BA (Hons) Counselling Studies (Top-up)

Start date(s):
6 Sep 2021
1 year
Level 6
Course Code:
Study Mode:
Part Time
Attendance Type:
Attendance Pattern:
Framwellgate Moor Campus
Course costs:


Course details may be subject to change

This programme will top-up your foundation degree in counselling to a degree and will enable you to develop into a reflective practitioner. It will also develop your expertise in helping people to improve their wellbeing and quality of life.

You will study modules that focus on areas such as therapeutic relationships, cognitive behavioural therapy, developing a personal integrative approach to counselling, plus the opportunity to carry out research in an area of counselling of your own choice.
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This programme allows you to top-up a foundation degree in counselling to an honours degree. It will enable you to develop into a more reflective and informed counsellor. You will develop your professionalism by focussing on both theoretical and practical aspects of counselling.

The programme also provides an opportunity for you to develop your skills as a researcher, as you will carry out an in depth study of an area of your own counselling interest in the form of a research project. You will benefit from discussions with your peers who will have a variety of counselling experiences to share and you can enjoy working collaboratively in a supportive environment.


You will study the following core modules:
  • Developing Professional Practice
  • Planning and Designing the Primary Project
  • Cognitive Behavioual Therapy & Mental Health
  • Research Dissertation.

Time commitment

Average number of hours per week

Work Placement
Assignment Feedback
Independent Learning


*Days and times of study are subject to change. Timetables are confirmed at the start of term.

Teaching & assessment

The teaching methods used will include:
  • Lectures
  • Individual tutorials
  • Group tutorials
  • Reflection on professional practice
  • E-learning
  • Peer learning
  • Constructive oral feedback
  • Written feedback.

A range of assessment methods will be used, including:
  • Case studies
  • Referenced theory assignments
  • Triad work
  • Presentations
  • A dissertation of 10,000 words.

Maths and English

Ideally, you will hold a GCSE grade 4 or above (or Level 2 equivalent) in maths and English. You may find that employers will expect you to hold maths and English at this level.
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Maths & English

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Industry links:

Links with counselling agencies are often strengthened by student working collaboratively to carry out an area of research.


There is no formal requirement for you to undertake a work placement, however, current or recent counselling practice is required. You will be encouraged to actively engage in work experience opportunities.


Short course counselling 2

BA (Hons) Counselling (Top-up) course handbook

Below you can access your course handbook. 



HE Information

Regulations for validated awards of The Open University.


You will be qualified to pursue a career as a Counsellor, however, it is possible to further embed your understanding of the industry by studying a Masters qualification.

Meet our students

Shannon Staley - Counselling

Shannon Staley

Shannon said she couldn’t have asked for a better place to have started her counselling journey.

Ashley Brotherston - BA Counselling

Ashley Brotherston

Ashley studied counselling from Level 1 to Level 6 at New College Durham.

Helen Cossar

Helen Cossar

Helen progressed from Level 1 Counselling to a BA (Hons) top-up degree at New College Durham.

Keith Liddell

Keith Liddell

Keith is now a self-employed counsellor with his own business, New Dawn Counselling Practice.

What else?

This programme is specifically designed to allow you to continue in counselling practice whilst studying for your degree one day a week at college.

Useful links:


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Annual increases

Tuition fees are chargeable for the academic period required by the programme, with annual amounts charged for each academic year of the programme unless otherwise stated. It is to be expected that tuition fees will include an inflationary rise each year, for the duration of study. This will be agreed by the College Strategy and Resources Committee who will consider Increases in College costs, including the provision of teaching, supervision and course-related facilities.

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Fees and funding

Find out more about course fees and financial support for UK, EU and non-EU students, plus how to pay your fees.

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Refund Policy 20-21

View our refund policy for further and higher education programmes (page 2) and full cost courses.


Additional Costs

You will not be required to make any further mandatory payments.

Interview Instructions

You will be invited to attend an interview with a member of the course team, where you will be given an overview of the course and the opportunity to ask questions.

You will complete a small piece of written work to assess your suitability for the programme. If you have any special requirements, please let a member of the teaching team know prior to attendance.
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Getting ready for your college interview

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Entry Criteria

You should hold a counselling qualification with a value of 240 credits (120 at Level 4 and 120 at Level 5).
This will normally be satisfied if applicants hold a Foundation Degree or Counselling Diploma.