Enrolling for 2022 start? All you need to know here

BA (Hons) Counselling Studies (Top Up)

Course information

Course Summary

The programme enables participating students to deepen their understanding of counselling theory and practice.

The rationale being that effective practice is based upon an awareness of the complex and contested nature of practical counselling issues rather than through uncritical acceptance of prescription.

The course is designed for practitioners who want to expand their practice by a process of assimilative integration. This is about gradually extending your core modality by adding in elements, with a solid theoretical underpinning, ensuring the overall approach remains coherent.

The programme is designed to enable individual participants who have no first degree to gain bachelors of honours in counselling studies. 

NESCOT is approved by The Open University as an appropriate organisation to offer higher education programmes leading to Open University validated awards.

Course Code:N4602
Study Type:Full Time
Academic Level:Higher Ed
Award:BA (Hons) Degree
Awarded by:The Open University
Course Length

One Year Full-time. 6 hours per week contact for 30 weeks in single academic year.

The mode of delivery is face to face.

Course Detail

Click here for full Open University BA (hons) in Counselling programme specification

The course comprises four modules: 

  • Advanced clinical practice
  • Research methods and project
  • Relational thinking in therapy 
  • Time-limited therapy. 

Each module is weighed 30 credits. Provisional descriptions are given below – subject to change.

Advanced Clinical Practice
The advanced clinical practice module includes trauma, dissociation, neuroscience, psychopathologies and specialities. Trauma includes child sexual abuse, birth trauma, sexual assault and covers alternative treatment models. The dissociative model, which is currently on the rise as an explanatory framework, particularly for trauma, is covered in some depth. The latest ideas in neuroscience are covered, particularly relating to trauma. Psychopathologies are also covered - particularly enabling identification and risk assessment. Some specialities are also covered including addiction, self-harm, suicide and eating disorders.

Research Methods and Project
The research module includes tuition on research methods and a research project. You will produce a research proposal, implement your research investigations and prepare a dissertation. Topics have included menopause and mental health, group supervision in mental health charities, impact of covid on neurodiverse children and why counselling is female-dominated.

Relational Thinking in Therapy
In the relational thinking module you will cover the philosophical foundation of the relational approach such as post-modernism which is having a profound effect on society. It also covers relational working with clients, group functioning and power, gender, sexuality and race.

Time-limited Therapy
The time-limited module covers intensive short-term dynamic therapy (a psychodynamic model), cognitive analytic therapy (often used in trauma treatment and fitting with the dissociative framework) and dynamic interpersonal therapy (focused on emotional and relationship problems and treatment of depression and anxiety). Ideally you will be able to practice some of the approaches within your own practice.

Throughout the course there is a clinical workshop which is gives you an opportunity to embed your learning and to help you to integrate your learning into your practice. It also provides you with support as you progress through the course.

The course is assessed by a mixture of presentations and essays (including a dissertation).

Wednesday 9:30am – 5pm (September to May)

The Open University Regulations for Validated Awards

Open University Students Guide

Our Handbook for courses in the Nescot - Open University partnership can be found here can be found here

Course Fees

Fees for Academic Year 2022/23

Annual tuition fees: £8,000

Full fee information here

Fees are for 2022/23 entry and are for UK students of all ages. For more information about financial support for students, please click here.

Entry Requirements

Applicants should normally have English Language GCSE grade 4 or an equivalent award and a Level 5 relevant qualification (e.g. Diploma in Higher Education/Foundation Degree in Counselling or an equivalent level 5 qualification (e.g. Foundation Degree in Psychology related subjects. Applicants should also have membership of BACP or equivalent professional association with a code of ethics.

Applicants should be prepared to discuss clinical material relating to their clients (this is covered by appropriate confidentiality agreements).

It is expected that students are practising counsellors or have relevant recent experience such as working in related professions (i.e. child protection and associated social services, school support specialist and medical and healthcare practitioners). Other students may be considered for admission and will be individually assessed by the Programme Leader upon submission of a statement of their experience and evidence of their qualification.

Overall IELTS score of 5.5 with a minimum of 5.5 Reading Writing, Listening and Speaking (or recognised equivalent).

Applicants must have or should complete an Enhanced DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) check plus occupational health check during the application process.

Your Next Steps

This award will provide you a BA (Hons) Degree and would enable you to progress on to Masters degree. It does not give you a qualified counsellor status. If you are not already a counsellor this course will not make you a counsellor.

Other Information

Click here for more information for university-level students


This Nescot College website describes the facilities and courses which the College intends to offer during the academic year commencing Autumn 2022. The web pages are prepared in advance of the academic year to which they relate and every effort has been made to ensure that the information contained in these pages is helpful, fair and accurate at the time of printing. However, this information is subject to change over time.

Nescot will take reasonable steps to provide the courses and services as described, however, the College cannot guarantee the provision of any course or facility. Some circumstances, such as staff changes, resource limitations and other factors over which the College has no control, such as industrial action or a change in the law or the level of demand for a particular programme or module (please note that this list is non-exhaustive), may result in the College having to withdraw or change aspects of the programmes, modules and/or student services detailed on the website. This could include, but not necessarily be limited to, programme/module content, staffing, the location where the programme/module is taught or the manner of teaching delivery, and the facilities provided to deliver or support the programme. Where circumstances demand an unavoidable change or where it is necessary for the College to discontinue a programme of study, Nescot will take all reasonable steps to minimise the effect and all proposed changes will be notified to potential applicants who have registered an interest in the relevant programme at the earliest possible opportunity as well as being reflected on the College’s website. In addition, any changes between the website and the proposed course and services will be notified to applicants at the time of making an offer.

All prices quoted may be subject to change and you will be notified of any such change when any offer of a place is made to you by Nescot.

Should you become a student of the College, this notice shall be a term of any contract between you and Nescot. Any offer of a place at the College shall be subject to the student enrolment conditions and the College’s rules and regulations as amended from time to time. A copy of the Nescot’s current terms and conditions can be obtained in writing from Nescot, Quality Office, Reigate Road, Ewell, Epsom, Surrey, KT17 3DS.

Link to the Open University Regulations

Last updated - 12.10.21