Counselling - NCFE Award in Counselling Skills and Theory - Level 3
This course is for people aged 19 or over
Faculty of Professional and Adult Learning
Level Location Start Date End Date Day Time Fee Reduced Ask Apply
Level 3 The Friends (Quakers) Meeting House *Please see below *Please see below Thursdays 09.00-17.00 (break 12:30 - 13:30) £850 (may be paid by installments) None

What is it like to study this course and how will I be assessed?

This course will be run twice over the following dates:-

Autumn/Winter term (9.00am-5.00pm) - 3rd/10th/17th/31st October, 7th/14th/28th November, 6th/12th/19th December and 9th/23rd January 2020 (Tutorial days Thurs 21/11/19)

Spring/Summer term (9.00am-5.00pm) – 5th/12th/19th/26th March, 16th/23rd/30th April, 14th/21st May and 4th/11th/25th June 2020 (Tutorial days Thurs 07/05/20)

Winter/Spring term (5.00pm-8.30pm) - 27th/29th January, 3rd/5th/10th/12th/24th/26th February, 2nd/4th/9th/11th/16th/18/th/23rd/25th March, 15th/20th/22nd/27th/29th April, 6th/11th/13th/18th/20th May 2020 (Tutorial days Tues)


This 12 day course (scheduled over approximately 18 weeks) aims to introduce learners to the use of counselling skills in everyday life and work, and to some of the theoretical approaches which underpin their use. You will be expected to attend a short interview, and to have attended the Level 2 Introduction to Counselling (or equivalent), or to provide evidence of skills and awareness gained in the workplace. 

The objectives of the qualification are to enable learners to:

  • Develop counselling skills;
  • Understand the different approaches involved in the use of counselling skills;
  • Understand the different contexts and situations where counselling skills are used;
  • Appreciate the importance of self-development.

Learners will be given the opportunity to develop a sound level of competence in the use of counselling skills with a particular emphasis on how they can be used in day to day situations. Successful completion can lead to progression onto the Level 4 Diploma in Therapeutic Counselling and a wide range of courses in Health and Social Care. It has been accredited onto the Qualifications and Credit Framework.


The Award is internally assessed and externally moderated. Each candidate is required to create a portfolio of evidence which shows that they’ve met the standards associate with each unit. An assignment paper set and marked by NCFE is also part of the assessment process. 

For those not yet ready for an accredited qualification, we offer our one day Counselling Skills - a Taster which will give you a basic introduction to counselling skills and help you to find out about counselling as a career.

To find out more:
Telephone: 01392 400260  Email:

What topics will I study?

This qualification has 4 mandatory units:

  • Unit 01 Developing and practising counselling skills
  • Unit 02 Understanding different approaches to the use of counselling skills
  • Unit 03 Working ethically in helping relationships
  • Unit 04 Understanding the importance of self development in relation to helping others.

What are the entry requirements?

You will have attended a Level 2 Introductory Counselling Course (such as the Introduction to Counselling Skills Level 2 which you can study here at Exeter College) or hold equivalent prior accredited learning or work experience. A satisfactory reference from your tutor on the Intro or previous employer would be required.  In addition, you will be expected to fulfill a satisfactory interview, at which you will need to demonstrate writing skills at Level 2 (equivalent to a good GCSE pass).  You could attend the Counselling Skills - a Taster course to find out more about Counselling prior to studying counselling courses at Exeter College.

What facilities are there?

Learners will be given a college ID badge and have access to all college facilities, including learning centres and computers. The Friends Meeting House provides pleasant classroom and group facilities.

What can the course lead on to?

This course could progress to:

  • Level 4 Diploma in Therapeutic Counselling here at Exeter College, after which you can practise as a counsellor
  • Level 3 Certificate in workplace mentoring
  • Level 3 and 4 NVQs in Advice and Guidance
  • Foundation Degrees in Health and Social Care
  • Counselling Courses with a specific focus, e.g counselling and working with young people etc. 

Are there any additional costs?

All essential books are available at the college learning centre. You may choose to purchase some of your own copies.

What do our students think?

I enjoy the Counselling skills courses the most I find them very interesting."

Good balance of taught material and personal study, good timetabling of sessions pace helpful."

I learnt a lot about the subject and myself which has helped my relationships at work."

The course has helped me decide that Counselling is the Profession for me and so I have decided to enrol onto the Diploma."

College Prospectus

You can progress step by step through a series of Counselling programmes here at Exeter College, to become a fully qualified professional counsellor on completion of our Level 4  Diploma

All are welcome to try our introductory Counselling Skills Taster course: no experience or  prior qualifications are required. Entry requirements for the higher level courses are set out in our detailed course information. 

back to top