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Entry Requirements for Counselling Courses

By: Anna Martin - Updated: 5 Sep 2017 | comments*Discuss
 
Counselling Counselling Courses

On the whole the study area of Counselling requires little, if any, previous background knowledge in the field. The majority of courses currently available can be accessed by any adult over the age of 21, with the exception of a few courses that have a minimum age requirement of 25. Enrolment is open, and generally ongoing throughout the year.

Back to Basics

Due to the nature of the subject matter, Counselling attracts students from all walks of life, with a huge diversity of skills and academic qualifications. Wide ranging life experiences, a keen interest in personal development and self-awareness, and a basic level of education are all the entry requirements needed to enrol on a course of study.

Many of the Counselling courses available require a period of supervised placement, and additional learning, and students must exhibit commitment to their coursework and learning.

Introductory Courses

There are generally no entry requirements for introductory courses. This type of course ranges from a basic Introduction to Counselling Skills to an additional skills course like An Introduction to Grief & Loss Counselling Skills. Additional skills courses are predominately aimed at a student who is/or has already studied beyond an Introductory level, and is interested in adding additional understanding and knowledge to their portfolio of counselling skills.

A Counselling Diploma course is also a good option for any counsellor who has perhaps lost touch with their skills, due to a career break to start, and care for, a family.

Some courses also award Credits that can be carried over to another more advanced course. The completion of this form of learning requires that you complete a number of modules before advancing to the next level of learning.

Advanced Learning

Some courses, like the Advanced Diploma in Counselling, require that you have an Intermediate Certificate in Counselling Skills. A more advanced qualification may require that you have a Level Certificate in Counselling Skills, as well as a Level Certificate in Counselling Studies. As a general rule, the more advanced a course of study is, the greater the likelihood that you will have to have gained a certificate or two before enrolling. If you already hold a learning certificate in another therapeutic field, this may be considered in your enrolment assessment.

Postgraduate Learning

Postgraduate certificate courses differ depending on the institute some require that a student has a degree or equivalent professional qualification, plus a minimum of two years experience in the field were as others just require a degree and that the student has completed an introductory course. There is however an exception to the rule for exceptional students, who can demonstrate previous personal therapy, and at least 100 hours of supervised practice.

Personal Development

As there are minimal entry requirements to the majority of Counselling courses available prospective students are required to demonstrate a keen interest in the subject of counselling, along with personal and professional qualities, and the capacity for self-awareness and on-going personal development. Some courses however, do require that students complete a detailed application form, complete with CV and references. Assessment interviews also form a part of the enrolment process, and can be held before or after attendance of an Introductory level course.

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[Add a Comment]
@Nazleen Yusuf memon - volunteering is the best option so you can get further experience. Studying is good, but wont get you a job on its own as you will need practical experience.
PaulG - 8-Sep-17 @ 3:43 PM
Iv completed graduation in arts and iv changed my field this year and taken msc in psychology and have enrolled for a diploma in counselling for one and a half year and I still want to do more in this field iv completed my short course in basic and advance counselling from heart to hear counselling institute please guide me further as I am really interested in making a career in counselling field
Nazleen Yusuf memon - 5-Sep-17 @ 10:45 AM
I finished A level last year on Arts subjects.My desire is to study counseling at University.It is my passion.Reading all the comments it seems one has to first have experiance.Any advices..
Bongie - 3-Feb-17 @ 6:46 PM
Is it more important to do a post grad in counselling or psychotherapy in order to become a counsellor? Where to begin :-/
purple - 3-Feb-17 @ 4:52 PM
Carol E - Your Question:
For anyone looking to seriously get into Counselling, have a look at what courses are being run by universities or colleges in your area. There are many online courses, but whilst they cover a lot of basic Counselling theory,they are usually not recognised as qualifications by employers, so check thoroughly before joining.You can use them to expand your knowledge or give you a basic grounding. What you really need if you are serious about getting into counselling,is a qualification which includes some practical experience. It is also worth considering finding a local organisation or charity where you can work in a voluntary capacity in Counselling. Just Google counselling organisations or mental health charities, and I' m sure you will find some links. This is what I have done. I start a Postgraduate Certificate in Counselling this September at a local college, and I am helping out 1 morning a week at a local mental health charity organisation. Where there is a will, there's a way!

Our Response:
Many thanks for your informative words - I'm sure your points will help our readers make an informed decision.
TheCounsellorsGuide - 25-Jul-16 @ 2:38 PM
For anyone looking to seriously get into Counselling, have a look at what courses are being run by universities or colleges in your area. There are many online courses, but whilst they cover a lot of basic Counselling theory,they are usually not recognised as qualifications by employers, so check thoroughly before joining.You can use them to expand your knowledge or give you a basic grounding. What you really need if you are serious about getting into counselling,is a qualification which includes some practical experience. It is also worth considering finding a local organisation or charity where you can work in a voluntary capacity in Counselling. Just Google counselling organisations or mental health charities, and I' m sure you will find some links. This is what I have done. I start a Postgraduate Certificate in Counselling this September at a local college, and I am helping out 1 morning a week at a local mental health charity organisation. Where there is a will, there's a way!
Carol E - 24-Jul-16 @ 11:51 PM
Heya I am so confuse what course I have to take to become councellor.
shamima - 14-Dec-15 @ 3:16 PM
Looking into doing a counselling course if theres any chance of sending me me info on how to go about it,and to better myself and make good money
rosie - 31-Aug-15 @ 6:19 PM
Im interested to do councelling,i know how to handle the people who are sick,bcs im the 1 of the victiim in 3 times,i have matric with sience n mathematics pls help me
Dirosa - 9-Jun-15 @ 6:03 AM
@Question one - I have included a link here with more information on lay counselling which I hope will help. Can you have a word with your church and see what it suggests? You could also begin to do some voluntary work and begin a counselling course, all of which will help you gain experience. There is no quick route to becoming a counsellor, even though we may think we are natural counsellors. The Samaritans will give some counselling training to those who join them voluntarily.
TheCounsellorsGuide - 18-Mar-15 @ 12:03 PM
Hello, I'm currently serving in a church leadership capacity and have an interest in lay counseling but not sure where to begin. I appreciate your response for guidance. Thank you!
Question one - 15-Mar-15 @ 9:38 PM
Hi there. I would like to be a counsellor and specialise in children and adolescents. I'm almost 25 and I have been working in recruitment to save up for my Masters in Counselling. I did my undergraduate degree in American Literature, history and politics but haven't really done anything that relates to counselling since I was 19/20. I've always had a passion for counselling, but decided to focus on my interest for American literature and history when I went to university, but my passions for counselling has always been there and now I would really like to pursue it and make a career out of it. A lot of the masters courses I've seen require you to be currently working within a profession that requires counselling or has exposed you to it, is it possible for me to do my masters in counselling? Are there any courses I can take that will allow me to go on to doing my masters in counselling? I really want to get the ball rolling so I can be in a career that I have a passion for, how do I go about getting started? Thank you in advance!
Kira - 11-Aug-14 @ 4:18 PM
Im really passionate about becoming a counsellor for children and teenagers, every course i look up has an age requirement, im 18 and most courses want students from age 24 , i really dont no what to do now because i dont want to wait out of collage until im 24 ,can i please get some advice?
yassy123 - 4-Jul-14 @ 2:35 PM
I am looking to retrain as a counsellor please tell me what course to start with also i want to specialise in marriage guidance are there any local courses you can recommend. In and around the walsall area .
shelly - 12-Jun-14 @ 10:09 AM
Am from Tanzania country a student from university of Dares salaamUDSMAm interested with this course can i have some resources that i can learn myself while in my country?.
Mwax mwax. - 27-Nov-13 @ 7:16 AM
Hi, i am really interested in becoming a counsellor. I have always had a passion for helping others & am sure i would be very satisfied with a career in counselling. i have no previous experience & no idea where to start as there are so many different courses, can you help?
Jan - 17-Jun-13 @ 10:58 PM
i am a student of class 10. i belong to india.i have some interest in becoming a registered counsellor. but i need some proper guidence about the course.
paru - 27-May-13 @ 12:05 PM
Hi i am very interested in becoming a councellor. I have a past that has made me want to help others by doing this role.I have no idea where to start the highest qualification i have are GCSEs which are at a very good level. What courses do i need to do? Where do i start?
Sophie - 15-May-13 @ 6:38 PM
I would like to be a registeredncounsellor but i do not know where to start or register to , i have a BA degree majoring in psychology and Isixhosa, i also have aa teachers diploma majoring in career guidance and isixhosa. can i be advised where to start. i'm also working as a student support manager, i do all the related student issues
ntombekaya - 18-Apr-13 @ 6:50 AM
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