This course has concessions available This course is accredited

Counselling Level 4 – Year 1 – Online

A challenging two-year course qualifying you to practise as a counsellor in an agency. Drawing on Clarksons five-strand model of the therapeutic relationship, the course integrates humanistic, analytic and transpersonal perspectives. Students will be expected to gain 70 hours of personal counselling and to begin a counselling placement. It is possible to pay the fee in instalments. Entry onto the course is by interview, and you must already have a minimum of 180 hours formal counselling training or the equivalent.
The next course will start in September 2019. Please contact the department to ask for an application pack, available in May. The fees stated are for the entire two-year course. It is possible to pay the fee in instalments.
Diploma Brochure
Download the application pack here for the next course starting in September 2019
Advanced Learner Loan Information Leaflet

Who is this course for

A professional training in counselling. Students must have a level 3 certificate or its equivalent, involving 180 hours of formal teaching (if in doubt about the equivalence, consult one of the tutors). We would particularly like to welcome students who might feel excluded from mainstream counselling training.

What does this course cover

The training is based on an integrative model, as set out in Clarkson's 'The Therapeutic Relationship'. There will be a mixture of theory, skills and personal development. Students are also expected to complete 70 hours of personal counselling or therapy during the course, and 100 hours of work with clients. Students are responsible for finding their own work placements- though help will be given.

At the end of year one, you should be
- Ready to move up to Year 2.
- Have taken a substantial step towards BACP accreditation as a counsellor.

What will it be like

The course will be run online using Zoom for the live class sessions and either the Moodle page for the course or some other system for the distribution of the electronic resources for the session sitting alongside this. Although there will be some adjustments that need to be made for the online version of this course, we will aim to keep the experience as close as possible to that of a face to face course taught in the Centre.

- Tutor presentations, including Powerpoint Presentations - Work in pairs, small groups & large group. - Skills practice in twos and threes. - Theoretical concepts are reinforced by practical exercises in pairs or small groups. - Skills and concepts for agency counselling are discussed in small supervision groups.
- Formal skills assessment in class. - Transcribed tape of client work or work with a peer. - Essays-two pieces of written work. - Learning statement (term 1) and Learning Review (term 3) - Reports from supervisors (see brochure for full details) - Report from placement agency. - Students must also compile a portfolio of evidence of learning

What else do you need to buy or do

The course will be run on Zoom, please make sure you have installed it in advance of your first class on your computer or mobile device. You can sign up for free here:

You will need a microphone (it's fine to use whatever is built into your device) and camera, so we can see you via video. You may also want to use headphones during the session.

You can participate in class sessions through the use of a computer, laptop, tablet or other similar internet enabled device. Please note that if you only have access to a smartphone, you will be able to attend the class sessions and participate in them but you will find it more difficult to benefit from the full range of materials and activities involved in the course if this is your only means of connection.

Make sure you have a small space to work in during the session and that as far as possible that you can keep this space quiet and clear of interruption so that you can concentrate on what is happening in the class.

By signing up to the course you are consenting to being on camera. The content of the lesson may occasionally be recorded by the tutor for internal education and training purposes but any such recordings will not be made available to anyone outside of the Mary Ward Centre organisation without us asking you again for further permission to do so.

Students must arrange their own therapy (costs vary from £30 - £60 per session). They may also have to pay for some supervision of their client work.

Substantial amounts of reading required. Many books can be borrowed from the course's book box. Students will also need writing materials; access to wordprocessing for their essays will be an advantage!
The training is based on an integrative model, as set out in Clarkson's 'The Therapeutic Relationship'. There will be a mixture of theory, skills and personal development.

What this course could lead to

Continue onto year 2 of the Professional Diploma in Integrative Counselling at the Mary Ward Centre.
Take further training in the field - e.g. gestalt, body-work,psychodynamic, psychodrama, according to how your interests developed on the course.

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I've been to many Centres to study in London and the Mary Ward Centre is one of the nicest I've studied in.

MWC student


This course is accredited


This course has concessions available for people who meet certain criteria

Got a Question about this Course?

Contact The Departmental Administrator.

Unavailable Classes:

Why choose Mary Ward?

Mary Ward Centre is the adult education centre with a difference. We provide a wide range of subjects for people at all levels and run courses during the day, evening and weekends to suit your timetable. You can learn face to face at one of our centres (Bloomsbury or Waterloo) or take an online course

Get inspired and enjoy excellent teaching in an environment where each individual’s learning experience is valued. That’s what makes Mary Ward Centre ‘the friendly place to learn.’