Advanced Professional Diploma in Counselling Theory and Therapeutic Practice

Advanced Professional Diploma in Counselling Theory and Therapeutic Practice

The Level 4 Diploma provides a full professional qualification for counsellors.

  • Course Type Adult - Professional
  • Subject Area Counselling
  • Qualification Diploma
  • Study Mode: Part Time Only
  • Course Level Level 4
  • Location Community Location – Quakers Meeting House
  • Course Length 64 weeks over 2 years (32 weeks per year)
  • Start Date * Please see below
  • End Date * Please see below
  • Day * Please see below
  • Times 9.00-16.00
  • Fee £5950.00
  • Reduced Fee


  • Course Code * Please see below

This course is accredited by the National Counselling Society (NCS) and, subject to their Terms & Conditions, is a route onto a national register of counsellors which is accredited by the Professional Standards Authority.

Students are trained to a professional level, for recognition as a qualified, competent and reflective practitioner who will be able to practice counselling in a safe and ethical manner.

Content & Requirements include:

  • 400 guided learning hours
  • Competence to Practice Assessment (end of Year 1)
  • Completion of 100 placement hours (to start in Year 2)
  • Appropriate Professional Supervision
  • Successful completion of all assignments
  • Minimum 24 hours of personal therapy (1 hr/wk., majority with person-centred practitioner)
  • Final Assignment Interview (following completion of all of the above)

The course is delivered on one full day per week over 2 years, during Exeter College Term times. Dates for both years are issued before the start of the course. As placement hours are accrued and the final assignment is completed beyond the end of the taught course, completion of the diploma may take up to 3 years in total.

Please note: this course will take place at Quaker Meeting House.


Day Start Finish Time Weeks Fee Site Course code
Weds 12-Jan-22  30-Nov-22  09:00-16:00  32 £2,975 Quaker Meeting House P0PDCOU1/1/2 

Teaching and Learning Methods

Effective and engaging delivery of curriculum by two qualified and experienced lecturers is offered in a learning environment that is supportive, encouraging, respectful and appropriate for the study of counselling.

The class size is no less than 12 and no more than 18 trainee counsellors. Learners will have been offered a place based on their apparent ability to engage with the course and to play an active role in their self-development journey as well of that of others in their learning group.

Delivery is via in-person lectures on the timetabled days. Learning is enhanced with handouts and exercises that are done individually or in pairs, small groups or as a whole group, and with regular use of case-studies, group discussion and triad work. Peer and trainer observations are a core element of the practical work.

Resources include written, visual and/or audio material and include current references; feedback and suggestions from the learning group are welcomed.

The course is intended to be experiential and participative; trainee counsellors are asked to reflect on their own lived experiences while learning how to build a therapeutic relationship, first with peers and then with their clients in practice placement.

Modules and assessment

The Certificate is internally assessed and externally moderated. Students are required to create a portfolio of evidence to demonstrate that they have met the learning criteria and associated standards for each mandatory unit:

  • Ethics, Organisation and Supervision in Counselling
  • Equality and Diversity in Counselling
  • Counselling Theory
  • Advanced Therapeutic Practice
  • Self-Awareness
  • Counselling Research
  • Counselling Placement (minimum 100 hours)

Career Options and Progression

Practice as a competent and qualified counsellor with the option to work towards requirements for individual accreditation by a professional regulating body

Post-qualifying courses in associated studies that provide academic and practical progression on a recognised career pathway

Use of counselling skills and theoretical knowledge for professional development in associated fields e.g. social work, teaching, nursing, human resources

This course takes place at The Friends (Quaker) Meeting House. Click here for directions.

Entry Requirements

A completed application form, including a personal statement, and evidence of a Level 3 or equivalent qualification in counselling.

In order to promote a cohesive learning group and to ensure that all students get the most from the course, applicants are asked to attend a half-day interview.

Following successful interview, personal and professional references will be requested, and a DBS check will be done during the course, ahead of starting a counselling placement.


Learners will be given a college ID badge and have access to all college facilities, including learning resource centres and computers.

This course takes place at The Friends (Quaker) Meeting House. Click here for directionsThe Friends Meeting House provides a pleasant classroom environment and all necessary facilities.

Additional Costs

Possible Additional Costs

  • Purchase of books
  • Travel/Parking
  • Membership of a professional body
  • Supervision that meets requirements if not provided by agency when in placement
  • Personal therapy (minimum 24 hours)
  • Professional indemnity insurance if not provided by agency when in placement

In the case of re-submission of a referred final assignment, an extension for submission of written work, or the need for extra one-to-one reviews or final assignment interviews, additional costs will be applicable.

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