Can I study your course if I don’t have any formal qualifications?
Yes. Our courses are specially designed for this purpose.
Can I use prior learning to gain exemption from your introductory course?
Yes. The exemption will vary from student to student.
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).
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.
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.
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.
Why should I study with the Institute of Counselling?
We have been delivering courses to our students since 1986 – 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.
What is the Institute of Counselling?
We are a not for profit Christian charity that has a mission to put the person back at the centre of care. Although we were founded on Christian values, we are fully signed up to the Equality and Diversity legislation and welcome students of all or no faith. We have been awarded Credit Rating Body status within the SCQF Partnership which allows us to offer academic credit for our courses which is then transferable across the UK and Europe. See the link to the SCQF on our website for more information.
Are your courses accredited by Higher Education providers?
We have 2 routes for students to follow – the first is our own Certificates which are taken by students as Continuous Professional Development (CPD) courses to enhance their current practice and keep them up to date with counselling innovations. The second route is the fully university accredited/ IoC credit rated programmes – 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 sector are advised that university accredited courses are their preferred route.
Which universities accredit your courses?
We are partners with Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU). You will see in our course details that our flagship Diploma in Clinical and Pastoral Counselling is accredited with 120 credit points at Level 9 in the SCQF Framework by GCU. (See link qaa.ac.uk/…/otherrefpoints/Qualboundaries09.pdf for further information on credit rating across Britain).
As a Credit Rating Body ourselves (See the link to the SCQF on our website for more information), we offer credit rated courses, which attract 20 credit points at SCQF level 8 per module. We fully intend to add more modules to our credit rated courses portfolio.
Will I be able to practice as a counsellor after taking a course with you?
Although there are no regulations governing the term counsellor, we would not suggest that you would be able to claim to be a competent practitioner by only doing our courses. 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 you would require to enter this sector - a Government sponsored site called ‘Do It’ will provide more information on the voluntary opportunities that are available to students. 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). We will give career advice and you should also search for your local voluntary agencies to see the number and scope in your area.
At the moment it is the case that the Public Services demand that prospective counsellors for roles within the NHS etc require to be members of the BACP and they do not accept distance learning course towards their membership and you should be aware of this. Full membership of the BACP usually demands that you have first degree in a suitable subject like psychology and a post graduate diploma or masters in a Bacp approved programme that has 450 hours of supervised practice.
COSCA also does not accept our courses, because they don't accept online or distance learning courses towards their membership.
Your courses seem very good value, why is this?
We are a not for profit charitable organisation and so have no shareholders to satisfy financially. As we cannot make a profit due to Charity Commission Regulations 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.
Can I pay the course by instalments?
Yes this is possible and many students find it a convenient way to manage their finances. No further costs will apply for this facility.
Are there any entry requirements?
In essence, there are none. 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. But because we wish our students to succeed on their courses, we may suggest that some of the academic accredited programmes may be too intensive for students who have not studied for some time.
It also should be noted that some of the specialised counselling courses (Certificate in Youth Counselling, Grief and Bereavement Counselling, Couple and Family Counselling and Crisis Counselling) will require basic knowledge and understanding in Counselling.
How do I enrol?
You can do this on-line through our website: www.instituteofcounselling.org.uk
or if you prefer, phone during office hours Tel: 00-44-(0)141-204-2230 and speak to a student advisor. You can also request an enrolment application form via email from firstname.lastname@example.org.
If your company is paying your course fee we can invoice the company after receiving a letter of authorisation.
What kind of educational and administration support can I expect?
You will see on the website a listing of our tutorial staff and the qualifications they have. We are sure that by reading these CVs you will have confidence in our ability to support your educational aspirations and help you realise your ambitions. We believe that you would find it difficult to access such quality educational support from any other provider. These staff and the quality of our materials are the reason why we have been given our university accreditations. In all other administration issues, our friendly and helpful Head Office staff will do their utmost to support and provide solutions to any problems that may arise. 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.
How long does a typical module last?
You should expect to complete a module within 6 months and this would involve around 8 hours (GCU modules around 12 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.
Are there any examinations?
No – each module, either stand- alone or within a programme, is continually assessed with a practically focussed Tutor Marked Assignment at the end.
I am new to Online/Distance Learning, will I benefit from it?
There are many reasons why students elect to follow a 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 community that is focussed on you and your educational needs.
Can I study more than one module at a time?
As mentioned before, we are concerned that 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. It may be helpful to remember that you can take advantage of any cost reductions in enrolling on 2 or more modules.
Do I have to wait until the start of a term to enrol?
No. This is one of the major benefits of how we run our courses as you can start your own course on any day of the year. One problem with this is that all students are on their own programme of study and we cannot have groups of students who might use an on-line chatroom etc to keep in touch and talk about their studies. It is possible to try to buddy up students who might wish this extra support.
How will I receive my course materials?
All our course materials are now sent as PDF files so that we can maintain our fee costs at the lowest price possible. It is possible to have paper copies but to cover printing, packaging and posting we add £30 to the cost of your course.