PROGRAMME SPECIFICATION

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1 PROGRAMME SPECIFICATION 1. Programme Title BA (Hons) Counselling 2. Name of final Award (s) 3. Awarding body/institution 4. Teaching institution 5. Mode (s) of Delivery GENERAL INFORMATION BA (Hons) Counselling Lancaster University Blackburn College 6. Full or Part-Time Full-time and part-time Predominantly face to face with some flexible delivery in relation to the dissertation 7. UCAS Code 8. Accreditation by a professional/ statutory body: 9. Language of Study 10. Work-Based Learning 11. Date of Programme Specification preparation / revision 12. Due for revalidation Unlike the FdA, this programme does not contain enough placement hours to achieve course accreditation by the BACP. The programme will, however, enhance a candidate s application for individual accreditation post-qualification and will add another fifty hours of counselling practice to the 100 hours already achieved on the FdA. Thus by the end of the third year students will have achieved 150 of the 450 practice hours needed for individual accreditation. English Entry criteria for the programme include a current counselling placement. The completion of a minimum 50 placement hours is a mandatory requirement of the programme and forms part of the assessment strategy for both of the optional modules. October 2012 Academic Year : 2017 / 2018 PROGRAMME DESIGN

2 13. The General Aims of the Programme are: 14. The Educational objectives of the programme are: To produce honours graduates with higher level skills and knowledge relevant to their employment and the needs of employers To provide progression for relevant foundation degree students To further develop a flexible pathway for lifelong learning and the potential for progression at work and to undertake further professional qualifications within the counselling sector To engage students in honours level analysis, synthesis, critical thinking, and evaluation of key theories and practices within counselling practice To engage students in complex work-based problem solving tasks within the counselling environment To facilitate further independent personal development planning and work based reflection To further develop professional skills and enable students to contribute to the provision of safe, ethical, legal and efficient services for counselling service users To provide students with the opportunity to engage in contemporary debates on issues relevant to contemporary counselling practice, as well as having a critical understanding of the historical development of the discipline To further develop key transferable skills including team work, communication, management and leadership skills 15. Applicable QAA Subject benchmarks Counselling and Psychotherapy (2012) Health Studies (2010) Psychology (2007) 16. Other external and internal reference points British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) Core Curriculum (2009) and Guidance to Courses Seeking Accreditation (2009) Skills for Health (2010) Psychological Therapies National Occupational Standards United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP) Occupational Standards Department of Health (2011) No Health without Mental Health Framework for Higher Education Qualifications (FHEQ) 17. Programme A KNOWLEDGE AND UNDERSTANDING. Students must demonstrate critical understanding, at the appropriate

3 Learning Outcomes A1 A2 A3 A4 A5 A6 A7 A8 A9 A10 A11 B B1 B2 B3 B4 B5 B6 B7 C C1 C2 level, of: Alternative models of brief counselling Social, political, cultural and legal context of counselling The practice framework: working ethically and safely with clients Inclusive and anti-discriminatory practice Theories of psychological development and developmental trauma Therapeutic work with children and young people Working at relational depth, including the opportunities and blocks to psychological contact Theories and process issues within therapeutic groups Reflective practice Research methods and the role of the researcher-practitioner Evidence based practice CRITICAL THINKING / INTELLECTUAL SKILLS. Students must demonstrate skills, at the appropriate level, of: Analysing practice and theoretical perspectives from the standpoint of self, client, colleague and the organisation Critically evaluating arguments, assumptions and abstract concepts to make judgements and to frame appropriate responses, achieving a solution or range of solutions Skills of critical analysis and research with the ability to recognise how information can be interpreted and applied in a counselling context Systematic and up-to-date knowledge, critical awareness and understanding of relevant legal and practice frameworks and the capacity to apply and integrate these theoretical frameworks and key concepts in practice Evaluating skills in judging the appropriateness of practice with service users and colleagues through peer review and through taking an independent and professional position, challenging others views in a professional manner The capacity for independent and self-managed learning such that there can be an analysis of own strengths and weaknesses and form a strategy for improvement Synthesis of ideas and concepts from a range of ideologies and the construction of an independent substantiated academic position SUBJECT SPECIFIC SKILLS. Students must demonstrate skills, at the appropriate level, of: Working with a range of counselling models and frameworks in counselling practice Managing the elements of the therapeutic process; including

4 C3 C4 C5 C6 C7 C8 C9 D D1 D2 D3 D4 D5 contracting; assessment; beginnings, middles and endings; negotiating therapeutic outcomes and acknowledging and working with difficulties within the therapeutic process Constructing, exploring and evaluating the consideration of risk and risk management in practice Responding appropriately to a client who may be exhibiting psychological distress Applying skills of reflection and reflexivity within the learning environment, clinical supervision and counselling session Applying and demonstrating ethical principles in counselling Effective management of work with clients, including record keeping, maintaining a safe environment, liaising with other services, outcome measures and the evaluation of practice Planning and recognising the value of continual professional development as a professional duty and tool for constant improvement Effective state management by the counsellor to maximise levels of practitioner effectiveness and minimise any negative impact upon the client experience KEY TRANSFERABLE SKILLS. Students must demonstrate skills, at the appropriate level, of: Producing reasoned and substantiated arguments based on both academic and practice based sources The application of Information Technology Evaluating, critical thinking and complex problem solving in relation to practice Insight and confidence in leading and working collaboratively with others The enhanced ability to employ well developed, self-directed study and learning skills and to organise learning in terms of time management and the capacity to work to deadlines 18. FHEQ Level 6 PROGRAMME STRUCTURE AND REQUIREMENTS 19. Credits LEVEL FOUR 0 LEVEL FIVE 0 LEVEL SIX 120

5 TOTAL Requirements Module Title Credits Level Status 21. Standard published admission criteria LEVEL SIX Dissertation 40 6 Mandatory Contemporary Issues in Professional Practice 20 6 Mandatory Group Dynamics and Group Process 20 6 Mandatory Brief Therapy with Children and Young People 20 6 Mandatory Advanced Cognitive Behavioural Therapy 20 6 Optional The Solution Focused Approach: Extending Theory and Practice ADMISSION AND PROGRESSION 20 6 Optional This one year top-up honours programme in Counselling has been designed specifically as a progression route for those students who have successfully completed a Foundation Degree in Counselling. Such students will progress onto the honours year if they meet the following criteria: 1. Achieve a commendation or above in FdA Counselling 2. Provide evidence of an active counselling placement 3. Provide evidence of an existing CRB check for each counselling placement 4. Provide a Statement of Good Character declaring fitness to practice Students who meet the criteria will be offered progression support through dedicated taught sessions during the summer months on higher level study skills and preparing for their dissertation. Applications from students who have achieved a high pass at foundation level for a place on the programme will be considered individually. In these circumstances, such students will also be required to undertake further work relevant to the areas identified by the FdA and BA programme teams to ensure they are equipped with the higher level academic skills for success at level six. Additional selection criteria: Meeting the minimum entry requirements for a programme does not guarantee a place. Academic achievement is only one of the many factors taken into account when assessing an application. UCBC are committed to having a fair and transparent admissions process and applicants are considered on an individual basis. When considering an application,

6 account is taken of FdA grades and academic and employer references 22. Work Placement A current counselling placement forms part of the entry criteria for the programme. The completion of a minimum 50 placement hours is a mandatory requirement of the programme and to formalise and monitor this, the accrual of placement hours forms part of the assessment strategy for both optional modules. 23. CRB requirements (1) For students already working in the sector who have used their place of employment as work based learning on the Foundation Degree and intend to continue this arrangement on the top up, the CRB obtained through their employment will suffice for College purposes provided they sign a Statement of Good Character updating the CRB check in relation to their fitness to practice. (2) For students already working in the sector in voluntary placements and intend to continue this arrangement on the top up, the CRB obtained through their employment will suffice for College purposes provided they sign a Statement of Good Character updating the CRB check in relation to their fitness to practice. (3) Those students wishing to pursue an additional or alternative voluntary placement during the top up year will need to apply for a CRB through the College systems. 24. Other Criteria relevant to this programme 25. Accreditation of Prior Learning / Exemptions 26. Opportunities for progression Where the CRB disclosure raises issues which might impact on future employability within the counselling sector, these will be discussed with the student and the Head of Student Engagement. Whilst it is recognised that the perception of unacceptable CRBs differs between sectors, organisations and job roles, the student will be made aware of any potential impact on their career aspirations such issues may have. Where necessary, candidates will be referred to the careers advisor or additional advice will be taken from the student s employer or placement (if applicable), with their permission. There are no other admissions criteria specific to this one year BA (Hons) Top-up programme There is no accreditation of prior learning applicable to this programme. Academic progression routes from the programme include post-graduate certificates and post-graduate diplomas in specialist areas of practice. Examples of these include the Post-graduate Certificate in Counselling at the University of Central Lancashire and the Post-graduate Certificate in

7 27. Summary of learning, Teaching and Assessment strategy Counselling Supervision at the University of Salford. These shorter courses can be completed as part of the student s continuous professional development or as part of a three year part-time Master s Degree. A number of local universities (UCLan, Salford, Manchester, Manchester Met, Chester) offer Master s Degrees in counselling and these enable students to specialise in specific approaches (e.g. Solution Focused Therapy) or specific clinical issues (e.g. Post Traumatic Stress). The proposed top-up has optional modules in CBT and Solution Focused Therapy, both of which are offered as modules on the Post-graduate Certificate in Counselling at UCLan. The top up degree dovetails with provision at local universities. Students may also consider training in clinical supervision, a level six qualification accredited by the CPCAB and available in the local independent sector or they may take a teaching qualifications and add teaching/training to their portfolio of counselling based skills. LEARNING, TEACHING AND ASSESSMENT Learning and teaching strategies will reflect the requirements of an honours degree and will address the needs of the relevant academic infrastructures. The transfer of learning theories and concepts, and sector specific outcomes and vocational skills, to the workplace remains a key characteristic of the pedagogical approaches used. It will involve a systematic consideration of all learning outcomes, the subject content and the requirement to develop demand-led advanced work related skills. Key themes of the strategy are: Continuing explicit emphasis on practice-based or work related learning and application of complex theoretical principles to practice Teaching and learning that enhances professionalism within the sector Planned development of higher academic skills and advanced application of research Effective embedding of formative and summative assessment and feedback processes Effective development of independent learners Use of flexible blended learning strategies to support learning, including Moodle, UCBC s virtual learning environment Effective and on-going support through the use of structured, targeted and open-door tutorials and on-line tutorials Collaborative working with employers

8 28. Learning and Teaching methods used 29. Assessment methods used Learning and teaching methods will incorporate lectures, seminars, workshops, presentations, tutorials, work based support and on-line support via Moodle and . Assessment methods used in the core modules include: Examinations Essays Reports Case studies On-line reflections on process and theory Critical reflections Video recorded skills demonstrations and evaluations Written Dissertation Assessment methods used in optional modules include: Seminar presentation Case study 30. Support for students and their learning Support is offered via: Induction Diagnostic Assessment (Developmental Needs Analysis) Individual Tutorials Group and academic tutorials Student Support Team Early Intervention Tutorials Monitoring of attendance Specific support for disabled students includes Personal Support Profiles, Exam Access Arrangements, specialist equipment and Read and Write Gold and Mindview software As an institution under the Equality Act 2010 we honour our responsibility to make reasonable adjustment under College policies. EVALUATION AND IMPROVEMENT OF QUALITY AND STANDARDS 31. Mechanism for review and evaluation of teaching, The following instruments are used in assessing fitness for purpose: Meetings of the Academic Council Weekly meetings of the HE Management team

9 learning, assessment, the curriculum and outcome standards Termly meetings of the HE Quality group Meetings of the School Board Meetings of the Programme team Analysis of data on retention, achievement and progression Peer reviews Annual Programme Reports Programme Consultant meetings and reports External Examiner s visits and reports 32. Mechanism for gaining student feedback on the quality of teaching and the learning experience 33. Committees with responsibility for monitoring and evaluating quality and standards Module evaluation process Meetings of the Programme Committee QDP National Student Survey Academic Board Academic Council Higher Education Management meetings School Board Meetings of the Programme team 34. Regulation of assessment All programme work assessment briefs will include details of: The learning outcomes covered by the assignment The extent of the coverage of these outcomes The tasks to be completed Indicative grading criteria The author and verifier of the assignment Details of the assessment methods to be used are detailed in each module descriptor. All the subject modules for this programme have been designed with explicit, formal assessment criteria. As part of the standard approach to assessment within the Centre and in line with relevant requirements, where students believe that forms of assessment unfairly disadvantage them based on a disability or an

10 underlying medical condition, a discussion about an alternative assessment that is equivalent will be considered, involving the student, the tutor and the programme leader in discussion with the disability team where appropriate. This is moderated through the module leader based on the choices being able to meet the learning outcomes of the module and highlighting equivalency across the student submissions. The initial instructions and choices offered in the assignment will be reviewed through existing mechanisms, utilising both internal and external moderation. In much the same way as the final marks are assessed after the event, so will the format of alternative assessments be examined and assessed for fairness in the moderation and standardisation processes. Marking: The regulations governing the first and second marking of examinations and assignments and their subsequent moderation are provided for within the Learning, Teaching and Assessment strategy for the University Centre Blackburn College. First marking of assignments is carried out by the module tutor. A sample is then second marked in line with the above strategy and made available for moderation at the end of the semester. The Head of School acts as Lead Internal Moderator and has oversight of the process and final agreed marks. These samples are then made available for final consideration of grades by the External Examiner. External examiners will be entitled to require students to make presentations of their work before final moderation of marks. All formal examinations are anonymously marked by the module tutor and second marked by a member of the team. Examination papers are subject to the same rules regarding internal moderation and all scripts are made available for final review by the External Examiners. Occasionally, it may be necessary to vary these regulations for example, to accommodate substantial practical exercises. Permission for any variation of these regulations will require the prior consent of the external examiner(s) and course consultant(s) for the scheme. 35. Role of the Programme Consultant 36. Role of the External Examiner Programme Consultants will advise the programme team on the design, delivery and assessment of the programme External Examiners will advise the Assessment Board on matters of standards and fairness of the assessment process and if necessary offer advice on individual student results. External Examiners will report on

11 whether the standards set are appropriate with reference to external reference points including subject benchmarks, Framework for Higher Education Qualifications and other reference points. They shall report on the robustness of assessment procedures and standards of student performance, drawing comparison of those standards with similar programmes.

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