Strathclyde offers part-time counselling diploma following petition


By Émer O’Toole, Editor in Chief


Following the recent criticism over suspension of postgraduate counselling courses, Strathclyde has agreed to offer a part-time delivery of the diploma in 2016-17 and 2017-18, which will have 30 places.

The development of the new MSc in PG Counselling & Psychotherapy will accompany an undergraduate course which will also be offered in 2017-18.

The University’s Humanities and Social Sciences (HASS) faculty was criticised over plans to suspend entry to Counselling Unit courses, including its Postgraduate Certificate, Postgraduate Diploma, and Masters (MSc) courses, from 2016-17.

A petition containing 2000 signatures was given to the faculty, including signatures from global counselling and psychotherapy academics, politicians, NHS workers, teachers, trainee counsellors, students and mental health agencies and services who rely heavily on the resources provided bu the counselling unit at Strathclyde.

In an email to students on 15 January, Lorna Dougall, HASS Faculty Manager, said: “We recently wrote to you, outlining our intention not to run the Pg Cert Counselling Skills / Pg Diploma Counselling in 2016-17. Following extensive dialogue with staff and students over recent weeks and to bridge the gap between the current and revised programmes, the University has since agreed to offer:

“A part-time delivery in 2016/17 and 2017/18, which will have 30 places. These places will be open to: those who have already been offered a place and had the offer withdrawn; those on the PG Certificate in Counselling Skills, and those on the COSCA Counselling Certificate delivered by the Centre for Lifelong Learning.”

Dougall added that the course was created as a response to “the growing demand for improved support for mental health and wellbeing nationally, to widen access to Counselling education, and to embed Counselling in the University’s undergraduate programmes.”

Len Northfield trained as a counsellor at Strathclyde University, he praised the collaborative approach that he said will “ensure at least a measure of continuity to students and placement partners.”

“I am really pleased the university has responded positively to the pressure brought by the wider counselling community. It also shows some level of commitment to the ongoing support of the Person Centred and Experiential approach to Counselling and Psychotherapy.”