The Post-Graduate Diploma in Counselling and Psychotherapy is a two-year part-time programme validated and awarded by the University of Aberdeen and professionally accredited by the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy. The programme has an annual intake starting in September or October every year.

Programme Overview

The programme is an advanced training programme in the Person-Centred approach providing students with the opportunity to engage in professional and personal development to the standard that BACP requires for professionally accredited counsellors. The course is specifically designed to accommodate people who have work commitments during the week which make weekly attendance difficult and for that reason the course takes place mainly at weekends or week-long blocks over three years. Residential attendance on the programme is a requirement of the course.

Module 1
Theory and Practice of Therapeutic Change
Year One, Term 1

Module 2
Personality Theory, Psychological Wellbeing and Psychopathology
Year One, Term 2

Module 3
Reflective Practice, Developments in Counselling and Complex Clinical Issues
Year Two, Term 3

Module 4
Research Issues and Research Methods
Year Two, Term 4

Module 5
Clinical Competence, Supervision  and an in-depth analysis of the Counselling Process
Years One & Two
Terms: 1, 2, 3, 4

Module 6
Developing the Reflective Practitioner
Years One & Two
Terms: 1, 2, 3, 4

What does the course Involve?

The Post-Graduate Diploma Programme is predominantly residential, consisting of residential weekends and one week-long residential per module, plus a number of non-residential study days per module.

The programme structure offers a balance between theoretical understanding, personal development and clinical competence and students are encouraged to share responsibility for their learning.

The programme is designed around three key principles:

The development of theoretical understanding: key academic areas for study, evaluation and assessment.
The development of professional and clinical competence: the ability to create and sustain the therapeutic conditions which facilitate change
Personal development: the ongoing development of self-awareness and reflectiveness

These key principles are delivered within a structure which makes the learning from each element accessible to the other areas of the course. Presentations by the staff team and by visiting presenters provide a substantial input on Person-Centred theory and theories from other approaches and models including different models for understanding psychopathology. Workshops and seminars encourage exploration and reflection on key issues relevant to counselling practice, and greater self-awareness. Throughout the course, Course Community Meetings, Process Reflection Groups offer opportunities for self-reflection. The development of counselling competence involves counselling practice with peers on the course, working with clients in counselling placements and individual supervision and group supervision. Whilst the development of competent, professional practitioners is the focus of the programme, creativity, experiential leaning and social time with ‘fellow travellers’ are also important elements of the programme

In addition to attendance on the programme, students are required to complete a clinical placement which involves one to one therapeutic counselling with clients and attendance at individual supervision. The course also requires students to engage in private study and complete written assignments.

How much does the course cost?

The overall cost of the 2020-2022 programme is £8,300 and involves course fees, the cost of residential accommodation and university registration fees. Course fees are subject to inflationary costs and accommodation fees also vary from programme to programme.

Payment of a non-refundable deposit is required to secure a place on the programme. Fees are required to be paid in advance at the beginning of the academic year. Payment Plans are available.

Please note: the cost of individual supervision and personal therapy is not included in the course fees.


How do I apply?

You can access the course leaflet and application form by clicking on the links.

If you have an enquiry, you can either complete the form on the ‘Contact Us’ page, or email or call us on 0330 202 0283


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Further Information

If you have an enquiry or want to request further information: either complete the form on the ‘Contact Us’ page, or email or call us on 0330 202 0283

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