Diploma of Higher Education in Person-Centred Counselling

Qualification: Diploma of HE
Level 5

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About this course

This course will provide a theoretical foundation and practitioner training in the Person-Centred Approach, which qualifies you to practice as a counsellor. It will give you an opportunity to work with both traditional and contemporary person-centred counselling theorists, equipping you with a wide theoretical knowledge from which to practice safely and ethically. At the end of the 2nd year you will be qualified to apply for and work in different areas of the profession such as private practice, NHS, schools, and related sectors.

This is a 2 year full-time course validated by Middlesex University, which has the option of an extra 1 year top-up course, a BA (Hons) Degree in Person-Centred Counselling & Psychotherapy, after successfully completing the Diploma.

Financial support
Do you need help to pay for this course? Did you know you can take out a Higher Education Loan to help with this? The Student Loans Company provides loans and grants to learners at college studying Higher Education. For more information click here.

What you will learn

The first year of this course will provide you with the theoretical foundational base in person-centred counselling and how this can be applied in different counselling contexts, for example bereavement or abuse.

Year one 

  • Person-centred theory
  • Research: Counselling Contexts
  • Culture and Diversity
  • Clinical Practice/Supervision

The second year will build on the theoretical knowledge learnt in year 1 and explores more creative expressive mediums such as play therapy, art, sand-tray and music and movement. There is also a focus on developing your skills and knowledge to allow you to enter the counselling profession.

Year two

  • Person-Centred Theory (Module 2)
  • Research: Expressive P-C Practice
  • Professional Development
  • Clinical Practice/Supervision

The course includes a clinical placement that lasts for the two years of the course. You will need to achieve 50 client hours per year in your placement. You will be expected to source this yourself, although we have a list of providers to help you with your search.

Learning style

You will be required to attend City College one day per week and an annual summer school (3 days in August).

External commitments include:

  • A clinical placement (50 hours per year)
  • Supervision (in line with BACP guidelines)
  • Reading, independent and a minimum of 40 hours peer study time
  • Peer discussion (40 hours per year on e-forum)

Although this degree course carries part-time college attendance it holds full-time HE status because of the added external commitments.


You will be assessed in a variety of ways including: written essays, group and individual presentations, practise observations, tape evaluations and dissertation/viva. Assessments are carried out by tutors, peers and self.

Entry requirements

Students applying for this course must:    

  • Have level 3 Certificate in Counselling Skills or equivalent
  • Be in touch with a suitable clinical placement – not usually your current place of work
  • Be able to work at GCSE English (grade A*-C) or above
  • Be willing to undergo a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) police check by your placement
  • Be assessed as having psychological and emotional maturity at the commencement of the course
  • Have time to study a full-time programme (e.g. not in full-time employment)

You will be required to attend an interview at the college prior to enrolling. Prior to the interview you will need to submit 4 small essays as follows:

  • 500 words on - My Understanding of the Key Concepts of Person-Centred Counselling/Psychotherapy
  • 500 words on - My understanding of discrimination and oppression in a counselling context
  • 500 words on - Why I Wish to Undertake the Degree at This Time
  • 500 words on - How I Plan to Self-Manage My Studies, Emotions and External Commitments Whilst Studying
  • You will need to provide two references (one from a past counselling tutor and the other from a professional who has known you for 2 or more years) The reference form can be downloaded below.

Please send all of the above to applications@southampton-city.ac.uk stating your full name and date of birth.

To your interview you will need to bring:

  • Your certificate in counselling skills

 Reference Form

Dates, times & fees
Start Date Course Times Duration Campus Fees
15/01/20 09:30 - 16:00 (Wednesday) 2 Years Main campus £3,650 per year* (eligible for Higher Education loan)
16/01/20 14:30 - 21:00 (Thursday) 2 Years Main campus £3,650 per year* (eligible for Higher Education loan)
What next?
  • One year top-up course - BA (Hons) Degree in Person-Centred Counselling & Psychotherapy
  • Enter employment in private practice in a number of industries including: health, education, corporate indutries e.g. finance
Additional information

Although our library is expansively stocked, as with all university courses you will need a book budget of around £100-150.

This qualification is validated and awarded by Middlesex University, The Burroughs, Hendon, London NW4 4BT. Telephone 020 8411 5000

Need help with funding your studies?
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