Plymouth University Academic Partnerships cornwall college, Rosewarne Programme Quality Handbook

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1Introduction 7

May we begin by warmly welcoming you to the Diploma in Person-Centred Counselling. The College is delighted that you have chosen to study with us. We hope you will be enriched by the programme, and will graduate well equipped to develop your career as a counsellor. 7

Philosophy of the programme 7

2Programme Team 8

3Personal Tutor 8

3.1Plymouth Portal 9

4Programme Details 10

4.1Enhancement Activities 10

4.2Progression through the programme 11

4.3HE Careers Guidance – Cornwall College 11

4.4HE Careers Guidance – Plymouth University 11

5Employment Opportunities 12

6Teaching, Learning and Assessment 12

6.1Referencing Guides 12

7Assessment Schedules and Feedback 13

8Student Feedback 16

8.1Student Representation and Enhancement 16

8.2Student Perception Surveys 16

8.3Closing the Feedback Loop 17

8.4Programme Committee Meetings (PCM) 18

8.5Complaints 18

8.6Extenuating Circumstances 18

9Appendix 20

9.1Programme Specification 20

Programme Title: Diploma in Person Centred Counselling and Therapy 21

Partner Delivering Institution: Plymouth University 21

State Date: September 2016 21

First Award Date: 2018 / 2019 21

Date(s) of Revision(s) to this Document: 31 March 2016/8 September 2016/20 Sept 16 21

Contents 22

PS1. Programme Details 23

Diploma in Person Centred Counselling and Therapy 23

PS2. Brief Description of the Programme 23

PS3. Details of Accreditation by a Professional/Statutory Body (if appropriate) 24

PS4. Exceptions to Plymouth University Regulations 24

PS5. Programme Aims 24

PS6. Programme Intended Learning Outcomes (ILO) 24

PS7 Distinctive features 25

PS8. Student Numbers 26

PS9. Progression Route(s) 26

PS10. Admissions Criteria 27

The following will be assessed through a personal statement and interview: 27

Self-awareness, maturity and stability 27

PS11. Academic Standards and Quality Enhancement 28

PS12. Programme Structure 29

PS13. Explanation and Mapping of Learning Outcomes, Teaching & Learning and Assessment 30

9.2The professional role and responsibility of the therapist 31

9.3Understanding the client (BACP) 36

9.3.1The therapeutic process (BACP) 40

9.3.2The social, professional and organisational context for therapy (BACP) 45

PS14. Work Based/ Related Learning 50

Appendix 51

Lecture 53

45 53

Guided Independent Study 53

155 53

Lecture 55

45 55

Guided Independent Study 55

155 55

Lecture 57

20 57

Practical sessions and workshops 57

25 57

Guided Independent Study 57

155 57

Lecture 62

Guided Independent Study 62

Bond, T (2014) Confidentiality & Record Keeping in Counselling & Psychotherapy. London: Sage 63

Bond, T (2005) Therapists in Court: Providing Evidence and Supporting Witnesses. London: Sage 63

Bond, T (2015) Standards and Ethics for Counselling in Action. London: Sage 63

Bond,T & Mitchels,B (2010) Essential Law for Counsellors and Psychotherapists. London: Sage 63

Lecture 65

Guided Independent Study 65

2Contents Page 71

Section 3.0: Writing Style 72

Section 4.0: Format of Text 73

iHow should I set out references in my reference list? 78

kAcceptable Abbreviations 81

Section 6.0: Tables and Figures 81

Section 7.0: Reports 82

If you are set a report for an assignment, please check with the tutor responsible for guidance on the desired format 83

Section 8.0: Essays 83

Section 9: Grammatical Mistakes 85

AskOxford (2006) What is the difference between 'affect' and 'effect'?, 86

Application for Extenuating Circumstances Affecting Late or Non-Submission or Non-Attendance of Assessment 93

Introduction 96

Extenuating circumstances policy 96

What is an extenuating circumstance? 97

What is NOT an Extenuating Circumstance? 97

Procedure (see flow chart and form) 98

Corroborating evidence 98

Consideration of extenuating circumstances claims 99

Student Extenuating Circumstances Claim Procedure - Flowchart 100

Welcome and Introduction to the Diploma in Person Centred Counselling Studies
  1. Introduction

May we begin by warmly welcoming you to the Diploma in Person-Centred Counselling. The College is delighted that you have chosen to study with us. We hope you will be enriched by the programme, and will graduate well equipped to develop your career as a counsellor.

This handbook is intended to give you information to support you in your studies.

As well as being a student at Cornwall College, you are also enrolled with University of Plymouth. It is important therefore that you consider the information given here in conjunction with the University of Plymouth student handbook, which will be available on line.

You will have the opportunity to take up membership of the University’s Student Union.

Philosophy of the programme

The core model of counselling on this programme is the Person-Centred approach. The core counselling conditions are seen as central in terms of qualities of attention paid to self, as practitioner, as well as to the client. Through an accepting, empathic and congruent relationship, the counsellor offers a therapeutic presence which may enable a client to discover and use their own unique resources towards self and cultural fulfilment.
Fulfilment is not seen as an eternally positive cycle of growth and development, but rather as an ability to engage in one’s life to the full and to integrate one’s experience. The fulfilment of one’s potential is also likely to include experiencing and integrating so-called negative or painful elements.
The programme team seek to create with students a Person-Centred learning climate within which students can develop the personal and relational awareness, as well as the academic and professional knowledge, skills and understanding needed to practice as counsellors. We wish to foster an environment where you feel safe to learn and take risks with your learning. We also want you to feel stimulated and challenged.
This involves honouring the core Person–Centred values of respect for individuals, seeking to understand different frames of reference and being congruent in relationship. Relationship lies at the heart of the Person-Centred counselling process, and therefore relationship on the programme is valued and recognised as providing important learning opportunities.
Many of the structures and processes of the programme are designed to facilitate a deeper understanding of Person–Centred theory. The self and peer assessment process is intended to support you in developing autonomy and confidence in your professional judgement and encourages you to take responsibility for your learning. Structures such as Personal Development Groups and Course Review meetings provide formalised learning opportunities for developing relational awareness and activity in varying contexts. There are also opportunities within several of the modules to negotiate content and individualise the curriculum.
Note: the information in this handbook should be read in conjunction with the current edition of the College Handbook which contains student support based information on issues such as finance and studying at HE along with the University’s Student Handbook available here:
  1. Programme Team





Kevin Kirwan

Programme Manager, Tutor, Supervisor and Module Leader

01209 617694

Jenny Trevethan

Tutor, Supervisor and Module Leader

01209 617522

Malachy Dunne

Tutor and Supervisor

01209 617520

You will also have Kevin, Jenny or Malachy as your Personal Tutor throughout your studies who will be available to discuss your academic progress and can offer support if you face problems on the course.for further details see section 3.4.2. It is your responsibility to make any extra appointments for a tutorial each term.

The ultimate academic responsibility for the programme lies with the Head of the School of SEPD

The programme is part of the School of Education and Professional Development and situated in Rosewarne Campus of Cornwall College.

Programme administration is carried out through the faculty office.

CORPORATE HE ASSISTANT REGISTRAR: Katerina Gavrilova. What does the Corporate HE Assistant Registrar (CHEAR) do? The CHEAR is your point of contact in HE Operations for all administrative paperwork to do with the programme. He can be contacted on: Telephone: 01209 616378 or Ext 3378.


  1. Personal Tutor

Your personal tutor should be the first person at the College that you speak to if you are having any personal difficulties that are affecting your studies. These could be academic, financial, health-related or another type of problem. Your personal tutor is there to provide additional academic and personal support concerning issues that may affect your studies. Personal Tutors are particularly important for students in their first year, helping them to manage the transition from school or the workplace to university-style life. Personal tutors also assist with helping you to engage with important aspects of preparation for your career and or progression to further study and profiling your progress through the programme.

Your main support for academic issues relating to specific modules will be the lecturer who is teaching that module. Your tutor will be the person who; if the College is asked, will write a personal reference for you during, or on completion of your studies.

Programme staff will communicate with students in the following ways:

  • Email - staff will communicated with you via your college and/or university email. In order to maintain professionalism staff will NOT communicate with you directly using your personal email. If you do not wish to regularly check BOTH your College and Plymouth University emails you must ensure that these are forwarded to your personal email address.

  • Text messaging – Under exceptional circumstances staff may contact you via text. Please ensure that your Programme Manager has your current mobile number.

  • College/Institution intranet / virtual learning environment – For module level communications staff use the Moodle Site. Please make sure that you are enrolled onto all of your modules.

  • HE Operations Moodle Pages – this site houses a vast array of information relevant to your time at the College.

  • Plymouth University Student Portal (see section below)

  • Programme Notice-Board

  • HE bulletins

  • Link to College/Institution campus map or details :

  • Links to disability support teams :

The university personal tutoring policy is available for information and guidance.

    1. Plymouth Portal

As a Plymouth student you are able to access the University’s e-resources through the Plymouth portal (the University’s internal staff and student website).

There is access to over £2 million of e-resources and e-journals in a variety of different subject ranges which can be used to support your studies. An excellent library guide has been developed to help you access these resources off campus and this also links you to subject specific resources. This link takes you to the universities library guide homepage

In addition the University has created a Student Study File available at which signposts you to a wealth of resources including UPSU (Plymouth Student Union), Study Skills Guides and using the portal.

You will automatically have a Plymouth University e-mail account accessed through myEdesk, E-mail, calendar, contacts, (OWA) structured as follows: Your password will always be given in this format Dob.dd/mm/yyyy e.g Dob.10/07/1984 . You can change your password once into the portal however please make sure it is something memorable as you will need it throughout your studies.

There are instructions located on the student study file on how to forward your University emails to your preferred email address to ensure you obtain the necessary Plymouth communications throughout your studies.

To change your password at any time - click on the ‘Change Password’ on the top right hand side of the homepage.

If you have forgotten your passwords please go to and you can reset it easily. Alternatively you can go to HE Operations who will be able to reset it for you as well.

To access the portal type http:/// into your browser OR if you want to go in via the extranet type and then click on Internal Students.

Enter the username and password given to you from your programme manager or Learning Resource Staff member.

The Student Community on the Portal signposts you to many resources including:

  • E-resources, journals, databases - click on the myEdesk, Library, Media & IT (TIS)

  • University student services and learning resources

  • Link into UPSU, the University’s Student Union

  • Academic information and regulations including the University student handbook

  • How to work safely on the web

  1. Programme Details

    1. Enhancement Activities

An important aspect of this degree is its vocational nature. All students are encouraged to seek relevant employment or placement during their studies – that is why the actual ‘teaching’ timetable leaves you with some free time during the week. But additionally, many of the modules have vocational elements, such as practical experience, visits to and from individuals and organisations in your vocational area and simulations.

Rather than separating work related learning into a separate module the college has a policy of embedding work related activities across the programme. This means ensuring that there is a range of experiences which relate closely to employment and work, such as visits, visiting speakers, practical’s in simulated situations. This ensures that students have a very rich environment in which to develop their skills, and observe others working.

Students of Cornwall College are encouraged to develop their PDPs in a variety of ways. The tutorial system, where programme leaders act as personal tutors and see their tutees on a regular basis clearly feeds into the principles of PDP. At the end of each module, students are encouraged to review what they have learnt and how it might contribute to their employability and their personal development. And there is a similar end of term and end of year review conducted by the tutor.

    1. Progression through the programme

Your Programme Manager has access to University staff and is able to communicate your questions regarding progression to programmes at Plymouth University.

If you progress to a Plymouth University honours degree programme, your final Honours Degree classification will be calculated to include marks from each of your levels of study.

10% from Level 4 – calculated from the highest achieved 80 credits.  Where modules are arranged in such a way that the 80 credits of ‘highest module marks’ cannot be identified unequivocally, the average for the best 70 credits and 90 credits will be calculated and the student given the best advantage.

30% from Level 5

60% from Level 6

If you progress onto Level 5 of a programme at Plymouth University, then 10% (of the highest achieved 80 credits or where modules are arranged in such a way that the 80 credits of ‘highest module marks’ cannot be identified unequivocally, the average for the best 70 credits and 90 credits will be calculated and the student given the best advantage) will come from your level 4 marks studied previously, 30% of your level 5 aggregate mark will be drawn from the level 5 modules studied at Plymouth University and then 60% from your level 6 aggregate mark at Plymouth University.

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