Birkbeck, University of London

Birkbeck, University of London


This course provides experienced managers with knowledge of the theory, models and practice of coaching. It is designed to give a strong foundation in the knowledge bases and pragmatic exigencies contemporary coaches are faced with in today's workplaces. By conducting a critical analysis through the leading models and theories of the field, this course creates a space where you can reflexively engage with the dilemmas professional helping relationships in organisations face. Combining academic study with practical application and skill development, this certificate is the essential starting place for those interested in how relational interventions can help shape the future of work. Organisations have woken up to the fact that the 'soft' skills of working life are so hard, most employees need some additional perspective to help them be successful in their roles. Coaching as an intervention to address this has grown exponentially. Some pertinent questions remain, and need reflection: why has coaching emerged now? Why is it seen to be so relevant? How can we tell when/if it works? Is it different from counselling and psychotherapy? Are certain types of coaching more effective, under certain conditions, with certain people? Consisting of 3 modules, the certificate contains a professional development module designed to evaluate learning and aid reflexive practice. Through case studies and client work, you have the opportunity to: analyse and understand your work through a range of lenses; allow for different interpretations; learn to use supervision effectively; explore different responses; and reflect on the coaching relationship process. A second module tackles all pertinent issues that face the contemporary coach. From ethics and change to boundaries and defences, often overlooked topological issues are highlighted, and theory and practice fused. Rather than looking at the coaching dyad in isolation, the main emphasis in this module is to contextualise the work in the context of evidence frameworks, organisational systems and practices, and organisations as political arenas. Finally, an introductory module sets the scene and introduces various ranges and flavours of coaching and helping relationships, including a historical perspective of the use of relationships in the helping professions. This certificate is for people who have an interest in understanding the roles helping relationships play at work, and their impact in and out of organisations. The course suits people who have the ability to critically reflect on their thoughts, emotions, (re)actions and behaviours.

Entry requirements

A 1st degree in any discipline, or sufficient experience of helping relationships and/or people-oriented activities, such as extensive line management experience. If English is not your first language or you have not previously studied in English, our usual requirement is the equivalent of an International English Language Testing System (IELTS Academic Test) score of 6.5, with not less than 6.0 in each of the sub-tests.

Course modules

The programme consists of 3 compulsory modules.
Compulsory modules:

Coaching Portfolio;
Introduction to Coaching;
The Coaching Context .

Assessment methods

Portfolio, deliberate and reflective practice, examinations and essays.


Qualification Study mode Start month Fee Course duration
PgCert Part-time October 2016 - 1 years
PgCert Part-time October 2017 - 1 years

Campus details

Campus name Town Postcode Region Main campus Campus Partner
Bloomsbury Campus Bloomsbury WC1E 7HX South East

Key information

Department of Organisational Psychology
Telephone number: 
020 7631 6659