Level 4 Diploma in Therapeutic Counselling


This course will open for application from 1st March 2020


Places will only be offered after completion of an application form, written exercise and a successful  interview. 



This two year part-time qualification gives students the knowledge, skills and competencies to work as a therapeutic counsellor in an agency context (and in private private if suitably ready and in discussion with a clinical supervisor).


Length of Course

420 guided learning hours (2 years)


Day of Course

Wednesdays and 18 weekends (Saturday and Sunday) over the duration of the course. 

Course Start Date

January 2021


Wednesday (6-9pm), Saturday (9am - 5pm) and Sunday (9am - 4pm - unless stated otherwise). 



Moulton College


  • Total Cost - Payment In Full (£4370) / Payment by Instalments (£4600)

  • Yearly Costs - Payment in Full (£2185)/ Payment by Instalments (£2300)

  • The fee includes the CPCAB Candidate Registration Fee - £334 per year of study - this is an awarding body fee that covers your registration with the CPCAB, certificate and external assessment. 

  • See below for additional costs.


Payment Options

For both payment options a non-refundable deposit of £300 is payable within 7 days of receiving an offer of a place on the course. This payment will secure your place on the course. It should be noted that if the deposit is not received in this time, the place will not be held and may be offered to another applicant. 

After payment of the deposit, either: -

  • Payment of £1885 in full at least 8 weeks prior to the beginning of the course (a £40 fee is charged for late payments) or;

  • Paymentof £250 for the first eight months of the course. This is to be paid by the 10th day of the month via Go Cardless (a £40 fee is charged for late payments). Terms and conditions apply.

  • This is the same for both Year 1 and 2 of study. 

Additional Costs

  • Student membership of a counselling professional membership body

  • 30 hours of personal therapy

  • Clinical supervision if placement provider doesn't provide supervision

  • Public liability insurance if placement provider doesn't provide this

  • Registration with Information Commissioners Office if placement provider doesn't provide this

  • Mandatory course text books

  • Printing.

Course Attendance

90% minimum per year (please consider this when booking holidays, especially in relation to the external assessment which will be taking place in mid-2022 - CPCAB won't confirm the exact date for this until nearer the time).

Minimum Age

19 years

Entry Requirements
  • You must have undertaken counselling skills and studies training e.g. CPCAB Level 2 Certificate in Counselling Skills and Level 3 Certificate in Counselling Studies or equivalent of at least 180 guided learning hours. Proof of this will be required at interview;

  • Level 2 or equivalent in English Language - or ability to demonstrate this. 

  • Good IT skills - ability to use Word, fill in proforma templates electronically, attach documents to emails and send, use an online classroom platform;

  • An ability to identify reasons for training beyond just personal development;

  • Provide references;

  • Academically and emotionally able to cope with this level of training;

  • Ability to work with difference and diversity;

  • Possess personal qualities of imagination, intuition, openness and ability to benefit from self-development;

  • Ability to form a therapeutic relationship;

  • Self-awareness, insight, honesty and the ability to make links;

  • Ability to challenge and be challenged;

  • Ability to respond sensitively and empathically to others;

  • Capability to begin working with clients within an agency setting;

  • Are intending (and actively seeking) to begin work with clients during year 1 of the programme;

  • Emotional stability and the absence of personality disturbance. Applicants who are experiencing current emotional or psychological problems will not be accepted onto the course. If you have experienced anything in the past this will be asked about at interview. 

  • Applicants who are experiencing current significant life circumstances or expecting significant life circumstances may not be accepted onto the course.

Course Content

A large part of the course is experiential learning and observation and involves a commitment to personal development/developing self-awareness.


The course contains the following units:-


  1. Learning Outcome 1 – Working ethically, safely and professionally as a counsellor

  2. Learning Outcome 2 – Working within the counselling relationship

  3. Learning Outcome 3 – Working with client diversity in counselling work

  4. Learning Outcome 4 – Working within a user-centred approach to counselling

  5. Learning Outcome 5 – Using counselling theory to understand own self

  6. Learning Outcome 6 – Using self-awareness to enhance counselling work

  7. Learning Outcome 7 – Working self reflectively as a counsellor

Sessions will consist of:-

  • Personal Development - These types of session aim to develop personal self-awareness and facilitate your personal enquiry into your own personal history and personal relationships;

  • Theory - These sessions examine topics relating to counselling skills and from a person-centered approach;

  • Skills Practice - Skills practice sessions involve you practicing your counselling skills on each other in groups of 3 or 4.

  • Supervision groups - these will be in addition to placement supervision sessions

  • Personal development groups (a.k.a Process Group)

  • Ethical dilemma discussions and other practical counselling skills. 

You will also be required to undertake 30 hours of personal therapy and complete a minimum of 100 hours of supervised practice in a counselling placement. Students are required to find their own placement (NCCS will provide ideas and support for this but it is ultimately the student's responsibility). Placement must be started or arranged to begin by the end of Year 1 of the course. 


Internal - You will produce a written portfolio of work, which documents evidence of your learning, a record of your personal development and a collection of evidence to support CPCAB criteria outlined in the Candidate Learning Record (CLR). Success on the course is dependent upon the completion of this portfolio.


External – You will sit a written external examination set by the CPCAB during course time. Successful completion of the course is dependent upon passing this assessment.

All seven learning processes are individually assessed throughout the course using the following methods:-​

  • Reflective Learning journals;

  • Tutor and peer feedback;

  • Self-assessment;

  • Written Assignments,

  • Case Presentations – including written process report;

  • Research Projects

  • Presentations;

  • Group Discussions and groupwork;

  • Group Supervision;

  • Placement and Placement Supervision Reports;

  • Self-Review;

  • External Assessment.

Additional Study Time

This course requires a lot of additional study time between sessions. It is difficult to quantify this for Level 4 as this will vary from student to student and also will vary dependent upon other factors such as when an assignment is due to be submitted. It is important that the course is considered in relation to other areas of your life in order that you can give the course your time and commitment to give you the best opportunity to complete it. Please consider how it will fit into your current employment, family life, health issues etc. 



  • This is a stand-alone Level 4 Diploma course  but progression is available on to the CPCAB Level 5 Diploma in Psychotherapeutic Counselling or Cognitive Behavioural Therapeutic Skills and Theory. NCCS currently does not offer this level of training. 

  • Completion of Level 4 can also contribute towards the requirements for the Open University Foundation Degree.

Mandatory Texts

  • Bond, T. (2015) Standards and Ethics for Counselling in Action. SAGE

  • Budd, K. et al (2020) A Student’s Guide to Therapeutic Counselling. SAGE

  • Cooper M. (2008) Essential Research Findings in Counselling and Psychotherapy. SAGE

  • Feltham, C. et al (2017) The SAGE Handbook of Counselling and Psychotherapy. 3rd Ed. SAGE

  • Gerhardt, S. (2014) Why Love Matters: How Affection Shapes A Baby’s Brain. 2nd Edition. Routledge

  • Kirkbride, R. (2018) Counselling young people. A practitioner manual SAGE

  • Mearns, D. et al (2017) Working at relational depth in counselling and psychotherapy. SAGE Publications

  • Mearns, D. et al (2013) Person-centred counselling in Action (4th Edition). SAGE

  • Mearns, D. et al (2000) Person-centred Therapy Today SAGE

  • Rogers, C. (2004) On becoming a person.  Constable

  • Rogers, C. (1995) Way of Being. Houghton

  • Sanders, P. (2012) Tribes of the Person-Centred Nation 2nd Edition, PCCS

  • Tudor, K. et al (2006) Dictionary of Person-Centred Psychology. PCCS

  • Watson, J. (2019) Drop the Disorder. PCCS


Other Suggested Reading

  • BACP have a range of books on: record keeping, confidentiality, ethics and the law

  • Bolton, G. (2010) Reflective Practice: Writing and Professional Development. Sage

  • Bor, R. and Watts, M. (2001) The Trainee Handbook: A guide for Counselling and psychotherapy Trainees 3rd. Edition. SAGE

  • Bowlby, J. (1969) Attachment and Loss Trilogy: Attachment (Volume 1)

  • Bowlby, J. (1972) Attachment and Loss Trilogy: Separation (Volume 2)

  • Bowlby, J. (1980) Attachment and Loss Trilogy: Loss (Volume 3)

  • Brown, R. (2007) Understanding Boundaries and Containment in Clinical Practice. Karnac Books

  • Bryant-Jefferies, R. (2004) Counselling Young People Person-Centred Dialogues. Radcliffe Medical Press

  • Churchill, S. (2010) The Troubled Mind: A Handbook of Therapeutic Approaches to Psychological Distress

  • Cooper, M. (2003) Existential Therapies. SAGE

  • Danguah, A. (2013) Attachment Theory in Adult Mental Health. Routledge

  • Davies D. et al (1996) Pink Therapy. Open University Press·        

  • Geldard, K. and Geldard, D. (2008) Counselling Adolescents Sage

  • Holmes, J. (2004) The search for the secure base. Routledge

  • Hopper, L. (2007) Counselling and Psychotherapy with children and adolescents. Palgrave Macmillan

  • Howe, D. (2011) Attachment across a life course. Palgrave McMillan

  • Joseph, S. et al (2017) The Handbook of Person-Centred Therapy and Mental Health: Theory, Research and Practice. PCCS

  • Kahn, M. (1997) Between Therapist and Client. St. Martin’s Press

  • Nelson-Jones, R. (2014) Theory and Practice of Counselling and Therapy. 5th Edition. SAGE

  • Pearce, C, (2009) A short introduction to attachment and attachment disorder Jessica Kingsley

  • Reeves, A,, (2013) Challenges in Counselling: self-harm. Hodder Education

  • Robinson, M. and Pattison, S. 2nd Ed (2018) The Handbook of Counselling Children and Young People. SAGE

  • Sills, C. (2006) Contracts in Counselling and Psychotherapy. 2nd Edition.  Sage UK

  • Tolan, J. et al (2011) Client Issues in Counselling and Psychotherapy. SAGE

  • Treishman, K. (2017) A Therapeutic Treasure Box for working with children and adolescents with developmental trauma. Jessica Kingsley

  • Van Deurzen, E. (2012) Existential Counselling and Psychotherapy in Practice. SAGE

  • Voskett, V. (1999) The Therapeutic use of self. Routledge

  • Wright, J. et al (2018) Reflective Writing in Counselling and Psychotherapy, 2nd edition. SAGE


Course Materials

You will need to bring paper and a pen to lessons. To keep costs of the course down, most resources, such as handouts will be sent electronically. Students are therefore welcome to bring tablets or laptops to sessions for course purposes only (you will be required to produce some printed material).


You will also need:-​

  • A copy of the CPCAB Candidate Learning Record;

  • Ethical Framework for body you are a member of;

  • Access to a computer and printer.

How To Apply

Click on 'Apply' link above

Feedback From Recent Courses

"Great course, great tutor. Very satisfied with the whole learning experience and the journey"

Introduction to Counselling Student

I am so happy, so relieved and so grateful for your amazing words and your teaching throughout the course. I have learnt so much and I am so grateful for the positive difference you have made during this learning experience".

Introduction to Counselling Student

The course will only go ahead if there are sufficient applications. Any fees paid will be refunded in the event of course cancellation

Northamptonshire Centre for Counselling Studies

07999 858630


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