Course at a glance


This Level 3 Diploma in Counselling 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 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.

This course will provide the student with a Level 3 Diploma in Counselling. It will contain 9 sub modules [termed units] made up as follows:

  • Counselling and You – Provides the foundation blocks for the entire course. This module will introduce the student to modern concepts of counselling. The focus will be on how giving advice, guidance, and counselling differ. Following this, the student will be taken through lessons on getting to know themselves. This will entail numerous private learning sessions that will help the student understand themselves and their thoughts. This section of the course is a full personal development course which will prepare students to identify what they want for and from themselves, how their goals may affect their progress, and how to manage other people’s opinions in their lives.
  • Essential Qualities – Focuses on the qualities a counsellor needs to work effectively and professionally for their client. This unit also offers the student the ability to examine their thoughts and how they may use these thoughts to empathise with their clients.
  • Interviewing a client – How to build key client relationships, maintaining confidence and trust of clients, delivering quality services, managing client expectations.
  • Depression, Stress, and Suicide – Examines the techniques used to draw information out of the client in these situations and aid them in coming to terms with how they feel. Open questions are explored here along with suggestions on how to recognise these feelings in others based on their actions.
  • Relationships and Sexuality – Examines the techniques used to draw information out of the client and aid them in coming to terms with how they feel. This unit also explores couples counselling.
  • Death and Bereavement – This unit explores the stages of dying and the tasks of mourning. The counselling principles and procedures are focused on along with the techniques in bereavement counselling.
  • Drugs, Alcohol, and Financial Problems – This unit covers the definitions and effects of drugs and alcohol. Addictions and helping the client in these situations is covered before the unit moves into the financial problems of a client and setting homework objectives.
  • Counselling Ethics – The ethics of a counsellor is explored here by the student’s absorption of a professional code of ethics.
  • Counselling Administration – Documentation a counsellor will need to start counselling. This covers the regular counsellor / client forms, the client session form / contract, the client basis form, the terms and conditions form, the client goal / action form, the sample referral letter, and numerous others. Following this section, the student will be moved into ‘A Plan for Business’. This is another full course which aids the student in planning their own business and helps then think rationally about the processes of the business side of counselling.

Upon completion of each unit in the course the student will be provided with an assignment, based upon short questions and answers or essay questions, to test the understanding of the course presented. This will enable the tutor to offer guidance and feedback to show how well the student has understood the content of each unit. The assignments don’t count toward the final grade as the course will be assessed by online examination.

Benefits of the Course:

Students will expect to derive the following benefits from the diploma course:

  • Understand the differences between the different modes of complimentary therapy offered to those interested in discussion therapy.
  • Learn to understand their preferences without interaction from others.
  • Develop skills to deal with the steps involved in reaching their goals and reaching their own expectations.
  • Gain an appreciation of the tools and techniques that counsellors use as part of their “toolbox”.
  • How to properly manage and structure client appointments and manage reports and client progress.
  • Discover ways to improve communications with the client while utilizing and developing abilities to empathise.
  • Develop effective counselling skills and learn how to interact professionally and effectively with outside organisations.
  • How to collect information and carry out research.
  • A greater awareness of the dimensions of starting a private business and how to fulfil their role as a counsellor.
  • An understanding of what is required as a business owner and how to professionally achieve goals.

The course will examine the major attributes required by the professional Counsellor and includes:

  • Code of Conduct
  • Counsellor descriptions
  • Types of client problems
  • Professionalism – meaning of trust
  • Professional membership with the CMA
  • Counselling reports and files

Level 3 Counselling Diploma Entry Requirements

Entry to this Level 3 Counselling Diploma requires that potential students have gained GCSE/IGCSE or equivalent qualifications and have, good English oral, reading and writing skills.

Advice on enrolment and guidance of prior learning (APL) can be obtained through our contact centre. The course is a rolling programme and can be started at any point in the year. Successful students can go on to Higher Education, including remaining as students at OLC to complete courses in our portfolio of higher awards.

All students must be aged 16 or over.


Course Hours

Approximately 20 hours per unit.


Optional coursework and one final examination.


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

Course Length

1 Year.

Endorsed By

Students at the college have the option to choose the awarding body of their course.

This course has been endorsed by :

Quality Licence Scheme:


Accord :

This courses’ awarding bodies are recognised for their high-quality, non-regulated provision and training programmes. This course is not regulated by Ofqual and is not an accredited qualification. Your training provider will be able to advise you on any further recognition, for example progression routes into further and/or higher education. For further information please visit Quality Licence Scheme website or Accord website

Level 3 Counselling Diploma Course Content

Unit 1: Introduction to Counselling

This unit provides the foundations for the rest of the course and gives the student an idea of the kind of work they will be doing as a counsellor if they choose to work in the profession. This unit will also focus upon the qualities a counsellor must demonstrate to help their clients successfully and professionally. Confidentiality is discussed along with breaking confidentiality. Genuineness, unconditional regard, and empathy are examined along with the need for the counsellor to offer a non-judgemental atmosphere.


Unit 2: Individuals and Groups

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 focus 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 unit:

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

Groups are very complex entities, requiring special skills and interactions. This unit will look at group behaviour in depth and study some of the most influential theories. Working as part of a group requires individuals to set aside their own personal desires and take on those of the whole group; within this there is room for a subsection of ‘personal goals’.

This unit will specifically examine cohesion and leadership. In any group, there has to be a leader, or ‘leaders’. This can pose problems of poor relationship building, lack of respect, hierarchical issues, and some basic clashes or resentments. In this unit these elements will be discussed and some strategies presented, which can be used to overcome these potentially difficult situations.


Unit 3: Reappraisal, Functions, and Theories; The Five Approaches

This unit looks in detail at the five theories which have been adopted as approaches in counselling. In this unit the work of Freud, Rogers, Skinner, Ellis, Jung and Eagan will be looked at in brief, and the corresponding counselling approaches examined.


Unit 4: The Psychodynamic Approach Relevant to Counselling

This unit will study the Psychodynamic approach to counselling will look at how it applies to the counselling situation. Specific examples will give the student indications as to which particular set of client circumstances benefits most from this approach.


Unit 5: The Cognitive Behavioural  Approach relevant to Counselling

This unit will study the Cognitive Behavioural approach to counselling will look at how it applies to the counselling situation. Specific examples will give the student indications as to which particular set of client circumstances benefits most from this approach.


Unit 6: The Person Centred Approach Relevant to Counselling

This unit will study the Person Centred approach to counselling will look at how it applies to the counselling situation. Specific examples will give the student indications as to which particular set of client circumstances benefits most from this approach.


Unit 7: Various Outlines: Part 1

This unit of the course offers the student information highlighting various situations that they may come across in their work as a counsellor.  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.  Depression, Stress, and Suicide are all discussed in this unit.

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 8: Various Outlines: Part 2

Death and bereavement are 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.

Drugs and alcohol are explored in this unit 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 unit discusses the counsellor’s objectives and how the counsellor sets the client a series of homework objectives.


Unit 9: Counselling Ethics

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.

This unit will discuss boundaries or limitations and will look at how to recognise and deal with these. It will also look at what types of consent and responsibilities the counsellor must seek when building up a trusting and communicative relationship with clients.


Unit 10: Counselling Administration and Personal Development

 The responsibilities of the Counsellor are many but can be broken down into sections for ease of understanding.  These stand as:

  • General Responsibilities and Obligations
  • Counsellor Support and Competence
  • Client Safety and Autonomy
  • Permissions and Boundaries
  • Confidentiality Requirements and Management

 The last part of this course is six modules based on the counsellor’s ‘Self Development’.  This part of the course is for the student alone, and the student will not be assessed on this information.  There is ‘Action Learning’ throughout the course which prompts the student 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 and examine past situations in their lives. This coaching course is for the student personally and is a full course in its own merit.




This Level 3 Counselling Diploma course can be used to gain entry to a Level 4 Diploma or higher.