Plymouth University Academic Partnerships cornwall college, Rosewarne Programme Quality Handbook

Programme Title: Diploma in Person Centred Counselling and Therapy

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Programme Title: Diploma in Person Centred Counselling and Therapy

Partner Delivering Institution: Plymouth University

State Date: September 2016

First Award Date: 2018 / 2019

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

This programme specification template aligns with recommendations within the UK Quality Code for Higher Education2. The information provided, by the programme proposer, in each section is definitively agreed between the delivering institution and Plymouth University at approval. Therefore any requests for changes to content (post the conditions set at approval) must follow Plymouth University’s procedures for making changes to partnership programmes3.


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 26

Diploma in Person Centred Counselling and Therapy 26

PS2. Brief Description of the Programme 26

PS3. Details of Accreditation by a Professional/Statutory Body (if appropriate) 27

PS4. Exceptions to Plymouth University Regulations 27

PS5. Programme Aims 27

PS6. Programme Intended Learning Outcomes (ILO) 27

PS7 Distinctive features 28

PS8. Student Numbers 29

PS9. Progression Route(s) 29

PS10. Admissions Criteria 30

The following will be assessed through a personal statement and interview: 30

Self-awareness, maturity and stability 30

PS11. Academic Standards and Quality Enhancement 31

PS12. Programme Structure 32

PS13. Explanation and Mapping of Learning Outcomes, Teaching & Learning and Assessment 33

9.2The professional role and responsibility of the therapist 34

9.3Understanding the client (BACP) 39

9.3.1The therapeutic process (BACP) 43

9.3.2The social, professional and organisational context for therapy (BACP) 48

PS14. Work Based/ Related Learning 53

Appendix 54

Lecture 56

45 56

Guided Independent Study 56

155 56

Lecture 58

45 58

Guided Independent Study 58

155 58

Lecture 60

20 60

Practical sessions and workshops 60

25 60

Guided Independent Study 60

155 60

Lecture 65

Guided Independent Study 65

Bond, T (2014) Confidentiality & Record Keeping in Counselling & Psychotherapy. London: Sage 66

Bond, T (2005) Therapists in Court: Providing Evidence and Supporting Witnesses. London: Sage 66

Bond, T (2015) Standards and Ethics for Counselling in Action. London: Sage 66

Bond,T & Mitchels,B (2010) Essential Law for Counsellors and Psychotherapists. London: Sage 66

Lecture 68

Guided Independent Study 68

2Contents Page 74

Section 3.0: Writing Style 75

Section 4.0: Format of Text 76

iHow should I set out references in my reference list? 81

kAcceptable Abbreviations 84

Section 6.0: Tables and Figures 84

Section 7.0: Reports 85

If you are set a report for an assignment, please check with the tutor responsible for guidance on the desired format 86

Section 8.0: Essays 86

Section 9: Grammatical Mistakes 88

AskOxford (2006) What is the difference between 'affect' and 'effect'?, 89

Application for Extenuating Circumstances Affecting Late or Non-Submission or Non-Attendance of Assessment 96

Introduction 99

Extenuating circumstances policy 99

What is an extenuating circumstance? 100

What is NOT an Extenuating Circumstance? 100

Procedure (see flow chart and form) 101

Corroborating evidence 101

Consideration of extenuating circumstances claims 102

Student Extenuating Circumstances Claim Procedure - Flowchart 103

PS1. Programme Details 19

PS2. Brief Description of the Programme 19

PS3. Details of Accreditation by a Professional/Statutory Body (if appropriate) 20

PS4. Exceptions to Plymouth University Regulations 20

PS5. Programme Aims 20

PS6. Programme Intended Learning Outcomes (ILO) 20

PS7 Distinctive features 21

PS8. Student Numbers 22

PS9. Progression Route(s) 22

PS10. Admissions Criteria 23

PS11. Academic Standards and Quality Enhancement 24

PS12. Programme Structure 25

PS13. Explanation and Mapping of Learning Outcomes, Teaching & Learning and Assessment 26

PS14. Work Based/ Related Learning 43

PS1. Programme Details

Awarding Institution:

Plymouth University

Partner Institution and delivery site (s):

Cornwall College Camborne

Accrediting Body:

British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy

Language of Study:


Mode of Study:


Final Award:

Diploma at level 5

Intermediate Award:


Programme Title:

Diploma in Person Centred Counselling and Therapy

UCAS Code:


JACS Code:



Informed by QAA benchmark statement for counselling and psychotherapy

Date of Programme Approval:

19th May 2016

PS2. Brief Description of the Programme

This BACP accredited Diploma in Person Centred Counselling and Therapy will interest students who wish to gain a professional counselling qualification. It is designed to equip learners with the skills and attributes that will enable them to work competently, professionally and ethically in the workplace. This programme has a clear focus on contemporary social issues comprising modules on personal and professional development, counselling practice, and counselling psychology. Industry relevance is maintained through links local service providers and a programme of guest speakers.

Programmes of study in counselling and psychotherapy prepare students to be self-reflective, ethical practitioners committed to career-long professional development and to the maintenance of professional standards

The course is offered on a part time basis enabling learners to remain in employment whilst pursuing the qualification. The Diploma provides the opportunity to continue to degree level whilst also to developing their knowledge in areas of professional and personal interest.

Learners complete 100 supervised client hours during the course within a placement setting.  It is strongly suggested that learners undertake Personal therapy as an aspect of their own personal development. The programme has been developed and is delivered by qualified counsellors and supervisors who remain in practice.

The Diploma in Person Centred Counselling and Therapy follows the QAA Code of Practice on Placement Learning, as well as BACP guidelines for client work, training placements and supervision in counsellor training courses. The programme is aligned to the QAA benchmarks for counselling and psychotherapy and the BACP “Gold book” criteria

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

Accredited by the British Association of Counselling Psychotherapy (BACP)

PS4. Exceptions to Plymouth University Regulations

(Note: Plymouth University’s Academic Regulations are available internally on the intranet:


PS5. Programme Aims

  1. To offer opportunities to develop counselling to a safe professional standard

  1. To enable students to practise counselling in a professional manner, working within the BACP Ethical Framework.

  1. To help students evaluate their strengths and utilise them in working with clients whilst being mindful as the limits of competence

  1. To enable students to develop their critical and analytical skills and to offer students opportunities to extend their knowledge and understanding of persons and the problems they face in contemporary society

  1. To help students develop the capacities needed to continue their professional development

  1. To enable students to develop their ability to offer the core conditions of empathy, congruence and unconditional positive regard

  1. To develop ability to plan and manage their learning, developing strategies to meet learning goals including problem solving, communication and presentation skills.

PS6. Programme Intended Learning Outcomes (ILO)

By the end of this programme the students will be able to:

  1. Evaluate Person Centred theory in depth within a framework of current psychological thinking and apply theoretical and experiential understanding to the facilitation of the counselling process

  1. Evaluate commonality and difference between the person centred approach and other models to develop a personal and professional philosophy of counselling drawing on both personal experience and contemporary research.

  1. Develop the ability to offer the core conditions within a counselling relationship and develop the counselling skills to a level of professional competence drawing on a range of therapeutic responses, strategies and interventions to inform practice

  1. Respond appropriately to the effect of their own values, beliefs, attitudes and behaviours when working as a counsellor

  1. Maintain the ethical principles that underpin counselling and therapy and integrate into practice legal, professional and organisational requirements pertaining for example to equal opportunities, diversity and anti-discrimination

  2. Recognise professional strengths and limitations that may affect therapeutic practice, and develop appropriate self-support and self-care strategies and engage in personal therapy as appropriate

  1. Establish and maintain a secure frame for therapeutic work maintaining clear professional boundaries in all relationships with clients

  1. Plan and manage learning, taking responsibility for meeting identified learning needs through negotiation with peers, tutors & other supporters of learning and to develop study skills at Level 5

PS7 Distinctive features

This text is definitively approved at programme approval and therefore may be directly used for promotion of the programme without the need for further confirmation:

  • This programme offers you a professional qualification which is accredited by the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) and underpinned by the BACP Framework for Ethical Practice.

  • The experienced teaching team will complement your studies with their experience in the voluntary, private and statutory sectors - many of whom hold individual BACP accreditation and maintain current practices in counselling and supervision.

  • The programme team seek to create a Person Centred learning climate within which you can develop the personal and relational awareness, as well as the academic and professional knowledge, skills and understanding needed to practice as counsellors

  • The Diploma includes a practice element of 100 of counselling practice.

  • On qualifying, you can apply for full membership of the BACP and join the BACP National Register.

  • Past students who have completed have progressed into roles including:, different counselling agencies (e.g. bereavement, alcohol), schools and private practice. Alternatively, graduates may progress to the BA (Hons) Counselling.

  • The college counselling programme is valued by previous students as a supportive environment for learning.

PS8. Student Numbers

The following provides information that should be considered nominal, and therefore not absolutely rigid, but is of value to guide assurance of the quality of the student experience, functional issues around enabling progression opportunities to occur and staffing and resource planning:

Minimum student numbers per stage = 12

Target student numbers per stage = 18

Maximum student numbers per stage = 24

PS9. Progression Route(s)

Approved “progression route(s)” are those where successful achievement in this programme enables direct alignment to join a stage of another programme. This is an approach employed primarily for Foundation Degree students to “top-up” to complete a Bachelor degree, but may be employed for other award types.

This is in part an automated admissions criterion and therefore progression may be impacted on by availability of a position on the progression award; however progression opportunity, if not available in the first year of application, is guaranteed within 3 years.

Progression arrangements with institutions other than Plymouth University carry an increased element of risk. It is necessary for the delivering partner institution to obtain formal agreement from that institution to guarantee progression for existing students on the programme. For progression to Plymouth University, should there be the need to withdraw the progression route programme(s) then either this will be delayed to provide progression or appropriate solutions will be found. This arrangement is guaranteed for existing students that complete their programme of study with no suspensions or repeat years and who wish to progress immediately to the University.

BA (Hons) Counselling Studies – Cornwall College, Camborne.

PS10. Admissions Criteria

Qualification(s) Required for Entry to this Programme:

Level 2 Counselling Skills Course (minimum of 75 contact hours and not distance learning)

Level 4 – Certificate in Advanced Counselling studies

Some students may be able to progress directly from the Level 2 to the Level 5 Diploma and this is considered on individual merit and a minimum of 120 UCAS points

Application process:

  • Formal Interview

  • Personal Statement (see below)

  • Written task

  • Attendance at an information session

  • Satisfactory DBS

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