OU psychology with counselling

(14 Posts)
icecreamsundae32 Mon 24-Jun-19 13:43:59

Has anyone done or started this course? If you have completed what field are you now working in?

My background is in Montessori education teaching 3-7 year olds, with a special interest in SEN. I have a child with asd&adhd&anxiety and I would like to help children like him and other families going through what we go through. So far a lot of the agencies we have been involved with have no experience of actually living with children like my son so their advice/support is not appropriate or relevant despite them supposedly being experts.

I have read through all of the info on the current modules on this course and I am very interested in signing up. I have 3 children age 10 (the one with Sen), 8 & 18 months. The older two are at school, well the oldest is on a reduced timetable at the mo and he can take up a lot of my time physically and mentally!! The toddler is at home with me, so I'm guessing initially I'll only be able to study part time until she starts preschool in sept 2020. Is it possible to start part time and then if my timing allows take on extra modules to complete the course quicker?

It is BPS accredited but says you need further study to work as a psychologist or counsellor which is of course expected as you need practical experience too, what kind of further study would I be looking at and how would I gain experience? What kind of job can I get with BSc Psychology & counselling without further study? Or could I do study while working in this kind of field?

Thanks for any advice or experience!!

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icecreamsundae32 Mon 01-Jul-19 20:56:23

Bump anyone?

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NothingElse Tue 02-Jul-19 01:49:41

Disclaimer - I'm neither a counsellor or psychologist but have a tiny bit of understanding in this area.

Interestingly - and somewhat worryingly - I've just found out that counsellor is not a protected title in the uk. So you could technically take the course and declare yourself a counsellor, or you could declare yourself a counsellor now without the course.
To be a registered counsellor, as far as I know, you'd need to register with the BACP by taking a course accredited by them or by taking their certificate of proficiency. I believe you need a good element of practice placement to do this. This is true in England, I'm not sure if Scotland, N Ireland may be different.

To be a psychologist is a different ball game. You generally need a BPS accredited undergrad degree, a masters and a doctorate. Not sure if that's true for all branches of psychology, the BPS site will tell you more. I know that a huge amount of people try to enter psychology careers and it is therefore extremely competitive.

For what you want to do, whether you need to be a registered professional, not necessarily.. you'd have to know where you were going with it.
You could certainly get a job with a voluntary agency or as a family support worker with a local authority with a psychology degree (or even without one based on your experience).

You could also look into LD nursing or even portage as options. Or working in a special school as a family worker, these posts sometimes arise without needing teacher status. Or look into independent advocacy, self advocacy, behaviour support, there are many different avenues you could go down.

Good luck!

PeonyPink0 Tue 02-Jul-19 01:51:55

You generally need a BPS accredited undergrad degree, a masters and a doctorate


You generally need a BPS accredited undergrad degree OR masters...
and a doctorate.

You can be an assistant psychologist with a BPS accredited undergrad or masters.

Gingerkittykat Tue 02-Jul-19 02:17:09

I know from counselling forums that the OU courses are very badly thought of since there is no practical element. On a standard counselling course you need to do skills practice with fellow students to get to a standard to be allowed to go on placement for 150 hours with heavy supervision.

You would need to complete further study to get the practical element to get BACP or other accreditation.

As @NothingElse said counsellor is not a protected term meaning anyone can set up however you would never get paid employment in charities, employee assistance programmes, NHS or schools. If you set up in private practice you would not be able to join any of the counselling registers like counselling directory or even psychology today magazine advertising.

The qualification you have chosen would require a lot of additional study to work as a psychologist or counsellor.

icecreamsundae32 Tue 02-Jul-19 07:37:15

Thank you for the replies. I don't think I actually want to be a counsellor or psychologist like @NothingElse suggests I'm thinking somewhere along the lines of family support work maybe through local authority or a school so hopefully that would be possible with this degree. It is BPS accredited and I'm looking at the OU course due to my circumstances with having a child with extra needs it is flexible which I definitely need at the moment!

I'd probably consider doing the separate counselling training at some point when my own children are a bit older, the local college runs the accredited courses of an evening and I know there is a huge practical training involved which I would expect, my mum did the level 2 counselling qualification many years ago but found it too emotionally difficult with her personal circumstances to continue the further levels so I know it's tough!

Has anyone got any direct experience of this OU degree? Just wondering what it's like doing it with a young family around!

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NicciLovesSundays Thu 18-Jul-19 14:33:51

@icecreamsundae32 I did my degree with the OU. It certainly is popular with parents and people with lots of other commitments. Have you found any of the OU facebook goups? There are generally lots of students more than happy to talk about their experiences on specific modules / qualifications.


icecreamsundae32 Thu 18-Jul-19 21:22:45

@NicciLovesSundays I'm not on Facebook so haven't thought of that. What degree did you do and how did you find the distance learning and the support offered by OU? Did you study part time or full time?

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myidentitymycrisis Thu 18-Jul-19 21:52:14

I did my degree in the evenings part time whilst working, not on OU but I am a family support worker with specialism in behaviour in a health led team. You may need some recent or seen experience to top up your background in Montessori training, could you volunteer for a bit in a sen school when youngest is at nursery ?

icecreamsundae32 Fri 19-Jul-19 07:24:36

@myidentitymycrisis this is exactly what I intend to do when little one starts nursery x

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NicciLovesSundays Tue 30-Jul-19 16:01:11

I ended up with a degree in Health and Social Care though I started out doing an Open Degree. The support is generally good, although most of the materials are now online and tuition is often online too so that doesnt suit everyone.
If you have any health needs or specific learning differences it is a good idea to let the university know as they can often offer additional support. For instance, I have fibromyalgia and was able to get extensions on assignments etc if I was having a particularly bad time.

Howlongtillbedtime Sat 12-Oct-19 14:09:30

@icecreamsundae32 Did you decide to go for this course ?
I have signed up to start in February and would love to hear how you have found it so far.

icecreamsundae32 Sat 12-Oct-19 14:51:16

Hi I went for the general psychology course in the end as I really wanted to do the module introduction to child psychology and you can still do the counselling and forensic modules! So far I've found it really manageable and I'm ahead of the guide study weeks. I am considering signing up to do another module in February in order to finish the degree quicker. However, that would mean studying over the summer holidays whereas the module I'm on finished end of May.... am planning to make my decision after Xmas!

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Howlongtillbedtime Sat 12-Oct-19 15:05:57

Thank you for replying.

My first module is an introduction to the social sciences . I am pleased to hear that you can get ahead with the modules. I am hoping to get the first 120 credits completed in less than the 2 years.

I just want to get started now. Really looking forward to it but also feeling nervous. It's a long time since I have done any studying.

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