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Our tutors are highly qualified and many are practising counsellors. Dual qualified tutors make our programme one of a kind, giving our learners a high-quality learning experience in a supportive environment.

Counselling courses give you the opportunity to learn the key skills and attributes needed to be a counsellor. Counsellors play an essential role in supporting the health and well-being of others. They help their clients to think about their choices, their behaviour and their feelings and support them to make a positive difference in their life. A counselling course offers an introduction to a career in counselling and teaches the most up-to-date knowledge and skills. Most people begin with the Introduction to Counselling course and progress through Levels 2, 3 and Level 4. Successful completion of our Level 4 Diploma in Counselling allows you to work as a qualified counsellor.

Studying Counselling at Skills & Learning

Our Counselling courses not only give you the opportunity to gain up to date knowledge and skills, but also an accredited qualification from Level 2 to 4. We also offer an Introduction to Counselling course, which is a good starting point if you want to take your first steps in developing counselling skills and gain skills for employment. We offer courses in the daytime, during the evenings and at weekends across Dorset. Some of our courses are taught online.

The awarding body for our Counselling courses (Levels 2 -4) is CPCAB. Our Level 4 course is recognised by NCPS.



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What qualifications will I gain on a Counselling course?

Why do a Counselling course?

Many people complete a counselling course because they want to make a difference. Some people have experienced counselling themselves and find inspiration from this, whilst others are looking for a change in career. Our counselling courses offer a pathway towards qualifying as a counsellor; you will learn about mental health and well-being, counselling theory, ethics and how to stay safe both as a trainee counsellor and practitioner.

How long is a Counselling course?

The length of our Counselling courses depends on the level of the course you are studying. The Introduction to Counselling course is either 5 or 10 weeks, Levels 2 and 3 are 34 weeks and the Level 2 Fast track is around 23 weeks. Our Level 4 Diploma in Counselling, leading to qualification as a professional counsellor, is two years.

What do you learn as part of a Counselling course?

During a Counselling course, you will learn the key skills to become a counsellor. This includes active listening, communication, showing and understanding empathy and self-awareness, making use of questions, and how to reflect, paraphrase and summarise important issues. You will also gain a deeper understanding of counselling theory and ethics.

What are the drawbacks of a Counselling course?

Not everyone is suited to Counselling; we complete admission session interviews before enrolling learners on Levels 2, 3 and 4. This is to ensure you are emotionally ready to begin learning about counselling. For some people, further time is needed before they can begin the course. During the course, you will also be given learning to do at home so will need to dedicate at least 3 hours a week to home study.

Can you do a Counselling course online?

You can complete a Counselling course online with Skills & Learning. We offer online Introduction to Counselling courses, plus Levels 2 and 3. We also offer in-person classes for those who would prefer to learn in a classroom setting.

How can this help me support my career?

Our Counselling courses can help you to gain a new qualification to either enhance your career or support you to begin a new career in this sector. Many people complete a counselling course to add to their professional profile.

What skills and qualifications do I gain from doing a Counselling course?

Studying Counselling will give you the essential knowledge and techniques you need to either work in Counselling related jobs, or study further. You will also meet new people and work towards being more self-aware.

Our Introductory courses are not accredited, therefore they are a great way to have a taste of studying Counselling before committing to a longer course. You’ll learn about the role of a counsellor, how to establish boundaries, communicating with empathy, listening and responding skills and much more.

We also offer Level 2, 3 and 4 courses.

Level 2 and 3 courses are accredited by the awarding body CPCAB. Here you will learn how to use counselling skills ethically and safely, focus on the needs of your client, use self awareness, sustain boundaries, and how to use feedback and reflection to enhance your own skills. These courses will be taught with tutor presentation and demonstration, practical application of skills, individual and group work, discussions, Q&A, internet research, individual research and project work.

Level 4 courses are accredited by the National Counselling Society. Learners here study more in depth topics such as working within client relationships, diversity within client relationships, how to have a user centred approach and more. These skills will help you go on to be a counsellorr.

Studying Counselling you will gain…


Gaining qualifications to reflect your knowledge and abilities that will help your job prospects.

Career prospects

Gaining new qualifications and skills can boost your job prospects within counselling and similar jobs.

Up to date, industry standard knowledge

Our tutors are well educated and experienced within the counselling field. We offer courses up to Level 4 and our courses are accredited by Counselling and Psychotherapy Central Awarding Body (CPCAB).

A small selection of courses on this subject

Courses at Level 2, 3 and 4 begin in September 2022, with a new Fast Track Level 2 course beginning in January 2023. This course is for those who have completed Introduction to Counselling. There are various start dates for Introduction to Counselling throughout the year. Enrolment sessions for Level 2, 3 and 4 courses that start in September will begin in April/May 2022

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How do I enrol?

1. Once you know you would like to study counselling with us, please book yourself an admission session interview. This is a chance for us to meet you, assess your current working level and ensure you are placed on the best course for you.

2. After your admission session interview, we will then offer you a place on a course best suited to your ability. You can then enrol for this online. We will try our best to offer you a course at a convenient time and place for you based on your needs.

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Level 2 and 3 courses are accredited with CPCAB.

Level 4 courses are accredited by both CPCAB and the National Counselling Society.