How To Apply
UCP Diploma in Person Centred Therapeutic Counselling

Diploma in Person Centred Therapeutic Counselling

The Open University

course overview

This diploma prepares you for an exciting career in counselling, where you can make a meaningful impact. This programme focuses on understanding human emotions and helping individuals navigate life’s challenges through a blend of traditional and modern counselling techniques.

It also emphasises effective communication and active listening skills to build connections with clients. Additionally, it covers mental health issues, ethical principles, cultural sensitivity, and the importance of self-awareness and self-care. With opportunities for practical experience and specialisation in areas like trauma and abuse counselling or Bereavement support.

The programme underscores the significance of the therapeutic relationship and the worth of each individual and is suitable for those pursuing professional status in Person-Centred counselling or related fields.

Applicants must have a Certificate in Counselling Skills and Theory (Level 3)
Mature applicants or applicants who do not have the above qualifications can contact our admissions team on 01733 214466 or to discuss equivalent qualifications or relevant work experience.
Applicants must have GCSE English language and mathematics at a minimum of grade C or grade 4.
If English is not your first language you will require a recognised Level 2 English language qualification or an IELTS score of 5.5 (with 5.5 minimum in each skill) or an equivalent English Language qualification.

It is the responsibility of the students to find a placement. A list of possible agencies that students can approach is provided. UCP runs a basic check that these providers registered and send any placement agencies a pack containing all the paperwork and course details.
Students will have identified possible placements before enrolling on the course but most placements will not confirm this until students have enrolled. 
An enhanced DBS check will be undertaken by the placement provider. UCP provides a  ‘placement pack’ to help students and placement providers

Additional Admissions information
All candidates will be required to attend an interview before joining the programmeme. Interviewers will be seeking evidence of:

  • Ability to write and discuss assignments at undergraduate level
  • Recent reading of Counselling research literature
  • Reflection on learning experiences from recent and relevant courses

We can accept a wide range of overseas qualifications and use UK NARIC to compare qualifications. For advice about overseas qualification conversion call the Admissions Office on 01733 214466 or email

relates to learning completed through an earlier course of study. If you have previously completed a course which is relevant to your proposed course you should make this clear when you apply. For this to be eligible for consideration you must be able to provide certification, which shows your success in a final assessment for that course. Learning must be completed in the last five years or further evidence of updating will be required. Simple participation in a course or an attendance certificate is not sufficient.

We offer students flexibility in their studies, by recognising learning they may have completed elsewhere before they apply. The Accreditation of Prior Learning process ensures that we can take this into account when determining the modules you must study. It is important that you identify any relevant prior learning when you apply. If your previous study specifically relates to modules on the course you wish to undertake we may approve a reduced programmeme of study, thus shortening the time it takes to obtain your award. Where this relates to learning completed through an earlier course of study, this is called Prior Certificated Learning, and where learning has been achieved through relevant work or experience, this is referred to as Prior Experiential Learning. Claims must be approved before you commence a course.

It is important to understand that the APEL process does not award academic credit for experience alone, but for learning which can be shown to have been achieved through that experience. Students are required to prepare an individual case for the credit arising from their learning experiences. This normally means that a student receives support in the preparation of a portfolio, which evidences their claimed exemptions for entry. This portfolio of evidence is then submitted for assessment and the possible award of academic credit. Alternative methods of assessment of evidence may be available but needs to be discussed with the Admissions team or Course Leader.

Level 4 Overview

In the first two modules of the Person-Centred Diploma, you will be building a strong foundation for your counselling journey. In Module 1, you will investigate into the heart of person-centred counselling theory. You will learn about the influential work of Carl Rogers and the core principles that underpin this approach, including the importance of empathy, unconditional positive regard, and congruence. This module equips you with the fundamental knowledge required to understand the essence of person-centred counselling. In Module 2, the focus shifts to practical application. You will gain hands-on experience in person-centred counselling, learning how to establish therapeutic relationships, actively listen, and communicate empathetically. Practical exercises, role-plays, and supervised sessions will refine your counselling skills, allowing you to put theory into action. By the end of these modules, you will have a strong theoretical foundation and the practical skills to make a positive difference in the lives of those you counsel.

Modules 3 and 4, you will broaden your perspective, expanding your horizons and integrating approaches. In Module 3, you will explore the complexities of human development and its connection to counselling. You will examine various theories of human development and understand how they intersect with person-centred counselling, providing valuable insights into your clients’ lives. In Module 4, you will discover the art of integrating different counselling approaches and creative therapies into your practice. This module widens your counselling toolkit, introducing you to other modalities like cognitive-behavioural therapy and creative therapies. You will explore the use of creative therapies such as art or play therapy to enhance your counselling repertoire. These Level 4 modules are designed to equip you with the knowledge, skills, and adaptability needed for a successful career as a person-centred counsellor. Whether you’re just starting your counselling journey or seeking to expand your expertise, this diploma programme offers a comprehensive foundation that will enable you to create meaningful change in the lives of your future clients.

Level 5 Overview

In the second year of the Person-Centred Diploma, students dive deeper into the intricacies of counselling practice. The Level 5 modules offer a profound exploration of various aspects of counselling, starting with Module 5’s focus on Loss and Grief Theory and Practice. Here, you will develop a comprehensive understanding of how individuals cope with loss and grief, and you will gain practical skills to support clients through these challenging experiences. Module 6 delves into Trauma and Abuse Theory and Practice, equipping you with the knowledge and sensitivity needed to address trauma and abuse issues effectively.

Module 7 tackles Understanding and Addressing Mental Health, specifically focusing on Anxiety, Depression, and Phobias. This module provides valuable insights into the complexities of these common mental health challenges and empowers you with strategies to help clients navigate them. Finally, in Module 8, you will engage in Integrating Theory, Practice, and Self. This module encourages self-reflection, helping you merge your theoretical knowledge and practical skills with a deeper awareness of your own role in the counselling process. By the end of the second year, you will be well-prepared to address a wide range of emotional and psychological concerns and provide vital support to those seeking help, all while gaining a profound understanding of your own counselling journey.

These Level 5 modules in the second year offer not only enhanced theoretical knowledge but also an increased level of practical expertise. You will learn how to approach complex issues such as grief, trauma, and mental health with empathy and skill, making a genuine impact in your clients’ lives. Additionally, the focus on self-awareness and reflection ensures you’re not just a knowledgeable practitioner but also a compassionate and effective counsellor. The second year of the Person-Centred Diploma provides a well-rounded education that prepares you for a rewarding and impactful career in counselling.

Year 1

Module 1 Person centred Counselling Theory – Level 4
Module 2 Person centred Counselling Practice – Level 4
Module 3 Theoretical Perspectives in Human Development and Counselling – Level 4
Module 4 Integrating Other Counselling Approaches and Creative Therapies – Level 4

Year 2

  • Module 5 Loss and grief theory and practice – Level 5
  • Module 6 Trauma and abuse theory and practice – level 5
  • Module 7 Understanding and Addressing Mental Health Anxiety, Depression and Phobias – Level 5
  • Module 8 Integrating Theory, practice and Self – Level 5

This course is timetabled into one full day a week over two semesters per year or one afternoon and evening on the same day over two semesters per year. We are able to offer this convenient timetabling to our students as we are a smaller institution so we can timetable our staff and resources more efficiently.
There are two semesters per year and each semester is up to 16 weeks.
The course runs for 2 years.
When studying you will be in classes, seminars and tutorials for approximately 7 hours per week and will spend the rest of your time in independent study and extra-curricular activities including work. We recommend that full-time students allow an additional 15 hours per week for additional study.
The campus is open Monday to Friday term time and you will also have 24/7 access to a virtual learning environment (VLE) with e-books, journals and abstracts plus teaching resources and interactive tools.
Timetables are available at least 6 weeks before registration and you can refer to the academic calendar for examination weeks and resit periods.
The days of the week you study may change each year and in some circumstances one of the full days might have to be split into two half days, but we aim to keep these as full days where possible.

Throughout the duration of your course you will be assessed using a variety of assessment methods. These include essays, case studies, role play, reflective journals and a placement portfolio.

Year one (Level 4)
100% Coursework

Year two (Level 5)
100% Coursework

We will provide, by the beginning of the first week of each semester, a current module guide with all the information you need for each module, including details of assessment tasks, the deadlines for these tasks, the required format and any relevant guidance.

Students must have the ability to secure 100 hours of counselling practice.

As the course is timetabled on the same day during the week this also gives you the flexibility to find a work placement. A work placement handbook is provided and UCP can provide a list of possible work placements providers. An enhanced DBS will be required for your placement. This will be arranged in conjunction with your placement provider.

Cal Gilchrist is a highly qualified and experienced educator, mentor, and counsellor. With an array of academic achievements, including an MA in Education with a focus on Mentoring and Coaching, a Postgraduate Certificate in Supervision, and a Level 5 Diploma in Therapeutic Counselling, she brings a wealth of knowledge to her teaching and mentoring roles.

Cal has a passion for personal development and has continuously expanded her expertise with certifications in areas such as EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques), addiction studies, and life coaching. Her extensive teaching experience encompasses various levels and subjects, including therapeutic counselling, psychology, and health studies.

As an Academic Course Writer and Curriculum Lead in Higher Education, Cal excels in academic management and curriculum development, ensuring that students receive the most up-to-date and relevant education. Furthermore, her research interests in areas like domestic violence, addictions, and witness experiences demonstrate her commitment to making a positive impact on society through education and counselling.

Cal’s dedication to excellence and her broad knowledge base make her an invaluable asset to our courses, providing students with the opportunity to learn from a passionate and accomplished educator. Join our courses to benefit from Cal’s expertise and embark on a transformative educational journey.

After successful completion of the Diploma in Therapeutic Counselling, you have the opportunity to complete the Level 6 of the BA (Hons) Person Centered and CBT Counselling & Psychology (Top-up) course to obtain a full honours degree with a further year of study.

This course qualifies you at practitioner level as a Counsellor. You could gain employment in the counselling field or related psychological professions.


This course is for 2 years and is delivered during the day.

Start Date: February/September 2024.

The course costs £6,500 for the whole course. The course fully covers levels 4 and 5 of the subject, giving a comprehensive understanding of the topic. For those who require financial assistance, there is the option of taking out a student loan (dependent on your eligibility).

Students are also responsible for funding their own 10 hours of personal therapy and monthly supervisions.

In this prospectus we will give you clear and accurate information so you can make the best choice for a successful future

Download Prospectus
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