How To Apply
UCP Diploma in Psychotherapeutic Counselling

Diploma in Psychotherapeutic Counselling

Pearson Edexcel

course overview

This course provides an opportunity for learners to engage in self-reflection and develop a research proposal on the field of counselling research.

Learners will gain knowledge about methodological approaches to enquiry, ethical frameworks, and supervision in counselling practice. Additionally, they will undertake research and create a business plan to establish, develop, and maintain a private counselling practice. Through this course, learners will be able to assess and evaluate their own practice of counselling as well as topics relevant to the field.

This qualification is aimed at learners whose qualification goal is to achieve professional status in counselling. It may also be appropriate for those working in roles where counselling skills are needed: for example, nursing, teaching, social work, voluntary sector, the police and armed forces. 

The AIM Qualifications Level 4 Diploma in Counselling Practice (year 1) enables learners to embark on practice working within an ethical framework. Learners are expected to make appropriate use of counselling supervision and evaluate their own work. After learners have developed knowledge and understanding in the main approaches to counselling, they will evaluate the underlying concepts and principles of a core chosen approach to/model of counselling. Learners will learn how the chosen approach views human development and psychological change, with comparison to another approach. Learners will also understand the practical application of their chosen approach to clinical practice. The placement requirement in this qualification is essential to the personal and professional development of the practitioner.

The AIM Qualifications Level 5 Diploma in Psychotherapeutic Counselling (year 2) provides opportunities for critical self-reflection and enables learners to work towards the production of a research proposal. The proposal will cover the field of counselling research and the methodological approaches to enquiry to assess and evaluate the practice of counselling and/or a topic relevant to the field. Learners will embark on practice working within an ethical framework and will develop an understanding of the need for and value of supervision in counselling practice. Learners are also required to undertake research and develop a business plan required to establish, develop and maintain a private counselling practice.

If you are applying to start in February 2023, you must meet the following entry requirements:

Applicants must have a Certificate in Counselling Skills and Theory (Level 3)
Mature students or students who do not have the above qualifications can contact our admissions team on 01733 214466 or to discuss equivalent qualifications or relevant work experience.

You 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.

An enhanced DBS check is required.


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


APCL 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 programme 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.

You must take modules worth 120 credits at each level of the course. Each module is worth a specified number of credits.

Year 1

  • Counselling Theory: A Chosen Approach
  • Supervised Practice in Counselling
  • Professional Standards in Counselling
  • Counselling Supervision
  • Working with Grief and Loss
  • Working with Trauma

Year 2

  • Supervised Practice in Counselling
  • Professional Standards in Counselling
  • Counselling Supervision
  • Working with Anxiety
  • Working with Stress
  • Research in Counselling
  • Setting up Practice

A typical 15 credit module is 150 hours which includes 36 hours of tutor led delivery and 114 hours of recommended independent study. A typical 30 credit module is 300 hours which includes 72 hours of tutor led delivery and 228 hours of recommended independent study. A full-time student should expect to undertake 30 additional hours per week during term-time.

When studying this course we will timetable your lectures 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 (see Duration and delivery for exact details). 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 15 weeks which includes up to 12 teaching weeks and 3 assessment weeks.

When studying part-time 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 placement if not embedded in your course. We recommend that full-time students allow an additional 15 hours per week for additional study.

The campus is open Monday to Friday throughout the year 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 by the following methods:

Year one for part-time students (Level 5)
100% Coursework
Year two for part-time students (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 when studied part-time, this also gives you the flexibility to find a work placement, internship or volunteering opportunity which will improve your employability after you graduate. All students are encouraged to identify work experience to aid their career development.

The course leader is Caroline Gilchrist.

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 part-time for 2 years.

Option 1: 1 full day a week over two semesters per year)

Option 2: 1 afternoon and evening a week on the same day over two semesters per year

The course costs £5,500, which can be paid in instalments. 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 an adult learner loan to cover £4,299, leaving only £1,201 to pay.

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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