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Therapeutic Counselling CPCAB Level 4 Diploma

Validated by the CPCAB (Counselling and Psychotherapy Central Awarding Body), this course is aimed at those who are interested in developing their skills to advanced counselling practitioner level, and/or wish to progress on to the CPCAB's Psychotherapeutic Counselling Level 5 Diploma (formerly known as Higher Diploma in Therapeutic Counselling). You will cover a range of units designed to help you further your training as a professional counsellor and work with clients at a deeper psychological level.

What Counselling qualification is right for me?


100% exam pass rate since 2014

“After completing the Level 2 and 3 counselling courses, I felt confident that Bedford College was the best possible option to seal my capabilities as a therapeutic counsellor. 

Whilst on the course, the structure of the sessions, alongside the evident experience and subject knowledge of the tutors, made me feel I was becoming an ethical and well-rounded practitioner.  There seemed a super balance of looking theoretically at something and then putting it into practice with a fellow student.  I found this really helped to embed the learning and hone my individual style.

A key part of this course was using our growing skills in an agency setting.  I found this invaluable for identifying personal strengths and weaknesses and also becoming accustomed to the reality of working with real people with real difficulties.  The weekly time set aside by the tutors to discuss our agency experiences created a great sense of support.


Another area I felt was well designed, was the preparation set-aside for assessments.  Preparation by the tutors was extremely thorough (discussion and practice) and neatly weaved into our learning throughout the course.   

Without doubt, the Level 4 Diploma has left me feeling inspired and equipped, in both skill and decision making, to continue in this field.”

Tony Waddington - Therapeutic Counselling Level 4 Diploma


“I currently design clothing for Formula One and was searching for an alternative career where I could really make a difference and help others. I enrolled on the part-time Counselling Studies Level 3 Certificate at Bedford College and, when that came to an end, the Level 4 Diploma was a natural progression for me. My tutor, Nadine, taught me on Level 3, which really helped when moving up a level, as she understood my capabilities and my commitment to my development as an individual.

All of the tutors are very organised and let us know what we will be covering ahead of the session, so that we can mentally prepare. I went in to something very unfamiliar when I started studying Counselling, but the practical side of this course really helps to contextualise the theory; for instance, we have to do a voluntary placement, personal counselling and supervisions. It is a definite step up from the Level 3 and has a bigger impact on your life; even though I am only in College one day a week, I put in a lot more hours outside of college studying and attending my placement.

The College environment is just what I need. To be in an educational setting surrounded by students engages me in my learning and is one of the main reasons I chose college over distance learning. Access to the Advanced Learner Loan was also an important factor. There is a lot going on in the department as well; we have a guest speaker come in once a term. Overall, my experience has been a very positive one.”

Pauline Farrell - Therapeutic Counselling Level 4 Diploma

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 hold:

  • Both CPCAB Counselling Skills and Counselling Studies Intermediate Certificates, OR
  • Counselling equivalent Level 2 & Level 3 qualifications (a minimum study requirement of 180 guided learning hours, including theory and skills).

You will also need to provide evidence that you are committed to working safely and ethically within a counselling setting, submitting a paper of approximately 500 words with your application outlining your previous professional and personal development. You will be required to attend an interview to assess your suitability for this course, and you will be invited to complete a comprehensive skills test to assess your academic ability.

Progressing to Year Two will be subject to you successfully completing all assignment work in Year One, starting a work placement, as well as a tutor assessment of your readiness for client work.

Course content

You will be expected to:

  • Work ethically & Safely as an Agency Counsellor
  • Work within a Counselling Relationship
  • Work with Client Diversity
  • Work within a User-Centred Agency Approach
  • Work with Self-Awareness in the Counselling Process
  • Work within a Framework.

Assessment methods

Continuous assessment will comprise portfolio production, essays, case studies, seminars, presentations, personal journal, audio/video tape assessment. This will also involve self, peer and tutor assessment.

You will need to complete all of your first year assessments during the first year to progress on to the second year of this course (CPCAB permit one gap year). During the second term of Year 2 you will be assessed to measure your ability to manage a 30 minute counselling session and you will need to complete a paper evidencing skills and understanding from seven areas of capability. You will also be required to complete a Candidate Learning Record evidencing your development over two years. You will also undertake a work placement within a counselling agency.

Further study and career options

Successful completion of the Therapeutic Counselling Level 4 Diploma will demonstrate that you have developed an advanced counselling capability to work within an agency setting.

Additional information

The course runs over two years, with 420 guided learning hours, a minimum of 30 hours of personal therapy and 100 supervised client hours. At least one agency placement is needed where clients are seen in the agency setting and not within client homes. The course fee for the two years is £4670. There is an additional cost of £20 for a textbook. 

To prepare for your interview, please download and fill in the attached forms 

Level 4 Counselling TC interview pack Wellbeing Questionnaire

Level 4 Counselling TC Interview pack CPCAB assignment (TC)

Level 4 Counselling TC interview pack Tutor reference form

Things I need to know when considering this course

  • The training is in the person-centred therapeutic model.
  • When booking a holiday, consider the attendance requirement, and make sure that it doesn't extend longer than one session.
  • Dual relationships, such as close relationships and family members are not permitted.
  • This qualification is not suitable for those who are currently in a state of significant emotional difficulty or confusion as it will involve personal disclosure associated with personal developmental activities.

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.

Interviews are scheduled from 4:30-6:30 on the following dates:

Monday, 26 April 

Thursday, 29 April

Thursday, 6 May

Monday, 10 May

Monday, 17 May

If you’re interested in having an interview with us, please contact Jo Lewis on ( for an interview pack.

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

To apply online, select the 'Apply' button below. You will need to register an account and then you can follow the instructions on screen.

LengthStart DateDay(s)Time(s)Fees per yearLocationCourse Code
2 years 20/09/2021 Mon 9.30 am - 4.30 pm £2,100 (Per year) Cauldwell Street BBK114 Apply

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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:

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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