Graduate Skills in Counselling Course

Complete 90 hours of counselling skills over a 15 week intensive course

The Application process is now open for SeptemberClick here to apply

Please note: The course is in high demand and therefore the places visible on the application form will be continuously changing. Gaining a place on the Graduate Skills in Counselling course is subject to fulfilling eligibility criteria and successful interview. 

Studying 1 day per week, this 15 week programme will aim to provide students with a body of knowledge and a set of skills which will make them more effective within certain occupational roles e.g. nurse, head teacher, social worker etc. It is also aimed at those who are looking to change their career and pursue a profession in counselling. This programme will enable students to apply for further study onto the MSc in Counselling and Psychotherapy, in order to become a fully qualified Counsellor*.    

The course has an element of individual focus and self-awareness and comprises of three areas: theory, skills and personal development. On completion of the Graduate Skills in Counselling programme you will receive a counselling skills certificate of attendance which provides 90 hours of study.

At a glance

The Application process is now open for September

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Reference Form
Click here to view the Graduate Skills in Counselling Reference Form

For the first few weeks of the course, students will study the person centred approach to counselling. Learning will be done through a mixture of lectures and group work. Students will practise the skills of person centred counselling and also participate in personal development groups where they can reflect on their learning and self-development.

Each student will be assigned a skills and personal development tutor. The course requires 85% attendance, and students will receive an attendance certificate at the end of the course.

Please note: This course is a professional development course and therefore is not accredited, you receive a certificate of attendance on successful completion of the course, which provides 90 hours of study. The course also offers an ideal route for possible entry (subject to successful application) onto the professionally qualifying PGDip/MSc Counselling & Psychotherapy (Professional Training) at the University of Salford, which you should apply for separately directly with the central university.

  • The programme will introduce you to the person-centred approach to counselling, and the specific micro skills of counselling that will enable you to develop a rapport when working with others.
  • You will have the opportunity to practice and develop practical counselling skills and engage in activities that will develop your awareness of self, particularly when working with others.

The Graduate Skills in Counselling course offers an ideal route for possible entry (subject to a separate successful application) onto the professionally qualifying PGDip/MSc Counselling & Psychotherapy (Professional Training) at the University of Salford.  

The PGDip/MSc at the University of Salford is a very popular course with the consequence that the University have many more applicants than places and that many applicants for the next start date often have to wait an additional year before being able to join the programme. 

It is therefore really important that if you want to maximise your chances of joining the PGDip/MSc you apply as soon as possible, you don’t need to have completed the Graduate Skills in Counselling programme before you apply, however you must state in your application that you have been provided an offer of a place and the expected completion date.

Criteria of entry onto the Graduate Skills in Counselling programme varies depending on your progression route, it is therefore important that you consider this and indicate your choice when completing your application form.

Applicants wishing to progress on the MSc/PG Dip at The University of Salford must hold a certificate in counselling or equivalent which this course fulfils. In addition, applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • 2:1 Degree in any subject + 1 year experience in a helping role.
  • 2:2 Degree in a health-related subject + 1 year experience in a helping role.
  • 2:2 Degree in any subject + significant (more than 1 year) experience in a helping role.
  • 3rd class Degree or Level 5 + significant (more than 1 year) experience in a helping role – May be eligible for Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning route.
  • Masters level Degree in any subject + 1 year in a helping role.

If you wish to discuss your eligibility onto the MSc/PG Dip please contact 

Definition of a helping role

The following list is given as a guide only and is not exhaustive:

  • Mentoring/befriending (Organisations such as Mind, Age Concern)
  • Helplines – Samaritans, Childline, Kooth etc.
  • Volunteering work in the community e.g. charity shop, fundraising
  • Teaching/teaching assistant
  • Pastoral roles in an education setting
  • Coaching (Qualified)
  • Emergency services
  • Hypnotherapy / CBT / other therapeutic work
  • Care work within a healthcare setting
  • Mental health support work
  • Social work
  • Nursing/healthcare assistant
  • Support worker e.g. family support, contact centre
  • Public-facing support roles e.g. Citizen’s Advice, job centre

Public-facing local council/government roles

For those wishing to continue their counselling training with another course provider, must hold a minimum degree of a 2:2 in any subject in order to progress onto the Graduate Skills in Counselling Programme.

Please note it is the applicant's responsibility to check that this programme meets the course providers criteria.

For those wishing to complete the Graduate Skills in Counselling programme for the purpose of Continuous Professional Development (CPD), applicants must hold a minimum of a 2:2 degree in any subject area.

If you are completing the programme for CPD purposes, and you chose at a later date to pursue counselling training, you would need to check that this programme meets the course providers criteria of where you wish to continue your study.

During the application process you will need to provide your personal information and contact details, as well as your academic and work history. This allows us to see a full picture of your experiences to date and helps us determine your suitability for the programme.

Please ensure that all fields on the application form are complete, including your reference details and your degree grade. Please note any applications submitted which don’t have all fields complete can’t be accepted.

If you are successful to progress to interview stage you must provide a number of evidence-based documents, which include:

  • Two References – Two written references, one of these must be from either an academic or professional capacity, and the other can be a character reference which comment on your suitability for the programme. All references must be completed on THE GRADUATE SKILLS IN COUNSELLING REFERENCE FORM.  CLICK HERE to view the form.
  • Original Passport – Your passport must be in-date.
  • Academic Qualifications – Your transcript or degree certificate demonstrating that you meet, or are likely to meet, the entry requirements for the programme

Before we proceed to invite you to interview or offer you a place on the course, we may wish to contact your referees. Therefore, we ask that you grant us permission to verify your academic/employment credentials and suitability for the course

Any students that are looking to progress with the Graduate Skills in Counselling programme must already hold a study visa and be residing in the United Kingdom, due to the nature of the programme all interviews are held face to face in a group capacity.

In addition to the above document requirements, any international students looking to pursue the programme would need to provide evidence of the below:

  • Study Visa - Evidence of a valid student Visa
  • IELTS 6.5 band score - If English is not your first language you would be required to provide evidence that your command of English meets the standards required for the programme
  • Translated copies of your certificates - We welcome applications from candidates offering many different international qualifications. You can see how your current qualifications equates to the British system herePlease note that we require translated copies of your certificates to be supplied on application.

Each successful candidate will then be invited to a group interview which normally last 2-3 hours. During this session the candidate will be asked to introduce themselves and say why they wish to study this course. They will then participate in a group task followed by group discussion.

Following the interview, successful candidates will be notified of the interview outcome within a week of their interview.

Due to the high demand on this course, places will only be held for 1 week. It is imperative that you confirm acceptance of your offer in writing.

The price for 22/23 academic year is £1900+VAT

Please note that due to the nature of this course it does not qualify for Student Loans or support, and we are unable to accept any discount codes/offer codes provided by the university or a third party.

Fees must be paid within 30 days of accepting a place on the course, or before 30 days if the course start date is sooner.

Salford Professional Development is fully committed to Equality of Opportunity. Any student who feels that their own particular circumstances may affect their ability to undertake or engage fully with the programme is asked to identify her/himself to the tutors as soon as possible in order that any necessary arrangements for assistance can be made.

Application Form


Please provide a personal statement to support your application, with a maximum word count of 300 words


Please provide a detailed description of your qualifications, ensuring your grades are displayed too:



Please provide a detailed description of your employment history and any experience you have undertaken which you feel would support your application for the Graduate Certificate in Counselling:

Which course date would you prefer?
Progression Route
Please provide which progression route you are hoping to progress with following the completion of the programme. Please note that each option will have differing entry criteria.
Once you have completed your interview, subject to offer and subsequent acceptance you will receive an invoice for the course fee of £1900 + VAT this has to be paid within 30 days or sooner if the course date is less than 30 days away.
I can confirm that all information provided in this form is correct
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