Singapore University of Social Sciences

Theories of Coaching

Theories of Coaching (PLC501)

Applications Open: 01 May 2024

Applications Close: 15 June 2024

Next Available Intake: July 2024

Course Types: Modular Graduate Course

Language: English

Duration: 6 months

Fees: $2200 View More Details on Fees

Area of Interest: Education

Schemes: Alumni Continuing Education (ACE)

Funding: SkillsFuture

School/Department: S R Nathan School of Human Development


PLC501 Theories of Coaching details the core theories of coaching. These theories will be evaluated with reference to empirical research and conceptual analysis. An integrated goal-focused coaching draws on a broad band of behavioural sciences. Within this framework, primary attention will be paid to cognitive-behavioural and solution-focused theories of behaviour change and self-regulation, and their application to coaching clients. Each weekly seminar has a theoretical and an experiential learning component. The latter requires students to evaluate each week’s topic in their own personal life experiences, and to participate in group discussion and coaching practice.

Level: 5
Credit Units: 5
Presentation Pattern: Every July


  • The Psychology of Learning: the learning process, reflective learning
  • Theories of Learning Applicable to Coaching: constructive-developmental theories, social learning theories
  • Exercises in Learning
  • Writing and Keeping a Reflective Log
  • Tools for Developing the System of the Self - Gestalt approaches and techniques
  • Gestalt Exercises
  • Managing Yourself, your Cognition and Emotion: Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy (CBT)
  • Practising Cognitive-Behavioural Coaching
  • Techniques that are Sensitive to Self and Others’ Culture: Narrative approaches
  • Narrative Psychodrama and Storytelling Exercises
  • Putting It All Together: Gestalt and CBT approaches - GROW model
  • Theory and Practice of Solution-focused Coaching

Learning Outcome

  • Discuss the contribution of learning theories to coaching.
  • Demonstrate a clear understanding of different psychological approaches influencing coaching including gestalt, cognitive, behavioural, narrative and solution-focused approaches.
  • Assess and evaluate these approaches in the coaching context.
  • Describe the relationship between thinking patterns and behaviours.
  • Analyse and review significant psychological factors in coaching, including transference and counter-transference, and working within boundaries.
  • Appraise the importance of creating a safe coaching environment.
  • Apply the psychological approaches to coaching through experiential practice.
  • Develop a safe therapeutic coaching environment.
  • Evaluate coaching skills in their personal coaching development.
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