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Therapeutic Counselling Foundation Degree
Therapeutic Counselling Foundation Degree

Therapeutic Counselling

Level 5

Course Overview

Full Time

Foundation Degree level courses are available for those candidates who wish to progress to professional qualifications. Successful completion of this course will enable you to provide a therapeutic counselling service within the context of an agency's service framework.

You will explore psychodynamic and person-centred approaches within a framework of Clarkson’s 5 facets of the therapeutic relationship. By the end of the course students will be able to demonstrate that they can work safely, ethically and professionally with clients presenting with a range of problems.


This is comprised of a programme of seminars developing understanding of the self, personal history and interpersonal relating within both Person-Centred and Psychodynamic theory

Professional Framework

A programme of seminars designed to equip students with the knowledge of practice issues. Seminars will be mainly tutor-led and will involve discussion of typical practice issues.

Skills Development

A series of practice sessions aimed at helping students develop their ability to work with clients. A variety of skills exercises are used including whole group work, pairs work and work in triads (Year 1).

Casework Discussion

Working in groups, students will take turns to present actual client work. The objective is to enable students to integrate theory, self-awareness and skills into ethical and professional practice (Year 2).

Common Presenting Issues

There will be a number of sessions where you will explore working with people with specific issues such as bereavement, abuse issues etc.

Personal Development

Fortnightly Personal Development Group and weekly Learning Journal entries. Students also attend personal therapy and a residential weekend.

Study Skills (Y1) and Advanced Study Skills (Y2)

Study Skills supports students in all aspects of producing academic work at L4 & L5. Advanced Study Skills (Y2) introduces FDA students to the basics of academic research and is not compulsory for Diploma students.

In addition to the College fees there are other costs to be considered including:

* Personal therapy (typically £45 per session)

* Supervision: most agencies provide supervision but occasionally students either supplement existing supervision, with the agreement of the agency, or organise supervision privately at around £45 per hour

* Books, photocopying, travel, childcare, etc.

If you need information about a loan for your fees and other related information try

The Student Loan Company www.slc.co.uk/services/higher-education.aspx

Please be aware we do require you to apply via UCAS https://www.ucas.com//apply.

The UCAS Institution Code for Gloucestershire College is G45.  The UCAS code for this course is B940.

Although this course is not accredited by the BACP it meets their requirements for course accreditation and prepares student counsellors for individual accreditation (see www.bacp.co.uk/accreditation/). Students will complete 110 hours of counselling work in an agency.

Following completion of the course, students may consider continuing to work in their agency in order to gain experience prior to applying for other roles (e.g. with Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs), senior agency roles) or counselling in private practice.

Please see Gloucestershire College’s Admissions Policy and Code of Practice available at http://www.gloscol.ac.uk/about-us-and-jobs-at-gc/partnerships-and-governance/governance/policies (subject to agreed amendments).  Gloucestershire College’s Admissions Policy and Code of Practice has been written based on guidance from external bodies that regulate consumer law, customer protection and education standards.  If you have any queries about either Gloucestershire College’s Admissions Policy or Code of Practice, please contact Gloucestershire College’s Admissions department via telephone 01242 532008 or applications@gloscol.ac.uk

Please note that modules could be subject to change but any such changes, to module delivery, would be in consultation with the students.

Class times:

     September 2024 intake: Wednesdays 9am-5pm

     September 2025 intake: Fridays 9am-5pm

     (subject to change)

  • Typical Entry Criteria

    • CPCAB Level 2 Certificate in Counselling Skills
    • CPCAB Level 3 Certificate in Counselling Studies

    You must be aged over 19 at the start of the academic year.

    Once you have submitted your application you will be required to complete a ‘Further Information Form’ as part of your application step’s.

    Following completion of the ‘Further Information Form’ applicants are invited to attend a mandatory briefing session to assess their suitability for the course. Typically, these are held during June / July.

    The briefing session will give you the opportunity to find out more information on the course and share your experiences and previous qualifications with the academic team.

    Please note due to the popularity of our Counselling courses our briefing sessions are selection events. We will be looking for applicants who are ready to embark on training of this nature and we will offer places to those we judge to be most suitable. 

  • General progression route will be:

    • CSK-L2 Counselling Skills (Level 2)
    • CST-L3 Counselling Studies (Level 3)
    • TC-L4 Diploma in Therapeutic Counselling (level 4) -OR- Foundation Degree in Therapeutic Counselling (level 5) [validated by the University of Gloucestershire]

    The Foundation Degree can be topped up to a Full Degree with a further year at Level 6, e.g. the BSc Hons Psychology, Health & Wellbeing with the University of Gloucestershire

Shortlist and Apply

If you would like to apply for this course, please add it to your shortlist. You may then add further courses to your shortlist or continue to complete your application.

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Therapeutic Counselling

What You Will Pay

British and European Union students

You will pay


for your course

(approximately £7,700.00/year)

When you enrol you’ll need to pay any course fees for the first year, which you can do by direct debit, cash, debit card or credit card.

Please contact us for more information.

0345 155 2020

If you would like to apply for this course, please add it to your shortlist. You may then add further courses to your shortlist or continue to complete your application.

Shortlist and Apply

Overseas students

Please contact us to discuss your fees for this course

0345 155 2020

In recent years, research has proven that counselling is an effective way to help people with mental health problems. Various programmes to improve access and recruit more counsellors mean that it is a good time to consider a career in counselling.

Our counselling courses are incredibly popular with students and highly regarded by employers. The qualification can lead to a professional career as a counsellor but also equips students with listening skills that can be helpful in a wide variety of professional and voluntary roles.

Experience is essential for job applications so, while you’re studying, you can gain practical work experience in a local counselling agency or within our own counselling service. Many of our students have moved on to work for local counselling services or have also successfully started their own counselling practices.

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Student Stories

Catherine Hews

I was at the point in my career as a Foster Care Supporter that I felt additional skills in counselling would be beneficial, not just for me but for the families I support. I have always been curious about people’s behaviour and their motivations and this course gave me an understanding of these topics. The support is excellent here from lecturers, they are always there to help out. I hope to have my own counselling practice one day and definitely think that this course is a stepping stone towards achieving that!”

Catherine Hews

Foundation Degree – Counselling – Gloucester Campus

Gemma Curtis

I couldn’t commit to university as I have children so Gloucestershire College was really local and convenient. I could gain the qualifications to take my career down a slightly different path, while looking after my family. I much preferred the relaxed atmosphere of the College as opposed to a university. You have to be committed, counselling can be challenging but it is very rewarding when you complete it. Within just a few months of graduating, I set up my own business and I am now self-employed.”

Gemma Curtis

Foundation Degree – Counselling – Gloucester Campus

Helen Jenkins

“I completed my foundation degree at Gloucestershire College in 2013, and in the same year, met Daryl. He’d been thinking about a change in career and after hearing about my experience, decided to study the same Therapeutic Counselling course, which he completed with a merit this year. “Since completing my Foundation Degree I’ve worked for the Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) programme, Let’s Talk, the Terrance Higgins Trust, and I’m now a Sexual Health Counsellor for the NHS.”

Helen Jenkins

Foundation Degree – Therapeutic Counselling – Cheltenham Campus

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Next Steps

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