Counselling Studies and Skills (Not a License to Practice) University Diploma



Course code: UB9AY   Level: 5

A one year introduction to counselling is an ideal starting point if you are interested in becoming a qualified counsellor or psychotherapist. It’s the first step towards becoming an accredited counsellor with the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) or just a perfect entry level course to help you understand more about this subject.

This qualification alone will not give you a licence to practice but may help you decide if counselling is a career you wish to pursue. You can continue your studies at Derby with our BACP accredited MSc Integrative Counselling and Psychotherapy course.

It attracts a wide range of people

Counselling skills are particularly useful for nurses, teachers, pastors, police officers, community workers, youth workers, managers or anyone dealing with vulnerable or distressed people.  You may have no experience of counselling but have a degree in a related subject, plenty of counselling experience but no formal qualifications or a job in which some counselling knowledge would be a real aid. Whatever your situation, this is an excellent foundation and a recognised qualification which allows you to move on to further study and broaden your career.

Plenty of opportunities to practise

You might be surprised to learn that counselling can be studied online. But through our use of specially designed, interactive teaching methods you’ll participate in virtual classrooms and online discussion forums where you can discuss and debate relevant topics with fellow online students. So in many ways it’s a ‘safe’, less daunting environment in which to learn.

Studying online gives you the flexibility to study at the most convenient time and place for you. Course modules still operate within a fixed trimester but you can choose to study during the day, in the evenings or at the weekend rather than having to attend fixed lectures.

You will need to complete all of the modules below.


Stage 1

-Counselling in Context



This module will give you an insight into specific counselling approaches within various organisational contexts which may include both statutory and voluntary agencies. You’ll explore the philosophical and theoretical principles that underpin the particular context and consider how the counselling context might impinge on counselling practice.  You will explore the skills required to work within the counselling context and consider ethical practice.

On successful completion of this module, you will be able to demonstrate an understanding of:

-Organisational culture within a context

-Counselling skills required to function within a counselling context

-You will also be able to identify and demonstrate personal, professional, organisational and ethical strengths and limitations.

Areas you will cover may include:

-The theoretical and philosophical perspectives that underpin the context

-Procedures and policies within the context

-Counselling theory and skills required to function within the context

Impact of organisational, structural, and situational context on counselling practice

-Cultural context.


Stage:Stage 1

Core:Core module

Counselling Skills



In this module, we will explore and develop the counselling and communication skills that form the foundation of counselling and psychotherapy. You will be given the opportunity to consider how these verbal and non-verbal skills can improve personal communication and enhance self-awareness.

On completion of this module you will be able to:

-Demonstrate the skills involved in listening, responding, questioning and engaging

-Evaluate your own performance in relation to a role play interaction, by examining what skills they employed; why they were employed and the impact this had on the interaction and how -you could improve these skills

-Demonstrate an understanding of a range of approaches to learning including the ability to evaluate and reflect.

Topics covered may include:

-Core conditions – empathy, warmth, unconditional positive regard, genuineness and non-verbal communication

-Questioning skills


-Ethics and confidentiality

-Clinical supervision and support

-Maintaining boundaries

-Learning through reflection

-Learning log.


Stage:Stage 1

Core:Core module

-Theories of Therapeutic Intervention



This module introduces you to three major theoretical models of counselling. It addresses these with regard to the particular socio-cultural context from which they were written and their philosophical positions on the nature of being human. This module also aims to increase effectiveness and confidence in using academic resources, particularly sourcing and reviewing journal articles related to counselling.

On successful completion of this module you will be able to discuss the contribution of the three major theories: Person-Centred, Cognitive Behavioural and Attachment Theory to Counselling. You will also develop a range of academic competencies in studying and learning, including the ability to reflect on a range of peer-related journal articles.

Topics covered may include:

-Major theories viewed as significant to therapy: Person Centred Theory, Person Centred Therapy, Cognitive Theory, Behavioural Theory, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and Attachment Theory

-Academic competencies: reflective learning, effective use of libraries, conducting a literature review, reviewing, analysing and evaluating written material.


Stage:Stage 1

Core:Core module

Inline with the University’s value of extending opportunities the University Diploma in Counselling Studies and Skills is ‘open’, with few entry requirements.  You may be able to gain entry to the programme if you meet the following criteria:

-demonstrate an interest in studying counselling

-supply appropriate references

-demonstrate motivation to succeed

-must be at least 18 years old

-have the required communication and learning skills

if you are studying full-time at an institution, you must get written permission from its Principal.

You will normally need one of the following English Language qualifications:

-GCE O level English Language C

-GCSE English C

If English is not your first language you will need an English language qualification. For this course you will need at least one of the following:

-IELTS 7.0

-TOEFL 600 (paper based) 250 (computer based) or 100 (internet based)

-Pearson Test of Academic English: 51

-Cambridge Advanced Certificate: Pass

-London Tests of English: we accept level 5 for postgraduate courses

-International GCE O Level English Language: Grade C

-International GCSE English/English as a Second Language: Grade C.

-Other English Language qualifications may be accepted and you should provide full details of these with your application.

Specialist online university
University of Derby Online Learning (UDOL) specialises in delivering higher education and its objective is to empower students to achieve their full potential through a first class educational experience supported by information, advice and guidance.

University experience enriched with support
UDOL recognises that studying online and at a distance comes with its own challenges and that it’s a very different experience to traditional campus based study. The university´s support services have been designed to ensure that you can make the most of your time at the UDOL; with a wide range of support and information readily accessible.

Student support services include:

– Academic Team and Online Tutor
– Online Learner Advisor
– Student Wellbeing
– IT Service Centre
– eLibrary and Resource Centre
– Study Skills Advisory Scheme
– Skills Diagnostic Self-Assessment Tool
– Careers and Employment Service

Read more below:

Academic Team and Online Tutor
UDOL has a large team of highly qualified academics from around the world, who are experts in their field. They are research active and many of them have a wealth of experience in industry as well as in academia, bringing great value to the programmes. The team also has a high level of expertise in online learning, using best practice techniques combined with online teaching methods to ensure your studies are rich and stimulating.

Online Learner Advisors
Once enrolled onto your course, you will be assigned a dedicated Online Learner Advisor with extensive knowledge of your programme, who will be your main point of contact throughout your course.
To help you succeed in reaching your academic goals, your Online Learner Advisor will maintain regular communication with you, offering advice and guidance for any non-academic issues such as pace of study, fees and funding, authorised breaks from study, dealing with exceptional circumstances, and much more.

Student Wellbeing
Achieving success in your studies is affected as much by your wellbeing as it is by your academic ability. If you are happy and confident within yourself and your environment, then you will be far more able to achieve the success that you deserve.
The Student Wellbeing services offer support for anything that may impact on you, your academic performance or your experience as a student, from budgeting and anxiety to managing serious problems. The counsellors are especially trained in supporting students online, no matter the issue.
For students with disabilities, learning difficulties or long-term or mental health conditions, specialist support is also available. The student wellbeing team will assess your requirements and put Support Plans in place containing reasonable adjustments to the way you are taught or assessed.

IT Service Centre
The IT Service Centre is able to provide assistance if you are experiencing technical difficulties. They are available 24 hours a day so no matter your time zone, IT support is just a call away.

eLibrary and Resource Centre
The University’s library is accessible to online and distance learners. Investment has been made to make sure that your reading lists are in electronic format and that there is a wide range of online databases, digital texts and ejournals available to you.
As a UK based University of Derby student, you can also access other libraries via the SCONUL Access Scheme, which enables materials to be borrowed from higher-education libraries across the country. Many universities, HE colleges and national libraries throughout the UK and Ireland participate in the scheme making their resources widely available.
The library runs a comprehensive schedule of Support Sessions covering a wide range of topics. These live, one hourly webinars cover topics such as study skills, using the virtual library enquiry desk and dealing with assessment anxiety.

Study Skills Advisory Scheme
Developing your study skills is an integral part of studying. It is particularly important if you are returning to study after a long break and lack confidence in this area.
There is a wide range of resources including guides, audio-visual tutorials and live webinars covering:

– Writing essays and reports
– Writing a dissertation or Independent Studies
– Citing and referencing
– Reading and note taking
– Research skills
– Time management and coping with pressure
– Reflection and personal development planning
– And much more…

Skills Diagnostic Self-Assessment tool
To ensure you have the skills needed for online and academic study, our unique study skills diagnostic tool gives you the opportunity, at any point of your studies, to identify the skills that you are strong at and those which you may need additional help with. The tool will direct you to information and assisted support according to your needs.

Careers and Employment Service
Whether you’re just starting your career or are on a well-established pathway, the Careers and Employment Service has lots to offers. Live webinars, career coaching, CV tailoring and online resources are just some of the services that are freely available to help you develop your employability skills and to plan your next career move. The Careers and Employment service is equipped to help you explore what you will need to do to enhance your career and support you in applying for roles.
As an Alumnus of the University, you will have access to the Careers and Employment Centre for up to 3 years after graduation. You can access the service online, over Skype/ Hangout, on the phone, through e-mail or in person at our Derby campus.

Find out more about the careers and employment centre

– Step 1- Start your online application.

It’s free to apply and you have 28 days to complete your application so don’t worry if you don’t have everything to hand right now.

– Step 2 – Submit your online application.

Provide as much detail as you can and we will send you an email acknowledging receipt of your application.

Please, attach the following documents to your online application:

– Photo ID – this could be your passport or driving licence

– Written reference supplied on headed paper from either a manager, supervisor, tutor or teacher

– Copies of certificates or letter of testimony for previous qualifications

Don’t worry if you can’t attach your documents right away.  Simply write your name and unique application id onto them, email, fax or post them to us after you’ve submitted your completed application.

– Step 3 – Wait for a response.

Our Online Learning Advisors will review your application and contact you within 1 working week. If your application is successful, we will make you an ‘unconditional’ offer. If we still need some additional information from you (eg evidence of your qualifications and experience including certificates and references) we may make you a conditional offer. If your application is unsuccessful on this occasion, we will email you to let you know.

– Step 4 – Time to enrol

We’ll ask you to enrol onto your course about 4 – 6 weeks before the start of term.  For example, if you apply to start your course in September enrolment will open approximately mid-August.

– Step 5 – … and pay

Contact us for more details about payments and notes for sponsors.

– Need Help?

If you have any questions during your application, don’t hesitate to contact your friendly Online Learning Advisors for assistance.

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