Therapeutic Counselling Level 4 Diploma (Yr 1)

‘Understanding distress is the art and science of understanding the whole person context.… The skill of therapy is to understand and respond to the person in from of you in the context of their lives.  Your main tool, as you will see, is yourself and your ability to form a good relationship…’  (Sanders, Frankland and Wilkins, 2009: 27)

Course Level:
1 Year
Study Time:
Aireville Campus
UCAS Code:
Institution Code:
Validated by:


The ABC Level 4 Diploma in Therapeutic Counselling is concerned with the training of counsellors to a professional level of competency. (ABC Awards, 2018: 4).

This course is run over two years during which time you will have facilitated sessions at the College, but you will also have to undertake a counselling placement in a setting that has been agreed with the course facilitators. You will also have to undertake personal therapy over a two-year period and have clinical supervision.

The course has 7 mandatory units that you must complete along with successful completion of placement and supervisor hours.

You will be asked to produce a portfolio of evidence over the two years, this will contain evidence such as observations, witness statement, group discussion observation sheets, case studies, reports, placement diary and logbooks. This course is both internally and externally assessed so you must pass all aspects to gain the full award.

This is a challenging course both in terms of financial commitment and workload. As a trainee counsellor, you will be responsible for gaining and maintaining your own counselling placement/s and undertaking a minimum of 100 hours of supervised counselling, you will undertake a pro-rata amount of personal clinical supervision throughout your placement hours.

  • Professional Organisational Issues in Counselling
  • Working and Counselling in a Diverse Society
  • Counselling Theory
  • Advanced Counselling Skills
  • Self-awareness for Counsellors
  • Research Methodology in Counselling
  • Counselling Placement (which must be analysed, and the learning gained reflected upon)

Entry Requirements

  • You must have successfully achieved an NCFE or ABC Level 3 Diploma in Counselling Skills or equivalent
  • You will need to have an interview with a member of the course team and provide your certification of completion of a recognised Level 3 Diploma in Counselling Skills at this point
  • You must be age 19 or over again you need a certain amount of life experience.

‘… This course involves experiential learning and self-awareness exercises, which will be demanding of the self in interaction with others.’  (ABC, 2019)


Your choices may include:

  • Jobs can be found in a variety of situations, within Holistic Practices, NHS, Schools and Colleges, Counselling in specialist fields as well as your own private practice
  • You can work towards accreditation with the BACP or other organisations

Your choices may include:

  • You can also go on and undertake a Degree course in Therapeutic Counselling, Master’s Level and Doctorate at Universities around the country.
  • You can also look at teaching Level 2 / Level 3 counselling courses but would need to undertake a teaching qualification

The cost of the course only covers the teaching cost, all other costs for therapy and supervision will be paid by you.  You will also have to pay for student membership to the BACP, insurance and DBS certification.