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Counselling and Applied Psychology - HNC*


The B&FC HNC Counselling & Applied Psychology provide exciting opportunities for you to study to enable you to progress to or within a role in counselling and applied psychology. This programme provides you with a platform to begin or enhance your career and incorporate both practical elements and theoretical concepts that are highly desirable in a range of roles in the sector but also gives you a strong range of transferable skills, relevant to many employment opportunities.

You will benefit from the expertise of the curriculum team who have excellent experience in these sectors and are also actively involved in developing the workforce of the future. Class sizes are normally small and again this is very beneficial, affording the opportunity for a tailored personal learning situation and plenty of help and support.

This programme is designed to develop you as a professional, self-reflecting individual able to meet the demands of employers and adapt to a constantly changing world. The structure of the programme includes core units which underpin your professional development.

  • Course code SM1HE139
  • Duration 1 Year
  • Day/s of week Wednesday
  • Time 09:00 - 21:00

Next course dates

Start date Location Duration
09 Sep 2024
Bispham Campus
1 Year

Where can this subject lead?

Career progression

By successfully completing the Certificate, students will:

  • Be equipped with the attitudes and behaviours required to succeed in counselling practice.
  • Have the enhanced employability prospects and ‘work readiness’ of graduates.
  • Be ready to take part in CPD and lifelong learning for personal and professional development.

Next steps at B&FC

As part of the HND, you will have the choice to study one of two optional units, dependent on your chosen career path. This will either be ‘Counselling Young People’ or ‘Supporting Clients Experiencing Addiction’.

However, there will need to be a minimum of 6 students choosing the option, for either unit to be offered each year.

Key information

Entry Requirements

To study this course you must have one of the following:

  • A Level 3 qualification in a related subject, such as Level 3 Certificate/Diploma in Counselling Skills
  • other related Level 3 qualifications in relevant subjects such psychology, mental health or care
  • an Access to Higher Education Diploma in Humanities or Science


  • You must have a counselling placement for 4-6 hours per week in place before commencement of the programme
  • You will be required to provide the details for 2 references and also a recent DBS check


To meet BACP approval requirements, there will also be a selection process that ensures successful applicants have or have the potential to:

  • Develop self-awareness, maturity and stability
  • Reflect on life experience
  • Cope with the emotional demands of the qualification
  • Cope with the intellectual and academic requirements
  • Be aware of issues of difference and equality
  • Recognise the need for personal and professional support
  • Be able to demonstrate values, principles, personal moral qualities and ethical stances

This selection process will include a written component as part of the interview to demonstrate meeting these requirements. Students who are not yet ready will be signposted to suitable opportunities which will enable them to develop so that they can achieve the above.

Qualification obtained

BTEC Higher National Certificate in Counselling and Applied Psychology

Extra costs and equipment

You will need to ensure that you have the following in place, prior to starting the programme. These costs may be supported through B&FC Access Fund, depending on your personal circumstances.

Further details are included in the Placement Handbook. Approximate costs identified for guidance.

  • Student membership of the British Association of Counselling & Psychotherapy £86
  • Personal Indemnity Insurance £30
  • DBS check £46

You will need to have a supervisor in place when you are on placement £30-£60 per session. This should be 12 hours for the HNC and a further 9 hours for the HND.

Approximate total additional costs for the programme (assuming supervision at £40 per hour) would therefore be:

  • HNC (year 1) £642

Terms and conditions

Read our full terms and conditions for more information.

What will I learn?

Industry placement, field trips and guest speakers

You will be required to complete 100 hours of placement during the HNC and a further 70 hours whilst undertaking the HND. These hours are closely managed and regulated, with full details being described within the Placement Handbook which you must read before enrolling to the programme as it contains important information about the placement requirements.

  • Modules at level 4

    Module title Code Credits Optional
    Personal and Professional Development Through Inclusive Practice SM4MD191 15 Yes
    Developing Empathic Communication for Effective Therapeutic Relationships SM4MD192 15 Yes
    Preparing for Research Person Set SM4MD193 15 Yes
    Ethical Frameworks in Counselling SM4MD194 15 Yes
    Individual Differences SM4MD195 15 Yes
    Self Awareness and Reflective Practice in Counselling SM4MD196 15 Yes
    Theoretical Perspectives in Counselling SM4MD197 15 Yes
    Digital Approaches in Caring Professions SM4MD198 15 No

How will I be assessed?

How will I be assessed?

The Higher National Certificate and Diploma are assessed using a combination of internally assessed Centre-devised internal assignments (which are set and marked by Centres) and internally assessed Pearson-set assignments (which are set by Pearson and marked by Centres).

BTEC Higher Nationals recommend a variety of forms of assessment evidence to be used, provided they are suited to the type of learning outcomes being assessed. For many units, the practical demonstration of skills is necessary and, for others, you will need to carry out their own research and analysis, working independently or as part of a team.

Summative assessment will be used to ensure all outcomes have been met for each unit, in line with Pearson regulations. The forms of summative assessment across the programme consist of essays, reports, case studies, presentations, posters and are used to support the development of cognitive skills and abilities.

The principal rationale for selecting these methods of assessment and feedback are that they are supporting your development to progress within and to their career with a range of skills. Case studies will be used to enable you to critically appraise and examine real life situations and link these to theory. The application of conceptual and theoretical knowledge and perspectives to real life situations will allow you to critically analyse and evaluate material, produce findings and make further recommendations.

You must also successfully complete the placement requirements to pass this programme.

How will I be assessed?

Assessment Method Level 4 Level 5 Level 6
Coursework 100% 0% 0%
Exam 0% 0% 0%
Practical 0% 0% 0%