FdA Counselling

Start date(s):
7 Sep 2020
2 years
Level 5
Credit Value:
Course Code:
Study Mode:
Part Time
Attendance Type:
Attendance Pattern:
Daytime, Evening
Framwellgate Moor Campus
Course costs:
£4000 per year
(previous year's fees)
This programme is validated by New College Durham


Help others improve their wellbeing and quality of life by studying counselling. This programme will prepare you to become a professional counsellor and help you to help others cope with problems, such as mental health issues, bereavement and relationship issues. The modules you will study will be focused on person-centred counselling and current issues and best practice within the sector.

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HE counselling

Residential weekend

Our counselling students are required to attend a mandatory residential weekend in the first semester of study. This weekend is dedicated to developing students’ self-awareness and personal development.


Aims of the course are to:
  • Meet the needs of voluntary and statutory organisations for appropriately trained and qualified Counsellors.
  • Offer a robust and vocationally relevant degree in Counselling for a wide range of students from diverse backgrounds.
  • Provide graduates with a base from which to pursue a career in Counselling.
  • Provide graduates with a base from which to pursue personal accreditation with the BACP and an honours degree in Counselling.

The course content has been designed to ensure that graduates will be able to demonstrate the knowledge, understanding, skills and personal development necessary to counsel professionally.


Year 1:
  • Core model – this module focusses on person- centred counselling.
  • Personal Development – this module focuses on personal development through specific tasks, PPD group, personal therapy and a residential weekend.
  • Comparative Models of Counselling – this module looks at different models of counselling.
  • Counselling Skills & Practice – for this module you will work in a triad group and apply Person Centred counselling.
  • Professional Issues - this module addresses ethics, legal aspects of practice, supervision, note keeping and professional boundaries.
  • Counselling Children and Young People - this module is concerned with specific ways to counsel children and young people, safeguarding and legal components of working with children.

Year 2:
  • Supervised Counselling Practice – this module involves undertaking a supervised counselling placement of 100 hours.
  • Personal and Professional Development – in this module you will continue to develop your personal and professional skills as a counsellor.
  • Contemporary Issues - this module focuses on specific client issues and contemporary issues affecting the profession.
  • Research in Counselling - this module focuses on research methods and how to critique a research paper.
  • Therapeutic Process - this module encourages close examination of work with clients.

In addition, Level 4 students are required to undertake six personal therapy sessions (at their own cost).

You must successfully complete all modules from Year 1, and have the appropriate counselling placement requirements completed in order to progress to the second year of the course. These requirements are in line with current BACP requirements.

Time commitment

Average number of hours per week

Work Placement
Assignment Feedback
Independent Learning


*Days and times of study are subject to change. Timetables are confirmed at the start of term.

Teaching & assessment

At Level 4, the teaching and learning strategies will allow you to develop the skills required for HE learning, and focus on the development of professional and personal counselling skills.

At Level 5, the teaching and learning strategies used by tutors will continue to develop higher order intellectual skill of analysis but the focus will be on the development of evaluation and professional competence. This will be achieved through the use of a variety of mechanisms, particularly through the use of supervised counselling placements.

Independent learning will be encouraged and supported. At Level 4, these activities will be in part tutor directed and at Level 5 students will be expected to undertake more independent learning.

Part of your professional and personal development will involve undertaking of a range of self-assessment activities at the start of the programme to allow you to plan your learning. The teaching team will draw on the results of these initial activities to ensure all learning styles are captured.

Maths and English

It is desirable that you possess GCSE math and English at grade C or equivalent.

Maths & English

Maths and English skills are essential for the workplace and university.

Industry links:

We have links with industry meaning you have access to high quality placements opportunities and guest speakers who come into college to share current and up-to-date experience of counselling practice.


You will complete a placement of 100 supervised counselling hours, to develop your skills in a real working environment.

You could progress to the one year BA (Hons) Counselling to top-up this qualification to a degree at New College Durham.

Progress onto further study


BA (Hons) top-up Counselling Studies

This course aims to provide you with a programme of study that broadens and deepens your knowledge and skills of counselling principles and practice, and builds upon the studies you have already undertaken at foundation degree level.

Meet our students

Shannon Staley - Counselling

Shannon Staley

Shannon said she couldn’t have asked for a better place to have started her counselling journey.

Ashley Brotherston - BA Counselling

Ashley Brotherston

Ashley studied counselling from Level 1 to Level 6 at New College Durham.

Keith Liddell

Keith Liddell

Keith is now a self-employed counsellor with his own business, New Dawn Counselling Practice.

What else?

You will take part in supervised work placements to put your theory into practice and you will also have a residential weekend away during the first year of this course.


Please note these prices are for the current academic year and may be subject to change for our courses starting in future years.

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Fees and funding

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Additional Costs

You may wish to purchase publications recommended on the reading list.

There is a mandatory residential weekend in the first semester of the course and the cost for this is approximately £85. In addition, students may incur costs associated with placements.

Six personal therapy sessions may cost within a range of £180-£240. Some counselling services offer sessions with no costs attached.

Interview Instructions

You will be invited into the College for an interview once shortlisted following application.

You will be expected to take part in a written assessment during the interview process.
Further Education

Getting ready for your college interview

Find out more information about your college interview.

European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System Credits:


Entry Criteria

You will hold:
  • GCSE maths and English
  • Evidence of 120 hours of previous counselling training at Level 3 OR substantial and recent experience as a practitioner
  • A clear enhanced DBS check
  • Evidence towards possessing the skills and personal qualities needed to become a reflective practitioner
  • The skills required to create supportive helping relationships in a paid or voluntary role.

If you don't hold the standard qualifications, you could gain access to the programme if you have substantial counselling practice in an appropriate setting. You will need to:
  • Have the skills and personal qualities which would enable them to become a reflective practitioner
  • Be able to demonstrate an ability to study at foundation degree level
  • Be able to engage in supportive, helping relationships
  • Be able to undertake a specified number of mandatory supervised counselling placement hours.

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL):
If you have previously studied on a similar award, and have gained higher education credit at an equivalent level, it may be possible to take this into account to gain exemptions from one or more modules.