Some extra information
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Institute of Counselling
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Q. Can I study your course if I don’t have any formal qualifications?
Yes. Our courses are specially designed for this purpose.

Q. Can I use prior learning to gain exemption from your introductory course?
Yes. The exemption will vary from student to student.

Q. Will I be able to change my course?
Should you decide that another course would suit, you may change (there may be a charge if additional materials are required).
Q. Do I receive personal tuition?
Yes. For each stage of your course, you are assigned a tutor who is a specialist in the subject concerned.

Q. What do you mean by the terms ‘clinical’ and ‘pastoral’?
‘Clinical’ is not used in a medical context but refers to the helper drawing on psychological insights to facilitate the counselling  process. Similarly ‘Pastoral’ is not used in a devotional or evangelical context. The term implies working alongside a client’s inner struggles, spirituality and relationship issues aided by counselling techniques.

Q. Can I study at continuing professional development level?
Yes. Again our courses are ideally suited for this purpose. Your tutor will help you throughout your course. This is your opportunity to gain worthwhile and recognised qualifications. 

Q. Why should I study with the Institute of Counselling?
We have been delivering courses to our students since 1985 – in that time over 26,000 students worldwide have used our courses to enhance their helping skills and advance their career prospects. Our longevity is testament to the quality of our courses and support.

Q. What is the Institute of Counselling?
We are Charitable Company that has a mission to: ‘Integrate clinical and pastoral approaches by putting the person back at the centre of care’.  We are a Christian based organisation that is fully signed up to the Equality and Diversity legislation and welcome students of all or no faith.

Q. Are your courses accredited by Higher Education providers?
We have two routes for students to follow – the first is our own Certificates and Diplomas which are taken by students as Continuous Professional Development (CPD) courses to enhance their current practice and keep them up to date with counselling and therapeutic innovations. The second route is the fully University accredited modules which make up a selection of our Certificate courses and Diploma courses. Students who wish to top up their qualifications to Diploma or Degree level will take these courses to fulfil that goal. Students who wish to change their careers into the counselling or caring sectors are advised that University accredited module courses should be preferred route.

Q. Which universities accredit your courses?
We are an educational partner with Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) and have course modules credit rated by both them and the University of the West of Scotland (UWS). You will see in our course details that our flagship Diploma in Clinical and Pastoral Counselling Skills course is accredited with 120 Level  9 points in the SCQF Framework by GCU . (See and Scotland specific for further information on credit rating across Britain). Our UWS accredited modules making up our certificate courses attract 20 Level  8 SCQF points. Our own Diplomas that have their modules UWS accredited attract 40 Level 8 SCQF points in total. We fully intend to add more modules to our UWS approved portfolio.

Q. Have you any other education, training or professional partners?
We are a Learn Direct Scotland approved provider of training. Scottish students who earn less than £22,000 per year may be eligible for Individual Learning Accounts (ILA) £200. We are also an approved training provider for The National Counselling Society.

Q. Will I be able to practice as a counsellor after taking a course with you?
Although there are no State regulations governing the title ‘Counsellor’, we would not suggest that you would be able to claim to be a competent practitioner by only doing ours or anyone else’s  courses. It takes more than studying a course to become an accredited counsellor.  However, our courses an excellent first step in the process. Around 90% of our students are already in the helping professions and use our courses to add value to their current helping role. If you are not in this position, then we would advise you to volunteer with a counselling organisation to gain the necessary supervised practice hours you would require to enter this sector. The NHS Careers web-site will give a flavour of what might be needed to enter the public side of counselling.  (See their link for Psychological Wellbeing Practitioner). Our student advisors can give advice on suitable courses.

Q. Your courses seem very good value, why is this?
We are a not for profit charitable organisation and to maximise the number of students able to access our courses (one of our key aims) we keep our prices as low as possible.

Q. Can I pay the course by instalments?
Yes this is possible and many students find it a convenient way to manage their finances. No interest is charged for this facility.

Q. Are there any entry requirements?
We have an ‘Open entry’ policy to our courses. Many people use the institute as a second chance opportunity to study and gain a qualification.  Each prospective student will be guided by our experience advisors as to the best courses to meet their individual needs.

Q. How do I enrol?
You can do this on-line through our website: or if you prefer, phone during office hours Tel: 00-44-(0)141-204-2230 and speak to a student advisor. We accept all major Credit/Debit Cards. If your company is paying your course fee we can invoice the company after receiving a letter of authorisation.

Q. What kind of educational and administration support can I expect?
Our experienced staff will be there to support you at every part of your course and your on-line tutor will provide excellent and timely feedback on your assignments.

Q. How long does a typical module last?
You should expect to complete a module within 6 months and this would involve around  6 to 8 hours of study per week. Although we do not advocate that students try to accelerate through a module as we believe education and learning have to be enjoyed and digested, it would be possible to do it more quickly if you had less home/work commitments and could devote more study time to the course.

Q. Are there any examinations?
No – each module, either stand- alone or within a programme, is continually assessed.

Q. I am new to Online/Distance Learning, will I benefit from it?
There are many reasons why students elect to follow an Online/Distance learning course – issues of accessibility, time off work, change of career, costs of child care etc. Each student will have his/her reason for choosing this medium for education. Regardless of why you chose us, we will endeavour to ensure that you enjoy your educational journey with us and will always be available to you to discuss issues that are hindering your capacity to succeed on your studies. We strongly advise you to find a mentor in your place of work who can be a ‘buddy’ and motivator to you as some students do miss the social context of studying when they are on their own.
Between your mentor (who we can provide on-line), your tutor and the student services staff, you should feel part of a caring and committed learning community that is focussed on you and your educational needs.

Q. Can I study more than one module at a time?
As mentioned before, we want our students enjoy their courses and do not take too much on – however each student will be advised according to his/her individual circumstances and students may enrol on more than one module at a time. If may be helpful to remember that you can take advantage of any cost reductions in enrolling on two or more modules. Time limits for completion are explained within the conditions of enrolment however if you envisage difficulties with this please phone one of our advisors for advice.

Q. Do I have to wait until the start of a term to enrol?
No. One of the major benefits with distance/on-line learning  is that you may start your course at any time once you enrol.

Q. How will I receive my course materials?
All courses are totally on-line and when you have enrolled, all materials will be delivered via PDF files to your computer.

Still unsure about what to do next? Call us on +44 (0) 141 204 2230