Professional Practice in Counselling | Abertay University

Professional Practice in Counselling


This module facilitates students in developing a research-informed, ethical approach to professional practice in counselling. In addition, it promotes the development of competence in psychotherapeutic skills within an appropriate counselling placement setting.


The aim of this Module is to provide the student with : The module provides an arena where the student has an opportunity to critically reflect on and explore ethical, professional and personal issues arising from the application of theory, and ethical principles in practice. In addition, it provides an opportunity to develop skill in a variety of psychosocial interventions for adults experiencing a range of mild to moderate problems in living.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this module the student should be able to:

1.  Demonstrate the capacity to offer a counselling relationship characterised by a collaborative approach, sensitivity to equality, and a valuing of diversity

2.  Demonstrate a capacity to reflect on practice, and use counselling supervision, peer support and feedback to enhance professional competence

3.  Negotiate ethical and organisational issues arising from the adoption of a counselling role within an appropriate counselling placement setting

4.  Appreciate research as a means of informing practice

5.  Complete a minimum of 50 hours of supervised, face-to-face client work in an approved counselling placement agency/setting

Indicative Content

1 Structure of module

Students gain counselling practice experience in an approved placement setting in parallel to participating in a series of seminars, experiential workshops, and case discussion groups which critically reflect on the following:

2 Psychotherpeutic work

Contracting with clients, assessment, ethical issues arising in practice, case conceptualisation, implementation of counselling and other interventions, critical evaluation and discussion of published case studies

3 Psychotherpeutic work

Making referrals, working with difference, creating a therapeutic environment, managing a caseload, identifying future training needs

4 Research

Development of research in counselling, finding and analysing research papers, evaluating outcomes, case study methods, using research to inform practice

5 Preparing for practice

Working in a counselling agency, making referrals, anti-discriminatory practice, keeping a practice portfolio, personal development needs

6 Supervision

Use of supervision, negotiating a supervision contract

Statement on Teaching, Learning and Assessment

A variety of learning, teaching and delivery strategies are employed within this module, designed specifically to enhance postgraduate knowledge development, thinking, reasoning and ability to critically reflect on and synthesise personal learning, theoretical and research knowledge into the students practice during counselling placements. The key mode of teaching and learning in this programme involves participative learning. Teaching/learning methods emphasise student participation, self- directed study and the use of interactive electronic media. Teaching is delivered through workshop and seminar sessions. In addition, students are required to complete a practice placement where they apply their learning in a 'real-world' practice environment and gain experience of, and skills in multi-disciplinary team working and in the delivery of routine counselling services to a range of client groups. This module will enable students to acquire a range of skills, relevant to future employability.

Teaching and Learning Work Loads

Total 200
Lecture 23
Tutorial/Seminar 15
Supervised Practical Activity 0
Unsupervised Practical Activity 0
Assessment 40
Independent 122

Guidance notes

Credit Value – The total value of SCQF credits for the module. 20 credits are the equivalent of 10 ECTS credits. A full-time student should normally register for 60 SCQF credits per semester.


We make every effort to ensure that the information on our website is accurate but it is possible that some changes may occur prior to the academic year of entry. The modules listed in this catalogue are offered subject to availability during academic year 2017/18 , and may be subject to change for future years.