Female student stood in front of academic poster

Counselling Student, Megan Du Plessis UCW, Presents at BACP Research Conference


Congratulations to UCW Counselling student Megan Du Plessis and lecturer Claire Plews on their outstanding achievement in being selected to speak at the highly prestigious British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) research conference.  

The conference took place in Dundee from 19th to 20th May and is recognised throughout the counselling industry as an incredibly distinguished and reputable event, bringing in students and professionals, just like Megan and Claire, from across the UK and beyond.  

Female student stood in front of academic poster

Claire tells us that “The British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) research conference is internationally attended and has been running for 28 years; it provides a space where researchers and practitioners can share their ideas on important research findings”. This meant that attending the conference was an incredible opportunity for both learner and lecturer to interact and network with fellow industry professionals, and further develop and challenge their thinking.  

We asked Third year BSc Counselling student, Megan, about her time at the BACP conference and her course at UCW. 

The lecturer brought it to our attention by mentioning it in class. I had a look and saw the submission form had a good outline I could use to plan my research proposal. Once I had used it for the research proposal, I decided to tweak it and submit it to the BACP for review for the conference. 
We had to write an abstract of our research referring to methods, ethics, motivation, the available literature, selection of research subjects and the contribution it would make to the existing body of knowledge, it was surreal to be selected, both exciting and daunting. It was really validating to know that an external panel of experts had peer reviewed my work and felt it was good enough to share. It was really worrying though as I finished the dissertation knowing my work was going to be scrutinised at such a high level by the people who had actually written the textbooks. I was really worried that I might have misquoted or miss represented what they had written. 
It went really well. I had to design a poster that was on display for the two days and be available to discuss and explain my work, introduce my poster to the conference in a short talk at the gala dinner and design a flyer that people could take away with them. Most of the other research presented was at masters or doctoral level so the standard was very high. However, I felt confident to answer every question asked including my epistemology and how my ontological position influenced my choice of research methodology. Luckily, we had done presentations in class that I could draw on! 
The theme was diversity and inclusion. Listening to other people's research at that level with so many different perspectives was incredibly enriching. 
Challenging! I really enjoyed the academic subjects and the work placements put everything into context. 
I loved the flexibility of hybrid learning and that I could log on and still be in lessons online, but the best part was being able to focus on researching what was the most interesting to me in my top up year. 


Thanks Megan!


academic poster

Megan has been incredibly successful throughout her time at UCW. Attending the BACP conference is a fantastic achievement and a great way to kick off her career in counselling.  

She is currently looking to embark on a Master’s Degree programme, and we wish her all the luck for her future.   

Learners studying counselling start on a foundation degree, with the option to do a top-up year as Megan has just completed. To find out more about the Counselling course here: Counselling, FdSc | University Centre Weston (ucw.ac.uk) 

There are a variety of HE options in Counselling and Healthcare available at UCW. 

In addition to those previously mentioned, there are also Foundation Degrees available in Health and Social Care and Integrated Mental Health and Social Care, as well as Higher Apprenticeships in Nursing and Health Care Assistance.  

To find our more about all of the courses available in Counselling and Healthcare here: Counselling and Healthcare | University Centre Weston (ucw.ac.uk)