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Muriel named Highest Achieving Associate Student in Counselling

Published: 16 December 2020

Belfast Met Foundation Degree graduate Muriel Tafts is celebrating after winning the Ulster University’s First Annual Associate Dean’s Award for the Highest Achieving Associate Student in Counselling in Northern Ireland.

Despite lockdown commencing in the final months of the course Muriel not only completed her Ulster University Foundation Degree in Integrative Counselling Practice but achieved the highest marks for the programme across Northern Ireland. Muriel completed her 3 year part-time programme, led by Course Director Margaret McGuigan, which has given her the practical skills and knowledge needed to practise as a counsellor. She also completed a placement to develop and apply her skills with a mental health organisation.

Louise Warde Hunter, Principal and Chief Executive of Belfast, said, ”I would like to congratulate Muriel, on behalf of the College, on her outstanding achievement on winning this award. I am also very proud of the continuous encouragement, support, care and mentorship of our Counselling students by our team of Counselling staff. Many of the students are ‘adult returners’ balancing work, family life and study. This award also demonstrates the College’s reputation for excellence which has been recognised by Ulster University and the FE collaborative Subject Network Partnership.”

Muriel achieved an overall score of 84%, calculated across all modules making her the Highest Achieving Associate Student in Counselling. This prestigious award is conferred by Ulster University on the student who has achieved the highest score in the Foundation Degree in Integrative Counselling Practice across all six NI FE Colleges, which comprise the Subject Partnership Network for Counselling.

Muriel, confirmed, “I’m delighted to have been nominated by Margaret for the award and equally happy to have won it. As an adult learner, nervously returning to college after a long gap, I found the tutors to be very supportive and encouraging. This was even more important in the last few months of the course when I was studying at home during lockdown.

“My tutors provided useful direction to facilitate independent learning including timely, clear guidance and feedback on assignments. I’m also grateful to my placement provider, PIPS, who supported my learning experience as well my classmates and counselling clients.”

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