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January 2022




Distance Learning

Course summary

The Distance Learning Foundation Counselling Skills course will offer you training in core counselling skills which can be applied in a range of interpersonal 'helping' and consultative roles. In particular, there will be a specific focus on professional areas of application related to healthcare and humanitarian sectors. The course will also help you develop a critical understanding of the underpinning theory and research evidence relating to what works in counselling.

The course gives you the chance to practice your counselling skills weekly during experiential sessions online (that can be video-recorded) with your classmates and to receive feedback live or via email from lecturers and other peers. 

For the schedule for January 2022: Please contact Dr Lucia Berdondini, Course Leader.

What You'll Learn

The Foundation Counselling Skills course is an accredited Level 7 (Postgraduate) short course with 30 credits. You can study it flexibly as stand-alone short course without credit, with credit, or use it as a building block for a Postgraduate Certificate, Postgraduate Diploma or MSc in Humanitarian Intervention course. 

The course will cover the following topics:


  1. Range of counselling theories and integration
  2. Research evidence - effectiveness in therapy and the ‘common factors’ research
  3. Helping relationships

          a. Developing a collaborative alliance

          b. Relationship qualities - empathy, acceptance and genuineness

4. Core counselling skills

          a. Attending

          b. Listening

          c. Empathy

          d. Probing and challenging

5. Moving Forward - Developing goals and plans


You will develop and expand your self-awareness, self-reflection and counselling skills during skills practice where you will receive and give constructive feedback and observations. 

HOW You'll Learn

Every week you will attend pre-recorded lectures (1 hour and half each) and live skills practice sessions (1 hour and a half each) for a total period of 12 weeks. The course is Distance Learning only and it is led by highly experienced lecturers with professional qualifications and expertise in either Psychotherapy or Counselling Psychology.

You will engage in experiential activities and skills practice with your peers. At the end of the course, you will submit two videos: 

  • one skills practice session of 15 minutes in the role of listener;  and
  • one 15 minute video where you will critically reflect on your development.

Entry Requirements

To be eligible for this course, you will need a degree (Minimum 2:2 Honours) in any discipline. You can also apply to this course if you have a professional qualification as either a social worker, registered nurse, medical doctor or chartered psychologist. 

At the time of the application please also provide a personal statement where you introduce yourself and explain your reasons for applying to this course.

Fees and Funding

  • Non credited: £697 
  • Credited:  £1900 (home)

Your Future Career

This course will enable you to integrate counselling skills and qualities in your existing professional role, enhancing communication and relational competences. 

It will introduce you to the field of counselling and will equip you with the basic theoretical and practical foundations, if you decide to progress your studies in this area.

The course can also be used if you are interested in progressing your studies and career in the humanitarian field and psychosocial intervention.  

Explore the different career options you can pursue with this degree and see the median salaries of the sector on our  Career Coach portal.