Graduate Skills in Counselling Course

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

The Application process is now open for February and MayClick 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 February and May

Apply Today

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 80% 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.

Standard Entry Requirements for MSc/PG Dip Progression

  • Degree of grade 2:1 or above in any subject


  • Degree of grade 2:2 in a related subject, or with significant relevant experience.


  • 1 year experience (professional or voluntary) in a health setting or related helping role*


*Definition of a helping role

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

  • Mentoring / befriending
  • Helplines – Samaritans, Childline, Kooth etc.
  • Volunteering work in the community e.g. charity shop, fundraising
  • Teaching / teaching assistant
  • Pastoral roles in education setting
  • Coaching
  • Emergency services
  • Hypnotherapy / CBT / other therapeutic work
  • Care work
  • Mental health support work
  • Social work
  • Nursing / health care 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

Please ensure that all qualifications, including those that you are yet to complete, are added to your application. Failing to do this may lead to your application being unduly rejected. Applicants must have completed their course and be in receipt of their transcript before commencing the programme. If you have any queries about your eligibility for this course, please contact:

Alternative Entry Requirements for MSc/PG Dip Progression

We welcome applications from students who may not meet the requirement for an honours degree but who have relevant experience or the ability to pursue the course successfully.

This alternative route of entry is called  Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL).  

To apply via this route, we would usually expect applicants without an honours degree to have a minimum of a Level 5 qualification such as a professional diploma or HND.

To meet part of the criteria for a successful APL claim all applicants are required to submit a 3000 word essay during the programme.

Please note you must still meet the requirement of having 1 year experience (professional or voluntary) in a health setting or a related helping role.

Students considering this route and hoping to progress onto the PG Dip/MSc Counselling and Psychotherapy Studies (Professional Training) are strongly advised to discuss their qualifications and eligibility with the Postgraduate Admissions Tutors:

Entry Requirement - Continuous Professional Development (CPD)

Applicants who wish to develop their professional practice are eligible to apply for the course.  You must be able to demonstrate how you believe that the course will maintain and enhance knowledge and skills to deliver a professional service.  

For those looking to progress onto the Graduate Skills in Counselling programme for CPD purposes must still hold a minimum of a Level 5 Qualification

Any CPD applicant who wish to progress onto the MSc/PgDip in Counselling and Psychotherapy (Professional Training ) must still meet either the standard or alternative entry requirements.

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.

The Graduate Skills in Counselling course 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.  

Those who wish to apply on to the PGDip/MSc Counselling & Psychotherapy from the Skills in Counselling course need to have completed an online application form and a portfolio of their prior learning to be assessed for entry onto the programme.

The PGDip/MSc  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. 

The University of Salford allocate places to those who meet their entry criteria and pass the interview on the basis of the date that their application was submitted. Once they have allocated all available places for the upcoming year, they then move to a waiting list for those who applied after this date and so can only then allocate places if those who applied earlier who have accepted an offer then choose to defer or withdraw.  

It is therefore really important that, if you want to maximise your chances of joining the PGDip/MSc in September 2024, you apply as soon as you can. You can apply before you have completed the Graduate Skills and the University can make a conditional offer based on its completion by September 2024.

You can apply for the MSc / PG Dip by clicking here once the application process has opened. Please make sure you select either the MSc or PGDip Counselling and Psychotherapy (Professional Training) and the September 2024 start date.

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?
Have you/are you applying for the MSc or PG Dip?
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
This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.

Enquire Today