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Integrative Counselling BA (Hons)

Key features of this course:

  • An innovative, fascinating and up-to-date programme which will allow students to develop an impressive professional portfolio of skills to take into employment and enhance their career.
  • Participants can develop their counselling knowledge and skills in a specialist area, conduct a literature review on a chosen area and undertake a negotiated work based learning project of their choice.
  • Encourages a wider view of counselling in the 21st century, including the exciting developments in the present and future of the profession.
  • Includes experiential and theoretical learning in a unique classroom setting, with outstanding individual support from our highly experienced teaching team.
  • Graduates of the Foundation Degree (FdA) in Integrative Counselling can 'top up' their award and obtain a University Honours Degree in one year of extra study. We also welcome applications from other qualified counsellors (see below for eligibility criteria) - this course offers an excellent opportunity to refresh and update their professional skills.
  • Recognised as a full-time programme and eligible for Student Finance applications, teaching takes place at Iron Mill College in Exeter or at Hereford & Ludlow College. During the course, participants are also required to undertake approximately 30-50 hours of work based learning, 20 hours of personal therapy and also continue their counselling practice (achieving a minimum of 50 counselling hours during the programme) with supervision to BACP requirements. Students will also need to allow time for independent guided study and assessment preparation.

This course is delivered at either Iron Mill College in Exeter (see their course page) or Hereford & Ludlow College (see their course page).

Book an open day

Visit Herefordshire and Ludlow at one of their Open Days, or Iron Mill at one of theirs


Entry requirements

Academic requirements

To be eligible for this course you must:

  • Possess a Foundation Degree (FdA) Counselling award at Levels 4 and 5, meeting BACP supervised practice requirements of 100 hours minimum, or equivalent. Applicants not meeting this requirement will be individually assessed by the Programme Leader, and must provide further evidence of qualifications at Level 5 or higher.
  • Have achieved MBACP status (qualified counsellor and member of the BACP) at the point of application.
  • Be in practice as a counsellor. It is expected that as qualified counsellors; students will enter the programme with counselling practice arranged in advance.
  • Be willing to undertake a DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) check, plus an occupational health check, during the application process. 

If you are interested in this course, you may wish to first book onto one of Iron Mill College’s Open Days or Open Evenings to find out more. If you are new to Iron Mill College or Hereford & Ludlow College, you might also find their Taster Days and Open Events a useful way to experience what it's like to study at those institutions.

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) / Recognition of Prior Experiential Learning (RPEL):

Entering the BA programme though RPEL:

We recognise that many counsellors trained on programmes that were not validated at Level 5, and therefore are not able to meet the entry criteria for our BA (Hons) Degree in Integrative Counselling. The RPEL assessment process is intended to provide an opportunity for qualified and experienced counsellors to apply for a place on the programme, when the standard Level 5 entry requirement cannot be met.

Further RPL information:

Applicants can claim academic credit for relevant previous study or learning experiences ("prior learning"). If you can demonstrate that you have already achieved learning which is equivalent to one or more modules, or to a whole year or level of study, relating to the course you wish to apply for at the University of Worcester, then you may make a claim for recognition of that prior learning. This applies to both undergraduate and postgraduate courses.

Claims are not automatic; they have to be assessed by the University. Claims should be agreed at the point of entry to a programme, and are normally discussed and assessed alongside the application process. If your claim is successful it means that you do not have to take the modules for which credit has been awarded, or you may be able to enter directly to a higher level of study or into the second or third year of a course.

There are three forms of recognition of prior learning:

  • a) Credit transfer - recognition of credit or qualification at HE level (4 or above) awarded by a UK higher education degree-awarding body in accordance with the relevant higher education qualifications framework;
  •  b) Recognition of prior certificated learning - (such as professional development awards or employment-based awards) which is a higher education level but which has not led to the award of credits or qualifications positioned on the relevant higher education qualifications framework;
  •  c) Recognition of prior experiential or informal learning.

Details of how to apply for RPL, and the relevant forms, can be found on the University of Worcester's applications web page.


Study options


BA (Hons) in Integrative Counselling (Level 6) with 120 credits.

Venue: Iron Mill College, Exeter or Hereford & Ludlow College       

BA (Hons) in Integrative Counselling – 1 year ‘top-up’ programme

Get in touch

Admissions Office
01905 855111 

Course content

Teaching and Learning

The BA (Hons) Integrative Counselling Top-Up programme (Level 6) is designed to qualify competent, confident professional counsellors who are well resourced for entering the workplace. The programme is contemporary and vocationally relevant throughout, and is taught by experienced practitioners who are MBACP, UKCP, or MBACP (Accred.), and who are also in ongoing supervised practice as therapists. The academic team aim to create a colourful and varied learning experience, combining up to date theory, experiential activities, practical work, and reflective opportunities.


The teaching includes lectures, debates, presentations, audio-visual materials, experiential exercises, group exercises, clinical skills practice, discussions, creative work and personal research. We value our students’ professional and personal life experiences, and place emphasis on self-development throughout the programme.
You will also have an opportunity to develop transferrable skills and knowledge through the work-based learning placement. The programme places you at the heart of, and responsible for, your own experience.  You will be fully supported by your Personal Academic Tutor and Programme Leader, as well as the Managers and Administrative Team at the Iron Mill.

Contact time

As well as attending timetabled teaching days at Iron Mill College, Exeter (1 day per week), you will spend time attending your supervised placement, supervision and work-based learning (typically about 1 day per week in total), undertaking personal therapy (approximately 1 hour per week) as well as independent guided study and preparation for assessment (approximately 2-3 days per week)

Independent self-study

In addition to the contact time, you are expected to undertake around 2-3 days of personal self-study per week.  Typically, this will involve developing study skills, recommended reading and preparing for assessments. Independent learning is supported by a range of excellent learning facilities, including library resources, the virtual learning environment, and extensive electronic learning resources. 

Teaching staff

You will be taught by experienced teaching staff, who are experienced and qualified therapists and lecturers. Teaching is informed by research and consultancy, and the course lecturer has a higher education teaching qualification and is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. You can learn more about the staff who deliver the course at Iron Mill College by visiting their staff profiles:


There are four modules, each of which includes both formative and summative assessments providing opportunities to test understanding and learning. The modules offer opportunities for exploring professional practice at an advanced level, offer the opportunity for you to work in a specialist counselling area of your choice within your own work-based placement, the chance to explore an area of counselling that is of particular interest to you through research, and debating and exploring contemporary issues in counselling in the 21st century.  

  • Summative assessments, such as essays, presentations and a research literature review, are formally marked. You will be awarded a grade or percentage which indicates whether you have successfully passed the module.
  • Formative assessments such journal writing, feedback on skills practices, and participation in experiential work, as well as feedback from your supervisor, are not formally marked, but are an important element of your training.


You will receive feedback on formal assessments undertaken by coursework.  Feedback is intended to support learning and you are encouraged to discuss it with personal academic tutors and module tutors as appropriate.

The BA programme directly addresses the recent BA QAA Subject Benchmark Statement for Counselling and Psychotherapy (2013): 

“As those entering the counselling and/or psychotherapy fields require understanding of a complex body of knowledge, clinical skills, self-awareness, analytical techniques and problem-solving skills, and the ability to evaluate evidence, arguments and assumptions to reach sound independent judgements, it is likely that they will need to be qualified to at least the level of a bachelor's degree with honours.” (Section 1.4). 


  • IMIC3000: Advanced Professional Practice (30 credits)
  • IMIC3003: Specialist Work Based Learning (30 credits)
  • IMIC3004: Research for Counselling Practitioners (30 credits)
  • IMIC3005: Counselling in the 21st Century (30 credits)


Employment opportunities

Our BA (Hons) Degree in Integrative Counselling is designed to enhance skills and knowledge with particular reference to employment and the development of specialist areas of interest. It provides the opportunity for advancement in a variety of counselling-related careers. Our graduates are people with the advanced theoretical and applied knowledge to make an impact on service provision.

Possible career opportunities include:

  • NHS initiatives e.g. Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT).
  • Educational institutions: schools, colleges and Universities.
  • Employee Assistance Programmes (EAPS).
  • Local Authority employee services programmes.
  • Charitable agencies.
  • Private practice.

The programme provides links with employers through the placement and work based learning component. 

How to apply

Apply through UCAS

Integrative Counselling BA: 52B8

UCAS is the central organisation through which applications are processed for entry onto full-time undergraduate courses in Higher Education in the UK.

Read our How to apply pages for more information on applying and to find out what happens to your application.

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