Undergraduate Course

Counselling and Psychotherapy (Humanistic Approaches)

BSc (Hons)

Course details

Study options

Full-time: 3 years, Part-time: Up to 6 years

UK fee

£9,250 per year (2024/25)

International fee

£14,900 per year (2024/25)

UCAS points

120-128 (September 2024 entry)

UCAS code


Course level



BSc (Hons)

Start date



Kedleston Road, Derby Campus

If you do not achieve the typical entry points required, you may want to consider studying this course with foundation year.

View with foundation year optionView with foundation year option

Course description

The best bits

  • 100 hours clinical placement to enable you to register as a counsellor with a regulatory body such as the BACP
  • Learn from practising counsellors and psychotherapists and experienced lecturers
  • The opportunity to become more self-aware and experience personal growth
  • Utilise our specialist facilities to include our counselling suites
  • Focused humanistic approach throughout the course

At a time of mental strain on populations, as a counsellor and psychotherapist you will be at the forefront of responding to these societal needs and you will be changing peoples’ lives. This course is more than an academic programme and will transform you academically, professionally and personally. 

Academically, this course focuses on enabling students to develop a firm grounding in understanding the humanistic theories of counselling and psychotherapy and to develop core academic skills of critical analysis and reflection. Professional counselling skills will be developed and applied in clinical placement. On a personal level, the programme will be transformable in terms of building self-awareness, confidence and understanding relationships. Those personal benefits are transferable to any relationship or employment which involves people.  

Top15for academic support and teaching quality for Counselling and Psychotherapy**National Student Survey 2023
Top5for student satisfaction for Counselling and Psychotherapy**The Complete University Guide 2024
99%of students said they were overall satisfied with the teaching on this course**National Student Survey 2023

Key characteristics

The course has five ‘pillars’ to meet the training, practice and competencies required for students to work professionally as counsellors and psychotherapists. These run throughout the three years, which are: 

Our pillars have been mapped* against several external reference points from professional agencies, which align with key industry competency frameworks and curricula, i.e., BACP, QAA, and SCoPEd 

Aims of the course

Student standing holding paper and speaking
Students sitting down and in conversation
Students sitting watching other students perform an interactive activity

Benefit from our employer partnerships

Our course is underpinned by strong professional partnerships so you can be confident it delivers the skills and knowledge that employers are seeking. You will also gain essential practical experience whilst on placement. Placement hours are subject to change.

We give you the opportunity to take part in insight visits which will shed light on how relevant organisations across the health, social care and educational sectors operate. You may find yourself shadowing a health care worker, sitting in a support group, participating in different wellbeing groups such as meditation, mindfulness or art therapy, or undertaking personal therapy to gain new perspectives on how the theories work in practice.

Thanks to our strong network of contacts, the course features guest lectures by influential figures from the profession, including Increasing Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) and Children and Young People Increasing Access to Psychological Therapies (CYP IAPT) practitioners, art therapists, drama therapists, and mental health practitioners. These will give you a broad vision of what might be involved in the therapeutic settings you could encounter in your future career.

Be inspired by our expert teaching team

You’ll be motivated, challenged and supported by our teaching team. All are specialists within their therapeutic fields, so will keep you up to date with the latest thinking and practice.

Our staff include influential researchers, published authors and high-profile practitioners who have active roles on the leading professional bodies. They undertake a wide range of research which places us at the cutting edge of policy change and helps to shape the future of the profession. The team is frequently commissioned to run specialist programmes which underpin national policy on mental health.

Students siting down and in conversation

Working together to learn from each other

Successful counselling and psychotherapy professionals have to be adaptable, versatile and prepared to work in multi-agency teams. You will therefore have opportunities to learn with, and from, students from other disciplines through our Inter-Professional Learning agenda.

This is important in preparing you to work alongside other professionals after graduation so that you can achieve positive outcomes for your clients. We adopt this approach right from the start of your course, where you will attend a major conference with other new Health and Social Care students representing courses ranging from nursing to social work.

Outstanding learning facilities

You’ll be based at Kedleston Road, our Derby campus, which boasts some of the best resources for health and social care learning that you’ll find in any university, including a clinical skills suite, immersive simulation room, domestic living suite and a community care living space. The clinical skills suite includes five rooms dedicated to counselling along with group behavioural observation rooms. 

What you will study

Please note that our modules are subject to change - we review the content of our courses regularly, making changes where necessary to improve your experience and graduate prospects.

Kedleston Road, Derby Campus entrance

Undergraduate Open Days

The best way to find out if studying at Derby is right for you is to experience an Open Day. Get a feel for the city and campus, tour our first-class facilities and see where you could be living.

Book your Undergraduate Open DayBook your Undergraduate Open Day

How you will learn

You will learn from lecturers who have a wealth of knowledge and experience and who bring their latest thinking to your studies. You will have interactive teaching sessions including lectures, small group seminars, counselling skills workshops and personal development groups. We ensure you have the right level of support to succeed, we are responsive, approachable and empathic in supporting your learning needs. 

How you’re assessed

You will be assessed mainly through assignments via essays, posters, presentations and reports. There are no exams on this course.

In addition to direct teaching by faculty staff the University also makes use of blended learning through which students will be able to enhance and progress their learning. Through the university’s online portal, University of Derby Online (UDO), students can access the university virtual learning environment which forms an important part of the delivery of the programme and provides a facility through which tutors can supply lecture notes and presentations, links to learning resources and information and announcements pertinent to studies.

Personal academic tutoring

Your personal academic tutor will work with you to help you get the most out of your time at university. Having someone to talk to about your academic progress, your university experience and your professional aspirations is hugely valuable. We want you to feel challenged in your studies, stretched but confident to achieve your academic and professional goals.

Find out more about personal academic tutoring

Who will teach you

Kathy Humberstone teaching a lecture

Kathy Humberstone
Programme leader

Kathy is a senior lecturer and the programme leader of BSc Counselling and Psychotherapy: Principles and Practices.

View full staff profileView full staff profile

Entry requirements

2024 entry

These are the typical qualification requirements for September 2024 entry. Contextual offers may apply to students who meet certain criteria.

RequirementWhat we're looking for
UCAS points120-128
T LevelMerit
GCSEGCSE Maths and English Grade 4/Grade C (or above) or equivalent qualification
Access to HEPass Access to HE Diploma with 60 credits: 45 at Level 3 with a minimum of Distinction: 21, Merit: 24, Pass: 0

Additional entry requirements

English language requirements

IELTS: 6.0 (in all areas)

Fees and funding



£9,250 per year

£1,155 per 20 credit module


£14,900 per year


Further information about our fees and support you may be entitled to.

Additional costs and optional extras

How to apply

Please look at our application deadlines before you apply.

UK students

If you are in Year 13 and applying for a full-time undergraduate course (including our joint honours courses), we recommend that you apply through UCAS.

Apply through UCAS

If you are applying to study part-time, or already have your qualifications, or wish to join at Year 2 or 3, you should apply directly to the University.

Apply directly to the University


With careers advice an integral part of your studies, this course equips you to compete effectively in the graduate careers market. After graduation you’ll have a wide range of options and could progress to roles within health and social care, counselling, psychotherapy and psychology.

This course enables you to be eligible to register for one of the counselling and psychotherapy regulatory bodies such as the BACP or NCPS. 

If you would like to take your qualifications to the next level and become a professional counsellor and/or psychotherapist, we offer a full range of postgraduate programmes including accredited MSc courses in Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapy and Integrative Counselling and Psychotherapy

These could pave the way to rewarding counselling and psychotherapy positions within the NHS, schools, colleges and universities, and any organisations which employ therapists as part of their occupational health portfolio. Some of the students who complete our postgraduate programmes also go on to develop their own private practice or advance to research degrees.

However, the transferable skills you gain on the BSc (Hons) Counselling and Psychotherapy (Humanistic Approaches) also mean that you could pursue careers in a wide variety of other professions where excellent people skills and emotional intelligence are valued, including nursing, social work, education, coaching, mental health, human resource management and marketing.

Postgraduate study

This course is also suitable if you wish to study at postgraduate level on courses such as:  

Other post-graduate routes may also include social work, education, youth work and mental health nursing. 

Ongoing careers support

Our Careers and Employment Service will provide you with help, guidance and support from day one of your course – and for up to three years after you’ve completed your studies.

Logan Strouther

Logan's preparing for life as a qualified therapist

A placement at a primary school was the stepping stone that inspired Logan Strouther on his chosen career path. The BSc (Hons) Counselling and Psychotherapy Principles and Practices graduate is now well on his way to becoming a qualified therapist.

Read Logan's storyRead Logan's story
Tania Wilson

Finally taking the plunge pays off for Tania

After ten years of considering applying to university, mature student Tania Wilson finally took the plunge and applied to the University of Derby to study Counselling and Psychotherapy. She has now graduated and is ready for the next stage of her academic career.

Read Tania's storyRead Tania's story

Contact us

If you need any more information from us, eg on courses, accommodation, applying, car parking, fees or funding, please contact us and we will do everything we can to help you.

Contact us Contact us

Additional information about your studies

Teaching hours

Like most universities, we operate extended teaching hours at the University of Derby, so contact time with your lecturers and tutors could be anytime between 9am and 9pm. Your timetable will usually be available on the website 24 hours after enrolment on to your course.

Additional costs and optional extras

We’re committed to providing you with an outstanding learning experience. Our expert teaching, excellent facilities and great employability prepare you for your future career. As part of our commitment to you we aim to keep any additional study costs to a minimum. However, there are occasions where students may incur some additional costs.

The information provided on this page is correct at the time of publication but course content, costs and other individual course details do change from time to time and are updated as often as possible, so please do check these pages again when making your final decision to apply for a course. Any updated course details will also be confirmed to you at application, enrolment and in your offer letter.

Included in your fees
Mandatory costs not included in your fees
Optional costs not included in your fees

Please note: Our courses are refreshed and updated on a regular basis. If you are thinking about transferring onto this course (into the second year for example), you should contact the programme leader for the relevant course information as modules may vary from those shown on this page.

Minimum numbers

Please note that this course is subject to minimum numbers in order to run.

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