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Critical Approaches to Counselling & Psychotherapy BSc (Hons)

UCAS code: B9C8

Develop self-awareness and empathic relationship skills for supporting others with their emotional wellbeing on our critical approaches to counselling and psychotherapy degree. Then use your new abilities with individuals and groups, in your local community and overseas.

Closed to international applications for September 2023.


Course length: 3 years full-time
6 years part-time
Start dates: September 2023
Location: Edge Hill University
Example offers: BCC-BBC (A Level) or DMM (BTEC) View full entry criteria
Subject(s): Counselling and Psychotherapy
Faculty: Health, Social Care and Medicine
Department: Allied Health, Social Work and Wellbeing
Psychology students sat talking.

For September 2024 entry, this course is BSc (Hons) Counselling and Psychotherapy.

Explore how to use counselling and psychotherapy skills ethically to promote social justice. You’ll improve your confidence, self-awareness and active listening skills on our critical approaches to counselling and psychotherapy degree. All with a focus on community action.

There’s also an international angle. You’ll see how communities across other countries perceive mental health, based on their personal, social and political experiences and their environment. By the end of the programme, you’ll have the personal qualities and professional skills useful for helping others.

At Edge Hill, we invest in your individual emotional development. That’s why you’ll receive £500 to spend on therapy. We’ll also show you how to initiate group work. You’ll be a socially aware, politically engaged, and empathetic graduate.

Course features

  • International students can apply

  • Professional practice placements

  • Sandwich year option available

What you'll study

Study humanistic psychology, which underpins our approach to human development and therapeutic work with groups and individuals. You’ll shape collaborative relationships with others by practising empathic listening and emotional responsiveness. By learning key professional and academic skills, you’ll enhance your ability to progress through the degree and onto a career in the helping professions. And, by exploring the politics of psychotherapy, you’ll see how this can challenge inequality and help transform lives.

Compulsory modules:

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Developing Empathic Listening Skills in a Helping Relationship
Humanistic Counselling and Psychotherapy
Introduction to Empathic and Emotional Responsiveness in a Helping Relationship
Introduction to Professional and Academic Skills
Introduction to Research Skills
The Political, Social and Ethical Context of Counselling

Reflect on the emotionally debilitating nature of social inequality and discrimination, by deepening your knowledge of social justice and community action. You’ll research psychodynamic counselling, cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and existential psychotherapy. By participating in a personal development group, you’ll reflect on your experiences as a practitioner. And listen to others’ experiences using empathy, congruence and acceptance.

Compulsory modules:

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Developing Counselling Skills
Models of Counselling and Psychotherapy
Personal Development
Social Justice and Community Action
Understanding Research

Take part in a practice placement to develop your professional skills, and gain more experience of group participation and supervision. Study the philosophy of mental health and international approaches to emotional health and wellbeing. And explore how global issues, like climate change and conflict, impact mental health. You’ll finish the programme by completing a dissertation.

Compulsory modules:

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Critical Approaches to Mental Health and Wellbeing
Group Processes and Group Dynamics
International Perspectives on Mental Health and Wellbeing
Placement Support and Group Supervision

One of:

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Primary Research Dissertation

How you'll study

The programme is initially delivered by tutor-led presentations and class discussions. As the course progresses, the focus shifts to student-led learning, including experiential groups, project work, portfolio building, practice placement activity, student presentations and seminars.

Your lectures will typically take place over three consecutive days per week. Practice sessions may be scheduled for the late afternoon and early evening where counselling skills can be practiced in the quiet environment of breakout rooms to safeguard confidentiality.

You will learn through a varied, inclusive and person-centred approach, reflecting on your own and your peers’ experiences through participation in a personal development group. Your personal development is so important that we will provide an individual budget of £500 to enable you to enrich your learning by accessing your own personal therapy.

An experience of personal therapy provides you with a unique insight into the process of counselling and psychotherapy. Offering you a safe and confidential space in which to explore the depth of your feelings, the personal therapy will enable you to better understand the clients’ perspective and provide an opportunity to enhance your own skills by observing your therapist’s method of working.

Timetables for your first week are normally available at the end of August prior to enrolment in September. You can expect to receive your timetable for the rest of the academic year during your first week. Please note that while we make every effort to ensure that timetables are as student-friendly as possible, scheduled teaching can take place on any day of the week. Wednesday afternoons are normally reserved for sports and cultural activities.

How you'll be assessed

You will be assessed through written assignments, individual and group presentations, formal debates and skills practice videos.

As the programme progresses, assessments will also include portfolio work, projects, negotiated essay questions and a research dissertation.

There are no formal written examinations as part of the current assessment methods on this programme.

Who will be teaching you

The programme team includes research-active counsellors and psychotherapists with extensive experience in their field, publishing on topics such as counsellor training, feminist approaches to emotional wellbeing and existential psychotherapy.

Programme delivery will be supplemented by associate lecturers including qualified and experienced therapists who will offer insights into working with different client groups.

Entry criteria

Entry requirements

Typical offer 104-112 UCAS Tariff points. No specific subjects are required.

An interview forms part of the selection process.

If you accept a formal offer from Edge Hill University you will be required to apply for a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) Enhanced Disclosure indicating that you meet the mandatory criteria of ‘Clearance to Work with Children and/or Vulnerable Adults’. Further information will be sent to you after you have firmly accepted an offer.

Example offers

Qualification Requirement
A Level BCC-BBC.
BTEC Extended Diploma (or combination of BTEC QCF qualifications) Distinction, Merit, Merit (DMM).
T Level Overall grade of Merit.
International Baccalaureate (IB) We are happy to accept IB qualifications which achieve the required number of UCAS Tariff points.
Access to Higher Education Diploma 45 credits at Level 3, for example 9 credits at Distinction and 36 credits at Merit or 15 credits at Distinction and 30 credits at Merit. The required total can be attained from various credit combinations.

Please note, the above examples may differ from actual offers made. A combination of A Level and BTEC awards may also be accepted.

If you have a minimum of two A Levels (or equivalent), there is no maximum number of qualifications that we will accept UCAS points from. This includes additional qualifications such as Extended Project Qualification (EPQ), AS Levels that haven't been continued to A Level, and General Studies AS or A Level awards.

English language requirements

International students require IELTS 6.0, with a score no lower than 5.5 in each individual component, or an equivalent English language qualification.

If your current level of English is half a band, one band, or one-and-a-half bands lower, either overall or in one or two elements, you may want to consider our Pre-Sessional English course.

How to apply

Apply full-time

Apply online through UCAS

Read our guide to applying through UCAS to find out more about the application process.

Apply part-time

Apply directly to Edge Hill University

Complete our online application form if you want to study this course on a part-time basis.


Apply as an international student

Please see our international student pages for further information about how to apply as a prospective international student.

Should you accept an offer of a place to study with us and formally enrol as a student, you will be subject to the provisions of the regulations, rules, codes, conditions and policies which apply to our students. These are available at

Did you know?

If you join a full time undergraduate degree at Edge Hill University, we will guarantee you the offer of a room in our halls of residence for the first year of your course.

Discover our accommodation


Faculty of Health, Social Care and MedicineThe Faculty of Health, Social Care and Medicine offers outstanding facilities for the education and training of health and social care professionals.

The contemporary teaching and learning resources include leading edge clinical skills facilities, an 860-seat lecture theatre, and a variety of teaching rooms and social learning spaces.

Where you'll study

Faculty of Health, Social Care and Medicine


Tuition fees

UK Full-Time


a year

UK Part-Time

£77 per credit

for 360 credits



a year

The UK tuition fee rate is subject to final Government approval for academic year 2023/24 entry. The University may administer a small inflationary rise in tuition fees, in line with Government policy, in subsequent academic years as you progress through the course.

EU/EEA and Swiss students who have settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme, as well as Irish nationals, may be eligible for the UK tuition fee rate.

Financial support

Subject to eligibility, UK students joining this course can apply for a Tuition Fee Loan from the Government to cover the full cost of tuition fees. UK students enrolling on the course may also be eligible to apply for additional funding to help with living costs.

Please view the relevant Money Matters guide for comprehensive information about the financial support available to eligible UK students.

EU/EEA and Swiss students who have settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme may be eligible to apply for financial support. Irish nationals can ordinarily apply to Student Universal Support Ireland (SUSI). If you are an EU student who does not have settled or pre-settled status, or are an international student from a non-EU country, please see our international student finance pages.

Your future career

You might decide to apply for counselling and support roles in community, residential and education settings. This could include social and probation work, education welfare or drugs and alcohol treatment. Or you may use your new active listening skills and empathy in other sectors, such as human resources, international development and management.

Postgraduate study is often essential for gaining the required 100 hours of supervised counselling practice for jobs in this sector. Many students go on to study a Masters degree in areas such as counselling, mental health and nursing.

Our graduates have secured roles including mental health cooridinator for a local authority, and support worker in a school helping and guiding children. Some are pursuing further training for careers in mental health nursing, social work and probation work.

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Discover Uni: Part-Time Study

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