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BSc (Hons) Psychotherapy & Counselling

Support clients with a wide range of mental health conditions.

Get real-world counselling experience and work experience in counselling settings

Entry requirements

Three A-levels at grades CCC or above.

Or BTEC triple grades MMM or above.

Or Access 23-45 D/M with min 6D.

And GCSE English Language at grade 4 or grade C or above.

A DBS check is required.

UCAS points 96

UCAS code PSC1

Duration Three years full-time

How to apply for this course

Places still available to start in September

Register your interest and we'll call you to chat about clearing and your options at Marjon.

Course Summary

Psychotherapists and counsellors support people who are experiencing a range of mental health conditions or who may be struggling with problems such as relationship issues, bereavement, meaning or identity. Employing ‘talking therapies’, psychotherapists and counsellors work collaboratively with individuals, couples, families, or groups to help them bring about change to enhance wellbeing.

Our degree provides a rounded education in the theory, research, and practice of psychotherapy and counselling.  You’ll explore various approaches to psychotherapy and counselling, such as person-centred, cognitive-behavioural, and psychodynamic, and you will develop a personal philosophy for your own approach to practice. The programme will equip you with the underpinning knowledge and skills required to become an effective practitioner, through in-class experiential exercises and placement opportunities. These will be further enhanced so that you become competent, ethical, and effective, preparing you to work in a range of professional settings, such as hospitals, schools and within the criminal justice system.

Show video transcript

Katy: Well, I've always had like a deep rooted interest in human mind, but I wanted to do something more than just psychology. I wanted to do something that was more sort of based on helping people because I'm a support worker and I wanted to learn how I could help people through a degree. And I've had counseling myself so I found that really helpful and I wanted to help other people.

Alister: Firstly, we want it to be able to prepare people who wish to pursue a career in psychotherapy counseling to be able to embark on that career with the knowledge, understanding and skills needed to do that. Secondly, we want it to be able to prepare people to be able to use the transferable skills that psychotherapy and counseling have to offer, so for example, skills related to working with people, communication, for a wide variety of potential careers outside of psychotherapy and counseling, things like health care or human resources. Thirdly, we aim to write a degree that helps its graduates to continue learning way beyond them graduating from the course. So to learn skills that help them to continue to learn and to continue to advance their lives and that careers well past university by developing important, transferrable skills.

Joe: I think the fact that it is a smaller uni as well, some people are like, "Oh, well, it seems possible." That's really a good thing because this sort of course is quite complex, but if you need to understand something and you can just ask and you will get heard. And I think it's, compared to other counseling courses, I think this is quite broad. It covers quite a broad amount of stuff. It's not just one specific thing. So I'd recommend it.

Why this course at Marjon?

Learn from experienced highly skilled psychotherapists.

Develop the knowledge and skills required to work with people, within a variety of contexts.

Strong practical focus means you practise core skills from the start of the course and have the opportunity to do a work placement with real clients.

Small class sizes, typically 20 – 30 students, enable teaching and feedback to be personalised to the needs and career aspirations of students.

Develop a rich understanding of theory and research to underpin your professional practice.

Understand the most important qualities and skills for a counsellor or psychotherapist to have.

Students say...

Katy Monk

“I really love the practical learning style on my course. Our lectures are based on our practice and experiences, as well as learning to work with others. I find this really motivating and it encourages me to develop. I’ve met people with the same interests as me. With this course it’s essential to be able to understand yourself and to be able to self-reflect. I struggled with this in the past but now I find it easy. I’ve learned to be self-critical in a positive way in order to develop myself.”

Clair Simpole

“As a mature student I was apprehensive about studying at university however, I am really enjoying my time at Marjon, from the people that I have met on the course to the depth and content that the course delivers. The course tutors are really supportive and are clearly passionate about the subject which is shown in their engaging lectures and seminars. I have discovered that I am dyslexic, but the support I have been receiving is amazing. My confidence has grown massively.”

Joe Tree

“I enjoy the variety of content covered across counselling and psychotherapy. Despite the depth and sensitivity of certain subjects, it is taught in such a way where it is engaging. The University also helped diagnose and treat my dyslexia, there is a lot of support and they always strive to help you out in all academic ways. This has given me a lot of confidence and helped me adapt to uni level work which can be tough! This course has given me a lot more passion and motivation for my career.”

This course is perfect if you're curious about

How do counsellors and psychotherapists approach their work?

How do theoretical approaches align with my own beliefs and values? How does theory enable me to become an effective therapist?

What makes counselling and psychotherapy effective for some clients, but not for others?

Are some approaches more effective, or do common factors such as the quality of the relationship make the difference?

How do researchers approach the process of researching counselling and psychotherapy?

How does my own personal development, personal awareness and insight support my effectiveness as a professional?

What might you become?

The degree offers excellent preparation for a range of careers. Psychotherapists and counsellors work in private practice and in a diverse range of organisations (e.g., schools, charities). The interpersonal and communication skills developed through our degree are highly transferable and could prepare graduates for a range of careers that include human resources, healthcare, and education. You may also choose to pursue specialised postgraduate training to work with specific client groups or using a particular model, or to pursue a career in research. Please contact the Course Leader to talk about becoming registered and accredited within the profession (see below for contact details).

Modules for this course

Course Snapshot

We’re learning how to work with different types of people and doing a lot of self-reflection to help us to interact with others on a deeper level. In our first year the content gives us an overview of counselling and how it fits into society and in second year we’ll look more at the specific schools of thought. In the third year we’ll be looking at agency settings and private practice.
Shane - First year, BSc (Hons) Psychotherapy and Counselling


1st Year

Engaging with learning
You will learn skills for learning and research in higher education, including finding journal articles, academic writing, and referencing.
Introduction to Psychology
You will learn about the key thinkers in psychology, the core perspectives, and how you might apply these ideas when working with children or adults.
Introduction to Psychotherapy and Counselling
You will learn about core topics in psychotherapy and counselling, such as training to become a psychotherapist, the process of therapy, and the factors that determine whether therapy is effective.
Skills in Psychotherapy and Counselling 1
You will learn core skills such as communication, body language, and active listening.
Skills in Psychotherapy and Counselling 2
You will learn more core skills such as recognising and managing difficulties and ruptures in the therapeutic alliance.
Introduction to Mental Health and Wellbeing
You will learn about important topics when working in a mental health and wellbeing context, such as stress, anxiety, and panic attacks.

2nd Year

Research Methods in Social Sciences
You will learn about the process of conducting research, so that you can interpret published research and conduct your own research.
Engaging with Employability (Placement)
This is an opportunity to learn about the relationship between theory and practice – A self-selected placement to meet your career aspirations.
Working Ethically in a Mental Health Context
You will study more topics relating to mental health and wellbeing such as low self-esteem, abuse, and self-harm, as well as how to work professionally in a mental health context.
Person-Centred Psychotherapy and Counselling
You will study person-centred approaches to psychotherapy and counselling in depth, including the core skills used to practise them.
Psychodynamic Psychotherapy and Counselling
You will study psychodynamic approaches to psychotherapy and counselling in depth, including the core skills used to practise them.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
You will study cognitive-behavioural approaches to psychotherapy and counselling in depth, including the core skills used to practise them.

3rd Year

Empirical project
You will complete a substantial piece of research on a self-chosen psychotherapy and counselling topic of interest.
Comprehensive Training 1: Theory Behind Practice
You will study one specific approach to psychotherapy and counselling in depth that reflects your own philosophy.
Comprehensive Training 2: Theory-Based Practice
This is a second placement module. One option is to work with adult clients, applying your in-depth understanding of one approach to psychotherapy and counselling.
Psychotherapy and Counselling in Organisational Settings
You will learn about working in a range of psychotherapy and counselling settings, such as schools, colleges, prisons, voluntary agencies, and hospitals.
Personal and Professional Development in Psychotherapy and Counselling
This practical and experiential module incorporates exercises to increase the self-awareness necessary to become a reflective practitioner, including learning through relationships, creativity (art, music, reading, writing), embodiment, dreams and transcendence.

Fees and funding

Fees UK students: £9,250 per annum

Fees for International students: £12,000 per annum

Additional costs:

A DBS check at the beginning of the course costs £52.

Owing to its nature, this degree is likely to impact upon you at a personal level. There is an ethical duty to aspire to be psychologically self-aware. A free counselling service available at the University or you may opt to pay for private personal therapy.

There may be supervision costs incurred on some final year placements, typically £40-60/hour. If you are considering becoming a registered member with a professional organisation you need to be supervised normally for a minimum of 1.5 hours per month.

Professional membership and Professional Indemnity Insurance cover may be required for the third year placement. Example fees:

  • British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy student membership = £80/year
  • Professional Indemnity Insurance = circa £70/year

There may be costs associated with travel to placements.

Teaching and assessment

How will you be taught?

Varied! Students are taught using a combination of lectures, seminars, group work, practical opportunities, and independent study, with the goal of developing knowledge, understanding, practical skills, and transferable skills.

How will you be assessed?

Similarly varied, using a combination of coursework, group work, presentations, practical sessions, and exams.

Course leader

Dr Alister McCormick

Alister is a registered sport and exercise psychologist, who teaches psychology and its applications to sport, exercise, and health. He is the leader of a 'psyching team' who using positive psyching techniques to help athletes to increase their enjoyment at races and reach the finishing line that bit faster.

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Lucy Cooper


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Lucy has clinical experience is in supporting students within Higher Education as a Counsellor/Psychotherapist, a Specialist Mental Health Mentor, and in other Student Support and Welfare roles. She has worked in a variety of mental health charities and services as a counsellor or service manager. Her research focus is student mental health spanning measures perfectionism, anxiety, worry, resilience, wellbeing and social media use in students. 

Juliana Hopkins


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Juliana is a BACP Senior Accredited Counsellor/Psychotherapist and currently works in private practice alongside this lecturing role.

Maxine Sherrell


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Frequently asked questions

Q1   I’ve not been in education for years…

You won’t be the only one, and we will support you. We have an academic skills module in the first year that covers the key academic skills that you will need during the course and beyond (e.g. how to write essays, how to reference appropriate sources). Additional support is also available when needed.

Q2   Will I be the only mature student?

No, this course attracts a diverse range of people and you’ll meet both school leavers and mature students in your classes.

Q3   What’s the timetable?

We understand that you may have commitments outside of university such as childcare and employment. We therefore have a fixed timetable that minimises the number of days that you’re on campus. In Year 1 and 2, you’ll be on campus Mondays and Tuesdays. In Year 3, you’ll be on campus on Thursdays. Outside of these days, we recommend doing about 1.5-2 days of study. You’ll also have placements and research projects in Years 2 and 3, which can usually be organised to accommodate your other commitments.

Q4   What do placements involve?

In Year 2, your first placement is usually 'non-clinical' - It would not normally involve doing counselling. Instead, you might go into a professional context of your interest (e.g., counselling centre, prison, hospital, education provider), to learn about the role of a counsellor, the context of the counselling service, and the demands faced by people working there. In Year 3, if you are fit to practice, then you could gain supervised experience of counselling adults.    The University can help to organise your placements. We have a great Futures careers team who support employability, as well as helpful lecturers who have a list of potential contacts. You're also encouraged to follow your interests and take the initiative, particularly if you have a very specific interest.

Q5   Is the degree accredited?

No. This means that completing the degree is not sufficient to join the protected register of an accrediting body. Please ask us about how you could become registered with an accrediting body. Our students have a range of career ambitions (e.g., becoming a counsellor, working in human resources, completing a PhD). If you are thinking of applying we encourage you to speak with us as we can offer individual advice and guidance for your own ambitions.

Q6   What does the interview involve?

Think of the interview as a conversation about the course, its demands, and your readiness to complete the course at this particular time. It’s not intended to be intimidating, but instead to provide an opportunity to think about whether it is the right course for you, at the right time. We’ll send you more information about the interviews when you apply. We’re also happy to have an informal chat with you about the interview in advance.

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