SIM University Meets Singapore's Training Needs For Professional Counsellors

SIM University (UniSIM) has launched the Bachelor of Counselling degree and the Bachelor of Counselling cum Graduate Diploma in Counselling. These degree programmes will be awarded by UniSIM. The Bachelor of Counselling cum Graduate Diploma in Counselling is a part-time degree programme that is accredited by the Singapore Association for Counselling (SAC) and recognised as a programme that prepares individuals to be registered counsellors in Singapore. A main beneficiary of the programmes will be mid-career counselors and social workers who do not presently have a local avenue to upgrade their skills and qualifications at a bachelor's degree level on a part-time basis, without leaving their jobs.

"At SIM University, we take a proactive and forward-looking approach to growing our range of academic programmes. For example, in 2005 the Ministry of Education announced its intention to place professional counsellors in all schools and this means that for schools alone, about 500 professional counsellors would be needed by 2007. With the government's plan to set up integrated resorts in the near future, there would also be a growing need for trained professional counsellors to manage gaming addiction. The unique operating model of SIM University allows us to respond swiftly to the manpower development needs of the nation," said Professor Cheong Hee Kiat, President of SIM University.

The programme will be offered by UniSIM's fourth and newest school, School of Human Development and Social Services. Fifty places will be open for application in its first intake. It adopts an academic-practitioner approach to counsellor education, designed to equip students with theoretical knowledge, research insights as well as practical skills. The basic degree can be completed in three years and honours degree or Graduate Diploma programme in four years. Maximum candidature is eight years.

Mr. David Blakely, President of SAC, said "This programme stands out for a few reasons. The first is that it is a thorough programme that opens the doors of the counselling profession to second time learners. Individuals who may not have had the possibility before now may have confidence that counselling is a profession open to them. The second is that this programme is both locally developed and locally focused. This means students will have a unique opportunity to really explore the skills and research of counselling within our context here in Singapore. I confidently look forward to seeing the first batch of students joining the ranks of registered counsellors here in Singapore."

Applicants need to have two GCE 'A' level passes, a polytechnic diploma or equivalent with two years' working experience and be above 21 years old to qualify. Exemptions could be granted to applicants who hold a certificate or diploma in counseling.

The part-time programme will be offered at two levels: the first level comprises a set of comprehensive training components that includes 100 hours of internship and 20 hours of supervision to prepare students for their counseling role. Those who complete level one will graduate with a basic degree in counselling. The second level of training has two tracks. Those academically inclined can choose to complete an additional three modules, conduct a research project and submit a dissertation to obtain an honours degree. Those who wish to undergo specialist training in counseling will just need to take an additional 3 modules, practicum of 50 hours, plus 10 hours of supervision to obtain a Graduate Diploma in Counselling.

Currently, the three-year basic degree programme costs approximately S$20,800 (excludes 5% GST) and the four-year honours track costs approximately S$28,000 (excludes 5% GST). Application for the programme is open till 30 September 2006. For more information, please visit​ or call +65 6248 9777.

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