Counselling and Psychotherapy (Top-Up) BA (Hons)

Full-time undergraduate (1 year)



Our exciting course is designed for qualified counsellors and psychotherapists to top up their training to a full BA (Hons) and engage in practical research. You’ll develop your skills, knowledge, clinical practice and enhance employability with a choice of two specialist routes: Counselling Adults or Counselling Children and Young People.

Full description


This course will help you develop your career, clinical experience and interests. Carrying out research can open up new directions in your career and develop skills that are attractive to employers.

With our Adult pathway you’ll gain cutting-edge skills and knowledge with digital media in therapy, in addition to developing understanding of working with issues such as sex, sexuality and addiction. With our Child and Young Person pathway you’ll develop practical skills in working therapeutically with creative materials and gain an understanding of issues such that affect therapeutic work with different age groups. This pathway meets a number of BACP Competences for humanistic counselling with young people (2014) which can enable you to develop this area as a clinical specialism.

Modules & assessment

Year one, core modules

  • This module provides an overview of person-centred theory and practice, and also allows you to focus in depth on a specific concept or development in the person-centred field. You'll develop your understanding of classical person-centred theory and of contemporary developments. The work you carry out on this module can be used to support the research dissertation.
  • This module provides a foundation in research methods and design, where you’ll evaluate research, identify a relevant topic for study and design a research project. It supports the preparation and planning phases of your research dissertation for the Undergraduate Major Project module. You’ll engage in peer supervision groups and peer feedback tasks to support your learning on this module.
  • The major project is an effective and exciting way to learn about counselling research first hand, by designing and carrying out an original, individual study of your own. This module allows you to engage in a substantial piece of individual research where you'll collect, organise and analyse data focused on a topic relevant to the field of counselling and psychotherapy. Your research project may be either a) a literature-based project, or b) an active participant-based project.

Year one, optional modules

  • An overview of the context of counselling adults, with a particular focus on sex and sexuality, and a variety of issues that adults are likely to present with - for example infertility, domestic violence, addictions and depression. You'll choose an area or issue to focus on and explore this in terms of your chosen theory and in relation to your own professional practice.
  • This module is designed to introduce you to the practical use of digital media in the therapeutic context. You’ll critically analyse the use of digital media in therapy, the influence on the therapeutic context and potential ethical issues. You'll also examine trends and context of social media for clients, and you’ll explore your own relationship and experience with digital technology.
  • Build on your existing professional skills and knowledge in relation to counselling children and young people. You’ll work with a range of creative materials and there will be a focus on practical and experiential learning using play and art materials. This module is designed to help you meet a number of BACP Competences for work with young people (11-18 years).


We use a variety of assessment methods including presentations, essays, practical work, peer assessment and the final major research project. You’re expected to engage in a variety of development and learning activities such as peer study groups, research supervision and online learning support. You’re also required to engage in personal counselling.

Where you'll study

Your faculty

The Faculty of Health, Education, Medicine and Social Care is the largest in ARU, with over 7,000 students. Our Faculty is teeming with expertise and primed to meet the demand for creating health professionals, teachers, doctors, scientists and educators for the three districts we serve: Chelmsford, Cambridge and Peterborough.

We have been training undergraduates for professional roles for over 25 years, with a reputation for quality, dedication and ambition balanced with student satisfaction.

We know that to give our students the very best experiential learning, prior to getting into the workplace, simulation is second to none, for safe, realistic, learning environments. We have invested heavily in purpose built simulated wards, science labs and skills space, to support our students through their learning.

Where can I study?

Fees & funding

Course fees

UK students starting 2022/23 (full-time, per year)


How do I pay my fees?

You can pay your fees in the following ways.

Tuition fee loan

UK students can take out a tuition fee loan, which you won’t need to start repaying until after your graduate. Or there's the option to pay your fees upfront.

Loans and fee payments


We offer a fantastic range of ARU scholarships, which provide extra financial support while you’re at university. Some of these cover all or part of your tuition fees.

Explore ARU scholarships

Funding for UK students

Most new UK undergraduate students can apply for government funding to support their studies and university life. This also applies to EU, EEA and Swiss nationals who have citizens' rights following Brexit.

Government funding includes Tuition Fee Loans and Maintenance Loans. There are additional grants available for specific groups of students, such as those with disabilities or dependants.

We also offer a range of ARU scholarships, which can provide extra financial support while you’re at university.

Entry requirements

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  • You must demonstrate current professional registration with a relevant organisation such as the British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy (BACP).
  • You must hold a recognised Diploma in Counselling.
  • If you are unsure if you meet the published entry criteria for this course, please contact us (email

Important additional notes

Our published entry requirements are a guide only and our decision will be based on your overall suitability for the course as well as whether you meet the minimum entry requirements. Other equivalent qualifications may be accepted for entry to this course, please email for further information.

You'll need a computer and reliable internet access to successfully engage with your course. Before starting a course, we recommend that you check our technical requirements for online learning.

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Counselling (Child and Young Person)

Part-time undergraduate (4 years)


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