skip to content

Student Support


The University Counselling Service (UCS) supports students who are experiencing personal, relational or academic concerns.  

The UCS aims to offer students an initial 75-minute appointment within 10 working days. 

Average waiting times for an appointment at the UCS were 3 working days in Michaelmas Term 2023. 

How to access counselling 

Making an initial appointment 

To access our service, complete our online referral form. You only need to complete this form once per academic year. 

We will offer you the next available appointment slot. If you cannot attend this appointment, please let us know as soon as possible. We can only make two initial appointment offers. Please prioritise counselling appointments as healthcare appointments. 

Please let us know if you are a student on a course that involves a professional placement that limits your day-time availability. This includes medicine, veterinary medicine or PGCE. We are able to offer online appointments at 5pm from Monday-Thursday in those cases. 

After each session 

Your counsellor will ask you to engage in a five-stage process: 

  1. Reflect - upon the content of the session 

  1. Digest – and assimilate your learning and experiences from the session 

  1. Act – upon your learning/experience 

  1. Wait – we suggest taking two weeks, or more, so change can take effect; however, if you feel you need support sooner, please get in touch 

  1. Decide – if you'd like a follow up session 

This model of counselling is called ‘One at a Time Therapy’. It aims to provide therapeutic support when you need it, without the need to wait. 

Depending on your situation, you might feel confident in deciding whether you need another appointment or a bit uncertain. Your counsellor is there to help you with this and can also advise on other forms of practical, emotional or psychological support such as:

  • therapeutic groups and workshops

  • support from other Student Services teams or Academic teams 

  • support from external wellbeing/mental health services

Making follow-up appointments 

Follow-up sessions are usually 50 minutes long.

If you decide you’d like another appointment, you can email your counsellor or therapist one week after your previous appointment to schedule it. We always have a gap of at least two weeks between appointments, to allow change to take effect.
If you’d like to change your counsellor or therapist, please email

After four sessions, your counsellor will work with you to evaluate how the sessions are going and together you’ll decide on what the appropriate next steps are. Depending on your situation, this could be continued support from the UCS or, might involve longer-term support or treatment. 

Who can access individual counselling at the UCS?

Individual counselling is available free of charge, all year round to all students who are currently registered at the University. This includes: 

  • undergraduate students 

  • postgraduate students 

  • students of the theological colleges 

We also offer emotional support sessions to students who are abroad. The purpose of these sessions is to help you to consider ways of managing your current situation. Due to regulatory limitations, these sessions are limited to 30 minutes.

Unfortunately, the service is not able to support: 

  • students who are intermitting from their studies  

  • visiting students from other universities 

  • University and College staff, who can access counselling from the Staff Counselling Centre 

What to expect from individual counselling 

Our counsellors/therapists will help you to discover strategies, insights and behavioural changes that can support you to overcome your most pressing concern. A concern can be anything that is having an adverse effect on your wellbeing and studies. 

Can I request a specific counsellor? 

Yes, you can request to see the counsellor you've seen before. You can also request to see a female or male counsellor, or request an ethnic minority counsellor. 

Where will my counselling session take place? 

You can access either: 

  • online counselling sessions via MS Teams 

  • in-person counselling on the 3rd floor of the Student Services Centre 

While we will try to accommodate all in-person requests, you may be offered a remote appointment if that enables you to be seen more quickly.    

What if I need psychological treatment or long-term therapy? 

If you need specialist treatment, your GP can refer you to NHS/specialist services. We can also provide you with information about how to find a private counsellor or therapist. 

Contact the team