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Introduction to counselling

The tremendous expansion of counselling over the last 20 years reflects the changing nature of society, an increase in the number of people perceiving a need for professional help with their problems, and a growing recognition of the value of such support. This 12-week online module provides an accessible and interesting introduction to the theory and practice of counselling. While the module is primarily theoretical, it also develops some awareness of the basic skills in counselling practice. You will get a good grounding in key topics in counselling, including its cultural and historical origins; different theoretical orientations; and the vital role of the counselling relationship.

Standalone study only

This module is available for standalone study only. Any credits from this module cannot be counted towards an OU qualification.

Module

Module code
D171
Credits
15
Study level
OU SCQF FHEQ
1 7 4
Study method
Distance Learning
Module cost
See Module registration
Entry requirements
See Am I ready?

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What you will study

This module reflects a growing interest in counselling and the helping professions generally, which in turn has led to more people seeking careers in these fields. In addition, there has been widespread recognition of the value of an understanding of counselling theory and skills to other ‘people oriented’ professions, such as human resources, whether in the private or public sector. This module provides a starting point for people interested in pursuing a career in counselling or those who simply want to know more.

The module introduces a range of issues central to counselling, including the cultural and historical origins of counselling, different theoretical approaches to counselling (including humanistic, psychodynamic and cognitive behavioural orientations), and the fundamental role of the counselling relationship in enabling growth and change. In addition, basic skills in listening, attending and responding appropriately will be introduced and developed through audio-visual materials and structured self-directed activities.

The module is taught primarily through a textbook and other text-based study materials. Counselling skills are also introduced through a specially produced DVD and by practising self-directed activities. Online forums are offered to further support students in their learning.

Vocational relevance

Whilst this module does not qualify students to practise counselling, it does meet the needs of new students who wish to complete a ‘taster module’ in order to determine whether counselling is a suitable career, as recommended by the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP). It also provides academic and practical learning of relevance to many others – for instance, those in business or other professions where ‘people skills’ are particularly important – who are seeking further knowledge and training in basic counselling theory and skills.

Teaching and assessment

Support from your tutor

You will have a tutor who will help you with study material. They will mark and comment on your written work, and you can ask them for advice and guidance with your studies. In addition there will be online forums. If you are new to the OU, you will find your tutor is particularly concerned to help you with your study methods.

Contact us if you want to know more about study with The Open University before you register.

Assessment

The assessment details for this module can be found in the facts box above.

You will be expected to submit your tutor-marked assignments (TMAs) online through the eTMA system unless there are some difficulties which prevent you from doing so. In these circumstances, you must negotiate with your tutor to get their agreement to submit your assignment on paper.

Future availability

The details given here are for the module that starts in April 2015, October 2015 and April 2016, when it will be available for the last time. 

Regulations

As a student of The Open University, you should be aware of the content of the Module Regulations and the Student Regulations which are available on our Essential documents website.

Course work includes:

2 Tutor-marked assignments (TMAs)
No examination
No residential school


Entry

Introduction to counselling is an OU level 1 module that provides core subject knowledge and study skills. 

As there are some aspects of the content and activities that are not suitable for students under the age of eighteen years, entry is only open to students over the age of eighteen at module start date.

If you have any doubt about the suitability of the module, please speak to an adviser.

Register

Start End England fee Register
17 Oct 2015 See description £675.00

Registration closes 01/10/15 (places subject to availability)

Register

You may need to apply for some payment or funding options earlier. Please check the Fees and Funding information or contact us for information.

09 Apr 2016 See description £675.00

Registration closes 24/03/16 (places subject to availability)

Register

You may need to apply for some payment or funding options earlier. Please check the Fees and Funding information or contact us for information.

This module is expected to start for the last time in April 2016.

Additional Costs

Study costs

There may be extra costs on top of the tuition fee, such as a laptop, travel to tutorials, set books and internet access.

If you're on a low income you might be eligible for help with some of these costs after you register.

Ways to pay for this module

Open University Student Budget Account

The Open University Student Budget Accounts Ltd (OUSBA) offers a convenient 'pay as you go' option to pay your OU fees, which is a secure, quick and easy way to pay. Please note that The Open University works exclusively with OUSBA and is not able to offer you credit facilities from any other provider. All credit is subject to status and proof that you can afford the repayments.

You pay the OU through OUSBA in one of the following ways:

  • Register now, pay later – OUSBA pays your module fee direct to the OU. You then repay OUSBA interest-free and in full just before your module starts. 0% APR representative. This option could give you the extra time you may need to secure the funding to repay OUSBA.
  • Pay by instalments – OUSBA calculates your monthly fee and number of instalments based on the cost of the module you are studying. APR 5.1% representative.

Read more about Open University Student Budget Accounts (OUSBA).  

Employer sponsorship

Studying with The Open University can boost your employability. OU qualifications are recognised and respected by employers for their excellence and the commitment they take to achieve one. They also value the skills that students learn and can apply in the workplace.

More than one in ten OU students are sponsored by their employer, and over 30,000 employers have used the OU to develop staff so far. If the qualification you’ve chosen is geared towards your job or developing your career, you could approach your employer to see if they will sponsor you by paying some or all of the fees. 

  • Your employer just needs to complete a simple form to confirm how much they will be paying and we will invoice them.
  • You won’t need to get your employer to complete the form until after you’ve chosen your modules.  

Credit/debit card

You can pay part or all of your tuition fees upfront with a debit or credit card when you register for each module. 

We accept American Express, Maestro (UK only), Mastercard, Visa/Delta and Visa Electron. 

Mixed payments

We know that sometimes you may want to combine payment options. For example, you may wish to pay part of your tuition fee with a debit card and pay the remainder in instalments through an Open University Student Budget Account (OUSBA).

For more information about combining payment options, speak to an adviser or book a call back at a time that is convenient to you.


Please note: your permanent address/domicile will affect your fee status and therefore the fees you are charged and any financial support available to you. The fees and funding information provided here is valid for modules starting before 31 July 2016. Fees normally increase annually in line with inflation and the University's strategic approach to fees. 

This information was provided on 28/07/2015.

What's included

Textbook and written study guide material, DVD and additional learning resources available online via the module website.

You will need

A television and DVD player.

Computing requirements

You will need a computer with internet access to study this module as the study materials and activities are accessible via a web browser. Any other computer-based activities you will need to carry out, such as word processing, using spreadsheets, taking part in online forums, and submitting files to the university for assessment, are specified in the module materials. If any additional software is needed for these tasks it will either be provided or is freely available.

We recommend either of the following:

  • Windows desktop or laptop computer running Windows 7 or later operating system
  • Macintosh desktop or laptop computer running OS X 10.7 or later operating system.

A netbook, tablet, smartphone or Linux computer that supports one of the browsers listed below may be suitable. The screen size should be at least 1024 (H) x 768 (W) pixels. If you intend to use one of these devices please ensure you have access to a suitable desktop or laptop computer in case you are unable to carry out all the module activities on your mobile device.

We recommend a minimum 1 Mbps internet connection and any of the following browsers:

  • Internet Explorer 9 and above
  • Apple Safari 7 and above
  • Google Chrome 31 and above
  • Mozilla Firefox 31 and above.

Note: using the latest version for your browser will maximise security when accessing the internet. Using company or library computers may prevent you accessing some internet materials or installing additional software.

See our Skills for OU study website for further information about computing skills for study and educational deals for buying Microsoft Office software.

If you have a disability

Written transcripts of any audio-visual components and Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF) versions of printed material are available. Some Adobe PDF components may not be available or fully accessible using a screen reader. Musical notation and mathematical, scientific, and foreign language materials may be particularly difficult to read in this way. Other alternative formats of the study materials may be available in the future. Our Services for disabled students website has the latest information about availability.

If you have particular study requirements please tell us as soon as possible, as some of our support services may take several weeks to arrange. Find out more about our services for disabled students.