5 July 2016

As the costs of studying at university increase and students are more eager than ever to get value from their studies, universities are looking for alternative ways to make their degree programmes more attractive to prospective students.

One way this is being achieved is by integrating relevant vocational qualifications into degree programmes to give students the added value of an additional accreditation for the work they have achieved.

At Nottingham Trent University (NTU), the ABC Awards Level 2 Award in Counselling Concepts is used as an optional module for students studying degrees which may benefit from an introduction to counselling and knowledge of counselling concepts.

The university was looking to develop specialist modules to provide further learning opportunities to learners studying for relevant degrees, such as education related degrees and the BA (Hons) in Childhood Studies.

While NTU had developed its own introduction to counselling module, there was no accreditation attached to it and tutors were aware that their students could benefit further from a framework which worked towards a formal counselling related qualification.

Working closely with the team at ABC Awards, NTU cross referenced the learning outcomes of the university’s module with the Ofqual-regulated Level 2 Award in Counselling Concepts and created a robust process to enable learners to complete this vocational qualification within the framework of their wider degree.

Moira Moran, Course Leader and Senior Lecturer for BA (Hons) Childhood Studies, said:

“The pass rate of the qualification has been consistently high with almost 100% of portfolios submitted. Anecdotally, students have reported how, at interview, prospective employers are interested in their counselling Level 2 Award.

“One student reported how, having completed a PGCE, after a successful interview, she was told that the deciding factor in her being offered the post was this additional qualification.”

The inclusion of the counselling qualification has also enabled learners studying at the university to explore alternative dissertation subjects in their third year and to consider placements outside of schools and teaching, for those who use the qualification to support completion of their PGCE or application to a wide range of careers working with children and families.

The qualification has proven well-suited to study at university, as it can be completed within 10 weeks (around 40 learning hours) to fit around university terms and assessment needs, and can be delivered at any time of the academic year.

Additionally, the qualification has been designed in order to build effective communication and to enhance the ability to listen and respect silence; skills which are transferable into a range of careers outside of counselling, including education and youth work.

Our counselling qualifications have been well respected within the sector for more than 20 years and are available up to Level 4, at which stage learners are expected to have a comprehensive understanding of ethical frameworks, therapeutic models and how to conduct a counselling session.

If you would like to explore how you can integrate vocational qualifications into your higher education programmes, please don’t hesitate to call our team on 0115 854 1620 to find out more.