Online course details

Study options

Part-time: 1 year

UK fee

£2,520 (2022/23)

International fee

£2,520 (2022/23)

Course level



University Diploma

Start dates

January, September, May



Online course description

Counselling skills are particularly useful for nurses, teachers, pastors, police officers, community workers, youth workers, managers or anyone dealing with people who need help and support. Due to the current increase in awareness of mental health, counselling skills are recognised as essential in many fields and organisations today. You may have a degree in a related subject but no experience of counselling or plenty of counselling experience but lack formal qualifications. You may be in a job where some counselling knowledge would be a real aid. Whatever your situation, this is an excellent foundation and a recognised qualification which allows you to move on to further study and broaden your career.

How to become an accredited counsellor

This online Counselling Studies and Skills University Diploma course is a one-year introduction to Counselling and an ideal starting point if you are interested in becoming a qualified counsellor or psychotherapist. This course will not qualify you for practise. Becoming an accredited counsellor requires further study in a face-to-face taught environment. However this is a perfect entry level course to help you understand more about this subject area and how counselling skills and techniques can be applied to benefit you in your current role.

Diverse learning experience

As the awareness and recognition of mental health has increased worldwide, having good knowledge and skills in counselling is essential for people and groups in diverse contexts. We have learners from different countries and backgrounds, discussing counselling and mental health. This includes healthcare workers, developing their listening skills to improve interaction and support for their patients, and educators, wishing to have a better understanding of their pupils needs and behaviour. Knowledge and skills in counselling are highly applicable, and can help people in need.

A high quality online counselling course

This online Counselling Studies and Skills University Diploma course is Quality Checked by the National Counselling Society (NCS). This course alone is not a route to the Accredited Register nor does it fully equip a graduate as a qualified counsellor.

The NCS is a not for profit organisation whose primary purpose is the advancement of counselling and psychotherapy.

Opportunities to practise counselling skills

Through our use of specially designed, interactive teaching methods, you’ll participate in virtual classrooms and online discussion forums where you can discuss and debate relevant topics with fellow online students worldwide.

Studying online gives you the flexibility to study at the most convenient time and place for you. Course modules still operate within a fixed 10-week trimester but you can choose to study during the day, in the evenings or at the weekend rather than having to attend fixed lectures.

Find out more about the course

Find out more about our mental health and psychotherapy programs as Dr Yasuhiro Kotera, talks about our online Counselling and Psychotherapy courses.

Find out more about the online Counselling Studies and Psychotherapy courses

View the online Counselling Studies and Psychotherapy courses video transcript

If you have any further questions you can contact-us.

What you will study

We will advise you of your study plan - the running order and availability of the modules - when you are invited to enrol.

Please note that our modules are subject to change - we review the content of our courses regularly, making changes where necessary to improve your experience and graduate prospects.

Student wearing headphones at a laptop participating in an online webinar

Discovering Online Learning Webinar: July 2022

Thursday, 14 July 2022 15.00 - 16.00

During this hour-long webinar, we'll take you through the basic principles of how online learning works and what you can expect as an online learner with the University of Derby Online Learning. The webinar includes a 30-minute presentation and an opportunity to take part in a Q&A.

Book your webinarBook your webinar

How you will learn

Pace of study

We recommend about 20 hours of study per week to complete one 20-credit module over a 10-week trimester.

Assessment method

This course is assessed through 100% coursework with a range of methods, such as essays, research reports, presentations, group work and practical reports.

Student support and guidance

Whilst we encourage our students to become independent, life-long learners, we also recognise that offering the right support and guidance will help you to achieve your goals. There is a wealth of support available to you at the University, from your dedicated Personal Tutor and Online Learner Advisor, through to our:

All these services, and more, are available to you as an online student at the University of Derby.

Who will teach you

Lecturer Robert Maxwell-Jones

Robert Maxwell-Jones
Programme leader

Senior Lecturer in Counselling and Psychotherapy with a focus on online learning, Robert Maxwell-Jones previously worked in the university as an Online Learning Adviser which has enabled him to develop a very student focussed approach to teaching. He teaches across a range of Counselling, Cognitive Behavioural and Clinical Supervision Programmes.

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Entry requirements

In line with our value of extending opportunities, the University Diploma in Counselling Studies and Skills is an open course, with few entry requirements. You may be able to gain entry to the programme if you meet the following criteria:

English language qualifications

You will normally need one of the following English language qualifications:

If English is not your first language, you will need an English language qualification. For this course, you will need at least one of the following:

Other English language qualifications may be accepted and you should provide full details of these with your application.

If you are unable to take an English Language Test locally, you may wish to consider our Derby English Language Test (DELT), which is an online test in two parts: reading and writing, and listening and speaking. Take a look at our Derby English Language test (DELT) page for full course details, online exam dates and how to book.

Fees and funding

2022/23 Fees for new entrants

Starting between September 2022 and August 2023.

 Per 20 creditsModulesCost
UK/EU/International £840 3 £2,520

About your fees

This figure would be the total cost of this course in the current academic year. However, please note that fees normally increase in line with inflation and the University's strategic approach to fees, which is reviewed on an annual basis. The total fee you pay may therefore increase if your course lasts longer than one year.

However, please also note that you can receive a 5% discount if you either:

Flexible payment plans available

Choose from three payment plan options:

How to apply

Please look at our application deadlines before you apply.

Students should apply directly to the University.

Apply now

For support with completing your application, view our guide to the application process.

Documents to support your application

In order for your application to be assessed, you will need to provide the following documents when you apply:

*Documents not in English or Welsh must be accompanied by a certified translation by a professional translator/translation company. Each translation must contain:

A list of approved translators can be found on the UK Government website.

Please note: failure to submit any documentation when requested, may result in your application being withdrawn.


Counselling skills are highly applicable, and can benefit many professionals and people. If you work in healthcare or have caregiving duties, you can enhance your current role by learning skills that enable you to better understand and engage with your patients and colleagues.

Previous students have been able to apply techniques learnt on the course in their roles, making a positive impact on their teams, clients or pupils.

For example, a social worker was able improve his communication skills with clients by applying listening and questioning techniques learnt on the course; a nurse looking to improve her management skills found that applying observation techniques enabled her to understand and communicate more effectively with her team.

If you work in the education sector, by improving your listening and observation skills you can improve engagement, motivation and support with pupils.

You can also claim CPD (continuing professional development) points.

If you wish to become a trained counsellor

To become a trained, practising counsellor, you will need to be registered with an accreditation body such as the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) or National Counselling Society (NCS).

This course can be a first step towards a career in counselling but does not give you a licence to practise. When you have successfully completed this Diploma, you will have a variety of opportunities open to you.

If you want to train and practise as a Counsellor or Psychotherapist and you already have a degree in any subject area, this course will give you the fundamental knowledge and necessary credits required to be able to apply for our Integrative Counselling and Psychotherapy MSc, which is accredited by the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP). It is available to study part-time at our Derby campus. Once you’ve completed your Masters degree, you can then apply for professional accreditation of the BACP.

Alternatively, you may wish to learn more about cognitive behavioural therapy or become a qualified cognitive behavioural therapist. This Diploma will give you the necessary credits to apply for our online Advanced Diploma in Cognitive Behavioural Skills and Studies or Cognitive Behavioural Therapeutic Approaches (Top-Up) BSc (Hons) degree.

Once you’ve successfully completed an undergraduate degree, you could then apply for our accredited MSc Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapy (Adult or Children and Young People), which is accredited by British Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapists (BABCP). This is taught at our Derby campus. Once you’ve completed your Masters degree, you can apply for professional membership of the BABCP.

Contact us

Contact the University of Derby Online Learning:

Contact usContact usFrequently asked questionsFrequently asked questions

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