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Integrative Counselling FdA

Key features of this course:

  • This advanced, two year, professional degree programme is delivered at Iron Mill College, in Exeter.
  • Focuses attention on the importance, quality and depth of relationship as the central component of therapeutic work. 

The programme is designed to qualify competent, confident and creative counsellors, who stand out from the crowd as highly professional graduates, well resourced for entering the workplace. The programmes are exiting, vocationally relevant and with a clear focus on up-to-date counselling theory and practice.

The FdA in Integrative Counselling prepares graduates to practice as professional counsellors, and resources those who are aiming for future personal accreditation with the BACP. Graduates will also be eligible for direct progression onto the BA (Hons) Integrative Counselling, to top up to a full honours degree in just one year of study.

The BA (Hons) in Integrative Counselling is open to FdA graduates, and also open to experienced applicants who may have qualified as a counsellor many years ago, and who wish to refresh and update their professional skills and gain an advanced university validated qualification in one year (see entry criteria).

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Entry requirements

To be eligible for this course you must:

  • Have completed at least 30 hours of preliminary counselling training. Applicants not meeting this requirement will be recommended to take the Iron Mill Certificate in Counselling course or as an entry requirement or alternatively, if you can also demonstrate suitable further experience and skills, the Iron Mill Blended Learning Certificate in Counselling and Psychotherapy course. 
  • Possess 4 GCSEs (Grade C/4 or above) including English, and one A level (or equivalent) at Grade C or above, or 32 UCAS tariff points (2017 tariff). The points above are the new UCAS tariff, which will be used for courses starting from September 2017. See the new UCAS tariff page for more information.
  • 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, you might also find the Taster Days a useful way to experience what it's like to study at Iron Mill College, before applying.

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL):

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.

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

Course fees

The standard annual foundation degree fee for full-time UK/EU students enrolling in the academic year 2018/19 is £9,250 per year.       

For more details, please visit our course fees page.


Study options


Foundation Degree (FdA) in Integrative Counselling (Levels 4 and 5) with 240 credits (for successful completion of both Years 1 and 2). This award qualifies you to practice as a professional counsellor, and meets the application requirements for full membership of the BACP (MBACP status).

HE Certificate in Integrative Counselling (Level 4) with 120 credits (for successful completion of Year 1 only). This award does not qualify you to practice as a counsellor, but will help enhance skills of those in a helping profession.

Venue: Iron Mill College, Exeter


Foundation Degree (FdA) in Integrative Counselling – 2 years BA (Hons) in Integrative Counselling – 1 year ‘top-up’ programme

Get in touch

Get in touch
Admissions Office
01905 855111

Course content


We offer a full range of exiting and up-to-date modules, each with a clear focus on the humanistic and relational aspects of counselling practice:

Within each module you will learn about well established counselling theory and practice skills, with a clear emphasis on their recent developments so your training is always completely up-to-date and professionally relevent.

Year 1

Core modules:

  • IMIC1001: The art of relationship (15 credits)
  • IMIC1002: Professional competence (30 credits)
  • IMIC1003: The neuroscience of relationship (15 credits)
  • IMIC1004: A sense of self (30 credits)
  • IMIC1005: Professional development 1 (30 credits)

Year 2

Core modules:

  • IMIC2001: The ‘here and now’ encounter (30 credits)
  • IMIC2002: Creative arts therapies (15 credits) 
  • IMIC2003: Counselling in context (30 credits)
  • IMIC2004: The process of change (15 credits)
  • IMIC2005: Professional development 2 (30 credits)
  • IMIC2006: Professional practice (0 credits)

Teaching and Learning

The University places emphasis on enabling students to develop the independent learning capabilities that will equip you for lifelong learning and future employment, as well as academic achievement.  A mixture of independent study, teaching and academic support through the personal academic tutoring system enables you to reflect on progress and build up a profile of skills, achievements and experiences that will enable you to flourish and be successful.


You are taught through a combination of lectures, debates, presentations, audio-visual materials, group exercises, skills practice, process groups, reflective practice, case presentation and project work. You will also have a supervised placement practice, which will allow you to apply your learning and gain valuable experience and confidence.

In addition, meetings with personal academic tutors are scheduled on at least 4 occasions in each academic year.

You will also have an opportunity to develop transferable skills and knowledge through the work based learning placement.

Contact time

As well as attending timetabled teaching days at Iron Mill College, Exeter (1 day per week), you will spend time attending 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).

Typically, class contact time will be structured around:

  • Formal lectures, group activities (morning sessions)
  • Clinical skills practice (afternoon sessions) 

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. 


The course provides opportunities to test understanding and learning informally through the completion of practice or ‘formative’ assignments.  Each module has one or more formal or ‘summative’ assessments, which are graded and count towards the overall module grade.  

Assessment methods include:

  • A group exhibition with individual areas
  • Observed and recorded skills work with peers
  • Presentations
  • A client case study
  • Your professional portfolio
  • Written assignment using selections from your journal
  • A piece of recorded client work discussed with your examiner
  • Essays


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

We aim to provide you with feedback on formal course work assessments within 20 working days of hand-in.


The Foundation Degree (FdA) in Integrative Counselling programme provides the opportunity for advancement in a variety of counselling-related careers, and for counselling practitioners to advance beyond their current role. 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 valuable links with employers through both the placement and work based learning components, as well as networking opportunities within the community.

How to apply

Apply through UCAS

Integrative Counselling FdA: B9K0 FdA/IC

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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