Course at a glance


This Counselling Short Course is aimed at providing a look at the fundamentals of counselling. The course will be of much interest to those who wish to enter the profession of counselling in the private sector or who are interested in working with others.

An in depth look at different problems the counsellor may encounter when dealing with others and gives a detailed overview of body language and business planning for those who are interested in entering into a private business will be provided. The course also offers the student the chance to analyse their own life and come to terms with their feelings on various subjects.

The course is divided into 10 units of study, you can read a detailed summary of each unit in the ‘Content’ section at the bottom of the page.

To help spread the cost of the course, you can opt to spread the course fees over an interest and credit check free instalment plan. To do this, select the option for instalment payment from the drop-down box above the ‘Enrol’ button.

Counselling Short Course Diploma Entry Requirements

All students must be 16 years of age and above to enter into our Counselling Short Course Diploma (Level 3).

Short Course Diploma courses require a minimum prior learning to GCSE standard in order that students can manage their studies and the assumed knowledge within course content.

Study Hours

200 hours in total. Or 20 hours per week over 10 weeks.


Written assessment at the end of each unit of study.


Please note that you can enrol on this course at anytime.

Counselling Short Course Content

Unit 1 – Counselling and You

This unit provides the foundations for the rest of the course. It moves the student through their own thoughts as well as giving them an idea of what sort of work they will be doing as a counsellor should they choose to take on the profession. The first part of the module focuses on the differences in professional interaction and shows how clients receive different modes of service with each different profession settling on finer notes on counselling fundamentals.

Sub-modules are introduced in the form of a personal development course that aids the students in looking at themselves. The student is offered ‘Action Learning’ throughout the course which prompts them to examine their own feelings and discuss what they believe to be their goals. Their present abilities are questioned, and they are asked to focus on their inner feeling about numerous times or situations in their lives. This coaching course is for the student personally and is a full course in its own merit.

Unit 2 – Essential Qualities

This part of the course will focus upon the qualities a counsellor must demonstrate to successfully and professionally help their clients. Confidentiality is discussed along with breaking confidentiality. Genuineness, unconditional regard, and empathy, are examined along with the need for the counsellor to be completely non-judgemental. There are detailed questions for the student to ask themselves which helps them note the reasons for a non-judgmental attitude toward the client.

Unit 3 – Interviewing a Client

This unit discusses how to build key client relationships, maintaining confidence and trust of clients, delivering quality services, and managing client expectations. It details the counsellor’s office and placement of furniture, how to use open questions and how to summarise the client’s answers to show a high level of understanding. It continues on to examine non-verbal communications, challenging, confronting, and the understanding of what a client may not be saying.

This unit will be focused on how to build client relationships, maintaining confidence and trust of clients, delivering quality services, managing client expectations and achieving value-added contribution raising client satisfaction.

Objectives of module:

  • Building the client / consultant relationship
  • Understanding the client
  • Building trust and confidence
  • Phases of the relationship
  • Understanding problems
  • The meaning and importance of quality

Unit 4 – Depression, Stress, and Suicide

Depression, Stress, and Suicide are all discussed in this unit. Being able to discuss different feelings and record signs is paramount to the effective counsellor. The signs and symptoms are discussed separately along with different ways to draw information out of the client. Having a working understanding of different symptoms allows the counsellor to understand what the client may be feeling and guide them towards seeing their problem, understanding it, and working through the feelings.

Unit 5 – Relationships and Sexuality

Relationships may be the leading cause of a person’s loss of confidence and as a counsellor may come up against this problem with numerous clients, an understanding of how human beings relate to each other is crucial. This unit explores relationships, how important they may be in a person’s life, and what kinds of problems may occur.

As ‘sexuality’ describes the way in which a person expresses themselves as a sexual being, it is important that the counsellor understand sexuality and how important it is for a human to understand and be comfortable with theirs. This unit explores sexuality and the importance of a counsellor’s non-judgemental approach to their client.

Unit 6 – Death and Bereavement

Death and bereavement are both explored here starting with the stages of dying and the tasks of mourning. Those who are bereaved need their own time to pass through denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. The counsellor must understand these steps in order to counsel a bereaved client and gaining understanding aids in the counsellor’s ability to empathise. This unit also offers the student the ‘counselling principles and procedures’ when dealing with a client with these problems.

Unit 7 – Drugs, Alcohol, and Financial Problems

Drugs and alcohol are explored in this module from their descriptions to the effects they have on humans. Long term and short term effects are discussed along with support counselling for drug dependency.

The student will absorb information on:

  • Alcohol
  • Inhalants
  • Cannabis
  • Depressants
  • Cocaine
  • Narcotics
  • Designer drugs

Financial problems can arise for a number of reasons and can be devastating for anyone. This part of the module discusses the counsellor’s objectives and how the counsellor sets the client a series of homework objectives.

Unit 8 – Counselling Ethics

This unit gives the student the chance to read through a professional code of ethics and discuss any parts that they may feel uncomfortable with or unable to cope with. A counsellor must adhere to a strict code of ethics when dealing with the vulnerable and the student will gain the knowledge of what is expected of them if they choose to take on this role.

Unit 9 – Counselling Administration

This unit gives samples of various counselling sheets. These include:

  • Counsellor client contract
  • Client session form
  • Client basis form
  • Client goal action form
  • Referral letter
  • Client session form / contract
  • Terms and conditions
  • Referral to another agency or service
  • Client’s action plan / care plan
  • Permission to release information and / or to advocate
  • Client feedback form

The final part to the full course is a ‘Plan for Business’. This is a full course in its own merit and moves the student through a business plan, how to market their skills professionally, finance, and the conflicting elements they may encounter. This section of the course is for those who have the ambition to start their own private practice.


This Counselling Short Course Diploma course can be used to gain entry to a Level 4 Diploma or higher.

Further information on our Level 4 Diplomas can be found here: