practice.

Course Team

All tutors are qualified and experienced counsellors. This underpins the authenticity of teaching and learning activities as students engage with practitioners who understand the challenges and opportunities of the counselling role. The following teaching team deliver the FdSc course at SRC:

  • Course Director - Claire Rogan
  • Course Lecturer - Anne O'Neill
  • Course Lecturer- Phillipa Markey-Smith

Clinical supervisors are appointed by students from an approved list of appropriately qualified and experienced counselling practitioners – the Ulster University Register of Counselling-Training Supervision Providers – which is renewed annually.

Placement mentors are appointed by placement agencies and work closely with the College and supervisory teams. 


  • Applicants must be at least 18 years of age on or before 1st July in the year of proposed entry to the course.
  • Applicants must meet the general entrance requirements and the standard offer for this course may vary, but is 48 UCAS points as a minimum. The requirements may be met in the following ways:
    • Five subjects, two of which must be at A level (grades A-E) and three at GCSE level* (grades A-C/4-9); OR
    • Four subjects, three of which must be at A level (grades A-E) and one at GCSE level* (grades A- C/4-9); OR
    • BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma or an Access to Higher Education qualification.

*Essential Skills Level 2 Communication and Essential Skills Level 2 Numeracy is acceptable. 

*GCSE English Language (grades A-C/4-9 or acceptable equivalent) and maths (grades A-C/4-9 or acceptable equivalent) may be used as part of the GCSE requirement. 

  • Applicants who do not meet the criteria outlined above but have evidence of substantial knowledge or relevant industrial experience and skills, which has not been formally assessed, should refer to the College’s Accreditation of Prior Experience and Learning (APEL) Policy at
  • In addition to the academic requirements, applicants must demonstrate personal qualities and attributes required for counselling practice through an assessed interview.   

Please note: Examples of Level 3 qualifications include A-Levels. For information on common alternative Level 3 qualifications, please refer to the Ulster University Entrance Requirements and Equivalence of Qualifications table available at

For those students without the necessary 48 UCAS points achieved through A-Level, which are required for entrance to the Foundation Degree, the Level 4 Ulster University Certificate in Counselling Studies is accepted by Ulster University Admissions as an alternative to the A-Level requirement for this  linked programme, since Ulster University recognise the important personal development, competencies and skills achieved on the Certificate programme and its relevance to this Foundation Degree.  Please note that progression to the Foundation Degree also requires applicants to hold a GCSE grade C or equivalent qualification in Maths and English

Whilst applicants who do not possess the above qualifications may gain entry to the course through the Accreditation of Prior Learning route (APEL), please note that certificated evidence of English and Maths subjects are required and APEL for these subjects is only considered in exceptional cases. Applicants who are considering this route should contact the Course Director or attend advertised information evenings to discuss, as early application is recommended.

Admissions Process

Completion of the Level 4 Ulster University Certificate in Counselling Studies course, or an equivalent substantial counselling qualification is recommended and is a desirable selection criteria which will be applied where the course is over-subscribed.  

The application process involves submission of an application and completion of interview to establish suitability. It is the applicant’s responsibility to provide certificated evidence of entry qualifications with their College application in order to be considered for interview. Successful completion of all components of the admission procedures contribute to the overall admission decision. Applications will be sifted in May and June.

Where the number of places is oversubscribed, additional criteria will be used and candidates will be called for interview by date order of application. Please note that submission of an application does not guarantee an interview, as places may fill before all applications are reviewed. Early application is therefore advisable.

Your application will require two character references and as this course may require work with vulnerable adults ACCESS NI checks are required for all successful applicants.

Please Note: It is the responsibility of the applicant to check each University’s admission and progression requirements and the impact of using student finance before enrolling on a course at the College.


The course is structured around 11 compulsory taught modules. These are delivered via a blended approach to teaching and learning, which involves opportunities for face-to-face lectures, student-led seminars, group work, counselling practice with peers and online teaching.  



Module and course code


Credit point


Integrative Skills 1



Integrating the Self



Integrating Humanistic Theory



Ethics and professional practice

(Pre-requisite module)




Integrating Cognitive Behavioural Theory



Integrative Skills 2



Supervised Practice 1

(Pre-requisite Module)



Psychosocial Lifespan Development




Supervised Practice 2



Integrating Psychodynamic Theory



Personal Integrative Approach




3 Years


This course is awarded and validated by Ulster University and is accredited by both the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) and the National Counselling Society (NCS). Successful completion of the full award confers fitness to practice counselling.


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In addition to course and registration fees, all counselling courses incur an additional cost in relation to practice and personal therapy requirements. The following are examples of the associated costs for this course.

  • Personal therapy (approximately £40 per hour) for a minimum of thirty (30) sessions.
  • Clinical supervision (typically £35 - £40 per hour - student rates may be available). Students are required to have supervision every fortnight for a minimum of 45 mins.
  • Student membership of a professional body BACP (normally £82 per year).
  • Professional Indemnity Insurance £60-80 (approx.).

Overall, it would be expected that additional costs may reach a minimum of £2400.


Graduates of the Foundation Degree (FdSc) in Integrative Counselling Practice (Level 5) may progress to Level 6 BSc (Hons) Professional Development in Counselling at Ulster University and in turn further study at Masters and PhD level.

Graduates may also begin working as counsellors upon qualification and many have progressed to part-time employment in voluntary, charitable and private sector agencies. Since the FdSc programme is widely applicable to a range of occupations, others graduates have used the course to progress to study in Allied Healthcare professions, Human Resources, law etc. at Ulster University and elsewhere. 


All Higher Education courses starting in September 2022 are open for applications. Please click on the 'Apply Now' button above to begin your application. 

If you require any assistance with your application you can call us on 0300 123 1223.


Claire Rogan

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Anne O'Neill

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028 3025 9685


In light of the continuing Covid-19 situation, Southern Regional College may have to amend the delivery methods for a number of courses for the new academic year, or should the need arise effect a temporary College closure. This may also lead to restrictions when accessing student services. Please be assured that the safety of our students is paramount and as such we will be implementing a range of measures in line with government advice and protocols. We will make all appropriate and reasonable adjustments to maintain the ongoing quality of teaching and learning and our support services.

In accordance with the Consumer Rights Act 2015, you will be notified of any such changes, the reasons for the changes and any options available to you to avoid such changes having an adverse impact on your future career. All higher education students and applicants should refer to the Consumer Protection page.


Information about our fees policy including details on registration and reduced fees as well as refunds can be found HERE

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