What's the dope on Neuro-Linguistic Programming

The SO is covering Neuro-linguistic Programming as part of her course at college (mature student, btw).

What’s all that about?
Is it based on genuine, accepted scientific research or is it akin to a belief system?

In answer to your question, it’s been turned into both by different practitioners. I took a course in it and was incredibly intrigued by it. This is the best definition I’ve found of it:
Don’t be swayed by the fact that Anthony Robbins has turned it into a big time marketing tool, I think the core principles are valid. You may want to check out the book The Structure of Magic : A Book About Language and Therapy by NLPs founders Richard Bandler and John Grinder.

It’s an intriguing idea but the psychologists I’ve talked to don’t seem to put much faith into it.

To follow on to what lauramarlane said, another book on NLP is Frogs into Princes: Neuro-Linguistic Programming, also by Richard Bandler and John Grinder.