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What makes Supervision PGCert at Iron Mill College special?

Please note this course is no longer running. You may be interested in other School of Allied Health and Community courses.

Delivered at Iron Mill College in Exeter, this course offers a lively, enjoyable and supportive learning experience for people working in the helping professions, delivered by highly experienced tutors.

You will develop the knowledge, skills and abilities necessary to enable competence and creativity in the provision of professional supervision for individuals and groups.



Key features

  • Helps experienced practitioners in helping professions gain the knowledge, skills and abilities needed for excellence and creativity in their provision of professional supervision.
  • Offers opportunities to develop an advanced, critical understanding of the theory and development of a wide range of practice competencies, associated with clinical supervision.
  • Gives an understanding of a variety of structures and contexts, such as private practice, organisational and line management supervision, as well as individual, peer and group supervision.
  • This course is based on the principle that at its best, supervision is a time for supervisees to grow, share, celebrate, learn and gain support.

Open Events at Iron Mill College

There's no better way of finding out about studying at Iron Mill College than joining them at one of their Open Events.

Open Events at Iron Mill College
Entry requirements

What qualifications will you need?

Entry requirements

  • Possess at least a lower second-class Honours degree, or an equivalent professional qualification.
  • Be able to provide evidence of substantial experience within a relevant professional role.
  • Be able to provide evidence of your professional accountability, relating to a relevant code of conduct, ethical framework or code of practice.
  • Have access to at least two supervisees in monthly supervision for the duration of your training, who give permission for you to use brief recordings of supervision sessions (this allows you to gain formative feedback on your work). Be willing to undertake an Enhanced DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) check, plus an occupational health check, during the application process.

If you are interested in this course, you may wish to first book onto one of Iron Mill College's Open Days or Open Evenings to find out more. If you are new to Iron Mill College, you might also find our Taster Days a useful way to experience what it's like to study at Iron Mill College, before applying.

Other information

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) / Recognition of Prior Experiential Learning (RPEL)

Entering the Postgraduate Certificate programme though RPEL:

We recognise that many experienced practitioners trained on programmes that were not validated at Level 6, and therefore are not able to meet the entry criteria for our Postgraduate Certificate in Supervision. The RPEL assessment process is intended to provide an opportunity for qualified and experienced practitioners to apply for a place on the programme, when the standard Level 6 entry requirement cannot be met.

Further RPL information:

Applicants can claim academic credit for relevant previous study or learning experiences ("prior learning"). If you can demonstrate that you have already achieved learning which is equivalent to one or more modules, or to a whole year or level of study, relating to the course you wish to apply for at the University of Worcester, then you may make a claim for recognition of that prior learning. This applies to both undergraduate and postgraduate courses.

Claims are not automatic; they have to be assessed by the university. Claims should be agreed at the point of entry to a programme, and are normally discussed and assessed alongside the application process. If your claim is successful it means that you do not have to take the modules for which credit has been awarded, or you may be able to enter directly to a higher level of study or into the second or third year of a course.

There are three forms of recognition of prior learning:

  • a) Credit transfer - recognition of credit or qualification at HE level (4 or above) awarded by a UK higher education degree-awarding body in accordance with the relevant higher education qualifications framework;
  • b) Recognition of prior certificated learning - (such as professional development awards or employment-based awards) which is a higher education level but which has not led to the award of credits or qualifications positioned on the relevant higher education qualifications framework;
  • c) Recognition of prior experiential or informal learning.

Details of how to apply for RPL, and the relevant forms, can be found on the University of Worcester's applications web page.

Course content

What will you study?

Year 1

The two modules of the course both run throughout the year:

  • IMCS4001: Integrative Relational Supervision (30 credits)
  • IMCS4002: Competency and Professional Standards in Supervision (30 credits)

Subjects covered include:

  • Models and Frameworks of relational supervision
  • Transference, Counter transference and Parallel process
  • Contractual issues
  • Lines of Responsibility
  • Difference, diversity and the balance of power in supervision
  • The Context of Supervision
  • Professional Standards and Ethics
  • Creative Supervision: approaches and methods
  • Supervising Groups
  • Managing challenges and ethical complexities within supervision
  • Facilitating transformation: professional and personal learning and developmental stages
  • Supervising Supervisors
  • Line Management and organisational supervision
Teaching and assessment

How will you be taught?

Meet the team

The key members of staff involved with the delivery and management of the PG Certificate in Supervision are:

Teaching and Learning

The University places emphasis on enabling students to develop the independent learning capabilities that will equip you for lifelong learning and future employment, as well as academic achievement. A mixture of independent study, teaching and academic support, through the personal academic tutoring system, enables you to reflect on progress and build up a profile of skills, achievements and experiences that will enable you to flourish and be successful.


You are taught through a combination of experiential learning, interactive group work, reflective practice, lectures and supervision skills practice, all taking place within a lively and supportive learning environment. There is an emphasis on collaborative and supportive learning which values the experiences brought by students. Experiential learning engages you in activities designed to enhance your understanding of the supervision process, and allows theoretical elements to become further connected with your own personal and professional experience. Reflective practice encourages a deeper level of engagement with application of theory to practice. Supervision skills practice allows you to apply and enhance your skills and knowledge as a supervisor within a structured and supportive setting, and receive feedback on your practice. Lectures are interactive and actively invite discussion and evaluation of the theoretical aspects of your learning.

In addition, meetings with personal academic tutors are scheduled on at least 4 occasions, either as a tutorial group or on an individual basis.

You will further enhance your learning and increase your abilities through the 20 hours of supervision practice required across the year of study, which take place outside of the teaching weekends along with the required monthly consultative supervision of your supervision practice. Applicants to the course will be expected to have possible opportunities in mind for gaining their 20 supervision hours, which are then discussed at interview.

Contact time

The PG Certificate in Supervision is a one-year course with 8 attended contact weekends across the year of study. In a typical month you will have around 12 contact hours of teaching, all of which take place on the scheduled weekends.

Typically class contact time will be structured around:

  • 5 hours of interactive lectures, experiential workshops, and shared learning activities
  • 6 hours of structured supervision skills practice and learning
  • 1 hour of tutor-supported group work (e.g. a live group learning activity relating to a supervision example brought by a student; ethical dilemma and case study discussions; facilitated group work for assessment preparation, or similar).

Throughout the year you will also evidence 20 hours of supervision practice, with associated monthly consultative supervision, all of which take place outside of the teaching weekends.

There are additional costs related to this programme, such as personal insurance, and supervision costs if not covered by the workplace. For a breakdown of expected additional costs on this programme, please see the Fees tab on the PG Certificate in Supervision page of the Iron Mill College website.

Independent self-study

In addition to the contact time, you are expected to undertake around 15 hours of personal self-study per week. Typically, this will involve completing activities relating to formative assignments, reading journal articles and books, working on projects, undertaking research in the library and online, and preparing coursework assignments and presentations.

Independent learning is supported by a range of excellent learning facilities, including the Hive and library resources, the virtual learning environment, and extensive electronic learning resources.

Teaching staff

You will be taught by lecturers whose expertise and knowledge are closely matched to the content of the modules on the course. The team consists of University of Worcester Registered lecturers that are also professional practitioners with substantial and extensive supervision experience across a wide variety of settings. All lecturers remain in on-going supervision practice and hold memberships of appropriate professional bodies. Additionally, all lecturers associated with this programme hold qualifications in education along with substantial higher education teaching, learning and assessment experience. You can learn more about our staff by visiting our Staff Profiles on the Iron Mill College website here.


The course provides opportunities to enhance and assess understanding and learning informally through the completion of practice or 'formative' assignments. There are two modules: each module also has one or more formal or 'summative' assessments, which are graded and count towards the overall module grade.

There are no exams on this course.

Your assessed work consists of:

  • A written case study of your choice demonstrating your supervision practice
  • A practical assessment via presentation, with various options to select from
  • Evidence of 20 hours of safe supervision practice and evidence of associated monthly consultative supervision.


You will receive feedback on practice assessments and on formal assessments undertaken by coursework. Feedback is intended to support learning and you are encouraged to discuss it with personal academic tutors and module tutors as appropriate.

We aim to provide you with feedback on formal course work assessments within 20 working days of hand-in.

Attendance requirements

It is expected that students will attend 100% of the taught programme and all additional requirements. Some parts of the programme relating to assessment have a mandatory attendance requirement, and where this applies it will be stated clearly in the relevant Module Specification.


Postgraduate Certificate in Supervision (Level 7) with 60 credits.


The Iron Mill College offers a pleasant and comfortable learning environment within Exeter's beautiful city centre area of Southernhay. Students have access to:

  • University of Worcester Student Services. Student Services is the central department that provides non-academic support of students. The department includes Careers, Counselling and Mental Health Support, Disability and Dyslexia Service, Student Wellbeing Centre, and Welfare and Financial Advice.
  • The University of Worcester Library resources, which includes full access to a huge and comprehensive range of books and journals online, and the facility to have books posted out to you.
  • The Iron Mill College Resource Room, which contains reference books, library and a selection of journals
  • The IMC placement database, allowing students to find approved placement providers and supervisors in the geographical area of their choice (these are mostly related to counselling and psychotherapy, but also include other providers within family centres, educational establishments and health settings).
  • Kitchens for storing and preparing food, and a range of tea, coffee and hot drinks are available free of charge
  • Iron Mill offers a low-cost counselling service that is available to students five days per week throughout the year
  • Study Skills Groups facilitated by experienced academic staff throughout the year on evenings and weekends, covering topics such as Harvard Referencing, Essay Writing, Preparing for Placement, and Presentation Skills.

Students are supported throughout the year and over the summer by:

  • The Placement Coordinator
  • The Iron Mill College HE Programmes Administrator
  • A Library Assistant within the Administrative Team, able to help with library requests and enquiries
  • The Personal Academic Tutor who will offer support throughout their studies at the Iron Mill College.
  • The Course Leader and Module Leaders are directly involved in the programme and available to offer support and guidance as required.

Programme specification

For comprehensive details on the aims and intended learning outcomes of the course, and the means by which these are achieved through learning, teaching and assessment, please download the latest programme specification document.


Where could it take you?

Possible career opportunities for supervisors within the helping professions are varied and numerous, and are growing as the helping professions increasingly understand the requirement to support staff who work with people. Opportunities may therefore include:

  • NHS departments and initiatives
  • Educational institutions: schools, colleges and universities
  • Employee Assistance Programmes (EAPS)
  • Local Authority employee services programmes
  • Charitable agencies
  • Human Resources
  • Private Practice
  • Health and Social Care settings
  • Family centres and services
  • Residential and day services work
  • Probation and social work

How much will it cost?


The current fees can be found within the tuition fees document on our figure out finances page.

Additional costs

Additional costs associated with the course requirements are:

  • Consultative supervision if not paid for or supplied by your place of work, approximately £30-£60 per 1.5 hours for monthly individual supervision; approximately £20 per hour for group supervision.
  • *Enhanced DBS Certificate (DBS means Disclosure and Barring Service, previously known as the Enhanced CRB) £44. This is an entry requirement and students will be contacted by the University about how to make a DBS application after accepting a place on the course.
  • Personal insurance for your supervision activities approximately £25 - £90 per year; monthly payment options usually available.
  • Subsidised coach travel to the University of Worcester Course Induction Day, arranged by the Iron Mill College.
How to apply