Foundation Degree (FdA) Counselling

Course Overview

This course will provide an understanding of the theory, skills and expertise required to work as a professional Counsellor as well as providing progression to higher levels of study in this subject at degree level.

This is a well-established, popular, professional level course taught by very experienced tutors with an excellent industry reputation.

For those who have successfully completed a level 3 counselling qualification, this is your progression route to professional practice. You will have a chance to substantially develop your knowledge of counselling theory and ethics. In addition you will have the opportunity to engage in personal development to enhance your therapeutic practice.



We provide a professional setting, with unique, purpose-built counselling booths, so that you have the appropriate space in which to develop your counselling skills. In addition, each booth has recording equipment to support reflective process and assignment work.

You can study with us during the day (from to 5pm) or over an afternoon and evening (from 1.30pm to 9pm). The course is delivered over a two year period from September to June over 32 weeks per year.

Modules on this course include:

Year 1 (national level 4)

  • Personal development. (20 credits)
  • Counselling skills practice & development. (20 credits)
  • The Core Model (30 credits)
  • Professional Issues. (20 credits)
  • Comparative models. (30 credits)

Subject to being signed off as ‘placement ready’ you can commence your placement in the January of your first year of study.

Students are required to complete at least 100 counselling placement hours before the end of the course in year 2.

It is the students responsibility to organise an appropriate placement. If the counselling placement provider cannot supply an appropriate supervisor, it is the responsibility of the student to identify a suitable supervisor and also pay for any fees charged for this service.

Year 2 (national level 5)

  • Personal development (20 credits)
  • Supervised counselling practice (40 credits)
  • Counselling research (20 credits)
  • Contemporary issues in counselling (40 credits)
  • Level 3 certificate in counselling
  • Level 2 pass grade in English and maths (GCSE grade C/4 or above , or equivalent qualification)
  • There is a course requirement stipulating that all students need to acquire student membership of the BACP at own cost prior to beginning counselling practice in a placements. Prospective students are advised to consult the BACP for the latest information on student membership.
  • If English is not your first language, please refer to the University of Sunderland English Language requirements.


Please supply us with the names and addresses of two referees, one of whom should be your previous Counselling course tutor for Level 3.  The second referee could be another tutor, employer or placement provider. Friends and family members should not be used as a referee. Please ensure you have provided an email contact for referees as this is the most effective way to request/receive references. Please ensure that your referees are aware you have put their contact details forward and to expect a reference request to encourage a prompt return of reference. Please note, that place offer cannot be considered until interview has taken place and references received.

You can note these references in the comments section in our online application.

We want you to learn all you can about these modules so you will have the opportunity to practice safely in placement and complete assignment work successfully. You will be assessed via essays, reports and presentations of your learning.

Tutors on this course provide rigorous assessment and coaching of your skills. You will be well supported towards a professional level of ‘fitness to practice’ that is required by the University of Sunderland and Placement Providers alike.

This is a University of Sunderland franchised course in which our core model is person-centred therapy delivered here at TyneMet College. This means that you can qualify as a person-centred counsellor. In addition, you will be able to progress to the optional BA (Hons) degree at the University of Sunderland.

This course is also aligned with BACP (British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy) guidelines which will help prepare you for progression to voluntary or paid employment.

This programme is offered by Tyne Coast College working in partnership with the University of Sunderland. The award that you will receive will be from the University of Sunderland.

Download course specification

In order to help ensure that the student experience is maintained at a high level across the life of partnership programmes, there is a minimum of 12 students required to enrol in year 1 of each programme offered by TyneMet College in partnership with the University of Sunderland in order for it to run. In the event that this minimum is not reached, the University reserves the right to either close this programme and withdraw offers made on it or, if appropriate to the programme, apply conditions to the programme in order to allow it to run with reduced student numbers. If the programme is closed, the University will use reasonable endeavours to help affected students switch to a suitable alternative programme or alternative HE provider if they wish to do so. If a decision is taken to apply conditions to the programme in order to allow it to run with reduced student numbers, consultation will take place with affected students. Conditions may include things like studying some of the programme at a different venue or merging study with other similar programmes where there is overlap. If these conditions are not acceptable to all students, the programme will close.

Covid-19 has challenged the delivery of professional programmes but with support from the University of Sunderland and the BACP, we have developed our emergency professional standards: an effective approach to your programme of study, blending face-to-face and online teaching.

Our experience has shown that this method opens new learning opportunities for all, enabling you to develop graduate skills such as time management, self-care and workload prioritisation, with support from the counselling training team academic team and the wider University services available to you.

We will do our best to support you to practice counselling skills in new, larger rooms. This approach will ensure you develop your clinical skills at college, before experiencing ‘real-world’ clinical practice for the first time. We will be identifying sessions we hope to be completed weekly at college to allow you to develop your counselling skills in practice alongside your peers.

In addition, some theoretical lectures will be delivered online using TEAMS.

Programme leader contacts:

John Reilly-Dixon

Assistant Programme leaders Carmel M Slawski


Rob S McGinley

* The University of Sunderland has a wide range of scholarships on offer. Find out more.

Get further information on funding your Higher Education.

 All HE Courses

The North East Collaborative Outreach Programme (NECOP) has launched its FutureMe programme of activity and support to increase the number of young people from the North East progressing to higher education.

Read more

Apply Now


    Personal Details






    Help and Support



    About you



    Last school attended

    If you are still at school please tell us the name of the school you attend

    Please separate each qualification by using a comma. Leave the text area blank if you have no qualifications.

    Support Required

    We welcome your application if you have a learning difficulty, a disability or other additional support needs. Please help us to ensure that you get the most from your time at TyneMet College by ticking either box A or B.

    A) I would like to talk to someone about supportB) I do not need any support at the moment, but I know I can ask for support if I need it later.

    I require financial guidance

    How did you hear about us?

    Data Protection

    Tyne Coast College takes your privacy seriously and will only use your personal information to provide you with the products and services which you have requested from us and to administer your account.

    From time to time we would like to contact you with details of other courses we provide. If you consent to us contacting you for this purpose please tick to indicate your preferred contact method.


    Get in touch

    Our team is always ready to help. So if you have questions on courses, your career, or anything else, complete this contact form and we’ll be in touch.