Shrewsbury Colleges Group


Teaching Institution Awarding Organisation
scg logo Staffordshire University Logo


Intermediate Awards

Certificate in Higher Education

Mode of Study


Location of Study

London Road Campus

Course Length

Two years

Total Guided Learning Hours (GL) – 240 Hours
Total Qualification Time (TQT) – 240 Hours

Course Code




QAA Subject Benchmarks

QAA Benchmark Statements for Counselling and Psychotherapy (2013)

HECoS Code

100495 counselling

Accreditation Type


Accreditation Details

The Counselling Theory and Practice award is not accredited with a professional body; however, this programme combined with a Level Three Certificate in Counselling Skills (entry requirement for the award) meets some of the current criteria for working towards individual membership with the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP).

Criteria for Admission to the Programme

Applicants must have a Level 3 Certificate in Counselling or equivalent.

Applicants also need to supply the name of one referee from an academic source. Every applicant is invited to an interview to assess their suitability for the course. At the interview, they need to declare and discuss previous convictions, reprimands, cautions or final warnings.

Entry requirements include passes at GCSE for English and Maths at grade 4 or above however equivalent qualifications and/or work experience will be taken into consideration. Applicants without GCSEs will be required to complete prior to entry on this course. GCSE courses are offered at the college during the evening and daytime.

Minimum/Maximum Numbers

Minimum 12                  Maximum 15

Applicants will be advised on 13/9/2021 if insufficient numbers have been recruited to make the course viable.

Course Fee

 £7,425 for full-time study.

Please refer to the published fee policy for information on international fees, when your fees are due and how they will be collected.

Additional Costs

The requirements for Placement trainee counsellors are:

  • Clinical supervision at 1 hour per 8.5 hours of counselling
  • BACP membership as a student counsellor
  • Professional liability insurance
  • An enhanced DBS.

The trainee counsellor is responsible for the costs of these placement requirements.

Date of Production

August 2021

Proposed Revision Date

June 2022


This Programme Specification provides useful information about your course being delivered at Shrewsbury Colleges Group, how it will be delivered and how you will be assessed - it should be read in conjunction with the Programme Specification you were provided with during recruitment.

We hope you choose to come and study with us at Shrewsbury Colleges Group and take advantage of the opportunity to access Higher Education locally in Shropshire. 

Welcome from Curriculum Leader:

Michelle Dawes

The information in your course handbook is about the award, University regulations and counselling specific guidelines, and you need to refer to it when necessary. We have included information about the award itself, and also about the staff who will guide you through your Foundation Degree and the learning resources that will be helpful to you on the programme.

We hope that this year is a successful one for you and that you enjoy your time at Shrewsbury Colleges Group.

Michelle Dawes

Staff Profiles

  • Genevieve Walters

    Genevieve Walters Lead Teacher

    Telephone: 01743 342342
    This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

    Genevieve has 17 years of counselling experience working with children, young people and adults. She holds a Master in Social Sciences Counselling Psychology degree and utilises her knowledge and experience to further growth and development in community settings in addition to her private practice. Her consultancy services to NPOs, local government and private businesses offered counselling, mentoring, coaching and training to clients from executive to the grassroots level. She regards all sectors as having the potential to add value to people’s lives and engages with agencies that build people’s potential for growth and wellness through counselling and development. She has personally assisted clients through incredibly challenging circumstances such as trauma, grief and loss and has worked in a diverse range of organisations in local government, health and education sectors managing teams of highly skilled counsellors.

  • Clair Fulton

    Clair Fulton Course Teacher

    Telephone: 01743 342342
    This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

    Course Team Leader for both the Level 2 and Level 3 Counselling courses, Level 4 equivalent Counselling Children and Young People (short course), Foundation Degree in Education - Safeguarding, Practice Development for the Foundation Degree in Counselling Theory and Practice. Clair holds a Level 5 Diploma in Therapeutic Counselling Practice and has three years of experience as a Counsellor for Children and Young People working with 11 - 25-year-olds.

  • Donna Morris

    Donna Morris Course Teacher

    Telephone: 01743 342671
    This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

    Lecturer-Level 4 Diploma in Therapeutic Counselling, Personal and Practice Development for the Foundation Degree in Counselling Theory and Practice. Donna has holds qualifications in CPCAB Level 6 Supervision and a Foundation Degree in Counselling. She is a qualified Person-Centred Counsellor, and Supervisor, with over 6 years of counselling experience. She sits on local counselling forums and leads the Level 4 vocational counselling programme for Shrewsbury Colleges Group. She has a range of counselling experience in diverse settings and supports students through lectures, supervision and skills practice.

  • Victoria Thornton

    Victoria Thornton HE Study Support Tutor

    Telephone: 01743 342553
    This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

    Victoria provides support to HE students with their studies, such as assignment planning, presentation skills, reading and taking notes etc as well as with applications for DSA.

  • Michelle Dawes

    Michelle Dawes Higher Education Lead

    Telephone: 01743 342439
    This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

    Michelle manages and oversees the quality of Higher Education at Shrewsbury Colleges Group.

Overview of the Award – what does the course involve?

The underlying principles guiding the teaching, learning and assessment within the Foundation Degree are that all students should acquire and further develop transferable skills such as communication skills, reflective practice, self-awareness, written and verbal communication skills, as well as start to develop an ethical approach to solving problems.

These academic skills are supported by work placement activities that promote personal traits such as confidence, initiative and decision-making, which are required to optimise employment opportunities.

Classroom-based learning

This will be facilitated and delivered by the module teams at Shrewsbury College supported by specialist visiting lecturers, service users, carers and clinicians. Classroom-based learning builds upon students’ understanding of key theoretical approaches to counselling and develops therapeutic practice to promote health and well-being in individuals and their communities.

Group Process & Personal Development

Personal development is a fundamental component of counsellor training and is facilitated through exercises/activities and group process and is a central ethos throughout the whole programme. The aim is to enhance self-awareness with particular attention to ‘self and others’ whilst embodying the core conditions of Empathy, UPR and Congruence in order to create a climate for growth.

Practice and Development Groups (PAD)

These groups involve triad work to enhance counselling practice and engagement in a wider group context in order to critique practice for development purposes. The environment will create opportunities for constructive feedback whilst simultaneously recognizing and respecting the autonomy of each individual, and their particular style, to support, encourage and enable professional development.

Personal Therapy

Students must complete a minimum of 10 hours of personal therapy at Level 4, and at least 20 hours by the end of Level 5. The therapist must have training in the Person-centred, Gestalt or Existential approach and must be registered with the BACP.

Inter-professional Learning

The award will enable you to develop a professional perspective in relation to self and others, this includes developing effective communication skills, being able to contribute productively as part of a team and able to organise time and resources effectively.

Placement for work-based learning

Students are required to acquire work-based learning as trainee counsellors on Placement, to complete their 100 hours of practice, at an appropriate agency offering counselling services.

Programme Aims

Aims of the programme:

The Foundation Degree in Counselling Theory and Practice is designed to comply with current BACP Ethical Practice and is suitable for any individual whose qualification goal is to achieve professional status in counselling.

Programme Learning Outcomes

The main objective of this award is to provide meaningful practice experiences and that on completion candidates will be able to:

  • Demonstrate a critical understanding of key contemporary approaches to counselling
  • Demonstrate reflective, flexible and ethical learning and practice that can recognise and respond to the impact of the cultural and societal influences upon clients
  • Integrate work experience opportunities throughout the programme in order to promote employability skills
  • Demonstrate knowledge and skill as practitioners who can relate theoretical concepts to the counselling context and who are able to respond to the increasing demand for therapies.

Work experience is an integral feature throughout this programme, with the opportunity for a range of learning opportunities within a variety of counselling settings. This is formally evaluated within specific modules and by the work-based facilitator, to give a credible and realistic appraisal of employability skills, to provide a unique opportunity to gain an insight into future employment

Lecturers are members of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) and are subject to the BACP Ethical Framework for Good Practice in Counselling and Psychotherapy. All lecturers are working as professional counsellors in clinical supervised practice and strive to ensure that trainee counsellors’ preparation for practice is of the highest possible standard.

Completion of the Foundation Degree in Counselling Theory and Practice provides students with the required number of taught hours and supervised practice hours as stipulated by the BACP, to satisfy employer requirements.

This programme is distinctive because:

The course offers individuals from a wide range of backgrounds, an opportunity to enter the field of counselling and/or apply these sought-after mental health skills in a wide range of settings in the public and private sectors.

On successful completion students should be able to:

  • Work as a counsellor in private practice
  • Gain employment within a counselling service
  • Study further towards a BSc or MSc in Counselling.


Many of our students have used their qualifications to open their private practice, gain employment at local counselling services or gain entry to further study.

Here are some potential careers:
Counselling and Mental Health support in a variety of settings such as GP surgeries, the workplace, schools, universities, NHS Trusts or private practice.

Programme Structure, Modules and Credits

Award title: FdSc in Counselling Theory and Practice

FdSc in Counselling Theory and Practice Unit credit Level
Core unit Mandatory Research Skills in Counselling 20 4
Core unit Mandatory Counselling Theory 20 4
Core unit Mandatory Preparation for Counselling Placement 20 4
Core unit Mandatory Developing Counselling Skills 40 4
Core unit Mandatory Personal Development in Counselling 1 20 4
Core unit Mandatory Research Methods in Counselling 20 5
Core unit Mandatory Theories of Human Development 20 5
Core unit Mandatory Working with Loss and grief 20 5
Core unit Mandatory Counselling Skills in Practice 40 5
Core unit Mandatory Personal Development in Counselling 2 20 5

The Counselling Theory and Practice award is not accredited with a professional body; however, this programme combined with a Level Three Certificate in Counselling Skills (entry requirement for the award) meets some of the current criteria for working towards individual membership with the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP).

Teaching and Assessment

How will I be taught?

The teaching and learning strategy within the Foundation Degree in Counselling Theory and Practice aims to build upon, and consolidate, the learning gained in previous study; therefore, teaching and learning strategies will be similar to the previous study and will build upon the skills and knowledge previously acquired, although there is further emphasis on independent learning. For this reason, there is a requirement to undertake a project which brings together all aspects of learning in relation to theory and work experience to produce an in-depth study of one aspect of counselling of the learner’s choice.

The British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy makes several detailed recommendations for training courses related to; knowledge-based learning, therapeutic competencies, development of self-awareness, professional development, skills work, and practice placements.

These recommendations have been considered and utilised in the development of this programme of study and are reflected in the nature of the curriculum, the learning outcomes, the content of the modules and the assessment process.

Independent learning is encouraged as learners develop and exhibit ability in the areas of critical reading, analysis and writing. Learners will be encouraged to explore ideas through independent study and engagement with the virtual learning environment, however, the role of tutor facilitated learning is also a key supportive feature of the programmes.

A wide range of strategies will be utilised, reflecting the level of knowledge, the subject area, and the diversity of knowledge and experience that each student brings to this programme. We, therefore, aim to offer a range of learning approaches that reflects not only the subject matter to be delivered but also takes consideration of individual student need.

A range of approaches are therefore employed such as lectures, workshops, group tasks, seminars, student presentations, discussions, role-play sessions, group tutorials, enquiry based learning including problem-based learning, practice simulation in appropriate areas (i.e. triads and PAD groups).

Practical work experience – working as a trainee counsellor on placement, engaging in regular casework supervision and personal therapy, form part of the assessment of the student’s Fitness to Practice as a counsellor. The requirements for Placement trainee counsellors are:

  • Clinical supervision at 1 hour per 8.5 hours of counselling
  • BACP membership as a student counsellor
  • Professional liability insurance
  • An enhanced DBS.

How will I be assessed?

A variety of assessment methods are used including essays, presentations, reflective reports, recordings of practice, research proposals and vivas.

HE student procession


Full-time applications for this Award need to be made through UCAS at:

Part-time applications for this Award need to be made directly to our Admissions Team via the online application form on our website.

For more information on our application process or to receive the application form in an alternative format, please follow the link below or contact our admissions teams on 01743 342346.


Students will be provided with a structured Induction Programme covering:

  • Welcome Event – June
  • Enrolment Event – August/September
  • Induction Events – September/October
      • College Induction
      • Programme Induction
      • Student Finance Support Session for those with outstanding queries

Student Charter

The College has a HE Student Charter which sets out the standards of conduct expected of tutors and students on the programme with us. Follow the link below for more information.

What happens if I fail a unit?

 All students are entitled to one re-submission opportunity if the work they initially submit is judged to have failed.

However, if the initial work is not covered by extenuating circumstances, and you submit work for the module for a second attempt (called a referral) the maximum mark that can be awarded for re-submission is the threshold pass mark; i.e. 40% grade point 4 for levels 4 and 5.

If the re-submitted failed work or non-submission is covered by a successful extenuating circumstances claim then the re-submitted work is considered ‘as if for the first time’ and can receive its full awarded mark.


The College has formal procedures for appeals if you have grounds for believing that your work has not been assessed fairly. For further information, please speak to your course tutor or the curriculum area leader within seven days of your assessment being returned. Follow the link below for more information.

Assessment and Award Boards

All summative assessment grades are agreed at formal Assessment and Award Boards held at regular intervals throughout the year at the College.

Support for students with additional needs

We aim to ensure that individual needs are met before starting a course and during the course of study.

Our Student Support Tutor for HE runs a study skills support programme throughout the academic year. This covers academic skills such as:

  • Assignment planning
  • Presentation skills
  • Critical thinking
  • Reading and note-making
  • Referencing
  • Time management & organisation

These will be advertised and accessible to all HE students. The HE tutor will also be available to work with and support learners with an identified additional learning need or disability. If you’re a current HE student or prospective HE student with additional learning needs the sooner you inform us the earlier we can discuss and advise you on the support available for you while you study.

Learning support can also be provided by approved Disabled Student Allowance (DSA) providers for Higher Education Students studying at Shrewsbury College who have an identified disability, mental-health condition, medical condition, or a specific learning difficulty and who are in receipt of DSA. If you have an identified disability, mental-health condition, medical condition, or a specific learning difficulty an application to Student Finance for Disabled Students Allowance will need to be completed along with supporting evidence of your disability. Follow the link below for more information.

Alternatively, visit

Quality improvement: Listening to your views

We aim to make your experience both worthwhile and enjoyable and to continually improve the quality of our awards. Therefore, we value your feedback about the quality of our programmes. Student Consultatives will be held every term and a nominated representative from your group will attend these to provide feedback on your experience, please let your Course Tutor know if you would like to become a student representative. An end of course review will also be carried out to obtain your feedback.

HE student engaging with teacher


We really hope you never have any reason to be dissatisfied with the delivery of your course and/or the support we provide you with here at Shrewsbury Colleges Group, however, we are aware that sometimes things go wrong. If your concerns are affecting the whole of your group please use the Student Consultative meetings to air your concerns and enable us to resolve your complaint, if able.

If your concern is of a more personal nature, in the first instance we would always encourage you to talk over your concerns with your Course Tutor or whoever it is that has been providing the service you are unhappy about, often things can be resolved quickly in these circumstances. The HE and Education Lead is also available to chat things over on a one-one basis.

If you wish to formalise your complaint you will need to access the guidance in our HE complaints policy.

If following your complaint/appeal to the College you feel that our regulations have not been applied properly or procedures followed incorrectly The Office of the Independent Adjudicator (OIA) can consider whether the decision made by ourselves was fair and reasonable. More information can be found here.

Term and Conditions/Policies and Procedures

Please ensure the Terms and Conditions you are issued with at offer stage are retained for your reference.

Policies and procedures to support you during your studies can be found via the link below.

During the year it may be necessary to make minor changes to our Terms and Conditions/Policies and Procedures. We will advise you of any such changes once you have accepted an offer with ourselves and update our website accordingly.

HE Regulatory Information

Regulatory information can be found via the following link.