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Counselling Studies Level 3 Certificate

This course is aimed at those who want to develop recognised counselling skills in the workplace or wish to develop their career as a professional counsellor.

What Counselling qualification is right for me?


Ruth - Counselling Level 3

I started on the Introduction to Counselling course and worked my way up through Level 2 to Level 3. I work as an Early Years Practitioner in a school, and felt that having counselling skills would complement my work.

The things you learn on the course are relevant for all areas of work and life. For example, at work it has given me an extra dynamic in understanding children’s behaviour and at home, active listening has been a great tool to help with raising my four boys!

I now have the motivation to continue on my journey and have applied for the Level 4 course, which, after two years of study and 100 hours voluntary placement/supervision, would make me a qualified counsellor. I’d eventually like to become a counsellor within an education setting, as I feel there is currently a lack of these services in schools. I feel very strongly about promoting positivity in children’s mental health and well-being.

I have found having peers to work alongside very supportive and encouraging, which is one reason I chose the College over distance learning. The Learning Resources Centre (LRC) on site is great for using the computers, printing work and the staff there also ran a session on how to write a book review, which was really helpful when we were starting out.

From essay writing to career options the support is there to be accessed. The College offers the perfect environment for adults getting back into education. 

Entry requirements

NOTE: You will only be accepted on the course by an essential interview with a member(s) of the Counselling Team. You must also bring a copy of all certificates (from other training organisations and colleges) to the interview.

You need to be over 19 years old and have:

  • Completed an Introductory Course in Counselling of a minimum of 30 hours
  • Achieved the Counselling Skills Level 2 Certificate and have relevant occupational experience.

Course content

You will study the following seven units:

  • The professional framework of the counsellor
  • The counselling relationship
  • Client diversity
  • The service user-centred approach
  • Personal awareness in counselling
  • Counselling concepts and skills
  • Person-centred counselling theory
  • Supervision and self-reflection.

Assessment methods

Tutor led material and group discussion. There will be continuous assessment with portfolio production, essays, case study, personal journal and self, peer and tutor assessment. Towards the end of the course you will be examined externally on your ability to identify Level 3 Counselling Theory and complete a Candidate Learning Record.

Further study and career options

Successful completion of the course, along with your Counselling Skills Level 2 Certificate, enables you to progress on to our Therapeutic Counselling Level 4 Diploma.

Additional information

You can expect additional study time of four hours per week. Six hours of personal counselling is now a requirement of the course. There is an additional cost of £20 for a textbook.

Candidates who are already enrolled on courses at Bedford College do not need to fill in an application, or attend an interview. A group interview will be offered as part of your current course by your tutor at the end of the course.

Pay by instalments

The College offers an instalment plan for Further Education and Higher Education courses to students where the total amount payable at the point of enrolment is £200 or more. Within the scheme there is an ability to pay up to 6 instalments, depending on the length of the courses and the final payment must be paid at least a month before the end of the course.

Funding information

If you are aged 19 or over you may qualify for an Advanced Learner Loan to help you pay the tuition fees for this course. Alternatively, you can pay by instalments to help make the cost of this course more affordable. Find out more about your payment options and how your loan could be written off at

Course Information & How to Apply

The deadline has now passed and we are no longer accepting applications. Please register your interest here for our part-time courses starting from September 2021.

LengthStart DateDay(s)Time(s)FeesLocationCourse Code
32 weeks 23/09/2020 Wed 9.30 am - 12.30 pm £767 Cauldwell Street BBK112S1

Part-time course already started?

Our upcoming 2021-22 part-time courses will be out in May. Get alerted when they're released by selecting your campus of choice below and filling out the relevant form:

Bedford College Enquiry Form

Shuttleworth College Enquiry Form


Additional Learning Support
If you have a specific learning difficulty or disability, are deaf or hearing impaired, our Additional Learning Support team are on hand to give you assistance whenever you need it.  Find out more.

Autism & Asperger’s Syndrome Support
At Bedford College, we are committed to developing the provision for students on the autistic spectrum, including Asperger’s Syndrome.  Find out more.

We have access arrangements in place to help students with disabilities or any other particular needs. Call us on 01234 291000 for more information.

Additional formats
Course information sheets are also available in large print and audio formats. Call us on
01234 291000 to order your copy.

Don't let money be a worry! Low-interest loans - study now, pay later

Advanced Learner Loans
If you’re aged 19 or over on the start date of your chosen course, you can apply for a loan to cover the tuition fees for some Level 3+ qualifications. There’s also nothing to pay back until you’ve completed your course and you’re earning over £25,000 per year!

» Visit the Advanced Learner Loans page for more information