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Course content

The Postgraduate Certificate in Counselling Skills is a 60 credit programme across two semesters. Completing this programme (or an equivalent) prepares students for application to either the MA Integrative Counselling and Psychotherapy and the MSc Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapy courses.

The modules focus on the development of counselling skills and self-awareness (both underpinned by theory) which will form the foundation on which students progressing onto either of these Masters courses build their professional counselling and psychotherapy training.

See the website http://courses.southwales.ac.uk/courses/1284-postgraduate-certificate-counselling-skills

What you will study

This programme is delivered in one core module (20 credits-level 7) followed by either two elective CBT modules (both 20 credits-level 7) or one elective Integrative module (40 credits-level 7).

Core Module
- Foundation Counselling Skills and Awareness (Level 6) – The first module builds a critical understanding of counselling theory alongside the development of foundation skills in counselling and a focus on building appropriate self-awareness.

Students then choose whether they want to follow an integrative pathway or a CBT pathway to complete their studies.

Optional modules
- Counselling Skills and Awareness in Practice – for the Integrative pathway (Level 7) – This module develops a more comprehensive range of advanced counselling skills and a systematic understanding of practice contexts. The critical awareness of personal insights are understood in the context of counselling theory. Once more students integrate their developing counselling skills, self-awareness and insights and theory.

- Cognitive Behavioural Skills and Theory/Professional Practice – for the CBT pathway (Level 7) – These two modules prepares students for entering professional practice as a trainee cognitive behavioural psychotherapist. They build on the counselling skills developed in the module Foundation Counselling Skills and Awareness by providing an introduction to the skills and theory of cognitive behavioural approaches to facilitating change, acknowledging the importance of the therapeutic relationship as a platform for interventions. Students also develop develop knowledge of professional practice issues required to practice in the field of counselling and mental health.

Learning and teaching methods

Students learn through experiential exercises, skills practice, personal development work and through formal teaching.

Assessment methods

Skills assessment, written assessment, portfolio and journal keeping, and on-line assessment (CBT only).


The course runs for 24 weeks September to April (depending on Easter). Our teaching day is Tuesday from 9.30am to 4.30pm. There are two workshops (Integrative elective module only) in January which end at 5.30pm and a Placement Event for all students at the end of January from 5pm to 7pm.

We expect all our students to attend all teaching sessions and there is a minimum attendance requirement of 80% in order to complete this course successfully

Employment Prospects

Students who successfully complete this programme will obtain 60 credits and receive a Postgraduate Certificate in Counselling Skills. If you wish, you may then choose to apply for either the new MA Integrative Counselling and Psychotherapy or the MSc Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapy courses, subject to a successful interview.

Please note that in normal circumstances, you will need a first degree to apply to the Masters Programmes. (Progression onto the Diploma without a first degree will be at the discretion of the university taking into account your performance on the Postgraduate Certificate).

Students who have completed earlier courses have gone on to train as counsellors, to teach or continue in their careers recognising their enhanced skills and the development they have achieved.

Visit the Counselling Skills (PGCert) page on the University of South Wales website for more details!




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