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CPCAB Level 4 Diploma in Therapeutic Counselling

If you have already started your journey in training to become a qualified counsellor, and are looking to take your qualifications to the next professional level, then the Level 4 Diploma in Therapeutic Counselling is the course for you. This qualification will give you the knowledge, skills and competencies you need to work as a therapeutic counsellor in an agency context and, depending on experience, an opportunity to start your own clinical practice. You will grow professionally as a counselling practitioner, developing your self-awareness and your ability to self-reflect, gaining valuable experience developing your theoretical knowledge and skills.

The Diploma aims to increase your knowledge in a variety of counselling and psychotherapy modalities most commonly used in the modern therapeutic world. The course structure and content are aligned to the British Association for Counsellors and Psychotherapists (BACP) core curriculum, National Institute of Healthcare Excellence (NICE) and the World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines. The qualification is also mapped to the Counselling and Mental Health  National Occupational Standards (NOS), and the QAA benchmark standards for counselling and psychotherapy. 



This is a part-time, 2 year course, with classes held one day a week (Thursday) across 35 weeks per year. Classes are held at our Kingston Hall Road Campus. You will be required to read weekly theoretical papers and build a portfolio for your evidence of learning across years 1 and 2.

Entry Requirements

You must have obtained both a Level 2 Certificate in Counselling Skills and Level 3 Certificate in Counselling studies, or their equivalent.

GCSE English and Maths at grade C or above (or equivalent qualification) is required.

Applicants' previous life experiences, both personally and professionally, will be considered in assessing their suitability for the course. Further details will be requested once the online application has been received and considered.

This qualification is not suitable for those who are currently in a state of severe emotional difficulty and/or severe psychological confusion.

Applicants should be able to:

  • Provide references
  • Identify reasons for training beyond just personal development
  • Be academically and emotionally able to cope with this level of training
  • Possess the ability to work with difference and diversity
  • Possess personal qualities of imagination, intuition, openness, self-awareness, insight, honesty and ability to benefit from self-development
  • Have the ability to form a therapeutic relationship
  • Possess emotional stability and the absence of personality disturbance
  • Have the ability to challenge and be challenged
  • Have the ability to respond sensitively and empathically to others
  • Have the capability to begin working with clients within an agency setting
  • Have the intention (and actively seeking) to begin work with clients during Year 1 of the programme

Teaching Staff

You will be taught by BACP registered, qualified and experienced counsellors whose expertise and knowledge are closely matched to the content of the units on the course. The team includes senior academics and professional practitioners who are actively seeing clients and successfully run their own private practices and/or work in the healthcare agencies.

Course Overview

The course structure includes 7 mandatory units listed below. To achieve the qualification, you must be assessed as proficient in all the learning outcomes of these mandatory units and must be externally assessed by CPCAB as proficient.

  • Working ethically, safely and professionally as a counsellor (R/600/9346)
  • Working within a counselling relationship (T/600/9355)
  • Working with client diversity in counselling work (J/600/9358)
  • Working within a user-centred approach to counselling (F/600/9472)
  • Working with self-awareness in the counselling process (H/600/9478)
  • Working within a coherent framework of counselling theory and skills (K/600/9482)
  • Working self-reflectively as a counsellor (F/600/9486)

The course requires a minimum of 100 hours of formally contracted one to one counselling with at least 5 different clients within an agency setting. This workplace experience placement must be approved by Kingston College and you must have secured a placement in order to progress onto Year 2 of the diploma.

Students will undergo weekly personal therapy (minimum 35 hours per year) and are expected to study outside of classroom hours. Clinical supervision is an ongoing requirement for all professional and volunteer counsellors/trainees working with clients. This is usually provided through your clinical placement throughout your voluntary clinic work. Kingston College will also provide inhouse supervision throughout both years of the course.

In Year 2 you will be externally assessed and you will need to produce a 30-minute audio recording of a counselling practice session (using one of several role-plays provided by CPCAB) and then to complete a written Candidate Review Paper under exam conditions. This assessment is an integrated assessment across all 7 units of the qualification. Please note the external assessment takes place in Year 2. There is no external assessment in Year 1.

Course Costs

Fees: tuition fees for this 2-year course are £4670. Please check your eligibility for an Advanced Learner Loan.

You are required to complete a minimum of 35 hours of personal therapy per year (approx. £35-£50 per hour). Some agency settings require you to remain in therapy for the duration of your placement. This will be detailed in your agency contract.

Some placement agencies require you to pay for supervision. Minimum 1.5 hours a month or 1 hour for every 6 hours of client work (approx. £35-£50 per hour).

Some agencies request students to have their own professional indemnity insurance when working with clients in placement. This costs around £140. 

Student membership with BACP is £82 per year.

Careers and Progression

Upon successful completion of this Level 4 course, you can progress into employed or voluntary roles in both health care and non-medical agencies. This course can open the door for progression into independent and private practice.

Further Information and How to Apply

For further information please email our programme leader This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

A reference from your present/previous institution if you were a student in the last 4 years or from a line manager if you are currently working must be sent to the College to support your application. Referees are asked to comment on the candidate’s personal and academic qualities and their suitability for the course. 

If you want to apply for this course, please contact your nominated referee and ask them to email a character reference to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Please apply for the course by clicking the ‘Apply Now’ button below. Please ensure that you provide a personal statement in your online application, or email this separately to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. referring to the course entry requirements for guidance.

We are now taking applications for a possible January 2021 intake (subject to demand and ongoing Covid-19 situation). This course is classroom based but may need to move online at any point due to the ongoing COVID-19 situation. Once the course has started, we are unable to issue refunds for tuition fees.

Location of study: Kingston Hall Road


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