School of Health in Social Science. Counselling and Psychotherapy POSTGRADUATE CERTIFICATE IN COUNSELLING STUDIES INFORMATION BOOKLET,

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1 School of Health in Social Science Counselling and Psychotherapy POSTGRADUATE CERTIFICATE IN COUNSELLING STUDIES INFORMATION BOOKLET, Introduction The Postgraduate Certificate in Counselling Studies provides a comprehensive introduction to the world of counselling and related practices and to the values, attitudes and skills of a counselling approach which can be used in a range of contexts. Validated by COSCA, the professional body for counselling and psychotherapy in Scotland, the Pg Certificate is both a stand-alone professionallyaccredited qualification and the foundation year for the Master of Counselling (MCouns) for those students wishing to train as counsellors. The Pg Certificate is also the specialist practice training component of the one year MSc in Counselling Studies. Students on the Pg Certificate come from a wide range of academic, professional and cultural backgrounds and this makes the course a rich learning experience. The programme s essential components comprise theoretical inputs, counselling skills practice, including the use of digital recording, experiential and student-led sessions. Assessment is via a combination of written essays and portfolio work. The Pg Certificate is taken over one year part-time, from September to May each year, with class attendance one day per week. Two tutors facilitate the weekly sessions and class size is around 30. Professional Accreditation The Postgraduate Certificate in Counselling Studies is validated by COSCA, the professional body for counselling and psychotherapy in Scotland. It serves as a specialist professional qualification in counselling at introductory level. Students completing the Postgraduate Certificate gain both the academic qualification and the COSCA professional qualification. While incorporating the professional requirements of the COSCA Certificate in Counselling Skills, the Pg Certificate is a specialist postgraduate course of 60 masters-level credits (SCQF level 11). Aims The Pg Certificate offers an introduction to the world of counselling and the way in which counselling and related practices can be used in a range of professional contexts. It provides opportunities to reflect on the meaning and significance of 1

2 personal and working relationships. It is relevant for people who work in a helping capacity, who wish to train as counsellors, or who are interested in relationships for other reasons. It aims to: provide a grounding in counselling skills, attitudes and values and their application in a variety of work settings stimulate the study of ideas that underpin counselling and related practices develop awareness of the importance of research findings in counselling and related practices encourage the development of self-awareness explore the significance of difference, diversity and power in helping relationships understand counselling and related practices in their social, cultural, philosophical and historical contexts facilitate a dialogue between the person-centred approach and psychodynamic perspectives provide a foundation for counselling training at MSc/Pg Diploma level. Core Orientation Counselling and Psychotherapy degree programmes are founded on a dialogue between the person-centred approach, located within the humanistic tradition, and psychodynamic perspectives, located within the psychoanalytic tradition. Open exploration and dialogue permeates every aspect of the programmes, including structure, content, process and methods of teaching and learning. This stance characterises the relationships between tutors and students. Through an active engagement with the dialogue, students are encouraged to experience, experiment with and integrate insights, values and practices drawn from each perspective. Structure and Content The Pg Certificate consists of three courses, the aims of which are summarised below. Each course is delivered through eight weekly meetings with two tutors, in addition to which students undertake private study and complete assignments. Students attend one meeting a week from the following choice:- Tuesdays between 2pm and 8pm or Wednesdays between 2pm and 8pm or Fridays between 10.00am and 4.00pm. The meetings are structured around a range of activities and experiential processes including listening practice in groups of three, individual and group work, small group activities and theory input from tutors. Course 1: Listening and Attunement 8 sessions, Tuesdays 22 September to 10 November 2009, 2pm to 8pm or Wednesdays 23 September to 11 November 2009 or Fridays 25 September to 13 November 2009, 10.00am to 4.00pm 2

3 The aim of this course is to introduce two key features of counselling and work informed by counselling, namely listening and attunement. These concepts and practices will be explored in relation to the two main theoretical frameworks offered on this programme: the person-centred approach and psychodynamic perspectives. In this context, meanings and practices of dialogue will also be discussed, and dialogue between the tutors and the two main theoretical perspectives will be central to teaching and facilitation. Course 2: Self and Others 8 sessions, Tuesdays 24 November to 8 December 2009 and 12 January to 9 February 2010, 2pm to 8pm or Wednesdays 25 November to 9 December 2009 and 13 January to 10 February 2010, 2pm to 8pm or Fridays 27 November to 11 December 2009 and 15 January to 12 February 2010, 10.00am to 4.00pm. The aim of this course is to develop understandings of self, and introduce the idea that the self can be understood in the context of both present and past relationships with others. The person-centred approach and psychodynamic perspectives on the self and relationships with others will be critically examined. Course 3: Ethics, Boundaries and Supervision 8 sessions, Tuesdays 23 February to 23 March and 20 April to 4 May 2010, 2pm to 8pm or Wednesdays 24 February to 24 March and 21 April to 5 May 2010, 2pm to 8pm or Fridays 26 February to 26 March and 23 April to 7 May 2010, 10.00am to 4.00pm. This course is designed to introduce key debates about ethics in the field of counselling and related practices grounded on social theories of power. Relevant codes of ethics will be examined and discussed in relation to ethical issues, dilemmas and difficulties. Understandings and theories of boundaries within the person-centred approach and psychodynamic perspectives will be discussed. Theories and approaches used in counselling supervision will also be examined. Listening Practice Development At the heart of the Counselling and Psychotherapy programme is a graduated progression of training in professional practice corresponding to the stage of development of the individual student. Each course and assessment activity has a substantial focus on interpersonal skills and the integration of practice with theory, reflection and personal development. Postgraduate Certificate students undertake counselling skills practice in groups of three, using digital recording to analyse and reflect upon individual skills development. Each assignment contains a substantial focus on the individual student s development of interpersonal skills. Learning Methods and Assessment Teaching and learning methods include experiential group work, supervised listening practice, theory seminars and independent study. A distinctive feature is the system of individual tutorials. Assessment methods combine essays with self and peer assessments and the professional skills portfolio. Each course of the Pg Certificate is assessed by assignments and course tasks, which are submitted throughout the course. Assessment criteria are included in the programme handbook and tutors provide guidance for the preparation of each assignment. 3

4 Students Pg Certificate students come from different backgrounds and nationalities, and with diverse experience and motivations. While many are working in the helping professions, many others are from totally different walks of life, such as commerce or IT. Some students are at the beginning of their working life while others are mature professionals considering retraining in a different field. In recent years, the Pg Certificate has been complemented by the inclusion of international students enrolled on the full-time MSc in Counselling studies. With this diversity in age, experience, ethnicity, culture, motivation and outlook on life, the student group provides a rich and stimulating learning environment for the study of counselling and related practices and the development of counselling skills. Career Prospects Students leaving the programme with the Pg Certificate in Counselling Studies advance their careers by demonstrating the development of their practice skills, selfawareness, conceptual and analytical skills, and understanding of the development of the person and of therapeutic relationships. Students with existing professional qualifications in other fields may use the Pg Certificate to specialise in more therapeutic roles within their areas of work. Students also find that the learning on the programme can assist them to have more fulfilling personal and professional relationships regardless of their work setting. A significant proportion of Pg Certificate students decide to undertake the full professional training in counselling, the Master of Counselling. Other students decide to use the Pg Certificate towards the MSc in Counselling Studies. Some use this qualification to embark on professional training in related fields such as education or social work. Full information about the Master of Counselling and the MSc in Counselling Studies is available on the Counselling and Psychotherapy website: Programme booklets for both programmes can be accessed via the website or obtained from the Counselling and Psychotherapy office details below. Entrance Requirements Applicants for entry to the Postgraduate Certificate in Counselling Studies must normally hold an undergraduate degree or equivalent professional qualification. Applications are also considered from people who do not hold first degrees or equivalent qualifications if they can provide evidence of their potential to undertake academic study at postgraduate level. In these circumstances applicants may be asked to submit a written task with their applications. The onus is on the applicant to reflect maturely and realistically on their academic abilities, as it would not be in their best interests to begin a course of study for which they were unsuited. The general requirements for admission to postgraduate study are outlined in the University of Edinburgh postgraduate prospectus, which can be accessed at It is also available from Postgraduate Office Tel.: +44 (0) College of Humanities and Social Science David Hume Tower (First Floor) George Square Edinburgh EH8 9JX 4

5 Application Process To apply for the Pg Certificate in Counselling Studies, applicants need to complete the online application through the University of Edinburgh online prospectus entry for this programme, which can be accessed at: Full information about the application process is available at: There will be no selection interview. Places will be offered on the basis of the application alone. Applicants with non-standard entrance qualifications (who do not hold a university degree or equivalent qualification) may need to complete a written task in addition to the University Postgraduate Admissions form in order to provide evidence of their potential to undertake academic study at postgraduate level. If this is required, you will be informed after you have applied. The written task is available on the Counselling and Psychotherapy website on the following page: This document may also be obtained from the Counselling and Psychotherapy office at the address given below. Master of Counselling Whilst the Pg Certificate in Counselling Studies has an identity of its own and serves as a stand-alone qualification, it also forms the foundation year for the Master of Counselling (MCouns). The MCouns is designed for those seeking to qualify as counsellors and therapists and aims to foster the development of critically reflective practitioners who are able to work in a variety of settings with a broad range of client groups. Students wishing to apply for entry to the Master of Counselling may do so during the Pg Certificate programme. The application involves a personal statement about suitability for counselling training and an interview. Applications normally open in February with interviews in April/May each year. Full information about the Master of Counselling is contained in the programme booklet which is available on the Counselling and Psychotherapy website on the following page: This document may also be obtained from the Counselling and Psychotherapy office at the address given above. Cost In the academic year , tuition fees for the Pg Certificate in Counselling Studies are 2,720 for all students - home, EU and international. 5

6 International Students International students who require visas for studying in the United Kingdom need to be aware that they may not be able to obtain a visa for part-time postgraduate study and may wish to apply instead for the MSc in Counselling Studies, of which the Pg Certificate in Counselling Studies is an essential component. This MSc may be taken over one year full-time. Full information about the MSc in Counselling Studies is available on the Counselling and Psychotherapy website (see below) and in the programme booklet. More information for international students is available from the Postgraduate Office contact details above or their website: Advice and guidance for international applicants is also available from the University International Office: Further Information General information may be obtained from the Counselling and Psychotherapy office, as follows: Sue Larsen or Natasha Mallion Senior Secretaries Counselling and Psychotherapy The University of Edinburgh Medical School Teviot Place Edinburgh EH8 9AG Tel. +44 (0) or If you have a specific or more complex query and wish to speak to an academic member of staff, please contact: Connie Johnson or Martha Emeleus Tel +44 (0) Mail address as above Note: Whilst the information given here is correct at the time of writing, it may be subject to change and does not form the basis for any contract. Further information about Counselling and Psychotherapy at the University of Edinburgh may be obtained at: 6

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