Skip to main content

Access to Counselling Skills and Psychology

Level 3
One year
Telephone: 01792 284000 (Tycoch)


The Access to Counselling Skills and Psychology course is a successful programme that prepares mature students or career changers for either the world of work or Higher Education (vocational or academic.)

The course contains study skill units to develop skills as well as academically based study to prepare students for Higher Education within the field of psychology and counselling. The course supports student through the UCAS application system for entry into Higher Education institutions throughout the UK and Northern Ireland.

These units aid students in preparation for Higher Education:

  • Access study skills
  • Study skills to success
  • Research - project proposal
  • Handling data
  • Spoken communication
  • Written communication
  • Application of number
  • Abnormal psychology
  • Oral presentation skills
  • Dilemmas in medical ethics
  • Work experience
  • Legislation relating to equal opportunities
  • Counselling reflective journal
  • Working with loss and bereavement
  • Approaches to counselling
  • Biological psychology
  • Introduction to psychology
  • Abnormal psychology
  • Psychology of stress
  • Project execution
  • Integrated project
  • Research skills
  • Information technology

Key information

Applicants either need to complete a pre-access course or successfully complete an entry assessment.

Part of this programme contains counselling skills. The BACP code of conduct needs consideration, therefore prospective students need to talk to an advisor or consider the following criteria to ensure suitability to study counselling: 

  • Free from a major bereavement in the last year
  • Free from addiction – in recovery for at least one year
  • Mentally well – free from an episode for at least one year

    All of these specifications are to ensure that the student has the best experience possible within Gower College Swansea and complies with BACP code of conduct. Students will also need to demonstrate at interview a genuine interest in people, a positive attitude, the need to do well and a commitment and enthusiasm for study

Students need to be reliable, honest, trustworthy, well motivated and have integrity. Students should be mature applicants with clear evidence of life experience.

The course is assessed using examinations, essays, presentations, seminars, reports, triad work, role play and in class timed assessments.

Students are expected to have work placement (30 hours approx).  The course is delivered using lectures, guest speakers, clinical demonstrations/observations, group activities as well as informal question and answer sessions to support students with their progress.

This full time programme has 14.5 hours a week of study over three days, one hour of which is given to tutorial time to support learners in UCAS application, interview techniques and pastoral care.

Students will be able to progress to university from this course to study psychology, counselling, youth work, social work, counselling and psychology programmes as well as social science programmes etc.

Students (if not currently employed within the health field) will be expected to gain work experience suitable to the progression route they have chosen. Students are also given the opportunity to visit local HE institutions throughout West Wales to meet the admission teams, with a small cost to cover travel.