Why study Counselling Skills at Chester?
Graduates from this programme are not trained as therapeutic counsellors but gain a balance of knowledge, skills and personal awareness to equip them to work in a wide variety of people orientated careers; enhancing students’ ability to be ethically mindful in their primary role; to communicate effectively and facilitate problem solving in others.
Our students that study Counselling Skills here at Chester will develop a variety of new skills such as recognising how their personal values and beliefs influence their interaction with others, in addition to developing levels of self-awareness. Importantly, our students see changes taking place in how they relate to others and often comment that these changes have a positive impact on relationships.
Our approach blends into our wider Departmental Philosophy of enriching and enhancing the student experience. As a team of dedicated researchers and educational practitioners we are committed to:
- Helping students to become confident independent learners.
- Creating the best university experience by offering personalised support.
- Encouraging a vibrant and engaged student community
- Clearly stating expectations of staff through a Partnership Agreement
- Working closely with library and online services
- Challenging students through innovative and inclusive assessments
Students studying Counselling Skills at Chester are facilitated and encouraged from the very start of their studies to develop and enhance independent learning and reflexive practice. Critically analysing theoretical concepts, putting them into practice and reflecting on personal understandings are essential attributes for independent learners and effective practitioners. The learning and teaching approach of the programme emphasizes dialogue and a supportive, encouraging environment. Experiential learning activities, small group work and discussion are embedded throughout the programme and serve to enhance students’ personal development, reflexive learning and peer support.
Coming to university can of course be an exciting and exhilarating experience. However, it can also be overwhelming and rather daunting for some. The teaching team is aware of this, and from the first week/s of arriving here time is made for you to get to know each your fellow students. Group work is positively encouraged throughout the programme and seen as playing an important part in enhancing independent learning as well as facilitating a supportive learning community. Furthermore, you will be allocated a Personal Academic Tutor who will be able to offer you support and guidance throughout your time at Chester in addition to drop-in sessions various social activities.
Our departmental Partnership Agreement highlights what you can expect from the teaching teams and ensures students ‘know where they stand’ in relation to what is expected on the programme. We believe this partnership can only enhance your learning experience and encourage you to take personal responsibility for this, with guidance from us, throughout your studies.
The University library has recently undergone major refurbishment creating learning ‘pods’ and additional IT resources – most appropriate for the essential group work and skills practice within the Counselling Skills programme. Furthermore, within the department itself we have dedicated counselling suites with state-of-the-art equipment designed to enhance the learning experience of our students.
Of course the skills and knowledge development that you gain on the Counselling Skills programme has to be assessed and one unique aspect of the programme is that there are no examinations. While the traditional essay continues to form part of our assessments they also include group presentations, poster presentations, case studies, portfolios, evaluation of helping sessions and tape recording and evaluation of a helping situation with a fellow student. The closest we get to an exam is an in class ‘test’ in which you will be allowed to bring in notes and some books.
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