Course details

Study options

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

UK/EU fee

£9,250 per year* (2020/21)

International fee

£14,045 per year (2020/21)

UCAS points

112 (September 2020 entry)

UCAS code


Course level



BSc (Hons)

Start date



Kedleston Road, Derby Campus

This course is available as a Joint Honours degree.

View Joint Honours optionsView Joint Honours options

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

If you would like to combine Counselling and Psychotherapy with another subject, consider our Joint Honours course.

Our BSc (Hons) Counselling and Psychotherapy Principles and Practices will build your personal and professional skills so that you are fully equipped for career success.

Broaden your knowledge and experience

This course represents an excellent introduction to counselling and psychotherapy. It puts you on the pathway not only to further postgraduate study – so that you can qualify to practise as a counsellor or psychotherapist – but also to broader roles within health, social care, education and human resource management, both in the UK and overseas.

The course will develop you academically, professionally and personally, equipping you with essential life skills alongside a strong foundation of theoretical knowledge. You’ll become familiar with a number of different psychological therapies that can be applied in a wide variety of contexts and situations. We focus on both interpersonal and intrapersonal development, with an emphasis on nurturing your skills as a reflective practitioner.

In tune with latest developments

The world of counselling and psychotherapy is constantly changing and this course has been specifically designed to reflect the demands of life and work in the 21st century. Drawing on our strong engagement with the professional bodies, it aims to meet the growing need for effective, skilled and forward-thinking counsellors and psychotherapists.

Now is the ideal time to embark on a career in this important field, with new opportunities constantly emerging. The issue of mental health is rising on the political agenda and high-profile campaigns are seeking to tackle the stigma surrounding mental health problems.

There is, in particular, a renewed focus on counselling for children and young people, with the NSPCC’s Childline service reporting a 35% increase in the number of calls from individuals seeking help for anxiety in 2015-16.

At the same time, the Department for Education has highlighted the need for counselling provision in every school. Its 2015 paper Counselling in Schools: a Blueprint for the Future states that, by the turn of the decade, children and young people across the country should have “timely access to effective mental health support when they need it”.

In addition, new initiatives are being launched to support mental health in the workplace. Latest guidance from the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence urges employers to adopt an organisation-wide approach to promoting the mental wellbeing of all employees.  

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.

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.

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 our Kedleston Road site, 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 consultation rooms dedicated to counselling along with group behavioural observation rooms. 

What you will study

You’ll study a wide range of contemporary therapies including cognitive behavioural psychotherapy, systemic therapy, person-centred therapy, attachment-based therapies, gestalt psychotherapy, psychodynamic therapy and integrative counselling and psychotherapy.

You'll study modules such as:

  • History of Psychological Therapies
  • Human Engagement and Connections: Understanding Self in Relation to Other 1
  • Health and Social Care Settings, Contexts and Frameworks
  • Psychology in the Modern World
  • Developing Counselling Skills and Personal and Professional Development
  • Introduction to Research Methods in Psychology
  • Psychotherapeutic Approaches and Professional Development Planning (PDP) - including a mandatory placement visit
  • Human Engagement and Connections: Understanding Self in Relation to Other 2
  • Meta-Awareness and the Unconscious
  • Qualitative Methods: The Individual in Society
  • Psychopathology: Diagnosis, Treatment, and Issues

This course offers an ‘Industrial Placement Year’ giving you the opportunity to enhance your practical skills by putting theory into practice, network in your industry and stand-out in the graduate job market. The placement year takes place in your third year, once completed, you would return to University to complete your final year of studies.

  • Dissertation and Professional Development Planning
  • Core Issues, Diversity and Debates
  • Counselling Skills
  • Negotiated Module
  • Coaching Skills
  • Counselling Children and Young People
  • Compassion Focused Approaches in Counselling and Psychotherapy.

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.

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Find out more about Counselling and Psychotherapy Principles and Practices

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 Open DayBook your Open Day

How you will learn

There are varied opportunities to practise your skills individually, as a group, and in real life contexts. The course incorporates insight visits to a range of health and social care settings such as counselling or voluntary organisations.

You can develop your abilities in our clinical skills suite, which includes counselling rooms. In addition, you will benefit from our learning resource centre, with interactive resources including books, ebooks and DVDs.

How you’re assessed

Your assessments will focus on the different skills required to excel on this course. The methods we use include project work, written assignments, presentations, video and audio work, portfolios and posters.

Who you will meet

Our teaching team has extensive experience of counselling and psychotherapy, along with wide-ranging professional networks. They include:

This course also benefits from the input of an enthusiastic and expert team specialising in a wide range of fields including gestalt psychotherapy, compassion, counselling in cases of rape and sexual abuse, conflict transformation, trauma, mindfulness-based cognitive therapy, systemic psychotherapy and compassion focused therapy.

Entry requirements

September 2020 typical entry requirements

RequirementWhat we're looking for
UCAS points112 (up to 16 from AS-levels)
Specific requirements at A-level

No specific subject requirements

Specific requirements at GCSEGCSE Maths and English Grade C/Grade 4 (or above) or equivalent qualification
IELTS6.5 (with 5.5 in each skills area)
Interview / AuditionN/A

Alternative entry qualifications:

We usually consider an A-level in General Studies as a supplementary qualification. A good application/performance will be taken into account if you do not meet the criteria/offer conditions.

An Enhanced Disclosure & Barring Service certificate cleared by the University is required for this course. We will contact you with information on how to complete this once you have applied. More information.

Our entry requirements for this course should be read together with the University's general entry requirements, which details subjects we accept, alternative qualifications and what we're looking for at Derby.

Fees and funding

2020/21 Fees


£9,250 per year*

£1,155 per module*


£14,045 per year


* The fees stated above are for the 2019/20 academic year; fees for 2020/21 have not yet been confirmed by the UK government. We will update this information as soon as it is available.

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

How to apply

UK/EU students

Full-time students applying to start in September should apply for this course through UCAS or you can apply directly to the University for an undergraduate course if you’re not applying to any other UK university in the same year.

Part-time students should apply directly to the University.

Apply through UCASApply directly to the University

Guidance for EU students post-Brexit

International students

Full-time students applying to start in September should apply for this course through UCAS or you can apply directly to the University for an undergraduate course if you’re not applying to any other UK university in the same year.

Apply through UCASApply directly to the University

Guidance for international applicants applying for an undergraduate degree


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.

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 Principles and Practices 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.

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.

Programme leader

Dr Bill Naylor

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.

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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.

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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